Friday, August 20, 2004

from Wheat-allergic girl denied Communion

check out this article from

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.


Quo Vadis said...

If communion is also available via the cup, as it is in most parishes in the United States, she can recieve the same graces by partaking only from the cup. Neither the Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches have used anything else but wheat for the host since the beginning of Christianity. This is what was passed down from the apostles. There is simply no authority to change it to rice, or any other bread, cookie, or add ingredients as those who view it as simply symbolic are want to do. Jesus changed wheat bread into His body, and we have no right to question Him on the matter or assume a rice cake would suffice.

Philothea said...

It is really a shame that so many Catholic ideas are ignored by so many. The idea of bearing our crosses and offering them up seems to have been lost to this mother and child. An excellent learning experience has been given up in the name of "everybody should look the same," and the daughter, who could have learned of a special task God has for her, will instead walk away feeling rejected because her mother woudn't let go of her own ideas.