Skip to comments.Gluten-free Communion Wafers Not Holy, Says Catholic Diocese in Ohio
Posted on 12/05/2013 7:48:10 AM PST by Alex Murphy
Celiac.com 08/09/2012 - Among many gluten-free catholics, there's been a good deal of excitement lately about low-gluten and gluten-free communion wafers for Mass in the Catholic church.
Photo: CC--fradaveccsHowever, much of that excitement seems to have been misplaced, at least in Ohio. That's because the Catholic Diocese of Columbus recently said that gluten-free wafers dont meet Vatican standards because they dont contain wheat.
For Catholics, consecrated bread and wine are the literal body and blood of Jesus, and the sacrament of Holy Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Churchs life, according to its catechism.
Because Jesus ate wheat bread with his apostles before his Crucifixion, church law requires the host to be wheat and only wheat, said Deacon Martin Davies, director of the Office for Divine Worship at the Diocese of Columbus. Without wheat, the wafers cannot be consecrated and used in Mass, so no gluten-free wafers.
In 1995, the Vatican said low-gluten hosts are valid if they hold enough gluten to make bread. Worshippers wanting the low-gluten option were required to present a medical certificate and obtain a bishops approval.
The policy was loosened in 2003 to eliminate the medical-certificate requirement and to allow pastors to grant approval. The Vatican also said that Catholics with celiac disease could receive Communion via wine only.
However, for faithful catholics with celiac disease and gluten intolerance who want to participate more fully, the low-gluten version, which some say tastes terrible, remains the only communion wafer option.
U.S. Catholic bishops have approved two manufacturers of low-gluten wafers. One is the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Missouri; the orders website says it has provided hosts for more than 2,000 celiac sufferers. The other is Parish Crossroads in Indiana, which provides low-gluten hosts made in Germany.
The low-gluten wafers made by the Benedictine Sisters contain less than 100 parts per million, says Mary Kay Sharrett, a clinical dietitian at Nationwide Childrens Hospital. She said the amount of gluten in one of the hosts is 0.004 milligrams and that researchers have found it takes about 10 milligrams per day to start a reaction.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that says products could be labeled gluten-free if the gluten content is less than 20 parts per million.
In 1995, the Vatican said low-gluten hosts are valid if they hold enough gluten to make bread. Worshippers wanting the low-gluten option were required to present a medical certificate and obtain a bishops approval. The policy was loosened in 2003 to eliminate the medical-certificate requirement and to allow pastors to grant approval. The Vatican also said that Catholics with celiac disease could receive Communion via wine only. However, for faithful catholics with celiac disease and gluten intolerance who want to participate more fully, the low-gluten version, which some say tastes terrible, remains the only communion wafer option.
Now wait just a darn minute, here. If transubstantiation changes all of this stuff into the real body of Jesus, what difference does the “starter” make?
Yeah. Doesn’t transubstantiation miraculously remove the gluten as it becomes the body of Christ?
God didn’t forget something in this magic plan, did He?
Transubstantiation changes (wheat) bread into the real body of Christ—the question is what constitutes wheat bread. If it isn’t bread, it isn’t happening.
Lo-gluten transubstantiates into Al Franken. . . . (evil grin)
Non-wheat "bread" is not the proper matter.
The Vatican also said that Catholics with celiac disease could receive Communion via wine only.
Been there. Done that. What's the problem? Reception under both species is not necessary.
However, for faithful catholics with celiac disease and gluten intolerance who want to participate more fully...
This isn't encounter group. Get over it. I did, in about ten seconds.
exactly. Gotta say I’m rolling my eyes at the diocese on this decision. Sometimes rigid adherence to MANMADE doctrines is what makes nonChristians shake their heads at us and say “no way do I want to live like those people!”
I like to think that perhaps Jesus also is shaking His head at the dumb MANMADE stuff that we put in place to separate us and keep us apart (”i am more special than you”) when He came to bring us ALL to the Kingdom of Heaven! Sometimes modern day Christians and Catholics can act just like those Pharisees in His time did...
As the word “traSUBSTANtiation” itself indicates, the SUBSTANce is what is changed—the properties remain the same. (Properties are not substance—they are found in a substance but are not the substance—basic traditional philosophy). Miraculously at times the properties have also done wonky things (lots of Eucharistic miracles out there), but this is not the norm.
Jesus took "bread." I'm told that words have meaning, especially the words found in the Bible.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. [i.e., have died]
This is absurd and legalistic.
And yes, I am Catholic.
