Priest going to bar, casino, race track?

do you think it looks bad for a secular diocesan priest to go to a bar, casino, or race track track on his free time?

I don’t think there is a yes or no answer to this.

I have gone out for drinks with our parish priest. I’ve also taken him out to dinner at the local casino, and yes, we each did a little gambling.

Now, I don’t think it is appropriate for a priest to sit at a bar all night getting hammered, and I don’t think it is appropriate for him to gamble constantly.

But, I don’t think they have to sit in the rectory all the time either.

No...those things in and of them self are not sinful. Its if you commit sin while you are there. Maybe he is a postive witness there..... Didn't Jesus hang out with sinners?

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:3, topic:215656"]
No...those things in and of them self are not sinful. Its if you commit sin while you are there. Maybe he is a postive witness there..... Didn't Jesus hang out with sinners?

[/quote]

Good point - I am sure there is a lot of good that a priest could do at these venues. I can see no reason why he should not attend such, providing that he remembers he is a Catholic priest and there is a remote potential for scandal depending on his behaviour. Anyway, I think probably his bishop could guide him as to the correctness of attending such venues if he has doubts. He has promised obedience to his bishop.

TS

I meant the question more for myself if I discerned the diocesan priesthood…because I could see myself doing these things in my own free time every now and then.

If you did discern the diocesan priesthood, and God’s blessings if you do, you could ask the Vocations Director in the diocese who I am sure would be able to give you accurate answers.

TS

Priests are human beings who live among their flock and enjoy the same social activities as the rest of us (minus the dating, etc). I would be very wary of a parish priest who could not enjoy our wonderful world. From what I hear from young people who are discerning, the psychological interviews and testing that takes place before young men enter the seminary or young women enter the convent will most likely weed out the anti-social candidates. :rolleyes:

[quote="notredame_999, post:1, topic:215656"]
do you think it looks bad for a secular diocesan priest to go to a bar, casino, or race track track on his free time?

[/quote]

  • Drinking in moderation is fine. Jesus even made more wine appear for his first public miracle.

  • Gambling in moderation is fine. Don't several Knights of Columbus council have/host bingo evenings?

  • One can go to the race track and not gamble, but re-read point number two anyways.

Having had drinks in a bar with priests, bishops and even a cardinal at national meetings and conventions, I can tell you that it is perfectly acceptable, but I guess if a priest was sitting in a bar alone getting smashed that would be a problem.

I don't gamble but I do know a priest or two that vacation in Las Vegas often.

[quote="notredame_999, post:5, topic:215656"]
I meant the question more for myself if I discerned the diocesan priesthood....because I could see myself doing these things in my own free time every now and then.

[/quote]

Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself? If you do discern and determine that the priesthood is your vocation, you may find that you might not even want to do the same activities you do now once you are ordained. If you find these activities are an occasion of sin for you, you need to address that now, regardless of whether you are discerning the priesthood or not.

[quote="TiggerS, post:4, topic:215656"]
Good point - I am sure there is a lot of good that a priest could do at these venues. I can see no reason why he should not attend such, providing that he remembers he is a Catholic priest and there is a remote potential for scandal depending on his behaviour. Anyway, I think probably his bishop could guide him as to the correctness of attending such venues if he has doubts. He has promised obedience to his bishop.

TS

[/quote]

Actually, when it comes to what diocesan deacons, priests and bishops do with their time when they're off-duty the diocesan bishop has very little to say about it. Remember, these are not consecrated men. They are secular men. They live as secular men do.

Obviously, if the local priest is causing a true scandal, there is a problem. What I mean by a true scandal is doing something that is totally inappropriate, like getting drunk at the bar or acting inappropriately. It also depends on what kind of bar he goes to. There are bars that are inappropriate for any moral person. There are others that have good music, a nice show, sports, games and so forth.

When we were students in Europe they had the pubs. This were places where folks stopped for their suds on the way home, including the parish priest and the local vet. They were not places where you just sat and drank all night. Nor were they places for drunks. They were places for the working man and woman to cool off.

I guess I'm not sure what kind of bar the OP is thinking about.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[quote="notredame_999, post:1, topic:215656"]
do you think it looks bad for a secular diocesan priest to go to a bar, casino, or race track track on his free time?

[/quote]

Yes. Yes, I do.

And you claim to be so concerned with the messages of Fatima? Ha!

Read them again!:tsktsk:

[quote="HCC, post:12, topic:215656"]
Yes. Yes, I do.

And you claim to be so concerned with the messages of Fatima? Ha!

Read them again!:tsktsk:

[/quote]

I wasn't aware of any messages at Fatima against watching a horse or dog race. Further I don't seem to recall anything against bars or gambling. Perhaps you could enlighten us on how these activities in moderation are sinful or spoken against at Fatima.

I agree with this 100%. Especially in casino’s; I often see people there, sitting all night on their own with their bucket of coins. They could use a hand on the shoulder and a good conversation, I think. It sometimes makes me sad, there’s a lot of loneliness in casino’s.

I can see no reason why he should not attend such, providing that he remembers he is a Catholic priest and there is a remote potential for scandal depending on his behaviour.

This is important indeed.

