VATICAN CITY – Starting next week, Catholic worshipers around the world will receive a gluten-free version of the Body of Christ during the Holy Communion, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi announced on Saturday.
Father Lombardi said Pope Francis is set to issue an official decree later this week calling on Catholics to abstain from consuming products containing gluten on the grounds that Christ himself led a gluten-free lifestyle. “There are dozens of references throughout the bible that suggest Jesus abhorred the consumption of gluten,” Father Lombardi said.
Making an example out of Proverbs 23:2, which states that one should “put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony,” Father Lombardi said that Vatican scholars have spent more than eight years pouring over ancient texts in an effort to determine what link, if any, exists between gluttony and gluten in the biblical sense. The verdict, Father Lombardi said, is surprising. “Gluttony and gluten are one in the same,” he explained, adding that hundreds of translations over a span of nearly two thousand years have contributed to faulty and, often, misleading texts.
“This discovery has left the Holy See with no choice but to conclude that the mere act of consuming gluten is in fact, a deadly sin,” said Father Lombardi. “The Holy See will -in the coming weeks, determine the best course of action for absolving the sins of the dead.” By the Catholic Church’s own estimate, more than 400 million of its followers could have faced eternal damnation due to the improperly translated text.
In a memorandum posted on its official website and distributed worldwide on Saturday, the Vatican called on churches around the globe to place a temporary moratorium on the Sacrament of the Eucharist until gluten-free wafers can be distributed. In the meantime, the Vatican is asking that church leaders immediately locate and destroy any current inventories of the tainted sacramental bread.