Destitutes sleep rough outside the church and beg for money during prayers, says British priest Fr Ray Blake in a blog post titled 'The Trouble With The Poor,' reports the London Telegraph.
They even deter some of his congregation from attending Mass, he adds.
Over the weekend the priest said that his point was that helping the needy was seldom a comfortable experience, but stressed that the Church had to respond to them.
The priest, who has served in his parish for 13 years, wrote with unvarnished candour: 'There is a secluded area between the church and our hall, a passage. Occasionally we find someone has got a few cardboard boxes together and has slept there and if it has been raining leaves a sodden blanket, [and] cardboard there to be cleaned up.'
He cites the example of a man who comes into the church, St Mary Magdalen’s in Brighton, and during silent prayers will pray aloud, saying: 'God, can you persuade the good people here to give to the poor; I am poor.'
Fr Blake writes: 'Unchecked he will take his cap off and have a collection. If they are not doing that they are ringing the door bell at every hour of the day and night, and they tell lies.
'They tell you their gran is dying in Southampton and they need the train fare, you give it to them and if you don’t find them drunk in the street they are back the next day and the other gran is dying in Hastings this time.'
Fr Blake insisted that he was not attacking the poor but making a point about the better-off having a duty to care for them. Speaking after the blog came to light, he said: 'The man who comes into my church and disturbs Mass is an irritating little b------. You can tell yourself you love them, but they do sometimes create difficulties.
'Either we can just simply wash our hands of them and say "this is another species of human being or something that’s not human," or we’ve got to get involved with them.'