Ill-advised money-changing down at the temple is being contemplated by Scotland's Catholic bishops.
Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti has instructed the keepers of the church's treasures to see what they can sell to raise £1.5m.
Like an illustrated book of prayers of psalms that belonged to Mary Queen of Scots. Or Bonnie Prince Charlie's silver snuff box. The Holyrood Silver – a piece of altar kit gifted by King James VII – may be safe because it might fetch only £20k.
I can see the point of Conti & Co Ltd having a cash-in-the-attic moment if it is for a good cause. Feeding the poor, nurturing children, campaigning for peace and justice.
The £1.5m is to be spent none of these. It is needed to plug a hole in the budget for a £4m administrative headquarters for the Scottish Catholic church.
The heritage is to be flogged off to build the bishops their own wee Vatican on the south side of Glasgow.
It is a rerun of Marcinkus Mansions, the suite of offices for the Glasgow archdiocese which were unofficially named after Bishop Paul of that ilk, the infamous papal banker.
The Catholic church is not short of property. It has so many buildings it allowed one of Scotland's most interesting pieces of architecture, St Peter's seminary at Cardross, to fall into rack and ruin.
If the bishops feel the need for more palatial premises than their present HQ in Airdrie, there is bound to be some suitable under-used building in their property portfolio.
Or they could wake up and smell the communion wine and realise that times are tough. With all those elaborate ecclesiastical outfits, there is scope for cloth to be cut.
If a vow of poverty is not an option, the bishops may consider a revival of a medieval method of paying for lavish Vatican improvements. The sale of indulgences for the remission of sin. A large contribution to the building fund and you spend a lot less time in purgatory. It worked for Pope Leo X.
Or plan B, which is a second collection at mass so the faithful poor can foot the bill.
I have this other idea where the bishops just rent. They go ecumenical and help Rangers FC out of a hole by paying for some office space at Ibrox.
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