Posting from the Catholic News Agency
Colorado miracle spurs German nun’s beatification
The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration are thrilled at the approved beatification of their German founder, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, after a Vatican-recognized miracle in Colorado.
“We are enthusiastically surprised,” Sister Clarice Gentrup, the congregation’s vicar general, told CNA April 2.
“After all these years, we’re coming closer and closer to beatification and canonization, possibly.”
Pope Francis approved the 19th century nun’s beatification on March 27.
The miracle attributed to Mother Maria Theresia involves the healing of a Colorado Springs boy named Luke Burgie. In September 1998, at the age of four, he began suffering from a severe viral infection that caused chronic diarrhea. Many doctors and specialists could not cure him.
The step of Beatification is interesting as it requires a miracle to have taken place except in the case of a martyr where martyrdom itself is an acceptable substitute. The miracle proffered was the unexplained curing of a child’s severe diarrhea a month after he was prayed for by nuns belonging to St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. I was unable to find facts on the child’s case which dates from February 1999 outside of this article. If we take the claims at face value, that he almost required a CT scan, and had suffered diarrhea for approximately 4 months, that would qualify as severe but not unheard of in these cases (PDF). There are also no statements made as to what medically prescribed actions the family were taking. Essentially this article is just a press release stating that the Pope signed off on the beatification, and there’s no substantial discussion of the nature of the miracle.
According to the sources linked on canonization, a miracle of the “second-class” is required, though The Church seems somewhat loose about that requirement. I had some trouble even determining what a second-class miracle even constitutes. According to “The Gift of Miracles” this would be defined as follows, ” a prodigy produced by the agency of a holy angel; as, for instance, when the angel of the Lord prevented the fire from burning the three children in the fiery furnace; or when an angel restores sight or life which is despaired of.”
IF (big IF) this were a miracle it would not even seem to merit classification above a third-class miracle.
UPDATE (16-Apr-2013): The local news did not like our coverage. The questionable claims still stand. This is a poor excuse for a miracle. But we are very glad the boy is OK, there is just zero reason to call it a miracle.
Post contributed by Mark Hixson