Bishop Cristobal Bialasik of Oruro, Bolivia is reiterating the Church’s cautious response to allegedly miraculous statues of Christ that shed tears or blood, saying such phenomenon must always be judged with prudence.
Speaking to CNA’s Spanish-language news agency ACI Prensa on Feb. 18, Bishop Bialasik said in cases such as one in the city of Cochabamba, it is always better to “wait and see whether the signs indicate the event should be considered authentic or not,” as the possibility of deceit is always real.
Since March of 1995, a statue of Jesus crowned with thorns in Cochabamba has been shedding tears and blood.
Bishop Bialasik said scientific studies under the leadership of Dr. Ricardo Castanon, who has also captured the phenomenon on video, have shown that the blood coming from the statue is human.
Because of this, the Bishops’ Conference of Bolivia established a commission to study the occurrence and issue an official response. Members of the commission include Bishop Bialasik, Archbishop Tito Solari of Cochabamba and Bishop Jorge Herbas of Aiquile.
Bishop Bialasik said the commission has taken into account a wide array of opinions, as well as the devotion of the faithful.
He said that in cases such as these, the Church exercises “great reserve at first,” but if the occurrence keeps repeating, “the bishop must then decide whether to form a study group to follow up and analyze what is happening.”
He said the commission would present the findings of its investigation to the bishops’ conference at its meeting in May.