CALCUTTA ( - Thousands of Christians and the merely curious have flocked to Trinity Church in Calcutta this week to see a crucifix that is apparently bleeding, police said on Friday.

      Ajanta Rovena Chatterjee, a lawyer who lives on the grounds of Trinity Church in central Calcutta, said she noticed blood apparently coming from the wounds of the corpus on her cross on Thursday morning. "I went to clean up the crucifix on Thursday morning, but to my shock I discovered it was bleeding at all the points where Christ was nailed, and even on the head where He was wearing a crown of thorns," she said.

      Police controlling the crowds gathering at the site said there had been about 10,000 so far. Press Trust of India quoted the Central Forensic Science Laboratory's (CSFL) deputy director, Dr. V.K. Kashyap, as saying the "blood" could be organic substances oozing from the stone statue. "Aging and temperature variations might lead to cracks in stone from where dark brown-colored pigments flow out," he said, adding that the CSFL would examine a sample of the "blood" and put out a report on Saturday.

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April 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 76         DAILY CATHOLIC