By Barb Fraze
Many people believe Blessed Teresa of Kolkata was a living saint but, despite a flurry of media reports, the Vatican has not officially cleared the way for her canonization.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003, is pictured in an undated file photo. (CNS photo/Michael Hoyt, Catholic Standard)
An Italian news agency reported Nov. 18 that a panel of doctors has found no medical explanation for an alleged miracle credited to the intercession of Mother Teresa. Catholic News Service wrote about that story — a cure in Brazil — in late October. But as the story explains, doctors saying there is no medical explanation for a cure does not yet make it a miracle:
“After a diocesan investigation into a potential miracle yields positive results, the case goes to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. A panel of physicians is convoked by the congregation to study whether the healing is authentic and lasting, and that there is no natural, medical explanation for it. With the doctors’ approval, the files are passed on to a panel of theologians.
“The theologians study the events — especially the prayers — surrounding the alleged miracle and give their opinion on whether the healing can be attributed to the intercession of a particular sainthood candidate.
“If the theologians give a positive opinion, the cardinals who are members of the congregation vote on whether to recommend that the pope recognize the healing as a miracle and set a canonization date.”
The cardinals of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes normally meet in December; their agenda is not public.
However, sources have told Catholic News Service that church officials in India are saying, off the record, that Pope Francis hopes to travel to India and canonize Blessed Teresa Sept. 5, the anniversary of her death in 1997.
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