Kerala: Catholic Church wants permission to produce more wine



By NewsGram Staff Writer

A Catholic Church named Syro Malabar Church in Kochi, Kerala, which earlier had supported the government to prohibit the sacramental wine, has recently been drowned in controversy by asking for permission to increase the production of sacramental wine.

The church is grabbing all the attention of different news channels since last week after the news came up floating that the church authorities had applied for a permission to increase the production of wine.

“Yes, we had applied for increase in production of sacramental wine used during our mass. Our diocese currently has an annual production of 1,500 litres of wine, which was last increased over 20 years ago. This time we have applied for 5,000 litres,” said Paul Thelekat, spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Church at Kochi.

When asked about the reason for increase in proportion, Thelekat said, “Look, the number of churches in our diocese has gone up dramatically in the past two decades. Hence, there are more members, which lead to more religious functions. So it is natural that our requirement of wine will increase.”

Sacramental wine is used in many different occasions including Eucharist. While most of the catholic churches use these wines in their sacred communions, the Thiruvalla-headquartered Mar Thoma Church is absolutely against it.

An official of the Mar Thoma Church who did not want to disclose his name said that they use dry raisins and pour a little water and keep it overnight.

He added, “The next morning just before the service, it is mashed and the liquid is used as wine and is given to our laity. The rest is equally shared by the priest and his assistants. Now-a-days, in many of our churches, to make things easy, we use grape squash.”

Excise department officials have also verified that they have received an application from the members of Syro Malabar Church, and they have also accepted their plea to increase the production from 1,500 to 5,000 litres annually.

The Catholic Church believes that Oommen Chandy government will totally prohibit the use of sacred wine in holy gatherings as they want to prohibit the wine in all the churches by 2023.