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.