So maybe it wasn’t just an Irish joke…

January 30, 2008

A Catholic priest with a chalice for Mass wineLooks like a story our Dublin office filed back in November wasn’t just an Irish joke.

Catholic priests in Ireland complained last year that tougher laws on drinking and driving meant they would easily go over the limit just by saying mass a few times in one day. Priests in rural areas often drive to several villages every Sunday to say mass, during which drinking a small quantity of wine is an essential part of the ritual.

Bloggers naturally had a field day with this one. “Eucharist could mean ‘water into fine‘,” one wrote. “No more ‘one for the road‘ for Irish priests,” said another. A third asked if drinking was part of a priest’s job description. “Only here in Ireland and only with the Roman Catholic Church could such a story arise,” one concluded.

Well, apparently not…

Our Budapest bureau reports that “Hungary’s Catholic Church has asked the country’s justice minister to exempt its priests from a new regulation which severely punishes drink-driving. Under a ‘zero tolerance’ rule which took effect this month, police can confiscate a driver’s license on the spot if the breathalyser shows any trace of alcohol.

The church plans to issue special cards for its priests to show that they consume alcohol in the fulfilment of official duties.”

Here’s our video report from Hungary:

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Not only is it a requirement for alcoholic wine be used in the blood sacrifice of the Mass – whereas in metaphysical terms it should scarcely matter as the wine was going to be transubstantiated into blood and the bread into flesh – bet you’d forgotten that word – but the candles must be at least 63% bees wax .
none of this cheap wax for our men of the cloth -Ok for Paddy Stink and Mickey Muck No 63 % pure bees wax .
I know this as I was a devout server as a boy . Was never abused though was many times in the presence alone with lonely priests in the sacristy.
I must have lacked the piety to be defiled – having lost my virginity , heterosexually , quite early – 14 I think ; so I was obviously contaminated goods .
But I got my first taste and later fondness for alcohol during the preparation for those early masses

Posted by donkykemore | Report as abusive