CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Letter to all Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences concerning the use of low-gluten altar breads and mustum as matter for the celebration of the Eucharist. Vatican City, 19 June 1995.
In recent years this Dicastery has followed closely the development of the question of the use of low-gluten altar breads and mustum as matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.
After careful study conducted in collaboration with a number of concerned episcopal conferences, this congregation in its ordinary session of June 22, 1994, has approved the following norms, which I am pleased to communicate:
I. Concerning permission to use low-gluten altar breads:
A. This may be granted by ordinaries to priests and laypersons affected by celiac disease, after presentation of a medical certificate.
B. Conditions for the validity of the matter:
1) Special hosts "quibus glutinum ablatum est" [that are gluten-free] are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.
2) Low-gluten hosts are valid matter, provided that they contain the amount of gluten sufficient to obtain the confection of bread, that there is no addition of foreign materials and that the procedure for making such hosts is not such as to alter the nature of the substance of the bread.
(I omit similar instructions regarding non-alcoholic wine.)
III. Common Norms:
A. The ordinary must ascertain that the matter used conforms to the above requirements.
B. Permissions are to be given only for as long as the situation continues which motivated the request.
C. Scandal is to be avoided.
D. Given the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of the priest, candidates for the priesthood who are affected by celiac disease or suffer from alcoholism or similar conditions may not be admitted to holy orders.
(Procedural instructions omitted)