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THE MIRACLES OF LOURDES.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,-We are all familiar nowadays with the, gentle ant of the rationalist, who, sooner or later, must introduce the Middle Ages into every controversy. I do not, therefore,- quarrel with "Monisi" for dragging in the dear simple old song about our alleged Catholic habit of resorting 'to "tbe methods of the Middle Ages, and of medieval scholasticism." It is just part of the ritual dear to all good rationalists. I would as soon quarrel with Mr. Dick I for dragging in King Charles' head when 'ever the conversation took a serious turn.
It seems to us Catholics to be a suf- ficiently harmless ritual observance duly trotted out in every display of rationalist orthodox)-. But to my mind "Monist" is tryins to make it serve Uto double pur- pose of a ritual observance and a red berring. It certainly has nothing whatever to do with tho two questions at issue in this controversy. Those two questioné are about.(1) the vision of the 'beautiful lady' reported by Bernadette, and (2) the genuine character of the oures as reported by the medical board at Lourdes. As re- gards (1) the vision, "Monist," in his first letter quoted the "world-wide" astronomer, physicist, and Spiritualist Flammarion. I replied by quoting a correction made by Flammarion himself, in which he frankly i withdrew his previous statement 'as to
the identity of the "beautiful lady." Flammarion admits that, at least, on the first occasion of the reported vision, the lady could not have been Madam P. who had given hirth to a baby within three days before, and- could not have been clambering about the grotto in search of adventures on the day of Hie vision. "Monist." with a beautiful trust in the earlier uncorreeted statement of Flam- marion, refuses to face the fact that Flammarion was forced to make this cor- rection in vol. 2 of his "great work" on Spiritualism. Well,.<I must be content to admire such trustfulness in one wboso natural bent, as aii nrtliodox rationalist, must be, to the sceptic side. Mere reason, or mere vulgar common sense, must beat in vain against a -rocky faith of that kind. 1 lift my hat lo'il with more than polite respect. But T' feel it is quite beyond ranse of any sling, and stone of argument. As regards (2) the'eures and the medical board. Well, the many cures cited with full particulars of names and dates by Father Lockington, as registered by the medical board at Lourdes, have no features in common with the faith-cures reported from New Zealand. Instantaneous cures of dreadful ravages of ulcer, actual per- foration of cheek and palito, or long- standing tuberculous disease in an ad- vanced stage, or broken bones separated from each other by a gap of half an inch of gangrened flesh and broken tissue, are no1 reported to the outside world by a respectable medical board in ,the Maori camp of which "Monist" speaks. Then as to the medical board, hundreds of doctors from time to time have visited Lourdes and have received Hie fullest possible facilities from their colleaijuca °n that board lo inspect the medical evidence; and they have again and again testified their astonishment at- the nature of the cures, which, moreover, h;ivo more than once received full notice in the London "Lancet." The report from nn unnamed doctor that all the doctors on that board »re'Catholic« it auiu unfounded. The
PariB faculty has been alwajs represented on the boatd, and among those repie sentatives matt) tationalists have sat side by side with their Catholic eolloigues Enough said, I think, to dispose of such allegations, and without an lelnnco on
'.nedievah&n" or any othei ism, bovvevct respectable I find in a îegisteied list that within ti/"given penod of fourteen vcnrs i total of 2700 doctors-including members of the highest faculties, 2> pro fpssois, 43 hospital doetois and singeons, and 71 house surgeons were among the visitors-I am, su, &c ,
. R. J. LITTLE, S.J.
Toowong, October 27,