The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix has announced that it his policy that the wine consecrated during Mass is no longer to be shared among the laity present. Reaction has been pretty uniformly negative in Catholic circles.
"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."
Criticism from the clergy of the Bishop Olmstead's own diocese has appeared online since the announcement.
There has not been a date set for the change to go into effect.
So, is the Episcopal Church going to be the last Vatican II church standing if this signals a larger trend? (Perhaps we might count the Lutherans as standing in the same place we are.)