Investigation says no financial fraud at Brisbane Vietnamese Centre
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane said the Vietnamese Catholic Centre at Inala in Brisbane plans to forward to Caritas Australia the $41,000 in donations received during the display of the statues that reportedly wept.
Archbishop Bathersby's Friday announcement followed an investigation by qualified accounting staff.
Of the $41,000 approximately $16,000 was profit from the sales of statues and other religious items. The balance of approximately $25,000 represents increased Mass collections over and above the usual average Mass Collections raised during the 11-week period of the review.
After a two-month investigation using X-rays and mass sprectroscopy, the Church found that the weeping statue appeared to be a marvellous event but was no miracle. Crowds first flocked to see the statues in late May. Following an eventual investigation, Archbishop Bathersby ordered them removed from public veneration on 29 July.
A statement on the Brisbane Catholic Communications website says that the financial officers stated that monies raised at the centre were properly accounted for and still remained deposited in the Vietnamese Catholic Community accounts. They noted no deviation from the regular Parish reporting practice, and Archbishop Bathersby said he feels assured by the results of the investigation that no known financial fraud had been committed.
"To the best of our knowledge the Vietnamese Catholic Community Centre has made no substantial gain from these incidents, and any financial gain will be donated to Caritas Australia," Archbishop Bathersby said. "However if any person felt they were a victim of or had been defrauded by the events I would give them every encouragement to contact police and report their concerns.
"The Archdiocese would offer every co-operation to the police if any investigation was to take place," he said.
The Archbishop also confirmed that Fr Joseph Liem would remain as Associate Pastor at Inala for the term of his current appointment.
Investigation finds no evidence of financial fraud at Vietnamese Catholic Centre (Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane 13/8/04)
'Miracle' hoaxers to remain mystery (The Courier Mail 14/8/04)
Man-made weeping Virgin collected $40,000 (ABC 13/8/04)
'No fraud' in weeping statue hoax (The Australian 13/8/04)
James Murray: Faith and the vision thing (Weekend Australian 14/8/04)
No fraud found in Australian "weeping statue" case (Catholic World News 13/8/04)
Vietnamese Catholics join in massive pilgrimage (Catholic World News 13/8/04)
The business of miracle-working (The Independent 14/8/04)
Hoax weeping statue church chases missing donations (CathNews 6/8/04)
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)
16 Aug 2004