Church & Bingo?

By: Jonny Gamesmith

When casino player David Edwards put down his $8, got his Powerball tickets and looked upon the god almighty, gosh, did that pay off!!! With $73.7 million in his pocket, Edwards couldn't be filled with more gratitude towards lottery, bingo and the wonderful world of gambling!

Believe it or not, to many evangelical Christians including Catholics, bingo is jeeringly known as their eighth sacrament. What is important to note though is that the Catholic Church teaches that betting becomes ethically intolerable as soon as it denies gamblers of wealth essential for the deprived.

Hundreds of churches and synagogues in the New York area witness the events of weekly bingo games, raffles and funded casino game evenings in their own halls and centers. Although the theme behind these online bingo nights is socialization and meeting new people, the underlying principle is still gambling. People are so fanatic that they ever take pictures of St. Cayetano to their rural community social halls, exercise rooms on bingo nights, hoping that this will bring them some good fortune.

St. Cayetano, a supporter of bread, labor and the jobless was a pastor in Naples who founded the Bank of Naples. People who desired a good turn would bet him their rosary or a holy candle, but St. Cavetano always proved them wrong and won the bet.

Bingo is a reliable source for most city churches to cover up the cost of most services. According to news sources, approximately $75,000 annually isn't strange for several big parishes. Where some parishes are benefiting from Bingo, there are others who deny its popularity.

It was learnt from Dennis Keane, chairman of the archdiocese's Inter-Parish Financing Commission that bingo is losing ground and few parishes have slashed their bingo agenda almost partially.

It has also been noted that bingo revenues in the archdiocese have fallen to 25% in the past five years -- to $2.2 million from a peak of $3.2 million. The reason for this is mainly attributed to the reduction of volunteers to run bingo games.

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