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It seems I was a bit vague.

My last post about gluten-free communion wafers seems to have a conclusion that is a bit vague… at least a lot more vague than I’d intended (ie… not at all). The two commenters, “David” and “stephanie” concluded that my post was criticizing the Catholic church’s position on the gluten content of the Eucharist hosts.

The Catholic church doctrine seems to require that hosts contain gluten in order to qualify as “bread,” otherwise it cannot properly transubstantiate into the body of Christ. This, of course, poses a problem for coeliac sufferers who cannot tolerate any gluten in their diets.

Although I agree one hundred percent with the comments made by “David” and “stephanie,” and I support them in their fight to be included in their religious ceremonies, the issue of immutable church doctrine was not the focused intent of my post.

My intended point was that, since the Catholic church believes that the host physically transforms into the body of Christ, the wafer would no longer contain gluten when it’s eaten. So, if what Catholics profess to believe is actually true, the host could be made of 100% wheat gluten before being consecrated, but afterward it would contain 0% gluten and would be safe to eat, even by the most severe coeliac sufferer.

Since it’s obviously an issue (and a completely valid one, I agree), it would seem that Catholics, including the clergy, do not really believe that transubstantiation occurs. And more importantly, if any coeliac sufferer has ever had a reaction to a consecrated host (a brief search turned up nothing), it would seem that transubstantiation actually does not occur.

My sincerest best wishes to “David” and “stephanie,” though.