Pope Francis says gluten-free communion wafers don't cut it

S BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN

S BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN

RT reports that the Vatican rules that The Body of Christ, can not be gluten-free and that the blessed bread given to Catholics, must contain a small amount of gluten, while the wine must be made from unsoured grapes.

Many people follow a gluten-free diet religiously, but Catholic dieters will have to make an exception to ingest the bread of the Eucharist. Today, however, these materials are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet.

"Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist".

In that letter, Cardinal Robert Sarah said the bread can be low-gluten and made from genetically modified organisms.

In order to prevent churches from buying inappropriate supplies, Pope Francis deemed it necessary to send out the reminder.

For Roman Catholics, the bread and wine served at the Eucharist are turned into the body...

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The letter also addressed norms regarding gluten-free hosts. In 2003, the church ruled that the bread used should contain a "small quantity" of gluten.

The circular letter issued to Bishops specifically discussed the bread and wine used for the Eucharist. The Congregation adds, however, that the hosts which are partially private - in the limit where the level of gluten is not low enough to require the addition of foreign material to the making of bread, are valid, where, " for various serious reasons", the faithful are not able to absorb bread normally cooked. After a decade of work, they came up with a Vatican-approved wafer, using wheat starch and water.

The June letter advises, "Given the complexity of situations and circumstances, such as a decrease in respect for the sacred, it may be useful to mandate a competent authority to have oversight in actually guaranteeing the genuineness of the Eucharistic matter by producers as well as those responsible for its distribution and sale".

For those people who can't drink wine, they can drink mustum, a thick, non-fermented grape juice.

The church teaches that "under either species of bread or wine, the whole Christ is received", it said.

Communion is a holy ritual, and it shouldn't be stained with impure bread.

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