Catholics told to remain calm over sighting

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SUBANG JAYA: Bishop Emeritus Anthony Selvanayagam yesterday called on Catholics not to be overly anxious following the sighting of what was claimed to be an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC).

The retired bishop of the diocese of Penang said Catholics should not be worked up until the Church comes out with an official statement.

"Let us be peaceful and not get carried away by such incidents," he said, referring to the image of what many Catholics believe to be that of Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.

Selvanayagam said such cases need to be proven beyond doubt by the church.

"The church does not blindly accept such claims without first conducting an investigation on what was sighted," he said.

Selvanayagam said such sightings have been claimed many times before, most of which were unfounded individual claims.

"The church will not jump onto the bandwagon and endorse such cases without first verifying its authenticity. The Catholic Church is not so naive to just follow what is claimed," he said.

To the many fears and worries that have been making waves through the Catholic community of impending disasters that follow such apparitions, Selvanayagam said this should be taken as an opportunity to pray for the well-being of the world and serve as a reminder to lead a good life.

"God is not cruel to bring a disaster like that on everyone," he said.

Selvanayagam said there have been no other known apparition of Mother Mary in Malaysia.

"There had been many rumours of such apparitions but none had been proven," he said.

The image had drawn large crowds to the hospital since Friday afternoon.

A hospital staff said the image was discovered by a cleaner, who claimed it could not be wiped away.

The staff also said the image could only be seen from outside the window.

Matthew Peter, 49, trainer from Petaling Jaya, said he believed it is truly Mother Mary who had come with a message to draw people closer to God.

The apparition was on the glass window of the seventh floor of the outpatient centre, North Tower.

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