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Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum

Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum

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Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum

In July 2003, responding to renewed questions about the norms for use of low-gluten hosts and "mustum" after August 1994, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter to bishops further clarifying the matter of use of low-gluten hosts and "mustum" for Communion for those who "for various serious reasons…are unable to consume normal bread or wine".

This letter, which appears below, was reproduced in the BCL Newsletter November 2003, along with the BCL comments and a chart. The BCL article appears online at http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/innews/1103.shtml

Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith

July 24, 2003            

Prot. 89/78-174 98

Your Excellency

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been for many years studying how to resolve the difficulties that some of the faithful encounter in receiving Holy Communion when for various serious reasons they are unable to consume normal bread or wine.

A number of documents on this question have been issued in the past in the interest of offering Pastors uniform and sure direction (Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, Rescriptum, .15 December 1980, in Leges Eccleside, 6/4819, 8095-8096; De celebrantis communione, 29 October 1982, in AAS 74, 1982, 1298-1299; Lettera ai Presidenti delle. Conferenze Episcopali, 19 June 1995, in Notitiae 31, 1995: 608-610).

In light of the experience of recent years, it has been deemed necessary at this time to return to the topic, taking up the above-mentioned documents and clarifying them wherever necessary.

A. The use of gluten-free hosts and mustum
1. Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.

2. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.

3. Mustum, which is grape juice that is either fresh or-preserved by methods that-suspend its fermentation without altering its nature (for example, freezing), is valid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.

B. Communion under one species or with a minimal amount of wine
1. A layperson affected by celiac disease, who is not able to receive, Communion- under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, may receive Communion under the species of wine only.

2. A priest ‘unable to receive Communion under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, when taking part in a concelebration, may with the permission of the Ordinary receive Communion under the species of wine only.

3. A priest unable to ingest even a minimal amount of wine, who finds himself in a situation where it, is difficult to obtain or store mustum, when taking part in a concelebration, may with the permission of the Ordinary receive Communion under the species of bread only.

4. If a priest is able to take wine, but only a very small amount, when he is the sole celebrant, the remaining species of wine may be consumed by a layperson participating in that celebration of the Eucharist.

C. Common Norms
1. The Ordinary is competent to give permission for an individual priest or layperson to use low-gluten hosts or mustum. for the celebration of the Eucharist. Permission can be granted habitually, for as long as the situation continues which occasioned the granting of permission.

2. When the principal celebrant at a concelebration has permission to use mustum, a chalice of normal wine is to be prepared for the concelebrants. In like manner, when he has permission to use low-gluten hosts, normal hosts are to be provided for the concelebrants.

3. A priest unable to receive Communion under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, may not celebrate the Eucharist individually, nor may he preside at a concelebration.

4. Given the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of a priest, one must proceed with great caution before admitting to Holy Orders those candidates unable to ingest gluten or alcohol without serious harm.

5. Attention should be paid to medical advances in the area of celiac disease and alcoholisn-4 and encouragement given to the production of hosts with a minimal amount of gluten and of unaltered mustum.

6. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith enjoys competence over the doctrinal aspects of this question, while disciplinary matters are the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

7. Concerned Episcopal Conferences shall report to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, at the time of their ad Limina visit, regarding the application of these norms as well as any new developments in this area.

Asking you to kindly communicate the contents of this letter to the members of your Episcopal Conference, with fraternal regards and prayerful best wishes, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Prefect

also see: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum, August 22. 1994

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The Editors

Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum

Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum

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Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Norms for Use of Low-gluten Bread and Mustum

August 22, 1994

In a 1994 letter to all bishops, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, responded to concerns about people with celiac disease and alcoholism and proposals to change the Church laws that require wheat bread and grape wine to be used for Mass.

Canon 925 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law presents the requirements for validity of the "matter (bread and wine) to be consecrated. It states that the bread for Mass must be made of wheat alone, and the wine must be grape wine; furthermore Redemptionis Sacramentum, the liturgical norms issued in April 2004, state that attempting to consecrate substitutes , such as rice-cakes or pasteurized or blended grape juice, is a grave abuse that invalidates the Sacrament (RS 48, 50).

The CDF’s letter to bishops provides norms for the use of "low-gluten" bread (made of wheat flour and wheat starch), and mustum (natural unfermented grape juice). The letter appears here.

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August 22, 1994.

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.

II. Concerning permission to use mustum:

A. The preferred solution continues to be communion per intinctionem [Communion by intinction], or in concelebration under the species of bread alone.

B. Nevertheless, the permission to use mustum can be granted by ordinaries to priests affected by alcoholism or other conditions which prevent the ingestion of even the smallest quantity of alcohol, after presentation of a medical certificate.

C. By "mustum" is understood fresh juice from grapes or juice preserved by suspending its fermentation (by means of freezing or other methods which do not alter its nature).

D. In general, those who have received permission to use mustum are prohibited from presiding at concelebrated Masses. There may be some exceptions however: in the case of a bishop or superior general; or, with prior approval of the ordinary, at the celebration of the anniversary of priestly ordination or other similar occasions. In these cases the one who presides is to communicate under both the species of bread and that of mustum, while for the other concelebrants a chalice shall be provided in which normal wine is to be consecrated.

E. In the very rare instances of laypersons requesting this permission, recourse must be made to the Holy See.

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.

E. Since the doctrinal questions in this area have now been decided, disciplinary competence is entrusted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

F. Concerned episcopal conferences shall report to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments every two years regarding the application of these norms.

With warm regards and best wishes, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect

Also see: Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, July 24, 2003,Prot. 89/78-174 98

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The Editors