Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lucia No freedom of religion in NZ prisons

There are times that No Right Turn surprises me. Today, he has a post up on the denial of religious freedom to Catholics in prison.

The story is that a Catholic Priest was not allowed to bring wine an Auckland prison, wine he needed for the purposes of saying Mass. The prisoners don't even need to drink the wine, it's just necessary for the Mass to be said. Yet, the prison has decided to get tough on it's rules, and one of the rules is that no alcohol is to enter the prison. For any reason.

I suppose they are worried that if the Catholic Priest gets wine into the prison, he might sneak it to the prisoners on the side. Or, that if they are soft on the Priest, that others might argue that their wine that they want to bring in is supposedly being brought in for a good reason. Or maybe the prison people just don't see any difference between disallowing wine for a Mass and disallowing wine for other purposes. Never mind that the whole purpose of the wine is for it to be turned into the Blood of Christ.

2 comment(s):

Oswald Bastable said...

It's a blanket rule and all govt agencies are reknowned for that sort of thing.

But as a CO, I saw that the crims used services for a meeting between prison wings. (for more criminal purposes)

There was sweet FA worship there!

I saw a couple of hard-case RC's Padres take them to task for thier lack of the proper attitude!

Those Mickeys can kick arse when the moment calls for it and I have a lot more respect for them after working in the prison service!

ZenTiger said...

It always seems to me that laws are made to penalize the middle class, and the good. Those people tend to respect the law, or have a lot to lose if they are caught.

The super rich pay the fines or setup legal diversions, the poor ignore them or have no capacity to pay anyway, so it matters little.

So stopping a cup of wine from getting into the prison by hitting on the priest fits in with this observation. It means the authorities spend their time and effort worrying about the inconsequential and creating injustice in their application of the law, and contraband and prostitutes sail past with apparently, nary a problem.

It really ends up looking pathetic, and the bureaucracy looks silly for it.

Now, the priest apparently could use non-alcoholic wine, but whats the bet they wouldn't believe him?

"It's non-alcoholic wine"

"Do you swear on the bible that you are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"


"Hmm, I'm still not convinced. It looks like wine, and how do I know you take this bible stuff seriously?"

"Well, I am a priest"

"Not good enough"

"And I'm a justice of the peace"

"Oh, fair enough, in you go. No worries mate."

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