Drunkenness is a MORTAL SIN in the Official Teachings of the Catholic Church!
Among the many Bibles I own are a few “official” Roman Catholic Bibles. One of them, the New American Bible (St. Joseph Medium Size Edition), contains a commentary note many Catholics might find surprising. Concerning the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Cor 6:9-10, the note reads (in part): “A catalogue of typical vices [including drunkenness] that exclude from the kingdom of God & that should be excluded from God’s church” (emphasis mine).
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), when defining what grave matter is and citing Scriptures that give examples of grave sins, it cites 1 Cor 6:9-10 & Gal 5:19-21 (which both mention drunkenness) along with other Scripture references. And then, when the Catechism describes how a grave sin becomes a mortal sin it says (in #1857) that for a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”
In a footnote to #1852, the CCC gives Scripture references to places where Saint Paul names sins that will prevent a person from inheriting the Kingdom of God (or will cause the wrath of God to come upon the sons of disobedience). The references include: Gal 5:19-21; Rom 1:28-32; 1 Cor 9-10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-9; 1 Tim 1:9-10; and 2 Tim 3:2-5. These Scriptures are binding and authoritative to ALL professed followers of Jesus, and we ignore them and explain them away at our own peril. When people explain such passages away, they not only deceive themselves, they also stumble others & lead others astray. People who listen to such deceivers believe that they can practice sexual immorality (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc) AND be a Christian; they think that they can practice drunkenness (or get high on drugs for the pleasure of it) AND be a Christian. But sadly, they are deceived.
The Catechism also says (in #2290): “The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.”
Therefore, whenever any professing Catholic purposely gets intoxicated (and I have met very, very few people who “accidentally” get drunk), it is a mortal sin according to the teachings of their own church! And this is in perfect agreement with what Paul says in 1 Cor 6:9-10 & Gal 5:19-21. Catholics who claim ignorance about drunkenness being a mortal sin should not expect to be excused on Judgment Day because of their supposed ignorance. God has written the moral law on their heart! Also, because their professed ignorance is due to their own spiritual sloth and self-obscurantism (their own unwillingness to receive the truth), they will be held responsible for their sinful actions and lack of repentance.
According to the teaching of the RCC, if a person has committed a mortal sin, then they should not partake of the Eucharist until they have gone to confession and repented with the sincere intention to no longer engage in such sin. Merely confessing it while having no intention of truly turning from the sin is to play games with God and to mock God. Yet, such behavior is a well-known practice of many professing Catholics who often drink to excess.
The sedevacantist catholic who put the video together that is found at the link below is very dogmatic in saying that drunkenness is a grave sin that will bar a person from heaven. The passage in Galatians 5 that he comments on speaks specifically of drunkenness (it says nothing about a person being an alcoholic). To say that drunkenness will not keep a person out of heaven is to contradict Scripture. Many Catholics & Protestants will argue with each other about doctrine & practice, but yet many of these people in both groups end up living in the very same ungodly, unrighteous, unholy ways. Whether Catholic or Protestant, the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God, and without holiness no one will see the Lord. (see video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJo1OZcLtlA&feature=share)
In addition to what the New Testament & the CCC says on the matter, Thomas Aquinas, who lived from 1224-1274 and is a favorite theologian of Catholics, is very clear in saying that drunkenness is a mortal sin. In his Summa, in question 150, under Article 2., “Whether drunkenness is a mortal sin?”–Thomas Aquinas wrote the following:
“On the contrary, We read in the Canons of the Apostles (Can. xli, xlii): “A bishop, priest or deacon who is given to drunkenness or gambling, or incites others thereto, must either cease or be deposed; a subdeacon, reader or precentor who does these things must either give them up or be excommunicated; the same applies to the laity.” Now such punishments are not inflicted save [except] for mortal sins. Therefore drunkenness is a mortal sin.”
“I answer that, The sin of drunkenness, as stated in the foregoing Article, consists in the immoderate use & concupiscence of wine. Now this may happen to a man in three ways. First, so that he knows not the drink to be immoderate & intoxicating: and then drunkenness may be without sin, as stated above (Article 1). Secondly, so that he perceives the drink to be immoderate, but without knowing it to be intoxicating, and then drunkenness may involve a venial sin. Thirdly, it may happen that a man is well aware that the drink is immoderate & intoxicating, and yet he would rather be drunk than abstain from drink. Such a man is a drunkard properly speaking, because morals take their species not from things that occur accidentally and beside the intention, but from that which is directly intended. On this way drunkenness is a mortal sin, because then a man willingly & knowingly deprives himself of the use of reason, whereby he performs virtuous deeds & avoids sin, and thus he sins mortally by running the risk of falling into sin. For Ambrose says (De Patriarch. [De Abraham i.]): ‘We learn that we should shun drunkenness, which prevents us from avoiding grievous sins. For the things we avoid when sober, we unknowingly commit through drunkenness.’ Therefore drunkenness, properly speaking, is a mortal sin.”
“Reply to Objection 1. Assiduity makes drunkenness a mortal sin, not on account of the mere repetition of the act, but because it is impossible for a man to become drunk assiduously, without exposing himself to drunkenness knowingly & willingly, since he has many times experienced the strength of wine & his own liability to drunkenness.”
“Reply to Objection 2. To take more meat or drink than is necessary belongs to the vice of gluttony, which is not always a mortal sin: but knowingly to take too much drink to the point of being drunk, is a mortal sin. Hence Augustine says (Confess. x, 31): ‘Drunkenness is far from me: Thou wilt have mercy, that it come not near me. But full feeding sometimes hath crept upon Thy servant.'” [http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3150.htm]
An earlier Christian writer, Fulgentius of Ruspe (c. 467-532; influenced by Augustine), wrote the following when commenting on Gal 5:21b:
“Since God is righteous, such people [including drunkards] do not obtain the kingdom of heaven so long as they do such things. But since God is merciful, the wicked, if they cease doing revolting things by which they try God’s patience and turn to God in humble amendment, they do without doubt obtain the kingdom of God.” [ACCS, N.T. Vol. VIII, p. 84; On the Remission of Sins, I.15.3.]
Whether it is drunken Baptists who think they are “once saved always saved,” or drunken Lutherans who think they are saved by “faith alone,” or drunken liberal Protestants who think that everyone will eventually end up in heaven, or drunken Roman Catholics who think they’ll be saved because: 1) they are blinded by pride in being associated with the ‘One True Church that Jesus started’ (the ‘Holy’ Roman Catholic Church), or 2) they attend mass to get their slate wiped clean every week, or 3) Jesus turned water into wine, or 4) the Church seems OK with drunkenness at their parish festivals (and even many of the priests are alcoholics), or 5) they will be purified in purgatory, or 6) they will seek mercy through Mary, etc.–all of these types of justifications are equally useless. Whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, all drunkards are on the same wide road to hell & are literally living in unsavedness (Gk. asotia). They all need to repent, forsake their sin, & get on the narrow road of Jesus Christ who is the author of salvation to all who obey Him (Heb 5:9).
[Note: For more Scriptural evidence on this issue, see the article “Drunkenness is Spiritual Poison!” which is posted on this same website.]