Can Dirty Money Turn Clean?

The Mexican bishops mostly say no, if the money comes from narcotics, and other grave evils. But it hasn’t always been unanimous.

Bishop Ramon Godinez Flores of Aguascalientes in 2005:

(A)ll money can be transformed just as a corrupted person can also be transformed.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City this past Sunday:

The money that comes from narcotics trafficking is ill-gotten and therefore can’t be cleaned through charity projects.

Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference, last week:

(The drug trafficking gangs) are generous and often they provide money for building a church or chapel. In the communities where they work (drug kingpins) will install electricity, establish communication links, highways (and) roads.

So what do you think? To what extent should the Church care from where cash donations and other gifts come their way?

More relevant, does it help matters if religious leaders are open to the possibility of conversion of sinners–acknowledged murderers and thieves? Or is the cost to the faithful and society at large too great in terms of lost credibility or discouragement?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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