Calling a Gluten-Free Eucharist Obnoxious? Illogical? Pot…Meet Kettle.

gluten free eucharist

Well this is ugly. The Spectator magazine, around since 1828 with a paid circulation of 72,000 and a popular website, recently ran an article by one Melissa Kite titled “The dietary obnoxiousness of the Catholic Church”, with a lovely byline that reads “Gluten-free Eucharist? I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Pope gave in to dietary fads.”

Here’s the link. Please don’t read on a full stomach.

Now first…let’s start off with some good news. I used to write these kinds of posts all the time. If you go back to my diaper blogging years, I was constantly calling the media out for crap like this. But recently? Crickets. Meaning the media has mostly moved on or our efforts are making a difference. Either way, it’s a step in the right direction.

But you know what they say…one step forward and two steps back. And this article is a major step back. I should have known it was a sh*t publication when I saw another article on their site titled “If only Bruce Springsteen could write as well as he sings.” I think Bruce will be the first to tell you that he writes better than he sings.

“Remember all the movies, Terry, we’d go see?/ Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be/ And after all this time to find we’re just like all the rest/ Stranded in the park and forced to confess/ To hiding on the backstreets.”

Nobody puts Brucie in the corner.

Ok…moving on…let’s break the article down, Dude-style.

Melissa Says: A few moments after saying the communion rite, the priest looked at his congregation and uttered easily the most disturbing thing I have ever heard said in a church: ‘If anyone wants a gluten-free Eucharist, please queue up on this side.’

Dude says: Two points: 1) If that sentence seriously disturbs you…I think it’s time to reevaluate your life a bit; and 2) If that is one of the most disturbing things you’ve heard in church EVER, consider yourself pretty blessed.

Melissa says: I have been going to mass off and on like the bad Catholic I am all my life but I have never heard anything so ludicrous.

Dude says: Don’t limit your badness to just being a Catholic. It seems to me like you are full of badness.

Melissa says: My boyfriend whispered to me ‘They’ll be offering halal communion next.’

Dude says: For the record, Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” In terms of food, it means food that is permissible according to Islamic law. So you’re ok dictating what Catholics should and shouldn’t eat, but not other religions? Ok…got it.

Melissa says: I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Pope gave in to food allergies. He won’t allow divorce, extra-marital sex or birth control but wheat intolerance? The might of Rome is no match for wheat intolerance.

Dude says: Thanks for the reminder of why I haven’t been to church in 30 years. And by the way, celiac disease, which you fail to mention in the ENTIRE article, is not a food allergy. But I get the feeling you really don’t care about accuracy. Just clicks.

Melissa says: While every poor soul in the developing world is happy to eat anything, every spoilt idiot in the western world is allergic to some perfectly innocuous foodstuff that they claim will kill them if they eat a molecule of it. No dietary assumption is too illogical or too scientifically baseless for us to trumpet it.

Dude says: I agree the Western world’s diet, for the most part, is absolute crap. But does that mean allergies don’t exist? People don’t get sick and potentially die from various food issues? Are you that wrapped up in your little cocoon to understand this? Or you do understand it but you just totally lack empathy?

Melissa says: Who are these people who have demanded their Catholic priest offer them a gluten-free Eucharist? For truly they are on a whole new level of dietary obnoxiousness.

Dude says: They are 1% of the world’s population that has celiac disease and 6% of the world’s population that has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. And if I were you, I would not be throwing around the term “obnoxiousness” so lightly. Look inside.

Melissa says: And why has the mighty Catholic Church made such an ass of itself by giving in to them?

Dude says: Because they have a heart. Because they have compassion. Because they are educated. Pretty much all of the things you aren’t.

Melissa says: What next? The priest asking parents if they’d like to see the children’s menu, where the ‘Happy Communion’ features mini Eucharists with smiley faces on them?

Dude says: No words.

Melissa says: Would not a better route have been for the church to tell those worshippers agitating for a special menu to pray for their digestive problems to be relieved? I’m sure if they have faith, their dietary burdens will be lifted from them.

