The Gluten-Free Jesus Strikes Again

 Posted by on March 31, 2011  Add comments
Mar 312011

As somebody remarked today when I told them this, It’s beyond mediaeval.

That’s right.  It is.

Driving along, trying to find a decent bit of news on the radio, I stumbled across the dreaded Derek Byeeee Mooney talking to some reporter about – wait for it – communion bread.  I’m not making this up.  RTÉ sent a reporter out to some convent to report on the nuns making the wafers for communion.

Let us reserve comment on why the national broadcaster might consider this riveting listening, because I want to tell you something about the communion wafer mix.  According to Canon Law, it can’t be gluten free, which means that Coeliac people can’t have it.  I knew this already because a priest of my acquaintance was coeliac, and when he asked for a derogation, he was told to go fuck himself.  In Latin.

So what are the alternatives? asked the reporter of the none-too-bright nun who was explaining the process.

Oh, they have to use the chalice.

Do they now?  Seven-year-old kids and recovering alcoholics have to drink the wine?  Well that’s very Christian of Mr Pope, I have to say.

You see, the Vatican is extremely particular about the chemistry of all this.  If you allowed the nuns to use gluten-free flour, who knows what would happen when the priests waves his hands and says Hubba-Hubba!!  The thing might not turn into Jesus at all.  It might become fucking Jedward.

It isn’t every bread that can turn into Jesus.  There’s no point waving your hands at the Mammy’s boiled fruitcake, for example.  That will turn into David Norris.  And if you try it with a packet of Marietta, they’ll all turn into Mrs Doyle.

No good.  Neither Norris nor Doyle died on the cross to save the banks.

It’s got to be perfect.

You know when you’ve been out on the piss all night, or maybe even for two or three days without sleep, and the whole thing is a haze of alcohol, brown acid and Latvian hookers?  And then, you stop into a church you pass along the way?

Well, it might happen that the preacher is waving his hands like a holy rail-gun, firing bullets of sanctity at the bread, but of course, there’s lots of that holiness irradiating the church too.  A Catholic Fukushima with no sea-water to cool it, and there has to be some kind of overspill.  Yes?

Well, here’s my question.  Supposing you happened to have a half-eaten kebab in your pocket that you forgot about from the other night, just before that incident you’d rather not discuss.  Would the rays from the priest’s fingertips penetrate your liquor-sodden clothing and transmute your tasty take-away meal into a Jesus-kebab?

Or suppose you were planning to visit a favourite and wealthy auntie with a packet of Jaffa Cakes but got caught up in an orgy of drink- and drug-fuelled debauchery by mistake?  And you woke up inside the organ of a cathedral with a Mexican  dance troupe and a medium-sized bag of mescalin?  And there’s the priest waving those fingers and suddenly ZAP!! Your Jaffa Cakes are a band of Mariachi Messiahs?

Jesus Christ!!  Not good.

Fortunately, I think I know the answer.

Since your kebab and your Jaffa Cakes are likely to be foil-wrapped, there’s little chance that the transmutation rays can penetrate and do real damage.   At the very worst, they might turn one of your biscuits into Mother Teresa for a few seconds.  Nothing to worry about.

That’s all right then.  I’m not sure about the science of it, but I might submit a paper to the Catholic Alchemy Journal anyway and see what they think.

  58 Responses to “The Gluten-Free Jesus Strikes Again”

Comments (58)

    Bock auld son, whatever your on, order one for me also. Oh, and whatever your having yourself!


    all these rituals, it’s great. Don’t forget the rest of the F/X. There’s the PING and there’s the smokey-smelly stuff – the incense. For an illiterate nobody in 16th century Ireland (and perhaps now and elsewhere as well?), it must be really impressive with the PING-A-LING, there’s SMOKE coming out of a little ball, and hand-waving and finally you get a bicky. What a wonderful world! If Hollywood was to know about these Special F/X, making movies might be less expensive.


    I went to an Orthodox ceremony in Riga a couple of years ago. It was wonderful theatre, and the polyphonic singing was astounding. But of course, the religion part is still bullshit.


    So, there’s a recipe for Jesus?


    So it seems.

    Check flour for gluten content.
    Add flour …


    For any nerdy RC’c, here’s the reference:-

    The wafer is to be made of unleavened bread made from wheat. Wheat contains gluten. End of.

    Good Lord.. what will the PC brigade be demanding next ? Alcohol free wine ?

