Cerullo's 'miracles' questioned

MORRIS CERULLO, the American evangelist, spent pounds 200,000 on advertising that showed discarded white walking-sticks and overturned wheelchairs. At his London mission in June, he declared nightly that afflicted people were being healed. His organisation, World Evangelism of Great Britain, later announced that 476 people had testified that they had been miraculously cured, writes Martin Wroe.

But a six-week investigation by the BBC television programme, Heart of the Matter, has thrown doubt on the claims. Not one of the so-called healings investigated by the makers has been authenticated by doctors.

Of 10 people who claimed to have been healed in a Heart of the Matter programme on Mr Cerullo in June, only one agreed to co-operate with the follow-up, The Miracle Man and the Doctors, to be shown on BBC 1 tonight. The parents of an Asian boy claimed that his defective left eye had been healed. But an optician who examined the boy's sight said the problem was still there.

Of 26 cases provided by Mr Cerullo's organisation for the programme to verify, 14 had no previous medical records, two refused to co-operate and the 10 others failed to convince doctors.

'There is no evidence for miraculous healing,' said a spokesman for the programme. 'Most of the cases are of people who have misdiagnosed themselves or were not so ill as to consider getting medical treatment and the problem had cleared up.'

The Rev Greg Mauro, who heads Mr Cerullo's UK operation, disputed the programme's findings. 'Ask the people who had the experience of healing at the meetings.'