Valid Communion Issue in NJ

There is now a situation in New Jersey where an 8 year old girl who suffers from a rare congestive disorder, Celiac sprue disease, where she cannot consume wheat. For her first communion she recieved a communion wafer made of rice, which was invalidated by the Church.

The Diocese of Trenton told the family that they could have their daughter recieve a low-gluten host, drink the wine at communion or abstain entirely. But her mother rejected the offer, saying even a small amount of gluten could harm her child. The family is now seeking intervention from Rome.

In a similiar case 3 years ago in Massachusettes, another family left the Catholic Church after their 5 year old daughter was denied the use of a rice wafer.

This is a very sad situation. What should the Church or Family do to resolve this matter?

The story can be found here newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-nj–communioncontrove0812aug12,0,6656242.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire

You stated the solution. She should drink from the Chalice of Salvation. The Blood of Christ is His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. With regards to its “completeness” as far as receiving the Sacrament, the Body and Blood are equivalent as far as providing nourishment to the soul. The Family should humbly submit to the will of God. He blessed her with a disease to help her get to Heaven. So - the Church has provided a solution. No further action on the part of the Church is required, except to accomdate the girl in receiving the Blood of Christ.

[quote=Catholic29]There is now a situation in New Jersey where an 8 year old girl who suffers from a rare congestive disorder, Celiac sprue disease, where she cannot consume wheat. For her first communion she recieved a communion wafer made of rice, which was invalidated by the Church.

The Diocese of Trenton told the family that they could have their daughter recieve a low-gluten host, drink the wine at communion or abstain entirely. But her mother rejected the offer, saying even a small amount of gluten could harm her child. The family is now seeking intervention from Rome.

In a similiar case 3 years ago in Massachusettes, another family left the Catholic Church after their 5 year old daughter was denied the use of a rice wafer.

This is a very sad situation. What should the Church or Family do to resolve this matter?

The story can be found here newsday.com/news/local/wire/ny-bc-nj–communioncontrove0812aug12,0,6656242.story?coll=ny-ap-regional-wire
[/quote]

Unfortunately, rice is invalid material for the Blessed Sacrament. It cannot be consecrated. Therefore, the only solution is a small amount of the Precious Blood which is, indeed, the fullness of Jesus. What’s sad about this situation is the way some people, lacking adequate catechesis, will attempt to define the sacraments for the Church.

Deacon Ed

One of my old roommates used to have a mild wheat allergy. I understand that those who have the more aggressive form of this disease could get sick just by sipping wine after someone else who took the bread. What then? Do these people not get to receive the body and blood because of a defect?

Haven’t they made gluten-free wheat bread in the past? Would there be some way to make a totally gluten-free wafer?

[quote=J_Chrysostomos]One of my old roommates used to have a mild wheat allergy. I understand that those who have the more aggressive form of this disease could get sick just by sipping wine after someone else who took the bread. What then? Do these people not get to receive the body and blood because of a defect?

Haven’t they made gluten-free wheat bread in the past? Would there be some way to make a totally gluten-free wafer?
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A Chalice could be prepared for the exclusive use of the girl or she could always be the first to receive the Precious Blood from a Chalice.

[quote=J_Chrysostomos]One of my old roommates used to have a mild wheat allergy. I understand that those who have the more aggressive form of this disease could get sick just by sipping wine after someone else who took the bread. What then? Do these people not get to receive the body and blood because of a defect?

[/quote]

If this is true then maybe they can partake of the chalice before others.

The are ways around this but we can not forsake the Teachings of the Church to find a way.

CDF was asked about this problem. H. Em. Joseph Card. Ratzinger responded that low-gluten hosts may be used; however, a host that lacks gluten would be invalid matter.

A discussion of this topic, including His Eminence’s letter can be found at usccb.org/liturgy/innews/1103.htm

I read this article on the situation

billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2004/08/13/build/nation/86-first-communion.inc

I remember hearing about this awhile ago while the mother was looking for a solution and it seemed that evey attempt was made by the priest to accomodate her with the precious Blood.

The mother in this sotry (based on her comments to the paper) is a prime example of the kind of Catholics we seems to have today. They want the Church to change its teachings to accomodate them…to make it easy on them. In a way we are all guilty of this in some way, thus the nature of sin.

A separate chalice should be consecrated for the girl. Many celiacs are afraid to drink from the priests cup because of the fragment of the body of Christ. Another alternative is to ask for mustum which is a lower alcohol content wine.It is used by alcoholics.

