Getting it

Now I get the deal on the gluten Eucharist. If you understand gluten to be part of bread’s substance, then transubstantiation removes all the gluten. The Vatican has obviously decided gluten is an essential part of what makes bread bread.

That makes sense. Consider: if you do not tolerate gluten and you complain to your priest, he says: but there is no gluten. Since gluten is part of the substance of bread, and not an accidence such as its color or shape, then it gets transformed. For the believing catholic, no gluten remains when you eat the consecrated host.

Now I don’t believe in transubstantiation. But I am inclined to think that gluten-free bread is a bit like gay marriage. You pretend it is bread, just like now the government pretends it can redefine marriage. Both are really fakes.

But all the accidents are those of a regular loaf of bread, you might say. Ah, but there’s the Vatican’s issue: it isn’t the accidents that are transformed. Can it be that they believe gluten-free bread is actually insubstantial? Is it just a cleverly rigged collection of accidents? If you have nothing upon which to go, then what will you get as a result? A charade, is all. Might as well be a protestant!

More probably, you have a promise to transform certain substances, not just any substances. If you use different substances, will they still transform? The problem with transubstantiation is that the accidents all remain the same: you have no way to tell. So it may or may not be working. In fact, it is presumptuous to assume it would work. So that avenue is blocked, and you ban gluten-free.

But there is one more thing. What if you are gluten intolerant and you get a reaction from the consecrated wafer and can scientifically prove it? It then follows that transubstantiation may actually not be happening. The great thing about Catholicism is that they have an army of bright Thomists ready to explain that one Jesuits with an explanation.* Perhaps they will. But I think, because I do not believe in transubstantiation, that they are going to have to conclude that gluten, since it remains (right?), is an accidence of bread, and reverse the ban. Because if it doesn’t, then we are all going to have to accept transubstantiation.


*They can say that there are accidents from the gluten creating the reaction. An instance of this from 2013.


2 thoughts on “Getting it

  1. The problem of having a gluten-intolerant reaction to transubstantiated bread is what I’ve been pondering all day. I found someone saying that celiacs shouldn’t have reactions to it, but I would have thought there were documented counterexamples.

    1. I googled and got a site that says there are still accidental properties to gluten that can cause the reaction. I wonder if that is the official position.

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