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Drunken Polish priest charged with running over parishioner

"Priests have to follow the same laws as everyone else. He should not drive a a car after drinking," says diocese spokesman.

By Evan Bleier

A Polish priest is facing 12 years in prison after police say he ran over one of his parishioners while driving drunk on the way back from one of his own church services.

The parishioner, 41-year-old Katarzyna Pawlak, was walking home after attending Mass.

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The 66-year-old priest has had his license confiscated and been charged with drunk driving.

"He wasn't detained as we didn't think it necessary. He was fully compliant and handed over all his documents for officers to inspect,” said police spokesperson Urszula Szymczak.

Pawlak is being treated at the hospital for a concussion. "The woman has been lucky. She is being kept in hospital for observation but will make a full recovery,” said a hospital spokesperson.

The accident occurred in the town of Lowicza.

"With great regret and deep sorrow we received the news about the accident in which the victim was a woman hit by a car being driven by a priest after drinking alcohol,” said a spokesman for the priest's diocese.

"This situation deserves condemnation and never should have happened. Priests have to follow the same laws as everyone else. He should not drive a car after drinking."

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