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Celiac In Toronto News Today


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#1 Canadian Karen

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 01:06 PM

Hi!

My husband was telling me after work that Celiac Disease was discussed today on MOJO Radio here in Toronto. Apparently, there is an 8 yr old girl who is being refused her First Holy Communion by the Catholic Church here because she cannot take the communion wafer.....

Can you believe that??? I have had shaken my head a few times because of the idiotic rules of the Catholic church (I am Catholic, by the way!!!), but this takes the cake (gluten free, of course!!!). They obviously have no idea about the seriousness of Celiac Disease.....

Karen
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Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy
Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism
endometriosis (at age 20)
spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.
Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs
Rhiannon 8 yrs
Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."
Orison Swett Marden


Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
-- Victor Borge



"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."
Tom Nansbury


"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."
Unknown

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#2 celiac3270

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 01:55 PM

I heard about this, too...

8-year-old's first Holy Communion invalidated by Church


By JOHN CURRAN
Associated Press Writer

August 12, 2004, 2:25 PM EDT


BRIELLE, N.J. -- An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition _ celiac sprue disease _ should not exclude her from participating in the sacrament, in which Roman Catholics eat consecrated wheat-based wafers to commemorate the last supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.
"In my mind, I think they must not understand celiac," said Elizabeth Pelly-Waldman, 30. "It's just not a viable option. How does it corrupt the tradition of the Last Supper? It's just rice versus wheat."

It's more than that, according to church doctrine, which holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper.

The Diocese of Trenton has told Waldman's mother that the girl can receive a low-gluten host, drink wine at communion or abstain entirely, but that any host without gluten does not qualify as Holy Communion.

Pelly-Waldman rejected the offer, saying even a small amount of gluten could harm her child.

Gluten is a food protein contained in wheat and other grains.

"This is not an issue to be determined at the diocesan or parish level, but has already been decided for the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world by Vatican authority," said Bishop John M. Smith.

"Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist," Smith said in a prepared statement released Thursday by the diocese.

Celiac sprue disease, an autoimmune disorder, occurs in people with a genetic intolerance of gluten.

When consumed by celiac sufferers, gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, blocking nutrient absorption and leading to vitamin deficiencies, bone-thinning and sometimes gastrointestinal cancer.

It isn't the first such communion controversy. In 2001, the family of a 5-year-old Natick, Mass., girl with the disease left the Catholic church after being denied permission to use a rice wafer.

Some Catholic churches allow the use of no-gluten hosts, others don't, according to Elaine Monarch, executive director of the Celiac Disease Foundation, a Studio City, Calif.-based support group for sufferers.

"It is a dilemma," said Monarch. "It is a major frustration that someone who wants to follow their religion is restricted from doing so because some churches will not allow it."

"It is an undue hardship on a person who wants to practice their religion and needs to compromise their health to do so," Monarch said.

Haley Waldman, a shy, brown-haired tomboy who loves surfing and hates to wear a dress, was diagnosed with the disorder at 5.

"I'm on a gluten-free diet because I can't have wheat, I could die," she said in an interview Wednesday.

Last year, in anticipation of the Brielle Elementary School third grader reaching Holy Communion age, her mother told officials at St. Denis Catholic Church in Manasquan that the girl could not have the standard host.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Stanley P. Lukaszewski, told her that a gluten-free substitute was unacceptable.

But a priest at a nearby parish contacted Pelly-Waldman after learning about the dilemma, volunteering to administer the sacrament using a gluten-free host.

She said she won't identify the priest or his parish for fear of repercussions from diocese.

On May 2, Waldman _ wearing a white communion dress _ made her first Holy Communion in a ceremony at the priest's church. Her mother, who also suffers from celiac and had not received communion since her diagnosis four years ago, also received.

But last month, the diocese told the priest that Waldman's sacrament would not be validated by the church because of the substitute wafer.

"I struggled with telling her that the sacrament did not happen," said Pelly-Waldman. "She lives in a world of rules. She says `Mommy, do we want to break a rule? Are we breaking a rule?"'

Now, the mother is seeking papal intervention. She has written to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, challenging the church's policy.

"This is a church rule, not God's will, and it can easily be adjusted to meet the needs of the people, while staying true to the traditions of our faith," Pelly-Waldman said in the letter.

For her part, Pelly-Waldman _ who attends Mass every Sunday with her four children _ said she is not out to bash the church, just to change the policy that affects her daughter.

"I'm hopeful. Do I think it will be a long road to change? Yes. But I'm raising an awareness and I'm taking it one step at a time," she said.


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#3 Canadian Karen

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:07 PM

Wow! Unbelievable!!!

