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On eve of Pope Francis' stateside visit, Vatican insider examines the church’s quest to remain relevant




 Pope Francis arrives in the Plaza de la Revolution to hold a Mass on September 21, 2015 in Holguin, Cuba.
Pope Francis arrives in the Plaza de la Revolution to hold a Mass on September 21, 2015 in Holguin, Cuba.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Miracles aren't what they used to be. The modern world demands explanations, urging the Catholic Church to evolve its criteria to legitimize supernatural occurrences.

With over 1 billion Catholics worldwide, how does the church stay relevant when so much of its history depends on faith in inexplicable events?

In his book, “ The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age,” John Thavis explores the church’s ongoing battle to justify its beliefs in the mystical world of Catholicism, and the public’s intellectual “thirst for something more tangible.”  

As former Rome bureau chief of the Catholic News Service, Thavis gives readers an inside look at one of the most powerful and clandestine religious institutions just in time for Pope Francis' visit to the U.S.

How do you think the church's stance on supernatural occurrences has evolved? What are your thoughts on belief vs. intellectual spirituality?

Guest:

John Thavis, author of “The Vatican Prophecies:  Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age” (Viking, 2015) and former Rome bureau chief of the Catholic News Service. Thavis will be covering the Pope’s visit to the United States, which begins tomorrow