PARIS (AP) — An international doctors’ panel appointed by the Roman Catholic Church says it’s getting out of the “miracle” business at Lourdes. The panel will no longer judge whether pilgrims to the French shrine could have benefited from “miracle” healing — a huge shift from the centuries-old way of deciding what makes the cut as a divine cure.
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The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as I discuss in my book, still makes use of a panel of independent and well-regarded doctors from Rome who review the medical records of individuals purported to have been healed miraculously. These doctors do not determine whether a miracle has occurred, rather they decide (by a majority vote on a panel of five) whether a cure is “medically inexplicable.” If the doctors decide that, a panel of clergy researches who was prayed to and then make a judgment about whether a miracle had taken place.