Thursday, January 31, 2008

Miracle or Hoax

There are doubters and there are non-believers.You can not blame them.It is when the need for a miracle when they start believing.

Cure or Hoax

In 1950, Lipa, Batangas was a virtual Lourdes, Fatima, and Mecca rolled into one. All the media headlines focused on the "Shower of Roses" from heaven, the church tower or any unknown portion of roofing and corner of Lipa Cathedral.

Holy caucus

My wife’s grandma Paz Moran-Mata (first cousin of Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran) summoned her clan to a "holy caucus" and asked them to join her in contracting a special bus for a pilgrimage to Lipa.

She ordered my brother-inlaw, Louie Canlas, 12, to join the religious excursion with baon of chicken-pork adobo, white rice, Lingayen fish bagoong, etc.

Farther than Nazareth to Cana

It was a long trip: Lingayen – Manila, 180 km and Manila – Lipa, 80 km or a total of 260 km x 2 (forth and back according to Amang Rodriguez) = 520 km in less than 24 hours. To girls in their 70s hardship was nothing if only they could just catch or breathe one fresh petal from heaven.

Not a drop of half a petal

As Louie described it: "We were outside the churchyard as people stood on streets and alleys, all looking up and waiting for a rain of roses."

Let’s fast-forward the event. More than 20 years after the "miracle of roses," the official Church version declared it a hoax.

Hardship and suffering

But why the long wait? People suffered hunger, thirst, etc. just to see a miraculous petal drop. According to my barkada in Lemery and Tanauan, "Two altar boys were ordered by naughty priests to shower not more than 10 fresh roses from the tower every other day during dark hours."

Some priests prospered beyond their wildest dream, they continued, selling crucifix, rosaries (some with fewer than 10 beads), estampitas, poorly printed missal, pins, and all the items Christ saw at His Father’s Temple in about 30 BC.

Seeing Christ in a trance?

In the early 1990s, countless thousands flocked to a town in La Union where people of strong faith saw the image of Christ beyond the clouds as told by a young boy after a trance.

My wife and mother-in-law virtually ordered me to join them in a pilgrimage. I reminded them of Lola’s Calvary in Lipa some 42 years earlier. My final excuse: I was of little faith anyway and the vision was of no use to me.

Sum total of physics

The boy they saw in long habiliments had prospered fast and quick. The church had declared the apparition as a variation of Einstein’s knowledge of the universe, the sun and high physics.

There’s a new healing priest who travels fast and far from south to north via Manila’s popular church near MalacaƱang.

Higher somehow

This case is different, but definitely higher than most "miracles" known to Filipinos like Cana, Lourdes and Fatima. According to one priest in Mexico, Pampanga: "I checked his pulse, his neck and stomach. I didn’t hear a heartbeat. He was lifeless."

No stethoscope to check death

The "dead" patient began to stir after a blessing in his direction from Suarez, the healing priest. Remember, the dead was pronounced lifeless by a priest without a stethoscope – the instrument doctors use to listen to sounds in the body like the heart, lungs, etc.

The priest was not lying, but could not simply conclude that the sick man was dead, alive, dying or far from dead by feeling his pulse and stomach.

The visible danger coming from the practice of medicine without the use of the right instrument is not to be sneezed at.

Statue bigger than Liberty in NY

Interviewed by news media the healing priest’s first project is to build a religious statue higher than Liberty (151 feet or 46 m to the top of the torch), designed by Bartholdi, with Gustave Eiffel’s help, builder of Eiffel Tower in Paris.

In the mid-1980s Pres. Reagan named Lee Iaccoca (former president of Ford Motor) as chairman of a commission to raise funds to repair the statue. Iaccoca resigned without accomplishing his mission of raising tens of millions of dollars.

P100 M for the project?

Can devotees donate R100 M to the project’s organizers a sum that is beyond the government’s power to question in audit?

If Cardinal Sin were around us he could smell a hoax or fraud, like pyramiding.