NORFOLK, Va. — Parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church can load up the collection plate Sunday with confidence their money will support the charities and program for which it is intended.
Stung by financial scandals, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has distributed tamper-proof money bags to Blessed Sacrament and other parishes throughout the sprawling diocese to ensure donations go where they are intended.
The security measure follows accusations that a retired priest in central Virginia embezzled more than $600,000 from two parishes and the arrest of a church secretary in Richmond shown on video allegedly slipping Sunday offerings into her purse.
John Barrett, the diocesan finance director, said he recommended the safeguards for all parishes following those two incidents. He wants every parish in the diocese to hold money collected during Mass in the tamper-proof bags until the money can be counted and recorded.
Now if only we could come up with a system for tamper-proof liturgies. We use to have one – it was called obedience.
Yes, it’s sad. However, these are gentle as a dove and wise as a serpent measures. In addition, this and things like credit cards donations systems ensure finacial transperency at the parish level. Too bad little is done at the dioscean level (in most places).
Please note, the wisdom in this is to also suffocate those rouge priests who have grave scandal too us all. Where do you think they got the funds to impress their victims, take all those trips and have second residences?
Again, I agree that it is sad. Our 2,000 year history is full of these sad scandals and failures. I have to point again to the root of this is comprimising holiness. When the church leaders choose to comprimise, it leads to a slippery slope that we were not created to navigate. One big example comes to mind; Fr. Charles Curran of Catholic University of America�s Theology Department on July 30, 1968 saying Humanae Vitae was optional – and NO ONE corrected him, and hundreds of catholic leaders joined in.
At the risk of sounding like one of the Voice of the Faithful types, this disent and destruction of truth leads me to wonder if the Spirit of Vatican II is for the laity to slap the heirarchy back into shape.
Sounds like FINALLY someone is taking up the suggestions in http://www.churchsecurity.info/ I think it’s a GREAT idea. Despite repeated requests and strange rebuffs, it looks like at least some diocese is starting to wake up. Fixing this goes a long way towards stopping the funding of priests living immoral lifestyles.
I would love to see something like the ECFA (the Evengelicial Council for Fincanial Accountability) but for Catholics. I’ve made a little progress towards that end. If you’re interested, email me. Mostly I am just please that something sensible is happening.
The other aspect of tamper-proof liturgies is a bishop who is willing to enforce liturgical law.
(BTW, I have been using the tamper-proof bag in my parish along with a drop-safe in the sacristy for a year. It works very well.)
I think it’s sad that “tamper-proof” bags are needed at all.
We’re Catholics…or are we? Last time I checked, stealing was against the 7th commandment.
Tag:No TagsJust when we thought it was safe to go to church without scandal, a new one strikes. Time Magazine recently published an article on Pilfering Priests.
It’s a very demoralizing piece that details how some priests have siphoned off up to…
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