Q. 1. Has the Catholic Church approved any substitute for the hosts that contain wheat? It is my understanding that those who have celiac disease cannot consume the regular host.
A. 1. After doing extensive research, it was learned that low-gluten wafers were being made by the Benedictine sisters in Clyde, Missouri, and these are approved by the Vatican.
Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
31970 State Hwy P
Clyde, MO 64432-8100
"They contain trace amounts of wheat, about .01 percent, which is enough to satisfy the sacrament but should be safe for those who have celiac." Anyone who thinks the wafers might cause a health problem should check with their doctor.
The low-gluten wafers made by the Benedictine Sisters contain less than 100 parts per million. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently put a regulation in place that products can be labeled gluten-free if the gluten content is less than 20 parts per million.
Some people lining up for a gluten-free communion may not have celiac. They may be simply following the latest trend among dieters.
Only about one percent of the population has celiac disease (though only 17 percent of those are diagnosed) according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.