Pope’s sainthood setback after ‘miracle cure’ nun reported to be ill again

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Photograph: Paolo Cocco/AFP/Getty Images

It was the miracle that set Pope
John Paul II
on the road to sainthood and provided faithful
followers with proof of his holy powers. But hopes that the former pope’s
canonisation would be fast-tracked by Sister Marie Simon-Pierre’s
recovery from Parkinson’s disease have been set back by reports that
the French nun has fallen ill again. [This
is why the Church investigates causes for canonization. Through intense
scrutiny, prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit, the Church only
confirms what God allows us to confirm with respect to those souls in
Heaven.]

Simon-Pierre described three years ago how she regained her health
after a night of prayer to the then recently deceased Polish pontiff.
John
Paul also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, which is incurable.

“It’s like a second birth,” she said at the time. “I feel
like I’ve discovered a new body, new limbs.”

In 2007 Simon-Pierre could
barely move her left side, could not write legibly, drive or move
around easily and was in constant pain.

Her disease worsened after the pope’s death, and her order prayed for his
intervention to ease her suffering.
Then after writing his name on a paper
one night, she woke up the next day apparently cured and returned to
work as a maternity nurse with no traces of the disease.

But according to the Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita, one of the doctors charged with
scrutinising the nun’s case believed she might have been suffering from
a similar nervous disease, not Parkinson’s
, which could go
into sudden remission. A report on the paper’s website went further,
saying that the
49-year-old nun had become sick again with the same illness. [This is
key here. Regardless of wheather John Paul II is canonized or not is a
matter of God’s will.]

The Vatican was making no comment on the grounds that the
late pope’s case was still under examination.

Although no
date has been fixed for the late pope’s beatification
,
there had been an expectation that it would be announced in
mid-October. His case was fast-tracked by his successor, Pope Benedict,
and the anniversary of John Paul’s election falls on 16 October.

The first sign that all might not be as it should be came
when the Vatican fixed the canonisation of six new saints for the
following day, a Sunday, making a beatification the same weekend
impossible.

Vatican
sources stressed that the panel of doctors which will examine the
evidence relating to Simon-Pierre’s recovery
was not due
to meet until April, when it will consider a report by two medical
experts.

Beatification
is an intermediate step on the road to canonisation, though not all of
those declared “blessed” go on to become saints.
Beatification
requires at least one miracle. A second is needed for sainthood.

The Vatican,
whose congregation [department] for the cause of saints deals with
canonisations and beatifications, has
been under relentless pressure to speed up John Paul’s progress. [Patience is a virtue.]

On the day of his funeral in 2005 there were unparalleled scenes in St
Peter’s Square, when the crowd took up a chant of “santo subito”, or
“saint straightaway”.

via guardian.co.uk

Despite the fact that detractors of the Church will certainly use this
to further their point that Catholicism is just a bunch of traditions
and rituals, I find this story encouraging. It increases my faith in
the Church Christ established over2,000 years ago. As imperfect, human
stewards of Christ’s flock on earth, the Church must always use
prudence and proper scrutiny to make distinctions between true miracles
and strange anomalies.

With eternal, motherly patience she ways the facts and seeks guidance
from God in order to make certain that what she proclaims is true. The
mystery of infallibility is the fact that Church proclamations may seem
to take a route of contradiction or unpredictability but when the
statement is finally made is Church Tested, God Approved.

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