Saturday, 3 September 2016

Mother Teresa's Second Miraculous Miracle.

Falsehoods & Fairy Tales: Whatever It Takes To Make A Saint Out Of Mother Teresa

As 'Honest' Pope Frankie prepares to elevate the sadistic nun, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (aka Mother Teresa) to the Catholic sainthood it is worth looking at the second 'miracle' that is being attributed to her and used as the pretext for this bizarre Medieval ceremony.

The details of the alleged 'miracle' have been kept under wraps for reasons which will become understandable and have only recently been made public. Even the identity of the alleged subject was kept secret until he came forward recently to claim the fame and fortune which will undoubtedly accrue to him in the superstition parts of the world.

The story goes as follows:

From left, Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the cause of beatification and canonization of Mother Teresa, Marcilio Andrino, and his wife Fernanda Nascimento Rocha pose for photographers at the end of a press conference at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Andrino's cure of a viral brain infection, declared a miracle by Pope Francis earlier this year, was the final step needed to declare Mother Teresa a saint.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
In December 2008 Marcilio Haddad Andrino, a 34 year-old with a PhD in mechanical engineering with the University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, married Fernanda Nascimento Rocha and went with his new wife for a honeymoon to her home town of Gramado in southern Brazil.

While there he was taken ill and was driven by Fernanda to the little-known St.Lucas Hospital in Santos, a distance of over 1100 Km. The journey would have taken some 14 hour! On arrival he was diagnosed (according to the Vatican-affiliated italian newspaper, Avvenire) as suffering from hydrocephalus (accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain) and eight viral brain abscesses. He soon lapsed into a coma and was scheduled for emergency surgery.

Instead of staying with him, Fernanda then drove for over an hour to São Vicente (where they had previously lived) to pray at Our Lady of Aparecida Church. While there she met the priest Father Elmiran Ferreira, who just happened to have a medallion bearing a portrait of Mother Teresa in his pocket which he gave to Fernanda and asked her to take it back to the hospital in Santos and put it under her husband’s pillow. The next morning even while her husband was being prepared for surgery Fernanda drove all the way back to the church again to do some more praying and was joined by a group of nuns from the Missionaries of Charity living at São Vicente. They all prayed for Mother Teresa's intercession.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital things were not going well. The anaesthetist was unable to carry out the routine procedure of inserting an endotracheal tube to maintain a clear airway during anaesthesia and decided to postpone surgery with the patient still in a coma. For some reason they left him quite alone in the operating theatre for half an hour.

However, on their return they found Andrino sitting up and much improved and apparently well on the way to recovery.

The next morning, when Fernanda had finished praying and had driven back to the hospital she found him sitting up drinking coffee. Two days later he was back home completely cured with all trace of the eight abscesses gone. He is now fully recovered, has a good job with the federal government and lives with Fernanda and two children in Rio de Janeiro.

Given the transparently faked first Mother Teresa miracle it's worth looking at this tale in closer detail and in particular asking some questions about it.

Why would a seriously ill patient be driven more than 1100 Kilometres to an obscure, nondescript hospital when Porto Alegre, the city nearest to Gramado (where Andrino was on a honeymoon) was a mere 125 Kilometres (2.5 hours) away? Porto Alegre is endowed with the Hospital de Clínicas, a renowned university hospital in Brazil with 60 specialities and where the anaesthetists will at least be capable of performing the simple procedure of endotracheal intubation. Is it credible that a seriously ill patient would not be taken to the nearest emergency hospital but would instead be driven to an obscure one over 1100 kilometres away?

Is it credible that a newly married wife would not stay with her seriously ill husband but instead would drive for over an hour to a remote church to pray for him?

Perhaps it's not unusual for a parish priest to just happen to have a medallion bearing Mother Teresa's image about his person, but is it credible that Fernanda would then have driven for over an hour back to the hospital to put it under her husband's pillow only to return to the church for more prayers just as he was about to undergo major surgery? This is not normal behaviour; any concerned wife would want to stay close by and even if feeling compelled to pray, why did this need to be done in a church over one hour's drive away? And yet poor Marcilio Andrino's wife decided to stay overnight and only returned to the hospital the next morning.

Brazil has over 150 million mobile phones. Maybe it's credible that Fernanda didn't have one and maybe it's credible that she didn't give any telephone number on which she could be contacted with news of her husband's condition, but is it credible that she couldn't find a telephone or borrow a mobile phone to enquire after his welfare? After major emergency brain surgery and even though she was concerned enough to drive all that distance to pray for him?

