Priest Advises the Poor to Steal!
British Priest Tim Jones gave unusual advice to his congregation Sunday. During his Nativity sermon he broke away from his prepared words to advise the poorer members of his congregation to shoplift from large businesses if things got to difficult for them. A shepherd of the flock ordained to care for the dear children of God is advising them to grieve the heart of God by committing sin. Exodus 20:15 “Thou shalt not steal.” This is relativism at its worst. According to Father Jones it is okay to steal if you are poor. How do you measure the level of poverty which makes it okay to steal? He advised that his congregants not steal from small businesses but steal from larger franchises so the loss would be spread out among their many customers.
Father Jones insists that “society had failed many needy people and (he) said it was far better that they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options like prostitution, mugging or burglary.” How about another suggestion, Father Jones? There is a very appropriate verse in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Or, how about the verse in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It is blasphemous, sir, that you would advise people turn to stealing in time of need rather than turn to God in time of need.
The parish priest of St. Lawrence Church in York refuted the idea that he was encouraging people to break the 8th commandment. “because God's love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich.” Hmm, let me get this straight. God loves the poor so much he approves if they steal from national business chains.
I wonder, Father Jones, does God love the poor so much he approves if they help themselves to your offering plate as it goes by?