Catholic Church rubbishes mass wine controversy
Thiruvananthapuram: The Catholic Church on Thursday dismissed as an "unnecessary controversy" reports on the application of licence by various Christian communities for manufacturing of wine for mass.
Speaking to the media, spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Catholic church, Paul Thelekkat said that everything is done as per the law of the land.
"Churches apply for wine licenses to the State Excise department as per the guidelines of the Kochi Mass Wine rules. The raking up of unnecessary controversy should be avoided. What is given during mass is less than an ounce of wine. We really don't understand the reason for a discussion on this, as what is manufactured is just mass wine," said Thelekkat.
According to the State Excise department, the licensing authority that gives out licence to Churches, there are 24 licences given to various denomination of the churches for manufacturing 95,412 litres of wine annually.
Of the 14 districts, Kottayam district leads with an annual requirement of about 28,000 litres.
The present controversy that surfaced in the media arose as the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference - the state body of the Catholics in the state, has been at the forefront of a strong campaign warning the Pinarayi Vijayan government against tweaking the liquor policy formulated during the Oommen Chandy government in 2015.
The KCBC has expressed concern that the state government in the name of tourism is likely to give fresh licence to bars.
According to the figures, the alcohol content in wine is above 8 per cent, while beer has only 6 per cent.