    Pussified, that’s what yiz are !


    Bock – you have just proven that God does not exist, ‘cus if he did, you would have been struck down by a bolt of lightning.

    do you agree, Bock?



    Oh shit!


    And the ‘Born-Agains’ use Ribena instead of wine! (Please don’t ask how I know this!!)


    From the theological perspective, the Church’s power over some elements of the sacraments is not absolute and must respect those elements which it understands as having been determined by the Lord himself. Exactly the same standards that allows Priests to finger little boys arseholes and claim they are merely on a quest from their God.


    Bock on a not unrelated subject I share the following personal experience:

    It was my first Sunday in my current parish and it was the first
    service of the day. I am not sure if this is a common complaint among
    colleagues but I find I am more inclined to coughs and tickles in the
    throat at an early hour. On this particular Sunday I had a serious
    coughing fit during the Eucharistic prayer which I am sure raised
    questions among the congregation as to the wisdom of my appointment.
    At one point I was certain I was going to expire and barely recovered
    myself in time for the administration of Communion.

    As I distributed the Holy Communion one of the congregation while
    kneeling at the rails proffered me a small round disc which I assumed
    was some sort of celiac bread substitute. I proceeded to consecrate it
    and handed it back to her. She looked at me in horror and handed it
    back to me again while simultaneously whispering ‘It’s a fisherman’s
    friend – Its for your throat!’  As you can imagine I was mortified at
    what I had done and can only assume that I am the only person to have
    ever consecrated a fisherman’s friend lozenge. We often joked about it
    since and even since her death the story still comes back to haunt me
    from time to time – Apparently it even reached the corridors of
    Maynooth.  My foolishness is well known and widely celebrated!


    A typical piece of anti-entrepreneurial begrudgery from Bock.

    Here at Epoptial Enterprises we are about to launch the homeopathic host – dehydrated water with a memory of the body of our saviour, having been filtered through the Turin shroud.

    But I expect you are going to poo-poo that in your usual communistic fashion.

    Today I’m wearing the green jersey and I have to say it feels particularly snug, nay, sensual even.


    I think I can shed some holy light on this glutenous communion mystery. JC wafers have to be gluten-free, because the Last Supper was a Passover Seder. So all present, including JC Himself, were eating matzo. Of course, they (the wafers) weren’t bodily JC yet, because He was still bodily there. (Interesting that you posted this right before Passover in about 3 weeks – you a prophet or something?)

    According to Western Christian belief, matzah was the bread used by Jesus in the Last Supper as there he was celebrating Passover; Communion wafers used by Roman Catholics (as well as some Protestant sects) for the Eucharist are flat. Some Orthodox Christians use leavened bread, as in the east there is the tradition that leavened bread was on the table of the Last Supper. However, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church churches, unleavened bread is used for communion (called qddus qurban in the lithurgical language Ge’ez). In Koine Greek matzah became known as ??????, Greek for unleavened bread. The term is no longer widely used in English but was used by the Catholic Church in the Douay-Rheims Bible.

    See the whole article for more on matzo. I never heard of gluten-free matzo until now – I thought that the whole idea was that it had to have had the potential to rise, therefore needed gluten. Learn something new all the time!

    The following is from Wiki on Sacramental Bread (article called communion_wafer):

    In the Latin Rite, unleavened bread is used as in the Jewish Passover or Feast of Unleavened Bread.

    But, OTOH,

    The Eastern Orthodox Church continues the ancient practice of using leavened bread for the Eucharist. Thus, the sacramental bread symbolizes the Resurrected Christ.

    Leavened…resurrected…get it?

    See also this:

    The Matzoh and the Eucharist (for the gluten intolerant)

    So now it all makes sense – no?*

    ( * that’s a hint to another thread…)


    Did you find out if they had biscuits or currant cake at the Last Supper? Or a nice cup of tea?


    Good one Paddy Anglican!
    Isn’t it just as well when she whispered in your ear, that she didn’t say “Father would ya like to suck on a fisherman’s friend?
    “Jayus missus, says you, don’t ya think we priests are in enough trouble as it is, ha?


    Jesus, Stephen, that was a bit of a faux pas. But come here, am I not correct in thinking that your team don’t claim to turn the stuff into Jesus?


    I’d say the old Jaffa Cakes would be immune to the RC mumbo rays.

    Unless they were some class of Lutheran ones.


    @HQ; How’s tings?


