Showtime at the Apologetics

The amount of anti-Catholic comments on a single Facebook post astounded me. Most of the comments show ignorance about the Church. Some comments are actually hateful.

Heather Burian, a recently-hired reporter for WVLT-TV, filed a story about the Diocese of Knoxville’s first investigation into a possible miracle.

The TV station posted a link to the story on their public Facebook page. Rather than attempt to understand the issue, many Facebook users chose to bash the Church.

As Christians, our goal is to reach heaven. We can’t be 100% sure which of our friends and relatives are already there. However, there are certain people throughout history who are likely to be in heaven because of the exemplary life they led on earth.

Catholics believe that a saint is anyone who is in heaven. I like to think that my grandmother is in heaven and is therefore a saint but I don’t have any proof. For a specific person to be identified as a saint, the Church requires some pretty big proof.

Saints are in the presence of God. Catholics ask the saints to pray to God on our behalf. On earth, we have a prayer circle of our friends. Think of the saints as our friends in heaven who are part of that prayer circle.

If someone on earth is incurably ill, they, along with their family and friends, might ask a saint to pray to God with them and for them. If God intervenes and cures the illness, we say that God has performed a miracle and we draw the conclusion that the human soul who intervened on our behalf must be in heaven. The Catholic Church requires two such miracles before bestowing the title of saint.

Several of WVLT’s Facebook fans misunderstood the news story. I’ll agree that the station’s Facebook post was unclear. It says, “Knoxville may have its first miracle.”

I wonder how many of the commenters only read the status update and not the story. It would be more accurate to say that the Diocese of Knoxville is conducting its first investigation of a miracle in the diocese’s 26 year history. They are checking to see if a local man was cured after asking the late Fr. Isaac Hecker to intercede.

At least two commenters declared that “this has nothing to do with a dead priest” and “a dead priest had nothing to do with it.” At least two more commenters wrote, “God doesn’t need Catholic approval for miracles.” One could be plagiarizing the other or perhaps they were fed the same anti-Catholic propaganda while growing up. Rather than research something with which they are not familiar, it seems they would rather give us their uninformed opinion.

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