Mexican priest warns sects do not have a right to get rich off of God

.- The rector of the Cathedral of León, Father Jose Salome Lemus, warned this week that no religious institution has the right to profit by demanding donation quotas and taking advantage of people’s good will.

Speaking to local reporters, Father Salome said, “Any group which professes a faith…must not take advantage” of the needs and circumstances of the people.  He was alluding to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a sect from Brazil that has now established a presence in Mexico.

Local media reports that the sect, known for its slogan “Stop Suffering,” demands its followers make “sacrifices” of more than $100 for the “Great Campaign of Israel,” a crusade in which members offer their prayer intentions to overcome their illnesses.

Father Salome said that while “everyone is saddened by the problem of illness” and other problems people suffer, “it is not ethically or morally correct” that certain groups take advantage of people and demand money, “putting religion in the middle.”

He explained that if a person wishes to thank God for His kindness through tithing, he should do so by “helping the sick and those in need.”  “It doesn’t always have to be an offering of money,” he said, but if a believer wishes to give, it should be “according to his means,” and not according to somebody’s minimum amount.

Lastly, he said the authenticity of this “church” was in doubt, because “its founders do not act like Christians very much, and I can say that they do not act like Catholics at all.”

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