The place of exceptional healings and the role of medical experts in the canonization process (1)

Written by Bakó Csongor István

The exceptional healings attributed to the intercession of saints – that is the faithful officially canonized by the Church and commemorated in liturgy on their feast days –, and the work of the medical experts offering scientific support during the process of canonization constitute a special chapter not only in the history of the Church, but also in the history of medicine. The first part of the two-part interdisciplinary study begins with a summary of the essence of this complex canon law procedure, after which it presents the Christian interpretation of miracles including the conditions of certification based on scientific methods of the medically inexplicable cures, also the diocesan and Holy See path of the confirmation of the medical evaluations according to the current practice of canonization. Later on it presents the evolution of miraculous cures to an almost exclusive criterion of evidence, also the development of the scope of duties of the medical experts working at their evaluation along the history of the canonization, from the beginning to the 18th century.

Keywords: canonization, miraculous healings, implication of medical experts, theological confirmation of the medical statements, history of canonization

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