Church robbery casts shadow over Christmas
The Melbourne Herald-Sun has published an editorial today describing thieves who stole Christmas presents from a Catholic Church in one of Melbourne's poorer suburbs as "beneath contempt".
On Monday the thieves broke into the Holy Child parish church in Dallas and grabbed gaily wrapped presents.
"The robbers who stole Christmas presents intended for needy families in one of Melbourne's poorer suburbs are beneath contempt," says the editorial. "Caring parishioners had left them there to be handed out for children after next Sunday's mass."
This was the third break-in at the church in six weeks. Unhappily, the newly installed security system was not yet working.
The paper says that people will feel for parish priest Fr Joe Ruys, who said: "They have betrayed our parishioners, who have made these generous donations even though many of them struggle financially themselves."
A last-minute appeal is under way to replace the stolen gifts.
"A good start would be for the thieves to repent and show real Christmas spirit by returning their loot," says the editorial. "If they don't, and if they are caught, they must be given a salutary Christmas present - jail without the option."
Christmas dream sours (Herald-Sun 15/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Holy Child Parish
Dawn masses set to start for Christmas (AsiaNews.it 14/12/05)
Church leaders in Bethlehem drive (Ekklesia 13/12/05)
15 Dec 2005