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Hoax weeping statue church chases missing donations


After finding that a statue of a weeping Virgin Mary was an elaborate hoax, the Vietnamese Catholic Centre at Inala in Brisbane is investigating what became of money donated by the faithful who came to see it.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Centre is raising funds for extensions and refurbishment.

"I just want to find out if there was any connection between the actual phenomenon that happened there and the collections that came in at that time," Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby said yesterday.

"There's been accusations it was driven by a money-making process and it was a phenomenon organised by someone to bring in funds for the centre. There are so many accusations and counter-accusations that I just don't know what's the truth of the matter."

Apart from taking in donations, the centre received money from the sale of statues, crucifixes and other religious objects. Archbishop Bathersby said the centre denied any association with souvenir DVDs offered for sale on its internet site.

After a two-month investigation using X-rays and mass sprectroscopy, the Catholic Church found that the weeping statue appeared to be a marvellous event but was no miracle.

SOURCE
Church declares weeping Virgin statue a hoax and chases the missing donations (Sydney Morning Herald 6/8/04)

LINKS
Brisbane priest says rosary beads 'shed oil' (CathNews 4/8/04)
Joseph Nguy?N Thanh Liêm": "HI?N TU?NG L?: Thánh Tu?ng Đ?c M? và Thánh Giá cùng Ch?y D?u và Ch?y Máu
Ư ki?n d?c gi? v? Hi?n tu?ng Brisbane: ''Có th? chang?'' (VietCatholic News 2/8/04)
Inala priest says faith rose to the occasion (The Courier-Mail 29/5/04)
Archbishop says weeping statues were fraudulent (CathNews 30/7/04)
Believers reject church findings on 'weeping' statues (The Courier Mail 30/7/04)
Church says 'weeping' statues are fakes (The Advertiser 30/7/04)
Brisbane miracle 'a hoax' (ABC Radio The World Today 29/7/04)
Weeping statue 'not a miracle' (ABC 29/7/04)
"Weeping" statue a fraud, Australian prelate says (Catholic World News 29/7/04)
Archbishop to announce statue probe results this morning (CathNews 29/7/04)
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)



6 Aug 2004