I’m reading Miracle Detective my Randall Sullivan. He refers to the five critera that the Church uses to investigate and validate miracles, without explaning what they are. For apologetic purposes (as miracles seem to grab attention) I’d like to be able to explain these to people. Does anyone know what the five criteria are?
I looked up "miracles’ in the Advent Encyclopedia and it seemed to me that there was a LOT more to it than just five criteria. Let’s ask the apologists…
There are many different types of miracles, and thus many different approaches to validate them. Weeping statues would be investigated differently than incorruptable corpses (and, in many cases, there are no established guidelines - the Bishop and his investigators establish their own criteria appropriate to the particular situation).
But it sounds like the author may be referring to the five-part criteria for confirming a miracle of healing (the most common form of miracle used in advancing a cause for Canonization). The five criteria are:
*]The person had a certain diagnosis of an ailment (no possibility of mis-diagnosis), generally by several doctors.
*]There is no known cure or remedy for the ailment (no natural basis for a cure).
*]Prayers were directed to the (potential) Saint.
*]The patient was cured beyond doubt.
*]Doctors cannot explain how the cure could be (medically) possible.
[/list]Since this is (by FAR) the most common sort of miracle that gets investigated, I think this is probably what the author had in mind.