Pope Francis – Miracle Worker?

A baby’s inoperable brain tumour has reportedly reduced in size following a kiss on the head from Pope Francis. PopeFranciskissesbabytumour

Francis kissed one-year-old Gianna Masciantoni during his visit to Philadelphia in September, CBS Philadelphia has reported.

[Ed: See photo opposite of moment Pope kissed baby’s head)

A comparison of Gianna’s MRI scans from August and November appears to show a noticeable difference.

Kristen Masciantonio, Gianna’s mother, told the TV station’s Eyewitness News programme: “She is getting better and stronger. She’s blowing kisses. She’s starting to point at things.”

CBS Philadelphia also reported that the baby girl’s parents Kristen and Joey believe the fact that Gianna has a brother called Dominic and that the name of the Pope’s bodyguard who hoisted the child up to the Pontiff is Domenico Giani is an example of divine intervention.

Joey Masciantonio said: “I think this is all from God. I believe the Pope is a messenger from God.”  

Comment:

Is this stretching the Catholic definition of a miracle somewhat? Since there are a number of these claims around, portraying Pope Francis as a miracle worker,  perhaps it’s time to reflect on the difference between a possible “remission” and a “miracle”…

24 responses

  1. This is actually quite interesting in a certain respect, and I hope that it can be fully authenticated. Many Popes have performed miracles whilst alive, as opposed to post-mortem intercession. St. Pius X was known to have performed several notable miracles. On one occasion, during a papal audience, Pius X was holding a paralyzed child who wriggled free from his arms and then ran around the room. On another occasion, a couple (who had made confession to him while he was bishop of Mantua) with a two-year-old child with meningitis wrote to the pope and Pius X then wrote back to them to hope and pray. Two days later, the child was cured. Cardinal Ernesto Ruffini (later the Archbishop of Palermo) had visited the pope after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and the pope had told him to go back to the seminary and that he would be fine. Ruffini gave this story to the investigators of the pontiff’s cause for canonization. (Source: Avella, Steven M; Zalar, Jeffrey (Fall 1997), “Sanctity in the Era of Catholic Action: The Case of St. Pius X”, Catholic Historian (Spirituality and Devotionalism ed.) (US) 15 (4): 57–80).

      • I am merely stating a fact, that St. Pius X performed miracles, and so it would seem that Francis has ‘performed’ one. If you had the courtesy to read and digest what I wrote above you will have seen that I wrote ‘I hope that it can be fully authenticated’. Obviously, the experts will have to verify as to whether the reduction in the tumour was caused by the Pope or the treatment. I always try to think positive, with faith, and I hope it was aided by the Pontiff, but I doubt it, because as someone below said, the miracle was not instantaneous, as seen with Gospel miracles and those of other saints.

        • Catholic Convert,

          We also have to think with some theological intelligence. Perhaps if you had asked yourself if is were likely that God would use Pope Francis to show His power through a healing miracle, when said Pope Francis is causing immense scandal, not least through his cavalier attitude to God’s natural moral order by calling a Synod on the Family which was effectively an undisguised ATTACK on the Family… perhaps then you’d have realised that you don’t need to wait for any “authentication” – that there is no way in this world that Pope Francis will be God’s instrument to heal anyone.

          • “We also have to think with some theological intelligence”: have you ever read the theology behind the genealogy of Jesus?
            “There is no way in this world that Pope Francis will be God’s instrument to heal anyone”, yet some the people He used to prepare the birth of His Son (the genealogy) were quite disreputable individuals, I wonder what He was thinking of? Poor Pope Francis doesn’t even come close to some of their antics!

              • Lily,

                Jesus had some disreputable ancestors. One example is King David himself, who seduced Bathsheba whilst she was married to Uriah the Hittite. He got her pregnant and arranged to have Uriah killed on the battlefield. The Prophet Nathan denounced David for this, as it displeased the Lord, and the child died. Yet God used David as an instrument, and gave him a covenant saying that his house would last forever, a prophesy fulfilled by Christ, his descendant. King Solomon also sinned against God, by turning to worship pagan idols such as Astarthe, the goddess of the Sidonians and Moloch, the god of the Ammonites. Also, after Er was killed by God for being wicked and Onan was killed for spilling his seed instead of fathering Er’s offspring, Judah refused to let Shelah marry Tamar, Er’s widow, and was seduced by Tamar and fathered a child with her, Perez. He arranged to have her killed, but recanted when he realised the child was his. Judah also plotted against his half-brother Joseph with his other brothers, who was favoured by their father, the Patriarch Jacob. They planned to kill Joseph, but Reuben persuaded them to throw him down a well, and rescue him later. They sold Joseph to Midianites, and soaked his coat in blood, and lied to Jacob saying he had been killed by beasts.

