William Oddie on the Incorrupt Heart of St John Vianney

A heart of a Saint that is incorrupt obviously isn't any kind of proof of God's existence. It's just a heart that, surely, for perfectly logical scientific reasons which will one day be explained by empiricists, refused to decay.

The fact that the man to whom the heart belonged is a canonised parish priest is mere coincidence.

The fact that the heart, in all truth, belonged in another sense solely to the Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Heart to which it was devoted and consecrated, is another coincidence. Just as an aside, does anyone have any idea what evidence for the existence of God would look like?

Anyway, that heart, the heart of St John Vianney is to visit Shrewsbury at the request of Bishop Mark Davies for the renewal of the Diocese and for the devotion of the Faithful. William Oddie asks why the incorrupt heart cannot do a tour in the style of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux. Oddie's idea is a suggestion, since given that the heart of the Cure of Ars will be in the country, why do not other Bishops desire the relic to come to their Diocese too? William Oddie suggests...

'I have an idea. The origin of the visit was in a visit Bishop Mark himself paid to Ars, where he has three seminarians: why not (surely there’s still time to arrange it) a halt at each one of the four remaining seminaries in England (as well as a visit to their local cathedrals), so that those preparing for their own priesthood might spend several days in the presence of this most powerful saint? It could hardly do less than irresistibly affect their priestly formation; it could be a major step in the renewal of the whole English Church.'

Would it be against the 'spirit of Vatican II' for the laity to ask their Bishops whether the incorrupt heart could come to their parish or Diocese? If it would not be against the spirit of Vatican II, should we be writing letters to our Bishops imploring that the heart visit our Dioceses?

Comments

Charles said…
Yeah, no one can come up with a good explanation for a wax embalmed heart without guessing that the gods did it. Lest you think I am being a touch sceptical, check out the distinctly waxy countenance of your man: http://listverse.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/johnvianney.jpg

I suppose the embalmed corpse of Lenin, perfectly preserved and undecayed, is evidence that the Soviet Union is a god. If incorruptibility is a good reason to believe in god, you should consider Hinduism, they have the most convincing incorruptible in history:

"Paramhansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience.... No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death.... No indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible drying up took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one.... No odor of decay emanated from his body at any time" - WOW, I guess Hindu gods really do exist then.

On these phenomena for the non-brain dead see:

http://people.howstuffworks.com/incorruptible2.htm

http://www.skepdic.com/incorrupt.html

"Some cases of incorruptibility have been revealed as fraudulent. In other cases where incorruptibility actually did exist, it was further preserved later by embalming the corpse. In the 20th century, the Catholic Church discontinued the practice of using incorruptibility as a prerequisite for sainthood. The Church wasn't responding so much to the fraud of some cases, but to the cases in which incorruptible corpses didn't extol Catholic piety. Members of other religions have been discovered in uncorrupted states. And at least one case of incorruptibility was discovered in a person who clearly hadn't exactly lived a saintly life. Cardinal Shuster, an Italian archbishop, had been a fascist and friend of dictator Benito Mussolini. His corpse was found uncorrupted 31 years after his death"


"Some of these alleged saintly incorruptibles have exuded a sweet odor when exhumed. The faithful take this as a sign of divine intervention; the knowledgeable take it as a sign of embalming fluids and ointments."
Patricius said…
"does anyone have any idea what evidence for the existence of God would look like?"

I heard Woody Allen once quip, "O that God would give me a sign...like a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank account!"
stan said…
A reply to Charles : you as a hate propagandist ( that is what I see ) are throwing label `fascist` at everybody who does not kiss the `bum`and the feet of the deranged god that is the ``culture`` of modernity. Offer the evidence that cardinal Shuster was `fascist`. You know practically nothing about fascism, you know how to type the word and that is it. I was called fascist by people like you because I said that the atheists who ruled the Soviet Union were mass gassing christians in the gas chambers and that the satanist atheist mass media in the so called democratic West refuse to bring it up, to report on it. They have been practically supressing this fact of history. It is totally unknown. That is real fascism. Mussolini was praised by everybody, from Churchill to enlightened progressives. He was originally marxist-socialist and they welcomed his reforms and his moves against ``the backward Catholic Church``. Fascism as a concept is a jewish creation, its principles of the state corporatism were laid down by a Jew, it came into life because of the jewish financial support and the Jews were the greatest propagandists of fascism - they published and printed the fascist publications. The Jews were a very small minority in Italy, yet they comprised over 30 ! percent of the fascist party members. EVERY JEWISH FAMILY had a member in the fascist party. (The same phenomenon occurred in the Soviet Union, over there it was the communist party.) One of the points of the political program of the fascist party was, for starters, the eradication of the Catholic Church as a force in the social and the political life and later its abolishement altogether in some future progressive utopia. The Church was for them (read the Jews and their servants in the party) an obstacle to `modernity`. They attacked and burned down some Catholic churches. Now you tell me, what kind of a bishop or cardinal would be `a fascist ` and support the political tool of the Jews that was against the Church. Meeting Mussolini over tea or coffee and try to be somewhat cordial in order to soften some aspects of his policies would not qualify as being a fascist, or would it, for you. On a similar, to your tune note, there were many people in the U.K. that were communists or involved in communist activities, and there were some that were convinced nazis or fought in the Wehrmacht or in the SS. Now because of them, we`ll sink the U.K. into the sea, shall we. Mussolini was later forced to accept the right of the Italian children to have the religious instruction in the schools and accept the rights of the Catholic Church on its historic mission, otherwise his ability to govern and to try to modernize the Italian economy would have come to nothing in the face of the internal unrest over the religious rights of the people of Italy. Churchill had an extensive correspondence with Mussolini, at the end of war he sent a special commando to assassinate him so that he would not talk. The commando then took all papers from Mussollini`s villa and destroyed it in order to get rid of the evidence. By doing this Churchill suppressed the real history of anglo-italian relations and fabricated a false version of them. After the 2. World war the education in the U.K. was destroyed, the schools started producing ( I am using a mild word ) simpletons like you with a practically zero knowledge of history. What you `know` and propagate is some scraps-slops from bigoted political pamphlets, tendentious books and idiotic Tv programs. Educate yourself, become a proper, understanding human being. Good luck, and do not get angry at me, get angry at those that shortchanged your right to be educated, those that made you ignoramus that you are. S.