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Date Posted: 10:57
Author: Eponymous - 30Nov01
Subject: Re: More SRF Controversy
In reply to: Anonymous - 29Nov01 's message, "More SRF Controversy" on 10:55

I doubt that opening the crypt will cause any problems in re popular belief in PY's immutability, and I would venture this prediction: Whatever the level of preservation, adherents and church leaders will point to this preservation as "remarkable"; moreover, there will be no attempt to conduct objective tests to determine the nature of deteriorationon (e.g., a comparison with other bodies held in similar conditions for similar duration).

As Ketch has agreed, many so-called "immutable" bodies of saints are in a very deteriorated condition; this fact, however, has not dissuaded adherents from their belief in those saints' incorruptibility. (See, e.g., http://www.discover.com/june_01/featsaints.html; photo of hands of 693 year-old corpse are "astonishingly intact.")

I would again stress to those who weren't aware of this key point: PY's body was embalmed. Many will be surprised to see how well an embalmed body can hold up over even thousands of years. (See, e.g., http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/chinamum/taklamakan.html. I would submit that these photos show a level of preservation far more "astonishing" than those of the Catholic saints mentioned above - particularly given that the Takla Makan Mummies shown are more than 2000 years older.)

P.S. Here is a site apparently designed for viewing by Catholic adherents: http://paranormal.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A|F|Fmembers.aol.com|Fccmail|Fincorruptbodies.html. These photos would be amusing, were they not so macabre; it looks like someone took a trip to Madame Tussaud's. (On the pictures that aren't too blury, you can actually see the makeup [or is it paint?] used to shore up cosmetic deficiencies.)

Given the sad history of Catholic credulity on this issue, and given that the Catholic "Incorruptibles" are often cited as a precedent for PY's own alleged immutability, perhaps the legend of PY's "phenomenal state of preservation" should be laid to rest.

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