The Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani, in Kentucky, the oldest monastery in the country, once home for the late prolific writer Thomas Merton, is in the news this week. A grand jury has indicted an accountant, who worked there, and his wife, each on 348 counts of stealing. The couple is accused of embezzling up to a million dollars over six years from the monastery’s thriving mail order business selling fudge, cheese and fruitcake.
The monastery does not expect to recover any of the missing money. That’s apparently been spent. But the Abbey is not broke, thanks to the royalties it gets from Thomas Merton’s books.