You are probably here because you are discerning for the priesthood or a new convert or perhaps just curious about the Catholic faith. Whatever your reason, in this blog post, we will discuss if priests can drink alcohol.
Before we answer the question, let’s start first with what the Catechism has to say about drinking alcohol.
CCC 2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.
The Catechism clearly states that we Catholics can drink alcohol but not abuse it.
The Catholic Church allows drinking alcohol as long as it is in moderation.
If we choose to excessively drink then it would fall as drunkenness which is a sin.
Aside from drinking alcoholic beverages, the Church also warns us of abuse in other things. It could be food in case of gluttony, medicines, even sports, or playing video games. The point is, overindulging in these things can keep us away from doing our responsibilities which can be sinful.
Excessive drinking could result in poor judgment. It makes the drunk person become unstable emotionally. And when it happens, other sins could be committed such as lust, specifically fornication, adultery, having sexual thoughts; and violence to name a few.
Drunkenness is not exclusive to us, laity, it could also happen to the religious. Priests are no excuse. Therefore, moderation must always be observed.
Here are some of the biblical passages that talk about drunkenness.
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy.”
Apparently, in the bible, drunkenness is also condemned as a sin.
Priests can drink alcohol
Now that we know the Church’s stand on drinking alcohol, let’s proceed to discuss if it also applies to priests.
Can Priests drink alcohol?
Yes. Priests can drink alcohol. But, it must be in moderation. If not, he could fall into drunkenness which is a sin. As a shepherd, he must ensure that he is setting himself as a good example to his flock and therefore always do things in a responsible manner.
The Church allows us to enjoy things but also warns us of being abusive. As Catholics, we are supposed to balance different life aspects. We must be a proponent of moderation.
This is not only for us, the laity. Religious, such as priests, and nuns are included.
Certainly, priests can drink alcohol, but as to the manner, it should always be in moderation.