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The bread used by Catholics to celebrate the Eucharist must contain at least some gluten, according to guidance issued from the Vatican last month.

The letter also added that gluten-free bread is not appropriate for the Eucharist, although exceptions could be made for sufferers of coeliac disease. Therefore, "bread made with other substances" can not constitute the valid matter for the realization of the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic sacrament. It has multiple past statements to reference, which allow for low-gluten wheat bread as well as mustum, a type of grape juice for those who can not consume alcohol.

The introduction of any other substances, "such as fruit or sugar or honey, for confecting the bread" is, described as "a grave abuse".

"We believe Communion is the actual body of Christ and that's the center point of our liturgy as Catholics - being able to receive Jesus", Starman said.

In order to prevent churches from buying inappropriate supplies, Pope Francis deemed it necessary to send out the reminder.

From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 15 June 2017, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It has to be natural, pure, made mostly of grapes and, of course, shouldn't be mixed with other chemicals and substances.

However, bread for holy communion can be made from genetically modified ingredients. The Vatican has decreed that the small wafers, or hosts, used in the ceremony must contain gluten, reports the BBC. They were also responsible with producing the wine for the same ritual. "Permission can be granted habitually, for as long as the situation continues which occasioned the granting of permission" (C. 1).

For the estimated one percent of the population with celiac disease, eating gluten - a protein found in grains such as wheat - causes intestinal damage.

In America and Europe, bread with trace amounts of gluten-about 20 parts per million-legally meets the definition "gluten-free".

The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has on its website approved distributors of low-gluten communion wafers and mustums.

Medical certification of a condition justifying the use of mustum or low-gluten hosts for Communion is not required, the committee said.


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