Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Get help in our celiac / gluten-free forum.

  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Vatican Bans Gluten-Free Bread for Holy Communion

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      The Vatican has outlawed gluten-free bread for Catholic communion.


    Caption: The Vatican has banned gluten-free bread for Catholic Communion. Photo: CC--Awareness Campaign.

    Celiac.com 07/31/2017 - For a time, it looked like gluten-free Catholics might be able to take full communion with special gluten-free wafers.

    But, gluten-free Catholics hoping to enjoy both the wine and the bread of a full communion had their hopes dashed this week, when the Church put the kibosh on gluten-free communion wafers.

    The decision was announced in a letter to bishops by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and read, in part:

    "The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition...It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament."

    He has said the bread can be low-gluten, but the wheat must contain enough protein for it to be made without additives.

    According to Roman Catholic doctrine, the bread and wine served at the Eucharist are converted into the body and blood of Christ through a process known as transubstantiation.

    Gluten-free Catholics will still be able to take communion, as the church holds that simply taking the wine is sufficient to receive communion.

    Still, the ruling, which must be followed by the 1.2 billion Catholics around the globe, is bound to disappoint numerous gluten-free members. Share your thoughts below.

    Source:


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    We as a new Catholic I was excited to be able to take part in Holy Communion. That is the thing I watched my husband and his family do every Mass for the 25 years I attended before I converted. I am very sad that one of the most important parts of the Mass for me I will not be able to take part in. Let me explain further why...I am deaf and and do not sign. As a late life deaf person who reads lips, I might be able to get part of the Homily, if i am lucky but usually the priest moves around or I can not read his lips. Yes, the Mass is supposed the be the same format but it is not the different parishes we visit so it makes it hard when one is deaf. That makes taking Holy Communion the one thing that was consistent no matter where i went. Now I do not have that even. Yes, If i am lucky I might be the first to get the wine OH wait no the chalice is simply wiped out. No cross contamination. Pope Francis has the ability to change this like his has changed other things in the church. We the Celiacs in the world and Catholics should let him know how it affects our lives both spiritual and health wise. I plan too. I eat Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Now but this is the ONLY exception I was making was the HOST. Because My Faith is so important to me.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I suppose this could be expected from such a bizarre organization that attempts to interpret the sayings of a man who lived 2000+ years ago but his words were written down a long, long time later. It is totally improvable that Jesus said ´if you are a celiac you must still eat wheat to ruin you small intestine´. If I am wrong then I need to see that written in the new testament. Anyway did not Jesus know about celiacs? What is omnipotence after all?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Well, assuming all I've been taught about my religion is true; that God created all of us with Celiac as his children, along with all those who don't have Celiac; and that the wafer is a symbol that has been blessed to become the body of Christ; and that God is almighty and quite capable of love, intelligence, mercy, and assorted creative powers; I believe that he/she would logically be agreeable to any sort of cracker, (gluten-free) oreo, etc. My understanding is that it is the intent of both the representative of God who speaks the blessing of the wine and wafer, and the intent of the one partaking of the sacrament that bring about the wonderful change into the body and blood of Christ. & when it comes right down to it, I'm not really into the idea of drinking other people´s crumbs and drool, either . . . God rules or people rules?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Well, this is understandable since the Catholic Church requires that the host *always* conform in absolutely *all* ways to *exactly* how it was made in the Middle East in the First Century: all the same ingredients that were available then, with the same local Palestinian preparation methods, and the same methods of baking the pita or whatever it was. That's why Catholics *never* perform the Eucharist with crackers or leavened European-style bread. Oh, wait? What! They just isolate and focus on this one thing, to the exclusion of literally every other aspect -- simply arbitrarily picking this one ingredient? Even though causes a painful exclusion of people who believe in the ritual? Even though God is supposed to transubstantiate it anway? (I guess they don't believe God is that powerful...) Sounds to me like the Catholic Church really does not want people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to be a part of their church.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    I wonder what would be done if all the priests and the Pope came down with very serious and life threatening celiac.

    Roger, My thoughts exactly. I am sure God is more understanding to those who have celiac and need to have gluten-free bread. Following Jesus is not just about communion but about how we respond to his teachings. Anyway the church has bigger problems to deal with (like current pedophile) than banning gluten-free bread

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    That is discrimination. And to the CeliacCatholic 91: I read an article about an European nun with celiac disease that kept showing symptoms because she had to take the communion; her doctor did testing and gluten showed-up in her blood. In US the government did studies to come up with the exact amount of gluten that starts to damage the intestine, it is infinitesimal. I remember reading also that a very, very small amount of gluten reacts in the small intestine for 72 hours. Gluten is very teal to me, I would not put my life in jeopardy because of communion, oh, no. I would not do that to myself because my religion ask me to do it ( and I am a catholic); I had enough with my parents dying of cardiomyopathy and complications as a result of senile dementia, I do not want to be another statistic of celiac disease. I better write to Pope Francisco to voice my concerns.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Catholics who are tired of being excluded from the Table are welcome to the Table at the Lutheran church where many serve gluten-free bread or wafers. Our church uses gluten-free bread exclusively so everyone is welcomed to the same meal. It's about the only meal all week I don't have to worry what I'm eating. I love it!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I´m not Catholic but my Baptist church has not offered me gluten-free communion wafers in the 10 1/2 years since I was diagnosed, even though they know I have celiac. It would be great if they did but it has just been the juice for me since then.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    The church has distributed low gluten hosts for many years. Many researchers have determined that these are completely safe. Therefore, this article many scare some people from receiving communion and the information should be clarified.

    This article is completely without fact! I have been receiving the low-gluten host for many years and I don't see that coming to an end. It is completely acceptable in the church. Comment from Celiac catholic91 is right on.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It all comes down to faith. In the Catholic church, we believe that God is the only physician, the only healer. People who are Catholic and have celiac disease must have great faith to know that they will not be adversely affected by His body in the Holy Eucharist. Those with little faith and who do not truly believe that the Holy Eucharist is bread that was changed (transubstantiation) into the actual body of Christ, have a chance that they will be adversely affected. We must put all our trust and faith in Him. Faith equals: Father and I, Together there is always Hope.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

×
×
  • Create New...