Here’s a mystery, from the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper:
Was a Jesus painting at Holladay’s Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church mysteriously crying or was there a more natural explanation for the moisture around the Savior’s eyes?
Spoiler alert! There is a natural explanation. In fact, there is always a natural explanation for these miracles. Given that there were oil lamps mounted above the painting, the obvious explanation was that a little oil had spilled on the painting while the lamps were being refilled. So how did it come to be seen as a miracle?
It all began a couple of years ago when someone noticed oil drops on the icon of Christ the Archpriest. So how did the oil get there? A Prophet Elias worker responsible for filling oil lamps above the church’s sacred paintings later signed a statement saying that he “did not spill any oil on that miraculous icon. … This is truly a miracle from God.”
The parish priest Michael Kouremetis also insisted that it was a miracle and that those who doubted were “antagonists of the church” who had “black souls”.
And naturally there was the inevitable sequel in which “several parishioners have reported healings associated with the painting.” What more proof does one need of a miracle?
But there are always skeptics, even among the flock, and not all were convinced, with one parishioner saying, “The icon in question doesn’t have enough oil to put on a postage stamp. There are cotton balls at the bottom of this icon to catch any of the ‘exuding’ oil. Guess what? As of today they are bone dry.”
And so it ends, as it always ends.
[T]he Prophet Elias worker now says Kouremetis “directed [him] not to discuss the accidental oil spill.” He had signed the earlier statement, he told the parish council president, “under pressure and fear.”
So it looks like Sherlock Holmes is not needed to solve this mystery.
But it did remind me of this 2010 episode from Larry David’s show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Needless to say, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue was pissed about the show. (Sorry! But I think I warned readers that I was a connoisseur of bad puns.)