Vatican calls on Bishops to prevent Eucharistic abuse in their dioceses

Vatican City, Jul 8, 2017 / 05:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new letter to bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments denounced abuses against the Eucharist and “lack of respect in the sacred sphere,” and reiterated existing norms regarding the Eucharist at Mass.

The letter, issued at the request of Pope Francis, reminds bishops of the norms concerning the Eucharist matter indicated in the Code of Canon Law and the Roman Missal, and explained in the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum of this Congregation of March 25, 2004.

According to those norms, “the bread used in the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist must be unleavened, of only wheat and made recently, so that there is no danger of it being corrupted.” Therefore, “bread made with other substances” can not constitute the valid matter for the realization of the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.

In addition, they emphasized that “it is a serious abuse to introduce other substances such as fruit, sugar or honey in the manufacture of bread for the Eucharist.”

As for wine, it states that it “must be natural, from the fruit of the vine, pure and without corrupting, without mixing of foreign substances,” and insists that no other drinks “of any kind to be admitted for any reason, as they do not constitute valid matter.”

The letter also addressed norms regarding gluten-free hosts.

“Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.  Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided they contain a sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread,” the letter states.

The Congregation also issued a norm regarding GMOs, saying that “Eucharistic matter made with genetically modified organisms can be considered valid matter.”

In the letter, the Congregation emphasized that it is primarily the responsibility of diocesan bishops to ensure that these norms are being followed and that abuse is not occurring in their parishes.

Finally, it suggests that bishops work together to carry out out “the necessary checks on production, conservation and sale of the Eucharistic bread and wine in a given country and for other countries to which they are exported.  It is recommended that the bread and wine to be used in the Eucharist be treated accordingly in the places where they are sold.”


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  1. You want to protect the Eucharist from abuse (of which i am not really convinced) then clarify AL!

    Just words (all of it), which will amount to nothing and which no one will enforce, and those who do will be chastised so… Why waste our time?

  2. That’s good – as far as it goes. Now, how about going a step further, and eliminating a source of de-facto disrespect for the Blessed Sacrament by banning the reception of Holy Communion in the hand entirely?

  3. A needed admonition to all Hierarchy. Some pastors use cheaply priced container wines whose purity as real wine is suspect. And legitimate altar wines are widely available for a few extra dollars. Yet monies are frequently spent lavishly on frills and nonsense. The other abuse is persons grabbing the Eucharist from the priest and showing no sign of reverence. Let’s hope the next abuse addressed is the more serious unworthy communions. Yesterday I filled in for the 12:10 Noonday Mass and there were numbers of persons wanting to confess. It simply needs to be preached more by us. The parish has a Blessed Sacrament chapel open for adoration all day, and weekly Benediction. It helps much to instill reverence. The growing lack of reverence for the Eucharist is cited by some distinguished clergy as the likely catalyst for an Apostasy.

  4. It is an abuse of the Eucharist to give communion to those living in manifest grave sin as per canon 915. As such communion must be withheld from these.

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