Doctors who judge whether healings should be declared miracles are no longer to be paid in cash under new norms approved by Pope Francis.
The regulations say that from now on the medical panel should only be paid by wire transfer.
Among the other regulations is a requirement that the medical panel has a quorum of six experts and that a two-thirds majority is needed to approve a statement declaring that a healing has no natural or scientific explanation.
Previously, the declaration – a major step in a pope’s recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of a candidate for sainthood – required the approval of a simple majority of the consultation team members present.
Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci, secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said: “The purpose of the regulation is for the good of the Causes, which can never be separated from the historical and scientific truth of the alleged miracles.”
Archbishop Bartolucci presided over a seven-member commission that began revising the regulations in September 2015 to update norms established in 1983. The regulations also say that an alleged miracle “cannot be re-examined more than three times”.
For each alleged miracle, the medical consultation team should consist of no more than seven physicians and medical experts. When the promoter of a Cause appeals against a negative judgment, a new team must be appointed, the norms say. The members of each consultation will remain unknown to the postulator, as the Cause promoter is formally known.
Catholics and Orthodox sign agreement on primacy
Catholic and Orthodox scholars have reached a landmark agreement on synodality and primacy in the early Church.
According to a Russian Orthodox website, the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church has approved a document called “Synodality and Primacy during the First Millennium: Towards a Common Understanding in Service to the Unity of the Church”.
Differing views on the synodal structure of the Church and the primacy of the Pope are regarded as two of the greatest obstacles to unity between Catholics and Orthodox believers.
The Russian Orthodox Church said the text will be published “in the nearest future”. The Georgian Orthodox Church reportedly expressed disagreement “with particular paragraphs of the document”. The objections will be included as a footnote.
AsiaNews reported: “No agreement was reached regarding the next plenary session, which the Moscow Patriarchate hopes will address the issue of [the Eastern Catholic Churches].”
Pope meets Nice victims’ families
Pope Francis met survivors and family members of the victims of the July terrorist attacks in Nice at the Vatican on Saturday.
The Pope greeted each and every one of the more than 800 people who travelled from France for the audience.
He said: “One can respond to the Devil’s attacks only with the works of God, which are forgiveness, love and respect for one’s neighbour, even if he or she is different.”
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