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Ratzinger--not Good For Celiacs

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I also think it's important to remember that the new testament, in particular, was written by humans, and given the political climate at the time and the historical evidence, it was almost certain a set of male writers. Whether they had specific intentions of "keeping females in their place" or not, they wrote in the context of their times, and times do change.

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Not only is there a lot ot Tradition surrounding the Eucharist, but also the teaching is very different from other Christian faiths that teach it. Catholic teaching is that the wheat in the Host is totally replaced by Jesus'. presence. In other Christian faiths, it isn't. It may sound like a technicality, but it is a veryv important difference here.


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Somebody mentioned that a burqua could be an option for a bad hair day. Half a burqua (the bottom half) -- or actually, better yet, a small tent from Sears! -- would be useful on the days when one gets glutened, to cover ye old rapidly expanding abdomen. :blink:

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Guest BellyTimber


My reaction to page 1:

If my poem (early April) was gab and not coping, this thread probably is also!

We dealt with these issues before - didn't we?!

Except for the Pope.

Tiffany, celiac3270 and Kaiti who are usually extremely sound, have missed the point on this occasion.

There has indeed been name calling about public personalities and institutions -albeit 50 cent name calling.

Another thing - you Americans don't know you are born. Europe is atheist-materialist-utilitarian through and through, human beings are about to become cogs in a machine, this is Soviet Siberia.

As an English person I'm glad of a German Pope (unlike most of our newspapers), we need such a lot of healing over here. Deep down and not squabbling about things where deep down understanding hasn't been sought.

The real model of church ministry is the inverted pyramid.

Our bishop started a post-baptismal catechetical initiative and there was such trouble he was forced to have it stopped. It's been shown that seminarians and clergy from those groups have dealt relatively speaking better with the issues that trip up many other ones (also lay people).

At my church I am excluded from everything except Mass because I don't make music, I don't have a child at the school, I'm not under 35 and I'm not over 55. There's only groups for these people and Mass, nothing else.

There are lots of nasty people in that church. I'm not going to change churches any more (I've done that a lot for half a century which is older than a lot of you are) because I don't have to be a perfectionist any more - especially not when it comes to other people's affairs. If people are 20% right they're hair-raising, if 40% right they are tolerable, 60% comfortable, 80% extra special.

When I go to Mass I don't have the host, either because I have my doubts about the proportion of gluten in it, or when I would have felt freer on that score, I don't have any available. I don't use wine. We believe the appearances remain when the elements are changed into Jesus, and the appearances are digested.

I don't mope about it, THE BEST SOURCES OF CHURCH DOCTRINE SAY IT IS JUST AS GOOD TO SIT OUT AND MAKE A SPIRITUAL COMMUNION IF THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. I've made this point before when this topic was up before.

In my observation there is in both the Catholic and Protestant churches, too often a superstitious attitude that you must do it and that it must be perfect for you.

I think people that are less practising or of a different denomination ought to WORRY LESS ON OUR BEHALF (it's not doing us or you any good).

I think this thread ought to confine itself to communion breads and hosts per se.

I come and look at these topics for my good, I am interested in the latest about hosts, but I think people who are - rightly - wary of somebody that says he almost (but didn't actually) think they were hypochondriac, should themselves hesitate before wading into areas that are vital to somebody else without much in the way of facts.

I don't know what is at issue in your lives.

We fumble and grope and blunder about the vital issue we do know we have in common - and more or less offend each other from time to time because we're only human. Let's keep out of areas where we don't have enough feel for the reality.

Richard has some interesting news about the new hosts - if this statistic re the gluten content is too high for someone we know, let's carry on discussing it. If we don't actually know someone that it would be relevant to then let's stop pretending we need to stand up for someone - especially by pulling in the whole "misogynistic" thing - the "conservative" whatever that is coded language for. Carrying on writing into the authorities about content of hosts is a valid idea.

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Guest BellyTimber


My review of page 4:

Westiepaws' idea of small tents for celiacs attending church is the best idea here.

Best overall comment on the thread is from Lotusgem; Gott im Himmel!

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Guest BellyTimber


My challenge to everybody - reply to this question:

- have we an actual interest?

- and if so, are we willing to learn?

