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Mothers Anguish Choosing Among Two Poisons for Her Son to Receive First Holy Communion

A Motherís Anguish choosing among two poisons for her son to receive his First Holy Communion and be accepted as part of the Catholic Family

At what cost does it take to be accepted?

Why should anything come easy when dealing with the Roman Catholic Church?

Just for once, a mother thought she may find solace in the Church that she herself has been a part of since birth. She attended Catholic elementary, high school and college, served as an Eucharistic Minister at Einstein Hospital bringing the Word of God to so many who were physically unable to receive the host. Before she married, she requested that her future husband convert from Greek Orthodox to Roman Catholicism so when they had a family, the children would see the parents receiving as a united family, both mother and father. Blessed with two children, one with serious food allergies, celiac, a liver disorder and GI issues, her youngest son is facing a serious dilemma as he approaches his First Holy Communion.

Can special exemptions be made for a child who cannot receive the wheat host, the low-gluten wheat host, the wine containing liquor or the mustum grape juice that has a very low alcohol content of less than 1.0% containing sulfites? If the Catholic Church can grant a special dispensation from the obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent in order to let the Irish Catholics eat corned beef on St. Patrickís Day falling on a Friday during Lent, then why canít a special dispensation be made for innocent children wanting to participate in receiving their First Holy Communion in a suitable manner that will not be unhealthy for them?

Why canít the Catholic Church provide a form of Jesusí body or blood that will not cause physical harm to a child or adult or anyone for that matter? The answer may surprise you or it may not. It all depends on who you ask.

The Bible does not specifically reference that the body of Christ should be made of wheat but men of cloth believe that it was wheat flour that was used at the time of Jesus and that is what they believe the bread that Jesus ate and shared on His Last Supper was made from. I may believe it was made from garbanzo or lentil flour but I am not the one in charge here.

Organizations like Catholic Celiac (www.catholicceliacs.org) and the Benedictine Sisters are helping many Catholics by providing information on celiac disease and the Catholic Communion as well as offering a low-gluten host. The issues arise when you cannot consume any wheat, alcohol or sulfites. To date, special dispensations have not been made to allow for wheat-free substitutes or plain grape juice to be consumed as a form of the body and blood of Christ.

There are Christian churches that are more flexible with the interpretation of the body and blood of Christ and actually allow substitutes for health reasons. It is amazing how the Roman Catholic Church is so strict with their guidelines that they are willing to turn even the children away from participating in the Holy Communion.

Faith can play havoc on your conscious, eat at your core and question your commitment to choose between your Church and your child. Do you protect the health of your child or risk exposing them to a small wafer, a sip of wine, ingesting sulfites, wheat and gluten at the expense of having your child receive their First Holy Communion and being accepted into the lovely congregation of the Roman Catholic Church?

The weak give in and follow the norm. One can find comfort when you come up against resistance from others; just remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who stated, ďThe ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.Ē

Faith means a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. My faith leads me to believe that Jesus Christ would accept children with all their disabilities and either heal their broken bodies incapable of receiving His Body and Blood in the form that the Canon Law insists upon or He would change the law itself. Since there are numerous biblical passages that teach us Jesus loved children, their innocence and wanted them to have a strong faith, I know deep in my heart that He would allow all people, regardless or race, age or health issues to be able to receive some form of His Body and Blood.

Must everything be so black and white? What about all the problems the Catholic church is facing with their priestsí conduct; why can they find solutions for their problems and we must be asked to forgive and move on? It just seems hypocritical.

Besides waiting to talk with Jesus in the next life, is there anyone else that can help resolve this dilemma? Must the children and adults with health issues feel like social outcasts or will the Catholic Church embrace and accept them just like Jesus would embrace them?

By Nancy A. Guberti, Certified Nutritionist from http://www.coachforhealthyliving.com/. Nancy resides in Westchester County with her husband and two children.

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