Skip the Blessing? ABC's Sunday Warning: 'Holy Water May Be Harmful to Your Health'

Well, that’s some “Good Morning America” on a Sunday. ABC’s morning-show website carried this Sunday sermon: “Holy Water May be Harmful to Your Health, Study Finds.”

Liz Fields reported with great solemnity that "Despite its purported cleansing properties, holy water could actually be more harmful than healing, according to a new Austrian study on 'holy' springs." Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna found that holy water in the baptismal font could kill your baby:

Tests indicated 86 percent of the holy water, commonly used in baptism ceremonies and to wet congregants' lips, was infected with common bacteria found in fecal matter such as E. coli, enterococci and Campylobacter, which can lead to diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.

Nitrates, commonly found in fertilizer from farms, were also identified in the water. If ingested, water containing nitrates over the maximum contaminant level could cause serious illness, especially in infants younger than 6 months, which could lead to death if untreated, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Notice what ABC did here: they didn't say that anyone found that holy water in Vienna contains nitrates "over the maximum contaminant level," but they just like planting the idea that holy water endangers your infants.

It’s not surprising that scientists would find that the more hands that dip in the holy water, the more bacteria it might contain. During more infectious seasons of the year, Catholic parishes sometimes forego the “sign of peace” of shaking hands. But now ABC might scare away the faithful from their baptismal reminder as they enter.

Dear ABC: most babies don’t ingest water in a baptism. Most parishioners don’t drink out of the holy-water fonts while blessing themselves.

This comes from ABC, the network that routinely finds abortion and abortion-causing drugs aren't a health hazard -- or ignores them.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis