The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 18, 1986 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Saturday, January 18, 1986
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Page 8
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The Sallna Journal Saturday, January 18,1986 Page 8 South Africa refuses to allow clergy into country JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — The government on Friday refused to allow nine clergymen from the United States and Canada to come here for a visit, accusing them of links to guerrillas who are trying to topple the white-led regime. The decision by Home Affairs Minister Stoffel Botha came a week after a U.S. congressional delegation returned home and advocated stiffer economic sanctions to force an end to apartheid, South Africa's system of segregation under which 5 million whites dominate 24 million vote- less blacks. Also Friday, South African officials met with a delegation from Lesotho to discuss what the tiny mountain kingdom calls an econ- omic blockade, but South Africa calls tightened border checks to forestall attacks by guerrillas from the outlawed black African National Congress. However, there appeared to be no resolution to the problem after the talks in Pretoria. Neil van Heerden, deputy director general of the African desk in South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs, said after the meeting that the "bottom line" is for Lesotho to kick out the African National Congress. Van Heerden said the neighbors agreed to establish a security committee to monitor problems that might arise. Lesotho, which is surrounded by South Africa, says it is running short of gasoline. Statue's tears were of the crocodile variety STE.-MARTHE-SUR-LE-LAC, Quebec (AP) — The tears, the sweat, the blood that appeared on the cheeks of the statue of the Virgin Mary all seemed miraculous to thousands of believers who waited in the brutal cold to see for themselves. But then the skeptics of modern science and med-1 icine came up with evidence suggesting it was all a hoax — not even a very clever hoax, and overnight the Miracle of Ste.- Marthe melted away. Statue The affair came to a climax Friday when a Montreal newspaper reported the statue's owner admitted he used oil and drops of his own blood to create the effects. Police in this lakeside town on Montreal's northwestern outskirts estimated 12,000 people flocked here in less than a week to view what local television stations took to calling the "alleged miracles." Church officials have been cautious in their statements. The local bishop, the Rev. Charles Valois of St. Jerome Diocese, called the affair "an exaggeration of the marvelous." "God seldom speaks by extraordinary means but rather through the Bible and the teachings of the church, " the bishop said. "It is not through such means as these (the statue's tears) that we are going to find out what the Lord wants to say to us." The visitors to Ste.-Marthe paused to gaze and pray in front of a two- foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary that seemed to have shed tears of blood. All around were icons — most of them reproductions of a single painting of Mary — with what looked like sweat or tears running down the surface. The pilgrimages began after Jean- Guy Beauregard, a railroad worker in Montreal, said his statue began weeping on Dec. 8 — the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. When the phenomenon began to attract curious crowds, Beauregard's landlord asked him to move the statue. He took it to the home of Maurice and Claudette Girouard in Ste.-Marthe. In January, the Girouards told reporters, the Virgin's tears began to mix with blood and many of the surrounding icons, crucifixes and statues also started weeping and bleeding. When television newscasts and the front pages of Montreal's newspapers showed the statue's creamy complexion splotched with bright- red stains, the mass pilgrimage to Ste.-Marthe began. Even temperatures of 15 below zero did not stop people from lining up for hours to view the icons and statues. The bubble burst Wednesday with two developments: • The French-language television network of the Canadian Broadcast Corp. borrowed an icon and took it to a laboratory, where scientists said they found it was coated with pork and beef fat that would naturally liquefy in droplets and run like tears once the room warmed slightly. • It was discovered that Maurice Girouard, who had become the spokesman for the miracle, had been convicted twice of illegally practicing medicine. Dr. Augustin Roy, president of the Corporation of Quebec Physicians, said Girouard had been promising to cure various ills through hypnosis. Roy described the bleeding statue as "a pure and simple fraud, a hoax, an imposture and collective hysteria." Girouard responded by telling reporters: "Modern science always wants to destroy anything supernatural." He suggested the animal fat could have been added to the icon after it was taken from his home for analysis. 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