See also: Bible says be sober again and again.
Bernard Tolomeo (1272-1348)
Tolomeo founded the Olivetan order of Benedictine monks. A late critic asserts: ‘They were also fanatical total abstainers … vineyards were rooted up and the wine-presses and vessels destroyed.’
Olivetans, Catholic Encyclopedia.
Benedict himself (480-543) had noted that in earlier times it was ‘not at all proper’ for monks to drink. Still he said abstainers ‘will have their special reward’.
Rev. Theobald Mathew (1790-1856)
The Catholic Encyclopedia calls Rev. Theobald Mathew the ‘Apostle of Temperance’.
‘It is estimated that he gave the total abstinence pledge to 7,000,000 people, and everyone admits that in a short time he accomplished a great moral revolution.’
Theobald Mathew, Catholic Encyclopedia.
Cardinal Henry Manning (1808-1892)
Manning founded The League of the Cross: ‘A Catholic total abstinence confraternity founded in London in 1873 by Cardinal Manning to unite Catholics, both clergy and laity, in the warfare against intemperance.’
‘the pledge shall be of total abstinence, and taken without limit as to time.’
The League of the Cross, Catholic Encyclopedia.
‘I … came to acknowledge of the real condition of the people, and the real demoralising power of this great drink traffic.’
Manning had given a speech recommending abstinence, but said his doctors would not allow him to take the pledge. A working man at the end of the hall cried out, ‘Never mind the doctors, come and see what good it has done us in our homes.’ So he took the pledge himself and his convictions only strengthened with years.
The rule resembled General William Booth’s total abstinence requirement for Salvation Army soldiers. Rev. Theobald Mathew’s late reforms had also set a precedent. As always, the teetotal requirement proves effective to deal with the evil.
‘…he once complained, there is not one gentleman who will give up one glass of sherry to help me in the battle.’
I. A. Taylor, 1908, The cardinal democrat: Henry Edward Manning, p. 105.
In his eightieth year the Cardinal used these words, ‘I have for years, I say it openly and boldly, been a fool for Christ’s sake in the matter of intoxicating drink, and so I hope to die.’ On his death-bed he charged his doctors to give him no alcohol.
16 April 1904, The Sacred Heart Review, Vol. 31, Num. 16, Cardinal Manning as a Total Abstainer, p. 252.
St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Society, Sydney (1841)
From 1841 the St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Society, a predominantly Catholic organisation, joined forces with the Sydney Total Abstinence Society, a Protestant organisation, to hold on St Patrick’s Day an annual procession through the streets of Sydney as a public demonstration in favour of temperance. However, following sectarian rioting in Melbourne during the Twelfth of July celebrations of 1846, the Legislative Council passed the Party Processions Act which banned political and religious processions. Attorney General JH Plunkett took the view that the St Patrick’s Day march breached that Act and threatened prosecution. Reluctantly, the temperance societies discontinued their St Patrick’s Day parade.
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 1847, p 2.
Bishop Sebastian Thekethecheril (2006)
Thekethecheril: ‘Alcoholism is a serious problem in Kerala, and we have to take tough measures to counter it.’ In 2006, he became bishop in Kerala, India.
Anto Akkara, 3 Feb. 2012, Kerala church commission pushes for declaring alcoholism as sin, Catholic News Service.
Bishop Thekethecheril has served as chairman of the Temperance Commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, which acts against alcohol:
‘Organize nonviolent campaign that State Government may bring about prohibition.’
‘Conduct training programmes for the activists and leaders in Anti Alcohol movements.’
‘Make sure that alcohol is not kept or distributed in any Catholic house in connection with home celebrations or festivals.’