Foreign News: Church Rats

Like the poor, the church rats of Paris, who steal from parish poor boxes, have always been there; some have prospered enough to retire to houses in the suburbs. But recently their numbers and depredations have increased beyond tolerance.

To keep the rats within bounds, the Paris police set up traps. They checked on glue shops, where the thieves got materials with which to fish money from the church boxes. They watched bistros, where the thieves exchanged small coins for big bills.

Last week they caught a hitherto respected layman—gentle, white-mustached Henri Gotti, beadle of Sacré Coeur, who wore his plumed hat and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!