Broken arm restricts longer posts, so I’ll keep this brief. I saw this item on the BBC about how the Catholic Church is making it beatification bar higher. The Cardinal in charge is reported as ‘Stressing the need for a “true reputation for holiness” among sainthood candidates to be established before the process begins.’ . Given that the internal test is supposed to be the rather harder ‘one or more than one miracle’, I’d have though that that was a much more useful test.
A Miracle is after all supposed to be, well miraculous – inexplicable by conventional science (see here). But apparently, during the time of Pope John Paul II, more people were canonized than in the entire previous history of the church (1338 beatifications and 482 canonisations). This could be admirable efficiency in sorting out pending reviews that had lasted decades or centuries, but what stands out to me is that in 27 years, the Catholic Church found solid evidence for at least 1820 miracles. Even one that met a true skeptical scientist test would be pretty troubling, since it would force re-evaluation of the established view of the world. 1820 would shatter such a view of the world. Or, just maybe, they weren’t Miracles, just unlikely but good things that happened, as statistics would indicate that they must.