Is alcohol,..getting drunk a sin?


This topic has been widely discussed, with much confusion. The catechism of the Catholic Church states 2290,. That “the virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess either food, tobacco, or alcohol. Those incur grave guilt (mortal sin) who, by drunkenness or love of speed, endanger their own or others safety on the road, air or sea.” Mortal sin becomes when I am harming myself and others,… especially when I’m in public and endangering others with my vehicle. If you drink too much, in one night,. Or on occasion but are reasonable enough to stay home,… please stop beating on yourself,. But pray to God for the wisdom and grace to drink appropriately.


Getting sloppily drunk isn’t good. Neither is getting high. We should be in possession of our faculties. I like beer and wine and whiskey, but once I start feeling buzzed I stop. My one coworker is a functioning alcoholic :confused: He constantly has a hangover and drinking consumes his money! It’s not prudent to be constantly drunk :dizzy_face:


This is true.

Yet, merriness is also something to cherish with friends - which alcohol can abide. Yet, to drink to get drunk is problematic. To get drunk because you’re being merry, is a middle ground. Monks brew beer, nuns make wine, the Russians invented vodka, we Irish and English made whisk(e)y and mead, stout and lager. All good Christian civilizations have produced, or, carried on the spirit-making spirit of their predecessors. It serves a purpose. They unite us, bring us together, in good sense. Yet, like anything - excess is too much. We have the via media - the middle ground. The point at which your faculties because seriously inhibited, stop. To be always drunk all day and night is a grievous sin.

Trust in God and His Church. He has given us beer and whisky, wine and mead, vodka and gin, to partake of human love; not of human sin.

St Bridget wished to give God a lake full of beer!


I’ll take a 30 year aged single malt scotch. It must be chilled in the freezer and have been dredged from the heart of peat bog in the Scottish Moors :tumbler_glass::face_with_monocle:


One of the seven deadly sins.

Catholic Encylopedia, Gluttony

(From Lat. gluttire, to swallow, to gulp down), the excessive indulgence in food and drink. The moral deformity discernible in this vice lies in its defiance of the order postulated by reason, which prescribes necessity as the measure of indulgence in eating and drinking.

Delany, J. (1909). Gluttony. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.


I prefer mine sieved through the Tulloch tartan kilt into a sheep stomach and then drowned in ice from broken bergs at Orkney for three days. If you don’t mind. I’m sure you don’t.




I’m the pourer of course.


Having some ancient ancestors who were Jarls/Earls of Orkney, I can go with the Orkney thing - BUT personally I prefer a good strong Navy rum, with just a dash of diet coke.
Alas though, I have to keep off the booze these days because it doesn’t mix well with some of my medication.
I have only twice got a bit woozy, once on holiday, and once on my ‘Stag Night’.

Drink in moderation, and if you can’t, then avoid the stuff.

p.s. LoyalViews - I have walked past ‘Archibald Leach’/Cary Grant, several times, back in the days when he used to visit his aged mother who was in a nursing home in Clifton, Bristol, England. (When he was a student he was ‘kicked out’ of Clifton College for fooling about a little too much.)


Many years ago, drinking was nearly always an occasion to sin, until, in guilt, I would drown myself in drink to ease my feelings. I was raised in an area of the US where there were many harshly judgmental people, and from birth I have a socially stigmatized mild physical disability. I quit drinking overnight, but it wasn’t easy. I have been a member of a parish book-study group for several years. They have greatly cut back the availability of wine since the beginning. I did have a few drinks, but one time the next morning I felt sick from high BP. That ended it. I simply do not drink, and I do not have to present any reasons why. It should be enough reason that at bedtime I now take eleven pills.

Drinking alone at home may be the best way to avoid sinning while drunk, but then it gets into abuse of the body God gave you. And suicide while drunk is still suicide.

As for smoking, I vape because the nicotine helps some of my physical problems. Better than drugs like valium.


I think you have to look at the circumstances, reason for getting drunk, whether drinker intended to get drunk, maturity and age of the drinker, frequency of drinking, and whether drinker committed other sins or endangered self and others while drinking.

