Communion wafer for celiacs


I have known for a long time that I’m allergic to gluten. However, even though I eliminated all forms of it that I was aware of, I continued to receive communion. How could I POSSIBLY deprive myself of the Body of the Lord even though I was hurting my own body by receiving it? Recently, I read in the local Catholic newspaper, of the development by an order of nuns, of a low-gluen wafer that was supposed to be approved by the church that has only a tiny amount of wheat, 100th part I think, in it. My pastor ordered some and I have been receiving it at Mass since Easter.

I have no problem firmly believing that the regular consecrated all-wheat host is really Jesus, body, blood, soul, and divinity. But, in the back of my mind lurks this little whisper (could it be the devil or just my own scrupulous nature?) that says when I receive the low-gluten consecrated host, I’m not really receiving Jesus, no matter how much I believe I am. I have known for a long time that the only approved substances in the wafer are wheat and water. Has that rule changed at all for us poor souls who are allergic to wheat? Please help me; I’m going crazy. Is it really Him or not?


Be at peace. If the low gluten host you are receiving is the one approved for use by the Bishop’s Committee (see below), the consecrated host you receive at Mass is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document that outlines the norms for use of low-gluten bread and mustum as matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. You can read the full text of the document here:

The Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy (see above-mentioned link) approved the low gluten host developed by the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri.

“The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri, have developed a true low gluten host ready for sale by January 1, 2004. The total gluten content of this product is 0.01%; its contents of unleavened wheat and water and free of additives conform to the requirements of the Code of Canon Law, canon 924.2. This low gluten content is still enough gluten to confect bread for the Eucharist. Many gluten-intolerant persons may be able to consume it, or some portion of it, but are strongly advised to check with their personal physicians in advance. This product is the only true, low-gluten altar bread known to the Secretariat and approved for use at Mass in the United States."

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