The Catholic Church has said no to gluten free communion. The Vatican released a letter regarding their communion hosts saying, “Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.” Although low gluten hosts are still allowed, this alternative is still not safe for people with Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that damages the small intestines when gluten is consumed and up to .1g of gluten can cause a reaction.
There are about 7.4 billion people in the world and approximately 16% of the world is Catholic. It is estimated that one percent of the world has Celiac disease. By this math, the Catholic Church is saying that 11.8 million Catholics cannot receive communion without risking their health.
There is always the option to drink the wine instead, but that is a cross contamination nightmare. Part of the mass ceremony is crumbling the host into the wine therefore making it unsafe for those with Celiac to consume.
Here is a picture of me at my First Holy Communion before my diagnosis.
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, I hope that more people begin to realize how serious Celiac disease is and how unfortunate it is to keep communion away from those of us impacted. I am hopeful for a day I am able to safely receive communion again.