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Parishioner sterilises communion cup, accidentally turns Jesus Blood back into wine
ORANGE, NSW — Controversy has broken out at a small Catholic church in regional New South Wales where an over-zealous parishioner has accidentally transformed the ‘Blood of Christ’ back into wine after utilising extra-strength cleaning products.
As restrictions on church services ease in NSW, Catholic churches were allowed to offer mass services as long as attendees did not exceed 50 people and social distance guidelines were maintained.
Additionally, protocols were placed around hygiene, particularly in the traditional sharing of the communion cup.
Within Catholic teaching is the doctrine of ‘transubstantiation’, where there is a change in the whole substance of wine into ‘Jesus Blood’, while maintaining its outward appearance as wine.
This is administered by the priest to parishioners from a common chalice, who usually wipes the brim with a cloth after each individual.
During the mass at St Simon the Zealot Church in Orange, before receiving their communion, one parishioner pulled out their own cloth which had reportedly been sprayed with a hospital-grade sterilisation agent and proceeded to wipe the edge of the chalice before his sip.
The serving priest, Father Stephen Bailey, was then shocked to discover after the event that the substance of holy sacramental wine had in reverted to the original substance of wine.
Although there was minimal disruption to the Mass as the priest simply ‘re-blessed’ the wine and continued to serve the blood of Christ to the other parishioners, it has raised significant debate among theologians as to how the change occurred.
Bishop Michael McKenna has called in a team of Catholic theology-microbiologists to analyse the cleaning product.
The responsible parishioner, Mr Damien Crowley, was apologetic after the event.
“I had no intention of causing all this fuss” Mr Crowley explained. “I know it’s been said that you can’t catch the plague from the cup of life, but I guess I just wanted to be sure.”