Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weeping painting a fake (surprise!)

I caught this brief mention in Time magazine last week in the "Milestones" section:

FOR TWO DECADES, PILGRIMS flocked to the Christ of the Hills monastery in Blanco, Texas, to lay eyes on what founder Samuel Greene Jr. and his fellow monks claimed was a miracle: a painting of the Virgin Mary that wept tears of myrrh. In 2000, after a fellow monk was convicted of indecency with a male monastic student, Greene also pleaded guilty to indecency. When the compound was closed, investigators found eyedroppers and bottles of rosewater used to fake the tears that prompted donations. Last year Greene confessed to the ruse, and his sexual relations with teenage students, to his probation officer. Greene, who died after taking medications, was 63. His death is under investigation.
Really, is anyone surprised? I would have thought that it's obvious that all of these crying/bleeding statues/paintings are either faked or are common, easily explained natural phenomena. Trying to cram as much irony as possible into the event, the fakers are also monks who were found to be sexual predators. I'm becoming more and more surprised when hypocrisy isn't a part of any religious article.

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