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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. My friend has celiac disease, preventing her from receiving a wheat only host at Holy Communion. Her condition does not allow her to digest wheat, even in small amounts. Is there a substitute for those who are affected by this disease?

A. 1. Canon Law 924 2 states, "the bread must be wheaten only, and recently made, so that there is no danger of corruption." When addressing this matter in 1982, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith stated, "the local Ordinary could not permit a priest to consecrate special gluten-free hosts for the communion of coeliacs." (Although low gluten hosts are permitted.)

The statement continued, "Special hosts, quibus glutinum ablatum est (from which gluten has been removed), are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist".

Considering the fact that the fullness of the Lord Jesus is found in both species, the Body (Consecreated Bread) and the Blood (Consecrated Wine), those who suffer from the celiac disease, may receive the Blood of Christ for Communion instead of the Body.

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