Venezuelan food shortage threatens supply of wine for Mass

Caracas, Venezuela, May 16, 2013 / 12:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Reporter Macky Arenas of the Catholic Lay Report said the serious food shortage in Venezuela could lead to a lack of wine and hosts for the celebration of Mass.

Arenas explained that the shortage in the country is due to “the lack of raw materials.”

“This is not a country known for the production of wine, and the only national company has told the bishops it will not be able to meet demand,” she said in statements to CNA.

Officials in Venezuela are warning that the situation will not improve in the short term, she added.

The liturgy committee of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference issued a statement warning that Vino Ecclesia, the company that supplies wine for Eucharistic celebrations, has said it cannot guarantee continuous production and regular distribution because of the lack of supplies needed to make its product.

The committee also said importers are having trouble obtaining foreign currency to bring in liturgical wine made in other countries.

“If it is impossible to obtain wine for Mass certified by other bishops’ conferences, the purest and most natural wine possible should be used instead,” the committee instructed.

The food shortage has become so great that President Nicolas Maduro spoke about it during a visit to Uruguay last week.

Arenas noted that in their statement, the bishops “are not even questioning anyone; they are just simply pointing out a problem and getting in front of the consequences by proposing alternatives.”

She predicted that there will also be “a shortage of wheat for hosts” in the future.

The problem, she contended, is largely due to “the corruption that reigns in the government administration.”

“This is setting the stage for an explosive situation in Venezuela,” she warned.

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