Venezuela: Churches Running Out of Wine

The BBC reports:

The Catholic Church in Venezuela has said it is running out of wine to celebrate Mass because of nationwide shortages of basic supplies.

It said the scarcity of some products had forced the country’s “only wine maker” to stop selling to the Church.

Critics blame the shortages on tight state control of the economy and inadequate domestic production.

But the government insists that an opposition-led conspiracy and price speculations are the problem.

“[Our supplier] Bodegas Pomar have told us that they can no longer make wine because they’re facing difficulties,” Church spokesman Monsignor Lucker told BBC News.

Some of the items the supplier had to import to make the wine were now scarce, said the spokesman.

Monsignor Lucker added that they had enough supplies for just two more months, and that he did not know if the Church could afford wines from abroad.

But the problem was not limited to wine, he said.

“The makers of consecrated bread have told us that they’ll have to raise prices because they can’t find enough flour.

“Wheat is not grown here – it all comes from abroad,” he said.

“A packet of consecrated bread used to cost 50 bolivar ($8, £5), but it’s now 100″…


9 thoughts on “Venezuela: Churches Running Out of Wine

    1. Ha, there you show your protestant disdain toward the Sacraments! But our catechism states that “the Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life”, not something secondary. And indeed, it’s the Eucharist that creates the Church, not the contrary! Btw, Mass is “biblical and theological”. It is the true heir of the solemn sacrifice offered at the temple by the Hebrew high Priests, and the re-enactment of the once-offered sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, by which He is made present, body and souls, in the species of bread and wine. I don’t think I need to remind you that:
      1)”Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (Our Lord)
      2) “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God … They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.” (Ignatius of Antioch)

      + pax et bonum

      1. @Don Henri: As an Anglican, I do not “distain” the truth of ‘Word & Sacrament’, but surely I put it in the biblical context of the aspect of “Feast” (Deipnon, Gk., which always denotes a dinner or supper), as “the Lord’s Supper” (1 Cor. 11: 20). It is foremost a social meal; and it is the supper or feast which will celebrate the marriage of Christ with His spiritual Bride, at the inauguration of His kingdom, (Rev. 19: 9)…”the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And most importantly it is THE “sign” of the NT Covenant! WE simply cannot get away from the whole Jewish discourse here! (Noting 1 Cor. 10: 1-5 ; compare 1 Cor. Cor. 5: 7-8).

        Any further additions are simply not biblical or theological, as we can certainly see with many of the so-called church fathers!

        Btw, I am closer to something of Augustine’s view here, as the so-called sacraments are the ‘sign & seal’ of what they represent. Certainly Calvin here, as in places Luther too. But again surely “transubstantiation” is Roman Scholasticism, rather than Biblicism! Note too, I was raised Irish Roman Catholic, and somewhat educated there (my first degree was a BA in R. Catholic in philosophy. So ‘been there and done that’ (to some degree). 🙂

      2. I know you’re an apostate, Mr. no need to remind us! But sometimes I wonder if you actually remind what a Catholic Mass is like, because you know, when you say that we should go back to “preaching and teaching” the Bible, it’s exactly what we do: there is the reading of a “Prophecy” from the old testament, an “Epistle” from the new, and a Gospel extract each Sunday at Mass, with an homily that has to be based on those taking place immediately thereafter!
        The church Fathers, both Eastern and Western (see the homily of St Chrysostom on the subject here ), not to mention Jesus Himself, are very clear that this bread IS the true body of Christ, and not a mere symbol of it. Your disregard of the “so called” Church Fathers is similar to the one of Calvin and Luther are known for their utter disregard of those Fathers, excerpt for Augustine whose theology can be twisted to say what they want). Disregarding Ignatius of Antioche as an “additions” maker is foolish, since he is known as “almost apostle”, having received the doctrine he holds from the hands of Peter and Paul themselves (or maybe like Mrs. Schori you do not like Paul?) and the same is true for all the Apostolic Church Fathers (Clement of Rome, Hermas, Polycarp).
        If we go with the idea that between 100 and 1500 the Church has been wrong about the nature of the Eucharist, then it must means that the Holy Spirit has ceased to act in Her during 1000 years – unlikely – and that still today most Christians of the Western and Eastern Churches, (including those refusing the Council of Chalcedon, therefore clinging obviously to doctrines of the most ancient antiquity) are wrong – unlikely either.
        The study of the liturgy is interesting here. The Anaphoras, or Eucharistic Prayers that are the most ancient are very clear about this, and all contain the Epiclesis (calling on the Holy Ghost to change the nature of the elements into the Body and Blood of Christ) the reformers were so eager to delete. Similarly, reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the use of the home-bounds, and for the sake of devotion in the house of consecrated widows is attested from the 1st century onward.
        I hear the bell tolling dinner, therefore I have to stop!

