• Caloocan Ash Wednesday probe rules out sabotage


    Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said an investigation on the incident where churchgoers at San Roque Cathedral in the city ended up with rashes and blisters on their forehead after being marked with a cross on Ash Wednesday ruled out sabotage and found the ashes to contain high acidity level. “We apologize for whatever harm inadvertently caused by what should have been a solemn ritual marking the beginning of Lent,” he said. The prelate said they have sent the ashes they mixed with holy water to a chemical laboratory for testing. He disclosed that the laboratory tests result showed that the ashes had a high level of acidity and ruled out possibility of any sabotage. The burns and blisters were caused by “overcooked charcoal turned into caustic ashes that produce high acidity when mixed with water.” He explained that they traditionally burned palm fronds in earthen pots and the gradual adding of leaves led to over burning which produced dark charcoal. Earlier, the prelate has ordered Church staff to review Closed-circuit Television footage specifically during the burning of ashes on Tuesday night to check for any possibility of sabotage.


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