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Sometimes it seems as if …

... the Catholic Church WANTS to chase people away.

From ABCNews.com: Like many Catholic children, Haley Pelly-Waldman, 9, had looked forward to her first communion. ... Four years ago, the New Jersey girl was diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder called celiac disease, leaving her unable to eat wheat — not even the tiny amount in the wafer at the communion table. In order to accommodate Haley's medical condition, her priest substituted the wheat wafer with one made of rice. But ... the Diocese of Trenton, said, "Bread, to be valid matter for the eucharist, must be made solely of wheat." The local diocese ruled that Haley's first communion didn't count, and reprimanded the priest who gave her that rice wafer. [Read the complete story here.]

So a priest has the power to turn bread into the body of Christ during Mass, but not if the host is made of rice? If we want to get picky here, a host (even one made of wheat) isn't really BREAD, is it? It sure doesn't look like any bread I've ever eaten.

Where did these flat little wafers come from, anyway? Hundreds of years ago they didn't use them, right? So at some point, they switched from bread to wafers. And someone chiseled in stone that the wafer had to have wheat in it?

Is it just me or does it seem utterly ridiculous to exclude this devout little girl from experiencing the sacrament of Communion but to allow someone like Terri Schiavo, who is pretty much unaware of her surroundings, to partake?
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