Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

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Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by tuttle » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:20 am

So bad news for Catholics with Celiac disease I guess. :(

And not only is gluten free bread is out but GMO bread/wine is in. :confused:
The same Congregation also decided that Eucharistic matter made with genetically modified organisms can be considered valid matter
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Thoth » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:36 am

Tempest in a teacup.

We have the same issue, in the Orthodox churches and basically the congregant generally lets the priest know of their health issue and the priest will then give them a tiny fragment of the body. The grace and blessing bestowed by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ is independant of amount ingested, so the tinest morsel has the same effect and a mouthful. Also people with celiacs and other serious gluten sensitivities can tolerate some level of gluten. And those who I know that suffer from it are willing to willing to deal with some discomfort to be able to partake of the blessed mysteries.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by FredS » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:36 am

My opinion?

1. The RCC is tone deaf to persons who may be harmed by consuming either of the elements. They're more interested in preserving tradition than the physical health of the flock. I imagine the issue is seen as one of the slippery slope type; If they move on this small issue, the next ting you know they'll be ordaining lesbian priestesses. This church has never minded excluding certain parts of the population from their sacraments based on conditions which are beyond the individuals control.

2. Why does it matter? If transubstantiation is true, then bread could be made of sawdust and Our Lord could surely turn it in to flesh as easy as He does wheat bread.

3. I don't know that anyone is so intolerant of gluten that even a tiny bit of wheat bread will cause harm. But I'm not a doctor. And I still think it's a good thing that the church appears to be concerned with the physical well being of the congregants. It's like banning wheel chair ramps because the church buildings have traditionally had steps leading to the front door. (And no, I'm not equating walking up the steps with a sacrament. I'm saying that celiac could be accommodated as easily as visible illness' and infirmities are.)
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by wosbald » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:47 am

+JMJ+

Catholicity has always insisted that God provides for those who are practically unable to partake of Sacraments.

One might think that Protestants would appreciate this attitude inasmuch as it runs counter to the "'hocus pocus' formalistic Sacramental superstitionalism" charge historically levied by various Reformists.

Then again, maybe the Church can't win for losing.




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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:00 am

I believe this thread might could use a whiddlin'.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Cleon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:07 am

I mostly agree with the Vatican on this. There is only so much accommodating that can go on. Jesus used wine and bread with gluten. The church has followed this example for thousands of years. And, like thoth said, the grace of communion isn't tied to portion size. Take a little in faith. That's what the gluten free families in our church have been shepherded to do. And even alcoholics can tolerate the wine. I don't even think of wine and bread in GMO terms so I have no opinion on that part.

I just wonder how long it's going to take for some church to be sued over this. I can see the handwriting. Call me Kerdy.

Disclaimer- I am not Roman Catholic. I am not gluten intolerant or an alcoholic. I do not have any gluten intolerant people or alcoholics in my family. Plenty of diabetics, blind, and crippled people in the fam though.

And...this thread needs a poll.
Last edited by Cleon on Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Del » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:27 am

Not a problem in America.

We have gluten-free altar breads which are produced by religious communities, already approved by Cardinal Sarah's office. One of these religious producers is a monastery of Benedictine nuns located about 30 miles from my home. It was a big deal in our diocesan news when they developed a gluten-free procedure and got approval from Rome.

Technically, it is not artificially gluten-free. It is a natural process of very very low gluten wheat. So it passes the requirement for being unleavened wheat bread.
============================

It sounds like priests in some regions were ordering "gluten free" communion hosts over the internet, without regard as to whether the products were properly suitable for use in the Mass. It could be anything in there. It might not even be wheat flour.
Until recently it was certain religious communities who took care of baking the bread and making the wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Today, however, these materials are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet. In order to remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist, this Dicastery suggests that Ordinaries should give guidance in this regard by, for example, guaranteeing the Eucharistic matter through special certification.

The Ordinary [i.e., the local bishop] is bound to remind priests, especially parish priests and rectors of churches, of their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration and the worthiness of the material.
So what to do for persons with gluten intolerance in regions without access to communion hosts made by monasteries?

