A Catholic bishop has finally admitted that holy water really isn’t any different from regular water.
Well, he didn’t say that in so many words, but he has advised a ban on holy water to stop the swine flu from spreading, which means the same thing:
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Reverend John Gladwin, said at some churches people were invited make a sign of the cross using holy water.
“The water in stoups can easily become a source of infection and a means of rapidly spreading the virus,” he said.
In a directive to priests in Essex, he added: “It is not our intention at this stage to cause panic.”
Seems pretty straightforward, right? But this is holy water — water that has been blessed and exorcised by a priest. Part of the traditional prayer is:
May this your creation be a vessel of divine grace to dispel demons and sicknesses, so that everything that it is sprinkled on in the homes and buildings of the faithful will be rid of all unclean and harmful things. Let no pestilent spirit, no corrupting atmosphere, remain in those places: may all the schemes of the hidden enemy be dispelled. Let whatever might trouble the safety and peace of those who live here be put to flight by this water, so that health, gotten by calling Your holy name, may be made secure against all attacks.
So much for that. Even Bishops know it’s just plain water that can cleanse as well as spread disease.