The Catholic Archdiocese of Phoenix has decided to stop serving wine with communion, except on special occasions. Though the Archbishop didn’t come right out and explain why, the new directive may have something to do with keeping the wealthy United States aligned with poor nations around the world that can’t afford wine.
It is true, from the more narrow perspective of a very small segment of the Catholic population, the norms could seem like a restriction. The norms invite us as U.S. Catholics to a more global and inclusive perspective, especially with those poor countries that cannot afford large amounts of wine for frequent usage.
“Could seem like a restriction” is a marvelous little bit of doublspeak, and those who hold the “more narrow perspective” are, indeed, unhappy. Bryan Cones, managing editor of U.S. Catholic magazine says:
“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.”
I like the idea of wine as a God-given right.