- and if not, are we willing to leave it to those it's relevant for?

In the next thread it's: we're going to die of osteoporosis and cancer if we don't stick to the needed diet as best we can, and many of you have seen it happen to your loved ones, so you know what you're talking about. That helps me as most of my loved ones have "got away with it" rather.

In this thread where hardly anyone has got an actual issue there's all kinds of sentiments expressed that are not based in reality. The people with the most interests at stake are the people who make the most balanced comments.

Examples: Ruby Rose page 2, kvogt page 1. Thank you both very much.

I also wish to thank Shirley on page 3 for the heart-lightening if true comment about the bilingual being less likely to get demetia as their minds are so busy. Thank you also.

If there was an issue I think Abby has dealt with it in her 20th April post, God doesn't care if you sit out and make a spiritual one. Thank you Abby.

debmidge your source of info has told it you factually wrong, by insisting on a proportion of wheat however small, the authorities are not making anyone sin because it is not a sin to not take the communion elements. I sincerely and truly do assure you you may cease to worry about this.

To stretch the metaphor perhaps we can all become healthier by becoming more "bilingual" in our attitudes.

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If you do not agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church then please go find a different religion to complain about!!! There are TWO species of communion available and one is gluten-free! My daughter made her First Communion three years ago and we have never once complained that she is not able to receive under both species. When we are on vacation, and we often are, we simply speak to the priest beforehand about my daughter's disease. We have never had a problem. Before our pastor made wine available to everyone, he would look for us in the congregation. Upon seeing my daughter, he would put wine into a chalice for her. We would get up last at Communion and receive from our pastor, not a Eucharistic minister. Our pastor would then go to the altar, get "her" chalice and give it to her. It was never a problem.

I really think the people who have a problem with the Church's teaching on the host need to take a good hard look at themselves and see if that is really what their problem is. More likely, the problem is with authority and following rules. Why would anyone want to be a member of a church he feels the need to malign? Should the Church change its teaching on the Ressurection because some people have a problem with it? No!!! So if you do not like the Church LEAVE IT !!! Do not attack a man who has dedicated his life to helping others. That is not what a good Catholic does. By the way, it is a sin to attack a priest... I will pray for all of you who are doing that!

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I just posted and then read what gapspan wrote. Because I never had a problem with the teaching on Communion I'd never thought about a Spiritual Communion. You are absolutely wonderful to suggest it!

I also like what you wrote about people of other religions worrying about Catholics. They don't need to worry about us.


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Yes, actually you are supposed to go along, or at least except without maligning the Church, with everything to be a good Catholic. That is the whole point! You seem to think of religion as a government that has elections, impeachments, etc. It is not! You are to accept the teaching of the religion. People become members of a particular religion because they agree with the teachings, not to fight them.

And the "nice man" celiac3270 refers to is a rogue priest who knew what he was doing was wrong. I feel for the child who's moron mother put her through the whole ordeal. What kind of person claims to follow the rules and then uses an 8 year old to make a point? The mother obviously has no problem teaching her child to pick and chose the teachings she sees fit to follow, so why bother following any?She knew what she was doing was wrong. She knew her daughter had never made her First Communion. She wanted to stir up a controversy and that is all. Why pretend to be Catholic (or a member of any religion) when you do not agree with it's teaching? That is just stupid.

Because Jesus did not give a recipe for a Communion wafer does not mean there should not be one! When he held up the bread and said "Do this in memory of me" the bread did contain wheat! Furthermore, Jesus did not leave a rulebook but that is why we have a pope. The pope is the mouthpiece for God. And all of you who have a problem with him may want to look up the definition of papal infallibility, instead of "liberal", "Catholic" or anything else. In case you do not look it up, papal infallibility means the pope CANNOT err on matters of Church doctrine. This is because God directs him. So basically, what the pope says is what God wants. The pope prays for guidance and God gives it to him. He does not make decisions willy-nilly

So suck it up and make a Spiritual Communion or receive wine.Just ask if it is gluten-free-it should be. As for worrying about the host being dipped into the wine, ask for a separate chalice. Some people do not have a problem with this because the wafer does not have crumbs that could come off and go into the wine. Other people believe God will protect them because of the nature of what they are doing. Still other people believe that after the host is consecrated it no longer contains gluten because it has become the body and the wine the blood of Christ. People in a support group I was in, who were very sensitive to minute amounts of gluten and had very strong faith received the host every week without problem. I do think that is wonderful for them. A bit like a weekly miracle, but I am not telling anyone to do this because I do not think most people's faith is strong enough and I do not want people experimenting. I do think it is something to think about.

