The apparitions of Lourdes? Never happened. Writers and scientists against faith: “A scam”

The apparitions of Lourdes? Never happened. Writers and scientists against faith: “A scam”

Among the many, the well-known scientist Piergiorgio Odifreddi, for whom that of Lourdes, the most important Marian shrine in Europe, is at the center of a real “scam”: for him the Catholic Church has set up “an association to crime to be prosecuted “by fueling” religious tourism and the exploitation of gullibility. “

On 11 February the Catholic Church celebrates the most famous apparitions of the Madonna, those which took place in Lourdes, France, in 1858. On that occasion, eighteen times, the Holy Virgin appeared to a shepherdess, Bernadette Soubirous. Today Lourdes, a small town perched on the Pyrenees, is among the first cities in France for the number of tourists every year.

From 1858 to today, however, many have denied that the apparitions ever took place. Among the first to explicitly deny them was the one who went down in history as one of the greatest exponents of French literature of all time, Emile Zola, that of the “J’accuse” and of books like “Nanà”. One of her greatest successes was a book entitled “Lourdes”, imbued with a profound atheism. Zola visited Lourdes in the years immediately following the apparitions and wrote a novel based on what he had seen, in which he recounted the first healings, attributing them to nervous factors, of self-suggestion and hysteria. For him, Lourdes was not a place of divine grace, but only of enormous superstition. The protagonist of the story is a young priest who loses his faith during a trip to Lourdes: for this reason the novel caused a great scandal in France and was put on the index by the Church.

Coming to times closer to ours, the scientist Piergiorgio Odifreddi expressed himself several times in a contemptuous way against the apparitions of Lourdes, also particularly known for his numerous texts against religion. For him, the faithful who go to Lourdes and immerse themselves in waters deemed miraculous are “gullible and foolish” and therefore the Catholic Church would be guilty of “circumvention of the incapable.” Odifreddi says that “a series of travel agencies owned by the Church and the Vatican, or at least affiliated with them, are concerned with organizing convoys of buses, trains and planes to bring masses of pilgrims to the site from all over the world: up to six million a year , to be precise.” For the Italian scientist it is a real “scam” and that the Catholic Church would have put up “A criminal association to be prosecuted” being a “multinational that feeds religious tourism and the exploitation of gullibility in a city that, with its 300 hotels, is the third in France for hotel capacity, after Paris and Nice?”

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Another Italian who denies the veracity of the apparitions is the writer Renato Pierri who believes he can prove, having studied numerous historical texts, “In an irrefutable way the inconsistency of the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes, comparing the image described by Bernadette and the Mother of Christ according to the Gospels, the message of the Lady of Lourdes and the Gospel message. According to Pierri, “a minimum of rationality and common sense would be enough to understand that the plethora of madonnas that appear in the Catholic world (and only in that) to communicate rotogravure messages, are nothing but madonnas-patacca invented by seers prey to evident hallucinatory states. Thus, while the churches are empty of faithful, the sanctuaries of madonnas and patacca saints such as Lourdes, Loreto, Pietralcina and Medjugorje are filled with pilgrims. Unfortunately little or nothing affect this stupid credulity the recent and in-depth studies that show, beyond any doubt, that we are always faced with impostures fabricated on cheating and falsifications. “

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