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Argentinean bishop cautions against publicly announcing “miraculous cures”

.- In a statement on the public announcing of unconfirmed miraculous healings, Bishop Jorge Luis Lona of San Luis, Argentina, reiterated that alleged supernatural healings taking place during certain Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) prayer meetings should not be announced as fact without both confirmation by science and approval of the Church. In his statement, Bishop Lona said the national advisor to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Argentina, Father Angel Gabriel Gayte, has expressed his complete agreement with church policy regarding such public statements, which in the CCR are known as “words of knowledge.”

Bishop Lona pointed out that Father Gayte himself has said that “regarding the charism of words of knowledge, it must be discerned in community.  Not everyone has this charism and many times it can be very tempting to have it because it makes one stand out and gives one a certain status in the Church, and therefore it falls to the bishop to discern if one has the charism or not.”

“This charism, in order to be credible, must be accompanied by clear testimony of what has occurred and should be certified by doctors or by the fact that one is healed of blindness, deafness, or someone who is paralyzed recovers the use of his legs and begins to walk,” he stated.

Bishop Lona clarified that his prohibition against local priest Father Miguel Angel Santurio from publicly announcing such words of knowledge “is not due to an arbitrary decision by the bishop, but rather in response to a medical investigation which disproved the alleged manifestations.”

“The thirteen cases of possible supernatural healings presented by Father Santurio all were scientifically explainable, according to the commission set up by the bishop with the Department of Medical Science from the Catholic University of Cuyo,” the statement said.

“And it must be mentioned, on the other hand,” said Bishop Lona, “that in one case in which he claimed to have received a word of knowledge and proclaimed the instant healing of a cancer victim, the person died soon after.”

“We are obliged to issue this clarification in response to statements by Father Santurio which could lead to confusion about the meaning of the measures that have been taken, the basis of which have been explained to him with excessive patience and consideration.”

The statement by Bishop Lona was accompanied by a press release from the Department of Medical Science of the Catholic University of Cuyo which stated that an independent panel of scientists concluded that in all of the cases of alleged miracles which the bishop asked to be evaluated, “none have proven to be the result of improvement or healing that does not have a scientific explanation.”


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April 19, 2014

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