By the way, in my previous post I did not say anyone had complaints with other religions. celiac3270, you seem to have misunderstood me. And I do think people who gripe about their own religion either have a problem with authority and cannot bring themselves to admit it or simply do not understand the religion. So celiac3270, I hope you have read this and then do some research and study about what I touched on. Hopefully, you will then understand that no one is being "victimized".There are sound reasons for all of the Church's teachings. You seem to be a smart kid with access to many research materials and I hope you use them to understand what I wrote about. I am very well educated in these matters and it does offend me when people make disparaging remarks about this. I know I would not say that type of thing about other religions, even if I was ignorant of the facts, and other people should not do it either.

As for people complaining about the poor treatment of women, that is also pure ignorance. However, this website is for celiacs, not uninformed "feminists" looking for an agenda. But, a little informatin does go a long way.

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After reading all this I feel compelled to point out the actual Catholic teaching in what happens during the Consecration at Mass. During the Consecration, the bread and wine are completely, totally, and utterly changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The wheat in the host, including the gluten, is gone. It does not exist any more.

I realize that there are many people here with different backgrounds and different religious beliefs. I also realize that other Christian faiths that have the Eucharist do not have exactly the same teachings as the Catholic Church when it comes to this either. That's okay. My purpose is merely to explain the actual teaching of the Catholic Church here.

As in any religious teaching, it is a matter of faith. It cannot be forced upon anyone.


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It was not an insult, it was the truth. A rogue is someone who engages in acts that vary from the standard. That is what the priest did when he claimed the girl's First Communion was valid. Claiming he is a rogue priest was not sinning. I was stating a fact. It's akin to me calling him a brunette if he had brown hair. Thanks for worrying about my immortal soul though!

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Guest BellyTimber

Well said Connole.

celiac3270 - you complain you have got problems with your own religion.

A lot of the others - complain they have got problems with ours which is not theirs.

celiac3270 (and all Catholics) please note and this has all been said by others than me:

1.Ask for a separate wine cup (if you may have wine). If your parish priest doesn't allow communion in two kinds he is absolutely and utterly in the wrong.

2.Don't be deceived by people who say they can bend the rules for you when they can't.

3.If you don't use wine, use the ultra low gluten and ultra low wheat host once a year only; if not, make a spiritual communion. Not one of you (except Abby and Connole) said whether you had ever heard of that fact before or whether that fact makes any difference to what you think. Spiritual communion is a practice of equal value and status to communion in the elements of bread and wine when it is done for serious reasons of a medical nature.

4.First Communion on that basis is once in a life time.

5.Do home work.

6.Research from reliable and authoritative sources.

7.In regard to proportions of gluten in things, did you know that in the U.K., by law foods containing 200 parts gluten per million, may be called gluten free? That means that in the U.K., hundreds of thousands of coeliacs are still consuming gluten (I don't know whether their health is getting much better). The point being, a sense of proportion (and there is always as we have kept on saying spiritual communion). A lack of sense of proportion is somethimes called scruples. Scruples supposedly on behalf of someone else is insincere interference as we are used to in politicians and officials at least in my country if not yours; and on our own behalf may be counterproductive and hold us back from something better.


We've got to wise up you and me and do our homework and stop hanging about on the fringes complaining, we're free to join something else you know. Do you want to live somewhere where it causes major legal ructions to change your religion?

We like to think we don't put up with misinformation from doctors, food companies or politicians, why should we put up with it from clergy or laity?

The priesthood is of believers under the High Priest and the church is of a inverted pyramid model of service. Anything else is just as bad news for men as for women whether they know it or not. If this really means anything to you seek God to bring about his will because in every generation this needs to be brought about anew, it can't be taken for granted. When did you last hear that from a pulpit now? Do some research - what kind of people are saying that though - including what famous people?

