The Church of England is considering substituting the world’s most popular fizzy drink for alcoholic communion wine in an effort to be ecumenically inclusive as well as support LGBT rights, a preview of an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury reveals.
Writing in the forthcoming issue of the Lambeth Palace quarterly Anglicana Bovis Stercus, Archbishop Justin Welby boldly proposes replacing communion wine with Cola-Cola as an “originally indigenous and edifyingly inclusive sacramental symbol of our brave new globalised world.”
Welby says he was struck by the “liberating potential of the blushing bubbly” after he read about Coca-Cola’s latest pro-gay advertising campaign in Hungary.
“I was deeply moved by the gospel-like message of the company. Even its response to a boycott of its products by rightwing conservatives was loving,” he writes, “and overcome by thirst for truth, I rushed to my refrigerator, opened a can of Coke and added it to my tot of rum.”
Welby elaborates: “Coke’s hashtag #loveislove and its theological message of ‘the feeling of love is the same’ whether you are gay or straight came to me like a revelation. It was as if Nicky Gumbel from Holy Trinity Brompton had opened my eyes a second time.”
The archbishop’s article entitled “Cana, Cola, and Canterbury,” is a theological reflection on the sacramentality of Coke, drawing on Jesus’ first miracle recorded in John 2.
“Water became wine at a heterosexual wedding in Cana. Why can’t wine become cola at a homosexual wedding in Canterbury?” Welby courageously asks.
“Water became wine at a straight wedding in Cana. Why can’t wine become cola at a gay wedding in Canterbury?”
The article explains how alcoholic wine used by Anglicans has been a “sinful stumbling block” serving to exclude Baptists, Adventists, Mormons, Moonies, Salvationists, Scientologists, as well as recovering alcoholics and conservative evangelicals in the Church of England.
Welby also reveals how he discovered alcoholic wine was forbidden to Muslims during a conference of the Christian Muslim Forum at Lambeth Palace on the day the House of Lords was discussing the imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland.
“The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, considered wine haram. Surely in the interest of mutual flourishing, Jesus would have turned water into an ancient form of Galilean Cola at Cana if the couple had also invited Muhammad to the wedding,” Welby points out.
Further, given Pope Francis’ widely publicised Amazon Synod, the archbishop argues that the use of Coca-Cola would cement ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church, especially since Coca is widely grown in the Amazon.
Coca is also known as “the divine plant of the Incas” and hence is authentically indigenous. Coca-Cola continues to use “decocainized coca leaf extract” in its signature beverage, uniting us with the “spirit of Mother Gaia in the deepest bowels of the Amazon rainforest and empowering us to fight Global Warming,” Welby writes.
While alcoholic wine excludes recovering alcoholics, the new substitute Cola will be served in two forms to be unequivocally inclusive: Coca-Cola Classic and Diet Coke. Congregations can also choose Coca-Cola Zero Sugar as a third option, particularly in the case of “Messy Church” where children are likely to attend. This will support Coke’s “Zero Sugar, Zero Prejudice” and “No sugar, no superstition” slogans in the pro-gay Hungary ad campaign.
At a press conference, a Lambeth spokesperson confirmed that the Liturgical Commission and House of Bishops had given “warm but qualified approval to the progressive idea,” which was in line with the dazzling array of new evangelistic tools used by cathedrals like golf courses, Helter Skelters, Gaia balls, Yoga mats, Monty Python movies and Beatles’ songs.
When asked if the introduction of communion Coke would affect the church’s belief in the Eucharistic presence, the spokesperson noted: “Anglo-Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus in the bread and wine; evangelicals believe in the real absence of Jesus in the elements. The Church of England believes you can pick and choose.”
The spokesperson described the archbishop’s approach to doctrine using the analogy of one pianist who plays on the white keys, while another pianist plays on the black keys. “Archbishop Justin is like the pianist who plays in the cracks between the keys. But in this case, because of the archbishop’s Alpha background, His Grace believes in the real absence of Christ in the Eucharist,” she clarified.
The spokesperson told the media that while Welby had not consulted a theologian or biblical scholar on the matter of Cola-Communion, he had spoken at length to Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour opposition party.
In his communist days, Corbyn had attacked Coca-Cola as an “emblem of American capitalism.” But Corbyn was thrilled with Welby’s “woke” idea particularly since corporates like Coca-Cola were rejecting their past association with white males and standing for LGBTQIA+ rights, the spokesperson reported.
However, Corbyn’s colleague Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott had raised concerns over racial inclusion complaining that Coca-Cola’s LGBT ads in Hungary featured only white gays and white lesbians. Abbott insisted that if introduced to Britain, she expected to see black and Asian homosexuals and even Muslim lesbians with hijabs featured in Cola-Cola’s #loveislove ad campaign.
Meanwhile, the global beverage company has hired SodGOM—a communications firm specialising in LGBT advertising—to showcase the new links between the Church of England and Coca-Cola.
The ad campaign, which is expected to net millions of pounds in revenue for the Church of England, has announced its first Cola-Communion art exhibition at Liverpool Cathedral.
The exhibition will feature the work of renowned British artist Tracey Vermin and will exhibit her creation of a 25ft can of Coca-Cola with a laser-lit LGBT rainbow stream of light flowing from the crown of the coke can.
“Holy Communion is fun. Coca-Cola is fun” — Justin Welby
The artwork is titled: “All you need is Love and Rainbow Cola,” and marks the anniversary of Welby’s ringing the cathedral bells to the tune of John Lennon’s Imagine, when Welby was dean of Liverpool.
SodGOM is also experimenting with a billboard in London’s Leicester Square featuring a poster of Archbishop Welby with a bottle of Coca-Cola, saying: “Coke! It’s the real thing.”
At the Amazon Synod, Welby will present Pope Francis with a photograph of the two global Christian leaders sipping Coca-Cola from the same bottle—an Inca sign of “drinking peace” from one cup—and a move to intercommunion between the two denominations.
“Holy Communion is fun. Coca-Cola is fun. If you can’t have fun celebrating Holy Communion and drinking Cola-Cola, do you really know what fun is?” Welby asks at the end of his article, in a profound gospel challenge to his readers.