Wednesday, August 18, 2004

You say!

Via Atrios, tipping the hat to the General's response

From KTVU-TV (SF CA) AP story

BRIELLE, N.J. -- An 8-year-old girl who has a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the sacrament should be changed to accommodate the girl's condition.

Roman Catholic doctrine holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.

In May, the girl received her her first Holy Communion from a priest who offered her a wheat-free host. But last month, the diocese told the priest that Waldman's sacrament would not be validated by the church because of the substitute wafer.

Doesn't it seem like Jesus would have found a way around this thorny dilemma? But then that's the question I ask myself most frequently WRT strict construction of religious traditions adopted centuries or millennia ago. "But wouldn't Jesus..., Mohammed,... even God...?"


An extensive discussion (multiple comments & updates) of the theological foundations of Catholic rules at Balloon Juice. John Cole has concluded:

I am bored, and I am beginning to sound like some anti-Catholic bigot, which isn't the case (although I did take some cheap shots at the pederasts).

I just think this is a man-made rule which is not divine in any sense. A lower gluten substitute wafer is no help for someone who can eat no gluten, and it seems that the hierarchy of the Catholic church should at least strive to achieve the same standards of modern physicians:

"Help, or at least to do no harm."


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