SANTIAGO, Chile — A judge in southern Chile has sentenced a Catholic priest to recite seven psalms daily during three months as punishment for illegal parking.
Judge Manuel Perez said he issued the unusual sentence after the Rev. Jose Cornejo said he could not afford the $100 fine that would have been the regular sanction for illegal parking in the city of Puerto Montt.
“He will have to recite seven psalms,” Judge Perez told the Santiago daily La Tercera.
“This is not a sentence that just occurred to me,” he added. “I did it as a tribute to Galileo Galilei, one of the greatest scientists of all time, 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.
The priest said he had parked his car in front of a school where he works because he lacked the money to pay for public parking.
Though in Galileo’s case the Holy Office had him recite seven penitential psalms on three consecutive Sundays and it was his eldest daughter Celestine who said them for him. So if their has been such an outcry over Galileo’s sentence shouldn’t this sentence be seen as much more severe over a parking ticket? This judge obviously has an ax to grind and the idea of an official being sent daily to verify the psalm sentencing is pretty over the top. Would this official bring with him an official psalm counter that he click off after each recitation?
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my parking transgressions.
Wash away all my traffic record
and cleanse me from my violations.
For I know my publicly available record,
and my driving points are always before me.
Against you, and the DMV, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.