Are priests allowed to drink alcohol?

People always seem to buy their parish priest a bottle of port or sherry for example at Christmas.

If a priest is needed for last rights in an emergency at any time and cannot drink and drive; surely he can never drink?

Or does he contact the next priest in the diocese to say he is having a few drinks?


Is this a joke, or are you actually being serious?


He could ask somebody to drive him there.

You could say the same thing about a medical doctor or about anyone else whose job might require them to be on call 24/7.


Maybe Robin could drive Fr Batman’s Batmobile . . .:innocent:


True but the priest is on call 365 of the year isn’t he?

I didn’t drink when my wife was pregnant just in case I needed to take her to hospital.

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I can usually have a drink or two and still be safe to drive. Mileage may vary. It’s a matter of prudence. A priest who can’t hold his liquor or who shouldn’t try should probably not drink. But that goes for anyone.



Actually, any of us could be called out for an emergency at any time. As Father said, you have to know your limits and be prudent.


It must be different in America, you can’t have two drinks and drive in England.

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In the US, most laws are set up based on blood alcohol content. If I am a larger person (full disclosure: I am), then I could have two drinks and be well under the legal limit.

I’m not sure how a law specifying “two drinks” could even be enforced, really. The effect of two beers is far different than the effect of two double pours of bourbon. And the effect of either would be far different on a 6’1, 250 pound offensive lineman than on a 5’2, 90 pound ballerina.


I dont think priest are required to be on 24/7…they might want to be but they are allowed to rest.

No priest I know, and I know quite a few, is “on call” 24/7/365.

Most priests in the US get at least one day off a week, and in my diocese they get 4 weeks of paid vacation and 1 week for retreat.

You have started a couple of threads like this- can priests drink, what do they do for fun, etc.

Most priests are “secular”, the make promises of chastity and obedience to their Bishop and his successors, but they are also men, who have hobbies, friends and lives. Not sure why you would think they are any different than any other human being.


I think it’d be wise for them not to drink to the point of being unable to drive, right? The church teaches that drunkenness is a sin, afterall.

Regarding the prudence piece, I think that makes sense. I never drink when my husband isn’t at home in case I have to drive the kids to the hospital for some reason (which has happened!) No medicine that could make me drowsy either. Being an adult is serious work!

This said, I don’t see a reason not to give a priest alcohol as a gift. He could have a little bit! I expect priests enjoy a gift of something like that. Afterall they can’t exactly go buy it themselves could they? I think that’d Look sort of tacky to be spending collection-plate money on booze…

Priests do get paid and have their own money.
They do not use collection plate funds for their own personal use.


Would it be somehow better if he smoked weed? What if the priest is sick? Hospitalized? On (well deserved) vacation?

Christ drank such that He was called a winebibber, a drunkard. He commanded the drinking of His Blood, which contains the accidents of wine.

Have you ever asked your priest?


That’s not strictly true, it depends on your blood alcohol level here too - so it would depend on what you’re drinking, how big you are, your gender and what you have had to eat that day.

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Why would priests not be free to do any morally neutral thing that any other adult person is free to do?


No, priests have days off, they have vacations, they have times of retreat.

Any person who is on call 365 every year would burn out so quickly that it would be a real shame.


Correct me if I’m wrong Father, but I don’t think it would be wrong for a secular priest, on a special occasion, to have more than “a drink or two”. Surely priests don’t need to be “on” literally 24/7 365 days a year.

In general, if one truly had to get somewhere and couldn’t drive, for whatever reason, there are always taxis…

A priest is free to spend his salary and his stipends on any moral thing. I’d suggest taking your priest to dinner or inviting him for an event, get to know that they are human beings.


Of course it wouldn’t be wrong. Obviously not to excess, but it’s fine to have more than a drink or two if the situation is, let us say, more festive. Prudence and diligence are our friends.

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