Let my words not be misrepresented as a simplistic call for people to shoplift. The observation that shoplifting is the best option that some people are left with is a grim indictment of who we are. Rather, this is a call for our society no longer to treat its most vulnerable people with indifference and contempt. When people are released from prison, or find themselves suddenly without work or family support, then to leave them for weeks and weeks with inadequate or clumsy social support is monumental, catastrophic folly. We create a situation which leaves some people little option but crime.
Sometimes the demand for headlines can betray true meaning. This transcript of Fr Tim Jones’ sermon puts his comments in context. To me it says “Don’t steal from the poor ….. and if we fail to lift them up don’t condemn them if they steal from us …. let him that is without sin cast the first stone”