Holy Bread, The Untold Side of Gluten Free Communion
Communion, the taking in of holy bread and wine, is practiced by more people than any other religious act. In recent years though, the use of holy bread made from wheat has come into question. Yet, reactions to foods containing wheat continue to become more common. With a religious tradition this commonly practiced, it was only a matter of time before a church authority figure stepped in.
Wheat has Changed
Gluten free has become one of the most popular dietary patterns. Most restaurants have some version of gluten free on the menu. But why the dramatic increase in demand for gluten free foods? This movement arose out of the observation that gluten is associated with a number of conditions. Such conditions include autoimmune conditions, cancer and obesity just to name a few. But the real story is that wheat has changed.
The wheat spoken of in Biblical times is much different than the wheat of today. Through the years wheat has changed. Often we hear of genetically modified crops and have a tendency to lump wheat into this category. The chemicals applied to wheat are also applied to genetically modified crops, likely accounting for the confusion. Wheat is hybridized, and therefore different than original varieties.
Pope Makes a Final Decision on Holy Bread
The push of gluten free has ultimately found its way into the church. The demand for gluten free holy bread raised the question whether it is acceptable to use in place of wheat sources of holy bread. This is obviously a controversial topic with some expressing a need for an alternative to traditional holy bread for health reasons while others wish to maintain the purity of the act.
In light of the controversy, the Pope recently took a stand, stating gluten free sources of holy bread were not to be used. Only traditional wheat sources of holy bread where to be used. Where does this leave those that wish to remain committed Christians, but that equally suffer from gluten reactions?
The Untold Story of the New Holy Bread
There is more to this story than appears on the surface however. Whether or not you agree with the Pope’s decision, I wanted you to hear the untold side that is not showing up in the news. Don’t forget where the Pope resides. He is in Rome, which is in Italy. Europe is a diverse landscape, and that includes laws. Some countries in Europe allow the use of chemicals like glyphosate that would increase the concern of reaction to gluten, and therefore increase the desire for a gluten free communion option. Not Italy.
Italy wisely took a stand against glyphosate. The entire European Union has banned the wide application of glyphosate. Yet, Italy went further imposing one of the widest bans on both consumer and agricultural use. How does this relate to the Pope’s directive? Could the wheat used in making holy bread for the Vatican be different than what you are offered? Seems likely. While communion at the Vatican may not be gluten free, it is likely glyphosate free, which in the eyes of many, including myself, is the underlying problem with gluten.
Interestingly, I don’t find it a coincidence that I often have patients share with me that gluten consumption in Europe does not seem to bother them. Yet in the United States, this same food causes gut stress and many other symptoms. Do we have a reason why? I think so.
Following the Pope’s Direction
There is a gap that needs to be bridged between taking communion and avoiding gluten. Remember however, gluten free may need to be updated to glyphosate free. It appears that the real issue is the chemicals, not just the gluten. Therefore, following the Pope’s lead, rather than thinking of partaking in gluten free communion, consider taking part in glyphosate free communion. This may be as easy as finding an Italian based producer of the wafers your church uses in communion.
Think communion is the only place you are being exposed to chemicals in your food. Not so. Here is a FREE RESOURCE to help identify exactly where you should look for chemicals in your food and what you can do about them.
I understand that there are people today who choose to be gluten free for health issues. For those people this product may work for them. However for those of us who have to be off gluten because we are truely allergic to it then what. I think it is very unfair and down right rude that the pope wants us to suffer for something we can not control. So our choices are either to substain from communion or suffer the coincidences of being ill or for those of us with celiac, death. Why should have to deal with that? No offense but I have a hard time trusting my pope if he is wishing me harm. So much for a holy caring man.