Phoenix Catholics: No More Wine for You at Mass
Bishop says communion wafers will suffice on their own
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2011 2:14 PM CDT
Bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of Christ in Catholic services.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The bishop of Phoenix is instituting a new rule for Catholics in his diocese: No more wine at mass except during special occasions, reports the Arizona Republic. The ruling means the chalice will no longer be offered during communion to represent the blood of Christ, as it has been since the 1970s. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted based his ruling on the Catholic Church's new translation of the liturgy, though his appears to be the first diocese in the nation to make the fundamental change. (See USA Today for a link to the new translation, called the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.)

One priest tells the Republic that many of his peers were "stunned and aghast" at the decision, but a local parishioner has a different view. "I would think these church leaders would be more concerned about the droves of people leaving the Catholic Church as well as the worsening shortage of priests," he says. "These issues are much more substantial to the long-term health of the church rather than reinstating medieval rituals and directives."