Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Minor Miracles

It looks like Pope John Paul II will achieve something gravity hasn't really managed, being canonized. The qualifications seem to be a good cheering section in the appropriate places and two certified miracles. It seems that someone prayed to him and was cured of cancer. I'm not too sure whom the other 100 million or so people with cancer prayed to, but they mostly had less luck.

Still, considering that the guy was Pope of the whole world, one cancer cure seems like a pretty modest result, given the frequency of spontaneous remissions. I'd be more impressed by a more global miracle - say curing everybody's cancer, or maybe just the cancers of all Catholics. You could do it very scientifically, dividing up a large cohort of victims and having half pray to JP and the other half to Martin Luther or somebody.

Don't we need a higher standard for full sainthood of a Pope? A one person miracle might be a nice intervention for the priest of a small village, but really.