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No wine for you

No wine for you

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.”

More here.

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.)


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Especially ironic, in lieu of the number of stories of “Priests w/ Alcohol Problems” I’ve been seeing of late [There was a notorious incident in my hometown of Sacramento in the past weeks, where a priest showed up to a baptism falling-over drunk.]

JC Fisher

Gregory Orloff

Christ Jesus told his followers to eat the bread *and* drink the wine of his eucharist (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). He didn’t say “All of you take this bread and eat it, but only some of you take this cup and drink it.” Why is Bishop Olmstead bent on decreeing doing otherwise — less than his Lord enjoined?

Arguing that the laity have “eaten only the bread since the mid-1500s to 1975” simply shows what a late innovation, rather than ancient standard, that practice was. Many groups in Christendom have stuck with Jesus’ instructions and the far older practice of sharing the bread and the cup with all believers: Orthodox (who never ceased the practice), Monophysites (ditto), Nestorians (ditto again), Byzantine Catholics (ditto yet again), Anglicans, Old Catholics, Lutherans, etc.

I guess the Roman Catholics in Phoenix will have to edit this communion hymn now:

Eat this bread, drink this cup;

come to him and never be hungry.

Eat this bread, drink this cup;

trust in him and you will not thirst.

Strike out “drink this cup…” One may not go hungry in Phoenix now, but it sure sounds likes one, if a Roman Catholic layperson, is going to go thirsty.

How utterly sad.


Yes, perhaps you should count “the Lutherans.” Especially as Martin Luther was one of the earliest reformers who, in the Augsburg Confession in 1530, stated that bread and wine, not just bread, should be offered to all communicants.

Peter Pearson

To all my RC sisters and brothers, the Episcopal Church welomes you and it may be where you will find the spirit of Vatican II lived into with courage and fidelity. Yes it is difficult to walk away but maybe God is calling you to make the circle bigger instead of smaller. Be catholic without all the control/fear/mean-ness/denial/guilt/shame/infantilism. I urge you to flee for your (spiritual) lives!

Linda Ryan

Yet another reason why I could never be Roman Catholic. Yet this is the kind of church many want us to become with the signing and agreement to the Anglican Covenant? Who does it benefit? Certainly not the laity who make up the majority of persons of faith within a church or denominational affiliation.

And yet another black eye for Arizona, as if we didn’t have enough of them already.

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