I am one of those who believes that the internet has a greater good value than bad.
Possibly a strange comment to make when one observes the tidal wave (not tsunami) of filth and depravity that is spawned by the world wide web.
But the internet has given me (at least) contact with a parish that has no boundaries, that contains people who hold the same views as myself, and those people have opened up to me the hospitality that was once shown by Our Lord to sinners.
Forgiveness, love, compassion and companionship.
Pretty good, really.
But, yesterday, I received a series of messages from a priest whom I believed was a Facebook friend.
Alas, it was a scam.
The "priest" claimed he was on a special retreat in Canada. OK, that's believable.
But, in the course of many conversations he revealed that it was ultra cold in Canada with temperatures minus 5 degrees.
A small warning bell began to ring. I have never been to Canada but, I think that - 5 degrees is probably a tad on the warm side for January.
To cut a long story short he asked for money to aid an adopted Ugandan boy who was undergoing kidney surgery.
Bingo! The penny dropped.....but not completely.
This priest, I should add, is a well known and much loved traditional 'other Christ'.
I was almost sucked into the scam. I phoned him up at his UK base......and, heavens to Betsy, I spoke to him who was, supposedly, on retreat at a Canadian monastery.
End of story.
The priest has asked that I publicise this as much as possible.
He also asked me to 'put the fear of God' into the fraud by letting him know that Interpol was on the case.
I was pleased to do this but not before I had dangled a possible contribution of £5000 before his eyes.
That prospect excited him greatly.....and then I gave him the bad news!