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Antigua Priest Reported To Have Stigmata April 13, 1998

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (CWNews.com) - A Catholic priest in Antigua has reportedly miraculously received the stigmata -- the wounds of Christ in hands, feet, and the side -- and is now in New York receiving medical treatment.

Father Gerard Critch, 40, a native of St. John's, Newfoundland, began having excruciating pains in his side, hands, and feet two weeks ago with blood oozing from wrists and ankles. Local doctors said the priest did not respond to medical treatment. Parishioners who touched Father Critch at a Mass last week said they were thrown to the floor by an invisible force, or felt injuries healed.

R. Allen Stanford, an American banker, said he flew Critch to New York City on his private jet, where he was being treated by church specialists. "The wounds were real," said Stanford. The Diocese of St. John's-Basseterre in Antigua said "several persons have seen these occurrences and have been affected. The statement added, "That something unusual took place is undeniable. The facts cannot be refuted. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church cannot now go beyond a statement of facts to arrive conclusively at the 'why' and 'how' of such phenomena."

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