Dianne

Two more points. One is that the mother objects to the alcohol in the wine. I bet the alcohol content in most childrens cough meds and cold meds is higher.The other option is to make an act of Spiritual Communion by praying one of the suitable prayers that the church has.

My wife suffers from this malady and believe me, life with this disease is far harder in almost every way than any of you can imagine.

There is no acceptable “low gluten wheat wafer” and contamination from the wheat hosts is a big problem. If Jesus could consecrate wheat bread, I have no doubt he could have just as well consecrated any other type of bread. This seems like one of those silly rules which makes no sense in today’s world. I have a hard time imagining God’s eternal plan being even minutely upset by a different type of grain.

Pat

Here is a portion of “The Use of Mustum and Low-Gluten Hosts at Mass” from Committee of The Liturgy, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
nccbuscc.org/liturgy/innews/1103.htm


Prior to now, the only low-gluten hosts available to parishes in the United States were from European suppliers. 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**. The contact information for ordering such hosts from the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration is as follows:

Congregation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Altar Breads Department
31970 State Highway P
Clyde, Missouri 64432
Phone:1-800-223-2772
e-mail: altarbreads@benedictinesisters.org
Sr. Rita, OSB, Manager

Months ago, whether online or in a Catholic paper like “Our Sunday Visitor”, I read the story of the two nuns who came up with the successful formula.

They had their patch of dough, which would crumble upon baking… and they had a second recipe from some other source (given to them, i think, from the U.S. Bishops0.

Anyway, both recipes had drawbacks.
And for some reason, one of the nuns MIXED the two doughs, and … voila! :slight_smile:

[quote=keith2002]I read this article on the situation

billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2004/08/13/build/nation/86-first-communion.inc

I remember hearing about this awhile ago while the mother was looking for a solution and it seemed that evey attempt was made by the priest to accomodate her with the precious Blood.

The mother in this sotry (based on her comments to the paper) is a prime example of the kind of Catholics we seems to have today. They want the Church to change its teachings to accomodate them…to make it easy on them. In a way we are all guilty of this in some way, thus the nature of sin.
[/quote]

I find this comment insensitive in the extreme. It is not as if the mother is some la-di-da airhead who’s fighting the Church over some trivial, frivolous matter. The family are obviously devout and want their daughter to be able to fully partake of the Eucharist. To label the mother as some kind of free-thinking menace to sanctity is to ignore the real dilemma we have here: the physical inability of a child to receive the host, and the spiritual inability of the Church to find some way to help this child, who after all, deserves just as much as anyone to be able to participate fully in communion. There must be another solution to this problem besides painting the mother as a selfish woman who’s stubbornly trying to bring down the Church. If anything, the stubbornness is on the other side.

[quote=Jason Hurd]I find this comment insensitive in the extreme. It is not as if the mother is some la-di-da airhead who’s fighting the Church over some trivial, frivolous matter. The family are obviously devout and want their daughter to be able to fully partake of the Eucharist. To label the mother as some kind of free-thinking menace to sanctity is to ignore the real dilemma we have here: the physical inability of a child to receive the host, and the spiritual inability of the Church to find some way to help this child, who after all, deserves just as much as anyone to be able to participate fully in communion. There must be another solution to this problem besides painting the mother as a selfish woman who’s stubbornly trying to bring down the Church. If anything, the stubbornness is on the other side.
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She was offered the Precious Blood! A tiny sip of wine isn’t going to do any harm to her daughter. She is just being stubborn. I don’t buy her claim that she wants her daughter to avoid alcohol. If she were a devout Catholic she would receive the Blood of Christ with a glad heart. I wish my priest would offer the Blood of Christ all the time. :slight_smile:

The church has held this for 2000 years. It is not stubbornness on the part of the Church to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. There are alternatives which the family may or may not choose to accept. No one is holding a gun to their heads.

It is a very old fashioned idea: that of submitting to the will of God. It calls for humility. Given the fact that the Church is willing to make reasonable accomodations, the ball is now in their court to make reasonable accomodations. If they choose not to, that is their choice; but let’s spare the emotional angst.

The Church has some very set rules about marriage and divorce. If people would accept responsibility for their choices, we would have way fewer problems in this area; but no, they will do it their way. 2nd marriages after a divorce and no annulment are not something happening over night. They take time and deliberation, and after violating the Church rules (and they are not hidden or secret), along comes another couple who wants all this messy stuff to just go away, because after all, they didn’t really mean it.