        + pax et bonum

      3. Don Henri, Given what all Rome has said and now says, it can be hard to determine the relationship of various aspects of its soteriology.

        Take the eucharist. What benefit does someone in mortal sin get from receiving it? Damnation! So that logically might lead to the conclusion that in a fallen world the post-baptismal “summit of salvation” comes from confession and absolution? It is interesting that the RCC eucharistic theolgoy is perceived to be so “high” yet the benefits of the eucharist are limited when it comes to applying the atonment to sinful man. All the eucharist can do for RCs is remove minor sins that can be removed in other ways?

        And if the eucharist is so important, then why do RCs deny it, for the most part, to children? They can only be baptized but cannot commune for years.

        And theoretically as long as someone didn’t die in mortal sin, the sacrificae of the mass is offered for the souls in purgatory. So they can benefit without ever having to commune?

        Take justification. It is tied to faith. Without faith, what do you have? Does giving the eucharist to a praticing Muslim avail the Muslim of Christ?

        I think the key is to keep in mind all of soteriology. Salvation is a free fgift from God alone. It cannot be earned or acquired. No one can storm the gates of heaven and demand to be admitted. Which is why baptism is the initial sacrament and we practice infant baptism.

        Ultimately, faith and repentence come first. Without them you have nothing. And all Christians are called to live out their faiths.

      4. Michael: Surely Catholic “soteriology” has many faces, the best face is somewhat some of the old Dominicans and Augustinians, but of course for me their doctrine of justification is flawed badly, as you note with their progressive doctrines themselves. Thankfully the Person of Christ is also the Person of His work! So many Roman Catholics have no doubt been regenerated in spite of their flawed doctrine, since they know the Christ of the Bible, i.e. His “person”, as Savior and Lord!

      5. Don Henri, As regards the theology of the Eucharistic “presence”, please don’t wrongly conflate medieval scholastic Aristotolean RC “transubstantiation”, which was unknown in the 1st thousand years of Christendom, with the various views of the patristic fathers on the subject. There was a wide variety of opinion in the patristic era! You might study Oecolampadius’ major study of patristic thought on the subject that he put together in the 1520s. And you are wrong about Luther. Luther most adamantly believed in the “real” presence. You should study the views of the magisterial Reformed Church–Bucer, Bullinger, Calvin, and Beza–regarding the issue. They routinely cited patristic sources for their ideas. And they did not have a low opinion of the eucharist, the presence contained therein, or its benefits to those who commune!

        A clear difference in Eucharistic thought between RCC and EO is tied to the epiclesis. The RCC posits that the words of institution are enough. Luther agreed. And both believe in the “real” presence. But the Eastern liturgies have that all important invocation of the Holy Spirit. Because the liturgy involves an awesome mystery that cannot be explained in human terms, scientific (string theory, particle physics) or pseudo-scientific (transubstantiation). An epiclesis means that there is an important action involving the Holy Ghost with the action of the priest and the worshipping congregation. This may also help explain the lack of various Eucharistic devotions outside of the liturgy that are present in the West (usually tied to the medieval era) but not in the East. The Eucharist is for the people at the liturgy who commune! There is no “benefit” to those who don’t commune, whether living or dead.

      6. @Michael: Historical theology is so very important, with biblical truth and revelation, thanks! 🙂 As our Lord Jesus said: “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him MUST worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4: 23-24)

  1. I love it, when you Catholic Traditionalist’s call me an “apostate”! I will have to share that with some of my Catholic theological friends, one of whom is old Joseph Fitzmyer (though its been quite a while since I chatted with him. I hope he is well?). 😉 I have noted too that many of you like to call theolog’s like Von Balthasar and De Lubac, as liberals, which of course they are not fully. But they were certainly Catholic thinkers and intellectuals! I have several books, actually many rather, in my library from both men.

    Btw, both Calvin and Luther liked and read Chrysostom, as too Bernard of Clairvaux! So before you start bad mouthing either, you better check with some of the Catholic theolog’s today! Luther especially has been sort of brought back into the Catholic theological house at least. And I have a book written by a Catholic layman on Calvin’s doctrine of Union with Christ, and Calvin’s mysticism compared to Bernard of Chairvaux. A friendly book theologically! As too a bio by a French Catholic priest who is/was a theologian! I say was, for I am not sure if he is still alive? The book was first published back in 1966 in French. I have the first American edition: The Young Calvin, by Alexandre Ganoczy, (The Westminster Press, 1987). So yes, I have books that are older than you mate! 😉

    It is noted that YOU have said quite nothing “biblically” in this last post! Just church tradition. I too will quote church tradition, but foremost always the Scripture argument itself! But then I am Reformed… Ecclesia semper reformada! 🙂

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