Gluten free hosts?


#1

We have several people in our parish who suffer from Celic’s Disease and cannot tolerate gluten. So, our pastor has purchased “gluten free hosts” - 100% free of any gluten and all traces of wheat. They are made from thickened water and rice flour and a bunch of additives/preservatives. What the heck? Doesn’t the host HAVE TO be made from some percentage of wheat gluten to be valid matter? Can you list sources please so I can look them up?

Also, what about the non-suspecting EMHC’s who are told to retrieve these gluten-free “hosts” and put them in separate pyx so they can be consecrated during Mass? If it is not valid matter, is it really consecrated? Is the unsuspecting EMHC then passing out nothing more than a cracker? What about the Communicant? Should he/she be told about valid matter? One woman with this condition already approached the pastor and simply asked that she be able to receive the Precious Blood (solved her problem and there is no issue). But another has a daughter who will receive 1st Holy Communion next Sunday and wants her kid to receive one of these “hosts”. Suggestions?


#2

That is a very grave problem. In 2003 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a ruling on certain questions relating to the difficulties experienced by some people in consuming bread and wine. The decision, signed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger and published in the BCL Newsletter in the United States, reads in relevant part:

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

  2. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.
    There is further information on the USCCB website here. Any host made of rice flour is invalid matter, and would-be communicants who receive it are receiving nothing more than an unconsecrated wafer. I would suggest that you contact both the pastor in question and the bishop of your diocese at once; due to the seriousness of this sacramental abuse no time is to be wasted in confronting it.


#3

You are correct. This is invalid matter.

usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/celiac-sprue-disease.cfm

No. It is not consecrated.

Correct.

I think the pastor is the first person to approach.

She will not be receiving communion if she does so.


#4

Correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t you choose to have only the Blood of Christ as your Communion? I was just reading about this today.

My son has Celiac, but has not had an issue so far.


#5

Yes, that’s true. Especially for a First Communion, though, the fullness of the sign would recommend that, if possible, both species should be received. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have developed and sell a very low-gluten host which is valid matter and should be acceptable to the great majority of celiac sufferers. They say:
Since we began selling these breads we have served over 2000 celiac sufferers. Our low gluten altar breads were featured in an article in the magazine Gluten-Free Living. The editorial and accompanying write-up cited data from the Center for Celiac Research that showed that the less than 0.01% gluten content of our breads would be perfectly safe for most celiacs. The article states

The measurement cited here, 0.01%, represents 100 PPMs (parts per million). But the more important number is 37 micrograms, because it is daily exposure to gluten that counts. The best current information shows that 10 milligrams a day should be safe.

Ten milligrams is the same as 10,000 micrograms. If you divide 37 micrograms into 10,000 micrograms, you will find that you would have to eat 270 wafers every day to reach the danger point. At most, celiacs would consume one wafer per day or about 0.04% (four tenths of one percent) of the amount considered dangerous.


#6

[quote="MarkThompson, post:5, topic:323016"]
Yes, that's true. Especially for a First Communion, though, the fullness of the sign would recommend that, if possible, both species should be received. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have developed and sell a very low-gluten host which is valid matter and should be acceptable to the great majority of celiac sufferers. They say:
Since we began selling these breads we have served over 2000 celiac sufferers. Our low gluten altar breads were featured in an article in the magazine Gluten-Free Living. The editorial and accompanying write-up cited data from the Center for Celiac Research that showed that the less than 0.01% gluten content of our breads would be perfectly safe for most celiacs. The article states

The measurement cited here, 0.01%, represents 100 PPMs (parts per million). But the more important number is 37 micrograms, because it is daily exposure to gluten that counts. The best current information shows that 10 milligrams a day should be safe.

Ten milligrams is the same as 10,000 micrograms. If you divide 37 micrograms into 10,000 micrograms, you will find that you would have to eat 270 wafers every day to reach the danger point. At most, celiacs would consume one wafer per day or about 0.04% (four tenths of one percent) of the amount considered dangerous.

