KUALA LUMPUR: Hospital authorities have agreed to hand the glass panel bearing an image resembling the Blessed Virgin Mary over to the Catholic Church for verification.
Arrangements are now being made for the panel to be safely moved to the Marian Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Klang, where it will be verified and later, may be put on display for devotees.
Parish priest of Subang Jaya's Church of St Thomas More Rev Father Simon Labrooy said he had gone to the Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC) on Monday along with church lay leaders to see the image and discuss the next course of action with hospital officials.
"I have been given the responsibility to make sure the image is handled with care and handed over to (Rev) Father Michael Chua (parish priest of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes).The image has to be treated with utmost respect because it may just be a real apparition. We don't know," he told Yahoo! Malaysia.
Church and hospital authorities are still working on the logistics of moving the image and have not decided on a date.
Labroy praised SDMC for handling the matter in a 'gracious' and 'respectful' manner and dismissed claims that it had tried to clean the panel.
"The hospital has been very helpful and gracious by offering to take it (glass panel) down for us to verify," he said.
On whether there was a second image appearing two panels below, Fr Labrooy said: 'I think if there is an image there, the hospital will help us with that too".
Fr Labrooy said the are various processes involved in the verification of apparitions and that would be left to the Catholic Church authorities.
Fr Labrooy had earlier given a written update to members of his parish on the latest development surrounding the 'apparition'.
This is his full statement:
This statement is in regard to the various newspaper reports concerning an image of what some are saying to be that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Several people (estimated 2,000 on Sunday) have visited the vicinity with some praying privately, some praying in groups and other just curious onlookers. I have consulted with the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Most Rev. Murphy Pakiam, and am pleased to announce the following.
I have met with the Management of Sime Darby Medical Hospital (SDMC) to discuss this matter. The meeting was very productive. Contrary to rumours SDMC has assured us that no attempt to clean the affected image on the glass panel has ever been undertaken nor have they any intention of doing so. The Catholic Church would like to thank SDMC for its cooperation in managing this delicate matter and accommodating the inconveniences to its patients and staff.
The Catholic Church is in agreement with SDMC that the present situation cannot continue as we are concerned of the direct effect this may have on emergency services of SDMC.
The Management of SDMC has graciously agreed to hand over the glass panel containing this image and give it to the Catholic Church. SDMC has assured us that professional services will be deployed to ensure that no damage comes to the glass panel on removal and transport. This operation will be closely and jointly supervised officials from the church of by St Thomas More, Subang Jaya.
We assure the community that the image will be handled in the most respectful and sensitive manner. This glass panel will be moved to the Marian Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Klang which will be more conducive for prayer and reflection. Dates for this movement will be announced shortly. I wish to reiterate that this by no means confirms the authenticity of the image as an apparition of Mary. The Catholic Church would withhold official comment until the image has been tested and verified by theologians and church authorities, a process that will take time.
In instances of authentic appearances of our Blessed Virgin Mary she has always asked us to pray for peace and to seek out her son Jesus Christ.
Rev Simon Labrooy