Thanks, celiac3270, I didn't realize it was in New Jersey, I thought since it was on MOJO radio here in Toronto, it was up in Canada somewhere......

Sitting here shaking my head...... can you spell "rigid"????? I have had a few run-ins with the Catholic church in the last few years myself, but not about celiac, but about christenings of my children, etc. etc. They made me feel like you had to jump through hoops to "join" their church, instead of being inclusive, they were being exclusive.... My husband, myself and my four children are all Catholic, but I have already told my husband that I am considering looking for a different church, e.g. United, Anglican, that can better meet my spiritual needs.....

This is just one more reason for me to do so......

Karen
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Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy
Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism
endometriosis (at age 20)
spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.
Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs
Rhiannon 8 yrs
Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."
Orison Swett Marden


Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
-- Victor Borge



"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."
Tom Nansbury


"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."
Unknown

#4 celiac3270

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:17 PM

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#5 Canadian Karen

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:30 PM

Aahhhhh........ ummmmm - it's a good thing you don't live in Ireland, eh??

I have often pondered the last few years while I have been having these feelings that the Catholic church just does not meet my spiritual needs, if the Protestant church would take Irish Catholic converts!!!!

I just need a church that includes everyone into their flock. I don't want to belong to a church that makes you jump through hoops to meet their criteria... I don't think Jesus had that in mind..... I don't think Jesus would care what grain the host was made from.... besides, who's to say that the bread in the Last Supper was made from wheat anyway?? Maybe they used rice flour back then, who knows??

Karen
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Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy
Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism
endometriosis (at age 20)
spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.
Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs
Rhiannon 8 yrs
Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."
Orison Swett Marden


Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
-- Victor Borge



"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."
Tom Nansbury


"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."
Unknown

#6 celiac3270

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:32 PM

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#7 debmidge

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 01:19 AM

Hate to be cynical, but maybe they didn't offer the first priest enough money....
I too was denied being a Godmother to my niece by them (in 2002 not 20 years ago!) because I didn't marry Catholic (I got married in a Baptist Church). But, get this, a woman who never married, but had live in boyfriends - year after year --- is good enough to be a Godmother, but not a woman who was married 22 years to the same man! After I was rejected, I later learned from a Papal Lawyer (Canon law) that the priest could have given me a special dispensation because I am qualified in other ways (Baptism, Communion, Confirmation and a practicing Christian who is in a long standing marriage). The lawyer was youngish, and shook his head saying these older priests are what's keeping the church from growing and being there for the people.

Since the Irish have a high proportion of celiac disease, how does the Catholic church in Ireland handle this problem?
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Husband has Celiac Disease and
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006
It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

#8 lovegrov

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 04:52 AM

There is a very low gluten host that the church has approved and that at least some celiac medical experts have also said is all right. Some Catholics take that. Some preists quietly give a gluten-free host. And some Catholics just take the wine.

richard
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#9 Guest_~wAvE WeT sAnD~_*

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 09:04 PM

Not to be sacreligious, but the girl's family should raise some hell...and let the priest know that God created her as equally as he made everyone else--let her sip the wine, and for the love of the Lord, how hard is it to provide a mere rice cake? Surely the Catholic churches can do that for the however million other Celiacs in the world...but somehow, for whatever reason, religious or not, therein lies some coveted difficulty.

As for the priest, the molestation scandals of some of his kind make him lose credibility in my eyes and doubt his sincerity---she's only a child. Someone please shake him and ask, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Does that ring a bell?"

Lord have mercy on my angry soul.
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#10 celiac3270

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 03:43 AM

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#11 catfish

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 08:35 AM

In my humble opinion it's not important what the sacrament is made of, it's the symbolism of the last supper and the remembrance of the Lord's sacrifice that is important. I've heard that in my offbeat religion during WWII when bread was hard to obtain in Germany, they sometimes used slices of potato. I don't really think that God cares one way or the other whether the "bread" is made of wheat, soy, corn, or bananas! It's what your heart is made of that matters to him. I feel sorry for this girl's family, I hope they can find resolve somehow.
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#12 celiac3270

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 01:45 PM

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#13 stargirl

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 01:54 PM

Technically she couldn't drink the wine either. Wine isn't normally gluten free is it?
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#14 celiac3270

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 01:58 PM

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#15 tarnalberry

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 02:43 PM

Meh... the Catholic church doesn't seem to be afraid of looking silly in the eyes of the public for ridig adherence to long-standing tradition, regardless of modern evidence to the contrary. In fact, there's something of a revitalization of the conservatism that existed pre-Vatican II. I hope this is resolved in the girl's favor, but the pessimist in me doubts it.
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Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Bellevue, WA


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