Author Topic: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?  (Read 18081 times)

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Offline mamaquelly

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Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« on: June 01, 2008, 05:03:45 PM »
Hello,

I have been lurking here for a few months and finally decided to post a question that has been weighing on me.  I enjoy this site very much and have appreciated reading the comments and information offered by all.

I am a former Roman Catholic. I have been attending Divine Liturgy at our local OCA parish for over a year and am in the Inquirers class.  I hope to join the Church sometime in the next 6-12 months, when the priest and I agree that I am ready.

My question is related to a medical condition I have called Celiac Disease.  People with celiac disease experience a variety of problems and symptoms when exposed to a certain protein called gluten, which is in wheat and some other grains.  The condition is not immediately life threatening when exposed to wheat - unlike a serious allergic reaction.  Instead gluten is like a self destruct message to the body of a person with celiac disease.  Our immune system responds to gluten by destroying our own body tissues -most notably the intestinal tract - but any organ can be affected. Celiacs who are exposed to gluten have rates of cancer 12 x higher than the general population as well as suffer other serious and long term effects. 

As a Roman Catholic, I always recieved Communion under just the wine, as it is offered seperately.  I am very concerned about handling my medical condition while also accepting the longing to become Orthodox and recieve Holy Communion.

Does anyone know of any Orthodox with celiac disease?  How have they balanced their medical needs and spiritual needs? 

I read an article that said some Orthodox will arrange for the priest to try offer the celiac patient mostly wine from the spoon, even knowing that some of the wheat will be co-mingled.  I asked my priest about this very briefly, but he seemed confused about the problem and our conversation didn't go far.  I'll need to revisit it at some point, but I wanted to see if there is any real world experience with this situation out there. 

Thanks in advance for any information.   


Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008, 05:26:22 PM »
I have heard it depends on how sensative the person is to wheat.  Some are fully able to receive just the wine, even though the two of mixed, with no issues.  Others, who are hypersenative, (there used to be one person at a parish I would attend like this), would have some wine set aside for them that was not mixed with the consecrated bread, specifically for them.  The Priest did have to get special permission from his Bishop to be allowed to do this though.  The person would also commune first, just to be extremely safe.

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 05:58:41 PM »
Someone at our parish has this, serious enough that he had to give up mission work in Europe.  He takes communion normally, and says he has never had a problem.  He doesn't overdo it on the qurban/antidoron though.
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2008, 06:37:12 PM »
I assume your priest would just set aside some wine without the bread co-mingled, and I'm pretty sure the bishop would agree to this, as well. I know someone in a neighboring parish who has Celiac's and that's what they priest did there.

I'd try talking to your priest about this issue again.

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Offline Tamara

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2008, 10:55:08 PM »
There is a woman in our parish with this disease and she is able to commune. You only get a very small piece on the spoon.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008, 11:18:26 PM »
If one receives the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at Communion, there's no need to worry about celiac disease because how can the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord himself trigger celiac disease?  Receiving Communion will not cure celiac disease; however, one will not be impacted by receiving Communion.

I have friends who won't receive Communion because of the sharing of the common spoon.  Above logic still applies with receiving the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord regardless if the 100 previous communicants wore lipstick, had colds or other communicable diseases, etc.

I speak based on having never experienced any adverse effects of receiving Communion; I can't and I won't speak for other churches and jurisdictions elsewhere except to say that receiving Communion in other jurisdictions and churches has not resulted in any adverse effects.   ;)

Offline username!

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 12:28:20 AM »
I read an article that said some Orthodox will arrange for the priest to try offer the celiac patient mostly wine from the spoon, even knowing that some of the wheat will be co-mingled.  I asked my priest about this very briefly, but he seemed confused about the problem and our conversation didn't go far.  I'll need to revisit it at some point, but I wanted to see if there is any real world experience with this situation out there. 

Thanks in advance for any information.   



Perhaps you may schedule an appointment with your priest to speak about this matter formally.  When you do meet with him during the appointment take literature with you that explains Celiac Disease. 

Here is a link to brochures and articles explaining exactly what the disease is in a concise and easy to understand format;
http://www.celiac.org/resources.php
www.celiac.com
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease wikipædia isn't my favourite reference but this one seems good and has lots of references in the footnote as well as eleven links to websites dealing with Celiac Disease.

These brochures/articles look great.  They are short and to the point.  If someone never heard of Celiac Disease these are the sort of brochure/articles printed out I'd want to hand that person.

Note, I am in no way offering medical advice.  I am simply showing the above links as a place of reference to show you that there is lots of information available to educate people about Celiac Disease.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 01:16:39 AM by username! »

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008, 12:39:15 AM »
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!  Welcome to the forum.

Mamaquelly, I forgot to welcome you in my previous message.   :angel: 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 12:40:00 AM by SolEX01 »

Offline prodromos

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008, 03:34:52 AM »
The sister of a dear friend has Celiac Sprue disease and partakes of both the body and the blood at Holy Communion. Christ is the source of life. His body cannot cause harm. This fear, I believe, stems from the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. We do not subscribe to such a doctrine in the Orthodox Church.

John

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 08:15:25 AM »
I also know a few people with Celiac disease who are able to receive without difficulty.  However, I know that at least one of them has arranged with the priest to get the least amount of exposure as possible (i.e. they get the baby treatment - the bare minimum amount of Holy Communion).

Along the same vein as what SolEX01 and prodromos mentioned, I wouldn't be too afraid of Holy Communion inflaming your illness - If Communion were to pass on all the diseases it were exposed to then the Priest (who receives first and last) would be the most ill person in the parish, getting sick almost every week from the germs he would be exposed to - which is hardly the case in reality!
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 09:48:01 AM »
Welcome to the Forum!

I agree, the body and blood of Christ can not harm you.  This was seen in major epidemics in the US at the turn of the 2oth Century when many protestant churches went from common cup to  individual cups for communion yet had a higher rate of sickness than those churches who continued the use of the common cup. This is of course not an issue of scientific fact or study but rather a faith issue.  How can Christ who is the Great Physician offer you that which would harm you in his body and blood. If you still have concerns  get permission from your priest to contact your bishop about your issue, I am sure he will be able to advise you if your pastor felt unable to do make the decision.

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« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 08:42:41 AM by Thomas »
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2008, 10:17:59 AM »
I still think that if someone drank an entire communion cup full, there would be a reaction. The bread still has the chemical properties as it did beforehand, and though the spiritual essence is there, I wouldn't be comfortable receiving a large chunk based on faith alone.

To each his own, I suppose.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2008, 11:57:29 PM »
If one receives the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at Communion, there's no need to worry about celiac disease because how can the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord himself trigger celiac disease?  Receiving Communion will not cure celiac disease; however, one will not be impacted by receiving Communion.

I have friends who won't receive Communion because of the sharing of the common spoon.  Above logic still applies with receiving the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord regardless if the 100 previous communicants wore lipstick, had colds or other communicable diseases, etc.

I speak based on having never experienced any adverse effects of receiving Communion; I can't and I won't speak for other churches and jurisdictions elsewhere except to say that receiving Communion in other jurisdictions and churches has not resulted in any adverse effects.   ;)
I've received Communion from the same spoon as our resident AIDS patient--may his memory be eternal--and never had a problem.  Of course, I do think the risk of contracting HIV through the exchange of saliva is extremely minimal, but still...  How can the Fountain of Immortality be the vehicle for sickness and death, unless you approach failing to recognize the Body and Blood of Christ in the chalice?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 12:00:21 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 12:01:21 AM »
I've received Communion from the same spoon as our resident AIDS patient--may his memory be eternal--and never had a problem.  Of course, I do think the risk of contracting HIV through the exchange of saliva is extremely minimal, but still...

I've heard a doctor state that to contract HIV from saliva one would need to exchange a regulation size swimming pool of saliva, now thats a sloppy kiss.
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Offline Ignatius of Antioch

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 01:14:38 AM »
As far as my personal studies is concern, is not possible to catch any deadly disease by communing from the same Chalice. Even if some bacterias comes inside the body, it won't be enough to get you sick or kill (your body will naturally kill them). Second, if you take the Divine Eucharist correctly, you will only open you mouth and allow the Bishop/Priest to simply drop the Bread (mix with wine and water) without even contacting personally with the Spoon. This had been a problem by many converts and even cradle Orthodox, and because of it, some only Communion once or twice a year for simple fear. This is extremely sad, and need to be address.

I have not heard of any body getting sick after kissing Holy Icons or partaking of the Divine Eucharist; although if you are extremely sick, it is advisable not to kiss Holy Icons.

On a more theological sense, the Holy Mysteries is Christ Body and Blood (1 Cor 10:16; 11:18-34), thereby it is not possible for someone to get sick by partaking of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ (for neither sickness nor death is in Christ Jesus). I am not Orthodox yet, but when I do become Orthodox, I will partake of the Holy Mysteries weekly with no hesitation. My faith assure me that there is no sickness in the Holy Gifts.

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« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 02:11:23 AM by Ignatius of Antioch »
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2008, 02:06:55 AM »
As far as my personal studies is concern, is not possible to catch any deadly disease by communing from the same Chalice. Even if some bacterias comes inside the body, it won't be enough to get you sick or kill (your body will naturally kill them). Second, if you take the Divine Eucharist correctly, you will only open you mouth and allow the Bishop/Priest to simply drop the Bread (mix with wine and water) without even contacting personally with the Spoon. This had been a problem by many converts and even cradle Orthodox, and because of it, some only Communion once or twice a year for simple fear. This is extremely sad, and need to address.

Most of us cradle Orthodox learn as children to open mouth and receive Communion from the spoon.

What was described above sounds way too technical and I have an Engineering Degree.   :o

Offline Baruch

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2008, 02:35:29 AM »
One brother writes:  "If one receives the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at Communion, there's no need to worry about celiac disease because how can the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord himself trigger celiac disease?  Receiving Communion will not cure celiac disease; however, one will not be impacted by receiving Communion."  Another brother writes that a person with celiac fearing adverse effects from receiving communion results from the roman catholic belief in transubstantiation.  Unfortunately, my mother, a recent convert and a person with celiac has experienced physical distress after receiving the Bread of Holy Communion without the antidoron when the priest neglected to give her only the Wine.  (An experiment?)  What do we make of her distress after receiving?  And what should my mother do?

It is my understanding that the roman catholic teaching of transubstantiation says that the essence of bread and wine no longer remains and only the "accidents" or qualities of bread and wine remain, but what still appears to be bread and wine has, in its essence, become the Body and Blood of Christ.  The Body and Blood, however, still possess the physical, chemical, or accidental properties of bread and wine.  This is my understanding of the RC teaching of transubstantiation.

It is also my understanding that we Orthodox don't explain holy communion in terms of transubstantiation, but continue to call the Body "Bread" and the Blood "Wine" even after the invocation of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, we don't cease calling them Bread and Wine while also calling them the Body and Blood of Christ.  But we don't try to explain this.  We simply say that the Bread is Christ's Body and the Wine is His Blood.

If the gluten or gliadin in the wheat of Holy Communion no longer remains either in essence or in quality after the invocation of the Holy Spirit and all that remains is the Body of Christ, then we Orthodox have taken the RC doctrine of transubstantiation one step further in saying that not even the qualities of bread and wine remain.  In other words, the imbibing of a full chalice of Holy Communion after the liturgy should not result in the priest or deacon feeling "tipsy."  Perhaps we should not speak of such "mysteries," but, unfortunately, with the auto-immune trigger caused by gluten in celiacs, we are forced to pull our head out of the pre-Enlightenment sand. 

Or perhaps, we should say, along with Christian Scientists, that any ill effects resulting are the result of a lack of faith or the wrong mental outlook.  Or is it simply due to receiving unworthily as Saint Paul says? 

All of these questions are important because they touch on the physical and spiritual health of my mother, a person with celiac sprue, and on our faith and teaching regarding the Mystery of Christ's Body and Blood in Communion.  Science and faith meet here at the chalice in an interesting way, and depending on our view of Holy Communion, this meeting can be either a conflict or a concord.  Somehow the answer to these issues seems more complex than simply saying that Holy Communion can cause no harm because Christ's Body brings life not death.  I wish I could just accept this statement simply, but given the experience of my mother a struggling new convert, I'm having difficulties myself in helping her. 

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2008, 12:47:54 PM »
Unfortunately, my mother, a recent convert and a person with celiac has experienced physical distress after receiving the Bread of Holy Communion without the antidoron when the priest neglected to give her only the Wine.  (An experiment?)  What do we make of her distress after receiving?  And what should my mother do?

In what Jurisdiction did she receive Communion and experienced such distress?

If the gluten or gliadin in the wheat of Holy Communion no longer remains either in essence or in quality after the invocation of the Holy Spirit and all that remains is the Body of Christ, then we Orthodox have taken the RC doctrine of transubstantiation one step further in saying that not even the qualities of bread and wine remain.  In other words, the imbibing of a full chalice of Holy Communion after the liturgy should not result in the priest or deacon feeling "tipsy."  Perhaps we should not speak of such "mysteries," but, unfortunately, with the auto-immune trigger caused by gluten in celiacs, we are forced to pull our head out of the pre-Enlightenment sand.

If communicable diseases are not transmitted in Canonically Valid Holy Communion, why would celiac disease not be any different?
 
Or perhaps, we should say, along with Christian Scientists, that any ill effects resulting are the result of a lack of faith or the wrong mental outlook.  Or is it simply due to receiving unworthily as Saint Paul says?

What happened to the power of God working in someone who has celiac disease?
 
All of these questions are important because they touch on the physical and spiritual health of my mother, a person with celiac sprue, and on our faith and teaching regarding the Mystery of Christ's Body and Blood in Communion.  Science and faith meet here at the chalice in an interesting way, and depending on our view of Holy Communion, this meeting can be either a conflict or a concord.  Somehow the answer to these issues seems more complex than simply saying that Holy Communion can cause no harm because Christ's Body brings life not death.  I wish I could just accept this statement simply, but given the experience of my mother a struggling new convert, I'm having difficulties myself in helping her. 

I emphathize with your mother's situation and I stand by what you quoted me as saying.   :)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 12:48:41 PM by SolEX01 »

Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2008, 01:04:30 PM »
In what Jurisdiction did she receive Communion and experienced such distress?

Just being curious, but why would the jurisdiction matter please?

Quote
If communicable diseases are not transmitted in Canonically Valid Holy Communion, why would celiac disease not be any different?

Because Celiac Disease is an auto-immune condition that is part of a person's body/system.  It's something that one can be genetically predisposed to have.  It's not transmitted by any germs or outside agents.

Quote

What happened to the power of God working in someone who has celiac disease?

Is the Body still bread chemically so that the gluten product is still present?  Then the body is reacting in its normal way to that product.  I"m sorry, but I don't understand what you mean in the above sentence.  Are you trying to say that God would prevent the auto-immune reaction?

Ebor  
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Offline Didymus

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2008, 01:37:16 PM »
Peace be with you mamaquelly,

In the Coptic Orthodox Church we receive the Holy Elements separately.

Nonetheless, what have you to fear from receiving the Holy Body of the Lord?

Surely if one woman can be healed simply by touching the hem of Christ's robe eating His Body could do you no harm if by faith you receive.

