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?