To what extent is drunkenness acceptable?


In the past I have been slightly tipsy and then on one occasion I have been so drunk that I was actually cautioned by the police for being drunk and disorderly (This was quite a long time ago :slight_smile:).

St Paul says that drunkenness is a sin.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury,
Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects,
Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. "(Galatians 19-21)

But I thought the Church had nothing against drinking alcohol. Pubs always used to be placed near the parish church (in the very old days), and some religious orders still make alcoholic drinks.

I am young(ish) and sometimes I like to have a drink or two. I am not ashamed to say it; I do not think there is anything wrong with it. I don’t drink until I am paralytic.

Are there guidelines within the Church? How much alcohol are we allowed to drink without sinning?


You are equating drinking alcohol with drunkenness. Of course the Church has nothing whatsoever against drinking alcohol. But like all things, it must be done in moderation. Drunkenness is a sin. Different people will get drunk on different amounts of alcohol. You need to know yourself and what your limit is. If you start to feel tipsy, you’ve gone too far. One suggestion that works for many people is make sure to drink a lot of water at the same time as a glass of alcohol.
For me, I draw the limit at 1 glass of wine or 1 beer. That’s it. But I am a petite woman, not a heavy set man who might be able to hold much more without any sign of drunkenness.


The Catechism gives us a nice clear line:

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.


Scripture is clear. St. Paul says things of note on the subject and it is also addressed in the OT.


The grave sin of drunkenness is when one drinks to the point that one can no longer discern right from wrong.
Enjoying a few drinks and feeling a little tipsy, assuming you are not avoiding responsibilities or driving etc, is not sinful.


You sound like an Aussie, mate.
Don’t drink to excess. Don’t get para and lose your senses. Don’t get drunk. It’s ok to enjoy a beer or wine.


Drinking alcohol is fine (1 Timothy 5:23, the wedding at Canann).
Drunkenness is not.



In the book of Acts when people accused the Apostles of being drunk, how did the Apostles respond? Did they say “We are not drunk, we are Christians and Christians do not do that!!!”


They said “It is too early in the morning to be drunk”.


I find that there are many questions regarding “How close can I get to the line without sinning” on many different topics, not just drinking.

I had an alcoholic mother who had a problem with addictions. That wasn’t her plan, what she dreamed of when she grew up. And yet she did not want to stop her drinking even with a family. It was ugly enough that I made the choice not to drink. This is the gift I give first to myself, to my friends, to my family. Have you considered that not drinking could be a gift? To be present to the friends you are with. Have you offered to love them by being the designated driver for the night? Make sure everyone get home safely? Do you think that serving your friends in such a way, loving them in this way, will bring a blessing onto yourself? This is what love does. Honor God in your singleness, in your recreation, with your friends.You can chose to be a light of Christ, of moderation, of serving others. There are no regrets there. Thank you for coming on here and asking this important question. God bless you.


If you don’t se any problems with drinking, you might end up like the millions of alcoholics on this earth who thought the same. My dad died an alcoholic, and he didn’t start drinking until he was around fifty.


From the point of view of one who doesn’t drink,not by virtue but because I do not like it, it is unbearable to sit and listen to people who are drunk. Counting minutes and seconds to leave the place ,and needless to say,the designated driver ,always.
The nonsense a person is able to utter when drunk is undescribable.
Aside from the fact that it causes real damage,and turns out to be the highest cause of youth accidents when driving where I live,it boggles my mind as to what is the " fun" of getting drunk.
As an observer,it is almost pathetic. And as one who has had to pick underage drunk kids a couple of times, very painful.
What is the “fun” of overdrinking,exceeds me really.

Anyway,Little lady has already posted about what the Church says


When drinking even not to excess puts you in a near occasion of sin or is the cause of you losing your state of grace this should give you your own sense of what your bounderies should be. If you mix up your abilities with your ambitions in terms of what you can drink before your no longer able to keep your feet from slipping off the right path then it is either time to knock it on the head or impose a limit on yourself that won’t imped your spiritual life. That how I look at it any ways


That’s only one line.

Getting hammered while following safety practices isn’t okay.

In general, northern drinking cultures (Ireland, England, Germany, Scandinavia, Finland, Russia, etc.) are problematic with Tradition because they tend to drink large volumes of alcohol at once.

Canada and USA also tend to be northern drinking cultures, although USA is somewhat mixed, at least for now.

Heavy drinking is steadily rising in the US. It’s all part of the “bread and circuses” of the 21st century: people increasingly need to jolt themselves through pain or pleasure in order to feel alive, and that is because of an underpinning lack of purpose in their life.


What is the purpose of the alcohol consumption? The buzz? You should seek that from the Holy Spirit. To relax? Many non-alcoholic ways to do that. Prayer being one of the best. To socialize? Is something lacking in your psychological makeup that you need to cede control to the bottle?

I love the Blood of Christ - even though I had zero alcohol for 43 years. It killed my brother, cousin, aunt and grandfather. So, I stopped drinking cold turkey at 20. Christ’s blood is an entirely different realm.

Same with weed. Medicinal? To a certain extent, yes. But smoking a bowl and eating a bag of Cheetos cannot be right with the Lord.

  1. You do not need a reason not to drink.
  2. You cannot be an alcoholic unless you drink.

Words that I lived by.


Alcohol is a funny thing, some people can take it or leave it others (like me) find it really difficult to stop drinking once I have started. I have been sober for 2 years (17th July 2016) and I don’t regret it. Sometimes I think I would like a glass of wine, but I know I won’t be able to stop until I have finished the bottle.

Some people can have a couple of drinks and are fine. Others get silly and often do things they regret when drunk. (drunk texting, inappropriate comments on facebook, online shopping and more serious things)

Some churches have wine or beer at bible study or men and women’s groups that go to the pub.

I guess its a case of knowing where your limits are. Drinking alcohol isn’t wrong but being drunk maybe is.



It was just a question. Most people have answered it without making any assumptions. I wanted to know was drinking wrong since some passages seem to condemn it while others say its fine. And, although I didn’t know what the CCC said I knew the Church accepted it to an extent.
Since you bring it up, I can’t drive for medical reasons.

I have known several alcoholics. I am not one thank God. I can - and have - gone months without drinking alcohol. If I had good reason to I could give it up completely no problem.


No, I’m British but I think we’re pretty much equal :grinning:

Aussie’s get the reputation though.


Some of the worst people I’ve met for drunkenness are Catholic including a very memorable priest.


Lol, same vernacular about getting pissed at the pub and paralytic!

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