Pray for me and for the unity of the Church please.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2008, 01:46:27 PM »
Brother Ebor ...that's why your not orthodox....we believe Holy Communion is a Great Miracle of Miracles...if a person truly seeks healing thru holy communion God will Heal that person....Seek and you shall find ,Ask and you shall recieve...My children recieve not because they ask not....my 2 cent's worth...SmileyCentral.com" border="0
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 01:48:08 PM by stashko »
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2008, 02:07:11 PM »
mamaquelly,

Ask your priest.  And your bishop, if possible.  Do what they say; my guess is they'll opt for moderation.  Pray and trust God.

God bless, and welcome to the forum.
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2008, 02:30:33 PM »
Brother Ebor ...that's why your not orthodox...

 ??? I don't understand what you are trying to say here. What do you think is the reason I'm not EO, please?

I'm not EO because I do not believe that it is the only way to be a Christian. 

Quote
we believe Holy Communion is a Great Miracle of Miracles.

As do I.  But the Body and Blood are still in some way Bread and Wine are they not?  Meaning no disrespect at all, I assure you.

Quote
..if a person truly seeks healing thru holy communion God will Heal that person....Seek and you shall find ,Ask and you shall recieve

I'm sorry.  This reads as though it is a person's own fault if they are ill with such a thing as an autoimmune condition or other physical infirmity.  That they aren't 'trying hard enough' or that they aren't "truly" seeking God.   ??? :( 

Ebor
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2008, 02:31:42 PM »
Brother Ebor ...that's why your not orthodox....

Really ???
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Offline theistgal

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2008, 06:28:23 PM »
Brother Ebor ...that's why your not orthodox....we believe Holy Communion is a Great Miracle of Miracles...if a person truly seeks healing thru holy communion God will Heal that person....Seek and you shall find ,Ask and you shall recieve...My children recieve not because they ask not....my 2 cent's worth...SmileyCentral.com" border="0

But isn't there a danger that you might be "testing God" by just assuming He will perform a miracle?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:29:55 PM by theistgal »
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2008, 09:37:10 PM »
Welcome, Baruch. Thank you for such a thoughtful response.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2008, 10:16:21 PM »
But isn't there a danger that you might be "testing God" by just assuming He will perform a miracle?

Miracles haven't ceased on this earth ,,why is it considerd testing God to ask for healing????..God presence never left us ...especally in holy communion he's their 100%....And his eternal word's are... not mine ...My Children receive not because they ask not....in faith when we ask it can move mountian's... also as tiny as a mustard seed is ..it's that amount of faith one has to have......SmileyCentral.com" border="0One Of The holy apostles  said ...When asking believe that you have recieved it ,and it shall come to pass......SmileyCentral.com" border="0Seem's to me some people have given up on miracles sad.....
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline prodromas

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2008, 10:41:29 PM »
Just being curious, but why would the jurisdiction matter please?

I believe Ebor because depending on Jurisdiction the Eucharist is given differently.

Brother Ebor ...that's why your not orthodox....we believe Holy Communion is a Great Miracle of Miracles...if a person truly seeks healing thru holy communion God will Heal that person....Seek and you shall find ,Ask and you shall recieve...My children recieve not because they ask not....my 2 cent's worth...SmileyCentral.com" border="0

Actually Stashko the Orthodox believe that the Eucharist is also bread and wine and doesn't stop ceasing to be once it also becomes the body and blood of Christ. Just for your information Ebor does believe in the "real presence" and doesn't just believe it is a memorial.

But isn't there a danger that you might be "testing God" by just assuming He will perform a miracle?

Thats an excellent point theistgal. We should not put God on trial.
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1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2008, 10:54:27 PM »
Sorry, double post. I hate when I do that.
see below
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 10:55:50 PM by BrotherAidan »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2008, 10:54:53 PM »
Regardless of what any of us beleive about the Eucharist being the body and blood of Christ, NONE of us should be handing out medical advice on OC.net

Call around until you can talk to a priest with a medical doctor in his parish (if your own doesn't have one). Share your concern with an Orthodox medical doctor and then discuss with your priest. If your priest still doesn't get it, ask the Orthdox doctor to call your priest.

Then again, the doc may tell you that it is such a tiny amount of bread that it will not trigger your illness.

Offline stashko

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2008, 11:03:47 PM »

Actually Stashko the Orthodox believe that the Eucharist is also bread and wine and doesn't stop ceasing to be once it also becomes the body and blood of Christ. Just for your information Ebor does believe in the "real presence" and doesn't just believe it is a memorial.



[/quote]



 Thank You Brother ,,i knew this,,, we see and taste bread and wine....But the  great miracle of miracles  it is his precious blood and body we consume,,,a great mystery indeed.....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 01:25:13 AM by stashko »
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2008, 11:47:25 PM »
Just being curious, but why would the jurisdiction matter please?

I asked Baruch and Jurisdiction does matter since I'm not aware of what Liturgies are being used in these Jurisdictions for the Anaphora and other events leading up to the offering of the Holy Gifts.

Because Celiac Disease is an auto-immune condition that is part of a person's body/system.  It's something that one can be genetically predisposed to have.  It's not transmitted by any germs or outside agents.

If Holy Communion can kill a person with Celiac Disease, perhaps they ought not get in line regardless of faith.  If partaking the Body and Blood of Christ can kill a person; Gee, there's only a handful of evil people who died in the Epistles - none by receiving Communion.

Is the Body still bread chemically so that the gluten product is still present?  Then the body is reacting in its normal way to that product.  I"m sorry, but I don't understand what you mean in the above sentence.  Are you trying to say that God would prevent the auto-immune reaction?

As has been suggested to me many times, the answer is I don't know.   :)

Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2012, 06:52:23 PM »
Hello.  Are Mamaquelle and Baruch still here?  I realize this is a very old thread.

I have Celiac disease too, and I'd like to know how Baruch's mother and Mamaquelle are doing.  Or is there anyone else on this board with celiac disease who has dealt with the Eucharist?

Offline SakranMM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2012, 01:15:48 PM »
Hi Elizabeth,

I saw your comment.  I am the priest at a large church in Canada, and we have several celiacs in our congregation.  We reserve a special chalice with just the wine in it for them, and we commune them separately, with the permission of our bishop.
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Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2012, 01:25:38 PM »
Thank you very much, SakranMM.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2012, 04:15:35 PM »
Where God wills it, the order of nature is overcome.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2012, 01:33:13 AM »
Where God wills it, the order of nature is overcome.
Pentecostals have the same justification for snake handling.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 01:33:34 AM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Rdunbar123

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2012, 04:17:57 AM »
I always wondered about disease from the common cup, so before becoming orthodox I googled it. From what I saw I was amazed that the CDC actually studied this. It turns out that both the alcohol and compounds called poly phenols in the wine have a powerful sterilizing action so they could find no evidence of disease transmission. God is great! Also at last a good use of my taxes. I'm just repeating what I read I'm an engineer not a doctor so maybe someone more knowledgable could comment.

Offline LBK

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2012, 06:41:35 AM »
I always wondered about disease from the common cup, so before becoming orthodox I googled it. From what I saw I was amazed that the CDC actually studied this. It turns out that both the alcohol and compounds called poly phenols in the wine have a powerful sterilizing action so they could find no evidence of disease transmission. God is great! Also at last a good use of my taxes. I'm just repeating what I read I'm an engineer not a doctor so maybe someone more knowledgable could comment.

Not only has science failed to demonstrate any ability of shared Holy Communion to transmit disease, but we also have some 2000 years of empirical evidence that it does not. Countless priests and deacons have consumed what remains in the chalice after everyone else has communed, across many centuries and countries, including during times of epidemics such as bubonic plague and Spanish 'flu, which wiped out millions. Yet their rate of morbidity (becoming ill) and mortality (death) has never been any different to that of the general population.

I work in a scientific field which demands adherence to the highest standards of infection control and prevention of cross-contamination. In well over thirty years in this field, I have never once balked at the idea of receiving Communion from a common chalice. Not once. I believe it is nothing less than the Body and Blood of Christ, which surely can overcome any possible nasties which might enter the chalice. I refuse to entertain the thought that viruses or bacteria can be more powerful than God Himself.
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Offline Rdunbar123

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2012, 08:53:06 AM »
I always wondered about disease from the common cup, so before becoming orthodox I googled it. From what I saw I was amazed that the CDC actually studied this. It turns out that both the alcohol and compounds called poly phenols in the wine have a powerful sterilizing action so they could find no evidence of disease transmission. God is great! Also at last a good use of my taxes. I'm just repeating what I read I'm an engineer not a doctor so maybe someone more knowledgable could comment.

Not only has science failed to demonstrate any ability of shared Holy Communion to transmit disease, but we also have some 2000 years of empirical evidence that it does not. Countless priests and deacons have consumed what remains in the chalice after everyone else has communed, across many centuries and countries, including during times of epidemics such as bubonic plague and Spanish 'flu, which wiped out millions. Yet their rate of morbidity (becoming ill) and mortality (death) has never been any different to that of the general population.

I work in a scientific field which demands adherence to the highest standards of infection control and prevention of cross-contamination. In well over thirty years in this field, I have never once balked at the idea of receiving Communion from a common chalice. Not once. I believe it is nothing less than the Body and Blood of Christ, which surely can overcome any possible nasties which might enter the chalice. I refuse to entertain the thought that viruses or bacteria can be more powerful than God Himself.

If I am not mistaken that is what I said, if the science puts some minds at rest so much the better. I was not denying that communion is the real Body and Blood of Christ . How it is is a mystery and I have always believed that even as a RC. Transsubstantiation was an unnecessary explanation which made my head hurt.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2012, 11:28:19 AM »
Where God wills it, the order of nature is overcome.
Pentecostals have the same justification for snake handling.

So?

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »
If communicable diseases are not transmitted in Canonically Valid Holy Communion, why would celiac disease not be any different?

Because Celiac Disease is an auto-immune condition that is part of a person's body/system.  It's something that one can be genetically predisposed to have.  It's not transmitted by any germs or outside agents.

Quote

What happened to the power of God working in someone who has celiac disease?

Is the Body still bread chemically so that the gluten product is still present?  Then the body is reacting in its normal way to that product.  I"m sorry, but I don't understand what you mean in the above sentence.  Are you trying to say that God would prevent the auto-immune reaction?

Ebor  


I just want to repeat everything Ebor said. The people asking about communion already have Celiac disease, and so cannot have anything with gluten. While the studies of communion and disease are interesting, contracting or passing along the disease is not their concern.

I have a friend who doesn't have Celiac (she can eat many things with gluten), but she is allergic to wheat specifically. This developed when we were freshmen in college, and she was throwing up daily and nauseous the rest of the time. She was already 5'3" and 105-110 lbs., but because she could not hold anything down, her weight dropped to below 100. A doctor eventually pinpointed her wheat allergy, and since eliminating wheat from her diet, she is no longer sick.

She used to think she was allergic to soy. Turns out that's because most soy sauce has wheat mixed in!

From what I'm hearing, is it correct to say that how people with Celiac receive communion depends on the priest and the severity of the person's reaction?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 01:11:30 PM by Delphine »

Offline Patty Joanna

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2012, 01:59:37 AM »
I have wheat allergy; my dh has celiac.  We both receive, and our priest gives us mostly wine from the co-mingled chalice.  Neither of us partakes of the antidoron after communion, and my dh, who is more sensitive than I, receives first in line so that he can partake of the cleansing wine/water without having had kids dipping their antidoron in that before he gets there.  It took a few passes for the kids to get used to not being able to dip their bread in THAT particular wine, but they do comply now. 

I was interested to note that preceding posters have noted that the bishop has given permission for non-comingled wine, and if your celiac is that serious that even a grain of gluten can do you in, I recommend you talk to your priest, as someone mentioned, with brochures in hand.  Not making demands, but informationally.  I cannot imagine my bishop turning a dear ear to one who wishes to receive communion who is physically debilitated by so doing. 

There is enough research out there to show that the wheat we have now is not even similar to the wheat of Jesus' time.  It is shorter, and contains more gluten, due to having been genetically modified.  It's a crime, but there it is. 

God be with you. 

Offline ebailey

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2012, 03:42:20 PM »
SakranMM- Father, bless!  Can you say who your bishop is? I ask because I attend an Antiochian church in the Boston area, and I wonder if our bishop would allow something similar.

I'm Celiac, and have been communing with just the wine from the co-mingled chalice, but I still get sick every week as a result. For anyone who doesn't know about Celiac Disease - this is not just a stomachache, this is an autoimmune reaction, in which the body attacks itself and does damage to itself. I wish that this weren't the case -- I, too have heard many stories of people with Celiac Disease who have no reaction to the wheat in the elements of communion. Sadly, I am not one of them. 

I still commune every week or so, because I believe communion is of utmost importance. The problem is that I'm hoping to have children soon, and not sticking to a strict GF diet during pregnancy is associated with miscarriage, low birth weight, autism, as well as other possible birth defects for the child.

So, I guess I have two issues: 1) the crisis of whether I should or shouldn't seek to "find a way around" this issue: I want very much to just trust in God's providence on all this, and perhaps I should just do that and not worry about trying to commune in a perfectly gluten free chalice. But I guess I'd be interested to hear the reasoning of priests or bishops who do allow for modifications to the regular way of taking communion (I am familiar with, and currently submit to, the views of those who believe that the most I can do is only take the wine from the common cup, but I haven't ever heard anything from anyone in ecclesiastical authority who allow parishioners to commune from a wine-only chalice -- in fact, I didn't even know this was a possibility until I read about it online), and 2) If the way SakranMM distributes the Mysteries to the Celiacs in his church would even be a possibility for me. I don't know if our bishop would allow it, and I find it profoundly upsetting to asks these questions of people who don't know much about Celiac disease, and react with horror at my asking, as if I don't believe that the Mysteries are the true Body and Blood as well as bread and wine.

Many thanks for any help that others can give!

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2013, 12:23:36 AM »
Yes, I am resurrecting this thread. It has a lot of bearing on our son's life at the moment.

It seems our son Tazzy has a very significant celiac reaction to communion. Considering the fact that at almost 11 months he is 26 inches long (not on the charts) and not quite 14 lbs (not even close to the bottom of the chart), every gluten reaction he has sets him back considerably.

So does anyone that has celiac have any opinions on what I should do? This is not a fad GF diet for us. There are fad GF people at our parish, and of course they do not have a gluten reaction from communion.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2013, 12:33:56 AM »
If Holy Communion can kill a person with Celiac Disease, perhaps they ought not get in line regardless of faith.  If partaking the Body and Blood of Christ can kill a person; Gee, there's only a handful of evil people who died in the Epistles - none by receiving Communion.

I find this response pretty abrasive and heartless.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2013, 12:36:59 AM »
To put things into perspective; Taz should be close to 20 lbs, and 30 inches in length. So the fact that he is less than 14 lbs, and 26 inches in length is significant, and attributable to his celiac. His is the most dramatic case his doctor has ever seen.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 12:37:58 AM by Quinault »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2013, 12:39:49 AM »
Where God wills it, the order of nature is overcome.
Pentecostals have the same justification for snake handling.

Really? I always thought the Pentecostal snake handlers got their justification from Mark 16:18 not the Tone 7 Dogmatic Theotokion.
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Offline noahs_mommom

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2013, 01:47:36 PM »
Quinalt.

This has been a sore subject with me for a while, and I'm really struggling, so I feel your pain.  I have Celiac, Eosiniphilic Esophagitis, and Lupus.  Gluten is a serious problem for me, it can cause very real health problems which go beyond the symptoms of Celiac Disease.  Talk to your priest, my priest gives me a tiny bit when I go up for communion, but even a tiny bit can hurt, so I don't approach the chalice often.  I know that in some cases, the Priest gets permission to just give wine, and in others, they have a separate chalice all together for someone with Celiac.  It's very very hard to deal with.  I hope that you find the answers you need. It's hard because people don't take Celiac seriously, it's an extremely serious problem.

