Judge throws 'The Book' at illegally parking priest

A priest who can't afford to pay his parking fine has been ordered to recite psalms every day for three months as "punishment" for his traffic offence.

The Associated Press reports Chilean Judge Manuel Perez handed down the unusual sentence after Fr Jose Conejo said he could not pay the $114 (50,00 Peso) for illegally parking outside a school he works at as he could not afford public parking.

"He will have to recite seven psalms from a book in the Old Testament," Judge Perez said.

"This is not a sentence that just occurred to me.

"I did it as a tribute to Galileo Galilei who received a similar sentence from the Catholic Church during three years for saying the Earth rotates around the sun."

The judge ordered a court official who lives near the priest to check daily that the sentence was being fulfilled.

Judge orders priest to recite psalms for parking illegally (AP 13/11/07)

14 Dec 2007