Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol is part of God’s creation and reminds man of God’s love and goodness. Celebrating God’s gifts with drinking in moderation is supported by Sacred Scripture and is an important part of Catholic culture.

Wine has a particular significance throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Holy men and women, including Jesus, were known to drink wine.

Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into the best wine at the Wedding at Cana. Wine was a prominent part of the Jewish Passover meal that Jesus celebrated at the Last Supper and is essential in the celebration of the Eucharist that Jesus instituted.

Catholic priests and monks perfected the processes of making many alcoholic beverages and several Catholic religious orders make and sell beer, wine, and other spirits to support themselves today.

While drinking in moderation is acceptable, getting drunk is a sin because it leads to the loss of God’s gifts of reason and will.

Individuals who experience an addiction to alcohol should avoid drinking altogether and seek treatment.

Alcohol is not intrinsically bad:

Called to celebrate with God and each other:

Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then He told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

John 2: 6-10

Drinking alcohol as a Catholic:

Enjoying alcohol the right way:

At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what He did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread….” “He took the cup filled with wine….” The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, fruit of the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and “of the vine” – gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a prefiguring of her own offering.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1333

Catholic influence on beer and wine:

Blessings for beer and wine:

The reading from the prophet Isaiah and the Gospel of today put before our eyes one of the great images of the Sacred Scripture: the image of the vine. The bread represents in the Sacred Scripture everything man needs for his daily life. Water gives the earth fertility: it is the fundamental gift, which makes life possible. Instead, wine expresses the exquisiteness of creation; it gives us the feast in which we surpass the limits of daily routine: wine “gladdens the heart”. Thus wine and with it the vine have also become images of the gift of love, in which we can have some experience of the taste of the Divine.

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, 2 October 2005

Stay sober and alert:

Drunkenness is always wrong:

A near occasion to sin for some:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Good people coming together:

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.