USING RELIABLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION
There is no doubt about the miracle which opened a road to beatification of John Paul II. Włodzimierz Rędzioch talks with prof. Carlo Jovin – a neurologist, and expert of the Congregation for Canonization
WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH: - Why has the case of healing of s. Marie Simon-Pierre been chosen for the beatification process of John Paul II?
PROF. CARLO JOVINE: - The case of the French nun has been chosen because it was very significant, when considering the fact that also the Pope had suffered from the same illness – Parkinson illness. But there were over 200 healings, scientifically inexplicable. This s. Normand was documented by a big number of medical analysis, investigation, medical examinations confirming that the healing was scientifically inexplicable which means for the Church that we are dealing with a miracle. The first thing which surprised me as a member of a Medical Council, was the volume of documentations, about 2 thousand pages. It consisted of specialist, neurological and psychiatric examinations, x-rays, etc.
– Who has analyzed this documentation?
– A postulator – Fr. Sławomir Oder – sent everything to the Congregation for Canonization which passed over this documentation to the Medical Council, consisting of seven international specialists who were to state, whether we deal with an explicable healing or a scientifically inexplicable healing.
– Were there any divergences among scientists in their evaluation of s. Normand’s healing?
– Yes. The healing of s. Marie Simon-Pierre was so amazing, I would even say, shocking that it did raise contradictory opinions. Some doctors were saying a strange statement: Parkinson illness is incurable, is a chronic and progressing illness, therefore, it is impossible to get cured from it. So, if the sister got recovered, she had not had Parkinson illness. This is an absurd way of understanding. A doctor who was treating the sister, even wanted to perform an operation on her brain in order to decrease her shaking, which disabled the woman to do everyday activities. Moreover, this doctor sent s. Normand to one of the most prominent specialists, prof. Gastaut, who confirmed the diagnosis. Gastaut examined the nun after the miraculous healing and said that she was not suffering from Parkinson illness any longer. Science is limited to facts: there was the illness and disappeared. Whereas, the Church interprets these facts in a different way: it acknowledges the scientifically inexplicable healing as a miracle.
– Can the opinion that it was a different illness be confirmed?
– I would not say so. Because scientific logics prevents questioning a clinical evaluation consolidated during many years and confirmed by many testimonies and analysis. However, I will add that all alternative hypothesis were subjected to a thorough analysis.
– Among these alternative hypotheses there was a suspicion of psychopathological disorders…
– Yes, but s. Normand was subjected to a series of psychiatric examinations in order to exclude the opinion that psychopathic disorders or personality disorders had caused the illness. These examinations not only confirmed that the nun was completely psychically healthy, but they also showed her strong character thanks to which she had never been broken down when facing her illness. And this woman who could not do anything, even eat on her own, after an unexpected and complete healing, stopped taking medications and got recovered.
Now, I would like to show an evidence of this miracle. A day before her healing, her supervisor asked s. Normand to write the name of John Paul II on a piece of paper. This document, which I saw personally, was analyzed by most prominent worldly experts of calligraphy and everyone admitted that it was a typical handwriting of a person suffering from Parkinson illness in its very progressed phase. What is astonishing is the fact that soon after the miraculous healing, when the nun wrote the name of the Pope again, her handwriting was linear – it was handwriting of a completely healthy person.
– A journalist who has doubted recently that it was a miraculous healing of s. Normand, admitted that he received Vatican messages from everybody – starting from a doorman to a cardinal. He probably received information concerning the French nun from a talkative but incompetent doorman.
– Journalists should discuss these issues with doctors who have analyzed the documentation, but not popularize or uncritically repeat gossips.