    No mention of the rest of the menu here, other than wine and bread:

    Although the rabbis question whether it could have been a Passover Seder, since there’s some important stuff missing in the description.

    Can’t tell what they’re eating so much in Leonardo’s painting:

    Although there seems to be a couple of plates of meat or something, and even a croussant on a small plate. No cups of tea, though. Click on the picture (and again to zoom) and take a look for yourself. If Leonardo really knew anyway.

    But you all might be interested in this version, later in the Modern Art part of the article::

    In 2004, Irish artist John Byrne created “Supper”, a 9.3 by 2.2 metre photo screen-printed onto vitreous enamel, depicting his modern Irish take on the painting with 13 everyday Dubliners. The piece is displayed outdoors in the Millenium Walkway north of the Millennium Bridge in Dublin.[18]

    And maybe you can see what they ate better in this painting:'s_Last_Supper

    Here’s one link gotten searching “last supper menu” (eel? pork??):

    Bon appetite! (pass the wafers…)


    Talk about getting the wrong end of the stick; or loaf in this instance. As far as I can make out from the few gospels that are available today, when Jesus told the guys to ‘do this in memory of me’, he was actully telling them to party on down whenever they thought of him. Seems obvious to me anyway.


    Happened to find this. Do you realize how seriously Catholics take this wafer business?

    Myers described the level of harassment including multiple death threats leveled against the student, and accusations against the student which included hate crime, kidnapping, and intent to desecrate the wafer which Catholics consider a mortal sin.

    See here for the whole story:

    Click on “mortal sin” there to see more (if you can handle it).

    It’s just amazing what people allow themselves to believe.


    Forgot to emphasize: realize who is being “kidnapped” there…


    Would you eat a pig?


    After many years of being conditioned not to, it would be hard to bring myself to. But even if I would, not a whole one!

    But what’s the difference if I would or not? The question is, would JC have or not. Being Jewish, was he still observing “every dot and tittle of the law”, or was he already Christianally beyond the law? I mean, Christians eat pig, don’t they?


    The question was in response to your comment that it’s amazing what people allow themselves to believe. And I agree with you. I think Christian beliefs are utterly crazy, but I think the kosher laws are also absolute nonsense.


    Bock – In answer to your question we believe in ‘Real Presence’ – Real does not neccesarially mean physically real but doesn’t rule it out! Before you say it – yes we sit on the fence ;)


    Stephen — I said nothing. You know what I think about it all. If I absolutely had to put my name down as a member of some church, your guys would get the vote every time. It’s a truly great set-up. Not only would I be welcomed into the church despite being an atheist, but I’d have a constant supply of crab-apple jelly.


    Don’t forget the strawberry jam and chocolate biscuit cake :)


    Very nice but I’m a traditionalist myself. In County Limerick, the Prods always went for the crab-apple jelly and a few scones to go with it. Obviously. Not to mention a nice cup of tea.


    I wouldn’t say absolute nonsense. You could probably find some health reasons. And a lot of it is just to keep Jews seperate from other people. That makes religious sense, if not real sense.


    You’re right. Not absolute nonsense.

    Let’s call it near-absolute nonsense instead. As you said, it’s amazing what people allow themselves to believe. Having recently read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, I’ve come to the conclusion that people will believe any old shit.


    I’d rather not get into a discussion about how close to absolute it is.

    Re GELN&D, yeah – if God didn’t write it, which seems nearly absolutely true, then it is just fiction, partly historically based. And wishful thinking, as far as the good moral stuff in there (I know, there’s a lot of not good also…).


    I’d be interested to see the religious laws banning the consumption of high-cholesterol foods or those containing too much salt.


    Well, I hope that you’re really interested and not just looking for an argument, so here goes:

    “Bodily health and wellbeing are part of the path to God, for it is impossible to understand or have any knowledge of the Creator when one is sick. Therefore one must avoid anything that may harm the body and one must cultivate healthful habits”

    (Maimonides, Laws of Personality Development 4:1).


    I always enjoy an argument. You should know that, being a regular visitor, but i don’t like a quarrel, so we’ll keep it rational.

    Of course, rational is not a description you could apply to all kosher laws, and as far as I know, not even the most orthodox rabbis claim that all the laws make logical sense. Some are simply the word of the Creator, and as you say, some are there in order to set the Jews apart as a separate people. Some Jewish scholars argue that setting themselves apart was the most disastrous thing the Jews ever did, but that’s for another discussion.

