Priest threatens drunk churchgoers with excommunication
A priest in Malawi has threatened to ex-communicate Catholics who attend church services while drunk.
Father Felix Phiri issued the warning after a quarter of the male congregation nodded off during a service in Rumphi. He said it went against the grain having to offer holy communion to drunkards.
"The church will excommunicate all members who come to worship while inxocated," said the priest, from St Denis Catholic Church. "The Roman Catholic Church indeed allows people to drink. We do not regard that as sin but coming to church while drunk is not the kind of behaviour the church can condone."
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denominatoin in Malawi, with 4.5 million adherents. There are claims that many people have joined the church because of its flexibility on drinking.
Meanwhile, Queensland parish priest Fr Peter McCarthy designated one weekend last month as No Excuse Sunday. Having heard "every reason under the sun as to why people don't come to Mass on a weekend", he asked parishioners to let their non-practising friends and family members know.
He said: "What we're saying, quite unapologetically, to inactive Catholics is that for just one hour in 2001 how about not making any excuses and choose to come along to one of the weekend Masses."