Communion Hosts and Gluten

Folks waking up to fake new headlines about gluten-free Communion might want to get some background from this story.
Gluten makes bread hold its shape, and without gluten, fillers must be used. This is not allowed for Communion.

A Benedictine community of nuns in Missouri found a way to make very low-gluten hosts. And that is the real news: a recent permission given for those who need to avoid gluten to use the new low-gluten hosts.
Those who cannot digest any gluten whatsoever can simply drink from the chalice.

This is a non-problem–now a PR problem–and the international press has behaved irresponsibly.

7 Replies to “Communion Hosts and Gluten”

  1. No, Mike, not at all. That is the real news.

    The "fake news" took the form of screaming banner headlines: Catholic Church Outlaws Gluten-Free Bread for Communion.

    The headlines make it sound like this is a new discipline; it is not.

    And they make it sound like the gluten-free character of the hosts would be the reason they are proscribed. It is not. The reason is to avoid fillers and to have pure matter for the Mass.

    And, they do not mention that there are two widely available solutions to the problem: extremely low-gluten hosts, and drinking from the chalice.

    The secular press took a perfectly normal and reasonable internal document and used it to embarrass us, in a way that was unfair.

  2. For people from Irish communities, this is NOT a non-story. Priests can have alcohol-free wine (is that even a thing?) if they cannot tolerate even a drop of wine. Lay people cannot have gluten-free bread if they cannot tolerate even a drop of bread -despite the fact that there are many different kinds of bread which stick together very nicely without using gluten. (Do you think there's any resemblance between the bread Jesus used, and the pathetic wafers we use today? Which one you do you think that gluten-free bread would resemble more closely?)

  3. Marie, I don't understand why the Irish feel affected in particular. Am I missing something?

  4. A gluten sensitive person might also ask the priest to give a particle of the Host instead of an entire one.

    also might be kept in mind that all Spiritual Communions are gluten-free.

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