[/quote]

Yes. According the USCCB, the standard specified by Rome is "..for bread to be valid matter for the Eucharist, it must be made solely of wheat; contain enough gluten to effect the confection of bread; be free of foreign materials and unaffected by any preparation or baking methods which would alter its nature. The amount of gluten necessary for validity in such bread is not determined by minimum percentage or weight, though hosts which have no gluten are considered invalid matter for Mass."


#7

[size=]Low Gluten Hosts | Approved by the U.S Conference for Catholic Bishops[/size]

glutenfreevendors.com/low-gluten-hosts-approved-by-the-us-conference-for-catholic-bishops/

..."**Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri. She had always kept in communication with the nuns for several years. Fortunately, she found out that they made a “Low Gluten Altar Bread.” We did some more research about their low gluten Altar Bread and found out that their Low gluten Altar Bread is approved for Eucharist Liturgy by the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have 3 locations, Clyde, Missouri; Tucson, Arizona; and Dayton, Wyoming. Their largest house is the one in Clyde, MO where 52 sisters reside. One of the main works at this location is handling correspondence for prayer request, soap making and making Altar bread which includes low gluten-free hosts**."

God bless,
Trish

archdiocesesantafe.org/Offices/SacramentalPolicies/2012-08%20%20Communion%20Celiac%20Disease.pdf


#8

My mom has Celiac disease and gets low gluten hosts when they are available.

I also have Celiac disease and I always just receive the regular hosts. I never bother with the low gluten ones (and neither does my Celiac grandmother) and I’ve never had any problems doing so because it’s not really gluten/bread/wheat when I receive it.


#9

The hosts have the accidents of gluten and wheat and present a danger to celiacs just as the accidents of alcohol in the chalice are a danger to alcoholics or the operators of motor vehicles. All of the physical effects remain.


#10

[quote="Suslar, post:1, topic:323016"]
We have several people in our parish who suffer from Celic's Disease and cannot tolerate gluten. So, our pastor has purchased "gluten free hosts" - 100% free of any gluten and all traces of wheat. They are made from thickened water and rice flour and a bunch of additives/preservatives. What the heck? Doesn't the host HAVE TO be made from some percentage of wheat gluten to be valid matter? Can you list sources please so I can look them up?

Suggestions?

[/quote]

First I would talk to the pastor. It very well may be that the hosts are the low gluten hosts, and he simply calls them gluten free. Best to check.

Others have given you the links to show him if he is in fact using gluten free hosts.


#11

While serving as Sacristan, I saw the box in the Sacristy. They are 100% gluten free. And I did read the ingredients list

Thank you all for your links and suggestions!


#12

I respectfully disagree. My mom gets crippling pain and dangerous heart palpitations if she looks at gluten sideways. My grandma passes out and/or has digestive issues at any ingestion of wheat, and I can always tell if I’ve been “glutened.” The hosts have never caused us these issues, just as my alcoholic great uncle has never had a problem taking both species at daily Mass. I’m not saying it’s not an issue for some people, but I have anyways been adamantly convicted of the transubstantiation. The fact that the disease and intolerance is so severe in my family, yet daily ingestion of hosts does not cause any side effects is nothing short of astounding.


#13

When you go to address this issue, I strongly recommend consulting CUF’s Effective Lay Witness Protocol first. :slight_smile:


#14

You may disagree, but the bishops do not. That is why they make low gluten hosts and mustum available.

Your family members may want to consult their physician. Daily ingestion of gluten by someone with Celiac disease could be causing a reaction that they do not feel. It may be time for another biopsy.


#15

Thank you!


#16

It is certainly a miracle that it has not affected you because that is not part of the doctrine of transubstantiation. Unfortunately, people do not understand how this works and think some sort of transformation takes place - although I don’t see how that would be better, because humans can easily contract disease from eating actual human flesh.

Some people also believe that disease cannot be transmitted by sharing of the chalice, because somehow it is too holy to be affected by viruses. There is nothing about the Blessed Sacrament that makes it disease-resistant, so the same precautions taken in sharing any food must be taken i.e. during flu season.