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments offers an interesting option. If a commercial producer wants offer gluten-free hosts for use during worship, they can seek oversight and approval from a religious inspectors who are designated by the local bishops' conference.
It is suggested, for example, that an Episcopal Conference could mandate one or more Religious Congregations or another body capable of carrying out the necessary checks on production, conservation and sale of the Eucharistic bread and wine in a given country and for other countries to which they are exported. It is recommended that the bread and wine to be used in the Eucharist be treated accordingly in the places where they are sold.
In simple words -- just as commercial providers seek rabbis to certify that their product is kosher for Passover.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Cleon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am

Del wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:27 am
Not a problem in America.

We have gluten-free altar breads which are produced by religious communities, already approved by Cardinal Sarah's office. One of these religious producers is a monastery of Benedictine nuns located about 30 miles from my home. It was a big deal in our diocesan news when they developed a gluten-free procedure and got approval from Rome.

Technically, it is not artificially gluten-free. It is a natural process of very very low gluten wheat. So it passes the requirement for being unleavened wheat bread.
============================

It sounds like priests in some regions were ordering "gluten free" communion hosts over the internet, without regard as to whether the products were properly suitable for use in the Mass. It could be anything in there. It might not even be wheat flour.
Until recently it was certain religious communities who took care of baking the bread and making the wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Today, however, these materials are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet. In order to remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist, this Dicastery suggests that Ordinaries should give guidance in this regard by, for example, guaranteeing the Eucharistic matter through special certification.

The Ordinary [i.e., the local bishop] is bound to remind priests, especially parish priests and rectors of churches, of their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration and the worthiness of the material.
So what to do for persons with gluten intolerance in regions without access to communion hosts made by monasteries?

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments offers an interesting option. If a commercial producer wants offer gluten-free hosts for use during worship, they can seek oversight and approval from a religious inspectors who are designated by the local bishops' conference.
It is suggested, for example, that an Episcopal Conference could mandate one or more Religious Congregations or another body capable of carrying out the necessary checks on production, conservation and sale of the Eucharistic bread and wine in a given country and for other countries to which they are exported. It is recommended that the bread and wine to be used in the Eucharist be treated accordingly in the places where they are sold.
In simple words -- just as commercial providers seek rabbis to certify that their product is kosher for Passover.
That all sounds like a lot of work.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Thunktank » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am

Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am

Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
Wrong terminology, Thunk. Fred is part of the problem here. He's Fredsplaining again.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Del » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:05 am

Good questions.....
FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:36 am
My opinion?

1. The RCC is tone deaf to persons who may be harmed by consuming either of the elements. They're more interested in preserving tradition than the physical health of the flock. I imagine the issue is seen as one of the slippery slope type; If they move on this small issue, the next ting you know they'll be ordaining lesbian priestesses. This church has never minded excluding certain parts of the population from their sacraments based on conditions which are beyond the individuals control.
Tuttle's headline is not quite accurate. The Letter does not say, "No gluten-free bread."

It says "Do not buy commercial products which may not be suitable for worship." The producers may not be Catholic, or may not be aware of what is required.

Many celiac suffers avoid the problem by receiving Jesus only from the cup, just as alcoholics might take only the bread.

There are accommodations made for priests who suffer from gluten intolerance or alcoholism (who must receive Jesus as both bread and wine during Mass).

2. Why does it matter? If transubstantiation is true, then bread could be made of sawdust and Our Lord could surely turn it in to flesh as easy as He does wheat bread.[/quote]

When we deviate from the biblical model too far, we have lost our faith.

While Jesus could certainly turn sawdust into bread, He did not do so. He saw plenty of sawdust in His life, and He left it as sawdust.

Our sacraments require proper form and proper matter. The form of the Eucharist is a priest, ordained to stand in persona Christi, saying the words that Jesus said. The matter of the Eucharist is bread made from wheat flour, and wine made from grapes.

