COLLECTION BOXES are down on funds in the Portuguese Catholic Church.
The economic crisis affecting the country, unemployment and the euro currency are, according to many parish priests and church rectors, the main reasons why church funds have plummeted 25 per cent in three years.
Exceptions to the rule are the sanctuaries of Fátima and São Bento da Porta Aberta in Gerês. However, even in these places the pinch is being felt. In Fátima, donations and collections fell from 9.9 million euros in 2002 to 9.1 million euros in 2005, representing a decrease of nine per cent.
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