Chilean Judge Makes Priest Recite Psalms

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

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

"He will have to recite seven psalms," Judge Perez told the Santiago daily La Tercera.

"This is not a sentence that just occurred to me," he added. "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."

The judge ordered a court official who lives near the priest to check daily that the sentence was being fulfilled.

The priest said he had parked his car in front of a school where he works because he lacked the money to pay for public parking.