We didn't establish this, and we can't change it when we feel like it. Jesus said, "DO THIS."
FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:36 am
3. I don't know that anyone is so intolerant of gluten that even a tiny bit of wheat bread will cause harm. But I'm not a doctor. And I still think it's a good thing that the church appears to be concerned with the physical well being of the congregants. It's like banning wheel chair ramps because the church buildings have traditionally had steps leading to the front door. (And no, I'm not equating walking up the steps with a sacrament. I'm saying that celiac could be accommodated as easily as visible illness' and infirmities are.)
Reduced gluten hosts are available, for those who need it.

Reduced alcohol wine is available, for those who need it.

What we cannot do is use a cookie-like wafer with sugar or honey or corn starch or rice flour or other adulterating substance in it.

Commercial producers use these as binders to make the gluten-free products palatable, rendering them unsuitable for Catholic worship.

This instruction is to priests and bishops: Don't buy a commercial product labeled "gluten-free" and expect it to be suitable. Get your sacramental matter from a trusted religious supplier. Bishops: It is your job to make sure that trusted bakers of gluten-free altar breads are available.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by tuttle » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:07 am

Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
I didn't think it was that big of a deal either, but in my congregation there are multiple people who are mega gluten intolerant. Like they can't even eat at a restaurant that shares fryers or might even transfer gluten from a surface area. I know it's a big fad for much of the country, but there really are folks who get really sick eating it. I've heard that a little bit won't hurt, and that may be true for the most part, but there really are folks for which even a little bit is a huge risk.

When we first started attending and they served gluten free bread at communion I was eye rolling something major. But after I learned of the difficulties of the folks I've come to realize how big of a deal this can be. I know congregations that offer something like 3 or 4 different varieties of breads or different modes of taking communion in one setting, but even though there is a minority of people in my congregation that can't have gluten, the entire congregation partakes with the gluten free bread. When approached in this way, out of love for those who can't eat gluten, I think it reflects the gospel. But if it were tyrannical nitpickers trying to control the congregation based on their whims, well back the Wonder Bread truck up baby and purge the sinner with that gluten!
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by tuttle » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:14 am

Del wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:05 am
Tuttle's headline is not quite accurate. The Letter does not say, "No gluten-free bread."
Fake News!

Per the letter from Cardinal Sarah, quoting his exact words:
Robert Card. Sarah wrote:Hosts* that are completely gluten-free** are invalid*** matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.
*bread

**gluten-free

***no
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Del » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:16 am

Cleon wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
That all sounds like a lot of work.
Anything involving food preparation is a lot of work.... and if the food is used for religious purposes, the effort doubles.

Plain factory food endures layers of regulatory inspection and compliance.

Look at the trouble Jews go to in order to live kosher, and doubly so to be "kosher for Passover."

All I can say is this: The more biblical that we want to be, and the more that we believe what we do is real, then the amount of effort we put reflects that faith.


Baptists insist that nothing changes when their pastor leads a memorial communion service, so they might as well be content with a jug of Welch's and a sleeve a saltines.

.... But they go to great effort to haul in a watering trough and fill it to mark a member's decision to publicly accept Christ. Their effort reflect their faith.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by FredS » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:19 am

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am
Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
Wrong terminology, Thunk. Fred is part of the problem here. He's Fredsplaining again.
And Del is Delsplaining. Not that his behavior excuse mine, but he changed the term 'low gluten' to 'gluten free'.

And I was only being half snarky in my earlier post. Do we not suppose Christ can work with gluten free bread? Did he say "Eat this GLUTENIZED WHEAT bread in rememberance of me"? Do we suppose the wheat grown in Kansas today is the same as that grown in Jerusalem 2000 years ago? I did read the letter from the Vatican and noticed they covered that issue by allowing for GMO wheat, but why did they stop there? I'm sure the specific presence of gluten has never been considered as any sort of mandated requirement so why does it's absence somehow nullify the event?

