check out this article from CNN.com
Friday, August 20, 2004 Posted: 8:07 AM EDT (1207 GMT)
BRIELLE, New Jersey (AP) -- An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.
Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition should not exclude her from the sacrament, which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion. The mother believes a rice Communion wafer would suffice.
"It's just not a viable option. How does it corrupt the tradition of the Last Supper? It's just rice versus wheat," said Elizabeth Pelly-Waldman.
Spirit of the law, letter of the law. Wonder which Jesus would rather us follow? The lectionary just this week talks about Jesus teaching how even on the Sabbath the strictly religious would take an ox out for water - yet then they argue against healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath. How can we miss the point so entirely? How can we imagine that Jesus, sharing a last meal with disciples, would be dreaming of 2000 years into the future when a child could not remember his meal too because she couldn't have a gluten-free wafer. Honestly.