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Gluten-free Communion: Learn Why The Vatican Reportedly Says No

Update Date: Jul 13, 2017 09:32 PM EDT

There is a letter that was recently issued by the Vatican, which gives new guidelines on what kind of communion wafer and drink should be used during the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist or simply known as Holy Communion. Because of this, a concern was brought up on how persons suffering from Celiac disease are supposed to receive the sacrament and now could there be gluten-free communion?

Gluten-free Communion: Not A Possibility?

Per The Boston Globe, the letter from the Vatican confirmed that communion "must have at least some gluten in them." Currently, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops already has existing guidelines, which allows churches to utilize low-gluten wafers.

According to Andrew Menke, executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship, this will remain unchanged in American Catholic churches. Menke said, ''The 'new guidance' from the Vatican is simply a reminder to bishops that they need to be attentive to the bread and wine that is used for Mass, making sure that it's consistent with the Church's requirements.'' 

Why Did The Vatican Come Out With Non Gluten-free Communion?

Vatican Radio published a copy of the letter and although it did not directly say that it is not allowing gluten-free communion, there were statements which indicated that it is requiring some gluten content. "The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition." (n. 48). 

It is also important to note that the statement from the Vatican was published in June this year but only caused a stir after the mentioned source made it public. They were released as requested by Pope Francis, according to Cardinal Robert Sarah, because bread and wine are readily available, ''even over the Internet.'' 

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