'Great care should be taken so that the wine intended for the celebration of the Eucharist is well conserved and has not soured, ' the letter adds. Apparently this recent reminder on what is and isn't allowed for consumption during communion has become necessary now these items are no longer only produced within religious communities but "are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet".
According to those norms, "the bread used in the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist must be unleavened, of only wheat and made recently, so that there is no danger of it being corrupted".
Pope Francis has reminded priests that gluten-free is not the way to go when it comes to communion.
Catholics believe that the bread and wine turns into the body and blood of Christ during the Eucharist ceremony. There also are people who live with nonceliac gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity whose health can be adversely affected by gluten.
The letter explains that the host can not be "completely" without gluten, as it is necessary for it to be considered bread.
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments letter requests better oversight by bishops.
The Vatican has sent out a letter stating that the liturgical materials of the Eucharist are to be respected and that no modifications, such as adding "fruits, honey and sugar", should be made. The use of such items is permitted, but it is the responsibility of the priest to ensure they are of good quality.
In a letter to bishops, Cardinal Robert Sarah said the bread can be low-gluten. Mustum or must, a type of grape juice where fermentation has begun but been suspended, may be used for people with alcohol intolerance. And while there are other organizations selling low-gluten wafers, Starman said they are the only religious producers.
(PHOTO: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS) Woman receiving Holy Communion in a Catholic church in this undated photo.
There is a new mandate on communion wine, as well.