Back to topic. The mother is seeking results from Rome? After the alternative of the chalice was offered, one without a partical of the Host? If this was not offered, then it needs to be. If it was, then she is either bull headed, or not very bright. In either case, I have little patience. If she wants to write the rules, she can be an Episcopalian; they will go with the flow. Which is, perhaps, why a good amount of the “flow” is out of the Episcopalean Church and into the Catholic.

As one who lives with this condition myself, I think the mother is just grandstanding. Her daughter is perfectly able to receive the Eucharist. What more can she want? (If she’s concerned about the alcohol, someone should tell her that, in the Byzantine rite, everyone - even tiny infants! - receives a few drops of the Precious Blood at Mass. :slight_smile: )

The mother in Massachussetts took the cake, though…if you’ll pardon my pun. She was upset that her child (supposedly) wasn’t receiving the “whole” Eucharist…so she took her to a church that has no valid Eucharist at all! How much sense does that make? :rolleyes:

To answer the original question, the precise arrangements for celiac communicants vary from one place to another, depending on local medical opinion. In Europe, doctors think it’s fine for celiacs to use the low-gluten hosts. They’re made from specially processed wheat starch, which is considered “gluten-free” by European standards, and is used in a variety of commercial baked goods for celiacs.

In North America, medical authorities have taken a “zero tolerance” attitude, and don’t consider the special wheat starch to be “gluten-free”. Therefore, celiacs in the US and Canada are advised to receive from the chalice instead. This isn’t hard to do, since many parishes offer Communion under both species.

For those who are unwilling to risk the slight possibility of gluten contamination from the regular chalice, the priest can consecrate some wine in a separate vessel. Celiac parishioners can then receive Communion separately: before everyone else, or after everyone else, or off to one side. In my travels, I’ve visited several parishes that already have such procedures in place. Others will surely adopt them in the years to come, as gluten intolerance is becoming more widely diagnosed. (1 in 200 Americans has celiac disease, though most don’t know it yet.)

God bless,
Mrs. R

[quote=Jason Hurd]I find this comment insensitive in the extreme. It is not as if the mother is some la-di-da airhead who’s fighting the Church over some trivial, frivolous matter. The family are obviously devout and want their daughter to be able to fully partake of the Eucharist. To label the mother as some kind of free-thinking menace to sanctity is to ignore the real dilemma we have here: the physical inability of a child to receive the host, and the spiritual inability of the Church to find some way to help this child, who after all, deserves just as much as anyone to be able to participate fully in communion. There must be another solution to this problem besides painting the mother as a selfish woman who’s stubbornly trying to bring down the Church. If anything, the stubbornness is on the other side.
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Oh where to begin on this one…

  1. Never mentioned that the mother was an airhead. That is your private interpretation.

  2. We have no way of knowing how devout the mother or the family is. Could be they are very devout. Could be they are like most of the people in my parish who just see first communion as a rite of passage…something you do in second grade. We have no way of knowing.

  3. I was careful to say that the mother’s behavior represents the attitude of many other Catholics who want the Church to go to where they are and not the other way around.

  4. You mention the child’s inability to receive the Blessed Sacrament (let’s call it what it is.It’s not bread, it’s the body of Jesus). This is true, but she can receive a low alcohol wine which is then consecrated.

  5. Assuming the child is free from mortal sin, yup, she does deserve to receive communion. It’s clear that a way was devised for her to do just that. Then the mother got some scruples and doesn’t want her daughter touching wine.

  6. And a solution was devised for the girl, and the mother rejected it.

  7. Is the mother selfish. Maybe…I never said she was, just again that her actions were representative of the attitute of many Catholics today.

I feel for this mother. This can’t be any easy disese for your child to live with and for you as a parent to help them with. More than anything, the mother would love to take this from her daughter and I imagine she feels as if drinking wine might make he daughter stand out from everyone.

Here’s praying for all involved and that submission to the Church that Jesus founded wins out in the end.

Keith

One who cannot recieve the “physical Eucharist” can recieve the spiritual benefits of the Eucharist. Remember, God is mercy not some rigid taskmaster! He knows our hearts and will always make a way for those who truely love Him.:slight_smile:

[quote=Michael Howard]One who cannot recieve the “physical Eucharist” can recieve the spiritual benefits of the Eucharist. Remember, God is mercy not some rigid taskmaster! He knows our hearts and will always make a way for those who truely love Him.:slight_smile:
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In this case that itsn’t even the issue; the family was accomodated but refused the acomodation and have now moved on to another church I believe. It sounds as if this was just another “15 minutes of fame” issue.

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