If we want to follow the Law, let’s do it right and become Orthodox Jews.
So I guess we should use matzos, right?
You mean man-made doctrines like Luther's doctrine of "the Bible alone" as the sole rule of faith? < rolling eyes>
When you find Luther's doctrine in the Bible, let me know.
It may also come as news to some Protestants that there were 1450 years of Christian history prior to Luther. Good luck finding Luther's doctrine of "the Bible alone" as the sole rule of faith prior to 1450.
Maybe you have to start with wheat or it'll transubstantiate into someone else?
Even as a kid, I remember saying in religion class that I didn't want to go to communion because I didn't want to eat people.
I'm constantly amazed by our Protestant FRiends who nitpick at those of us who are simply trying to follow Jesus. While we walk by faith and not by sight, you demand to be shown...
[KJV] 1 Cor 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Does the Church really fail in your eyes for realizing that the matter of bread is important? Should we use Twinkies for a more festive experience? We are simply following Christ.
You both are confusing transformation with transubstantiation. In transformation, both substance and accidents are changed. In transubstantiation the substance changes, the accidents remain.
The accidents of bread such as taste, shape, weight, ect, remain. The substance, what it is called and known as, is transubstantiated.
Ask a philosophical and religious question, get a philosophical and religious answer.
The typical anti-Catholic fare must be somewhat light today. Thanks for posting this timely article from August of last year.
**That’s because the Catholic Diocese of Columbus recently said that gluten-free wafers dont meet Vatican standards because they dont contain wheat. **
Gluten free hosts contain a small amount of gluten so they do contain enough of the wheat.
If you are a priest, then you should use something that you are morally certain is not only valid, but conforms to what the tradition that you are celebrating in employs. The East and the West do things differently to highlight different theological truths (the West emphasizes the element of continuity in the transformation of the old ways by maintaining the outer resemblance of the old ways in a particular manner, the East emphasizes the discontinuity in the transformation by introducing very deliberately what was forbidden but symbolizes life). Buying your stuff from a Jewish baker or someone who imitates current Jewish practice is not something that has been emphasized because it doesn’t emphasize, and probably misleads, with regards to theological truth.
If you aren’t a priest but the priest is messing with the matter, it is a very good indication that you ought to drop the Bishop a note and switch parishes.
Most gluten free folks are just on the bandwagon, but there are people who cannot tolerate any wheat. Are they therfore doomed, since Catholicism also beleives in the efficacy of
And, not to be flippant, but if Twinkies were all you had?
Those allergic to wheat can consume only the transubstantiated wine which contains both the Body and Blood of Christ.
sigh. Not gonna fight a Holy War over the way Protestants do communion versus the Roman Catholics. It just shows that our manmade divisions (Catholic, Protestant, type of protestant, type of Catholic, Orthodox, etc.)sometimes get in the way of His intention and His sacrifice for ALL of us. Yeah, I’ve read the Catholic and the Protestant versions of the Bible. It’s our denominations that make a lot of “doctrinal decisions” about stuff that can get into the “my way is better/special/right” that detracts from us truly following Him.
One day at His heavenly table He will welcome ALL of His followers who have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior and He won’t be asking them which denomination (”label”) they called themselves on earth!
Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yours—and may His peace be upon you and your family!
Uh—I don’t think that there is any confusion with transformation with transubstantiation in my answer—if you re-read it, I have substituted the word “properties” for “accident” because outside of a certain philosophical universe it is more likely to be understood, and I haven’t bothered to list the accidents because they might further obscure a simple answer, but I don’t think that the substance of my post differs from yours.
Now that has some real substance as a possibility...was that lame?
soooo Transubstantiation can only happen with gluten? - why do they limit God like that? (/sarc)
“eat this bread”
To be exact, the bread (which is derivative of Passover matzo) can be made from any of the 5 grains five grains mentioned in the Bible as appropriate: wheat, barley, spelt, rye or oats -— the grains are all listed as OK in Exodus.
The only one with gluten is wheat, I believe.
Whoever is putting down this rule is an idiot.
Oops, my bad I meant to paste another name in my post. I did not realize you already answered the other posts.
The comedy of superstitious ignorance!
I guess Jesus can only turn bread and wine into Jesus.
AMEN to that.
Either species is sufficient.
Good idea. The rest of your post shows you to be unarmed.
It just shows that our manmade divisions (Catholic, Protestant, type of protestant, type of Catholic, Orthodox, etc.)sometimes get in the way of His intention and His sacrifice for ALL of us.
