U.S. churches catching on to communion breads free of gluten

Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:05am EST
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By Colleen Jenkins

(Reuters) - Rachel Rieger figured getting diagnosed with celiac disease and having to rid gluten from her diet meant she could no longer partake of the wheat-based communion bread that represents a key facet of her Catholic faith.

"It was tough for me to cope with," said Rieger, 23.

She was thrilled when her priest in Cleveland, Ohio, told her the church allows a low-gluten wafer generally considered safe for people who suffer damage to their small intestine when they eat the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

The priest would keep one of the low-gluten wafers aside for Rieger when she received communion.   Continued...

Altar Bread Manager Sister Lynn Marie D'Souza (R) helps lay workers look for imperfections on some of the wheat-based communion wafers at the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration monastery in Clyde Missouri December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Dave Kaup