EDIT: Why stop there? Is sickle harvested wheat required? Is manual thrashing to sort the chaff required? Is ox-powered stone grinding required? I understand Del's writing that if we deviate too much from the Biblical model we invalidate the act, but why is the absence of gluten the significant deviation? I just don't see this as a biggy. Of course, I'm not Catholic so it matters not to me, but it's interesting to me to see the minutia the Roman church goes through to maintain the purity of this particular sacrament. Yes, I know this is the 'primary' act above others, but this seems nit-picky.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:37 am

FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:19 am
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am
Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
Wrong terminology, Thunk. Fred is part of the problem here. He's Fredsplaining again.
And Del is Delsplaining. Not that his behavior excuse mine, but he changed the term 'low gluten' to 'gluten free'.

And I was only being half snarky in my earlier post. Do we not suppose Christ can work with gluten free bread? Did he say "Eat this GLUTENIZED WHEAT bread in rememberance of me"? Do we suppose the wheat grown in Kansas today is the same as that grown in Jerusalem 200 years ago? I did read the letter from the Vatican and noticed they covered that issue by allowing for GMO wheat, but why did they stop there? I'm sure the specific presence of gluten has never been considered as any sort of mandated requirement so why does it's absence somehow nullify the event?
i have to ask: why do you care? It doesn't seem to be out of a genuine concern for the sufferers of Celiac disease or because you are on a one man mission to expose Monsanto's pact with the Devil. It's a Manifestation of Tuttle Fred Luther the Lesser, by the looks of things, attacking the Transubstantiation based on the recipe. Of course, I don't think you'd be happy with the idea regardless, so what's the issue here?

And one of you is going to have to show me the piles of expiring, painfully writhing gluten allergy folks who keeled over from the Eucharist before I take this as anything more than an administrative note clarifying past practice.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by FredS » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:42 am

hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:37 am
FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:19 am
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am
Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
Wrong terminology, Thunk. Fred is part of the problem here. He's Fredsplaining again.
And Del is Delsplaining. Not that his behavior excuse mine, but he changed the term 'low gluten' to 'gluten free'.

And I was only being half snarky in my earlier post. Do we not suppose Christ can work with gluten free bread? Did he say "Eat this GLUTENIZED WHEAT bread in rememberance of me"? Do we suppose the wheat grown in Kansas today is the same as that grown in Jerusalem 200 years ago? I did read the letter from the Vatican and noticed they covered that issue by allowing for GMO wheat, but why did they stop there? I'm sure the specific presence of gluten has never been considered as any sort of mandated requirement so why does it's absence somehow nullify the event?
i have to ask: why do you care? It doesn't seem to be out of a genuine concern for the sufferers of Celiac disease or because you are on a one man mission to expose Monsanto's pact with the Devil. It's a Manifestation of Tuttle Fred Luther the Lesser, by the looks of things, attacking the Transubstantiation based on the recipe. Of course, I don't think you'd be happy with the idea regardless, so what's the issue here?

And one of you is going to have to show me the piles of expiring, painfully writhing gluten allergy folks who keeled over from the Eucharist before I take this as anything more than an administrative note clarifying past practice.
I was editing my post to preemptively address your question to me, but in case you don't notice it above, I wrote:
"Of course, I'm not Catholic so it matters not to me, but it's interesting to me to see the minutia the Roman church goes through to maintain the purity of this particular sacrament."

I also wrote earlier that I don't think anyone is going to keel over from a small bit of bread with gluten. I just don't see it as such a deal breaker that an "administrative note" (though I reckon it carries more weight than some sort of office memorandum) is required.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by FredS » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:49 am

Shall we just cut to the chase and admit that Protestants (this one anyway) cringe at this level of Papal Authority?
Last edited by FredS on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by Del » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:49 am

FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:19 am
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am
Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
Wrong terminology, Thunk. Fred is part of the problem here. He's Fredsplaining again.
And Del is Delsplaining. Not that his behavior excuse mine, but he changed the term 'low gluten' to 'gluten free'.

And I was only being half snarky in my earlier post. Do we not suppose Christ can work with gluten free bread? Did he say "Eat this GLUTENIZED WHEAT bread in rememberance of me"? Do we suppose the wheat grown in Kansas today are the same as that grown in Jerusalem 200 years ago? I did read the letter from the Vatican and noticed they covered that issue by allow GMO wheat, but why did they stop there? I'm sure the specific presence of gluten has never been considered as any sort of mandated requirement so why does it's absence somehow nullify the event?
Let me try again:

The matter of the sacrament is bread made from wheat flour and wine made from fermented grapes. That's what Jesus used, and He had a whole revelation of biblical history that led to this.

