.- The Diocese of Richmond has distributed tamper-proof money bags to parishes to ensure that the money donated during Sunday collections goes where it is intended.
The security measure follows accusations that a retired priest in central Virginia embezzled more than $600,000 from two parishes. A parish secretary was also recently arrested in Richmond after being shown on video allegedly slipping Sunday offerings into her purse, reported The Associated Press.
John Barrett, the diocesan finance director, told the AP that he recommended the safeguards for all parishes following those two incidents.
Barrett explained that collections should be counted by teams that include at least two unrelated people. Then, after the money is banked, a bookkeeper should compare the deposit slip with the total tallied by the counters, he said.
He said these measures also protect volunteers who handle parish money from false accusations of theft.