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International Law

Judge Sentences Priest to Say Psalms

Posted Dec 12, 2007 6:14 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Echoing a sentence famously given to a world-renowned scientist by the Catholic Church in a heresy case centuries ago, a Chilean judge has ordered a priest who says he can't afford either to park his car legally or to pay a $100 parking fine to say seven psalms daily for three months.

And Judge Manuel Perez isn't taking it on faith that Rev. Jose Cornejo will comply, either, reports the Associated Press. Perez ordered a court official who lives near Cornejo to oversee the sentence on a daily basis.

"This is not a sentence that just occurred to me," the judge tells the Santiago daily La Tercera. "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."

According to a copy of Galileo's sentence maintained on a Fordham University website, he was required to say seven penitential psalms weekly for three years.

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