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Archbishop to announce statue probe results this morning

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has called a news conference for 9:30 am today to announce the findings of an investigation into statues at a suburban church that were said to be weeping.

The Vietnamese Community Church, in the south-western suburb of Inala, drew thousands of worshippers and prompted Archbishop Bathersby to order the investigation.

He called in judicial vicar Dr Adrian Farrelly who said the results of the investigations would be a disappointment to some and a relief to others.

"Whichever way it comes out it is going to be pleasing to some and displeasing to others," Dr Farrelly said.

The statues were first reported weeping in May but have since been withdrawn from public view.

Last month, Dr Farrelly said he had enlisted the help of a retired chemistry professor to determine the source of the reddish liquid.

Vietnamese Community Church spokesman Vincent Do has said the abnormalities began when rose oil started flowing from the eyes, nose, forehead and fingers of a statue of the Virgin Mary. A small cross on the altar had also bled, as had religious figurines.

People have flocked from as far away as Melbourne and New Zealand to see them.

Archbishop Bathersby has said a similar inquiry in Western Australia last year had taken two months but it found the phenomena did not meet the criteria of a miracle.

Statue probe to reveal all (The Age/AAP 28/7/04)

Statue probe to reveal all (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 28/7/04)
Brisbane miracle investigation report still weeks away (CathNews 9/7/04)
Weeping statue investigation progresses (CathNews 8/6/04)
Retired chemistry professor to examine weeping statues (CathNews 3/6/04)
$1m offer made for Mary tears (The Courier Mail 3/6/04)
Weeping statues, crucifixes - Brisbane church inquiry (Catholic Weekly 6/6/04)
Weeping Mary draws faithful (CathNews 31/5/04)
Inala priest says faith rose to the occasion (The Courier Mail 29/5/04)
Archbishop Bathersby announces weeping statue investigation (CathNews 26/5/04)
Church to investigate 'miracle statue' (The Courier Mail 25/5/04)
Church considers 'weeping' Mary statue probe (ABC 25/5/04)
Church Investigates Weeping Statues (Reuters 25/5/04)
Crowds flock to see 'weeping' religious icons (CathNews 24/5/04)

29 Jul 2004