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    Bishops in Italy Approve a German-made Low Gluten Eucharistic Host

    Scott Adams

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    Celiac.com 08/02/2002 - The Bishops National Liturgy Office in Italy recently approved a low-gluten Eucharistic host made by a specific German firm for use by worshippers who have celiac disease. The hosts have been approved by the scientific committee of the Italian Celiac Association and are made using Codex Alimentarius quality wheat starch that contains 0.0374 milligrams of gluten. Additionally, the Vaticans Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also approved the hosts for use in the Eucharist. According to the Catholic Church the bread used in the Eucharist must be made exclusively from wheat, and the German-made hosts are currently the only ones produced that meet all of the Catholic Churchs requirements.

    This decision creates controversy, however, between worshippers with celiac disease in Europe and the United States, mainly due to the differing opinion with regard to whether those with celiac disease need to be on a 100% gluten-free diet. Since support groups and some segments of the American scientific community advocate a 100% gluten-free diet, the Catholic Church recommends that worshippers with celiac disease in the United States only receive communion if the form of consecrated wine.


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    Guest Sr. Sophia Becker, OSB


    I take exception to your article "Bishops in Italy Approve a German-made Low Gluten Eucharitsic Host." It does not tell the whole truth. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, MO, USA have been in the business of producing and distributing low gluten altar breads for over five years now. They are made from all wheaten starch, have the backing of the USCCB and Vatican and have made it possible for many people around the world to receive Holy Communion under bread and wine (if not contaminated.) We have been in the altar bread business for 100 years and are thrilled with the work of the Holy Spirit through our research and development of these new hosts.

    Hopefully more thorough research can be done in the future before other "facts" are stated in your articles. May God be glorified in all things.



    Sr. Sophia Becker, OSB

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    The Benedictine Sisters were way ahead of other clergy to see the need of children who want the inclusion of being able to receive Communion as part their Catholic Community. They saw the need of severely ill children, struggling with autoimmune disease, being left out of the Communion Community and responded with LOVE and INCLUSION. The Benedictine Sisters are Role Models and Heros for the Catholic Church. God bless you Benedictine Sisters. You gave FAITH and INCLUSION back to my daughter and our extended family.

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  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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    Scott Adams
    The following is a letter that was sent to me by Wendy Wark of Exton, PA. We urge you to create your own letter based on this example, and send it to your local media, specifically to the health editors of newspapers, magazines and TV stations.
    September 1, 200_ Dear Health Editor:
    Please consider a story about a health condition called Celiac Sprue. Celiac is a mystery illness thats becoming less of mystery and finally becoming more correctly diagnosed. Celiac Sprue, also known as gluten intolerance, is a permanent, lifelong intolerance to gluten (a protein found in wheat & other grains). Considering our diet is primarily a wheat-based diet, this condition touches many Americans.
    As many as 1 in 150 Americans are expected to have the condition. Celiac Sprue is an up & coming hot health topic; one that your readers will find
    interesting and who may have the condition themselves or someone in their inner-circle. The reason its Hot ...
    * In July 2000 Rich Gannon, Quarterback for Oakland Raiders, has become the new national spokesperson for Celiac Sprue.
    * The media is beginning to report on the guiles of gluten as seen in Newsweek (noted on Research Information Reference Sheet).
    * The University of Maryland is now conducting a 5-year nationwide study to prove that the U.S. has the frequency similar to Europe - about 1 in 150 persons (see enclosed studys preliminary findings).
    Fortunately in the 1950s Celiac Sprue was identified, but its unfortunate that the road has been slow to get the medical community, and the general public, informed.
    There are so many points why Celiac Sprue awareness is important:
    1 - There are other diseases occurring less frequently that get more media attention. For instance,
    Lyme Disease ... 16,000 cases each year
    Lou Gehrigs Disease... 30,000 cases
    Parkinsons Disease ... ~ 500,000 affected Americans
    Celiac Sprue (Gluten Intolerance) ... ~1,000,000 affected Americans

    2 - Many people are undiagnosed and suffering daily with painful Celiac symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue and depression.
    3 - Many people are misdiagnosed due to the medical profession not recognizing the prevalence of this condition. Many physicians either know
    very little about it or nothing at all.
    4 - Concise food labeling is critical by food manufacturers so consumers arent contaminated with forbidden ingredients. For instance, food
    manufacturers use natural flavorings which can be anything under the sun. Unclear labeling is not only a problem just for Celiacs, but anyone with any type of food sensitivity.
    5 - There is an exorbitant cost to insurance companies as people go for years trying to uncover their mystery illness. In the case of our son, we
    incurred about a $60,000 surgery and hospital bill which could have been avoided; with an earlier, correct diagnosis we would have incurred only a
    fraction of the medical fees. The steps to diagnose Celiac Sprue first is a blood test to screen antibodies. If that proves positive, then an outpatient
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    Both common folk along with the medical profession needs to learn about this condition. Fortunately there is a rather simple cure for this eluding condition ... a gluten-free diet. But unless a physician can spot and test for Celiac Sprue in their patient, the patient doesnt avoid gluten-filled foods. The treatment is uncomplicated ... a dietary change by removing the offending gluten! No surgery or drugs needed!
    Please consider sharing this condition with your audience. Probably many of your readers will have some of the symptoms mentioned, or will know about family or friends that are suffering. Im committed to educating others about this condition, so much so, that Ive written a book Living Healthy With Celiac Disease. Its filled with information to help get newly-diagnosed persons quickly on the road to recovery. Let me know if you would like a complimentary copy.
    If you have interest in this, please contact me at 610 363-5049 for further information. Ive included a Description of Celiac Sprue and our Personal Story. Ive also enclosed a page with Research Information Resources along with other backup information.
    Thanks for the consideration.

    Description of Celiac Sprue
    Personal Story
    Research Information Resources
    Study Findings from University of Maryland Study (http://www.celiaccenter.org)
    Description of Celiac Sprue
    Prepared by Wendy Wark
    September 1, 2000

    Celiac Sprue is a condition causing damage to the small intestines resulting from gluten ingestion. The damage occurs when the immune system launches an attack against the gluten (the forbidden protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats). The damaged intestinal lining and villi prevents the small intestines from absorbing food properly. Another sister condition caused by gluten intolerance is Dermatitis Herpetiformis, a skin disorder presented as an itchy rash.
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