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Catholic bishop praises decision on Communion Wine


Catholic bishop praises Corrections Dept. for reversing decision on Communion Wine

The Department of Corrections confirmed today that it has reviewed its earlier position that allowing Communion wine could not be taken into prisons in order to celebrate the Mass.

The Corrections Act (2004) forbids alcohol being taken into prisons, yet it was only in recent weeks that Department officials enforced a prohibition of communion wine.

Acting General Manager Public Prisons Service, Paul Monk said that the prohibition of Communion wine in prisons was an "unintentional consequence" of the Act, and that the consumption of a small amount of communion wine would not affect the good order of a prison. "In fact it will support the invaluable role that the Church plays in the rehabilitative process of some of our prisoners," he said.

Mr Monk confirmed the exemption will allow the consumption of communion wine as soon as possible, while Corrections looks at how a more permanent amendment to the Act can be made.

On behalf of the Catholic Church's prison chaplaincy, Bishop Barry Jones of Christchurch, said that all the New Zealand bishops are delighted that this difficulty has been worked through. "It is good to know that the prison service realises that the Church is able to offer help to some prisoners in their rehabilitation programme," he said.


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