Holy Bacteria, Bat Man. There’s Poo in That Font …

… And now for today’s media induced hysterics.

Oh no! Stop the presses. Holy water may contain fecal matter!
Avoid it like the Black Death!

Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on “holy” springs.

Researchers at the Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna tested water from 21 springs in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna and found samples contained up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of water, none of it safe to drink.

Tests indicated 86 percent of the holy water, commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants’ lips, was infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

Nitrates, commonly found in fertilizer from farms, were also identified in the water. If ingested, water containing nitrates over the maximum contaminant level could cause serious illness, especially in infants younger than 6 months, which could lead to death if untreated, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. [Source]

You know what else could potentially cause illness and death? How about every-freaking-thing.

A few people have commented that no one drinks holy water or wets their lips with it. I think the author is confusing the practice of kissing the hand we use to cross ourselves with “lip wetting”. Hispanics know what I’m talking about here.

I actually remember my Abuela cooking with the holy water she scooped right out of those “nasty” wall fonts. Seriously. She’d just waltz into church and scoop her refills right out of that stagnant water font. And you know what? I didn’t die. And no one who ate her cooking suffered from violent diarrhea afterwards. Amazing isn’t it, how humanity has survived this long.

You know what else holy water is good for? Your hair and complexion. It’s how I stay so fabulous. Holy Water, because I’m worth it…

So yeah… my take away from this is proof in my mind of the supernatural power of sacramentals. Just as no one dies or gets sick from drinking out of the same chalice.

I imagine if anything is a carrier of death, doom, and disease it’s that insipid Sign of Peace during mass, which has no sacramental super powers what so ever. That, that right there we can kibosh.

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