Can a miracle be caused by natural causes, even if the Church has approved them as supernatural?


Can a miracle be caused by natural causes, even if the Church has approved them as supernatural?

For example, if scientists in the future discovered a natural and scientific cause that was demonstrable of the sun at Fatima dancing around, would the Church go back on it’s decision? Are they allowed?

Practitioners in Eastern religions believe in yogic siddhis (powers) of the occult one can achieve that are similar to the miracles of the saints. For example; levitation

The people who ‘master’ these “powers” say they are purely natural and not something that advances one’s spirituality.


Science has explained many things that once were considered impossible or even magic. But consider this. Since we believe that God created everything, then all things natural came from the supernatural powers of God. Does explaining them make them any less of a miracle?

Some believe in the six day creation, but a Catholic Priest Scientist hypothesized the big bang theory of creation billions of years ago. Knowing how and when doesn’t make it any less of a miracle. Only the God of miracles could create an entire universe of trillions and trillions of stars, galaxies and planets from nothing in a single blinding flash.

I know this does not answer your core question, could the Church go back on an established belief. Perhaps, but why?


There is a huge divide between miracles of faith and deceptions of the occult.

All miracles are from God and through God. People don’t master the power of God,


What difference does it make? God controls both the natural and the supernatural so if a miracle was later found out to be a certain confluence of ‘natural’ events… then God still caused them. Why would the church go back on it’s decision? it was still God. God is responsible for absolutely everything the happens. People cannot master anything without God helping them, all we know is because God has taught us it, even if they are eastern people and know nothing of God, it does not mean He knows nothing of them. It is still His grace and goodness that has taught them all they know and shown them any ‘mastery’ of elements they may have for His own purposes and the good of His creatures. We are all His creatures whether we know it or not.


Isn’ nature just God’s way of doing things.

To say God makes the flowers grow is thus the same as to say nature makes the flowers grow.

Nature is just God’s tool for doing things. His extended arm if you like, or the visible bit thereof.

Therefore every miracle is a natural phenomenon. A very special one maybe, but natural nonetheless.

Maybe there was a time that people thought it was a miracle that the sun rises every morning. Then scientsist explained it to them. But that doesn’t mean it’s not God doing it.

It’s a bit like a scientist telling me that I’m not actually playing the violin because everybody can see it’s my hand and not me that is holding the bow.


A miracle is by definition something above, contrary to, or outside nature. So, if something is simply natural, it is by definition not a miracle.

Here’s an explanation of this from the CE:

A miracle is said to be above nature when the effect produced is above the native powers and forces in creatures of which the known laws of nature are the expression, as raising a dead man to life, e.g., Lazarus (John 11), the widow’s son (1 Kings 17). A miracle is said to be outside, or beside, nature when natural forces may have the power to produce the effect, at least in part, but could not of themselves alone have produced it in the way it was actually brought about. Thus the effect in abundance far exceeds the power of natural forces, or it takes place instantaneously without the means or processes which nature employs. In illustration we have the multiplication of loaves by Jesus (John 6), the changing of water into wine at Cana (John 2) — for the moisture of the air by natural and artificial processes is changed into wine — or the sudden healing of a large extent of diseased tissue by a draught of water. A miracle is said to be contrary to nature when the effect produced is contrary to the natural course of things.


This is a big IF… do not make decisions in the present based on speculations about the future.


There are many informative answer here.

So, if the Church declares something to be a miracle. That means it’s infallibly a miracle and has no possibility of being something else?

I am somewhat weary of this, because what we might consider a miracle today could be considered just an every day thing in the future

For example, if I were to go back in time and show a tribe of cavemen a computer, and all it’s cool features like Google Earth, email, Photoshop, etc…they would probably think I am a god.


‘Be careful, then, My child, of treating matters beyond your knowledge out of curiosity. Let it rather be your business and aim to be found, even though the least, in the kingdom of God.’ - The Imitation of Christ


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