TLM and Celiac Disease

I have a pretty significant question for you all out there.

Since only the Host is given at the TLM, what should someone with Celiac Disease do? (Celiac Disease is when the individual cannot eat foods with wheat-gluten in them, or at least not large amounts).

Are there ‘exceptions’ for them to receive from the/a Chalice?
Or are there very low gluten Hosts?

What should be done? The more information (and more official), the better.

Surely this issue has arisen many times over the previous centuries before Communion was given under both kinds.

There are very low gluten hosts that your parish might purchase for the use of their parishioners with celiac disease.

FWIW, I know some elderly Catholics who, although they attend an Ordinary Form Mass, will not receive from the chalice. Although it’s allowed, they simply are not comfortable with that. At least one I know receives Communion only at Christmas and Easter and puts up with the pain that results from regular hosts. I have to let her daughter know that low-gluten hosts could be used.

If someone with Celiac disease wants to attend a Mass with only the Host being offered, he should contact the parish and ask what accommodation they have. Even if they have the low-gluten Hosts available, they probably don’t keep one on the side just in case somebody needs it.

Even in pre-conciliar times, there were exceptions to the rule. My suggestion is to simply ask the priest to see what practical arrangement can be made for your case.

***We have a family at our parish with a child that has celiac disease.

The family purchased a supply of low gluten alter bread (available from the Benedictine Sisters and elsewhere benedictinesisters.org/bread/low_gluten.php*)

They also purchased a small pyx. Every Sunday they place the pyx with one low gluten host in it on the gifts table before Mass and sit in the section of the church thst receives communion directly from the celebrant.

After consecration, the priest places the pyx on his patten and when the child is at the head of the line, she receives Our Lord from the small pyx and then is handed the empty pyx by the celebrant.**

Thank you for all your help! :thumbsup:

Surely that is a bit of a stretch, as our modern understanding of celiac disease did not begin to occur until 1888, when relatively few people received communion frequently. So, in fact, it surely has been a modern problem.

The specification of the particular condition and its diagnosis in patients are relatively recent. Whether people received frequently or not is immaterial: the problem of not being able to consume the host for a variety of other reasons has been around for ages.

You have to talk to your parish Priest and see what he says. There is an option to order low gluten hosts, or recieve under wine only (although I don’t know if all Priests allow this).

However, if you are very sensitive to any ppm’s of gluten then it might be adviseable to not recieve at all.

Again, its a sensitive issue and you really need to talk to your Priest and see what he says.

:)I have CD and I don’t recieve at all. I think its possible for me to recieve under wine only but then you have to get or arrange for a clean chalice. And the Priest would have to be willing to pour the wine in your clean chalice and not from the first chalice that he consecrates with a portion of the wheat host.

Its complicated and it depends on how sensitive you are to gluten and also to how your Priest wants to deal with it.

I know one local parish in my area has started offering low-gluten hosts, but the way they’ve set it up, you have to contact the parish first and explain your situation. This may be true for most parishes who have started offering this sort of host. I don’t have Celiac disease per se, but I have been trying to reduce my gluten intake since I am autistic and there have been some documented cases of gluten aggravating the symptoms of autism (gluten doesn’t cause it, it just seems that some people with autism have problems digesting gluten. From a little self-examination, I seem to be one of them)

I can’t imagine being in that situation.
So how do you deal with this? (if that’s not too personal) :o

He should be pouring before he consecrates. So this shouldn’t be an issue.

But I agree with the “talk to your priest.” I also have Celiac. I receive the low gluten Host and from the Chalice. It really comes down to logistics. Your priest can work them out with you.

Now, at the TLM or EF, they will not offer the Chalice. So that won’t be an issue.

Well, I was kindof upset when my Priest told me that I would not recieve.
But that is best for my health not to take chances.
And he doesn’t want to make me sick.

I feel rather sick most of the time so I guess that is my biggest issue in life.
Chronic illness and dealing with it is exhausting. So its best I don’t talk about it.

All Celiacs are differnt by the way. I am at the extreme end of not being able to tolerate even 10 ppms. However, recent studies, published in the Journal of gastroenterolgy show that any ppm’s causes intestinal damage. Its just that some Celiacs are asymptomatic so they don’t feel ill even though their intestines are being damaged.

However, I feel ill from exposure to any amout of gluten and the effects last weeks so if I injested 10 or 20 ppm of gluten twice a month I’ll be sick for the rest of my life.

Thats why its hard for me to talk about is because its extremely difficult to not be exposed to any glutens. They are in everything processed and in trace amounts. Even gluten free foods can have trace amounts. Even wine has trace amounts. I typically only eat plain meat, veggies and fruit, as that is the best way not to get contaminated.

