Sorry, guys — the Pope says gluten-free communion bread isn’t gonna cut it
It’s no secret that Pope Francis has been a *bit* unorthodox when running the Vatican. From being vocal about closing the gender pay gap to issuing an apology to the gay community, Pope Francis‘s take on Catholicism has shaken things up. However, it seems that the Vatican has drawn a line when it comes to celebrating the Eucharist.
Yep, the Vatican has banned gluten-free bread from being used during communion.
According to a BBC report, Roman Catholic Mass services will not be allowed to use gluten-free breads per the request of Pope Francis.
Cardinal Robert Sarah explained in a letter to Bishops, translated by Vatican Radio.
"The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament."
"Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread."
The letter states that “genetically modified organisms can be considered valid matter.” It also instructs Catholics with Celiac Disease to partake in drinking “mustum,” a pressed fruit drink. Wine used must also be “natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances.”
This is all to say that the Pope and the Vatican want to guarantee the qualify of the Eucharist.
They want to ensure it is “made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.”
This decision is not completely new, however. In 2003, the church ruled that the bread used should contain a “small quantity” of gluten. The rules set a new standard since the bread ingredients are now available via supermarkets and the internet.