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Italian bishops approve low-gluten host for celiac disease sufferers

In a policy move that reflects differing medical opinion in Europe and the United States, Italy's bishops approved a low-gluten Eucharist host for sufferers of celiac disease.

The bishops' national liturgy office, backed by the scientific committee of the Italian Celiac Association, said the amount of gluten in hosts specially made by a German firm met church law requirements but would not provoke health problems in celiac patients.

In a statement posted on the Bishops' Web site in December, the liturgy office asked priests who have parishioners with celiac disease to obtain the special hosts and take precautions to prevent their contamination through contact with regular hosts. The statement said the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explicitly approved the German low-gluten hosts in an August letter to the Italian Celiac Association.

La comunione dei celiaci in Italia (Italian Bishops' Conference)
Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Support Page