Religion: Costly Basilica

All churches must keep books as well as the Book. One of the odder financial problems besetting the Roman Catholic Church came to light in Lourdes last week. The occasion: a stern message to his flock from Bishop Pierre-Marie Théas of Tarbes and Lourdes, a churchman who has long battled commercialization of France's famed shrine (TIME, July 21). This time Bishop Théas' anger was aimed at Lourdes' own Roman Catholic Information Center: "Henceforth Catholics must, as a matter of conscience, abstain from membership, gifts or subscriptions [to the center]. The presence on its...

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