How to Become a Saint?


Two former Popes,
John XXIII and John Paul II, Two former Popes,
John XXIII and John Paul II, became official Catholic saints
on Sunday. And it’s really incredible how little
it takes for popes to become saints now. It used to be that you had to perform
two “verified” miracles. First of all, do you know how many verified miracles
there actually are? Zero. There are zero miracles that have actually been verified. There may be things that we don’t have
good medical explanations for, but it doesn’t mean
a pope magically intervened. “Miracle” is just a fancy word
for “shit we can’t explain.” And plenty of doctors have even challenged
some of the supposed miracles, saying there are natural
explanations for them if only the Vatican would give it
a second look. All that said, let’s take a look at
the miracles attributed to these former popes and see how magical
they really are. In the case of John XXIII, they’re making him a saint based off
of only one miracle, because two would be ridiculous. But that one miracle happened
in the 1960s. That’s when
Sister Catarina Capitano was cured of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging.
She was basically bleeding from her stomach. Her story goes like this: She was praying to
the Holy Virgin of Pompei, but it wasn’t working.
So, the sisters in her convent took an image of Pope John XXIII
and they put it on her nightstand. Guess what. Nothing happened.
She was still sick. Eventually, though, when she
started praying to that pope, she got better, but only for two weeks. That’s when she started vomiting.
So, she had to go back into the hospital. But this time, one of her sisters
brought her a piece of the sheet that the pope had died on,
because he had died at this point. And she took that sheet and she placed it
against her stomach from where she was bleeding, and guess what. One night, she felt
kind of pressure on her stomach. And she said the pope
was there. The Pope was
basically pressuring, putting his hand on the stomach,
telling her things would get better. And by the way, the Pope in her dream looked miraculously
like the Pope’s image that was on her nightstand. Who’d have thunk? And then, when she got up,
turns out she felt better. And all the hemorrhaging
has stopped. And no one could explain
how this had happened. Mind you, maybe the medical advances
have gotten a lot better since that time. We don’t have any before or after pictures
of any scars that were on her body. There might be natural explanations
we just can’t understand. But based off of that story alone,
that was enough to make Pope John XXIII into a saint. For Pope John Paul II, one of his miracles involved curing a woman
who was about to have an aneurysm. She saw him on TV
and she prayed to him. And all of a sudden
she got better. Because miracles can be transmitted
through the television now. And Pope John clearly had something to do with
the woman who saw him on TV and then prayed to him. It’s like he totally knew
that was happening. His other miracle is that he supposedly cured
a French woman of Parkinson’s disease. And it turns out that disease
can go into remission. But no, no, no. Let’s not change the story.
Pope John Paul II cures Parkinson’s. That’s the story and the Church
is sticking with it. If you really want to pin a miracle
on Pope John Paul II, maybe we should start
with the fact that the Catholic Church didn’t collapse under the weight
of all the sex scandals that were taking place under his watch, because that’s a miracle. The whole ritual
of finding miracles is basically the Church
grasping at straws. And honestly, it just cheapens
the very idea of what a miracle is and how it happens. So, why do they do this
in the first place? I know this sounds selfish, but it is
basically a PR campaign for the Church. When your country produces someone
who becomes a saint, it makes Catholicism look pretty good in that country.
The number of people who go to church starts going up. It’s like your country has produced
the hometown hero. It puts people
back in the pews. And it puts the church
back in the news. But this whole process of
turning these people into saints, it just underscores one of the big problems
atheists like me have with faith in the first place. Sainthood is nothing but a prolonged
God-of-the-gaps argument: When we don’t understand
how something works, we’re not going to go looking for a natural explanation,
we are just going to assume is a miracle. That’s the wrong way to look at things
that we don’t understand. And it’s something I want to look more into
to see if there might be a scientific explanation. Unfortunately, the Church doesn’t want to do that.
They just want to jump to… Miracle! My name is Hemant Mehta and I write
at FriendlyAtheist.com Leave a comment below and
we will be sure to check it out.

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