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Don’t ascribe miracles to Mother Teresa

PUNE, Oct 22: The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti - an organisation dedicated to eradication of superstitions - has objected to...

By: Express News Service |
October 23, 1999

PUNE, Oct 22: The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti – an organisation dedicated to eradication of superstitions – has objected to the canonisation procedure initiated by Pope John Paul II to grant sainthood to Mother Teresa. The samiti feels no need to equate Mother Teresa’s proposed canonisation with the “divine miracles” being attributed to her.

In a letter to the Pope John Paul II, samiti chairman Dr Narendra Dabholkar said that the legendary Nobel laureate should be canonised on the merits of her exemplary missionary service rather than "dishonouring her by ascribing miracles to her. " The samiti has sought to have audience with the head of the Roman Catholic Church during the much-talked about papal visit to India, next month.

“The canonisation procedure defies scientific logic,” Dabholkar said and added that claiming cure through miracles was also contrary to the spirit of Indian Constitution. “The Constitution lists promotion ofscientific temperament and spirit of inquiry as a responsibility of every Indian citizen,” he said.

Dabholkar made it amply clear that it held the highest regard for Mother Teresa and was not opposed to her being granted sainthood but was only opposed to the procedure.

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The Roman Catholic Church has initiated the process to canonise Mother Teresa and a team of the church currently is verifying the claims of “miracles” performed by the Divine Lady of Calcutta.

Under the canonisation procedure, a claimant for sainthood is needed to have performed at least two miracles in his or her lifetime. This requirement, the samiti feels, attacks the very foundation of scientific thinking.

“From scientific point of view none can perform miracles,” he maintained adding that the events appearing to be “miracles” should be subject to scientific scrutiny to establish the cause and effect relationship behind such occurrences. The samiti has been opposing claims of miracles being made under the garb of divine powers or religion.

The samiti points out to the Pope that the Church needed to apologise to Galileo Galilee after 400 years for the injustice meted out to him.

Dabholkar stated that he is not surprised at the claims being made on certain “miracles” attributed to Mother Teresa since she used to work for ailing and the diseased. A medico himself, Dabholkar mentioned possibilities of cases of automatic regression being bracketed as “miracles.”

Maharashtra has a tradition of saints; the sainthoods were accorded by the people for whom they worked. None of these saints, including 13th century poet-saint Dnyaneshwar or 17th century poet-saint Tukaram or more recent saintly persons like Gadge baba or Tukdoji Maharaj, has supported the concept of miracles, he added.

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