the Vatican confirmed a miracle ?!

How does one confirm a miracle (or two!) in 2011 ? Was the Nobel committee involved ? Was it a double blinded study (probably far more likely to be a many-blinded one) ? Was it supervised by independent experts such as neurologists ? Clearly, the recipient of the “miracle” either never had Parkinson’s disease or the cure is more a mirage than miracle.

“Pope John Paul beatified before crowds of faithful: The late pope John Paul II has been officially beatified at a joyous ceremony attended by close to one million people in a jam-packed St Peter’s Square in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI read a Latin formula proclaiming his Polish predecessor, who died in 2005, a “blessed” of the Roman Catholic Church, the last step before sainthood.

Experts say the beatification could help the Vatican burnish an image badly tarnished by paedophile priest scandals, but others have been critical of the fast-tracking of a process that usually takes decades. John Paul’s pontificate lasting nearly 27 years helped inspire youth groups and lay religious movements, but his critics accused him of turning a blind eye to the child abuse scandals which first erupted in the United States in 2000.

The beatification became possible after the Vatican confirmed a miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession – the unexplained healing of a French nun, Marie Simon-Pierre, from Parkinson’s disease. Ms Simon-Pierre spoke at Saturday’s vigil, paying tribute to John Paul as “a shepherd… who was closest to the weak, the sick and the young”. After the proclamation, she held up a silver reliquary with a vial of blood taken from the pope in the last few days of his life in case it was needed for a transfusion. The Vatican needs to certify a second miracle before John Paul can be made a saint, but officials have hinted that this could happen soon.”

– ABC/AFP

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