Why can't Celiacs receive the Host since it is really the Body of Christ?


#1

If we believe in transubstantiation, where the bread completely changes into the Body of Jesus (while retaining only the accidentals of bread such as appearance, texture, taste, etc) then why do Celiacs (those who are allergic to gluten in bread) feel that they cannot receive the Host? We know that it is really the Body of Jesus, therefore they should receive it. For them to be concerned, does this show a lack of either understanding or faith or both?

Thank you for your reply!


#2

You are correct that the consecrated host retains the accidents of bread. But the accidents are more than just what we see – they are everything we perceive by our senses such as taste, smell, feel, and so on. So our bodies will physically react to the host in the same way that they would to bread. Therefore, anyone with gluten intolerance will also be intolerant to the regular host.

For more reading on this see:
Accidents
The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
The Catechism of Trent: The Sacrament of the Eucharist


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