Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Miracle of Lanciano

Hope that link works. I included that link as that chap has quoted an extensive piece of text, verbatim, about the miracle and to save me from doing all that work again.

To cut a long story short, 1200 years ago an unidentified monk who was having doubts about transubstantiation was saying mass, and at the moment of consecration a piece of human heart tissue appeared around the bread host, and the wine turned into blood. Medical examination carried out in the 1970s by a doctor confirmed that it was human tissue.

Now not to repeat the points of my colleague above, let's take an alternate view. Let's assume that the story is completely true. And then throw the Axe of Reason.

This monk has just obtained irrefutable proof of the existence of God and the truth of the catholic rite. Who was he? Why is he not the most famous person in history? Did he not become the greatest saint ever, and were not millions of people converted by this truth? No. We don't know who he was or what happened afterward. There are no contemporaneous accounts, and let's not forget that at this time all the written histories were being made by monks. The first written account apparently dates from more than 500 years later! And why did the order keep it to themselves, surely this should have gone straight to the pope.

The flesh was apparently nailed to a board to dry and preserve it and stop it from curling up. This is the actual flesh of Christ, in which he is entirely and wholly present and existent, and you are going to put nails through it? And this was in times when if the host was dropped, the piece of floor where it fell would be removed. There are stories from the middle ages where heretics and Jews were murdered for doing precisely this with consecrated hosts.

Catholic doctrine is that the host and wine become the whole and complete living body and blood of Christ. But here, the host remained physically unchanged, and where has it gone? Did it decay? Why didn't the bread actually transubstantiate - why did the flesh appear from thin air around the host, and why was it not actually contiguous with it?

Also, the flesh and blood are dead. But according to doctrine, the flesh and blood should be alive. Why would dead flesh and blood appear? Isn't Christ risen from the dead and fully alive within it? Why are we left with dead human remains? Was the flesh and blood live when it appeared and then subsequently died? (Aside from any science, this is the most damning point of all. Assuming that it is actually true, what you have are parts of a cadaver, the dead body of Christ, unrisen.)

Full scientific investigation of the remains would now be possible. If the flesh was cut, it would be possible to see tool marks. DNA tests would reveal the parentage, sex and origin of the donor. These tests would reveal the absence of paternal DNA, a man of middle eastern origin aged about 30. Carbon dating would be inconclusive, as the tissue was created about 700 CE. Again, this would irrefutably prove the miracle, so why hasn't this been done?

More curious is the blood. This has congealed into five pellets, which display a feature which defies all physical laws. Each pellet has the same mass as all five, or any multiple. Let me explain, if one pellet weighs 15.85g, two pellets also weigh 15.85g, and in fact all five together weigh 15.85g. Why haven't teams of physicists been examining these pellets non-stop for the past thirty years? Why hasn't the local church claimed James Randi's million dollar reward for proving the supernatural?

Apparently there are claims that the coagulated blood retains some chemical features of fresh blood. Then why haven't pathologists been working on this to find out why - think of the benefits to medicine!

I think we know the reason.

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