(TMU) — A group of priests recently flew over the Russian city of Tver in a small airplane and poured holy water through an open door on the side of the plane. The clergymen say that the strange operation was intended to save the souls of the sinners in the town, by involuntarily dosing them with holy water.
Local news outlet Tvernews reported that the priests dumped 70 liters of holy water from the airplane, hoping that exposing the town’s population to the sacred liquid would reduce the amount of “drinking” and “fornication” that takes place in the region.
The whole procedure was captured on film for a local television channel. In the footage, a priest can be seen strapped to a harness, preventing him from accidentally falling out of the open door.
Father Alexander seemed to recognize the absurdity of what he was doing, but seemed confident in his mission when speaking to the reporters who tagged along. “Let them laugh. We’re doing our jobs,” he said of his critics.
The holy water bombing took place on Russia’s Sobriety Day, an unofficial holiday that falls on Sept. 11 of each year.
A similar stunt was attempted earlier this year in Columbia, where Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, bishop of Buenaventura, sprayed holy water on the struggling city from a helicopter.
“We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port,” Montoya said in a local radio interview, according to the Guardian.
Violence and poverty are on the rise in the city and the area has been overtaken by the drug trade. Buenaventura was listed as the country’s most violent city in a 2014 study, with conditions having not improved at all since then.
In the case of Buenaventura, the crime plaguing the city like can’t be fixed by a dousing of holy water. Likewise, the priests in Tver are fighting a losing battle. People across the world have been drinking and “fornicating” since pre-history and the chances that they will stop thanks to involuntary exposure to holy water is highly unlikely.