facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Priest criticized for shoplifting sermon

Dec. 21, 2009 at 7:43 PM   |   Comments

YORK, England, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- British police and retailers have criticized an Anglican clergyman who advised his congregation to weather economic turmoil by shoplifting.

The Rev. Tim Jones, 41, told his congregation at St. Lawrence Church in York, England, during a sermon Sunday it is better for the poor to turn to shoplifting than "prostitution, mugging or burglary," the Daily Mail reported Monday.

"My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift. I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither," he said. "I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices."

The priest's sermon drew criticism from police, the British Retail Consortium and Conservative Member of Parliament Anne McIntosh.

"First and foremost, shoplifting is a criminal offense and to justify this course of action under any circumstances is highly irresponsible," a North Yorkshire Police spokesman said. "Turning or returning to crime will only make matters worse, that is a guarantee. We recognize some people find themselves in difficult circumstances but support is readily available and must be sought."

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Viral video shows grouper swallow shark off fisherman's reel in one terrifying gulp
2
Florida pageant mom fed daughter tapeworms to make her lose weight
3
Over $10,000 in marijuana seized from Virginia man named Stoner
4
Nearly 400 Starbucks customers in a row pay for next car's drink at Florida drive-through
5
U.S. Olympic wrestler cited for taking out deer with bow and arrow at Colorado car dealership
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback