No this isn’t a mistimed April Fool’s wind up. Whisky actually did end up being placed in an Archbishop’s chalice instead of wine during a church service on the island of Malta last Sunday.
The sacristan (a person in charge of a sacristy and its contents) responsible has since apologised.
The incident occurred while Mgr Scicluna was leading a concelebrated Mass at St John’s Co-Cathedral (pictured) to mark the opening of the process for the beatification of former De La Salle brothers provincial Bro Louis Camilleri.
Sacristan Godwin Dalli said on Facebook that while he was not to blame for what had happened, he wanted to publicly apologise.
He explained that one of the volunteers who had been preparing the offerings got confused over the cupboards where the wine used for Mass was kept and picked the wrong one.
No contempt was meant, nor was this a joke. It was a mistake.
During the Mass Archbishop Scicluna was heard asking whether whisky, rather than wine, had been put in his chalice. “Is this wine or whisky?… it is whisky”, Mgr Scicluna was heard saying on the altar.
A co-celebrant tasted it and agreed. After a pause the Mass continued as usual.
A second chalice, containing consecrated wine, was used. A spokesman for the Curia said it was ‘an unfortunate incident by the sacristans.’