Jesus,our Lords peace be whit You.
A priest is only human,I have a call to priesthood witch I can’t use cause to age and illness,depression and panic-atacks and ten years married,divorced 1994,and I therfore look at my behavior a bit moore close I think. I don’t drink,and I don’t play any games where money is involved in it,but IF I would be a priest and do those things You wrote,I would not be a bit less priest then if I would not do them. As long as a priest service his flock and do not sin,I see nothing wrong in that. And You need to know that I am pretty old-fashion. What he do on a saturday evening has nothing to do whit what he do on sunday at mass. As long as he don’t sin,all is OK. I would not do the things You said he did,but who am I to judge? And why would I don’t do go to a bar or something? I see no fun or use in it,but I don’t see it as a sin AS LONG AS HE DON’T GO AGAINST ANYTHING HE AS A PRIEST CAN’T DO.

[quote="notredame_999, post:1, topic:215656"]
do you think it looks bad for a secular diocesan priest to go to a bar, casino, or race track track on his free time?

[/quote]

well it will certainly look bad to anyone who habitually looks at every minor action of people he sees looking for wrong-doing or evil motive and has a judgemental habit of mind that typically looks for the worst in everyone. Is everyone else at the casino, bar, or race track engaged in immoral behavior? No? then what is the rationale for assuming the priest is doing something wrong?

If your primary concern, as someone discerning the priesthood, is anything other than imitating Jesus Christ, growing in holiness, the distribution of the sacraments, teaching the truths of our holy faith and the salvation of souls, I would say go join Green Peace. We don't need more secular priests with drinking and gambling problems.

Where is father? Oh he's down at the dog betting tracks havin' a few cold ones. Yeah, we definitely need more priests like that!

Notredame_999, you are all over the map. Eastern Orthodox Church, SSPX, Fr Gruener, diocesean, EF Only, drinking, gambling, time wasting...you need a good spiritual director. I'm beginning to think you're a troll.:shrug:

lol No I can assure you I am not a troll. I just enjoy Catholic answers, maybe a little too much. I admit I am all over the map…but so what?

I guess I would describe myself as an eastern christian sympathizer who sides with them on mandatory clerical celibacy, while at the same time sympathizing with Arch. Marcel Lefebvre who lead the fight against a liberal vatican II and a protestant inspired mass…while at the same time I believe he was wrong to consecrate those bishops in 1988. I do support Fr. Gruner. Make sense?

Quite frankly, I don’t know if there is a seminary who would take me with these views.

I asked this question about going to bars/casinos/horse tracks IN MODERATION because to be honest I don’t know if I could go the rest of my life without walking into one.

I believe that the question has to be answered with common sense. Yes, I do believe that God is a God of common sense. First, we have to look at the financial facts. Even though diocesan priests get paid a salary, they also have expenses, pay taxes and have to prepare for their future. Unlike priests who are also religious, a diocesan priest is on his own once he retired or he becomes disabled. The dioceses in the USA usually have an insurance package and a retirement package. However, that income is not going to cut it with the economy the way it is. Priests, like any other citizen, have to povide what these packages don't provide. Then there are the expenses of everyday living. There are expenses that are part of the benefit of serving a diocese. The diocese covers those. It does not cover anything beyond the basics. I am having a hard time seeing how a diocesan priest can afford to habitually go to bars or gambling. I know priests who have hobbies or play certain sports (i.e. golf or hicking) and they have to cover that out of their salary. They make great sacrifices for these little pleasures, unless the have money from another source, such as teaching or income from some family business.

If I understood the question correctly, it's about diocesan priests. I had thought about religious, but the answer is not the same. Religious have no personal income. Those who may go to a bar or a track, etc would go as a guest of a relative or friend and this happens only with permission.

Another point here is what kind of bar are we talking about here? There are bars that no moral human being should be visiting, regardless of his state in life. Then there are other places that are decent. People go to sports bars, because they enjoy a good game with friends and a beer. There are places that have live music or acting, though I'm not sure if those are really considered bars. I know that they sell alcohol. These are places that can certainly be frequented by God-fearing people, as long as they behave accordingly.

The gambling is a little more tricky. Again, I know that it's great fun to go watch a race. Though I must admit that I have never been to one. I don't like horse racing. Even if I were to go to watch, it's not a sport that I enjoy. I guess some people do enjoy it. Where I was going with this is that I don't know many priests who make enough money to gamble, unless we're talking about a card game at the family kitchen table where you play for nicles and dimes.

The whole idea of gambling and drinkng is too broad of an area to answer it appropriately on a forum. I would have to say that something that is with family and friends and will not lead to financial or moral ruin is acceptable. It's quite another to make it one's only source of enjoyment.

That being said, I do have some concerns when someone tells me that they cannot imagine abstaining from these forms of entertainment for the rest of their lives. Whether one is a priest, religious or the father of a family, one has to be prepared and willing to give up whatever it takes to be the person that one is called to be. I can speak from personal experience. I enjoy sports. I played many in my youth. As a religious, I can't afford to tickets to games. That does not mean that I have not gone since I entered religious life. I have a wonderful brother who also loves sports. If he's in town and there is a good game, he'll invite me and I'm greatful. I do go and I enjoy it very much too. But if I did not have a brother who invited me to a game once a year or every other years, as is more the case, I would not say that I can't live without it.

I hope that I'm making some kind of sense here.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[quote="notredame_999, post:18, topic:215656"]
I guess I would describe myself as an eastern christian sympathizer who sides with them on mandatory clerical celibacy, while at the same time sympathizing with Arch. Marcel Lefebvre who lead the fight against a liberal vatican II and a protestant inspired mass............while at the same time I believe he was wrong to consecrate those bishops in 1988. I do support Fr. Gruner. Make sense?

[/quote]

No, it doesn't make sense because some of what you state have views/beliefs that can not be reconciled.

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