    I want to be careful to make sure that this doesn’t become another in the endless arguments about Judaism, but I think we can dally on it for a moment as yet another example of religious insanity, to go with the insanity of Catholicism and Islam.

    It’s true that some of the dietary rules have to do with health. I personally wouldn’t eat carrion either, or insects. But you know, people in hot climates all over the world eat molluscs, lobsters and octopus with no ill effects whatever. People everywhere eat bacon, and get on fine. I had a dear friend who was orthodox, and every Saturday morning, he used to sneak down to the local cafe for bacon and eggs before going home for his chicken soup. He didn’t die of bacon poisoning. He died of old age.

    The instruction that one may eat animals provided they chew the cud AND have cloven feet is pure Monty Python. So is the instruction to eat only fish that have scales and fins. People all over the world eat shark and ray, and they grow healthy on them.

    Since Leviticus and Deuteronomy were the word of God, one might expect that the all-knowing one would be familiar with cholesterol and high blood pressure. What did he have to say about saturated fats and salt? I know that fat is trimmed from the meat, but isn’t that because the fat was what was sacrificed to the deity?

    If he was doing his job properly, like al Lah, shouldn’t he have banned alcohol — one of the biggest health hazards known to mankind?


    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner – sleep overtook me (happens sometimes – should happen more often!).

    I know you like a good argument – that’s how I got here, way back when you posted about Fritzl, may he rot in a dark basement. But to keep this rational – that will be kind of hard, since we’re talking about religion!

    I’ll present this to you as I’ve learned it, not that I agree with it, or its divine origin anymore.

    There’s basically two kinds of laws: sensible (called mishpatim) and nonsensible (called hukim. Sounds a lot like “kooky”, I just noticed). But nonsensible in a good way, not as nonsense. The sensible ones we would have thought of on our own – like don’t kill, don’t steal, etc. – so we just get more credit since they are now also commanded. The nonsensible ones are done more as an expression of submission to God’s more all encompassing knowledge; that even though we don’t understand them, doing or not doing them has a beneficial effect on us and the universe.

    I would agree that a lot of Judaism is religious insanity like others, although Jews I think have been smarter about how they framed the insanity. Which is why we survived until now, and also why everyone else hates us so much. And it all made some sense when we didn’t know any better, which was for most of human history.

    Agreed that sometimes the kosher laws correspond to health concerns, and other times not. Probably had to do more with the local cuisine. I’d like to hear more about your orthodox friend, though (anonymously, of course)! Did you ever try to talk him out of it?

    Regarding cuds and cloves, and scales and fins: I wouldn’t go far as to say Monty Python. For the first ones, it’s a very efficient way of identifying which animals are forbidden (if you must forbid them) – and there are only apparently four animals that have only one crieria and not the other, which is one of the things Jewish missionaries use to show God’s omniscience – who else could know that there are only four? Of course, it could have been god-like ETI’s, but they don’t like to consider that possibility.

    Of course He – or Whoever – would be familiar with cholesterol, salt and high blood pressure. But, like I quoted before from Maimonides, people are supposed to act healthily as far as they can figure out. But it’s true that God could have commanded a low cholesterol, low salt diet also, but doesn’t seem to have. Maybe we’re supposed to figure out some things on our own. Pretty bad excuse, actually. Yeah, those fats were sacrificed – but maybe that was God’s roundabout way of preventing people from eating them! Although for the unholy meat eaten by regular people, they could eat that fat if they wanted to, so bad reasoning again.

    Alcohol is not banned, but regulated. You see clearly in the Bible how overdoing it is not good – Noah, Lot, etc. But properly doing it gives one the good benefits of alcohol – fellowship, altered consciousness, making an event or day special, etc. Most things are like that – good in the right amount. Of course, again, God would have known that we weak humans have a hard time limiting our vices, and He could have also made us have a built in limit on partaking of them, for example.

    Interesting to think about this stuff. Thanks. Hope that this is interesting for everyone else, too.


    Of course I didn’t try to talk him out of it. I thought it was hilarious.


    I just read this really good article about the super rich in America. It really belongs in one of the other threads about economics, but I just don’t know which to put it in. It sort of relates here to why the Jews have been so successful, although it’s a weak relationship. But read the article, Bock, and maybe put it somewhere else too, or start a thread. It’s really good:

    Inequality – Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

    By Joseph E. Stiglitz


    But if he was your friend, wouldn’t you want to help him see the real light, and not just laugh at him?


