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Published:September 8th, 2009 11:35 EST
H1N1 Prevents Catholics From Kissing Bottle Containing Saint's Blood

H1N1 Prevents Catholics From Kissing Bottle Containing Saint's Blood

By Robert Paul Reyes

 

"Fear of H1N1 flu will stop devout Neapolitans from performing the time-honoured ritual of kissing the blood of their patron Saint Gennaro when the city`s annual festival begins later this month.

The decision to forbid kissing of the glass phial containing the saint`s blood was taken reluctantly by ecclesiastical and city authorities Monday, and has brought protests from local politicians.

The phial will be put on display in the city`s cathedral for a week from September 19 and the faithful will be allowed to touch it only with their foreheads." Reuters

Europe is by a large a bastion of post-Christian enlightenment, but there are still many "faithful" in Italy who cling to their superstitions and myths. Usually when a newspaper article refers to religious people as "the faithful", they should have used the words "the ignorant".

Here we are in the 21st century, and we witness the pathetic spectacle of people kissing a phial containing the blood of a saint. It would be bad enough if this display of stupidity occurred in a developing county, but Italy is one of the most advanced nations in the world.

The ban should be revoked, and everyone who kisses the phial should come down with H1N1. But of course then these ignoramuses would pray to the patron saint of healing.