And yet we are to believe that it was only the following morning that she was astonished to find him well on the way to recovery having avoided surgery altogether and happily drinking coffee!

But there are even more curious aspects to this case. The Vatican only learned of the 'miracle' eight years after the event when the Pope paid a visit to Rio in 2013 and was appointed a personal physician in the form of neurosurgeon, Jose Augusto Nasser. It just so happened that Nasser was also the 'personal neurosurgeon' to Father Caetano Rizzi, judicial vicar of Santos. Father Caetano Rizzi has no history of neurological conditions or brain surgery so why he needs a personal neurosurgeon is obscure, especially since a neurosurgeon is not normally a personal physician to anyone.

Father Caetano Rizzi is also from Gramado and just happens to be a personal friend of Fernanda and her family. Dr Nasser had learned of the alleged 'miracle' from Father Caetano and related the account to the Pope who requested a report to be sent to the Vatican. The Vatican then appointed three representatives to go to Brazil to investigate further. They heard testimonies from Father Elmiran and 14 others and returned to Rome to prepare a 400-page report on the 'miracle'. A team of three senior priests and two doctors then carried out more investigations and concluded that the miracle was “instant, perfect and complete, lasting and scientifically inexplicable”.

One of these priests was Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, a member of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, a religious community of priests founded by Mother Teresa. Of the two doctors, one was Marcus Vinicius Serra, a neurosurgeon who had treated Andrino. The other was Monica Mazzurana Benetti, a surgeon, who is Father Caetano’s niece and close to him. She is also from Gramado. It is highly likely that she was also a friend of Fernanda's family.

Father Brian Kolodiejchuk is experienced in assessing the validity of evidence of miracles attributed to Mother Teresa. He was the priest appointed to investigate her first 'miracle' and submitted a 34,000 page report. It contained not a single word from any of the medical staff who had actually treated the woman supposedly miraculously cured, but contained testimonies to the miraculous nature of the cure by several doctors who appear never to have worked at the hospital and who have subsequently disappeared without trace. The 'evidence' also included a hand-written testimony in perfect English by Monica Besra, the functionally illiterate woman 'cured', who spoke only her native dialect with a smattering of Bengali. Her medical notes from the hospital where she was treated could not be included in the body of evidence because the nun to whom they were handed 'mislaid' them and now has no recollection of ever having been handed them.

Father Caetano was also involved in 'validating' another miracle that happened in Santos and led to Josephine Margaret Bakhita, a Sudanese-born former slave who worked in Italy, being declared a Saint in 2000. The miracle attributed to Josephine occurred in Santos in 1992 when a local woman 'miraculously' recovered from ulcers caused by diabetes and hypertension in her legs. Father Caetano was central to having this cure being declared a miracle.

So, just as I predicted in Mother Teresa's Fake Miracle, someone was indeed working on finding the second 'miracle' required to continue the sadistic Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu's fast-track to sainthood. Because of the growing shortage of recent saints, Pope John-Paul II had thoughtfully reduced the number of postmortem miracles attributed to a candidate for the sainthood from three to two otherwise someone would have to be working on a third Mother Teresa 'miracle' right now.

Tomorrow, 'Honest' Pope Frankie will be participating in a Medieval ritual from the time when people believed in magic and spirits in a sham designed to keep the faithful faithful and to ensure the continuation of the unelected and unaccountable power of the priesthood. And of course, to maintain the lucrative income stream which pays for the whole parasitology of non-productive priests and finances the game of power-politics that pases for the governing hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

[Update] As so often with these tales which invariably suffer from a paucity of evidence and independent witnesses, there are variations beginning to appear in the story of this miracle. According to the Vatican-affiliated website, Zenit:

As the situation was worsening, on the evening before the surgical intervention, Father Ferreira went to the hospital with Fernanda.

The priest recited the prayers and administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, after which, together with Fernanda, he put a holy picture and relic of Mother Teresa next to Marcilio’s head. Shortly after that, the extraordinary cure occurred.

So there is just the small matter of why a priest from Santos could not be called to administer last rites but Fernanda had to go all the way to São Vicente to find one and bring him back to Santos. The close association between Father Ferreira and the Missionaries of Charity with the Church of Our Lady of Aparecida in São Vicente is no doubt coincidental, or, as the Vatican would put it, miraculous.

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