Q: My brother-in-law and niece have celiac disease and the low gluten host still has more gluten than they can tolerate. The pastor provides a separate cup for them but it raised the question of whether there’s a theological reason a gluten flour must be used.
Thank you so much for your help.
A: The rules come from the Code of Canon Law (924 §2) and Redemptionis Sacramentum (48), which says of the dough, “If it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, [it] does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.”
The requirement for wheat bread probably assumes that that’s what Jesus used, and what he implied we are to use by his command, “Do this.”
I regret to hear about the struggles of your family members. God bless your pastor for finding a solution.