Vatican and Gluten Free hosts in the media
The Vatican issued on 8 July a letter regarding the use of gluten free altar breads for Holy Communion (English translation available here).
This letter has been issued to clarify the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has not changed.
Wheat is the only substance authorised by the Roman Catholic Church to make communion wafers. However, some hosts are suitable for individuals with coeliac disease. It is because they are made from gluten free (codex) wheat starch and therefore do not contain enough gluten to be harmful to people suffering from the disease. They also contain a sufficient amount of wheat to be authorised by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Vatican letter has been issued to clarify the Church position because of the growing number of suppliers selling “unauthorised” communion wafers, using substitutes -such as potato starch or rice- instead of wheat.
Several of our member societies publish lists of suppliers of communion wafers suitable for people with coeliac disease on their websites.