Prayers!

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2013, 01:56:58 PM »
Tone 7 Dogmatic Theotokion.
Says nothing about diminishing the properties of wheat in the Eucharist.

How about Mark 3:4?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 01:57:52 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline mrsdalloway

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2013, 07:04:05 PM »
Fellow Orthodox celiac here. When I converted, I was concerned about how my body would handle the Eucharist, as even the smallest amount of gluten will make me sick. Miraculously, in my case, I found that it does not make me ill. However, that's not the case for all Orthodox celiacs. If it does make you sick, the priest can make special preparations for you. I know one priest who would set aside the wine before the bread went in it and would serve that to the celiac. Talk to your priest; I'm sure something can be arranged.

Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2013, 05:12:20 PM »
I'm glad it occurred to me to open this forum again and find others dealing with this.

Welcome, Quinault. I'm sorry to hear of your problems with your son. But thank you for confirming what I know to be reality.

Frankly, the difficulty of living in full communion with the church, in its primary liturgical celebration, is what is keeping me from Orthodoxy. There is a wonderful church full of converts I attend now and then. The Bible lessons are fascinating, and I love the Eucharistic celebration. But as it is now, I couldn't participate. The pastor, the one who gives such vivid and enlightening Bible studies, when asked about celiac parishioners, had this to say: "The body and blood of Jesus Christ could not possibly do any harm."

This is real. We are not imagining things, nor being hypochondriacs.

The pain is not the main problem. Neither is the possible public humiliation from uncontrollable events that happen after gluten ingestion. (Although, of course, that is a concern!)

The main problem is, every exposure to gluten causes damage to one's intestines. Enough damage and you could get colon cancer. 

My mother died of colon cancer at age 64. I am age 60.

So, I'm in no-man's land. I believe Orthodoxy is closer to the truth than Catholicism, but it would be difficult to fully participate in. (It causes enough awkwardness to politely refuse the andiron!)

True, I could decide to stick around and educate people, but that's wearing. I'm an introvert, not a natural-born trailblazer. I'd be embarrassed to have a special fuss made for me -- to change things that radically, to change a church famed for its changelessness.

Especially since I know most people won't think it's really necessary. (After all, communion doesn't carry germs, and that's the same thing, isn't it? No, it isn't the same thing, at all.)

Look in this thread, at all the people who nonchalantly assured the original poster and others that their problem didn't really exist. The implication given, of course, is that it wouldn't exist IF the celiac patients were sincere and had enough faith -- the kind of faith that, of course, they, the responders, had. The questioner's belief in their supposed problem was seen as a reflection on them.  That kind of hyperspiritual one-upmanship is what I am afraid of. No, sorry, I've been behind that Pentecostal 8-ball enough times.

I've been advised to just plunge in and trust the priest, but the common lack of awareness and especially lack of belief in (respect of?) the importance of this, makes such trust a gamble.  How careful was Baruch's mother's priest with her?

It is confusing, isn't it? Like ebailey, "I find it profoundly upsetting to ask these questions of people who don't know much about Celiac disease, and react with horror at my asking, as if I don't believe that the Mysteries are the true Body and Blood as well as bread and wine." But they are both, aren't they? It seems that, in practice, Orthodoxy's interpretation of the communion mystery is much more rigid than the supposedly overly-scholastic thinking of Catholicism.

Offline noahs_mommom

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2013, 05:18:45 PM »
Elizabeth, I couldn't have said it better myself.  This is exactly how I feel!  It's really very hard, so thank you for posting!

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2013, 06:21:45 PM »
.... True, I could decide to stick around and educate people, but that's wearing. I'm an introvert, not a natural-born trailblazer. I'd be embarrassed to have a special fuss made for me -- to change things that radically, to change a church famed for its changelessness.

The Church practices economy such that she can minister to people with celiac disease.  If your Priest doesn't get it, try the Bishop.  Chances are that the Bishop has allowed other communities to commune people with celiac disease from separate chalices.
 
Look in this thread, at all the people who nonchalantly assured the original poster and others that their problem didn't really exist. The implication given, of course, is that it wouldn't exist IF the celiac patients were sincere and had enough faith -- the kind of faith that, of course, they, the responders, had. The questioner's belief in their supposed problem was seen as a reflection on them.  That kind of hyperspiritual one-upmanship is what I am afraid of. No, sorry, I've been behind that Pentecostal 8-ball enough times.

I still stand by the statement that Holy Communion is harmless except, as an act of contrition and economy, acknowledge that the gluten present in the bread can cause harm.

It seems that, in practice, Orthodoxy's interpretation of the communion mystery is much more rigid than the supposedly overly-scholastic thinking of Catholicism.

Are there other Orthodox practices that you find more rigid than Catholicism?   ???

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2013, 11:04:50 PM »
Tazzy has been on prescription formula now for 3 months. He is up to 17 pounds in weight, and 28 inches in length :) He is consuming about 2k calories a day, and has flatlined in weight gain for the last 2 months. It seems his digestive system is still healing. Hopefully soon his system will be fully healed. But for now, he is still on a strict GF diet. I still struggle a great deal with the issue of communion. Because he can't tell me how he feels, I don't know how much the gluten in communion sparks a reaction. This leaves me with a profound sense of guilt. If I commune him and he reacts, but can't tell me I am essentially harming him. If I don't commune him, I am keeping him from an essential "food."

During the last 3 months he hasn't had communion more than 2-3 times due to a variety of factors outside of our control. He didn't have too bad of a reaction to communion the last 2 times he had it. In those 2 cases I took him to the chalice and asked that they don't give him any bread (which is more than awkward in the line, I tried to ask ahead of time but no one remembers the conversation). So I think that helped. I didn't see how much bread he was given yesterday since his godfather took him to communion. He has been very, very, fussy since yesterday afternoon and thru today. And his diapers have been "off" so to speak (any celiac knows what I mean). But I have no idea how much of it has to do with his celiac disease. Times like this I wish that he could communicate more :(
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 11:06:41 PM by Quinault »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #55 on: April 28, 2013, 11:29:00 PM »
One of the issues with celiac disease and gluten intolerance is that reactions vary widely from person to person and encounter to encounter.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2013, 11:33:05 PM »
Here's a thought; in theory, if the faith of an infant is confirmed through the proclamation of a sponsor/godparent in Orthodoxy, then can't the godparent also receive the Eucharist on behalf of a person with celiac disease? Say, every Sunday, the godparent receives the Eucharist twice; once for himself, and once for the godchild.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2013, 11:34:59 PM »
Here's a thought; in theory, if the faith of an infant is confirmed through the proclamation of a sponsor/godparent in Orthodoxy, then can't the godparent also receive the Eucharist on behalf of a person with celiac disease? Say, every Sunday, the godparent receives the Eucharist twice; once for himself, and once for the godchild.

No. The godparent and the godchild do not share the same hypostasis. Sacraments are for hypostases.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2013, 11:39:02 PM »
Here's a thought; in theory, if the faith of an infant is confirmed through the proclamation of a sponsor/godparent in Orthodoxy, then can't the godparent also receive the Eucharist on behalf of a person with celiac disease? Say, every Sunday, the godparent receives the Eucharist twice; once for himself, and once for the godchild.

No. The godparent and the godchild do not share the same hypostasis. Sacraments are for hypostases.

Hmm. Well, if both of them have been united through Christ in Baptism, then technically can't it be argued that they do share the same hypostasis through their unity to Christ?
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2013, 11:42:08 PM »
Here's a thought; in theory, if the faith of an infant is confirmed through the proclamation of a sponsor/godparent in Orthodoxy, then can't the godparent also receive the Eucharist on behalf of a person with celiac disease? Say, every Sunday, the godparent receives the Eucharist twice; once for himself, and once for the godchild.

No. The godparent and the godchild do not share the same hypostasis. Sacraments are for hypostases.

Hmm. Well, if both of them have been united through Christ in Baptism, then technically can't it be argued that they do share the same hypostasis through their unity to Christ?

No.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #60 on: April 28, 2013, 11:59:02 PM »
Well, it seems like the only option is for the person to not receive the Eucharist until their deathbed.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #61 on: April 29, 2013, 12:13:50 AM »
Here is a pretty clear visual on how bad his celiac disease was/is. Top photo is a few days before he went fully GF, bottom 3 months off gluten, he went from 13 lbs in the top photo, to 17 in the bottom.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 12:24:56 AM by Quinault »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #62 on: April 30, 2013, 06:59:15 PM »
Here is a pretty clear visual on how bad his celiac disease was/is. Top photo is a few days before he went fully GF, bottom 3 months off gluten, he went from 13 lbs in the top photo, to 17 in the bottom.

What a cheerful, beautiful, happy baby guy you have! 
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2013, 07:47:06 PM »
Well, it seems like the only option is for the person to not receive the Eucharist until their deathbed.
Hardly.
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2013, 04:26:45 AM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 04:43:51 AM by IoanC »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #65 on: May 02, 2013, 04:54:49 AM »
I have found this on another forum:

"There is nothing wrong with having 'Blood Only' Communion for justified reasons - I believe that it is given that way to the infants who are still unable to swallow solid food.
And - maybe the other posters can discuss this in a bit more detail - have you considered a leap of faith? Remember, thousands and thousands of Eastern Orthodox approach the Holy Chalice and yet you won't see our parishes ridden with disease (we take Communion out of the same spoon). There is also the story about St. John of Shangai who took a piece of Communion vomited by a woman who had rabbies - he suffered no ill effects.
However, seeing how you may probably not be willing to experiment with it, ask those who say that it is impossible to administer the Eucharist separately - is it better for you to recieve the Holy Blood (at least) or to go through your entire life without Communion?
"

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #66 on: May 02, 2013, 05:13:45 AM »
You do realize that Celiac Disease is not communicable, right?

Celiac is an autoimmune reaction to gluten. It isn't something one catches like a virus. It is the body attacking itself when it encounters gluten. The closest condition would be an allergic reaction. But even that isn't a good comparison since one can *counteract* an allergic reaction. You can't counteract a celiac reaction to gluten.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #67 on: May 02, 2013, 05:18:32 AM »
A celiac reaction renders the sufferer incapable of digesting ANY nutrition to any food for some time:


Quote
When people with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten, gluten proteins permeate the wall of the small intestine and are taken up by immune cells called macrophages, which digest them and send a signal to other immune cells called T cells (1). In response, T cells emit chemicals called cytokines that trigger inflammation and also notify B cells, another group of immune cells, to produce antibodies to gluten (2).
As the immune system wages war against gluten, the intestinal villi and microvilli suffer collateral damage. The villi become eroded and flatten, which leaves the small intestine less capable of absorbing nutrients. The result is diarrhea and a host of health problems related to malnutrition, including weight loss, anemia, and osteoporosis.

Or in my son's case; you slowly starve to death until you are completely gluten free despite consuming massive amounts of calories per day.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 05:22:10 AM by Quinault »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2013, 05:21:27 AM »
You do realize that Celiac Disease is not communicable, right?

Celiac is an autoimmune reaction to gluten. It isn't something one catches like a virus. It is the body attacking itself when it encounters gluten. The closest condition would be an allergic reaction. But even that isn't a good comparison since one can *counteract* an allergic reaction. You can't counteract a celiac reaction to gluten.

My previous posts were in regards to setting aside Communion (Blood Only) for those who are very ill, as well as how faith has caused many people to not be affected by Communion (with the examples above) and this can also be true for people with celiac disease. I have even heard of people with celiac disease who were not affected by Communion, but as soon as they tried something else with bread, they got sick. Each must analyze his own faith and circumstances. As the person was saying in the comment, for some baby steps may be necessary, if your parish allows. Personally, I always get scared when I hear people could get sick, so I recommend taking a step back to analyze the situation.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 05:35:53 AM by IoanC »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2013, 09:58:38 AM »
As the person was saying in the comment, for some baby steps may be necessary, if your parish allows.

Um, especially when we are talking about an actual BABY:police:
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2013, 10:31:14 AM »
As the person was saying in the comment, for some baby steps may be necessary, if your parish allows.

Um, especially when we are talking about an actual BABY!  :police:

Sorry, to ruin the truth that indeed babies are babies and they deserve very special care, but the faith of the parents can influence the state of the baby. God does allow the sins of the parents to affect children and a baby is not in charge of himself. Not accusing, not judging, just describing the law of causality. If you take your baby to communion for the wrong reasons or according to a heretical faith, he may suffer the consequences of your own choice. The opposite would be for God to allow the child to experience a wrong path as if it is the truth. Not only that, sorry to have to say, it can be the joint sins of the entire parish, or even diocese, etc., who may cause such problems. It would actually be good news for you because you wouldn't want the mysteries to work, if they are treated as rules or laws, or in a very superficial manner, etc. That would be the equivalent of eating from the Tree of Life after eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil at the wrong time. God only knows why He would allow certain things.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 10:37:51 AM by IoanC »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
Here is a pretty clear visual on how bad his celiac disease was/is. Top photo is a few days before he went fully GF, bottom 3 months off gluten, he went from 13 lbs in the top photo, to 17 in the bottom.

What a beautiful, precious baby.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #72 on: May 02, 2013, 01:03:19 PM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

Wow. This is rather stunning.

It seems I was reading attitudes correctly. Unfortunately.

Thank you for pointing out this article. Even after many searches, I'd not found it until your post. It rather makes up my mind for me.

"Your faith makes all the difference." That's putting this squarely in the school of pentecostalism. Sorry, I've been down that road. Someone mentioned snake-handlers, and it fits.

How easy (cheap, really) for someone who does not have celiac disease to happily carve out a faith-test for other people. And if it doesn't work, tell them -- subtly, or bluntly, as is done here -- that they are at fault.

It's like telling a diabetic that if they really had enough faith, they would not need insulin. If they asked the Lord in sincerity to heal them, and had enough faith, they can count on being healed.

Which, by the way, I've seen happen. Her name was Connie. Beautiful, gentle, in her 30s, her only flaw was that she was too trusting. Under the influence of preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, and under the secret tutelage of a church elder, she stopped taking her insulin. A few days later she died.

As well as being cruel, this is superstition. SolEX01, you asked if there were other Orthodox practices I find more rigid than Catholicism. No, but this more than tips the balance. At least in Catholicism I was given the freedom to accept science and acknowledge that God's usual actions give a stable basis for it. (Also, in Catholicism people with illness were considered closer to God, not further away.  Bearing an illness well was a way to give glory to God, and was respected.)

"Ordinarily, God acts ordinarily." That's why we go to doctors. Miracles are called miracles because they are instances of God bending his laws of nature, which doesn't happen willy-nilly and for no reason.

If this is true -- if God would not allow a person with sufficient virtue and faith to be sickened by the Eucharist; if God can be counted on to step in and micromanage things like this, especially when they involve the faith -- it would never be heard of that a baby drowned during baptism.

I won't be involved in this.

Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #73 on: May 02, 2013, 01:37:49 PM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

Wow. This is rather stunning.

It seems I was reading attitudes correctly. Unfortunately.

Thank you for pointing out this article. Even after many searches, I'd not found it until your post. It rather makes up my mind for me.

"Your faith makes all the difference." That's putting this squarely in the school of pentecostalism. Sorry, I've been down that road. Someone mentioned snake-handlers, and it fits.

