Churchgoers Fall Ill After Using Holy Water At Notre Dame

IMG_0298The well-known Catholic prayer states “By this holy water and by Your Precious Blood, wash away all my sins, O Lord.”  It appears however that the next question for the faithful at Notre Dame may be “what washes away the holy water?”  A significant number of churchgoers in Paris are complaining about failing ill after using the holy water at Notre Dame.  It is not a unique problem according to some studies.

Churchgoers complained of a tingling sensation around their faces after signing themselves with the holy water. Health officials are investigating and one priest admitted that “It smelled especially bad, this water.”
The priest suggested foul play. However, past studies have indicated that there is a high level of fecal contamination in holy water.  For example, Austrian researchers discovered that church fonts contained high levels of bacteria and a majority of water samples from holy sources contained fecal matter. The Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna analyzed the water in 21 holy springs in Austria and in 18 fonts in Vienna and found that 86 percent of water samples contain fecal matter, and every milliliter of holy water contained up to 62 million bacteria.

Such contamination would be understandable given the hundreds of people putting their hands and fingers into the water.  The same concern has been raised in masses where wine is passed from churchgoer to churchgoer.  Contamination in such public places would normally raise questions of negligence, though the religious component raises significant constitutional issues.

Even if the water were tampered with by hostile forces, there is a question of the reasonableness of the level of testing or protection of such common resources. There are also assumption issues for those utilizing such common fonts, though they could note that it is a religious practice of the Church.

Do you think that the Church should be found liable in the holy water was tainted?

36 thoughts on “Churchgoers Fall Ill After Using Holy Water At Notre Dame”

  1. The “holy water” story is the least of their problems:

    Communist China isn’t the solution – Communist China is the problem.


    “China rips down posters of Jesus and replaces them with President Xi and ban kids visiting Church

    The country’s ruling Communist party sees Christianity as a Western threat and wants to eradicate all traces of the faith from China.”

    – The Sun

    Looks like the authors meant, “Psycho Xi” not President Xi.

  2. The “holy water” story is the least of their problems:

    “Pennsylvania Grand Jury Says Church Had a ‘Playbook for Concealing the Truth’”

    “Avoid scandal. Use euphemisms. Ask inadequate questions. Lock complaints away in a “secret archive.” Above all, don’t tell the police.

    “Those are some of the tactics that leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania used to conceal child sexual abuse by priests over a period of 70 years, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday.”

  3. wine has alcohol that tends to kill microbes.

    that’s why ancients used to dilute water with wine

    the liturgy does too

    probably this was some nasty muslim or antifa playing a trick on Christians whom they despise

    1. why don’t they talk about these things? too busy worrying about russian bots every day 24/7 for starters

      or the million Uighurs locked up in reeducation camps in China. Media won’t report on that any time soon either, will they

    2. “Holy Water”

      Hey, it works! I just watched “The Season of the Witch” with Nicholas Cage. The priest threw holy water on the figure of the devil. The holy water burned holes in it and made it really, really mad.

      In the end, however, only the Bible verse was effective. It disintegrated the devil.

      By the way, how does that guy, Beelzebub, keep coming back?

    3. Glenn Greenwald had some interesting things to say about John Brennan in an article he wrote for The Guardian ( Jan. 7, 2013).
      The title was “John Brennan’s Extremism and Dishonesty Rewarded with CIA Director Nomination” ( I may be a couple of words off of the exact title, but I don’t want to back out of the comments section to re-check the exact wording).
      For a variety of reasons, Brennan has been a controversial figure long before this current spat with Trump.
      Those controversies did not just start recently with Trump, and they don’t fit neatly
      into the “I’m a victim” yarn that Brennan and others are trying to spin.

  4. (music)
    There’s a hole in your bucket, dear Lizza dear Lizza..
    There’s a hole in yhour bucket, dear Lizza a hole!

    Then fix it dear Georgie, dear Georgie , deer Georgie.
    The fix it dear Georgie, dear Georgie fix it!

    I’ve said my prayers dear Lizza dear Lizza.
    I’ve said my prayer and drank the cool aid.

    Don’t drink church cool aid, dear Georgie, dear Georgie.
    Don’t drink church cool aid cause it will kill you.

  5. Yesterday a “suggested post” video on Facebook showed a young woman getting into a pool filled with “rescued” stingrays, in order to comfort the “rescued” flamingo she was taking into the water with her. What’s in that water? For that matter, people swim in coastal water filled with every type of bacteria imaginable. People have survived for millennium by building up antibodies to bacteria, viruses, etc. the danger of religious rituals is that they divert people from useful activities.

  6. I’m with Karen on this one, sort of. Tingling directly after exposure, if it’s not driven by fear (placebo effect) isn’t bacterial or infectious. It’s chemical. Given the high level of religiously-motivated terror in France, I think it’s not unreasonable to suspect chemical contamination of holy water.

    As a cancer patient, I don’t attend many services, to limit my exposure to droplet-vectored infections. The Eucharist, I generally take a limited number of times a year specifically because Communion presents similar issues (if you think about it, even intinction just means your Host is dipped in a soup of other folks’ oral flora and wine). The common cup and basins of holy water are relics of the Middle Ages which are overdue for revamping if not retirement.

    1. Jean Lafitte – you used to be able to get your personal bottle of Holy Water. Probably can now. You can just carry to Mass with you and use it, without the hazard of bio-contamination.

      1. I remember those little bottles from my childhood – my godmother gave a Young Catholic Kit consisting of a rosary, a children’s missal, and a vial for holy water. But who fills those vials and from where? Might be the same font everyone sticks their paws in as the enter the nave.

      1. Karen, thank you for your kindness. Had a dose of internal radiotherapy a week ago or so, Encouraged by the fact that one of the cancers on my face just flaked off. Hopefully, the ones in my innards will do likewise.

  7. Looks like the church will now have to set up Purell dispensers to make the sign of the cross.

  8. Fecal contamination would not cause skin tingling during Mass. Rather, people might get sick later from E. coli, especially since they would use their right hand in the font, and then later to take the Host to their mouth.

    The water was hopefully tested for chemical contamination.

    It would also be highly unwise to drink from the Communal Cup. That crisp white Purificator cloth is not an autoclave. It is surprising that there are still people in modern congregations who will all drink out of the same cup. So many other Christian faiths have long ago moved on to single serving little glasses. An obvious move to all but the Holy See, who is otherwise occupied with Australia and Chile. Give them a couple hundred more years however and they may address this health hazard.

    1. This video is a comedy sketch about hand sanitizer in church…….I think It’s pretty funny.

        1. Karen….I’m so glad you liked Tim…..he is hilarious…and so talented. He’s a fantastic musician as well as comedian. Our grandsons, ages 7 and 10, just love him. We may take them to see him when he tours Texas in January.

    1. Squeeky – at what temperature or after how many minutes of boiling does the Devil leave the water? Asking for a friend.

  9. All the communicants are responsible for the contamination, who the Devil are you going to sue? And what jury would hear the suit (Protestants, Muslims, and Jews)? Maybe atheists and agnostics? Finding the right jury panel is going to be God’s work.

    1. Paul C. I started as a simple Baptist…and went on up the ladder of liturgy and formality but stopped just in time at the Episcopalians……Lots of bells and smells but NO Holy Water…..whew!

      1. Cindy Bragg – so how are you doing with the schism in the CoE today?

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