Vatican announces guidelines over how communion wafers are made and gluten is a must.

Last Saturday, the Vatican announced that while communion wafers can be made using genetically modified organisms, they cannot be entirely gluten-free .

The move was announced in a letter to bishops from Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He said that while the bread used for communion wafers can be low-gluten, it must still contain enough protein to be made without the use of additives.

Cardinal Sarah said this action was needed because Eucharistic bread and wine can now be bought at “supermarkets” and “…over the internet.” Since the Eucharist is such an important religious rite for Catholics, Cardinal Sarah is eager to ensure that only bread which meets Church guidelines is used.

The letter added that, the bread used in the Eucharist “must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition." Cardinal Sarah also reminded bishops that the bread must be made by people “distinguished by their integrity” and that adding sugar or fruits to sweeten the bread is a “grave abuse”.

The Cardinal’s letter is said to have been written at the request of Pope Francis himself. It also contained renewed guidelines on the wine used in the Eucharist, stating that it must also be “natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances.”

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