Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Springs of water, bless the pope!

With the pope on summer hiatus, there's not been much of interest to report, unless you count India's Catholic bishops encouraging their flock to multiply, since the percentage of Christians in the area is declining. Not sure that's the best idea, seeing that India already has more than a billion people, but I think I've made my views clear on this one.

A new monument to JPII in his hometown of Wadowice is, however, making headlines as a new source of magic--sorry--healing water. Whoever built the new statue cleverly installed a fountain, knowing full well that Catholics can't resist bottling water from shrines, apparition sites, and churches, which makes for good business in holy water-holding and other related devotional merchandise.

Wadowice Mayor Ewa Filipiak spoke tellingly of her hopes for the water, especially if JPII is beatified: "[The fountain] has turned into an additional and very welcome attraction and embellishment of this place linked to John Paul II." An attraction, eh? Like Disneyland?

Of course, many Poles have a great devotion to the former pope, but if the local authorities really wanted it to seem authentic, they should have either made it look like a spring rose up spontaneously--or at least not revealed the true purpose of water, which, according to the mayor was simply meant to enhance the gray-brown color of the monument.

Well, at least the town well that provides the water is from the 16th century, which makes the water at least really old if not particularly holy.


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