Sacramental wine ban on cards in Indian state

The Church in India is concerned that one of the effects of an alcohol clampdown in Kerala state will be a ban on wine at Mass.

Over the next 10 years, hundreds of alcohol outlets in Kerala will be shut down and “alcohol free” days enforced.

The General Secretary of the Hindu organisation SNDP Yogam, Vellappally Natesan, has called for the ban to extend to churches, while Bishop Mar Chrysostom of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church said that churches should consider using grape juice at Mass.

But the Archbishop of Verapoy, Francis Kallarackal, said that Mass without wine was “unthinkable”.

“It will remain unchanged until the world ends,” he told the New India Express.

The Bishop of Central Kerala in the Church of South India, Thomas K Oommen, agreed, saying that extending the ban to churches misinterpreted the Government’s policy.

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