Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cleveland, OH: Miracle for John Paul II’s Beatification?

From CNA via Fr. Z:

‘Miraculous’ recovery from ‘non-survivable’ gunshot wound could beatify Pope John Paul II

Cleveland, Ohio, Apr 4, 2009 / 01:55 pm (CNA).- A man who suffered a "non-survivable" execution-style gunshot to the head during a mugging in Cleveland has had a "miraculous" recovery possibly due to the intercession of Pope John Paul II. If the late pontiff is credited for the miracle, it would lead to his beatification. [This from the beginning reminds me of some of the amazing stories I read when I was doing the Studium at the Cong. for Causes of Saints. Amazing and inexplicable things. Amazing.]

Jory Ably, 26, suffered the gunshot would five weeks ago. Doctors at the Metro Health Medical Center declared it to be a "non-survivable" injury, ABC’s Good Morning America reports.

Hospital chaplain Fr. Art Nedeker administered Aebly with the Sacrament of the Sick, asking Pope John Paul II to pray for Jory and to protect him. [This is an important element: There has to be a specific intention to pray for the intercession through that specific person. This usually requires the suggestion and prompting of someone who knows about the cause and then how to report it.]

Fr. Nedeker explained that the Pope had promised him [!] he would always pray for the patients at the hospital and blessed a dozen rosaries with special patients at the hospital.

The priest gave Aebly the last of the rosaries [This is sounding to me more and more to a serious cause for a miracle.] that had been blessed by the Pope, after which Aebly consistently improved.

He was released on Tuesday, two days before the fourth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death.

Dr. Robert Geertman, a neurosurgeon involved in Aebly’s treatment, told Good Morning America his patient’s survival was "one in a million."

"My jaw was on the floor after a day or two of seeing he is hanging on. …I’d say it’s pretty miraculous," he said at a press conference days after the shooting.

At the press conference announcing Aebly’s release, Fr. Snedeker said:

"I stand before you today and can say, to my mind, Jory is a miracle." [At the level of the Congregation all the medical records would be reviewed.]

Aebly himself credited his recovery to "the many prayers from family, friends and co-workers" and others.

His mother Deb Wolfram told the press conference she believes in "the power of prayer" and said she believed people’s prayers helped her son through his ordeal, Good Morning America says.

A Vatican official reported that the investigation into the alleged miracle could take time. [Of course!]

"We cannot predict a precise schedule," Monsignor Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Caucus of Saints told ANSA. "All stages, including the examination of the miracle, have to be conducted in a particularly thorough way."

Approval of the miracle could lead to Pope John Paul II’s beatification, leaving one more miracle before he can be canonized.

"Here is what happens.

When people think there was a verifiable miracle, they start a cause, like a court case.

All the "proofs" must be gathered… documents and testimony gathered according to a procedure.

Once everything is gathered in the place where the alleged miracle occured, it is sent to Rome.

The Congregation verifies that the procedures were followed correctly. Then they look at the theological aspects of the claim: can it be demonstrated that the people prayed to X or asked for a miracle through X, etc. It has to be explicit and not just mixed in with "Jesus, Mary, Joseph and X, Y, Z all the saints and angels!" Often there is an image or relic or project to pray to X.

In the case of a cure (there are other kinds of miracles too!) the healing or change in condition must be sudden, complete and lasting. That must be demonstrated by proofs. The medical records are studied by a panel of doctors and other necessary experts. They look into the diagnosis and prognosis and then what happened in stark scientific terms. They determine if what happened can be explained by the science they know.

With a miracle, the Congregation has to look at the evidence and then determine that what happened. within moral certitude, through the intercession of X, the condition was grave/dire/serious and there was a sudden complete and lasting change that cannot be explained.

What I like about this case is that there was a priest who knew what was going on and there was an object associate with John Paul II and his own remark. The person’s prognoss was very bad and the healing was sudden and complete and seems to be lasting and they can’t explain it."

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