Dude says: That’s right, because prayer cures everything. Dang…if I just started praying, my celiac disease would go away. As would my back pain. And I never would have gotten cancer.

This article sinks to the level of idiocy that I have not seen since the early days of my blog. But congratulations Melissa and The Spectator. You’ve clearly shown that we still have a long way to go in terms of celiac awareness. I’ll just keep on keeping on, while you keep living in a world of judgmental ignorance. So typical of today’s world. If it doesn’t affect you, it’s not important.

Folks…let ’em know what you think.

Ok Bruce…you hack…take me back to my happy place. Take me to the Backstreets please.

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48 thoughts on “Calling a Gluten-Free Eucharist Obnoxious? Illogical? Pot…Meet Kettle.”

  1. OMG! This woman is a disgrace. As a Catholic, I can tell you it’s not easy when Communion comes and you can’t have it. My youngest is getting his first Communion this year and -though I shouldn’t care- I can tell you it’s an awkward scene when I have to leave the pew and go around the church dodging those serving communion and get back to my row. I’ve had to remind by family many a time that I’m not taking communion because of my disease, not because I’m secretly a murderer or a philanderer! Our church offers GF communion wafers if you go before mass has started and request it. I’m not comfortable doing that and have seen how cross contamination can happen.
    This woman Terry sounds like one of those judgey Christians that make people stay away from church….

  2. This is huge. For the longest time, the Catholic church’s stand was that every host have at least a portion of wheat in it. And, because of transubstantiation, it doesn’t matter, anyway. For this to happen……. huge. Her comments….. very disturbing. Which is why we are still fighting to be taken seriously.

    1. I don’t think the Church actually changed anything. The priest was probably making low gluten hosts available. This person is too ignorant to know anything about what the Church teaching actually is.

  3. I attend a nondenominational church and we have about 5 people who need to eat gluten free. We ended up just switching the crackers to gluten free so everyone was safe 🙂 I think its great that this is being offered, it shows that there is compassion for people with gluten issues. It gives me hope for my little girl as she grows

  4. There are no good words for this….except if she or a family member developed a food allergy that causes anaphylaxis or celiac disease…my guess is even then she may never understand.It appears her strength is not empathy.

  5. There are no good words for this….except if she or a family member developed a food allergy that causes anaphylaxis or celiac disease…my guess is even then she may never understand. It appears her strength is not empathy.

  6. Articles like this are exactly why gluten free hosts are not offered in my church of which I’m in regular attendance. Definitely not helpful. I also live in a province in Canada that has the highest rate of celiac per capita in the country and one of our major resources is, you guessed it, wheat. You’d think there’d be enough of us to make a difference 🙁

    1. As a fellow Canadian, I assume you’re talking about Saskatchewan — where even the local pro football team features two stalks of wheat in its logo. Anyway, where are you getting these regional breakdowns? Not challenging your claim, just genuinely interested to see what the variance is across the country.

  7. I’m a pastor. As is my father and we both have celiac disease. This is ridiculous and inhospitable and frankly against Jesus’ teachings of welcoming all to the table. Of course, I’m United Methodist, so we offer grape juice instead of wine so we’re already off from the “purity” of Communion. But it would be flat out wrong if I couldn’t partake of Communion with my congregation. I don’t inflict awful gf bread on everyone, but I have it to the side for myself and for anyone else who can’t have gluten. No one rolls their eyes or calls me obnoxious. We in the church are to serve and accommodate. I take Communion to people in the pews who can’t come up to the front because to include everyone in the service is essential.

    1. Thanks for that. I am Presbyterian and a seminary student. I have gone GF because of other issues but as a future pastor, I will make sure there is always a GF option at any table that I am a part of. This is the table of the Lord Jesus Christ not ours.

  8. GlutenDude- you are so right about the Boss, and oh my god! The ignorance and ridicule of this author toward a population with a serious medical disease is mindboogling. I am not religious, but I have begged, not prayed, begged- to no longer have this disease.

  9. Wow…just…wow.
    I am rendered speechless by the complete lack of empathy and the sheer lack of even trying to understand something or someone that is different from themselves.
    If one only has enough faith, their dietary burdens would be relieved??? Seriously???

