World

Vatican driving commandments pave highway to heaven

The Vatican instructed its followers to take the high road Tuesday, issuing 10 commandments that call for those behind the wheel to drive with as much moral purpose as they live their lives.

Cars can be "an occasion for sin," Catholics warned

The Vatican instructed its followers to take the high road Tuesday, issuing 10 commandments calling for those behind the wheel to drive with as much moral purpose as they live their lives.

"Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road," released Tuesday bytheVatican's office for migrants and itinerant people, warnsthatcars can be "an occasion for sin" — whether it's a driver's pride inshowing off, the wrathdisplayed inaroad-rage incident, or themore literal andlustful transgression of the curbside prostitute pick-up.

The 10 commandments of driving
  1. You shall not kill.

  2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

  3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

  4. Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents.

  5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

  6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

  7. Support the families of accident victims.

  8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

  9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

  10. Feel responsible toward others.

Source: The Vatican website and the Associated Press

The documentcalls for drivers to obey speed limits and to exercise a host of Christian virtues: charity to fellow drivers, prudence on the roads, hope of arriving safely and justice in the event of crashes.

Italsopraises the benefits ofmaking the sign of the cross before turning the ignition key and reciting the rosary on the road, as its "rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver's attention."

The Vatican also warns motorists of the dangers to themselves and others of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as failing have their vehicles serviced regularly.

Bible full of travelling souls, long roads

Renato Cardinal Martino, president of the office behind the commandments, toldreporters Tuesday thatdriving has become such a central part of contemporary lifethat the Vatican felt it had to provide some guidance.

He noted that the Bible is full of people on the move, including Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus — and that his office isresponsible fordealing with all "itinerant" people — including refugees, prostitutes, truck drivers and the homeless.

"We know that as a consequence of transgressions and negligence, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads," Martino said. "That's a sad reality, and at the same time, a great challenge for society and the church."

The documentalso celebrates themanyvirtuesdriving provides, such as family trips, allowing people toencounter other cultures through traveland transporting the sick to hospital.

The paper is intended for bishops conferences around the world, and as such offered recommendations for their pastoral workers, including setting up chapels along motorways and having "periodic celebration of liturgies" at major road hubs, truck stops and restaurants.

With files from the Associated Press