Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Vow Of Poverty

Father Tadhg O'Donovan wasn't particularly impoverished before, but his wallet is 213,222 euros lighter today.

The good Father is a landlord, although he's not after evicting anyone for not paying their rent. In fact, he's made a fat bit for himself by renting to the poor and collecting rent subsidies from the government.

No good deed goes unpunished, does it? Father O'Donovan was collecting his rents, letting the poor occupy his thirteen premises, but then he slipped up. He was supposed to report his income to the Revenue people.

Priests don't have much revenue to speak of, what with salaries in the clerical field being so low. A man can't be faulted for supplementing his income, but he can be faulted for not rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

Failed to file correct tax returns for five years, failed to provide correct rental income statements, failed to keep proper records....ah, but there's so few priests and the man was kept busy with his clerical duties. An oversight here or there, is it so bad?

All the fines have been paid and the past due taxes have been settled. Even so, it's going to be difficult for Father O'Donovan to take to the pulpit and ask his parishioners to dig deep when the collection basket goes around.

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