How easy (cheap, really) for someone who does not have celiac disease to happily carve out a faith-test for other people. And if it doesn't work, tell them -- subtly, or bluntly, as is done here -- that they are at fault.

It's like telling a diabetic that if they really had enough faith, they would not need insulin. If they asked the Lord in sincerity to heal them, and had enough faith, they can count on being healed.

Which, by the way, I've seen happen. Her name was Connie. Beautiful, gentle, in her 30s, her only flaw was that she was too trusting. Under the influence of preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, and under the secret tutelage of a church elder, she stopped taking her insulin. A few days later she died.

As well as being cruel, this is superstition. SolEX01, you asked if there were other Orthodox practices I find more rigid than Catholicism. No, but this more than tips the balance. At least in Catholicism I was given the freedom to accept science and acknowledge that God's usual actions give a stable basis for it. (Also, in Catholicism people with illness were considered closer to God, not further away.  Bearing an illness well was a way to give glory to God, and was respected.)

"Ordinarily, God acts ordinarily." That's why we go to doctors. Miracles are called miracles because they are instances of God bending his laws of nature, which doesn't happen willy-nilly and for no reason.

If this is true -- if God would not allow a person with sufficient virtue and faith to be sickened by the Eucharist; if God can be counted on to step in and micromanage things like this, especially when they involve the faith -- it would never be heard of that a baby drowned during baptism.

I won't be involved in this.

Sorry, while I agree that simply telling someone in cold terms that they are at fault is not loving and considerate, that's not how I see that article and this situation. If you do not believe that the Eucharist is the actual Blood and Body of Christ and that you need to be prepared for receiving it according to His demands, then you are not ready for it, and it will probably harm you. Christ always says that sin is the cause of death and not Himself, nor us (He does not say we are guilty, only responsible for our state).

Let us not confuse Orthodox faith with auto-suggestion, or protestant faith etc. Faith doesn't mean that God saves you regardless of what you do, or even if you believe that "you are saved" (that everything is working by itself). The Truth is that God indeed helps as gift, through His Grace, not our own powers, but only in the measure that you prepare yourself, you co-operate with His Way.  
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 01:46:28 PM by IoanC »

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #74 on: May 02, 2013, 03:17:05 PM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

Wow. This is rather stunning.

It seems I was reading attitudes correctly. Unfortunately.

Thank you for pointing out this article. Even after many searches, I'd not found it until your post. It rather makes up my mind for me.

"Your faith makes all the difference." That's putting this squarely in the school of pentecostalism. Sorry, I've been down that road. Someone mentioned snake-handlers, and it fits.

How easy (cheap, really) for someone who does not have celiac disease to happily carve out a faith-test for other people. And if it doesn't work, tell them -- subtly, or bluntly, as is done here -- that they are at fault.

It's like telling a diabetic that if they really had enough faith, they would not need insulin. If they asked the Lord in sincerity to heal them, and had enough faith, they can count on being healed.

Which, by the way, I've seen happen. Her name was Connie. Beautiful, gentle, in her 30s, her only flaw was that she was too trusting. Under the influence of preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, and under the secret tutelage of a church elder, she stopped taking her insulin. A few days later she died.

As well as being cruel, this is superstition. SolEX01, you asked if there were other Orthodox practices I find more rigid than Catholicism. No, but this more than tips the balance. At least in Catholicism I was given the freedom to accept science and acknowledge that God's usual actions give a stable basis for it. (Also, in Catholicism people with illness were considered closer to God, not further away.  Bearing an illness well was a way to give glory to God, and was respected.)

"Ordinarily, God acts ordinarily." That's why we go to doctors. Miracles are called miracles because they are instances of God bending his laws of nature, which doesn't happen willy-nilly and for no reason.

If this is true -- if God would not allow a person with sufficient virtue and faith to be sickened by the Eucharist; if God can be counted on to step in and micromanage things like this, especially when they involve the faith -- it would never be heard of that a baby drowned during baptism.

I won't be involved in this.

I hope that when you say you won't be involved in this, you don't mean Orthodoxy.  That article is one priest's opinion and obviously, you will find others that support that position, it is certainly not dogma.  I don't see any basis for saying that the gluten leaves the mystery any more than you can say that we can run a DNA test and get Jesus' DNA from it.
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #75 on: May 02, 2013, 03:24:54 PM »
Here is a pretty clear visual on how bad his celiac disease was/is. Top photo is a few days before he went fully GF, bottom 3 months off gluten, he went from 13 lbs in the top photo, to 17 in the bottom.

What a beautiful, precious baby.

Thank you. We love him a great deal. He is an awesome little fellow.

Growing up with Pentecostal parents that didn't believe in modern medicine, I experienced first hand how the "faith" of the parents can injure the child. My step father took me riding on a motorcycle when I was around 4. At some point he stopped, I was off the motorcycle and wanted to climb on. He wasn't paying attention and the motorcycle fell on top of me. The engine was really hot. I ended up with a third degree burn across my entire stomach. It burned thru my swimming suit and covered the middle third of my body. As the child of an American Indian, I had access to free medical care thru the BIA, additionally my father paid for a private insurance plan. My mother should have taken me to the doctor. I should have had skin grafts, antibiotics and medical treatment. Instead, they "treated" my burn with prayer, vitamin E oil, tea treat oil, and aloe vera. I have a horrific scar across my stomach. The fact that I didn't end up with an infection is a miracle. As a 4 year old child I had no choice in the matter. I didn't have medical care because my parents didn't think that modern medicine was "good." So I suffered thru months of "treatment" at home instead.

My faith, or lack thereof has little to do with my son taking communion. My responsibility as a parent is to take care of my child, and to keep him from harm. If an adult celiac chooses to partake of communion believing that it can't harm them, then they certainly can choose to do so. My son is incapable of making that choice/decision. I have to make that decision for him. That is a decision I don't take lightly. I don't think it should be something decided upon "faith" alone. I know just how damaging that can be first hand.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 03:26:17 PM by Quinault »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #76 on: May 02, 2013, 03:28:55 PM »
Quote
If you do not believe that the Eucharist is the actual Blood and Body of Christ and that you need to be prepared for receiving it according to His demands, then you are not ready for it, and it will probably harm you. Christ always says that sin is the cause of death and not Himself, nor us (He does not say we are guilty, only responsible for our state).

If anyone can accept the Eucharist properly prepared it is a 1 year old. And if you are implying that my son would be injured by the gluten in the Eucharist because *I* am not prepared...well you need to explain your logic to me.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 03:36:35 PM by Quinault »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #77 on: May 02, 2013, 03:40:24 PM »
To look at it from another perspective.  If someone somehow secretly mixed rat poison in the mysteries or poisoned them before they are concecrated.  Could someone be miraculously spared from death in that situation?  Absolutely, but I don't think God is somehow "obligated" to make sure that no one would die from such a situation.
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #78 on: May 02, 2013, 03:41:08 PM »
Quote
If you do not believe that the Eucharist is the actual Blood and Body of Christ and that you need to be prepared for receiving it according to His demands, then you are not ready for it, and it will probably harm you. Christ always says that sin is the cause of death and not Himself, nor us (He does not say we are guilty, only responsible for our state).

If anyone can accept the Eucharist properly prepared it is a 1 year old.

I have actually talked about the parents not being prepared in a different comment. You seem to be overly concerned with your physical state and comfort in this world (and that of your child), while Christ asks total denial of self and taking up of the cross. This seems like insanity to the world, but it is exactly what saves us from this world and ultimately from death (which needs to be killed). Otherwise, if our mysteries mean that little and they are open to any rationalities and reasons we can come up with, what is even the point of doing them? If God is not present in them, then they are useless. If it is left to up to our own interpretation of them, then again, we can save ourselves by this logic.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 03:42:01 PM by IoanC »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #79 on: May 02, 2013, 03:43:22 PM »
To look at it from another perspective.  If someone somehow secretly mixed rat poison in the mysteries or poisoned them before they are concecrated.  Could someone be miraculously spared from death in that situation?  Absolutely, but I don't think God is somehow "obligated" to make sure that no one would die from such a situation.

They are the Body and Blood of Christ and they cannot harm, but our correct faith is needed through all that The Holy Fathers prescribe: fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 03:45:43 PM by IoanC »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #80 on: May 02, 2013, 03:46:40 PM »
Quote
If you do not believe that the Eucharist is the actual Blood and Body of Christ and that you need to be prepared for receiving it according to His demands, then you are not ready for it, and it will probably harm you. Christ always says that sin is the cause of death and not Himself, nor us (He does not say we are guilty, only responsible for our state).

If anyone can accept the Eucharist properly prepared it is a 1 year old.

I have actually talked about the parents not being prepared in a different comment. You seem to be overly concerned with your physical state and comfort in this world (and that of your child), while Christ asks total denial of self and taking up of the cross. This seems like insanity to the world, but it is exactly what saves us from this world and ultimately from death (which needs to be killed). Otherwise, if our mysteries mean that little and they are open to any rationalities and reasons we can come up with, what is even the point of doing them? If God is not present in them, then they are useless. If it is left to up to our own interpretation of them, then again, we can save ourselves by this logic.

Do you have children?

Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #81 on: May 02, 2013, 03:49:10 PM »
Quote
If you do not believe that the Eucharist is the actual Blood and Body of Christ and that you need to be prepared for receiving it according to His demands, then you are not ready for it, and it will probably harm you. Christ always says that sin is the cause of death and not Himself, nor us (He does not say we are guilty, only responsible for our state).

If anyone can accept the Eucharist properly prepared it is a 1 year old.

I have actually talked about the parents not being prepared in a different comment. You seem to be overly concerned with your physical state and comfort in this world (and that of your child), while Christ asks total denial of self and taking up of the cross. This seems like insanity to the world, but it is exactly what saves us from this world and ultimately from death (which needs to be killed). Otherwise, if our mysteries mean that little and they are open to any rationalities and reasons we can come up with, what is even the point of doing them? If God is not present in them, then they are useless. If it is left to up to our own interpretation of them, then again, we can save ourselves by this logic.

Do you have children?

No, but if I did, with God's help I'd made sure I'd be very prepared for Communion, as well as not approach it without fear and reverence (as in questioning or altering it). This would affect me and my children. It is more useful for you to die trying, then to continously run away from it thinking that you will be able to do it forever.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 03:50:25 PM by IoanC »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #82 on: May 02, 2013, 03:50:10 PM »
OK then. I truly hope you are never in the situation that I am in. But I am positive that if you were, you would understand it isn't as simple as you believe it to be right now.

Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #83 on: May 02, 2013, 03:51:28 PM »
OK then. I truly hope you are never in the situation that I am in. But I am positive that if you were, you would understand it isn't as simple as you believe it to be right now.

Like I said, you can do baby steps. Take one half, and then one day take the other when you are ready for that step. Remember, one half means you are half-saved.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #84 on: May 02, 2013, 03:53:32 PM »
OK then. I truly hope you are never in the situation that I am in. But I am positive that if you were, you would understand it isn't as simple as you believe it to be right now.

Like I said, you can do baby steps. Take one half, and then one day take the other when you are ready for that step. Remember, one half means you are half-saved.

 ??? There is a statement without any basis in Orthodox theology.

Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #85 on: May 02, 2013, 03:55:46 PM »
OK then. I truly hope you are never in the situation that I am in. But I am positive that if you were, you would understand it isn't as simple as you believe it to be right now.

Like I said, you can do baby steps. Take one half, and then one day take the other when you are ready for that step. Remember, one half means you are half-saved.

 ??? There is a statement without any basis in Orthodox theology.

What really has no basis is that Communion can harm and that you should take half of it. It's no shame whatsoever though to take one half.  Better to be safe and honest, than to be sorry or proud.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2013, 03:56:17 PM »
To look at it from another perspective.  If someone somehow secretly mixed rat poison in the mysteries or poisoned them before they are concecrated.  Could someone be miraculously spared from death in that situation?  Absolutely, but I don't think God is somehow "obligated" to make sure that no one would die from such a situation.

They are the Body and Blood of Christ and they cannot harm, but our correct faith is needed through all that The Holy Fathers prescribe: fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc.
::) I admire your zeal.
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2013, 04:01:52 PM »
To look at it from another perspective.  If someone somehow secretly mixed rat poison in the mysteries or poisoned them before they are concecrated.  Could someone be miraculously spared from death in that situation?  Absolutely, but I don't think God is somehow "obligated" to make sure that no one would die from such a situation.

They are the Body and Blood of Christ and they cannot harm, but our correct faith is needed through all that The Holy Fathers prescribe: fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc.
::) I admire your zeal.

I just hope it's any good.  :laugh:

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #88 on: May 02, 2013, 04:15:13 PM »
There is no such thing as "half saved," as Orthodox Christians we aren't "saved" we are being saved.

Normally I would have the patience for this. Today I have none. Judging my faith as being less than yours because I have concern for my son...well I am not going to answer that. Let's just say that it sounds great in theory to you where you sit. In practice where I sit watching a 1 year old starve to death and scream in pain isn't as "simple" as you make it out to be. I am sure you will blame it on my lack of faith. Again; that is an easy judgement to make on the other side of the world using your keyboard.

We aren't discussing theoretical issues here. We are discussing a real living, breathing person. A person that has been given to me by God to raise. If God didn't think I had the ability to raise a child with Celiac disease, I suspect that I would not have one. I truly hope you don't have to raise a child with severe life threatening celiac disease. Not as a judgement of you based on this thread, but because it is not as easy a burden to carry as you seem to believe. Most people are diagnosed Celiac into adulthood. Or at the very least after they are communicative. My son has had this since *birth* which is exceedingly rare.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 04:16:24 PM by Quinault »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #89 on: May 02, 2013, 04:27:17 PM »
And my point of view is that if your faith can't survive the possibility that the gluten in the lamb can cause damage to a celiac, then *your* faith isn't very strong. I have made the phosphora before. I know what goes into it ;) I can completely have faith in all the stories of communicable diseases that aren't spread via the common cup. I don't think that communion can/will make one sick in that way. But ultimately that phosphora is made from wheat, I know I have made it before ;)

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #90 on: May 02, 2013, 04:43:00 PM »
I would also point out that the virtue of the fact that Quinalt has multiple children for whom she has demonstrably (on OC.net) made incredible sacrifices for in the past (and, presumably, in the future) is proof positive that she's following Christ's command to deny oneself and take up one's cross.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #91 on: May 02, 2013, 05:35:14 PM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

I am surprised Fr. Peter would write such a ridiculous statement.  We are not snakehandlers.  Yes the bread and wine are changed to the Body and Blood of Christ.  Yet they continue to look, smell, taste, and behave like bread and wine.  We eat them and digest them.  How is the Body and Blood of Christ subject to digestion?  Left long enough the Body will mold.  There are directions in Liturgicons about what to do when this happens.  Celiacs are affected by the gluten in bread and those with Sulfite allergy are affected by sulfites in wine.  Why?  I don't know.  If we can accept that the Gifts are subject to things like mold we should be able to wrap or heads around those with allergies are affected and need accomodation not condemnation.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #92 on: May 02, 2013, 05:37:45 PM »
And my point of view is that if your faith can't survive the possibility that the gluten in the lamb can cause damage to a celiac, then *your* faith isn't very strong. I have made the phosphora before. I know what goes into it ;) I can completely have faith in all the stories of communicable diseases that aren't spread via the common cup. I don't think that communion can/will make one sick in that way. But ultimately that phosphora is made from wheat, I know I have made it before ;)
Quinault,

From what I read, you are an amazing mother.  God bless, carry on and don't let the dopes upset you.  Just find a priest who isn't a dope.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #93 on: May 03, 2013, 12:07:08 AM »
OK then. I truly hope you are never in the situation that I am in. But I am positive that if you were, you would understand it isn't as simple as you believe it to be right now.

