At Pontifical Delegation for the Shrine of Holy House, Loreto
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In analogy to the protocol also established at the Medical Bureau in Lourdes, the evaluation criteria adopted by the Medical Bureau of Loreto in order to define the necessary conditions for the declaration of “unexplained healing” are the seven ones established by the Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, future Pope Benedict XIV.

The principles underpinning Lambertini’s “grid” are fundamentally three:

1) in order to be able to speak about a healing episode, a severe pathology must have been present;
2) the healing must be permanent and without relapses;
3) in order for the healing episode to be considered as unexplainable, any alternative explanations which can be traced back to natural causes, either endogenous (as a spontaneous remission), or exogenous (as the effect of a treatment), must be excluded.

Hence, in order to certify any healing as unexplainable, three tasks must be accomplished:

1) verify the previous presence of a severe organic disease;
2) verify the occurrence and persistence of the healing in the course of time;
3) examine the case in all its aspect so as to be able to exclude with certainty any natural explanation.

Whereas the first and second task mainly consist of fact-finding and official recognition, the third one puts into play the entire scientific and methodological expertise, which has enormously increased in the last decades, so as to require the ability to integrate Lambertini’s criteria with a sophisticated view on the characters of scientific explanation, and especially medical explanation, as well with an enhanced capacity to aggregate and interconnect an enormous amount of knowledge from different medical disciplines (at the molecular, clinical, and epidemiological level).