Are the oil drops on a Jesus painting a miracle or an accident? Question puts the head priest at center of dispute.
It started out as a classic debate among fellow believers: Was a Jesus painting at Holladay’s Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church mysteriously crying or was there a more natural explanation for the moisture around the Savior’s eyes?
Now the Case of the Weeping Icon has exploded into accusations of deception, mutual recriminations, denunciations of disbelief, letters to higher ecclesiastical authorities in Denver and a call to remove the parish’s head priest, Father Michael Kouremetis.
It all began a couple of years ago when someone noticed oil drops on the icon of Christ the Archpriest. So how did the oil get there? A Prophet Elias worker responsible for filling oil lamps above the church’s sacred paintingslater signed a statement saying that he “did not spill any oil on that miraculous icon. … This is truly a miracle from God.”
But then that all fell apart. There are allegations that it obviously WAS a spill since oil is no longer “weeping” from the statue. The worker was supposedly told to keep quiet. The priest Kouremetis is adamant about the miracle and miraculous healing from the oil and is made demands of the parishioners to agree. They don’t.
Miracle icons will bring people to the church, believers will believe no matter what. But miracles ought to be more impressive than this fiasco.