Has the Vatican Permitted Any Changes to the Eucharist?

According to the Catholic Church, communion wafers -- known as “hosts” -- must be “unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition.” Gluten-free wafers are not acceptable. But low-gluten wafers can be used during the Holy Communion service, the Vatican has said, to accommodate worshippers with celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance. A communion wafer is typically about the size of a quarter and is made from wheat flour, shortening, salt, and water, containing about 22 milligrams of gluten. Wafers with less than 10 milligrams of gluten are considered low-gluten.

Some gluten is required:

  • A 2003 policy passed down by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith allows low-gluten wafers, “provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread.”

  • The policy also allows people who cannot drink wine to sip mustum, a type of fermented grape juice, during the sacred ritual.

  • Catholics do not see the bread and wine consumed during communion as symbolic. In accordance with the doctrine of transubstantiation, they believe that they are consuming the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ.

More Info: The Washington Post

Discussion Comments


I went to Wikipedia under transubstantiation and found the information fascinating. I'm not Catholic (I'm Baha'i) but I came away with respect for the theory. Though they don't directly say, I think they are considering the union with Jesus to be on the molecular level. There's a long history of this belief, and I think you will find it fascinating.


The Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation:

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."206


I am Catholic and I do not think I am consuming the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. Please advise where you got that statement.

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