Okay, I'll admit I don't know a lot about the Catholic Church, but the article I read online today about a little girl being denied communion and being told what she took (a rice wafer instead of wheat) was invalid because it didn't contain wheat--something that could possibly kill her!-only multiplied my confusion.
Here, I'll excerpt the article for you:
"'It's just not a viable option. How does it corrupt the tradition of the Last Supper? It's just rice versus wheat,' said Elizabeth Pelly-Waldman (the mom).
Church doctrine holds that Communion wafers, like the bread served at the Last Supper, must have at least some unleavened wheat. Church leaders are reluctant to change anything about the sacrament.
'This is not an issue to be determined at the diocesan or parish level, but has already been decided for the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world by Vatican authority,' Trenton Bishop John M. Smith said in a statement last week....
... The church has similar rules for Communion wine. For alcoholics, the church allows a substitute for wine under some circumstances, however the drink must still be fermented from grapes and contain some alcohol. Grape juice is not a valid substitute...
....'This is a church rule, not God's will, and it can easily be adjusted to meet the needs of the people, while staying true to the traditions of our faith,'"
The last part is the most true. This is a church rule, not God's will. This poor little girl and her mother (who was also recently diagnosed with the disease) just want to follow God and do His will for their lives.
I honestly don't know what to say to that...I know what I want to say...heck, it's my blog, I'll say it. Grow up, dear old Catholic Church. I agree that the sacraments are Holy, don't get me wrong, but a wheat wafer and wine do not make it Holy. What makes it holy is the experience and the heart of the person. If you choose to take communion with oreos and milk, then good for you, as long as your heart is in the right place. Communion, like faith, is an act of obedience between you and God.
I'm not one to argue Christianity and faith...for one, I don't feel like I know enough, but for another, I don't feel like arguing does anyone any good. I go to a church that does not use wine, we use welches. I've been to services where, in a pinch, wheat thins and soda were substituted for the bread and wine.
Faith, a relationship with God, communion...they're about the heart, not about the doctrine. It goes back to that oversimplified yet somehow increasingly valid 'mantra' of the Christian Church...
"No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible."