Catholic Weekly

2 November 2003


Christ’s message holds key, says Cardinal Pell

New cardinal-electors

Cardinal is ‘honoured and delighted’

New managing editor for Catholic Weekly

Wiggles help Vinnies

Change to super laws rejected

Service commemorates Night of broken glass

Don’t leave HSC study to the last minute

Poverty forum call

Italians come clean over holy water

‘Don’t change Medicare’

Hope on Smokey Mountain

New dean of education

‘Give generously’ appeal call

Passion added to atmosphere for players

Mother Teresa

Editorial: Be not afraid

Letters: Biblical errors?

Conversation: Donna Mulhearn, human shield and crusader for kids - Back to Iraq with ‘lots of love, hugs and care’

The freedom of God

Jesus ‘Lord and healer’

Oath of Fidelity

Sandhills and history

The Italian connection

New deal for deaf high school students

New college Campus

US post

115 years in the sun

Rose Bay victory

Life of the ageing priest

Companions on a Redemptorist’s journey to his final vows

‘Richest year of my life’


Italians come clean over holy water

By Chris Lindsay

Did the Pope really give the Italian World Cup rugby team 500 gallons of holy water to help in its campaign to win the Webb Ellis trophy?

Yes, if you believe the Italian team coach, former All Black winger John Kirwan.

He told journalists after the team’s bruising 19-14 win against Canada that “just before we left Rome the Pope gave us 500 gallons of holy water, so we are doing our recovery in that”.

The remark conjured up visions of the world’s largest font, filled with battered Italian rugby players bathing their bruises in the hope of divine recovery. Unfortunately, it is not so.

The Italian team’s media manager, known only as Giacomo, told The Catholic Weekly that Kirwan had been having a joke with the media.

“How could we carry 500 gallons of water on the plane?” he said. “We will recover without the Pope’s holy water. Instead we are using the ‘holy water’ in the hot water pool at the Institute of Sport in Canberra.”

The Canberra treatment, however, has not proved a success and injured players are still in doubt for the next game.

Real holy water from the Pope may, in fact, have been a better choice.

Perhaps the Pope can manage a miracle cure for the Italian rugby team by having Cardinal Pell bless the Canberra institute’s recovery pool?