  10. I was raised Catholic this writer epitomizes what makes many dislike catholism, a narrow view. This writer also epitomizes what keeps a lot of people away from the news, social media, and journalism: sensationalistic writing to gain attention. Opinionated, factless, blabbering. My children have celiac disease it certainly is neither by choice, nor anything less than dire. I don’t get ruffled usually by any of these things but let me say it for you this time Dude, FUCK OFF lady. Perhaps you will need to symbol that out, I don’t usually conduct myself that way but it’s very fitting in this situation. She is not going to take opportunity to educate herself, it’s unfortunate journalism.

  11. So many nasty things that I could say and want to say about her but I won’t. What I will say is that my mother in law recently passed away. When the priest came to say prayers at the wake, I reluctantly (you all know why) asked him if they had gluten free host. He said no problem, I will call the monsignor and have him put one aside for tomorrow’s mass. It meant a lot to me to be able to receive communion at that mass and I’m glad the Catholic Church doesn’t share the idiot author’s opinion. Btw, they had it in the chalice in it’s own separate gold case.

  12. This is terrible! I cried the first time I went to Mass after diagnosis and could not take communion. I am not extremely religious but it was very difficult nonetheless not to participate in communion. It is disturbing that not only is there a person obnoxious enough to sit in judgment (during Mass) of her fellow Catholics and what they can and cannot eat but that a newspaper is obnoxious enough to publish her poorly written drivel. On another note, what an awesome church to make getting the gluten free communion so easy for people.

  13. Dude, I enjoyed your article, but was wondering why you referred to Melissa as Terry? I’m not Catholic, but my church, upon learning I had celiac, ordered GF wafers for me so I didn’t just have to take the blood of Christ.

      1. Probably thinking of the Terry character from the Backstreets song lol, name even comes up in the part you quoted — although I might have figured Adam Raised A Cain more apropos for this religion-themed post 😛 “You know it’s never over, it’s relentless as the rain.”

        I still see one Terry in your post, near the end.

  14. I’m not a fan of fad diets and food nazis myself, but there are a variety of special diets out there that people have to be on for very medically necessary reasons. The author of the article should not judge what she doesn’t understand. Also, many people who are ALLERGIC to wheat, not intolerant, but ALLERGIC, are also gluten-free.

  15. We have communion at the small Baptist church I attend once a month. All of the wafers are gluten free. I am so appreciative of how my church truly tries to serve. Unfortunately, my daughter has celiac and the church she attends (a large Baptist church) does not have any gluten free options. : (

  16. The _____________ (Deity of your choosing) must love Putzes (Yiddish for “not so bright” person, ok it really means stupid, but I was trying to be kind), as _____________ (Deity again) has created so many of them.

  17. While I may not be Catholic, I’ve prayed for my stomach problems to be cured many MANY times, as all of us celiacs have. It’s usually while sobbing on the bathroom floor where I’ve been for hours or days.

  18. Unbelievable! We can only pray, she or any of her loved ones, are never diagnosed with Celiacs or or NCGS. Fortunately, God forgives us…for our sins and for putting our big, fat foot in our mouths!

    1. Not to get too far off-topic but re: the Bruce article on that same Spectator website, having read that additional one, a couple of points should be clarified. First, it was written by a different author (not the one who wrote the communion article), someone who professes to be a Springsteen fan. Also, the writing that he was attacking was actually the long-form prose of BS’s recent book, which he says he doesn’t care for; I don’t think he was going after his songwriting. I haven’t read the book myself so no comment but I suppose I’d concede the point that being able to write great songs doesn’t necessarily translate into great writing in a more extended non-musical format.

  19. You know, I comment from time to time. I’m not a celiac, we’re a food allergy family, but we stand in fully solidarity with our celiac brothers and sisters. As a non-Catholic, but Christian, this bothers me. What about compassion lady? Jesus Christ would tell you to be compassionate and show love to the person that needed a gluten free wafer. Very sad indeed.

