Groundskeeper At Monastery Tells Story Of Betrayal

(CBS 42) BLANCO COUNTY — There are new allegations swirling around an already troubled Hill Country monastery.

The man who’s looking after the grounds at Christ of the Hills Monastery in Blanco County spoke exclusively with CBS 42. The focus of the conversation was how his faith and trust in the monks he once defended is now broken.

The incident has to do with the weeping icon–something the monastery has been known for since it first reportedly wept tears back in the mid 80’s.

For more than a decade the monks have claimed the weeping icon was a miracle of God. Pilgrims would flock to see the statue and make donations to the monastery.

As the investigation into alleged criminal sexual activity escalated and the four monks who lived there were taken into custody, another investigation proceeded as well.

CBS 42’s Leslie Coons saw what happened when U.S. postal inspectors carried out their own warrants and reportedly seized the icon. The focus of that investigation is postal fraud.

People would send money through the mail, donations of sorts to the monks, so they could preserve the area where the miracle of God reportedly took place.

When asked to elaborate U.S. attorney’s office and U.S. postal inspectors had no comment.

After several days of defending the monks, Father Flower confronted Samuel Greene about the authenticity of the icon.

“I said to him I’m concerned, I’m hearing more and more that the weeping icon may be a scam and I need to know is it true the icon is truly weeping or is it a phony and he told me and he said it’s not true,” Father Flower said.

Over the past few days CBS 42 has made several attempts to contact Greene and his attorney. Calls have not been returned.

Father flower says while he’s angry and hurt Greene lied to him and others about the icon, he’ll continue to support him in court.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Aug. 2, 2006
Leslie Coons, Reporting

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 4, 2006.
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