Like I said, you can do baby steps. Take one half, and then one day take the other when you are ready for that step. Remember, one half means you are half-saved.

Dude, stop.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #94 on: May 03, 2013, 12:55:16 AM »
And my point of view is that if your faith can't survive the possibility that the gluten in the lamb can cause damage to a celiac, then *your* faith isn't very strong. I have made the phosphora before. I know what goes into it ;) I can completely have faith in all the stories of communicable diseases that aren't spread via the common cup. I don't think that communion can/will make one sick in that way. But ultimately that phosphora is made from wheat, I know I have made it before ;)
Quinault,

From what I read, you are an amazing mother.  God bless, carry on and don't let the dopes upset you.  Just find a priest who isn't a dope.

Fr. Deacon Lance



I heartily agree. If one's priest is not willing to work with one's celiac disease, one should find a new priest.

Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #95 on: May 03, 2013, 03:11:18 AM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

I am surprised Fr. Peter would write such a ridiculous statement.  We are not snakehandlers.  Yes the bread and wine are changed to the Body and Blood of Christ.  Yet they continue to look, smell, taste, and behave like bread and wine.  We eat them and digest them.  How is the Body and Blood of Christ subject to digestion?  Left long enough the Body will mold.  There are directions in Liturgicons about what to do when this happens.  Celiacs are affected by the gluten in bread and those with Sulfite allergy are affected by sulfites in wine.  Why?  I don't know.  If we can accept that the Gifts are subject to things like mold we should be able to wrap or heads around those with allergies are affected and need accomodation not condemnation.

They do not remain bread and wine, but in the shape of bread and wine. The Orthodox belief is that they are truly the actual Blood and Body of Christ (in the shape of bread and wine). For that reason, they behave like a miracle for those who have the right faith and make themselves worthy of receiving them. To say that you have allergy to the bread in them is the same as saying you have allergy to the Body of Christ, and this can only be because of sin. I have discussed about how sin can influence your experience of The Eucharist. If you take things personally and think it's too harsh, that to me is proof that you are indeed subject to the mysteries not working for you. Please, do not attack me for simply saying the truth. I am not any better than anybody here, only striving to be better.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #96 on: May 03, 2013, 05:26:48 AM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

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Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #97 on: May 03, 2013, 05:31:20 AM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

Fr. Preble quotes OrthodoxWiki as an authority. What has happened to the world?

Now, orthodoxwiki is the enemy. People will use as source things they might agree with.

Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #98 on: May 05, 2013, 12:42:36 PM »
They do not remain bread and wine, but in the shape of bread and wine. The Orthodox belief is that they are truly the actual Blood and Body of Christ (in the shape of bread and wine). For that reason, they behave like a miracle for those who have the right faith and make themselves worthy of receiving them. To say that you have allergy to the bread in them is the same as saying you have allergy to the Body of Christ, and this can only be because of sin.

The very fact that you are here to say this, casts doubt on your theory.

Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #99 on: May 05, 2013, 12:45:28 PM »
I'm amused (because it is hilarious, in a dark way), but I'm also appalled. Quinalt said, "If your faith can't survive the possibility that the gluten in the lamb can cause damage to a celiac, then *your* faith isn't very strong." Well said.

I have the impression that the very idea of Celiac disease has thrown people for a loop in Orthodoxy. Made them doubt their theology. And they respond (if they respond at all, rather than ignoring any queries) by doubling down on a very literalistic interpretation of the Eucharist. Orthodoxy Herself calls it a mystery, but to protect their theology, others insist on drawing a road map.

Orthodoxy has yet to grapple with it, and in the confusion, bizarre ideas are circulating. When good men, educated men, fail to take the lead, the cranks take over. When otherwise good pastors, such as Fr. Peter Preble and the pastor of my local Orthodox church (the one who said "How could the body and blood of Jesus Christ do any harm?) say such things, it opens the door to them.

I think they are busy men and are simply speaking off-the-cuff. Celiac disease is still a relatively new and rare phenomenon. Like most people, they haven't studied it. (And yet they ask celiac people to trust those who haven't even educated themselves about it?) Fr. Peter sounds like he is responding in irritation to the germ-phobics -- I don't blame him for his irritation -- not realizing that it's a totally different thing. It's more like a peanut allergy than a germ phobia.

I also think that celiacs are being slapped with secondhand anger towards those converts who love the Orthodox church, the icons, smells and bells, etc., yet their first impulse upon joining is to try to change it. Bring in women priests, etc. That's unfair.

I don't know if, on this thread, this topic has merely brought trolls out of the woodwork -- sadists who delight in causing uproar -- or if there really is room in Orthodoxy for such backwards medieval ideas as have been expressed. Yes, there are nutcases and cranks in every religion (and, to put it more charitably, insecure people who desperately need everything to be nailed-down and all uncertainty removed) but it boggles the mind to witness the cruelty this has enabled.

I mean, forget converts, and the dilemma it poses to us. Forget the fact that a door is being closed in the face of any potential convert who isn't suicidal; who doesn't wish to soil themselves in public, spend the rest of the night doubled over in pain, and know they swallowed cancer larvae. We're talking innocent babies here.

The mere fact that this is still going on, with full awareness that it's at the price of a starving baby, screaming in pain ... words fail me. What would Jesus think of this?

Quinalt, God bless you. I'm so sorry you're facing this dilemma. I think you know what you have to do.

Offline mrsdalloway

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #100 on: May 05, 2013, 12:54:08 PM »
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The mere fact that this is still going on, with full awareness that it's at the price of a starving baby, screaming in pain ... words fail me. What would Jesus think of this?

Seriously. God made our bodies and understands that celiac disease is an auto immune disorder. For some, communion doesn't damage them, but for others, it does. I seriously doubt it has anything to do with the amount of faith the person has. It's all a mystery. Priests need to be understanding, protect their health, and not burden them with unnecessary guilt.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #101 on: May 05, 2013, 01:11:45 PM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

I am surprised Fr. Peter would write such a ridiculous statement.  We are not snakehandlers.  Yes the bread and wine are changed to the Body and Blood of Christ.  Yet they continue to look, smell, taste, and behave like bread and wine.  We eat them and digest them.  How is the Body and Blood of Christ subject to digestion?  Left long enough the Body will mold.  There are directions in Liturgicons about what to do when this happens.  Celiacs are affected by the gluten in bread and those with Sulfite allergy are affected by sulfites in wine.  Why?  I don't know.  If we can accept that the Gifts are subject to things like mold we should be able to wrap or heads around those with allergies are affected and need accomodation not condemnation.

They do not remain bread and wine, but in the shape of bread and wine. The Orthodox belief is that they are truly the actual Blood and Body of Christ (in the shape of bread and wine). For that reason, they behave like a miracle for those who have the right faith and make themselves worthy of receiving them. To say that you have allergy to the bread in them is the same as saying you have allergy to the Body of Christ, and this can only be because of sin. I have discussed about how sin can influence your experience of The Eucharist. If you take things personally and think it's too harsh, that to me is proof that you are indeed subject to the mysteries not working for you. Please, do not attack me for simply saying the truth. I am not any better than anybody here, only striving to be better.
I myself said they don't remain bread and wine, but are the Body and Blood of Christ, that look, smell, taste, and behave like bread and wine.  Again, were your nonsense true, why do Orthodox liturgicons have instructions for disposing of moldy Gifts? 
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2013, 01:36:10 PM »
http://www.frpeterpreble.com/2010/03/communion-and-sickness.html

This article says that your faith makes all the difference, and so do many other sources I am finding. I would be curious to find out more about this issue.

I am surprised Fr. Peter would write such a ridiculous statement.  We are not snakehandlers.  Yes the bread and wine are changed to the Body and Blood of Christ.  Yet they continue to look, smell, taste, and behave like bread and wine.  We eat them and digest them.  How is the Body and Blood of Christ subject to digestion?  Left long enough the Body will mold.  There are directions in Liturgicons about what to do when this happens.  Celiacs are affected by the gluten in bread and those with Sulfite allergy are affected by sulfites in wine.  Why?  I don't know.  If we can accept that the Gifts are subject to things like mold we should be able to wrap or heads around those with allergies are affected and need accomodation not condemnation.

They do not remain bread and wine, but in the shape of bread and wine. The Orthodox belief is that they are truly the actual Blood and Body of Christ (in the shape of bread and wine). For that reason, they behave like a miracle for those who have the right faith and make themselves worthy of receiving them. To say that you have allergy to the bread in them is the same as saying you have allergy to the Body of Christ, and this can only be because of sin. I have discussed about how sin can influence your experience of The Eucharist. If you take things personally and think it's too harsh, that to me is proof that you are indeed subject to the mysteries not working for you. Please, do not attack me for simply saying the truth. I am not any better than anybody here, only striving to be better.
I myself said they don't remain bread and wine, but are the Body and Blood of Christ, that look, smell, taste, and behave like bread and wine.  Again, were your nonsense true, why do Orthodox liturgicons have instructions for disposing of moldy Gifts?  
Don't know if this in response to me, or the entire discussion you quoted. That's what I maintain, as well, that they are Body and Blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine, just like Christ is God in a Human Body (you cannot treat that two as separate from each other, and the Divine aspect leads/conditions the Human/Physical one)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 01:37:17 PM by IoanC »

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #103 on: May 05, 2013, 03:13:34 PM »
I have the impression that the very idea of Celiac disease has thrown people for a loop in Orthodoxy. Made them doubt their theology. And they respond (if they respond at all, rather than ignoring any queries) by doubling down on a very literalistic interpretation of the Eucharist. Orthodoxy Herself calls it a mystery, but to protect their theology, others insist on drawing a road map.

Christ is Risen!

I don't doubt my theology at all.  Communing those with celiac disease is a pastoral issue, not a lay issue.  If that means that prosphora makers have to use GF flour in case one celiac receives communion, then so be it.  The rest of us shouldn't notice a difference.

Orthodoxy has yet to grapple with it, and in the confusion, bizarre ideas are circulating.

What kind of bizarre ideas?

When good men, educated men, fail to take the lead, the cranks take over. When otherwise good pastors, such as Fr. Peter Preble and the pastor of my local Orthodox church (the one who said "How could the body and blood of Jesus Christ do any harm?) say such things, it opens the door to them.

People like myself and IoanC are now cranks because we were taught that Holy Communion is the medicine of immortality?

I think they are busy men and are simply speaking off-the-cuff. Celiac disease is still a relatively new and rare phenomenon. Like most people, they haven't studied it. (And yet they ask celiac people to trust those who haven't even educated themselves about it?) Fr. Peter sounds like he is responding in irritation to the germ-phobics -- I don't blame him for his irritation -- not realizing that it's a totally different thing. It's more like a peanut allergy than a germ phobia.

Jesus said to eat my body and drink my blood.  Perhaps some clergy are confused and even doubt their own theology, as you already alluded to.

I also think that celiacs are being slapped with secondhand anger towards those converts who love the Orthodox church, the icons, smells and bells, etc., yet their first impulse upon joining is to try to change it. Bring in women priests, etc. That's unfair.

You said you didn't want preferential treatment because of your condition.  It's easy to have GF wafers and/or crackers in other Christian denominations.  Celiac disease existed in the time of Christ; it's not a new disorder and it was never addressed pastorally because we don't have the modern amenities we have today.

I don't know if, on this thread, this topic has merely brought trolls out of the woodwork -- sadists who delight in causing uproar -- or if there really is room in Orthodoxy for such backwards medieval ideas as have been expressed. Yes, there are nutcases and cranks in every religion (and, to put it more charitably, insecure people who desperately need everything to be nailed-down and all uncertainty removed) but it boggles the mind to witness the cruelty this has enabled.

Orthodoxy is the truth.  The truth hurts for some people.

I mean, forget converts, and the dilemma it poses to us. Forget the fact that a door is being closed in the face of any potential convert who isn't suicidal; who doesn't wish to soil themselves in public, spend the rest of the night doubled over in pain, and know they swallowed cancer larvae. We're talking innocent babies here.

The innocent baby is receiving the best pastoral care available.

The mere fact that this is still going on, with full awareness that it's at the price of a starving baby, screaming in pain ... words fail me. What would Jesus think of this?

With the fear of God and with faith and love draw near.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 03:14:35 PM by SolEX01 »

Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #104 on: May 05, 2013, 03:27:28 PM »
OK then. I truly hope you are never in the situation that I am in. But I am positive that if you were, you would understand it isn't as simple as you believe it to be right now.

Like I said, you can do baby steps. Take one half, and then one day take the other when you are ready for that step. Remember, one half means you are half-saved.

 ??? There is a statement without any basis in Orthodox theology.

What really has no basis is that Communion can harm and that you should take half of it. It's no shame whatsoever though to take one half.  Better to be safe and honest, than to be sorry or proud.


Dear Quinault,

Keep the faith and do not listen to Ioan.

I am praying for you and your growing family!

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Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #105 on: May 05, 2013, 11:39:03 PM »
I suppose one advantage of the last year of fighting for medical testing/care for Taz is that I don't give a huge amount of credence to the medical opinions and advice of other people. :police: Thank you very much for the kind and encouraging posts! Taz is a tremendous blessing. I couldn't be happier to have such an amazing son. His very life is a miracle. Years ago, before celiac was a known condition, infants like him just starved to death and no one knew why. Fortunately there are a lot of resources available for celiacs.

I am thinking about asking to bring some GF bread to feed him instead of the antidoran. He really doesn't understand why he can't have bread when everyone else is. I think it would be a sort of morale boost to be able to have some bread with everyone else. ;D
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 11:41:45 PM by Quinault »

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2013, 07:47:18 AM »
Dear Quinault,

Christos Anesti!

That sounds like a fine idea.  Maybe you can ask Father to bless it too?

Love, elephant

Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #107 on: May 06, 2013, 04:33:00 PM »
I suppose one advantage of the last year of fighting for medical testing/care for Taz is that I don't give a huge amount of credence to the medical opinions and advice of other people. :police: Thank you very much for the kind and encouraging posts! Taz is a tremendous blessing. I couldn't be happier to have such an amazing son. His very life is a miracle. Years ago, before celiac was a known condition, infants like him just starved to death and no one knew why. Fortunately there are a lot of resources available for celiacs.

I am thinking about asking to bring some GF bread to feed him instead of the antidoran. He really doesn't understand why he can't have bread when everyone else is. I think it would be a sort of morale boost to be able to have some bread with everyone else. ;D

Let us know what your priest says.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #108 on: May 06, 2013, 05:18:11 PM »
Hello friends,

I was PMed a while ago to respond, because I run a web site, www.prosphora.org, and occasionally get questions about Celiac.  There are a few issues going on here, so I hope everyone will not mind terribly if I say just a few things in general.

1) Any type of modification of Communion, or any other Sacrament, lies not with any priest, but with the Bishop.  Period.  Any priest who invents on his own some 'solution' without consulting his bishop is in big trouble, because we do not 'confect' the Sacraments by ourselves, but rather on behalf of the bishop.

