Eight-year-old Monmouth County girl stirs debate inside Catholic Church

An eight-year-old Monmouth County girl is stirring a debate inside the Catholic Church.

Haley Waldman has a disease called Ciliac Spruce that prevents her from eating any type of gluten, including the wheat-based communion wafers. Since Haley took her First Communion with a rice-based wafer, the bishop of Trenton refuses to recognize it. Haleys mother, Liz Pelly-Waldman, says this is because the churchs definition of bread is wheat.

Haleys mother has sent many letters to the Vatican asking the Catholic Church to permit the use of a gluten-free bread as a communion wafer. Her letters have yet to be answered.

The church does offer alternatives to the wheat wafer that contain extremely low amounts of gluten. However, Haleys mother says even trace amounts of gluten could make her sick.

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