Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Lourdes

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Lourdes. A town on the foothills of the Pyrenees which has become extremely rich as a special shrine of the Virgin. The legend is that the Virgin appeared in 1858 to a peasant girl of neurasthenic type and questionable character. The clergy and civic officials built upon this, and the attempt, which failed in a score of places before and since, in France, Belgium, Ireland, Canada, etc., was skilfully carried to success at Lourdes. The widow of one of the officials, Baron Massy, handed a correct manuscript account of what really happened to the Jesuits, and they suppressed it. An orthodox and sincere priest, Fr. Domenech, then told the facts, and his book (Lourdes, 1894) was suppressed. Another Catholic, J. B. Estrade, published the facts (Les apparitions de Lourdes, 1899), and the clergy falsely represent him as an apostate. The shrine is a gold-mine to the Church, even English Catholics sending profitable pilgrimages annually, though not even a serious recovery of a neurotic character occurs. In 1924 Fr. Woodlock ventured to submit a "miraculous cure" to a group of London medical men, and they rejected it. In The Lourdes Miracles (1925) the present writer examines every major miracle claimed to that date and exposes the trickery in many cases and the effect of nervous excitement in others. Three points should be noted: (1) no cure of a serious disease or injury is ever claimed to have been instantaneous (which ought to be as easy for the Virgin as a gradual cure); (2) the great majority of the patients cured are girls or young women; (3) the accounts of cures claimed by the medical men (a paid Catholic staff) at Lourdes are generally falsified in Catholic literature.

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Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 2012-04-13