2) Food allergies in general, and Celiac in particular, have come to be the new fad for upper-middle class white parents, just as ADD and multiple personalities were in the previous decades (these start with geniune cases, but then explode with popular hypochonriatism).  So, we've seen lots of people blame their latest bout of indigestion on Celiac and gluten-intolerance (I've seen a number of these cases come, and mysteriously, go), ignoring the scientific facts that genuine cases are very rare and would not pop out of thing air after infancy.  So, most of us priests have been assailed by the 'helicopter mom' who has a long laundry list of her child's allergies and sensitivities, which almost never include the mother's generalized anxiety disorder bordering on Munchhausen Syndrome.  So, we tune out the weird because we get so much of it.  Forgive us.

3) That being said, genuine medically documented cases where absolutely any amount of bread is immediately harmful should be taken seriously.

4) We have a longer understanding of dealing with alcoholics and communion wine.  In such cases, I have heard bishops authorizing the communing of newly-recovering alcoholics with reserve Sacrament, since the Body and Blood have been combined.  Interestingly enough, the combining of wine with bread is not by soaking, but intincture (drops of wine applied to the bread), which means pieces of bread end up with wine in it, while others not.

5) Intincture, or the adding of the bread to the wine, is part of the consecration and cannot be avoided.  After intincture, it is assumed that the bread and the wine separately contain equally the Body and Blood of Christ.

6) If I were to offer an opinion to a bishop about the matter, I would say that after the 'IC' particle has gone into the chalice, and this can be a small piece or even a temporary 'dip,' then we have been obedient to the Church in completing the Anaphora and we could remove some of the wine that does not have bread floating around in it, and this could be used for a documented Celiac sufferer.  A well-made loaf of prosphora is rather sturdy and will not quickly disintegrate if the dough is well-kneaded and the gluten chains have formed.  It would be impossible for even trace amounts of gluten to 'escape' from a temporary dip of properly-made prosphora.  A dexterous priest could literally withdraw a spoonful of wine from one side of the chalice while a crumb is dropped in the other.  This properly consecrated wine could be administered.

7) If the parents were still not satisfied, then I would either seek a real medical opinion.  Some parents are so traumatized by the experience that they are over-protective.  Emotions have to come out of the way when making these kinds of decisions.

8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

9) There are a number of saints who never (or almost never) received sacramental communion.  Their intercessions should be sought.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #109 on: May 06, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »
8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

Father,

Forgive me for saying it but this is not correct.  The Holy Gifts are not intincted in the Liturgy of St James and many others.  Now if you mean commingling that is a different matter but that only requires a portion of the Gifts.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 05:43:14 PM by Deacon Lance »
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #110 on: May 06, 2013, 06:04:26 PM »
Hello friends,

3) That being said, genuine medically documented cases where absolutely any amount of bread is immediately harmful should be taken seriously.

...

9) There are a number of saints who never (or almost never) received sacramental communion.  Their intercessions should be sought.


With the judgmental comments removed, the relevant content is small indeed.
Father, let us continue to guard our tongues.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 06:07:08 PM by Maria »
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Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #111 on: May 06, 2013, 06:05:13 PM »
8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

Father,

Forgive me for saying it but this is not correct.  The Holy Gifts are not intincted in the Liturgy of St James and many others.  Now if you mean commingling that is a different matter but that only requires a portion of the Gifts.

A voice of sanity.
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #112 on: May 06, 2013, 06:33:15 PM »
To anyone that is curious:

My husband and I have discussed this issue at some length. At the moment we aren't planning to ask for a separate chalice, or anything that would require contacting the Bishop. We are very much in the stage where we just don't know how Taz feels after he receives. It seems to us that making a request to the Bishop is a *permanent* step. At this point it seems that Taz needs to be communicative enough to help with that decision.

We have decided to have him receive infrequently. He has been having a lot of gastro issues lately. This could just be a stage, or it could be because he was communed 3 times between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha. Without hearing directly from him about how he feels, we just can't know what the cause was. He absolutely will not be given any antidoran *ever*. I plan to bring some bread of some sort to give him so he isn't so left out when others receive antidoran. And he won't be holding the bowl of antidoran potentially ever (the kids hold the bowl of antidoran during communion and at the end of service) Receiving every 6 weeks to bi-monthly, should hopefully keep any discomfort/damage to a minimum until we know more.

The difficulty in our situation is the fact that Taz is so young. If he was old enough to communicate, or really if he was ever "normal" to begin with we would have some gauge to know how he is doing. As it stands now, his digestive system is really still healing (he is 19 pounds now!! :) ). And the decision to approach the Bishop is potentially a lifelong change. And Taz really should be involved in that decision as it will impact him for the rest of his life.


Mini rant time:
I will note that I find the current gluten free fad really obnoxious. Everyone wants to get me to read "Wheat Belly" and everyone seems to want to be celiac. The reality is that yes, some people do feel better gluten free because you alter your diet so dramatically. But they don't necessarily have celiac disease. My mother sent me a book that says Celiac is basically the same as IBS and Chrohns ::) I find the fad very, very obnoxious. It is nice to have some GF options, but the number of people that *think* they can understand what we are dealing with is just infuriating. Responses like "yeah, my stomach is upset after I have gluten" while chowing down on some "Gluten free corn chips" make me want to strangle someone. The very idea that someone would *want* to be celiac just makes me angry. And the number of people that think GF=Carb free makes my head spin. GF is anything but carb free. And telling me that I shouldn't give my son rice....well fortunately I have slightly more self-control than I did a few years ago in my response.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #113 on: May 06, 2013, 06:52:45 PM »
Commingling and intincture are pretty much the same where I come from...

8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

Father,

Forgive me for saying it but this is not correct.  The Holy Gifts are not intincted in the Liturgy of St James and many others.  Now if you mean commingling that is a different matter but that only requires a portion of the Gifts.
http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #114 on: May 06, 2013, 06:55:39 PM »
Is this Ortho-speak for, "Shut up, father!"?

You guard your own tongue, and I will manage mine... thank you!


With the judgmental comments removed, the relevant content is small indeed.
Father, let us continue to guard our tongues.

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Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #115 on: May 06, 2013, 08:35:34 PM »
Is this Ortho-speak for, "Shut up, father!"?

You guard your own tongue, and I will manage mine... thank you!


With the judgmental comments removed, the relevant content is small indeed.
Father, let us continue to guard our tongues.


Watch your dismount!

Our adversary the devil roams the world like a lion seeking whom he may devour
(St. Peter).

With record numbers of children and adults suffering from verified allergies, including severe allergic asthma, how dare you to call these people hypochondriacs!

Many celiacs prefer not to be formally diagnosed by doctors as even doctors do not have a verifiable diagnostic test. All doctors can do is check for intestinal damage by means of a very painful biopsy and do genetic tests to check for a family history. Failure to thrive and gain weight is only a symptom. People with celiac and/or gluten sensitivity have a higher rate of suicide and cancer. It should not be so lightly dismissed.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 08:39:31 PM by Maria »
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Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #116 on: May 06, 2013, 08:37:00 PM »
Speaking against a priest..?

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Gospodi pomiluj!
Gospodi pomiluj!

Have this place gone hostile in 1-2-3?
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Offline katherine 2001

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #117 on: May 06, 2013, 09:07:51 PM »
It is not Fr. who is doing the devouring around here.  Also, I thought we were supposed to apply the Scriptures to ourselves, not others.  We should be careful about telling other people to do things that we ourselves are not doing, such as watching our tongues and/or our fingers on a keyboard.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #118 on: May 06, 2013, 09:58:18 PM »
Speaking against a priest..?

Gospodi pomiluj!
Gospodi pomiluj!
Gospodi pomiluj!

Have this place gone hostile in 1-2-3?

No, this thread was quite hostile already.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #119 on: May 06, 2013, 11:24:34 PM »
8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

Father,

Forgive me for saying it but this is not correct.  The Holy Gifts are not intincted in the Liturgy of St James and many others.  Now if you mean commingling that is a different matter but that only requires a portion of the Gifts.

I also do not believe that this is correct.  The current EO practice of dropping the bread into the cup and feeding it with the spoon is a later practice, and from what I have seen in attending some of the OO Liturgies, not a practice that was adopted by all.  In fact, I was told such by the priest that first accepted me into the Orthodox Church.  However, that being the historical case does not make it OK for a modern priest to deviate from the practice that has been handed down to him.  So in that context, I would have to agree with the Father on this one, not that my agreement means anything.

btw - what is the Western Rite tradition?  I have attended WR Liturgies, but have never communed in a WR Church.  I do believe that I remember them first giving the bread and then the cup.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #120 on: May 07, 2013, 12:17:00 AM »
All of the ancient liturgies have an act of uniting the bread and wine.  The practice of putting all the bread in the chalice is EO, but the Coptic and Syriac liturgies all have a particle which is placed in the chalice or submerged in the wine.

The spoon did come later.


8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

Father,

Forgive me for saying it but this is not correct.  The Holy Gifts are not intincted in the Liturgy of St James and many others.  Now if you mean commingling that is a different matter but that only requires a portion of the Gifts.

I also do not believe that this is correct.  The current EO practice of dropping the bread into the cup and feeding it with the spoon is a later practice, and from what I have seen in attending some of the OO Liturgies, not a practice that was adopted by all.  In fact, I was told such by the priest that first accepted me into the Orthodox Church.  However, that being the historical case does not make it OK for a modern priest to deviate from the practice that has been handed down to him.  So in that context, I would have to agree with the Father on this one, not that my agreement means anything.

btw - what is the Western Rite tradition?  I have attended WR Liturgies, but have never communed in a WR Church.  I do believe that I remember them first giving the bread and then the cup.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #121 on: May 07, 2013, 12:35:01 AM »
Maria, you are reading things into my post that I did not write.  Did I say that all allergies are the result of hypochondria?  No, I did not.

There is plenty of evidence that people are misdiagnosing their allergies: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20120220/gluten-sensitivity-fact-or-fad

There is also evidence that many people simply have no allergies whatsoever, but incorrectly self-diagnose: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-27005/Is-food-intolerance-just-fad.html?printingPage=true

That's just a few of the various studies that are out there.  Should we take every hysterical complaint seriously just because people feel so strongly convicted?  No.

The truth is that real Celiac sufferers are being neglected because there are so many people with mild indigestion that claim to have Celiac who are making it a 'joke diagnosis.'  That's the sad part.

So, Maria, I believe you owe me an apology for your rudeness.  Of course, I doubt you will apologize, and you will try to justify your misreading.  However, I'm willing to take a chance that there's something there that might resemble Christian charity.   ;)


Is this Ortho-speak for, "Shut up, father!"?

You guard your own tongue, and I will manage mine... thank you!


With the judgmental comments removed, the relevant content is small indeed.
Father, let us continue to guard our tongues.


Watch your dismount!

Our adversary the devil roams the world like a lion seeking whom he may devour
(St. Peter).

With record numbers of children and adults suffering from verified allergies, including severe allergic asthma, how dare you to call these people hypochondriacs!

Many celiacs prefer not to be formally diagnosed by doctors as even doctors do not have a verifiable diagnostic test. All doctors can do is check for intestinal damage by means of a very painful biopsy and do genetic tests to check for a family history. Failure to thrive and gain weight is only a symptom. People with celiac and/or gluten sensitivity have a higher rate of suicide and cancer. It should not be so lightly dismissed.
http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb

Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #122 on: May 07, 2013, 05:40:06 AM »
Thank you for your clarifications, FatherGiryus! I wholeheartedly submit to them.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #123 on: May 07, 2013, 08:23:55 AM »
Thank you Father for your counsel on this issue. It was very helpful.

I wish to apologize to all on this thread for the hasty and ill considered remarks I made out of frustration on this topic.
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Offline Punch

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #124 on: May 07, 2013, 08:48:15 AM »
Thank you very much for this explanation.  A question for you - does the Orthodox Church believe that the full presence of the body and blood of Christ is present in each individual species (bread / wine), or that it is a requirement that both the bread AND the wine must be consumed to have actually partaken of the sacrament?  We can start a new thread if you want, but I am not really looking for a discussion, just an answer as to the Orthodox teaching on this because I really do not know and could not find an answer.  All I know is the Lutheran belief concerning this matter.


All of the ancient liturgies have an act of uniting the bread and wine.  The practice of putting all the bread in the chalice is EO, but the Coptic and Syriac liturgies all have a particle which is placed in the chalice or submerged in the wine.

The spoon did come later.


8) Without the intincture, the Sacrament is not complete, and there is no getting around this.

Father,

Forgive me for saying it but this is not correct.  The Holy Gifts are not intincted in the Liturgy of St James and many others.  Now if you mean commingling that is a different matter but that only requires a portion of the Gifts.

I also do not believe that this is correct.  The current EO practice of dropping the bread into the cup and feeding it with the spoon is a later practice, and from what I have seen in attending some of the OO Liturgies, not a practice that was adopted by all.  In fact, I was told such by the priest that first accepted me into the Orthodox Church.  However, that being the historical case does not make it OK for a modern priest to deviate from the practice that has been handed down to him.  So in that context, I would have to agree with the Father on this one, not that my agreement means anything.

btw - what is the Western Rite tradition?  I have attended WR Liturgies, but have never communed in a WR Church.  I do believe that I remember them first giving the bread and then the cup.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 08:48:37 AM by Punch »
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #125 on: May 07, 2013, 09:58:25 AM »
Dear Punch,

I know there are voices on both sides of this argument.  There certainly is no dogmatic definition in this regard, but I would say that since the whole notion of Communion is a great Mystery, it should be approached as such.  If someone is literally going to die or have a horrendous physical reaction to bread, then I don't think that Christ is going to insist on someone communing with bread.  Pastorally, I have seen bishops address the opposite problem, wine 'allergy' in the form of alcoholism, by communing alcoholics out of the dried reserve sacrament without wine.

The union of the bread and wine, be it the intincture or commingling or whatever language you want to use (I'm not a liturgical theologian so forgive my imprecise terminology) has a meaning: they are not to be treated as separate elements.  Blood belongs in a Body, and a Body is rightly filled with Blood.  That being said, I think it is a bit presumptuous to say that we know for certain whether there is total and ongoing separation of the two elements because our Lord simply did not get into that.

Communion is an improbably and inexplicable Miracle, and should be treated as such.  I suppose that if our Lord wants to share His Body with a suffering child through only wine, then He can, and would be presumptuous to say, "No , He can't!"


Thank you very much for this explanation.  A question for you - does the Orthodox Church believe that the full presence of the body and blood of Christ is present in each individual species (bread / wine), or that it is a requirement that both the bread AND the wine must be consumed to have actually partaken of the sacrament?  We can start a new thread if you want, but I am not really looking for a discussion, just an answer as to the Orthodox teaching on this because I really do not know and could not find an answer.  All I know is the Lutheran belief concerning this matter.

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Offline theistgal

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #126 on: May 07, 2013, 10:43:06 AM »
To look at it from another perspective.  If someone somehow secretly mixed rat poison in the mysteries or poisoned them before they are concecrated.  Could someone be miraculously spared from death in that situation?  Absolutely, but I don't think God is somehow "obligated" to make sure that no one would die from such a situation.

They are the Body and Blood of Christ and they cannot harm, but our correct faith is needed through all that The Holy Fathers prescribe: fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc.

How much fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc. can a one-year-old child do?
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #127 on: May 07, 2013, 10:54:09 AM »
To look at it from another perspective.  If someone somehow secretly mixed rat poison in the mysteries or poisoned them before they are concecrated.  Could someone be miraculously spared from death in that situation?  Absolutely, but I don't think God is somehow "obligated" to make sure that no one would die from such a situation.