#17

Low gluten doesn't really work. I can't be on a "low gluten" diet. Any gluten is very harmful for people with celiac disease. I miss Cheerios more than anything else, but I can't pop 3 of them in my mouth with some milk once a month and expect it not to take it's toll on my body. Gluten, regardless of the amount (unless it's 2 parts per million) still kills villi in the intestines. I'm not saying that the low gluten might make some people feel better than a regular host, but it would still be doing damage. I know that the host can't be gluten free and that's perfectly fine. I just can't see Jesus saying, "Hey, I know that this is detrimental to your body, but there's nothing that can be done. You're slowly destroying your temple each week, but thanks for sucking it up." I did find this quote though, Luke 7:50.

Both my parents and all five of my siblings have Celiac disease. My grandmother has been diagnosed for 25 years and knows when she has been exposed to gluten, and it happens on occasion when she eats outside of her own home. She even has reactions to gluten free oats. My mother knows, and I know what being glutened feels like, so a biopsy is entirely unnecessary.

Futhermore, a biopsy is not guaranteed to be effective at diagnosing any problem. You can easily get a section of healthy villi, (as both my mother and grandmother have before) Which is why many people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. For years. And considering that our various physicians and specialists decided to harvest several of my mother's organs instead of checking for celiac disease, I don't think anyone will be shelling out money for the copay and costs of tests on something that's 1)not an issue 2) not guaranteed to be indicative of health or illness and 3) performed by people who have proven to be so inept that they could probably check their own intestines for signs of celiac disease, based on where there heads comfortably lie.

I do find it to be miraculous. I'm not trying to undermine doctrine or offend anyone, and I don't think what I've said is ludicrous, I was just sharing my own and my family's experience. I didn't think that forum rules prohibited personal testimony, but I'll read them a little more closely.


#18

[quote="bluetopaz, post:17, topic:323016"]
Low gluten doesn't really work. I can't be on a "low gluten" diet. Any gluten is very harmful for people with celiac disease. I miss Cheerios more than anything else, but I can't pop 3 of them in my mouth with some milk once a month and expect it not to take it's toll on my body. Gluten, regardless of the amount (unless it's 2 parts per million) still kills villi in the intestines. I'm not saying that the low gluten might make some people feel better than a regular host, but it would still be doing damage. I know that the host can't be gluten free and that's perfectly fine. I just can't see Jesus saying, "Hey, I know that this is detrimental to your body, but there's nothing that can be done. You're slowly destroying your temple each week, but thanks for sucking it up." I did find this quote though, Luke 7:50.

[/quote]

The hosts are not simply "low gluten." According to their web site.

The measurement cited here, 0.01%, represents 100 PPMs (parts per million). But the more important number is 37 micrograms, because it is daily exposure to gluten that counts. The best current information shows that 10 milligrams a day should be safe.

Ten milligrams is the same as 10,000 micrograms. If you divide 37 micrograms into 10,000 micrograms, you will find that you would have to eat 270 wafers every day to reach the danger point. At most, celiacs would consume one wafer per day or about 0.04% (four tenths of one percent) of the amount considered dangerous.

altarbreadsbspa.com/altarbreads/index.php?main_page=page&id=2

They have worked with the bishops and the medical community. They are safe for the Celiac Community. I, like your grandmother, react to the smallest of exposure. I have never reacted to the low gluten host.


#19

[quote="maryjk, post:18, topic:323016"]
They have worked with the bishops and the medical community. They are safe for the Celiac Community. I, like your grandmother, react to the smallest of exposure. I have never reacted to the low gluten host.

[/quote]

I have celiac disease also. I have never reacted to the low-gluten host either, even though I am quite sensitive.

I wouldn't want to increase my risk for cancer, osteoporosis, etc., by taking in gluten on a regular basis, which would happen by receiving the regular host for communion.


#20

That could be a small miracle gift from God to your family. I know a woman who has experienced the same. She had a horrid reaction when she forgot and tasted the gravy she was making for her family but she is able to receive the Sacred Body. BUT I know other holy people who have had reactions. She considers it a gift.


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