Reader Feedback: we helped prevent a sacrilege

Sometime I get feedback from a reader saying that something I wrote prompted him to return to the sacrament of penance or moved her to get her marriage straightened out.  Those notes help me keep this blog going.

This is from a priest, about something I posted here:

Thank you for the post on the invalid matter (wheatless hosts).
Ziegler’s has a store in ___. I e-mailed it to several priests in the diocese and at least one had purchased it and was going to use it (the box is now thrown away). Also, I love reading you blog. Again Thank You!

That’s great! And you are welcome. Good work, Father!

Everyone, keep in mind that Ziegler’s is a store. They do not make the wheatless hosts themselves. They just sell them. I am sure they have many perfectly sound hosts useful for Mass.

Therefore, as always, the priest and the person doing the purchasing for a parish or chapel, needs to exercise careful oversight about the matter used for the Eucharist.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. pfreddys says:

    I would speculate that it is probably made for protestant denominations; however, they should have an advisory of some sort in their store, catalog, or the company if in good faith should put it on the box.

  2. Random Friar says:

    If Zieglers’ advertises itself as a fairly Catholic company (the TM byline is: “Catholic Art and Gifts”), they should at least be made aware of that fact in a courteous manner. I don’t think that they would knowingly sell them to Catholic parishes if they did not know of the matter (pun not intended… ok, it was intended).

  3. Paul says:

    I find it surprising that there were Roman Catholic priests who didn’t know that a non-wheat host is invalid. Isn’t that pretty clearly spelled out in their training?

  4. Fr. CK says:

    After reading your post I did find out that my parish WAS using these invalid hosts. I immediately crushed them and threw them away. After Mass, got online and found the Benedictine Sisters in Missouri that sell the .01% “gluten free” hosts and got an order confirmation yesterday. I made my displeasure known.

  5. Fr. CK says:

    Paul: As much as I would like to say that I am able to observe every aspect of the parish including ordering and logistics, the fact of the matter (no pun intended) is we have to trust that people make the right choices. Of course I know that these were invalid based on the ingredients but I would have never sought them out to verify until I saw this blog post.

    The worst part is that a Catholic goods store is the one that sold them to us. Why would I not think they were valid? I guess from now on I will have to employ President Reagan’s mantra of “trust but verify.”

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    I brought this up with with pastor, who sometimes lets a parishioner bring their own host in a pyx labeled “gluten-free”, he insisted that he knew the person quite well, the next day (I am sacristan this time of year) I brought printed materials which I think distressed him further. I don’t think he knows what the host is that the person brings. I am quite pained about disturbing my pastor, unfortunately I am not- the most delicate person.

    Perhaps since most of what is readily available on the market for celiac sufferers is not valid matter priests should not accept hosts supplied by lay people, especially not without asking good questions.

  7. Jerry says:

    however, they should have an advisory of some sort in their store, catalog

    The following text appears in a red font on the product description page of Ziegler’s web site:

    This Altar bread is Gluten Free and contains no wheat please consult your local Church institution for acceptability.

    Granted, given it would be most helpful if the statement specifically stated the product is not acceptable for use by Catholics…

  8. NoTambourines says:

    I think it’s just odd that it’s there at all. Ziegler’s proudly brands itself a Catholic church supply company. The layout of the “Altar Bread” web page helps give the impression that what’s there is valid:

    White hosts, wheat hosts, and… “Gluten Free Hosts.” It is easy to see how innocently someone not explicitly instructed on the validity of the hosts could trust the company on its offerings here. Surely there must be some oversight that this product is present on the site. It’s like finding motor oil on a cooking oil page. Yes, it’s “oil,” but…

    This made me double check my emails from when my parish was looking to see if there was a need for low-gluten hosts. Thank heaven, it looks like we’re using the ones from the monastery in Missouri. If I were in another parish and found out after the fact that I had been receiving a sham host and an invalid sacrament, I would be in tears. Obviously, it’s that big a deal.

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