- 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
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