No charges over WA "Weeping Madonna" donations
Western Australian police say that they will not pursue a criminal investigation of donations collected by a Rockingham woman to view an alleged Weeping Madonna statue at her home.
IBN News reports that major fraud squad detectives released a statement saying they would not pursue a criminal investigation because they were satisfied there was no criminality involved in the donations.
Their initial inquiry was launched after Catholic officials concluded the weeping was caused by vegetable oil and rose scents, and was not a miracle according to the standards of the church.
Worshippers have not been deterred by the ruling, however, and are still going to see the statue in exchange for a donation to the Holy Family House of Prayer.
Statue custodian Patty Powell says there is a simple reason for why people have kept coming.
"All I have prayed for is that people return to a meaningful and personal relationship with God and try to determine the message from the tears," she told IBN News.
Last month, Rockingham's parish priest, Fr Finbarr Walsh, expelled Brisbane man Ron Jakeman from his parish, claiming that the Holy Family House of Prayer resident and self-styled visionary may be a fake.
Correction: Our email edition this morning quoted IBN News which incorrectly identified Patty Powell as a nun. She is in fact not a member of a religious congregation.
Police drop inquiry into 'Weeping Madonna' donations (IBN News, 1/5/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Weeping Madonna of Rockingham
Priest expels weeping statue man (CathNews, 10/4/07)
Parramatta wall weeps " miracle " oil (CathNews, 4/4/07)
Perth priest claims miracle (CathNews, 20/3/06)
Archbishop says weeping statues were fraudulent (CathNews, 30/7/04)
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)
Weeping Mary draws faithful (CathNews 31/5/04)
Archbishop Bathersby announces weeping statue investigation (CathNews 26/5/04)
Crowds flock to see 'weeping' religious icons (CathNews 24/5/04)
Perth Archbishop announces inquiry into weeping Madonna statue (CathNews, 25/11/02)
Tests on crying Madonna fail to show hoax (CathNews, 13/9/02)
2 May 2007