You are correct that these are manmade divisions. However, they weren't made by the Catholic Church. The name "Catholic" means universal. We didn't divide what was universal... you did.
Yeah, Ive read the Catholic and the Protestant versions of the Bible.
Did you note that I used the main Protestant version in my post to avoid this particular line of discussion?
Its our denominations that make a lot of doctrinal decisions about stuff that can get into the my way is better/special/right that detracts from us truly following Him.
That's true. But you don't find that in the one, holy and Apostolic Catholic Church. You find that in the fractalization of the Protestant congregations. What are we up to now... 25,000?
Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yoursand may His peace be upon you and your family!
And to you and yours... despite the snarkiness of my post. Just feeling snarky today. God bless you.
That’s ok. Paul was probably pretty snarky until he was blinded on his way to Damascus and then had to be fed by someone else for three days. That kinda changed him from being a snarky Jew into a dynamic believer! :)
Besides, I’m married to a naval aviator so I am used to snarky comments. Especially since I wore USAF uniform and he had to deal with at least 3 Navy ones! :)
Again, Merry Christmas! (BTW: The “universal” catholic church had unity problems way before the protestants/Martin Luther! Ya’ll couldn’t agree about stuff when you had the Holy Roman empire breaking up on you, and your power base was getting ripped! But then that is another debate for another day! :) )
That which is not in the Bible get made up in Rome out of whole cloth.
This wasn't a "comedy" thread.
I sincerely hope it's more than that!
I'll do mid-conservative Presbyterians:
So that is, ummm, that equals 3230 Moderate to Conservative Presbyterian congregations in the US.
If our little corner of Christianity has 3230 congregations I'll bet we are way over the 25,000 mark
Oh, wait! Our beloved FRiends over at the Southern Baptist Convention have over 45,000 congregations!
May I suggest your numbers are way off?
The wheat of the 21st century is not the same as the wheat of Biblical times. Its chemical composition has been altered in the quest for higher yields and a shorter, tougher stalk.
From the Jewish Virtual Library: “MATZAH, unleavened bread made from one of five species of grain wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats”. I would think that Jesus ate the same matzah that the average poor people ate, that is more likely barley but definitely NOT wheat. How can the Catholic Church make such a deal about not using anything but wheat bread?
That religion surely has their hooks into these poor people...Any way they can to keep them under bondage...
Jesus could turn a Jimmy Carter peanut into a kite if he wanted to...
That is a scientific impossibility and there is no way anyone could 'SUBSTANTIATE' otherwise, (your supposed miracles notwithstanding)...
It is something made up by the Catholic religion and Catholics supposedly are required to believe it, although most don't...Maybe none do...
With your religion's private interpretation of the verse then, most Catholics and Protestants are damned...
It has been shown to you guys countless times that the early church fathers believed in scripture alone...This is just another charade...
Nope...Substance is not a title or name...Substance is the result of the properties involved which results in taste, feel, look, smell, etc...
Accidents are unintended consequences...Bread is the result of intended consequences and can be changed by the properties...
Accidents are unintended consequences...Bread is the result of intended consequences and can be changed by the properties...
You are correct that substance is not merely a name, or a title, but that it is a reality in fact of the subject. In this case the Eucharist. The bread and wine are truly transubstantiated into the body and blood. It is a real reality of the new divine species. My comments were not mean to say otherwise. But you are in error when you claim what you are saying about accidents.
Since the formulation of the doctrine of Transubstantiation is based upon Thomistic principles, the Aristotelean understanding of substance and accidents is correct. Substantially the divine presence is there. Accidentally what remains are the properties of bread and wine. It is not a question of cause and effect. But a description of qualities and essence.
As physical science deals only with accidents, it really can’t comment one way or the other. That is why defining dead definitively has proven difficult.
It is not something made up by Catholicism, it is something given to Catholicism which Catholicism does its best to articulate to succeeding generations with varying degrees of success. As the past several generations are philosophically illiterate, past explanations do not always illuminate—not because the explanation itself is bad, but because the recipient isn’t equipped.
So long as it is descended from the wheat of Biblical times, it would be the same substance, even if it tends to display some what extreme accidents.
Long tradition first of all—and as at the Passover one generally used the best (one-fifteenth of all one’s income was to be spent upon the three great feasts), I think that even apart from the tradition there is a very good case to be made that the matzah at Passover would be wheat.
Jesus could—but Jesus normally acts in a way that we can cooperate with and that allows us to cooperate.
Well, at least in this thread, you are right—you can’t really count zero, so it is countless.