They are the Body and Blood of Christ and they cannot harm, but our correct faith is needed through all that The Holy Fathers prescribe: fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc.

How much fasting, repentance, confession, good deeds, etc. can a one-year-old child do?

I've already addressed this in the shape of how the parents approach the whole thing which can affect the baby. The situation can even be more complicated, if you want to address all circumstances, but I am not going to speak anymore because, as I already said, I feel someone else has addressed the topic better than I can.

Offline Punch

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #128 on: May 07, 2013, 11:17:28 AM »
Thank you again.  I tend to see it the same way.  Communion is for our benefit, not God's.  God needs nothing.  He could make rocks and water his body and blood if He so chose.  I tend to think that if the priest is doing the best he can with what he has (and not out of disobedience or some heresy), and the person recieving the communion does so with faith and the fear of God, God will find some way to bless them.  After all, our Salvation is His gift, as is His Holy body and blood.  If we call something a mystery, we should not try too hard to explain it.  I like the way that you put your response.

BTW - are you the priest that makes the bread stamps out of resin?


Dear Punch,

I know there are voices on both sides of this argument.  There certainly is no dogmatic definition in this regard, but I would say that since the whole notion of Communion is a great Mystery, it should be approached as such.  If someone is literally going to die or have a horrendous physical reaction to bread, then I don't think that Christ is going to insist on someone communing with bread.  Pastorally, I have seen bishops address the opposite problem, wine 'allergy' in the form of alcoholism, by communing alcoholics out of the dried reserve sacrament without wine.

The union of the bread and wine, be it the intincture or commingling or whatever language you want to use (I'm not a liturgical theologian so forgive my imprecise terminology) has a meaning: they are not to be treated as separate elements.  Blood belongs in a Body, and a Body is rightly filled with Blood.  That being said, I think it is a bit presumptuous to say that we know for certain whether there is total and ongoing separation of the two elements because our Lord simply did not get into that.

Communion is an improbably and inexplicable Miracle, and should be treated as such.  I suppose that if our Lord wants to share His Body with a suffering child through only wine, then He can, and would be presumptuous to say, "No , He can't!"


Thank you very much for this explanation.  A question for you - does the Orthodox Church believe that the full presence of the body and blood of Christ is present in each individual species (bread / wine), or that it is a requirement that both the bread AND the wine must be consumed to have actually partaken of the sacrament?  We can start a new thread if you want, but I am not really looking for a discussion, just an answer as to the Orthodox teaching on this because I really do not know and could not find an answer.  All I know is the Lutheran belief concerning this matter.

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #129 on: May 07, 2013, 11:26:14 AM »
Yes.

Thank you again.  I tend to see it the same way.  Communion is for our benefit, not God's.  God needs nothing.  He could make rocks and water his body and blood if He so chose.  I tend to think that if the priest is doing the best he can with what he has (and not out of disobedience or some heresy), and the person recieving the communion does so with faith and the fear of God, God will find some way to bless them.  After all, our Salvation is His gift, as is His Holy body and blood.  If we call something a mystery, we should not try too hard to explain it.  I like the way that you put your response.

BTW - are you the priest that makes the bread stamps out of resin?


Dear Punch,

I know there are voices on both sides of this argument.  There certainly is no dogmatic definition in this regard, but I would say that since the whole notion of Communion is a great Mystery, it should be approached as such.  If someone is literally going to die or have a horrendous physical reaction to bread, then I don't think that Christ is going to insist on someone communing with bread.  Pastorally, I have seen bishops address the opposite problem, wine 'allergy' in the form of alcoholism, by communing alcoholics out of the dried reserve sacrament without wine.

The union of the bread and wine, be it the intincture or commingling or whatever language you want to use (I'm not a liturgical theologian so forgive my imprecise terminology) has a meaning: they are not to be treated as separate elements.  Blood belongs in a Body, and a Body is rightly filled with Blood.  That being said, I think it is a bit presumptuous to say that we know for certain whether there is total and ongoing separation of the two elements because our Lord simply did not get into that.

Communion is an improbably and inexplicable Miracle, and should be treated as such.  I suppose that if our Lord wants to share His Body with a suffering child through only wine, then He can, and would be presumptuous to say, "No , He can't!"


Thank you very much for this explanation.  A question for you - does the Orthodox Church believe that the full presence of the body and blood of Christ is present in each individual species (bread / wine), or that it is a requirement that both the bread AND the wine must be consumed to have actually partaken of the sacrament?  We can start a new thread if you want, but I am not really looking for a discussion, just an answer as to the Orthodox teaching on this because I really do not know and could not find an answer.  All I know is the Lutheran belief concerning this matter.

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Offline Punch

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #130 on: May 07, 2013, 11:28:52 AM »
Yes.


Thank you.  I have three of them.  They work better than any others that I have used.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #131 on: May 07, 2013, 11:39:51 AM »
Thank you.  I am glad you enjoy them.

Yes.


Thank you.  I have three of them.  They work better than any others that I have used.
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Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #132 on: May 07, 2013, 05:07:09 PM »
Hello friends,

I was PMed a while ago to respond, because I run a web site, www.prosphora.org, and occasionally get questions about Celiac.  There are a few issues going on here, so I hope everyone will not mind terribly if I say just a few things in general.

Thank you, Father. Thank you so much.

1) Any type of modification of Communion, or any other Sacrament, lies not with any priest, but with the Bishop.  Period.  Any priest who invents on his own some 'solution' without consulting his bishop is in big trouble, because we do not 'confect' the Sacraments by ourselves, but rather on behalf of the bishop.

Good point.  I think I will ask the bishop if there are any parishes where adjustments are already being made for celiac disease, and attend that parish, whether or not it's pleasing in other ways. 

Someone brought up the idea that I am asking for special things done for me.  That's a good point.  If at all possible, I'd rather not cause extra trouble in that regard.

2) Food allergies in general, and Celiac in particular, have come to be the new fad for upper-middle class white parents, just as ADD and multiple personalities were in the previous decades (these start with geniune cases, but then explode with popular hypochonriatism).  So, we've seen lots of people blame their latest bout of indigestion on Celiac and gluten-intolerance (I've seen a number of these cases come, and mysteriously, go),

This is ... bracing, but probably undeniable.

ignoring the scientific facts that genuine cases are very rare and would not pop out of thing air after infancy.

Not necessarily.  I was diagnosed as an adult.  A bona-fide medical diagnosis.  The doctor saw the flattened villi.  I had the anemia, the falling-out hair, etc. But I get your point.

So, most of us priests have been assailed by the 'helicopter mom' who has a long laundry list of her child's allergies and sensitivities, which almost never include the mother's generalized anxiety disorder bordering on Munchhausen Syndrome.  So, we tune out the weird because we get so much of it.  Forgive us.

*smile*

3) That being said, genuine medically documented cases where absolutely any amount of bread is immediately harmful should be taken seriously.

Thank you. To over-spiritualize this, and deny the reality of it, puts me in physical danger, whether others believe it or not.  Danger I highly doubt is God's will for me.  Or, it leads to me and others receiving thoughtless condemnation.  Accusations are implied toward celiac sufferers that judge either the level of our faith, our sinfulness, or both. It is this that has angered me in this thread, and led to words that were perhaps overly strong.

4) We have a longer understanding of dealing with alcoholics and communion wine.  In such cases, I have heard bishops authorizing the communing of newly-recovering alcoholics with reserve Sacrament, since the Body and Blood have been combined.

I appreciate being presented with these facts.

9) There are a number of saints who never (or almost never) received sacramental communion.  Their intercessions should be sought.

Yes. I don't want to change Orthodoxy.  If I were convinced it were true, and also that it was impossible to receive the Eucharist, I'd attend just to worship without ever receiving and trust God to make up the difference.  I just don't want people judging me or quoting John 6 at me.

You say later:

9) The truth is that real Celiac sufferers are being neglected because there are so many people with mild indigestion that claim to have Celiac who are making it a 'joke diagnosis.'

Yes. That's the sad part.

Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #133 on: May 07, 2013, 05:14:47 PM »
To anyone that is curious:

My husband and I have discussed this issue at some length. At the moment we aren't planning to ask for a separate chalice, or anything that would require contacting the Bishop. We are very much in the stage where we just don't know how Taz feels after he receives. It seems to us that making a request to the Bishop is a *permanent* step. At this point it seems that Taz needs to be communicative enough to help with that decision.

We have decided to have him receive infrequently. He has been having a lot of gastro issues lately. This could just be a stage, or it could be because he was communed 3 times between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha. Without hearing directly from him about how he feels, we just can't know what the cause was. He absolutely will not be given any antidoran *ever*. I plan to bring some bread of some sort to give him so he isn't so left out when others receive antidoran. And he won't be holding the bowl of antidoran potentially ever (the kids hold the bowl of antidoran during communion and at the end of service) Receiving every 6 weeks to bi-monthly, should hopefully keep any discomfort/damage to a minimum until we know more.

The difficulty in our situation is the fact that Taz is so young. If he was old enough to communicate, or really if he was ever "normal" to begin with we would have some gauge to know how he is doing. As it stands now, his digestive system is really still healing (he is 19 pounds now!! :) ). And the decision to approach the Bishop is potentially a lifelong change. And Taz really should be involved in that decision as it will impact him for the rest of his life.

I think this is an excellent plan.  A measured, responsible middle-path.

Mini rant time:
I will note that I find the current gluten free fad really obnoxious. Everyone wants to get me to read "Wheat Belly" and everyone seems to want to be celiac. The reality is that yes, some people do feel better gluten free because you alter your diet so dramatically. But they don't necessarily have celiac disease.

I agree.  And those who dabble in it, give a bad name to those who really have to be more serious about it.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 05:15:46 PM by ElizabethNM »

Offline noahs_mommom

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #134 on: May 09, 2013, 11:36:23 AM »
I've been diagnosed with the blood test and an endoscopy.  and I do notice more and more people go gluten free, but never have the test results to back it up.  These people go on and off the diet, which makes other people think that people with Celiac can go on and off the diet, without anything bad happening.  So it hurts those people that have the disease.  It's extremely frustrating.  Celiac is not a joke, and not something that can be taken lightly.  Also, a lot of Atkins people think they can eat gluten free, and it means the same thing.  Even after you explain it, it takes them a while to understand.

There was an article about a chef that would tell people their food was gluten free, but it wasn't, because he didn't believe Celiac existed.  He said that he never saw a reaction in his restaurant.  Reality is, their reactions came that night, and it's not fun.  People just don't take it seriously.

As an adult with Celiac, I can tell you, Eucharist is hard.  Going through all of these feelings is very very hard, I can't imagine what it must be like for a child.


Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #135 on: May 09, 2013, 11:57:02 AM »
I've been diagnosed with the blood test and an endoscopy.  and I do notice more and more people go gluten free, but never have the test results to back it up.  These people go on and off the diet, which makes other people think that people with Celiac can go on and off the diet, without anything bad happening.  So it hurts those people that have the disease.  It's extremely frustrating.  Celiac is not a joke, and not something that can be taken lightly.  Also, a lot of Atkins people think they can eat gluten free, and it means the same thing.  Even after you explain it, it takes them a while to understand.

There was an article about a chef that would tell people their food was gluten free, but it wasn't, because he didn't believe Celiac existed.  He said that he never saw a reaction in his restaurant.  Reality is, their reactions came that night, and it's not fun.  People just don't take it seriously.

As an adult with Celiac, I can tell you, Eucharist is hard.  Going through all of these feelings is very very hard, I can't imagine what it must be like for a child.



I am praying for you.

Then there are some Celiacs who do not want to accept the fact that they have Celiac disease. They go off and on the diet, but never stay gluten-free. Furthermore, it is more convenient for them to buy the lie that it is all in their heads, and then go and have pizza and Big Macs with their friends, so they take psychotic drugs and pain relievers to dull the symptoms.
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Offline noahs_mommom

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #136 on: May 09, 2013, 08:25:14 PM »
As gross as they are, I really miss Big Macs,  :P.  At least the local pizza joint has gluten free pizza!

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #137 on: December 16, 2013, 07:44:25 PM »
Hi.  It's me again, and I received my answer.

Took the bull by the horns and talked to my Orthodox priest. I'd been put off by his original comment ("The body and blood of Jesus Christ couldn't possibly do any harm") but when I spoke to him, person to person, he listened with care and attention, and understood.  He acted as a true pastor.

He said that provision was made for recovering alcoholics, and provision could be made for me.  He believed that all of the Orthodox priests in the area would agree with him -- "Except maybe the Russian."

My parish priest understands that this is a physical condition.  Regarding the ideas that might attach blame or impute sinfulness to a physical response to a hosting substance -- "That's not Orthodoxy."

Upon hearing some of the opinions set forth in this room, my parish priest rolled his eyes.  He urged me to refrain from getting my information online.

If you are celiac, and wondering, I'd urge you not to waste time talking about it on a board like this, but to go directly to your pastor and ask him.  At the very least, you'll know where you stand.

Offline Maria

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #138 on: December 16, 2013, 09:28:13 PM »
Hi.  It's me again, and I received my answer.

Took the bull by the horns and talked to my Orthodox priest. I'd been put off by his original comment ("The body and blood of Jesus Christ couldn't possibly do any harm") but when I spoke to him, person to person, he listened with care and attention, and understood.  He acted as a true pastor.

He said that provision was made for recovering alcoholics, and provision could be made for me.  He believed that all of the Orthodox priests in the area would agree with him -- "Except maybe the Russian."

My parish priest understands that this is a physical condition.  Regarding the ideas that might attach blame or impute sinfulness to a physical response to a hosting substance -- "That's not Orthodoxy."

Upon hearing some of the opinions set forth in this room, my parish priest rolled his eyes.  He urged me to refrain from getting my information online.

If you are celiac, and wondering, I'd urge you not to waste time talking about it on a board like this, but to go directly to your pastor and ask him.  At the very least, you'll know where you stand.

God grant you many years. Yes, one must learn to ignore some posters and threads here.
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Offline crazyms

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #139 on: December 17, 2013, 02:00:59 AM »
Elizabeth, I'm glad you got your answer. I'm very glad to hear that your priest was understanding on the matter and that you'll be able to receive communion. Since you have gotten valid and decent information I'll refrain from commenting on some previous posts in this thread for the time being. We have just received a preliminary diagnosis of celiac disease for my daughter following an endoscopy and colonoscopy and is awaiting final results from the other tests. I am glad to see that this will likely not affect her future communion. It is a shame that so many people misunderstand celiac disease and right off people with the disease and parents of the diagnosed children as psychotics and hypochondriacs. No one in their right mind would subject themselves to the kind of testing involved in diagnosis or the stringent dietary restrictions involved without just cause. This is not even so simple as to be "just" diet but the hidden gluten found in many other products like my daughter's school supplies that will have to be replaced with more expensive gluten free alternatives. This is not a joke and shouldn't be treated as such like it's been done here by some posters. I wish you the best of luck and am glad to see you have received valid help.

Offline josiah14

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #140 on: February 04, 2015, 11:40:18 PM »
ElizabethM
Hi.  It's me again, and I received my answer.

Took the bull by the horns and talked to my Orthodox priest. I'd been put off by his original comment ("The body and blood of Jesus Christ couldn't possibly do any harm") but when I spoke to him, person to person, he listened with care and attention, and understood.  He acted as a true pastor.

He said that provision was made for recovering alcoholics, and provision could be made for me.  He believed that all of the Orthodox priests in the area would agree with him -- "Except maybe the Russian."

