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[The following passage is from Randall Sullivan’s 2004 book, The Miracle Detective.]

It was before the medical board, however, that miracles truly were tested. The members of the Consulta Medica include some of the most respected physicians in Europe. For a Roman Catholic doctor, an invitation to join the Consulta is the highest of honours. Yet very few of their professional colleagues ever learn of such an appointment. “They are concerned about being thought of as fanatics or bigots,” noted Father Gumpel. The president of the consulta, Dr. Raffaello Cortesini, chief of surgery at the University of Rome Medical School, was among the select group of doctors on earth permitted to perform heart transplants and a man of near-legendary status in his field. Yet even he avoided publicizing his position at the Vatican. “There is scepticism about miracles,” Dr. Cortesini had explained several years earlier to Newsweek religion editor, Kenneth Woodward (an interview I was told the doctor regretted). “I myself, if I did not do these consultations, would never believe what I read. You don’t understand how fantastic, how incredible—and how well-documented—these case are. They are more incredible than historical romances. Science fiction is nothing by comparison.”

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