What? Mass without wine? Phoenix Diocese WineLess Mass Criticized

on 25/09/11 at 6:31 pm

Booze News

The Phoenix Diocese decision to restrict wine in Communion rituals received criticism nationwide on Friday.

Most who commented said they could not understand the reasoning behind Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s decision. And some believed the reasons had to do with unsanitary conditions or profane actions surrounding the wine, which Catholics believe to be the blood of Christ after it is consecrated.

Bryan Cones, managing editor of U.S. Catholic magazine, rhetorically asked whether any Catholics were “starting to feel like a second-class citizen?”

He said the diocese’s question-and-answer document explaining the move was “deeply dishonest – basically a collection of half-truths,” which “provides an incredibly narrow reading of church law on this matter.”

“This decision is no less than an abuse of power by the bishop, a withdrawal from the faithful what they have a right to by their baptism,” he writes.

Deacon Eric Stoltz of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, whose comments appeared on several websites Friday, said the Phoenix Diocese used “dishonest doublespeak” to defend the decision.

The Whosoever Desires blog, put together by seven Jesuit priests, also criticizes the decision.

The Rev. Nathan O’Halloran of New Orleans said he cannot figure out the reason for the change.

He said Olmsted’s decision appears personal, not required by church law.

He disagrees with the reasons given for the restriction, including possible profanation of the sacrament and that use of laypeople to distribute community has gotten out of hand.

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