    I too have a long time friend of Jewish persuasion, For years our little circle of friends slagged him off unmercilessly for his unapologetic salute to extreme stinginess and his love of the mighty ” Rasher “.
    When I visited him I would create roaring fires in contradiction to his stingy 2 sods of turf and the freezing conditions of his house built piece by piece as he waited out materials to get free or as people gave him to shut him up ! Regardless of his extreme budget we all love him, He does get fraustrated when he gets visitors and we all sit around, He sits there imagining all the work he would get done if we were’nt so lazy.

    However, A couple of years ago his centurion Father passed away and willed him gazillions, He suddenly became obsessed with investments and after much deliberating choose to invest all in AIB shares for his impending old age ! Never visit him now without bringing food.
    Kind of off topic ? I have a theory that the harder we try to hold on to something, The more likely we are to lose it.


    I didn’t laugh at him. I laughed with him.


    Oh – that’s OK then. ; ) But it never occurred to either of you to go beyond the fun and have him think about what he was doing and believing?

    Norma – very interesting and pathetic guy. Down, up, and then down again. But we’re talking about an orthodox type of a guy. Doesn’t sound like your friend’s Jewishness made a difference.


    He was orthodox in the sense that his wife would have killed him if he slipped.


    Oh, that kind – poor guy. Assuming that they didn’t get married like that, who changed – him or her? By me, I did.


    I don’t know. He was much older than me. A very learned man with a profound knowledge of Jewish laws and history. Some time, I must write a post about him. A couple of years ago, I made a visit to Auschwitz, partly to honour the memory of his parents who were murdered there.


    S1LU. I would’nt dream of questioning anyone about what they are ” Doing and believing ” Who am I to think they should / could / would be different, He ( friend ) always and still does claim his ” Jewishness ” makes all the ” Difference ” and again, Who am i to contradict him ?
    Dont we all have a bit of ” Interesting and Pathetic ” going on ?


    Sure – but not pathetic like this guy! And you weren’t laughing with him like Bock was with his friend. That’s why I asked him, not you. ; )

    Bock – too bad you didn’t grill him about his profound knowledge a little more – maybe he would have made you change your mind…

    Quite honorable of you to make that Auschwitz visit (I knew that you weren’t 100% offensive). Was it together with him? Not that far a tripo for you, is it?


    S1LU. Wow ! I said absolutly nada about laughing with or at anyone, Nor do i think an eccentric friend is ” pathetic ” Dont judge me re ” Laughing at a friend ” It was a mutual understanding, Given a long time friendship and the humour developed with trust regarding our very opposing fiscal views, Me being the extravagant type and he being of the more frugal variety, You might want to have that ” cup of tea ” largely recommended for cooling it a bit.


    Come on guys. Let’s lighten it up.


    OK. But I wrote this comment already anyway, so will post it. To be taken lightly : )

    I said that you WEREN’T laughing at him, UNLLIKE Bock with his friend. And you may not have called him pathetic, but your description of his is one of a pathetic person. Maybe “unfortunate” would be better. I mean, to be extremely stingy (your description), then to be a gadzillionaire “obsessed with investments” (also your words), then back down to being so poor that you always bring him food – I call that pathetic (in an empathetic way). Anyway, I didn’t say that YOU thought he was pathetic – that was my description of him.

    No hard feelings?


    what if the bread jesus broke and gave to his disciples was money? perhaps at previous gatherings they was much squabbling over the ordering of the meal and the dividing up of the bill. jesus in his wisdom, decided to split up what money he had left (he’d have no need of it in a few days anyway) and let them order and pay for what they wanted themselves.


    Interesting idea – wonder if bread had the conotation of money back then also.

    Computer going in for service, so will be offline for a day.


    This is a common misconception due to a translation error. What Jesus actually broke was wind. Do this in memory of me, he said, and everyone laughed.


    Ah – now is THAT slander?

    Oops – mixing up posts…


    No. That’s blasphemy.


    Well, depends on if he was really God or not. Or if he really was or not.


    It doesn’t. All it depends on is whether enough people believe he was God.


    That’s kind of true – blasphemy in the eyes (mind) of the believer. But if he was and was God, then it would also be blasphemy in the eyes of the Blasphemed.



    Your mephostopholes munchie is your only man.

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