Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

does not apply

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 21, 2007

Bill Cork brings to our attention the proposal of Nebraska state senator (since modified) to ban consumption of wine by underage citizens during religious ceremonies.

Kruse said churches have alternatives to serving wine, including substituting grape juice for alcohol. Many churches, including the United Methodist Church, already do this.

But it's not a matter of simply substituting juice for wine, said Jim Cunningham, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference. The use of wine "has a deep meaning ... Theologically and liturgically, that is not acceptable."

So where's the problem? By the time the Catholic communicant receives from the chalice, what he's drinking has ceased to be wine. To suggest -- even in the act opposing it -- that the restriction would apply to Catholics is to tumble into the kind of solecism the half-heathen bride puts to her wedding celebrant ("Can Ryan and I drink the wine during that communion thingy?"). Instead of protesting the proposal, Cunningham should have given an official shrug: "Whatever's decided, it doesn't apply to us: see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1376."

It's more than a flippancy. It might have been an occasion to teach, memorably, what Catholics are saying "Amen" to in response to the priest's "the Blood of Christ." I can't believe that, even were the measure in its original form to become law, young Catholics would be arrested for receiving the Precious Blood. But even if they were, what better arraignment to answer for?

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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jun. 20, 2010 11:53 PM ET USA

    Any taxpayor dollars used for abortion purposes under any administration is simply sad news. Americans are making it increasingly clear they don't want their money used for unspeakable abortion deaths, but for healing and life. Pray today that mothers and fathers will choose life for their children and that those making their living from the deaths of innocent preborn child will seek other ways to support themselves and their families.

  • Posted by: jacobtoo - Jun. 19, 2010 5:15 AM ET USA

    Careful here: between 2002 and 2009 the fruit ripened on the trees Clinton planted. Now it's Bush's turn. What's happening now might be surprising.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 18, 2010 12:14 PM ET USA

    True, of course, but little cause for cheer.