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Celiac Spruce Disease & Low-Gluten Hosts

What are the guidelines for obtaining permission to use low-gluten hosts?

The number of individuals suffering from celiac sprue disease is increasing, as are the number of requests for accommodations (i.e., low-gluten hosts).  To facilitate such requests, two letters should be sent to the Bishop’s Office (510 Ocean Avenue, Portland, ME  04103-4936):

  1. the communicant should ask his/her physician to provide the Bishop's Office with a written testimony of the diagnosis and a recommendation for the use of low-gluten hosts, and
  2. the pastors of these individuals should write the Bishop’s Office and request permission to use low-gluten hosts.

Please make certain that you inform those seeking this dispensation that the hosts must be LOW-GLUTEN (that is, GLUTEN FREE hosts are not permitted by the Holy See).

An excerpt from the USCCB website reads:

“….pastors and the faithful are reminded that for bread to be valid matter for the Eucharist, it must be made solely of wheat, contain enough gluten to effect the confection of bread, be free of foreign materials, and unaffected by any preparation or baking methods which would alter its nature.”

For more information about how to obtain permission to use or to contact vendors to purchase low-gluten hosts, please contact the Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia, the Chancellor, or the Bishop’s Executive Assistant, Mrs. Christine Pitteroff at (207) 773-6471, ext. 7821, or christine.pitteroff@portlanddiocese.org.