The burning issue at hand -- has a miracle occurred in the sleepy town of South St. Paul? Or were the events that have turned St. Augustine Catholic Church on its head to blame on a common airborne fungus?
At an ordinary 7 a.m. Sunday mass, communion was being distributed when one of the wafers fell to the floor. Since these consecrated "hosts" represent the body of Christ and are never simply thrown away, the wafer was placed in a golden ciborium -- or special cup for hosts -- in water so that it would dissolve.
When one of the church vicars looked in the ciborium the following Sunday, he saw that not only had the wafer not completely dissolved, it had turned a blood red color. When Father John Echert examined it, he described it as looking like a piece of bloody tissue:
Last week, Echert turned the host over to the archdiocese to get an official opinion -- was this a miracle? So far, officials are being very tight lipped about the issue and what exactly goes into such an investigation.
"This is a very sensitive issue. We're taking a very cautious stance," says archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath.
Although there is a possibility the wafer will be sent to a lab to test for a more earthly explanation -- like a fungus or some other contaminant -- McGrath says no such plans have been finalized.
So, either Christ is personally sending good tidings to the people of St. Paul, or the folks over at St. Augustine need to run their ciboriums through the dishwasher more often.
What do you think?