Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

Bishop asks churches to rethink need for wine in mass

In Kerala, Mass wine is brewed by various dioceses and Christian congregations with the license from the Excise Department.  (Source: Nandagopal Rajan) In Kerala, Mass wine is brewed by various dioceses and Christian congregations with the license from the Excise Department. (Source: Nandagopal Rajan)
Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Posted: August 25, 2014 2:57 pm | Updated: August 25, 2014 3:25 pm
Joining the liquor controversy in Kerala, senior non-Catholic bishop Philiphose Mar Chrysostom, of Mar Thoma Syrian Church, on Monday asked the Churches to rethink about using wine during Mass.

The use of wine at churches for Mass has come to the liquor controversy after prominent backward Hindu leader Vellappally Nateshan questioned the logic of allowing Mass wine when Indian made foreign liquor is banned in a phased manner.

In Kerala, Mass wine is brewed by various dioceses and Christian congregations with the license from the Excise Department.

Chrysostom said it was not necessary for wine to be used for Mass. “Churches should rethink about using grape water, as had been the practice in the past, instead of wine. At the same, I would not agree with those who had raised the issue on both sides,” said the bishop.

Reacting to the non-Catholic prelate’s suggestion, Catholic Church spokesman Fr Paul Thelakkattu said Chrysostom’s opinion was not acceptable. Using wine at Mass is a global practice. Not even an ounce is used for a mass, he said.

Meanwhile, raising the bar on the licence given to various dioceses to make wine, Nateshan said the Church in Kerala is running 24 distilleries. “Jesus turned water into wine.

Today, nobody has the power to convert water into wine. Then, why don’t the churches use water considering it was wine,” asked Nateshan, who said his community would be hit by revoking liquor license of hotels.
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