Researchers in Austria have found that 86% of their samples from holy springs and fonts contain fecal matter. They found that due to E. coli, entero­cocci, and Campylo­­bacter, as well as nitrates from agriculture, none of the springs they studied were safe for drinking from.

They also found that "church fonts contain high levels of bacteria ... the busier the church, the more bacteria it tended to have in its font."

Dr. Alexander Kirschner, a microbiologist from the Medical University of Vienna, explained the springs' healing reputation in the Middle Ages: "In those days, the quality of the water in towns and cities was generally so poor that people were constantly developing diarrhoea or other diseases as a result.

"If they then came across a protected spring in the forest that was not as polluted and drank from it for several days, their symptoms would disappear.

"So although in those days they were drinking healthier water, given the excellent quality of our drinking water today, the situation is now completely reversed."

 

Read the Daily Mail article:

Not so pure after all: Most holy water 'is contaminated with faecal matter' and could be harmful to health

Tags: Campylobacter, E. coli, bacteria, contamination, diarrhea, enterococci, fonts, holy water, springs

Views: 279

Replies to This Discussion

I think my brain just pooped a little in happiness after reading this.

I've forgotten where I saw this (CNN, perhaps), but I must say, I got a good chuckle out of it.

Not that I wish illness on anyone, but I find this rather funny!

So you can truly say to your local priest, "Yo, PADRE!!!  Yer holy water's fulla shit!"

Hahaha....funnier by the minute!

I didn't know about this - thanks

Funny your should post this the day after I saw Anthony Bourdain's Sunday night program, Parts Unknown (title is a takeoff on butcher lingo I suppose) featuring Jerusalem and its cuisine. A contact there was taking Bourdain down to the Via Dolorosa and the camera came to rest on pilgrims plying the path Jesus supposedly took on the way to the crucifixion. Along a roadway some of the plaster had fallen off revealing an ancient wall (or so implied).  Some pilgrims were leaning over to kiss the crumbling substructure, leaving viewers to guess, "What if the person ahead of you in line has flu, pneumonia, mono, or any of dozens of other diseases? Do these supplicants actuallyl believe that God will protect them from illnesses deposited as germs on the wall?" How stupid can you get.

I've wondered that about the common communion cup. 

During last winter's flu outbreak, many Catholic churches indeed stopped using the common cup.

There's more discussion in "Holy Sewage", complete with an understandably Disgusted Cat and bad good punning.

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