Coeliac disease and the Catholic church

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with Coeliac disease. I was reading about it on wikipedia, where I found out this about the Catholic’s church attitude:

Roman Catholic doctrine states that for a valid Eucharist, the bread to be used at Mass must be made from wheat…Though a Catholic (lay or ordained) receiving the Eucharist under either form (bread or wine) is receiving Christ “whole and entire”—his body, blood, soul, and divinity—the priest, who is acting in persona Christi, is required to receive under both species when offering Mass—not for the validity of his Communion, but for the fullness of the sacrifice of the Mass. On 24 July 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated, “Given the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of a priest, one must proceed with great caution before admitting to Holy Orders those candidates unable to ingest gluten or alcohol without serious harm.”

What if the priest is ordained before he develops Coeliac disease? Does he then either have to leave the priesthood or get bowel cancer?

The article does then suggest that they might be getting a clue, since some allowances have been made for low gluten bread, but really, they should have just authorised the use of rice wafers.


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