Sorry for the long story, but its just some people think its in your imagination or they don’t believe you when you say…
But the medical literature backs me up if anyone doesn’t believe me I can refer you to some articles.

So, my Priest did not feel confident that the chalice would be clean or rather, that I would be totally safe so he just said no. I think he has my health in mind. However, I did ask him why I couldn’t use a clean chalice and he said that he doesn’t clean the chalice because its gold.

Also, I want to add, that I trust my Priest, and if he says its better for me not to recieve then I trust him. He is probably right.
I normally don’t go anywhere near gluten. I don’t eat out. I don’t eat processed food. There is almost no gluten in my house (except what hubby smuggles in).
So for me to be using vessels that are not washed that have residual gluten is totally inappropriate for my illness.
The Priest would have to have a seperate chalice for me, it would have to be cleaned with soap and water. He would have to pour straight into it. (I would have to make sure that brand of wine was 100% gluten free, some aren’t). Then he would have to put that chalice aside, so that when he breaks the host particles do not go flying into the chalice…

I mean, what Priest would really want to go through all of that?

One that understood how hard it is to never receive communion. :shrug: Catholics with Celiac in good standing with the Church should be able to receive.

Here’s the official response from the USCCB:

A Short Introduction to Holy Communion and Celiac Sprue Disease
usccb.org/liturgy/celiasprue.shtml

The Use of Mustum and Low-Gluten Hosts at Mass
usccb.org/liturgy/innews/1103.shtml

And here’s a more specific implementation of it by the Diocese of Madison
madisondiocese.org/Portals/0/Agencies/Office%20of%20Worship/Celiac.pdf

I have a son with life-threatening food allergies, and, regrettably, some friends stopped inviting us over to their houses for dinner after we found out. They weren’t rude, they were just so concerned about doing something wrong and causing a medical episode that they couldn’t bring themselves to try. For people that have a zero tolerance for certain foodstuffs, food preparation can be very stressful. Sometimes it is best to simply avoid the situation, altogether - both for the health of the sufferer and the mental anguish of the preparer.

I know this is different because it involves Christ in the Eucharist, and there is a certain degree of “rights” involved, but I understand the psychology behind the priest’s actions. I’m sure he feels much regret and sadness, but the consequences are very bad if he fails, and the risks are high.

We’re not duty bound to receive Communion every week, are we? If so, then a sufferer can decide to receive less often or make an arrangement with their priest for low-gluten hosts.

Some Celiacs are able to receive anyway. my younger brother has such severe celiac disease that he can’t be in the room if it’s in the air (like if you’re breading something). Even trace amounts make him sick for days (like, curled up in the fetal position sick, agony sick). he was diagnosed when he was 14. our parents told him that God would understand if he stopped receiving the host. He said he’d receive anyway. Doesn’t make him sick at all. Totally amazing. I have no idea why it’s this way for him. I also knew another teen who had Celiac disease (much more mild than my bro) and he could receive the host too, no problem. I wish it were like that for all Celiacs. I think it must be some sort of miracle. Those “low-gluten” hosts wouldn’t be good enough for him because even trace amounts make him very sick. So I guess there’s something else going on in this ability to receive. Sorry to hear of your predicament. I think the idea another family on here had of placing your own pyx on the altar with a low-gluten host might be a good idea if you’re okay with just a little bit. You poor thing, I’m so sorry for you. Offer up your sufferings please, because what a hard thing not to be able to receive. May God bless you abundantly for wanting so fervently to receive Him.

Would you be willing to eat rat poison and see if God saves you from its deliterious effects? Because if you have Celiac Disease then gluten is poison.

I think you might want to consider not posting miraculous stories of people you know because what you are advocating is that sick people throw caution to the wind and eat poison because someone you know does it and doesn’t get sick.

I realize you are trying to be helpful and kind but its more kind to actually try and help sick people to get better. Suggesting they eat what causes their illness, although its possible for divine intervention, is not a prudent recommendation.

I am happy you know people for whom the miraculous has become a regular occurance. They should get biopsies, and then take communion on videotape, and then get another biopsy to prove that a miracle is happening.

I believe the Catholic Church requires documentation for all miracles.

I am really surprised that people continue to post their miracle stories about Celiacs who take communion and don’t become ill and the moderators do not mind.

I think the reason the moderators allow this is because they do not understand the medical issue and the severity of it. It is well documented in medical literature that as little as 20 ppm of gluten will damage the intestines of a celiac.

However, people continue to advocate that Celiacs just bite the bullet and pray for a miracle. That is why i asked you if YOU would be willing to eat poison? If not, then you shouldn’t recommend it to others.

Ok, I say this with love, but firmness. Not to be mean, but to be FAIR to those who suffer from Celiac Disease.

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