Vatican outlaws gluten-free bread for Holy Communion

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Vatican City, July 9 (IANS) Bread used to celebrate the Eucharist during Roman Catholic masses must not be gluten-free, although it may be made from genetically modified organisms, the Vatican has ruled.

In a letter to bishops on Saturday, Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said the bread can be low-gluten, reports the BBC.

But he said there must be enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives.

The new rules are needed because the bread is now sold in supermarkets and on the internet, the Cardinal said.

Roman Catholics believe bread and wine served at the Eucharist are converted into the body and blood of Jesus Christ through a process known as transubstantiation.

The wine used must also be “natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances”, said Cardinal Sarah.

The ruling was issued at the request of Pope Francis, the letter added.

There are about 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world.

–IANS

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