Anonymous asked: What do Catholics think about alcohol? I mean, you guys use wine for communion, so you obviously don't think alcohol is sinful, but what exactly is the catholic belief?
You’re right, Catholicism doesn’t teach that alcohol is sinful. Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water to wine at a wedding party, and as you mentioned, Jesus used wine in the Last Supper. Jesus was even accused by Pharisees of being a drunkard. If drinking alcohol is sinful, then Jesus sinned and caused others to do so. In fact, Catholicism teaches that alcohol, having been created by God, is a good thing. It’s something to be enjoyed, a way to have fun and to fellowship with others. Even priests drink sometimes, and some monks even brew beer or wine to support themselves.
However, while alcohol is not inherently sinful, it can be abused. Catholicism teaches that getting drunk is a sin for a few reasons. First, it’s a form of gluttony (excessive use of food or drink), one of the cardinal sins. Second, it’s harmful to your body, since you’re drinking more than your body is able to normally handle. Third, and most importantly, it affects your judgement and inhibitions, making you more likely to commit other sins.
Lastly, as Christians we are called to obey all just laws made by legitimate authority. This includes things like drinking ages, if there is one where you are. (Some people wonder how drinking can be a sin at one age and then magically become okay at another, but it’s not the drinking that is sinful, it’s the breaking the law.) Driving under the influence of alcohol is also sinful because, in addition to being illegal in most places, it greatly endangers your life and the lives of others.
As a sidenote, the idea that alcohol is sinful only dates to the 18th century, and even then only for certain kinds. Even the Puritans were all for alcohol.
Hope that helps!