Bishops reminded that ‘magic crackers’ can’t be gluten-free
Back in 2012 the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement that ‘it is impossible to consecrate a host made of something other than wheat and water.’
They were reacting to a trend which saw certain manufacturers producing communion wafters that were gluten-free.
However, according to this report, low-gluten wafers were OK. Mark Merdian, the vicar of health care for the Diocese of Peoria in Illinois, pointed out that low-gluten wafers, made by the Benedictine sisters in Clyde, Missouri, had been approved by the Vatican.
They contain trace amounts of wheat, about .01 percent, which is enough to satisfy the sacrament but should be safe for those who have celiac.
He added that anyone who thought the wafers might cause a health problem should check with their doctor.
It’s now being reported that the Pope has asked the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to “remind” bishops that gluten-free hosts are strictly verboten.
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.
It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.
I find it impossible to mention communion wafers without reference to a piece written back in 2008 by P Z Myers. In “It’s a fracking cracker” he said:
There are days when it is agony to read the news, because people are so goddamned stupid. Petty and stupid. Hateful and stupid. Just plain stupid. And nothing makes them stupider than religion.
Hat tip: John Gresham and BarrieJohn