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Mary’s tears not an official miracle, church rules • Wednesday February 26, 2003

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Feb. 26, 2003

A church investigation in Perth has ruled that a supposed “weeping statue” of the Virgin Mary is not a proven miracle.

The Catholic Church called the inquiry after thousands of people flocked to Rockingham Parish to view the statue.

It found the substance the statue produced was vegetable oil mixed with another substance that might have accounted for its rose perfume.

The commission could not determine how the tears were being produced.

Despite the findings, the inquiry has not accused anyone of interference.

In a statement, those responsible for the inquiry say its reluctance to conclude the statue’s tears are of divine origin is in keeping with the church’s traditional prudence and reservation concerning matters claiming to be miraculous.

The Catholic Archbishop of Perth, Barry Hickey, says while he is disappointed with the findings, they do not mean the statue is a fake.

“We have no proof of that, no proof whatsover,” he said. “There’s no suspicion being levelled at anybody.

“We know that other interpretations are possible, it doesn’t mean to say they’re true, just they’re possible.”

The church has ordered that the statue be withdrawn from display in churches. It will be up to its owners to decide if they want to put it on show in their home.

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