A Catholic priest has run afoul of the law in Colorado Springs, Colo., after being caught with an open container of sacramental wine while performing Mass outside an abortion clinic.
The Rev. Bill Carmody was warned by a police officer after the cop asked him what he was holding.
“The police officer asked me what’s in the flask,” he told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “I really didn’t know what to do.”
Carmody has asked the Colorado Springs City Council for a variance, allowing him to legally say Mass outdoors.
“I do not want to break the law. I’m simply asking for a variance,” Carmody told the City Council on Tuesday. “This is a religious ceremony.”
According to the Gazette, city ordinance 2.5.704 prohibits drinking in any street, alley, sidewalk, avenue, park – even public stairways.
The priest has been using the wine during weekly protests at a local Planned Parenthood facility. Someone apparently reported him to the police.
Vice Mayor Richard Skorman told Carmody his question about a variance would be researched, the paper reported.
Lenox Powell, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told the Gazette Carmody’s group tries “to bully and use scare tactics and threaten and shame women” outside the clinic.
“As for the issue of the wine and the Mass – our area of concern is women’s health care,” she said.