Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Insubstantial Transubstantiation" or "The Communion Winos"

I came across a rather bizarre article on the front page of the Irish Times of Friday 2nd November on what must have been a slow news day – the main front page headline was about figures showing a drop in support for Bertie Ahern and Fianna Fail. I wasn’t sure if it was for real or a very early (or very late) April Fool's joke. It was like one of those news headlines which catches your attention only for you to find out that it's been written by "Loof Lirpa" (read it backwards if you haven't worked it out), but it seems like it is genuine - it was even reported in the (English)Independent the following day. In a story which sounded like something out of Father Ted it was reported that Catholic priests in rural parishes across Ireland are concerned that celebrating two or three masses in the same day could put them over the legal limit for drink driving.
It would be amusing if it wasn’t for the potentially serious implications. But surely if the wine is transformed into the blood of Jesus Christ during the Communion rite (if one is to take the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation at face value - aside from any accusations of vampirism), then priests should have nothing to worry about as the "wine" in their bloodstreams is no longer alcohol, but blood? Or is it that they don't believe in their own beliefs? Perhaps some learned theologians out there can shed some light on the matter.


the big g said...

most altar wines are non-alcoholic

CW said...

If that was the case then this story would never have made the papers.