So get this, if someone wants to be a recognized saint by the Vatican one of the requirements is that they have to have two scientifically proven miracles. Let me repeat that, two scientifically proven miracles… Now as much of an oxymoron that sounds like it actually holds a ton of weight. But before I get into that I should probably explain why I’m writing about such an odd topic. I mean, religion and science don’t really see eye to eye most of the time. Yet, they rely heavily on each other. It is exactly that reason that I am FACINATED by this conflict.
In class, when it was brought that Mother Teresa was in the process of becoming a saint, I wasn’t too excited about the conversation. Then the class bursted out laughing when it was said that one of the criteria to become a saint was that you needed two documented miracles. A little odd, granted but then everything was shaken up when he mentioned that they needed to be scientifically proven. Me, being the Liberal Arts major who thinks very logically was at a stand still. I had to hear it again to realize what was said but yes TWO scientifically proven miracles. So I was perplexed and wanted to know more. So here I am!
Alright ladies and gents so here’s the full list of requirements needed to become a saint for purpose sake but then we’ll focus in on the miracle.
So I’m going to focus on the last two requirements since those are the ones that are related to science (which is still weird to consider). According to the church, miracles, or divine events that have no natural or scientific explanation, serve as proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede with God to change the ordinary course of events. So although the church defines a miracle in part by saying it can’t be explained by science, they still rely on science to prove it. How could that be? As I continued to look into it, it wasn’t the science I was expecting. What the vatican (or the Miracle Commission, no joke that’s what it’s called) uses isn’t science specifically but a scientific process of gathering information. So how does this scientific process work? Vatican scientists work to try to prove these miracles and if they are able to prove a miracle then it is then not a Vatican accepted miracle since science can explain it. If they can not explain it then the miracle counts towards your requirement.
In conclusion, for two entities that differ on many issues, both religion and science still rely on each other. And like we talked about in class, science tries to sort through options and find causation which is exactly what the committee is testing them to do. Another connection is when we talked about the importance of science since our intuition is lousy. I would say claiming miracles is pretty out there and might be considered lousy but that’s where the scientists come in and try to prove. It’s not easy to become a saint. So much so that religion uses science to filter out the true saints from the want to be’s. Maybe it’s a little obscure, but maybe its a miracle.
Uhrmacher, Kevin. “So You Want to Be Declared a Saint by Pope Francis? See Your Odds Here.” Washingtonpost.com. N.p., 14 Sept. 2015. Web. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/09/14/so-you-want-to-be-declared-a-saint-by-pope-francis-see-your-odds-here/>.
Chopra, Deepak. “A Science of Miracles–No Longer Optional?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 8 Oct. 2014. Web. 09 Sept. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/a-science-of-miraclesno-l_b_5939228.html>.
Ghose, Tia. “The Science of Miracles: How the Vatican Decides.”Livescience.com. N.p., 9 July 2013. Web. <http://www.livescience.com/38033-how-vatican-identifies-miracles.html>.