  20. This is truly so sad. It breaks my heart knowing that there are people out there that have no compassion what do ever. I don’t have celiacs, but a friend of my moms does. My mom, my sisters, and me all have serious allergies to gluten and soy. No one understood my mom when she was overweight and struggling to breath. They (the doctors) just said that she was over reacting and nothing was wrong with her. When my mom just decided to stay away from these foods most of every thing got better. She is still working to get her body better from all this, and learning from her (many) mistakes. They still think that she is crazy – and that nothing is wrong with her. I honestly can’t believe how So many people joke about our sensitivities as if it is nothing. So sad. They’ll only learn when they get a taste of what we have. . .

  21. She is totally ignorant when it comes to the seriousness of food allergies or celiac disease. Maybe it is on purpose? Well, all I can say is this.. it looks like right now she is “pretty” (going by photo) so she has that going for her. The biggest problem facing the author, as I see it, is that “beauty fades but stupid lasts forever”. (stole that from Judge Judy) I abstain from communion because most of the hosts offered are at about 80ppm…gluten reduced… a few places have truly GF Hosts.. for me it is just not worth the risk!

  22. What a lovely Christian. And do I sense some anti-Muslim sentiment from her wonderful boyfriend. But this is the ultimate – “Would not a better route have been for the church to tell those worshippers agitating for a special menu to pray for their digestive problems to be relieved?” Wow. I could swear and hit my computer, but….

  23. I don’t need to add any specific comment here because you have all covered it very well except for one thing. No one stated the obvious. She’s a BITCH! “Nuf said.

  24. My Catholic Church offers gluten free Eucharist, and it is served in a small container so that it isn’t contaminated. And, nobody says a word about it.

    Also, a Catholic can skip the wafer and just take the wine. That’s what I do, rather than having the drama of asking, ahead of mass, for there to be a GF wafer, and then slowing things down slightly for the priest to pull it out, open it up so I can take it.

    And finally, I could really do without your comment on why you don’t go to church. I come here for gluten stuff, not to hear my religion bashed.

  25. After my recent diagnosis I went to a Baptist Church to be there when the kids next door were baptized. They had communion. I just had to pass to to the next person. Made me feel really weird, I wondered what other people thought. This article shows no compassion for us and is highly ignorant.

  26. Up to now I’ve been reading, but never commented. Reading your blog, Glutendude, makes me quite happy that I’m living in the Netherlands. Life is not easy, but it is very manageble, however, whenever I have to travel (and that’s about a full month every year) because of international meetings, I check everything I can find about the ‘local situation’, discerning if I have to bring something or can get food there, what’s safe, what are do’s and don’ts.
    Since I will have to travel to your country too, in about half a year, I found you.
    But this hits home! I’m a religious. A catholic nun, so to say. I must say, some things I read made me VERY happy. Imagine, in that church you can just go to the right line and be safe! Isn’t that marvellous? Whatever this lady thinks about that, it made me happy.
    But, for those concerned, I go to H. Mass daily. We do, in convents. Just get yourself a small golden or silver case, called ‘Pixis’, and gluten-free hosts. I Always take them along wherever I go. Befor H. Mass, bring this to the sacristy, and talk to the priest, make sure he knows that he shouldn’t touch the gluten-free host, if necessary explain it’s valid (it IS. ). And then, at communion, you either receive the whole small case, or the priest can also turn it around above your hand. It works well, really.
    Obviously the article shows an very ignorant lady. It’s a pity the magazine-people didn’t doublecheck or got some background. I don’t know the magazine, so I don’t have any idea if the articles normally are making sense…

  27. Catholic. Celiac diagnosed 14 months 6 days and 21 hours ago, but who’s counting?? It is a real disease and has real consequences. I am grateful my church has gluten free hosts. Having bagels and brownies and pasta and pizza and everything else that tastes remotely good taken away after a lifetime of eating them is challenging. I don’t need holy communion taken as well. And I have prayed for celiac to be cured for the last 14 months, 6 days and 22.5 hours!😇

  28. My church – one of the largest Methodist ones in the country – offers a gluten free option. This woman needs to get off her high horse. She’s giving religion a bad name, in a very loud way.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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