Christmas wine consumption worries Kerala Church

December 22, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

There is no mechanism to check the quantity of wine in the market.

There is no mechanism to check the quantity of wine in the marketKochi,  December 20, 2012: After liquor, The Kerala church is now worried over the consumption of wine during this Christmas season.

The indiscriminate sale of wine during Christmas and New Year has forced the temperance commission of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) to take up the issue with the higher-ups in the Church.

This comes after the commission received several complaints that wine consumption has increased in the community beyond the ritualistic use.

Church authorities are concerned as there is no mechanism to check the quantity of wine in the market during such occasions.

“Many people have complained that wines with high alcohol content are now sold in the state,” said Fr. T. J. Antony, secretary of the temperance commission.

Commission officials say that Keralites seem to have taken the reference to wine in the Book of Ecclesiastes literally – ‘Eat the bread with joy and drink the wine with a merry heart’.

Though the wine used for church ceremonies have low alcohol content (about 8 per cent to 12 per cent), the ones served during celebrations are more ‘spirited’.

The temperance commission had last week formed 27-point guidelines against liquor consumption, that would come into effect from January next year.

The suggestions include labeling alcohol consumption as sin, banning alcoholics from church-run institutions and total prohibition of liquor during weddings and other celebrations.

“Altar wine is prepared for performing rituals. Now, wine has been added to the celebration list. We are aiming to discourage the use of alcohol and liquor,” said Fr. Stephen Alathara, KCBC deputy secretary general.

The commission is also planning activities to make the community drug-and liquor-free.

It has also asked the government to stop liquor trade.

-times of india

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