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KC archbishop clarifies wine validity norms

KC archbishop clarifies wine validity norms

2023-06-17 09:22:57

The Archbishop of Kansas Metropolis has warned clergymen that they could possibly be providing Mass with invalid matter, and that they need to guarantee their altar wine is each free from components and particularly vinted for sacramental use. 

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The archbishop wrote to clergymen Might 31 to warn that he had just lately discovered of parishes utilizing wine that may invalidate their makes an attempt to supply the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

“It has just lately been reported by two clergymen, having served in three totally different parishes, that upon their appointment to those parishes they quickly found the long-term use of wines that had been the truth is invalid matter for the confection of the Eucharist,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann famous in a Might 31 letter obtained by The Pillar

In consequence, he wrote, in these parishes, “for any variety of years all Plenty had been invalid and subsequently the intentions for which these Plenty had been provided weren’t glad, together with the duty pastors have to supply Mass for the folks.”

“It is a gravely severe state of affairs for which we should now petition the Holy See for steerage on restorative issues.”

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Canon and liturgical regulation stipulate that wine produced solely from grapes can be utilized for the Eucharistic sacrifice. 

The 2004 Vatican instruction Redemptionis sacramentum explains that: “the wine that’s utilized in probably the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice should be pure, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not blended with different substances…It’s altogether forbidden to make use of wine of uncertain authenticity or provenance, for the Church requires certainty relating to the circumstances essential for the validity of the sacraments. Nor are different drinks of any sort to be admitted for any motive, as they don’t represent legitimate matter.”

Whereas the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Self-discipline of the Sacraments has confirmed that minute quantities of sulfites, which act as meals preservatives, might be permitted in a sacramental wine, it has pressured that different components can render wines as doubtful or uncertain matter for the legitimate celebration of the Mass.

In Kansas Metropolis, Naumann famous that many commercially out there wines “include components comparable to elderberry extract, sugars, alcohol, and so forth” — all of which may render the wine invalid matter.

To keep away from the potential of invalidly provided Plenty, the archbishop issued a decree mandating that “solely these wines commercially produced particularly to be used at Mass could hereafter be used within the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist in all parochial and non-parochial church buildings, chapels, and oratories throughout the Archdiocese of Kansas Metropolis.”

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Whereas many dioceses require that solely wine marketed for sacramental use be used within the Mass, there isn’t a definitive course of for seeing a bottle of wine marketed to that impact. In some dioceses, bishops have licensed that sure wine producers bottle wine solely produced by grapes, with out components, and that the wine is subsequently acceptable matter for the Eucharist. However different wineries self-certify their wine as acceptable use, presumably after scrutinizing their manufacturing course of.

O-Neh-Da Winery, one of many nation’s largest producers of pure grape wine, was launched in 1872 straight by Bishop Bernard McQuaid, who wished a dependable supply for altar wine.

The winery was ultimately taken over as an apostolate of the Society of the Divine Phrase, earlier than it handed into personal arms, whereas remaining “completely devoted to producing a legitimate and licit sacramental wine,” according to the company

Some U.S. dioceses, among the many Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, maintain lists of local vineyards which produce wine suitable for the Mass

However at the very least one diocese has taken a special tack: In an FAQ posted on its web site, the Diocese of St. Petersburg informed pastors that in its view, “the labeling of wine as ‘sacramental’ or ‘altar’ wine is a advertising technique much like that of ‘natural.’”

“Any good home wine is ok and there are lots of good wines out there in packing containers or cubitainers, these have the benefit of lasting a number of weeks after opening as a result of air is expelled and spoilage is retarded. Backside line: the finer high quality of wine, the higher it’s. This is a crucial consideration because the wine chosen will turn out to be the Physique and Blood of Christ.”

The diocesan FAQ didn’t acknowledge the likelihood that additional sugars might be added during the wine-making process, together with other additives, particularly in states the place winemaking just isn’t closely regulated.


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For his half, Naumann affirmed that the usage of wine that may represent invalid matter would render the Mass as a liturgical act invalid. Whereas true, it may also be famous that as a result of the Church says attainable, however forbidden, the consecration of 1 sacred species with out the opposite, the Eucharist in such contexts may however be validly consecrated underneath the type of bread — rendering the Eucharist consecrated in an invalid liturgical act.

Along with establishing that wine should be produced solely of grapes, canon regulation has different norms requiring the legitimate matter for the Eucharistic celebration. Whereas “wine” is mostly thought of to be a grape-based substance containing 8% – 14% alcohol, the Church permits the usage of “mustum,” in its stead — a grape juice produced in the identical method as wine, whose fermentation is suspended by freezing or another pure technique. 

Mustum can be utilized if a priest providing Mass has an alcohol intolerance, or is an alcoholic. 

The Church additionally regulates hosts, explaining that within the Latin Catholic Church, “the bread used within the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice should be unleavened, purely of wheat, and just lately made in order that there isn’t a hazard of decomposition.”

In recent times, Catholics have turn out to be conscious of gluten intolerances; gluten is a protein contained in wheat. 

The Church has allowed for the manufacturing of low-gluten hosts, produced by wheat stripped of almost all its gluten, however has stipulated that: 

“Hosts which can be utterly gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.  Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are legitimate matter, supplied they include a adequate quantity of gluten to acquire the confection of bread with out the addition of overseas supplies and with out the usage of procedures that may alter the character of bread.” 

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This report was up to date for readability after publication.

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