Has security come to this?

Monday, 22 December 2003, 11:53 AM EST

The Trappist monk’s dismay was deep. His sorrow was so great it made me sad to listen to his story. He had been forced, he explained, to stop using e-mail to carry out his work because it had become impossible to stem the onslaught of spam, especially pornographic spam.

The result, explained Brother Barnabas Brownsey, Ordinis Cisterciensis Strict Observance, manager of the business that supports Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Va., is that sales of the abbey’s famous fruitcake have suffered. In turn, the abbey’s income suffers, reducing the amount of financial support available for the monks’ good works.

Even though these men have taken a vow of poverty, it still costs money for them to live, and there are expenses connected with their work. When the money from fruitcake sales decreases, the monks must find other ways to support themselves, which leaves less time for them to aid those in their community.

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