Getting mildly tipsy during a cheerful social evening spent in the house with family or a special romantic evening spent in the house with spouse, or having perhaps one too many at a celebration when you do not drive, doesn’t strike me as a sin if you’re not making a habit of immoderate use.


Right. The Catholic definition of the mortal sin of drunkenness is not equivalent to some Puritan definitions… it gets murky on these largely American forums, but look at traditionally Catholic cultures and the role wine and/or whiskey and/or beer plays: Ireland, Italy, France, Latin America.
Deliberately seeking to drink to the point that one can no longer discern right from wrong is a grave sin. For me as a big man, that’s a very significant amount of alcohol… and I should stop well before that point for health reasons.


My European friends, correct me if I’m wrong, but much drinking in European countries seems to me to take place in smaller villages and towns, or neighborhoods in cities, where one walks (or stumbles) home. It is a more American situation where people who live in far flung suburbs are more apt to drive home after a bout of drinking. As an American, I have a picture of neighborhood pubs and taverns in European countries, where people gather to socialize and drink, then walk to their nearby home.
Sorry if this is slightly off topic, but the phenomenon of drinking and driving (and the serious sin that accompanies it) seems to me to be more of an American problem. (Not to say is can’t happen in other countries).


The drinking and driving issue, in addition to the riots, rapes, injuries and deaths that happen when crowds of people drink en masse (think college campuses or Mardi Gras), are two major reasons why drinking is frowned upon in the US today. It’s primarily driven by liability.

Historically, the Puritans who were anti-drinking were our earliest settlers. This attitude persisted to some extent. The immigrant groups who came later such as Irish Catholics, German Catholics and Lutherans, and Italian Catholics, all had alcohol use as part of their culture, so alcohol use became another reason for the established US residents to hate on the newcomers. Also, until relatively recently, people thought drinking was a moral failure of the will to resist and saw not much difference between an alcoholic who has a disease, and a non-alcoholic who got drunk on occasion.


I never understood why people can’t take 5 minutes to plan their evening properly. If you’re not walking to a neighbourhood pub… plan on taking transit, Uber, a taxi, or arrange a ride… why is that such a difficult concept for so many people? Just blows me away.


Definitely can understand your sentiment. I will offer however that when I was a much younger man, I would go out on a Friday or Saturday night just to listen to some music, get something to eat, and enjoy others in a bar or tavern. As things would have it, I’d meet a good group of people, dance, drink, have a fun time and at the end of the evening, find myself over the limit and have to get in the car and drive home. (Fortunately never got a ticket or caused an accident). It wasn’t that I didn’t plan the evening, it’s that the evening didn’t go as planned.
A note: I have always had an ability to function reasonably well when drinking, and I only recall once or twice (in college and in the military) where I got drunk to the point of impaired speech or motor abilities. (Aside, I am a pretty big guy and my body type metabolizes alcohol well to the point where BAC is not overly excessive.)


One other thing to remember is that in many parts of the US, public transport is virtually non-existent, especially at night. Taxi service in many cities is very spotty, and while Uber has stepped in to fill the gap in a lot of places, a driver is not always available in every location and it also requires that a person have some knowledge of how to use the app, pay etc.

Plus, people who drove to a bar and then things didn’t go “as planned” may be reluctant to just leave their car if they need it for work in the morning, etc. They think they can “handle it” so they take a chance.


Or for that matter people tend more to drink in their homes or those of friends and family.

One aspect of the miracle of Cana has often struck me … Jesus is at a wedding where the guests have already drunk the place dry of wine, and so are hardly likely to have been deprived. Not only does he make more wine for people who had most likely already partaken of a fair amount, but he makes 120 GALLONS of the stuff.

He appears to have been anything but a Puritan. And remember He was even accused of being a drunkard, albeit wrongly. Hardly likely if He had been a teetotaller.


If you allow yourself to get to the point that you cannot make good decisions about what you do or say and possibly don’t remember then yes it is a sin. Also if you are to the point of possibly physically hurting another person then yes it’s a sin. Drinking in and of itself no, Jesus drank wine but He certainly didn’t get drunk and definitely didn’t encourage anyone else to do so.


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