My parish priest understands that this is a physical condition.  Regarding the ideas that might attach blame or impute sinfulness to a physical response to a hosting substance -- "That's not Orthodoxy."

Upon hearing some of the opinions set forth in this room, my parish priest rolled his eyes.  He urged me to refrain from getting my information online.

If you are celiac, and wondering, I'd urge you not to waste time talking about it on a board like this, but to go directly to your pastor and ask him.  At the very least, you'll know where you stand.

Wow,  this is a relief.  I'm Celiac, and have been beating myself up for over a year over this issue wondering if I'm sick, as St. Paul implied in his epistles, because of my sins.  I know I have much to answer for, and I have trouble myself, already, looking my sins straight in the face.  To consider that I might not be able to receive the aid of the Eucharist to aid me in my struggle had be on the brink of tears (without exaggeration).  However, I'm also humbled by the comments.  I'm probably not worthy to receive, and perhaps the most traditional path for me would be the one taken by St. Mary of Egypt, whereby she lived for 40 years in the wilderness and did not receive until the end of her life, but something declarative like a visitation from the Theotokos, as she had, has not indicated that path to me as of yet.  So where is the middle ground for me?

I can honestly say, I have no idea what is right or wrong in this argument.  All I know is, my past experience has lead to me believe that I should not receive the Bread in the Eucharist. 

To give a history of my experience, the symptoms of Celiac/gluten intolerance appeared for me in my early 20's.  During that time, I went from being 6'2" and 178lbs to struggling to maintain 150lbs. It was about 5 years I had symptoms that progressively worsed to the point where I had loose bowels, stomach pain, severe brain fog, complete lack of energy (had trouble staying awake for any length of time, I had joint pain, and paying attention was impossible) and eventually my speech became slurred, even, and I experienced extreme depression because of the terrible quality of my life.  I had been to the swimming state championships in highschool, and was reduced to being unable to even complete a 5 mile bike ride without severe pain and exhaustion. The left side of my face still routinely feels numb under relatively little stress due to the damage done.  I have since undergone a considerable personality change as well -  I can tell my thinking patterns are a bit different and my regulations of hormones and such as well as my energy levels have been permanently affected.  I'm only 29 years old.

To give a background for what causes these symptoms, Gluten Intolerance AND Celiac disease both involve a reaction that produces anti-gluten antibodies.  However, there are other proteins in the body, including the brain, that mimick gluten, and in most cases, these anti-bodies will also attack those gluten-mimicking proteins, which results in damage to the cerebelum (slurred speech), and to many other internal organs besides the digestive system.  The damage is system-wide and very serious.  Those who do not go gluten-free with these conditions are not expected to live beyond 60.  Those who do go fully gluten free, it is yet to be discovered if you can improve your situation - certainly it can't hurt to stop hurting yourself ;).  I know I have permanent damage that can't be undone - however, I have resumed sports after being gluten free completely for about 5 years.

Who figured out my condition?  My now wife, who used to work at a natural food store.  How do I know this is my situation?  If you had been as sick as me, and experienced the improvement from cutting out all gluten, you would not doubt that Celiac or Gluten Intolerance is the culprit, either.  Also, I've made a few sparing errors where I've eaten things such as nuts produced on machinery that processes gluten containing agents to know that I am very sensitive and will notice when I eat gluten.  Go ahead and call me a hypochondriac, I won't be offended, they do exist and I'm fairly analytical, which is easily mistaken for OCD (or accompanied by), so I won't blame you.  Just understand, however, that I will in no way ever trust you with my food, as a result.

What do I think about this thread?  I think this thread pretty accurately represents all of the differing opinions on this subject of The Eucharist and its safety for Celiacs and the like (from now on, I lump Gluten intolerant in with Celiac for brevity).  This being an internet forum, I expected as much.

What I did not expect was the hard-lined responses of the priests on this forum.  Such responses are what almost sent me into a panic - I was about thinking I needed to drop my entire life and flee to a monastery somewhere to do some really severe, well-supervised repentance. I'm not saying I don't need to seriously repent (I certainly do, and have begun a long time ago cutting a lot of common luxuries out of my life to make room for more prayer), but so far I have not considered fleeing my family, friends, and career to spend my life with my face in the dirt begging God for salvation - until now.  Maybe this is the attitude I should have...

Regardless, the general sense that I get is this -> and I say this with all understanding and respect to the people expressing these opinions -> those who have assumed lack of faith on the part of those with Celiac do not understand the pain involved in Celiac disease or what it does to the mind.  I do understand this, first hand, how the gluten attacking my body and brain drove me nearly insane, how 5 years plagued by such severe illness makes life feel like a chore, how the the mind, being tired, cannot even focus the soul on prayer because it struggles only to focus enough to understand the prayer at the most basic level.  The body, being tired, for me, never experienced any physical uplifting or sweetness of prayer, and while I attribute this in part to my being newly baptized as well and inexperienced in prayer and the virtues (I'm only 10 years Orthodox), I must also admit that prayers that bring me near tears now because of their sweetness did not then also in part because my body was too weak to receive that sense of joy.  Sustain such a life for 5 years + 2 years for sufficient recovery, and you will begin to understand.  You begin wishing sometimes for death because living is a burden.  I had no one at that time willing or able to take me in (my family, at that time, had their own problems and could not take on mine in addition, God bless them), so I had no choice but to keep a job during all of this.

Now consider, with what caution would I approach a Chalice containing Gluten, having regained my sanity and my physical health enough to make a new beginning at truely praying, and to feel the prayers as I say them, and to cherish the words of the Scripture, and the teachings of the Philokalia, and the lives of the Saints, in my heart, and sense that cherishing in my emotions, and not just hope for it in theory as before?  My interpretation of my disease is that the cumulative sins of mankind have made the body weak and vulnerable to all kinds of illness.  I am evidence of that, and as such, I bear witness to mankind's sin every time I eat with people, and every time I commune from a separate Chalice that has not come into contact with the Host.  My heart is full of sadness because I cannot receive the Host, but I am also glad that I can receive His Blood, at least.  I often am tempted to ask myself, is it due to my lack of faith that I have prayed numerous times, even participating with the priest in a Menaion asking for healing before the icon of St Panteleimon (who had worked miracles for the monastery the Priest and I were praying at in the past), and still remained unhealed?  I still don't know why, for sure, I have been selected to bear this affliction.  Maybe it is for the sake of the community, maybe it is for my own salvation, maybe both.

I know all of you spoke according to your convictions and had good intentions.  My conviction is this -> the reason for my affliction is not simple, but it is most certainly a result of the sins of all humanity that I bear this aberration in my genetic code.  Whether there is more behind this affliction than that is not for me to know right now.  But pray for me, because as a result of this affliction, I am made more aware that I would be otherwise that I don't even yet know the first thing about how to pray, or even what prayer is, or even how to begin in prayer.  I may be touched sometimes by a prayer, but I don't even know where this comes from, whether it is from God or a deception sent to spark my pride from the evil one.  I know this because I don't even know why I bear the cross God has appointed me, and chances are, I don't know this because I haven't even begun to repent, and don't even know how to repent.  But against all reason and logic, I will continue to approach the Chalice with the blessing of my priest, because the alternative is self-excommunication, which is no viable alternative at all.

In summary, if you have Celiac disease, repent, pray to God, pray with your priest, pray with your bishop, and weep with them over your sins, and decide together how to handle your thorn in the flesh.  I truly believe in my heart after considering these things in my soul that economia is the way to handle this issue.

God bless everyone in this thread, and forgive me, a sinner.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #141 on: February 05, 2015, 09:14:07 PM »
Welcome to the forum, josiah14.   :)

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #142 on: February 05, 2015, 09:34:19 PM »
One thing I've read is that modern wheat is very different from its 1st-century ancestor, and the structure of the gluten protein has changed a great deal during that time, which may be the reason celiac disease is so much more common nowadays. The wheat used in the original Eucharist would therefore differ a great deal from that used today.

Given, that, would it be possible to back breed wheat (perhaps by crossing it with its wild relatives, or just selective breeding) until it resembles the wheat of the first century, or even earlier?

Whether or not such a grain would no longer trigger an immune response in those with celiac disease, of course, isn't known yet.

The other option is to take this pill at around the same time. I believe something similar may be on the market already (I think I saw some pills that break down gluten at Walgreens, but they might not yet be effective enough).

My third and final question, which might be a bit of a long shot, involves the Ethiopians. Did they always use wheat, or did they use teff at one point instead (teff, of course, is gluten free)? I tried searching around on the Internet but got no luck, although from what I've read, wheat was never commonly grown in Ethiopia, with teff always being the primary grain. Hopefully there's someone here who belongs to the EOTC and knows the answer. I suspect the answer is probably no, since if the Ethiopians had used teff-based Eucharist, the other churches would probably have wigged out once they found out (remember all the squabbles between Byzantines, Romans, and Armenians over leavened vs. unleavened?)

I don't have celiac, but I know quite a few people who do.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2015, 09:35:36 PM by Minnesotan »

Offline eddybear

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #143 on: February 06, 2015, 03:31:08 PM »
Welcome to the forum Josiah.

There is a lot in your post, and while I want to reply properly, my end of the week brain is refusing to cooperate! All I'll say is that, having cared for someone with a long term health affliction for many years, I know the struggles that causes, and I pray the Lord will grant you his peace, and the strength to carry this cross that you have been given.

Offline CharalambisMakarios

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #144 on: February 12, 2015, 07:21:48 PM »
Call me faithless, but even though I do believe in the spiritual miracle of the Eucharist, I feel like someone with celiac wanting to take care of their body is a valid concern, particularly if they know they have reactions. I myself have a gluten intolerance. While I am blessed in that I am able to take a small amount (consecrated or otherwise) without suffering any illness, I acknowledge that Christians with just as much or more faith than me may have conditions that do not allow them to do so. In such a case (and again, I'm not Orthodox, so I can't speak with authority) I would talk to the priest, and do what you can, find the best solution that is available.

Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline ShayneSwenson

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #145 on: February 13, 2015, 05:09:46 PM »
Everyone at my parish full on close their mouths on the spoon and the priest pulls the spoon from their mouths, sorta the way you would eat ice cream. It really really grosses me out, especially when the lady with the tuberculosis like cough hacks out a lung, and then slobbers all over the spoon. My wife is interested in Orthodoxy now, which is a miracle in and of itself, and when she finds out we all use a common spoon, it will be a HUGE hurdle for her. She has border-line obsessive compulsive germ issues. This isn't a criticism, or a complaint, or an obstacle to my conversion in any way.
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Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #146 on: March 04, 2015, 08:02:17 AM »

Wow,  this is a relief.  I'm Celiac, and have been beating myself up for over a year over this issue wondering if I'm sick, as St. Paul implied in his epistles, because of my sins.  I know I have much to answer for, and I have trouble myself, already, looking my sins straight in the face. [...]

In summary, if you have Celiac disease, repent, pray to God, pray with your priest, pray with your bishop, and weep with them over your sins, and decide together how to handle your thorn in the flesh.  I truly believe in my heart after considering these things in my soul that economia is the way to handle this issue.

God bless everyone in this thread, and forgive me, a sinner.

Wow. What a beautiful, beautiful post.  There are no words to say any more. Thank you for posting this.

Offline ElizabethNM

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #147 on: March 04, 2015, 09:53:59 AM »
One thing I've read is that modern wheat is very different from its 1st-century ancestor, and the structure of the gluten protein has changed a great deal during that time, which may be the reason celiac disease is so much more common nowadays. The wheat used in the original Eucharist would therefore differ a great deal from that used today.

Given, that, would it be possible to back breed wheat (perhaps by crossing it with its wild relatives, or just selective breeding) until it resembles the wheat of the first century, or even earlier?

I believe something along those lines exists today. It's called einkorn wheat.


Whether or not such a grain would no longer trigger an immune response in those with celiac disease, of course, isn't known yet.

Confirmed celiacs are advised not to try it.


The other option is to take this pill at around the same time. I believe something similar may be on the market already (I think I saw some pills that break down gluten at Walgreens, but they might not yet be effective enough).

As a celiac I've never tried that. It didn't seem sufficient to me.

What impresses me is the wisdom of the church in their fasting diets. What people eat during the most stringent seasonal fast is probably a sufficient amount and healthy type of food on which they could really live forever, and enjoy better health. The rich, fatty, high-protein Western diet isn't really good for us.

Offline CharalambisMakarios

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #148 on: March 04, 2015, 11:34:14 AM »
One thing I've read is that modern wheat is very different from its 1st-century ancestor, and the structure of the gluten protein has changed a great deal during that time, which may be the reason celiac disease is so much more common nowadays. The wheat used in the original Eucharist would therefore differ a great deal from that used today.

Given, that, would it be possible to back breed wheat (perhaps by crossing it with its wild relatives, or just selective breeding) until it resembles the wheat of the first century, or even earlier?

I believe something along those lines exists today. It's called einkorn wheat.


Whether or not such a grain would no longer trigger an immune response in those with celiac disease, of course, isn't known yet.

Confirmed celiacs are advised not to try it.


The other option is to take this pill at around the same time. I believe something similar may be on the market already (I think I saw some pills that break down gluten at Walgreens, but they might not yet be effective enough).

As a celiac I've never tried that. It didn't seem sufficient to me.

What impresses me is the wisdom of the church in their fasting diets. What people eat during the most stringent seasonal fast is probably a sufficient amount and healthy type of food on which they could really live forever, and enjoy better health. The rich, fatty, high-protein Western diet isn't really good for us.

I would agree. This is my first year trying the Lenten fast and though I can't stick to it all the time because of the scarcity of options in my school cafeteria, I've noticed that even with the fasting I am able to do, I feel a lot healthier. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't primarily for my physical health, but it's a nice side effect.

Offline wgw

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #149 on: March 07, 2015, 04:32:58 AM »
As Instated in another thread, my own view is celiac disease is an evil attempt by the devil to interfere with our sacraments.  I think each Orthodox jurisdiction should have a CHief Medical Officer who among other things would be responsible for treating Celiac patients in the jurisdiction, with the help of Orthodox doctors in each region who would volunteer, so they could safely receive the Eucharist.

I do believe that the Eucharist cannot harm us per se, and that it is the body and blood of our Lord, but if celiac sufferers do have reactions from it this to me simply seems to be the devil at work.  Demons can inflict physical harm; we know this from the Life of St. Anthony.  And hey could certainly cause the damage Celiac disease causes, in order to weaken our faith in the reality of the Eucharist. 

So how do we stop them?  Provide treatment for the symptoms of Celiac disease, or use genetically modified wheat with reduced gluten, or both, and at the same time do this knowing we are not actually treating bona fide Celiac disease but a demonic attack on a celiac sufferer designed to match the symptoms of Celiac in order to shake our faith.  If we do this, it's possible they'll become frustrated and give up.  But either way, our faith will be strengthened.
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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #150 on: March 07, 2015, 06:17:56 AM »
If you are celiac, and wondering, I'd urge you not to waste time talking about it on a board like this, but to go directly to your pastor and ask him.  At the very least, you'll know where you stand.
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Offline mike

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Re: Orthodox Communion and Celiac Disease ?
« Reply #151 on: April 19, 2015, 01:15:47 PM »
Necroalert.

A couple of days ago I saw a link on fb about one parish in Russia (Moscow or Petersburg) starting to use gluten-free liturgical bread. Not read it, though.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 01:15:57 PM by mike »