Father Tim Jones, the Parish priest of York advised his congregation in a pre-Christmas sermon that it is okay for the poor to shoplift- as long as they are starving. It is important to note he advised the poor to steal what they need for as long as they will need it and as long as it's not money.
"Let me make this clear, this is to all the stingy corporations of the world-you know yourselves" said Father Tim.
"stealing is bad, very bad indeed but we know the economy, we know how Scroogey society can be to the scroungy and no matter how well intentioned my motives are, a vicar's salary is just not enough to donate everywhere and with the lack of a trade union recognition, negotiating for a pay rise makes it as difficult as hitting a parish wall with a hymn book and expecting a dent" he added.
The sermon was well received by his parishioners who promised to follow up on the brilliance of their shepherd, and generally the world.
" i think father Tim has a good point. I just came out of prison last week for purse snatching- i really needed the money to buy food" said Chuck an ex-prisoner who sat through the whole sermon without a single wink.
" now i know better than stealing money to buy food" he added with a wink.
Not surprising, there was equal opposition from people whom Father Tim described as 'people who do not give the arc light or similar' and thus wouldn't hear none of their views but promised to take heed of their concerns.
But surprisingly also, was much of the disdain came from Africa, the most impoverished and vulnerable continent in the world.
"this only goes to show the west is losing it and it's time for the African church to take over" said Pastor Victor Tumuusime of the Repentance Now Evangelical Ministries in Kampala, Uganda.
"first it was a gay [male] bishop, then another gay [female] bishop and now this. This is a re-writing of the ten commandment and Moses must be rolling i his grave as i speak" he added.
As if by coincidence, the Ugandan parliament is debating a law criminalizing some 'strange and unnatural' aspects of gay people, a move which naturally, has been condemned by the west as a violation of fundamental human rights.
Wal-mart UK who had a feeling Father Tim deliberately targeted them to negatively affect their end of year bottom line described his sermon as 'one psalm short of a sermon' and accused him of preaching out of context from either the GITA or some other religious book they know little about.
However father Tim got sympathies and support from unexpected but not necessarily unfamiliar quarters.
The BBA[British Bankers Association] praised him for his boldness and risk taking attitude.
"these are some of the sought after qualities in the industry and..what the hell stealing is so overrated" said BBA in a statement which was later withdrawn.