Venezuela Looks for Blood of Christ Substitute

What happens when there’s a shortage of wine in a predominately Catholic nation, wine that they pretend to magically turn into the blood of Christ in an odd bit of faux-cannibalism? They look for a substitute blood of Christ, of course, since their savior seems to have gone out of water to wine conversion business these days.

With no miracle in sight, Roman Catholic churches are being asked to ration wine in the latest shortage to illustrate Venezuela’s economic troubles.

“We’re asking the priests and bishops to ration wine and look for alternatives during this emergency,” said Jose Antonio Da Conceicao, a national church official.

Church leaders say the problem arose when the local supplier of the specialty sacramental wine used at Mass had a bad harvest. They turned to importers, but the companies told them it was impossible to obtain dollars to bring the wine into the country because of Venezuela’s strict currency controls.

Can you convert Diet Coke into the blood of Christ? Is there an incantation for that?

29 comments on this post.
  1. richardelguru:

    Well there’s always Egri Bikavér (aka Bull’s Blood)

  2. d.c.wilson:

    Have they considered Tru Blood?

  3. Larry:

    Try Christ’s Blood Lite™ in your next service. Nine out of ten priests can’t tell the difference between it and the real stuff!

  4. Bronze Dog:

    My old church was fond of using grape juice, at least for kids, but it still comes from vineyards.

  5. sinned34:

    Pretty sure Water To WIne is a level 1 cantrip. Sadly, most religious people reject D&D rules, although it’s hard to blame them when it comes to the 4E ruleset. I prefer 2nd Edition myself, but that was back in the days of the Satanic Panic, so of course I’d be more enamored of the version that I had to sneak around to friends’ houses to play without my mom finding out about it.
    I recall promising my mom that we’d be playing Car Wars and not D&D. It’s okay to pretend to blast each other to bits with autocannons and VFRPs, but casting imaginary spells at imaginary monsters? That’s horrible!

    But hey, running out of wine? That sucks, too. I know I’m always upset whenever I go to pour a beer at home and wind up getting nothing but foam, indicating that my keg has run dry. It would even be worse if I had a religion that relied on a constant supply of beer. Come to think of it, that sounds pretty damned awesome – maybe I should start that religion.

  6. Nathair:

    I know of at least one group that had success with Flavor Aid.

  7. Tabby Lavalamp:

    Have they considered substituting whine? Their church is overflowing with that.

  8. richardelguru:

    Kool-aid?

    Or is that too soon?

  9. Pierce R. Butler:

    They have a whole continent full of fellow-believers who could slip them some hooch – many well-funded with the proceeds of Andean Marching Powder (and one who has a nifty new job in a country with some good Chianti)…

  10. busterggi:

    Sinned34 – yes, it is a cantrip BUT that only applies to magic users. Clerics are always at least four levels lower in their spell-casting abilities.

  11. sinned34:

    Busterggi:

    I completely forgot about that. That’s what happens when you rely on a deity to supply your spells instead of dedicating your life to the arcane arts yourself. Of course, that’s balanced out by being able to ignore spell failure of medium and heavy armour.

    Of course, just last night I kegged the results of casting Water To Beer. The material components included about 6.5kg of grain, over 50g of hop pellets, and 7g of yeast. It also took a month to cast, but hopefully the results will turn out to be a nice Oktoberfest style.

    I plan on spending the next month converting that beer back into water.

    I hope Ed finds the talk of alcohol makes up for the D&D rule jokes. I know he hates that stuff almost as much as I detest poker.

  12. lldayo:

    If they’d stop using half the wine to get the altar boys drunk after church hours they’d have plenty left over for mass.

  13. CaitieCat:

    Try new “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Christ” brand communion-wafers!

  14. feralboy12:

    I was going to suggest cranberry juice, but then I remembered that it contains a lot of anti-oxidants which I assume are a problem when turning it into Jesus blood.

  15. TGAP Dad:

    I suggest red Kool-Aid. It’s already red, like blood, and then they could *literally* drink the Kool-Aid!

  16. Matrim:

    Pretty sure Water To WIne is a level 1 cantrip.

    Cantrips are level 0. And, unless there was a first level spell in some random source book, the lowest level spell I know of that can transmute water into wine is level 4 (it can also transmute it into mercury, which is cooler in my opinion). They could always just invest in an Everfull Mug, granted it can only make shitty wine, but it’s efficient.

  17. notruescott:

    It’s my understanding that the whole lord’s supper thing was a nod to (or complete ripoff of) a ritual for the egyptian god of wheat, wherein bread and beer were consumed– really the body and blood of the wheat god, which makes a hell of a lot more sense than the christian ritual. [Citation needed, of course; I'm too lazy to look it up right now.]

  18. Pierce R. Butler:

    from linked story:

    … the local Catholic Church has given priests permission to use different types of wine for communion.

    “In extreme necessity … they can provisionally use Chilean or Argentine wines of good quality – French, Spanish and Italian too, but they are very expensive,” said an internal church memo.

    Hallelujah!

  19. mvemjsun:

    The wacky Mormons use water (pre-miricle wine) instead of wine. It should not matter what beverage they use when they play make believe.

  20. Doug Little:

    Sinned34

    I have greatly injoyed your comments on D&D. Keep them coming. Also I hope your water into beer project turns out OK.

  21. Doug Little:

    Crap. Enjoyed. Damn iPhone.

  22. bahrfeldt:

    CaitieCat @ 13. Excellent! I will steal that.

  23. Marcus Ranum:

    Jesus blood? I coulda had a V-8!

  24. Marcus Ranum:

    I’d recommend V-8 tomato juice cut with a bit of beet juice. And some dextromorpham. Just to keep the rubes passive and in their seats.

  25. Marcus Ranum:

    No, wait – I’ve got it: pizza

    “What’s that ground meat?”
    “Jesus!”
    “Great savior on a pizza!”

  26. dingojack:

    But the pizza must have Swiss cheese (cut into stylised bat shapes).
    :) Dingo

  27. S.K. McDonald:

    @16:

    I think he’s referring to the cantrip Presdigitation which allows you to make the minor properties of objects amd substances nearby change. So you could use that to make water /taste like/ wine, though it wouldn’t get you drunk.

  28. democommie:

    His blog has been inactive for too long, but glorious leader, Patriotboy, over at “Jesus’ General” allowed me to market our own wine, “Blood-O-The-Lamb” in HIS name. There was a pinot noir, cabernet and vintner’s reserve merlot. The fact that they were all fictional shouldn’t be a problem for GODbots who have been entertaining a group delusion for as long as there have been baskets to pass through the crowds of rubes.

  29. kermit.:

    I’d suggest simply watering down the wine at a 1:1 ratio, but that would probably make the baby Jesus anemic.

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