Chilean judge sentences Catholic priest to recite psalms for traffic violation

A judge in southern Chile has sentenced a Catholic priest to recite seven psalms daily for three months as punishment for illegal parking.

Judge Manuel Perez says he issued the unusual sentence after Rev. Jose Cornejo claimed he could not afford the $100 fine that would have been the usual sanction for illegal parking in the city of Puerto Montt.

However, Perez denies imposing the sentence on a complete whim.

The judge told the Santiago newspaper La Tercera that he did it as a tribute to Renaissance scientist Galileo Galilei, who received a similar, three-year sentence from the Catholic Church 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 is being fulfilled.

The priest says he had parked in front of a school where he works because he lacks the money to pay for public parking.


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