Cases of cure must not include medical intervention, says Bishop Lobo

Even as the world is preparing itself for the celebration of Mother Teresa's birth centenary on August 26, the wait for her sainthood will be longer as the Church is yet to come across an “acceptable miracle” to be attributed to her, said Bishop Salvadore Lobo, who headed the inquiry team for her beatification, on Monday.

“There are reports from all over the world of favours being granted by Mother Teresa. However, according to the norms of the Catholic Church there are certain criteria to be met before it can be an acceptable miracle,” Bishop Lobo of the Diocese of Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district told The Hindu.

Without intervention

For something to be declared a miracle, it should be an instantaneous event that is beyond scientific explanation. Usually, instances of cures are reported as miracles, but in those cases it must not include any medical intervention, he added.

In 2003, Mother Teresa was beatified (she is now called Blessed Teresa of Calcutta) on the basis of the testimony of Monica Bersa and her doctor, who observed that she had been cured of cancer. But since then no miracle has been reported, Bishop Lobo said.

Bishop Lobo recalled the four years of work that had led to the collection of 37,000 pages of documents in support of her beatification. “I got a chance to meet diverse people, from the former Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla to people living on the streets, whose lives had been touched by Mother Teresa,” he said.

Special prayers

Special prayers were offered at the Cathedral of Immaculate Heart of Mary and Mother Teresa, the first cathedral to be dedicated to Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa is the co-patron of the Baruipur church, the walls of which have been painted white with blue borders to reflect the iconic image of “the lady in the white sari with a blue border.”

Bishop Lobo, who led his diocese in offering the special prayers, emphasised “the philosophy of Mother Teresa of loving and becoming instruments of peace, which is valid today in the world torn apart by conflict.”