If we know that greed is one of the seven deadly sins, what about lust for German cars? A Lisbon priest has received a four-and-a-half-year suspended jail sentence for aggravated breach of trust and embezzlement, having taken his parishioners' money to buy no fewer than 19 automobiles.
Although Antònio Teixeira is known among his flock as a particularly kind and generous clergyman, always ready to help and support all in need, his spending habits tell a different story. Between 2011 to 2017, the priest spent an estimated 420,000 euros to buy 19 cars — including three Mercedes and 12 Volkswagens.
Portuguese daily Jornal de Notícias reports that Teixera repeatedly helped himself to the faithful's alms, stealing from the bank accounts of the two parishes he preached at, in Lisbon and Cascais. The priest also sold Church objects: candle sticks, ruby, sapphire and emerald ornamented chalices, and even religious paintings depicting, yes, baby Jesus.
In addition to the suspended jail sentence, the clergyman faces a 178,955-euro fine. Fast cars and fast money remain the currency of the devil.