The Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) recently reversed an interim policy that prohibited the use of alcoholic wine during religious ceremonies in the prison facilities of the state. The decision to rescind the policy came after a report from the Spectator World brought attention to the issue. The policy, issued in June and signed by Commissioner Jennifer Winkelman, prohibited the use of altar wine or any form of alcoholic beverage. It did allow for the use of non-alcoholic substitutes, such as juice, in place of altar wine. However, the policy inadvertently impacted the celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass, as the sacrament requires the use of alcoholic wine for the priest’s consumption, as stated in the 2004 Vatican instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum. In response to the report from the Spectator World, the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) announced that it would no longer enforce the interim policy.
Fox News reports:
The Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) recently revoked an interim policy that banned alcoholic wine during religious ceremonies in the state’s prison facilities.
The department rescinded the policy following a report from the Spectator World, which noted that the policy issued on June 6 and signed by Commissioner Jennifer Winkelman stipulated that “no altar wine or other alcoholic beverages will be used by anyone who is involved with any activity.”
“The use of a non-alcoholic substitute (juice) for altar wine may be considered,” the policy added.
The policy effectively banned the celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass, which requires the priest to consume alcoholic wine to be valid, according to the 2004 Vatican instruction titled Redemptionis sacramentum. Many Protestant denominations also use wine during their services.
“The use of a small amount wine by a Catholic priest in the celebration of Holy Mass is a requirement for Catholics,” CatholicVote president Brian Burch told the Spectator World. “This is done because the Catholic Mass memorializes the Last Supper, where we believe Christ himself transformed wine into his body, blood, soul and divinity, and asked his apostles to continue this practice as a perpetual memorial.”
Following the Spectator World’s report, the Alaska DOC announced that it would no longer be enforcing the interim policy, according to the outlet.
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