expert jury can miracles really happen?

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The Independent Online
Do you believe in miracles?

Paul Cunningham

Spokesperson, Morris Cerullo's Mission to London

I believe in miracles, unquestionably. I believe, as does the ministry of Morris Cerullo (right), that as Jesus was taken up to heaven, he gave his disciples power to do God's work. And those who believe and have faith in Jesus can follow in that. The New Testament talks of the gift of healing, and how some people receive the power of God through themselves, and can lay hands on the sick and cure them. It happened to the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter, and it has happened to Morris Cerullo.

There is a mistaken view that Morris Cerullo heals the sick. He doesn't - God's Holy Spirit works through him.

Peter May

GP and member of the General Synod

Christ performed miracles - the instant cure of incurable diseases - but I have found no evidence of miracles. And if anyone is performing miracles today, it is certainly not Morris Cerullo. Not one of his claims has withstood probing. I asked him to produce his three best cases, with backup medical evidence. Cerullo produced five cases which all collapsed on investigation. They included a woman who claimed to have been cured of fibroids when her medical records showed no sign of her ever having suffered from the disease, and the miraculous removal of a groin lump which turned out to be a harmless pimple. Even Cerullo's own medical team have disproved his so-called miracles.

Joel Edwards

UK Director, Evangelical Alliance

Personally, yes - I do believe in miracles. "Faith Healing" is a technical term which can be misunderstood, but if what you mean by it is that through a process of disembodied faith in God, some sort of physical result can be produced - that God can heal through physical processes - then I happen to believe that is true for today. God is able to, and does, use people like Morris Cerullo to do his work on earth.

Morris Cerullo himself is a very gracious man - I have met him a number of times, and he is an engaging and genuine person. He has been doing what he does for over 40 years, and has been doing it in Britain since the 1960s. I remember being very inspired by him when I was young. It's difficult to be a charlatan for that long.

I believe that God has, at various times, used Cerullo to do his healing work.

Dr Richard Dawkins

Author of The Selfish Gene

The short answer to your question is: no. Why? For the same reason that I don't believe in the tooth fairy. Events can be highly improbable; this doesn't mean that they're impossible. If someone is dealt a complete hand of spades at bridge they might say: "Miraculous". But you can calculate the odds of this happening, it isn't a miracle.

If miracles have any supernatural connotations, then I certainly don't believe in them. Faith healers can cure psychosomatic diseases, but they're not performing miracles. It's hardly surprising that Morris Cerullo's claims haven't stood up to scrutiny.

Annabel Miller

Assistant Editor of The Tablet, weekly Catholic publication

Miracles do happen, but very rarely. There are few cases where so-called miraculous happenings are actually verified as such. I'm also sceptical about whether miracles can happen "on order"; if they could, surely a loving God would save every sick child? Miracles are linked to prayer, but experience can pose a challenge to your faith. I once prayed that a kidnapped child would be found safe: she was brutally murdered. I know a loving God exists and I believe in miracles, but they present us with a mystery beyond our rationality. It's a question of faith.

INTERVIEWS: PAUL KINGSNORTH & RACHEL MCGOUGH

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