Over the Limit

A priest (unnamed) coming off the Milan-Turin motorway was stopped by a police officer. Tested for blood alcohol, the cleric was found to be 0.03 grams per liter past the legal drinking limit.

His plea: he was required to consume the Precious Blood at his four Masses that day.

The police verdict: revocation of driver license.

A few liturgist questions … Are Italian clergy routinely presiding at four Masses a Sunday? Are Italian sacristans routinely this generous with their preparations for Mass? Would there be no deacons or acolytes or lay Communion ministers to assist? Does the Church need to appoint designated drivers for its clergy on Sunday afternoons?

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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6 Responses to Over the Limit

  1. Art says:

    A lightheated post.

    But if what we were taught during the “Don’t Drive Drunk” lecture in high school is close to true, this priest would have had to consume something on the order of 48 ounces of wine in four hours to reach the legal limit in the United States. And that is assuming that his four Masses were back-to-back.

    Don’t know the law in Italy, nor am I aware of the alcohol content of Italian altar wine. But his excuse seems pretty lame.

  2. Anne says:

    My observation while in Italy….Wine flows freely of course, it’s part of the culture, so I was surprised at how few took communion from the Cup. However there were other ministers, ordinary and extraordinary to consume the remaining consecrated wine. Something funny about this story.

  3. Liam says:

    I suggest the priest is telling a lie in the form of a partial truth to create a less brutta figura, which is a more important social concept in Italy than in the US.

  4. Gavin says:

    Art is correct, no doubt. A drunk with a clever excuse.

  5. I can understand that at the first of the four Masses this priest consecrated too much wine and may have not had assistance in consuming it. One would expect, however, that he would learn from that error in pouring and not repeat it at subsequent liturgies.

  6. Jimmy Mac says:

    If his story is true, he needs to get a driver.

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