In a recent article on ABC News, the Austrian study was presented revealing that 21 “holy” springs had tested positive for up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of water.
Approximately 86 percent of the holy water, often used for baptisms and wetting church members’ lips, contained bacteria common to fecal matter, such as E. coli, enterococci, and Campylobacter.
(All these bacteria can cause diarrhea, cramping, fever, and abdominal pains.)
The Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna, authors of the study, also found nitrates common in farm fertilizers which, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), could cause serious illnesses, especially in children six months old and younger.
Dr. Alexander Kirschner, researcher and microbiologist at the Medical University of Vienna, told ABC, “We need to warn people against drinking from these sources.”
The study, which has been published in the Journal of Water and Health, also pointed out that churches and hospital chapel fonts were contaminated, and that the larger the church or chapel was, the more bacteria it contained.
“This may represent a problem that has hitherto been underestimated, especially in hospitals, since there a lot of people with weakened immune systems there,” Kirschner added.
Kirschner recommended that priests change out holy water in churches and place signs informing church members on the dangers and history of holy springs.
More on the disturbing find here:
Some priests have found creative ways of dispensing holy water that could cut back on the contaminants.
Some of these methods have included salting the water to kill bacteria while others have chosen some unorthodox ways of separating water from the contaminated fonts, including this priest who used a Super Soaker to bless his congregants.
Do you put any stock in the miraculous healing powers of holy water, and are you surprised by the high fecal matter content?
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