We can extract most of the alcohol from wine, making it suitable for an alcoholic priest to use -- by special exemption.

We can start with a low-gluten strain of wheat, and extract much of the gluten -- making it tolerable for sensitive individuals (although it may still cause reactions in hyper-sensitive individuals).

What we cannot do is use rice flour or unfermented fruit juice. We do not have the authority to change this, as much as we wish it were that easy. I think this is the hardest part for non-Catholics to understand: We can't change important things, just because we want to.

As for the GMO concern:
- GMO wheat is still wheat. Perhaps they will develop a no-gluten GMO wheat some day, and make this problem go away.

- But for now, "ABSOLUTELY GLUTEN-FREE" means "NO WHEAT PRODUCTS INCLUDED." And that renders the matter invalid.

It's not about the gluten. It is about the grain being wheat.

Meanwhile -- We can accommodate all of our people
- with low-gluten hosts,
- & very small portions for very sensitive individuals,
- and offering the cup for persons who want to eliminate all risk of gluten exposure.
They still receive the fulness of Christ in the sacrament.

We just want to avoid some rogue priest playing loose with the matter, perhaps substituting rice wafers in place of bread. Those people will not receive Jesus sacramentally, through no fault of their own. We are looking out for them, and we have their best interests in mind.
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Re: Vatican rules no gluten free bread in Eucharist

Post by hugodrax » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:51 am

FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:42 am
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:37 am
FredS wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:19 am
hugodrax wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am
Thunktank wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:37 am
Wow! I really didn't think this would be such a big deal! And folks are really concerned over a tiny bit of gluten from a wafer? For Fred's sake! :lol:
Wrong terminology, Thunk. Fred is part of the problem here. He's Fredsplaining again.
And Del is Delsplaining. Not that his behavior excuse mine, but he changed the term 'low gluten' to 'gluten free'.

And I was only being half snarky in my earlier post. Do we not suppose Christ can work with gluten free bread? Did he say "Eat this GLUTENIZED WHEAT bread in rememberance of me"? Do we suppose the wheat grown in Kansas today is the same as that grown in Jerusalem 200 years ago? I did read the letter from the Vatican and noticed they covered that issue by allowing for GMO wheat, but why did they stop there? I'm sure the specific presence of gluten has never been considered as any sort of mandated requirement so why does it's absence somehow nullify the event?
i have to ask: why do you care? It doesn't seem to be out of a genuine concern for the sufferers of Celiac disease or because you are on a one man mission to expose Monsanto's pact with the Devil. It's a Manifestation of Tuttle Fred Luther the Lesser, by the looks of things, attacking the Transubstantiation based on the recipe. Of course, I don't think you'd be happy with the idea regardless, so what's the issue here?

And one of you is going to have to show me the piles of expiring, painfully writhing gluten allergy folks who keeled over from the Eucharist before I take this as anything more than an administrative note clarifying past practice.
I was editing my post to preemptively address your question to me, but in case you don't notice it above, I wrote:
"Of course, I'm not Catholic so it matters not to me, but it's interesting to me to see the minutia the Roman church goes through to maintain the purity of this particular sacrament."
Heh, I was editing to address what you added when I saw this on the review and decided to scrap it.

I get rhw Church can look nitpicky. I didn't think this was one of those times, though. When I went and looked up gluten free flour and bread recipes, I don't think that it's technically even a bread anymore.

There's a line that has to be walked, I suppose, between Jesus' words and backing up the Wunderbread, as your fellow backwoodsman so charmingly put it. Where it is, I don't know and they don't ask me. But balancing the potential for mixup, the need for two tabernacles, probably having to somehow consecrate two sets of hosts, more people with specially marked containers which must always be kept separate from each other, just so a miniscule proportion of the population can feel included despite the fact all they really had to do was go and take the Blood...I dunno. Seems like it might not be worth it.
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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