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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Driven to Sin: Rules of the Road Revealed

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican on Tuesday issued "Ten Commandments" for drivers, telling motorists to be charitable to others on the highway, to refrain from drinking and driving, and to pray you make it before you even buckle up.

An unusual document from the Vatican's office for migrants and itinerant people also warned that automobiles can be "an occasion of sin" -- particularly when used to make a dangerous overtaking maneuver or when used by prostitutes and their clients.

It warned about the effects of road rage, saying driving can bring out "primitive" behavior in motorists, including "impoliteness, rude gestures, cursing, blasphemy, loss of sense of responsibility or deliberate infringement of the highway code."

Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the office, told reporters that the Vatican felt it necessary to address the pastoral needs of motorists because driving had become such a big part of contemporary life.

The document, "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road," extols the benefits of driving -- family outings, getting the sick to the hospital, allowing people to get to work and see other cultures.

But it laments a host of ills associated with automobiles: Drivers use their cars to show off; driving "provides an easy opportunity to dominate others" by speeding.

It called 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.

And it suggested the rosary was particularly well-suited to recitation by all in the car since its "rhythm and gentle repetition does not distract the driver's attention."

Martino's initiative was sure to make headlines in Italy, where car culture is deeply entrenched -- this is the home of Ferrari and Fiat -- and where weekend highway deaths make the evening news on a regular basis.