According to the vatican Parkinson’s disease can be cured by praying to dead popes. A catholic nun has claimed that she has been cured of the disease by pope John Paul 2, and the vatican are claiming it was a miraculous intercession from beyond the grave.
There is so much wrong with this I hardly know where to start. So lets start at the beginning. The original diagnosis of Parkinson’s looks to me pretty dubious. Sister Marie claims to have been cured in 2005, when she was 43. Presumably by then she had had the condition for some years. She is clearly very unfortunate as only 5% of cases are diagnosed before the age of 50. She is even more unfortunate in that one of her symptoms was “intense pain”. Correct me if I am wrong but intense pain is very rarely a feature of Parkinson's. Add to this the formal guidelines on this condition state: “clinicians should be aware of the poor specificity of a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease “
So I think first of all the diagnosis is in doubt. Next what is the evidence that the cure was effected by pope John Paul. There are three statements cited as evidence.
1. John Paul himself suffered from the condition. (as do 1 in 500 of the over 50s)
2. Sister Marie claims to have felt spiritually close to the pope.
3. The cure came on three months after his death.
Fuck me sideways, is that it??!!
I know that lots of people do not understand the difference between correlation and causation, but in this case even the correlation is stretched beyond credibility.
Finally the nun has been declared free of Parkinson’s by the Vatican's own tame doctors. No independent doctor has been able to verify cure, or even that the condition was present in the first place.
One is left with the inescapable conclusion that the vatican is filled with complete morons.
If you read the comments to the Independent article the vast majority are not taken in and it is obvious that the vatican has made themselves look totally ridiculous. A laughing stock. And quite right too.