                Despite their wickedness, the Lord used them to be the ancestors of Our Saviour.

                • I notice that Perplexed didn’t come back to answer, as he never does.

                  None of the examples you give is relevant. King David repented and the others were punished by God or also repented.

                  It is not right to think of God using King David as an instrument, IMHO because Jesus was God and he chose to empty himself and come to earth as a man. That’s not God using King David as an instrument to give us Jesus – he used Our Lady for that and if she had been publicly undermining what God had revealed at that time, she would not have been used.

                  Pope Francis wasn’t an instrument of healing for the baby anyway, as we now know there hasn’t been any instant cure.

                  .

            • Perplexed,

              Am I missing something here? What have the less worthy descendents of the House of David (in your opinion) have to do with claims that God performed a miracle through the instrument of Pope Franciis? The medical and theological evidence clearly suggests that God did no such thing.

              Now I am a great believer in the power of the Keys, but it is highly unlikely that Our Lord will ever ratify with miracles a Pontificate which has earned for itself an unenviable reputation for sowing confusion and division in both the world and the Church.

              • Athanasius,

                I agree. It is unbelievable that there are any Catholics around who would think Pope Francis would be used by God in that way, seeing the havoc he’s causing.

  2. This is an appallingly shameful media stunt. With no information about what treatment is being given, and how any such treatment may shrink whichever of the many tumours this one happens to be, the claim of a miracle is ludicrous. It is totally understandable that this poor family will clutch at straws in such an unimaginable situation, and any reporter and newspaper taking advantage of their desperation like this hits a new low even for the press. The fact that the story is being used to further the humble and saintly Pope Francis propaganda machine makes it all the more abhorrent. Let us pray that this child will be saved in the more usual way – through the God-given skills and dedication of the oncologists treating him and through prayer that He will aid them in their work.

    • I totally agree with you, Christina. This is a really shameful stunt.

      Miracles are always sudden and complete, in my understanding. There’s never any question about it, but this is just a typical tumour probably in remission for a bit. They’re actually really stupid to make a lot of this when it could backfire on them in a few weeks or months.

    • John,

      Thank you for posting that link to the Remnant – the man on the video showed real courage and, as you say, a passion and zeal that is absent in the Pope, Bishops and majority of the clergy.

      And as for the fruits of the much lauded inter-faith “dialogue” and umpteen “event”, well, the reaction of the Muslims around him, says it all. About as tolerant as any full blown “liberal”!

      I laughed at your “that would be a real miracle”, because I had the same thought when I first read the report about the alleged “miracle” that the only kind of miracle that would interest me now, would be the conversion of Pope Francis to the Catholic religion.

  3. While I am obviously delighted to read of a great improvement in this infant’s health, gradual recovery from so serious a condition is not traditionally countenanced by the Church as a miracle.

    To be considered miraculous, a serious or terminal illness must be cured both instantaneously and inexplicably in the opinion of medical science. Miracle cures recorded in Sacred Scripture are always of this latter category. There is not a single example of a slow-working miracle cure recounted anywhere in the Bible. Nor is there any such phenomenon recorded at Lourdes or in the lives of the saints. It’s good news, but it’s not a miracle in the sense of direct divine intervention.

    • Athanasius,

      Exactly. A healing miracle must be immediate and inexplicable.

      Just like Pope Francis’s immediate and inexplicable answers to journalists’ questions – it’s a miracle he ever got elected pontiff 😯

  4. Editor

    If the likes of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and other influential liberal prelates are to be believed, there was no miracle involved in Francis’ election. It was a carefully planned and executed event of FIFA proportions, according to them. If true, then I suppose the real miracle is that Sepp Blatter wasn’t elected Pope!

  5. The Pope has actually been involved in a miracle in 1996. One would have thought witnessing such a wonderful miracle would have strengthened his faith? But obviously not.

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