The wheat comes from the passover recipe, as Donna researched.

Don't recycle what you wrote before, think whether what others have written changes any of your ideas or not and if not, you've made your points already (badly).

There's nothing wrong with passion, we need clear headedness. We've gone round the circle, now let's go somewhere.

And by the way a title like "Ratzinger - not good for coeliacs" is grossly inaccurate and a misuse of the forum. I did see you listed somewhere at some time as a "leader" of some of the forums, is that a sort of under-moderator? You are reliable on some subjects and ought to be more tentative when you're less sure of the subject.

If you were proposing a debate you ought to have had the straightforwardness to insert at least a question mark into your title.

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Steadyed spoke of what I had touched on. I am glad you brought it up. The point is that after the consecration the host does NOT contain gluten. Most people do not have the faith to believe that and that is where much of the problem lies. Many other religions view the host as symbolic and not the actual body of Jesus. If this were part of my religion and I did not understand what happened at the consecration then I might, out of ignorance, question the Catholic teaching. So thank you for educating people.

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Gapspan brought up some very important issues. I agree with what was said about the title itself.

I did not know the exact formula for food labeling he spoke of, but I was aware that the definition of "gluten-free" is not the same worldwide. I was warned about this years ago. Some people will not eat anything gluten-free from other countries. It was a very good point to bring up.

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"Steadyed spoke of what I had touched on. I am glad you brought it up. The point is that after the consecration the host does NOT contain gluten. Most people do not have the faith to believe that and that is where much of the problem lies."

So are you saying that the Catholics who I know who have gotten sick from the wafers are either imagining they got sick or they simply don't have enough faith? If they believed more they wouldn't have gotten sick?


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I wonder if anyone has done an analysis on a wafer after it was "changed". (I'm an applied physicist by training - we think about testing things after every "change", so I'm not bringing this up in an intentionalyl sacriligeous way.)

But it also leads me to the question - one unanswerable without a well funded study - for those who take communion, how much of a reaction, or lack thereof, psychosomatic? I assume that the population of communion recievers include a representative sampling of both those who do truely believe that true transfiguration has taken place, and those who don't - even amongst Catholics. We know that psychosomatic effects are quite real, quite significant in some cases, and can work either way - making you feel better than you would without it or making you feel worse than you would without it.

It's nothing more than a thought experiment, because it's not going to happen, I'm sure, but it's an interesting one.

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Guest BellyTimber


Tiffany, your question is 100% spot on and the answer is it has been done. The answers have got nothing to do with any concept of "psychosomatic".

The elements in the Eucharist exist at three or four levels in the off-the-cuff description of my friend who is an experienced higher student of theology at possibly one of the top handful of theology colleges in the UK (with the odd comment by me thrown in):

- the level of investigation (your question) which is the SAME level as that of digestion AND of sensory perception. This is sometimes, in technical theological terminology called "appearances". This is EXACTLY why the Catholic Church DOES permit and extremely highly esteems the accommodations I described some days ago, in non-frivolous circumstances of the kind I described. I am not out to undermine anybody and do agree with everything else Connole has said.

- the philosophical level of the concept of being fed by bread (as Donna has pointed out this comes from the Passover). This is not trivial or a sop, all the churches bring this out strongly I think.

- The sacramental level which perhaps is the same as the vision of faith as the Body of Christ (in the instance of the wine, the Blood of Christ). Why fed, and what is the relevance of being fed in the dimension of faith? It is about being fed on the journey God has called us each on (like the journey of the Exodus people in the first place), in which our personal history is intricately involved. Meaning of life questions. If you haven't had this area opened up much for you, I hope you will be at peace about this and open-hearted exploration of all these things is something where God will lead you and I want to talk about the first level mentioned especially.

All these levels are existing at the same time. They are poles. You can't have the earth without the south pole because you only like the north (in fact there seem to be at least three in the above account but you get my drift...).

Life is more interesting when its multidimensionality can be appreciated.

The gift Connole has mentioned, of confidence in not receiving harm at a bodily level from the bread (or wine, if having alcohol sensitivity - like one - only one - alcoholic in recovery whom I know) is an additional issue. If this does not mean anything to you please do not worry about it!

