If you haven't read that rule...here's what results when you use it to give a definition of ministry...as we did on our homepage.
Now embezzlement means that someone in charge of funds not their own...stealthily converts those funds to their own personal use.
They steal the money.
So church embezzlement...the converting of church funds to someone's personal use is not ministry...no matter how good the person's intention was in taking the money.
People can commit sins and crimes with perfectly good intentions. The Robin Hood school of ministry...steal from the rich to give to the poor...is just another way of saying...the end justifies the means.
That's a morally risky ethical code.
Here's an example of church embezzlement done with the best intentions to help the poor.
So what's wrong with this picture? Is anything wrong with it?
There are a number of boundary problems in this scenario.
So his actions...well-intentioned no doubt...cannot be justified on the grounds that he only took the funds to help some poor people.
It is one thing to give the parish funds away to people outside the parish...
It's another thing for Father Andy to send out a plea to his parishioners for donations for less fortunate people in other parishes...or to ask his parishioners if he may use some of the parish funds for such charity work.
Taking property that does not belong to you...and giving it away at your discretion...is not christian charity. It is a form of socialism, often called Christian socialism, which is a contradiction in terms, and violates the Commandment against stealing.
You can go from church embezzlement to professional boundaries.
Or you can...