If your church looked a little bit empty yesterday there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation. Well on the face of it, there is.
Thousands of Sunday church-goers snubbed their usual parishes to visit the Vietnamese Catholic Community Centre in southwest Brisbane to get a glimpse of the much-publicised weeping statue of Mary.
Believers lined up patiently for up to 20 minutes in a queue that snaked its way down the centre aisle and out the front door.
Each person was allowed a 20-second peep at the statue before they were asked to move on.
In only a week the small Inala church has become the focus of media reports in Vietnam, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the US.
A film crew from a Melbourne-based Vietnamese television news channel interviewed believers as they left the church.
The show’s producer, Vien Trinh, said it had become a very big story back in Vietnam. “In the very near future I can see many people flocking to this church from overseas to feed their curiosity,” he said. “This is being very widely received by the Vietnamese community.”
The church’s growing guest book also now features names from visitors from every state in Australia and a number of people from the US.
In the past week the religious mystery has become a hot topic of conversation on many Internet web discussion forums as well.
A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane said an investigation into the happenings would probably take place this week.
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