Meantime it is possible for some people to decide that an extremely-low-gluten wafer contains no more than say the level of "contamination" encountered in daily living and that consuming it as frequently as instructed by the Church (once yearly) is right for them. For those that know that is in turn too much the "Spiritual Communion" is extremely warmly recommended as being of the same value in cultivating one's relationship with God by the Official, mainstream, orthodox and authoritative church. I'm sure we would welcome some more reaction about this reality if anyone has got some insight on it.

I most warmly invite all those among you, and anyone else with concerns around these points to explore them assertively, constructively and openheartedly with church officials who really know their stuff about all this, I can only say if the officials concerned in these stories (and perhaps in your experiences which you are not mentioning) forgot to refer you to such a source of reliable information (and we don't know that didn't happen in the publicised case, I think the published story doesn't say so at any rate), it must be because they are only human having a less than perfect day, just like the rest of us this side of ... YKW! (and also some church officials get some facts wrong)

My doctor forgot to refer me to a gastroenterologist and we have read here of some doctors getting things wrong but that doesn't contradict the positive reality of an ever expanding body of knowledge being discovered by the searchers for facts in our generation - new discoveries don't contradict the reality of coeliac disease and similar and related conditions but simply carry on putting them in context. Knowledge doesn't invent but discovers and explores.

My pastor was given the rest of a box of hosts by the spouse of a deceased parishioner, I am going to fetch them off him then bring one at a time to Mass and see how I get on with them, having studied the composition stated on the label, and then see from my resulting experince of them whether I fit into the category, purely practically speaking, of using them or of making a Spiritual Communion. A couple of months ago I stated that I would prefer the wheat thing to be absolutely varied in such a case but since then I have enquired and found the above explanation satisfactory. (I hope I haven't garbled it too badly)

The taking of the standard host, the taking of the ultra-low-gluten one frequently, the taking of the ultra-low-gluten one once a year, and the Spiritual Communion, when the latter are done for the serious reasons we know apply in the case mentioned, are therefore evidently practical distinctions in procedure only, because God designed us to live in the practical sphere of eyes, hands and intestines, and each of these procedures are of equal spiritual value.


P.S. - important for the reputation of the forum - please can administrators, moderators and leaders take note - please can the discussion be continued under a new title expressing a straight question (not slanted) or a neutral statement please!

Very glad indeed that the discussion broke free of lunar orbit, let's keep it that way!


Also I'm very sorry if my words about the reality of the subject, expressed with dynamism, wrongly included harsh words to those who have done so much for me :(:)

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To answer you lovegrov, I never said or implied that anyone you know who got sick was imagining any sickness or reaction. Since faith is between God and the faithful as individuals I cannot say whether or not their faith is strong, weak or somewhere in between the two. But that could be something you could ask them. I know people who have received the host at communion with the belief that it is Jesus' body entering their bodies and been fine. If you are familiar with the Catholic teaching about what happens at the consecraion you should be able to see how this can happen. This is one of the differences separating the Catholic religion from other Christian denominations. Other Christian churches do not think of communion in anything but symbolic terms. But the Catholic faithful are taught this miracle does takes place at the consecration. It does not have anything to do with the makeup of the host as it is no longer the same host.I know many people have a hard time with this and if they do not want to take a leap of faith, that is certainly their option. I do not think this is something to be done to "see if it works" because then the person is testing God and that should not be done. It is not something where a person can say he'll do it to prove a point fully expecting to get ill.

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Just so there is no uproar-I was not judging anyone's level of belief in the validity of the consecration. I do not and cannot know what a person truly thinks about any issue, religious or otherwise. However, I did point out that people have taken a leap of faith and received the host without problem. I thought some Catholics would like another side of the story, something to ponder. Perhaps pray about this and look at the issue from a different angle.

I e-mailed someone earlier that what is very difficult about writing something is that one cannot know how it will be taken. When speaking we annunciate, gesture, use facial expressions and add inflection to our voices so our meaning is usually obvious. I do not know if anyone else has thought about this when reading through posts. I mention this because it seemed lovegrov was upset and I did not know if I made myself clear. But who knows, I may have taken what lovegrov wrote about me the wrong way!

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