Real Presence Challenges Science
Ron Tesoriero, a Catholic lawyer and documentary maker from Australia, has considered the scientific findings from three Eucharistic miracles and is using them to present an argument that challenges prevailing scientific thought on the creation and evolution of life.
Along with co-author Lee Han, he published these findings in Unseen New Evidence: The Origin of Life Under the Microscope. The book examines three well-documented Eucharistic miracles that uphold the Catholic faith in the Real Presence, while providing powerful evidence that what was previously bread had transformed into living heart tissue and that complex life has come into existence spontaneously from non-living matter.
In an interview with Register correspondent Patti Armstrong, Tesoriero, who also authored Reason to Believe: A Personal Story, said that these events could change the underpinnings of modern biological science. “The scientific findings on these cases has enabled me to formulate a novel argument that goes to the very question of the origin and evolution of life,” he said.
According to him, the standard set out by Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, is no longer tenable because it states that all life forms of Earth today are the product of an evolutionary process over billions of years and must have evolved from a single, ancient cell created by chance.
Darwin claimed in his book The Origin of Species: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
And so it has, according to the evidence Tesoriero cites. “For if evolution is a law of biology that all life proceeds from other life and lesser forms as part of the process of evolution, then even one instance of the spontaneous appearance of complex life without evolution and without ancestry, for example as was found in the Buenos Aires case, is a repudiation of the law.”
Tesoriero points to evidence that comes from three Eucharistic miracles where hosts made from mere flour and water transformed into human blood and heart tissue.
In two events in Sokolka, Poland, on Oct. 12, 2008, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Aug. 18, 1996, consecrated Communion Hosts were found discarded. They were put into water and locked in tabernacles to dissolve before being properly disposed. Instead of dissolving, however, they transformed into human heart tissue.
Under the microscope, those human heart cells showed evidence of being alive and even revealed details of the kind of injury that the heart had suffered.
The third Eucharistic miracle Tesoriero looked at was from Lanciano, Italy. It was there, in A.D. 750, in full view of the congregation, that a consecrated Host changed into flesh, and the wine turned literally into human blood.
In the Buenos Aires case, Tesoriero was central to the investigation and documented it on video. In 1999, Pope Francis, then-Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, ordered a scientific investigation. He had the Host professionally photographed and scientifically analyzed. One of the scientists, Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a well-known cardiologist and forensic pathologist, determined it was a fragment of the heart muscle from the wall of the left ventricle. It was found to be in an inflammatory condition, with a large number of white blood cells, indicating that the heart was alive when the sample was taken. There was also evidence of cardiac trauma, from the extent white blood cells were present and by the appearance of the muscle structure.
Zugibe had said: “The heart of the person from which this tissue has come has been injured and has suffered trauma. … This is the sort of injury I see in cases where someone has been beaten severely around the chest. … The sample shows evidence of having come from a living person, not a dead person.” When he learned the source of the sample, and that it had been kept in water for three years, he said there was no way to explain that scientifically.
The lab reports from the Buenos Aires miracle were then compared with the ones in Italy, from almost 1,250 years earlier. The Conventual Friars Minor had requested a modern scientific examination of the sample in 1971. The tissue was identified as heart muscle. Although the samples were 13 centuries old, they showed no sign of decomposition. Interestingly, the heart muscle appeared to be from the same part of the heart as was found in the Buenos Aires case.
On Oct. 12, 2008, in the Church of St. Anthony, in Sokolka, Poland, when Father Jacek Ingielewicz accidentally dropped a consecrated Host, he followed the same procedure as in Buenos Aires, placing it in water and locking it in the tabernacle. Instead of dissolving, a red stain appeared, and it soon developed into what appeared to be human flesh. On Jan. 5, 2009, two respected scientists from the Medical University of Biaslystok were asked to conduct independent analysis.
Again, heart tissue was identified, showing great stress occurring before death. Professor Maria Sobaniec-Lotowska explained, “Such changes can be observed only in living fibers, and they show evidence of rapid spasms of the heart muscle in the period just before death.”
It was noted that the fact that the tissue was closely bound to the bread of the Host made it impossible for someone to have tampered with the sample.
(Another miraculous occurrence has also happened in Poland since then.)
No Exceptions Allowed
Using the findings of these three Eucharistic miracles, Tesoriero challenges evolutionary theory. “It holds that all life forms on Earth today had to have been part of that evolutionary process,” he said. “There cannot be one single exception; otherwise, the theory falls.”
Science and religion are not at odds with each other, since the Catholic faith is dedicated to truth. The Church established the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican in 1936 under Pope Pius XI to discover scientific realities and promote progress. The study of evolution is part of that. While addressing an audience of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Oct. 29, 2014, Pope Francis stated: “The Big Bang that is placed today at the origin of the world does not contradict divine intervention, but exacts it. The evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.”
According to Tesoriero, by one of the examining scientist’s own admission, the documented findings should send ripples through the scientific community.
In the Buenos Aires case, after forensic pathologist Dr. Robert Lawrence of San Francisco learned the origin of the sample he had examined, he told Tesoriero: “I think it would be wonderful if this story was found to be true — fantastic. It would make us scientists rethink all our concepts that we have developed throughout our lives.” It was that specific comment, Tesoriero said, that gave him the idea to write his book.
After Lawrence read Tesoriero’s book, he sent him the following email: “The book very nicely points out the inadequacy of science and Darwin’s theory in explaining how or why man was created. It makes a strong argument for divine creation, even without the host-to-heart cases, which, when added to the equation, make Darwinian evolution an inadequate explanation of how the world and its inhabitants came to be. I am not religious, as you know, but find the book to be a convincing argument in favor of a Creative Agency over stepwise evolution.”
Tesoriero said that he hopes the documented scientific facts surrounding Eucharistic miracles will open the eyes of many, and not just scientists.
“The fact that these transformations have occurred in a Christian context cannot be avoided,” he said. “And neither can the fact that they confirm the original and enduring doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.”
No book of science can explain how or why bread can turn into flesh, Tesoriero stated. “The only reference in recorded history as to how or why such a thing could happen,” he said, “is in a book written 2,000 years ago, the Bible, where it records those words said by Jesus.”
Patti Armstrong writes from North Dakota.
The book and the documentaries will soon be available in the U.S. through www.ReasontoBelieve.com.au.
- July 10-23, 2016