Vatican: ‘Body of Christ’ can’t be gluten-free

July 10 (UPI) — Pope Francis has decided that bread used to represent the Body of Christ in Eucharist ceremonies must have gluten.

A letter sent from Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on behalf of Pope Francis reminded bishops about the need to have wheat in the ceremonial bread.

“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,” Sarah said. “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.”

He added: “It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.”

Catholics use wine to represent the Blood of Christ in their ceremonies, and the Vatican said it must be “natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances.”

For those people who can’t drink wine, they can drink mustum, a thick, non-fermented grape juice.


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