KOCHI: The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council on Friday came up with a statement that the controversy over the use of wine in Holy Mass was ‘unnecessary.’ Though the leaders of Catholic denominations have made their stand clear, it is for the first time that the KCBC is reacting to the controversy after it was sparked off by SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan.
The Bishops Council observed that the ongoing controversy was unnecessary and sparked off with wrong intentions by vested interests. “If anybody has objections to the new liquor policy of the state government, it may be brought to the notice of the authorities. It is not fair to protect vested interests using faith and rituals of a community,” KCBC deputy secretary and spokesperson Fr Varghese Vallikkaattu said. “Sacramental wine is not a liquor. It also does not come under the legal definition of liquor. The relevance of sacramental wine should be understood in the backdrop of faith and tradition of Christian churches,” Fr Vallikkatu pointed out.
Referring to Philipose Mar Chrysostom Metropolitan’s statement that grape juice could be used in Mass instead of wine, it was pointed out that the Catholic Church has a different tradition and view. Non-Catholic Churches such as Pentecost, Baptist, Methodist, Salvation Army, and Evangelical churches use some other materials during their Mass. These Churches have the freedom to adopt a practice which is convenient to them. But the view of the Catholic Church on Holy Mass is something different from that of other Churches. The opinion of Mar Chrysostom should reviewed in this sense,” the KCBC stated.