Indian Rationalists Doubt
Mother Teresa's Miracle


CALCUTTA, India (Reuters) - A group of Indian rationalists challenged Tuesday a miracle attributed to Mother Teresa that has put her on the path to sainthood and called for a government inquiry into whether it took place.
Last week, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican said the disappearance of a tumor in an Indian woman, Monica Bersa, was due to a miracle by the Albanian-born founder of the Calcutta-based Missionaries of Charity.
But Probir Ghosh, general-secretary of the Science and Rationalists Association of India, said the West Bengal communist government "should look seriously into whether this so-called miracle took place."
"We're sure there's a medical reason for her cure. There's no such thing as a miracle cure," he told Reuters.
The association, which claims 20,000 members across the country, was founded in 1985 to free Indians from superstition and to promote scientific thinking. "Promoting miracle cures is unscientific and encourages false beliefs," Ghosh said.
No one from the Missionaries of Charity, established in 1950, was immediately available for comment.
The Vatican's recognition of the miracle means that Mother Teresa -- who died in 1997 -- will likely be beatified, or declared blessed of the Roman Catholic church, next year.
Beatification would a key step toward sainthood for the nun who spent much of her life helping the world's most destitute.
Last week, Bersa, 34, told Reuters her stomach tumor was healed overnight after she held a medallion blessed by Mother Teresa and prayed to her.
Bersa's cure was reviewed at a Vatican meeting last week where doctors said they had no medical explanation. A second miracle attributed to Mother Teresa would be needed after beatification for her to be made a saint.
Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


This Site Served by TheHostPros