Jesus crackers: Vatican officials won’t discuss changing the recipe

Jesus crackers: Vatican officials won’t discuss changing the recipe March 14, 2019
Image via YouTube

THE Catholic Church won’t be changing the recipe for the Eucharist – once described as just a ‘frackin’ cracker‘ by biologist P Z (Pharyngula) Myers – any time soon.

A heated discussion about the recipe was sparked by Brazilian priest Fr Francisco Taborda, SJ, 80, last month when he suggested that yuca – a root plant common in the Amazon  – could be used instead of wheat. He pointed out that the traditional Eucharist was made soggy by Amazonian humidity at various times of the year, and that yuca – also called manioc or cassava which is the source of tapioca – could be used as a substitute.

But Vatican officials said there are no current plans to allow a change.

A spokesman for the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops said that the priest’s suggestion was “exclusively personal” and do not represent official plans.

The Catholic Church regards wheaten bread and wine as the only suitable matter to be used as species for confecting the Eucharist, the “central mystery” of the Catholic faith.

Bishop Fabio Fabene said that a change from the millennial formula of bread made from wheat alone as matter for the Eucharist does:

Not appear in the preparatory document for the special assembly next October and, therefore, is not a subject of the next synod.

He was referring to the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region which is scheduled for October at the Vatican.

Catholic priest Charles Pope. Image via YouTube

Msgr Charles Pope warned of an “attack” on the Eucharist in a National Catholic Register article:

A number of controversial subjects have been proposed for the agenda, including the ordination of married men. Another proposal is to permit the replacement of the bread used in the consecration of the Eucharist with yuca. This must be opposed vehemently; it should be peremptorily struck from the agenda.

He added:

The Church has long been quite specific that the bread for the Holy Eucharist must be made with pure wheat flour. Nothing is to be admixed – no honey, no nuts, no other grains. This purity is necessary for validity … It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.

Clear enough? Apparently not for some, who now wish to toy with or even discard this ancient, precise definition of what constitutes valid matter for the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. This is essential to get right. Proper matter and form, along with a validly ordained priest, are essential for the Eucharist to be validly confected. Proper matter for the Eucharist is not hard to get right – and it is essential to get it right.

Really, the discussion should end here — but, sadly, exotic and highly dubious ideas such as this one have become daily fare in this era of weaponized ambiguity.

He went on:

Of course, there are simple solutions to the problem of mushy bread. How about plastic food storage containers or plastic wrap? There are easy ways to keep food protected from moisture and other things that cause spoilage. Vacuum packaging could also be used. Does Fr Taborda really suggest that we should take this radical and dubious step of redefining the matter of the Blessed Sacrament simply because of humidity? Come on!

With mounting hysteria he writes:

This proposal goes to the heart of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Church, the very Sacrament meant to be the source of our unity. If anything should not be a local variation, this is it. May the Lord Jesus, the Most Blessed Sacrament Himself, save us from such awful thinking.

A simple request from me, just a lowly priest: Please, Holy Father and good bishops of Brazil and the Amazon synod, do not even allow this proposal to be considered. Radically toying with the very matter of the Most Blessed Sacrament should not be a discussion at any local synod or, I would argue, even at an ecumenical synod.

If it does show up as a topic of discussion at any official synod, it should be refuted by the Pope and every Synod Father. Getting the matter of the Holy Eucharist right is not hard. Please don’t take what is straightforward and convolute it.

Phew. All this over a ‘frackin’ cracker!’

"The Evangelical Christian misfits abound in the USA 2019."

Pompeo butters up Christians; angers Jews, ..."
"Like the UK's grovelling to the bigots!"

Northern Ireland WILL have legal abortion ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    They should consider the change, because no one wants a soggy Jesus in their mouth.

  • Chris T. Christian

    Kind of weird that god would demand a cracker that could give many people the runs.

  • Broga

    They must have lots of time on their hands and I can see they are looking for ways to fill the empty hours. But there must be something more worthwhile than obsessing about this: e.g. stacking supermarket shelves, cleaning public toilets.

  • epeeist

    I make a fair amount of bread (see below for examples).

    Assuming that the last supper actually took place one has to ask what the bread would have been made with. It certainly wouldn’t have been the wheat flour that is currently used, it could have been Kamut, Emmer or Spelt. This being so, one has to wonder why cassava could not have been used.

    Oh, and I note that one can get gluten free communion wafers.

  • Tawreos

    Only white vatican approved bread will transubstantiate into white vatican approved Jesus.

  • barriejohn

    Who’da thought it; Jesus becoming flaccid when taken in the mouth?

  • barriejohn

    One of my favourite films remains the original version of The Fly (Vincent Price). I can see all sorts of problems should foreign matter like fruit and honey get mixed up with the genes of the lovely Jesus. What sort of a monstrosity might one be left with? Talk about the Gingerbread Man! Perish the thought.

  • llDayo

    Oh, and I note that one can get gluten free communion wafers.

    Since they’re meat they’re already gluten free…

  • MR

    Nice. I’ve only been able to bring myself to do no-knead bread. There’s a whole world of bread out there.

  • llDayo

    Priest: This is my body given for you. Do this in the remembrance of me.
    Communion Manager Angel: Ok….pure wheat flour…no honey, no nuts, no other grains. Alright, this wafer is granted approval for transformation.
    Priest Taborda: This is my body given for you. Do this in the remembrance of me.
    Communion Manager Angel: Ok…yuca? You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!! How could someone commit such BLASPHEMY! The Lord Almighty will NOT stand for this! Letting kids suffer at the hands of priests was the limit but no wheat flour in your wafers?! GRRRAHAHH!!

  • Raging Bee

    This Pope who isn’t the Pope guy has WAAAAAY too much time on his hands. And apparently not much desire to spend it on more urgent matters. (And why is anyone listening to his opinion anyway? Is he an Inquisitor?)

    And isn’t the miracle of Transubstantiation, you know, a MIRACLE? From ALMIGHTY GOD? How would a bit of honey or nuts interfere with that?

  • TXGunner1

    We could use Soylent Green instead. Far more appropriate.

  • kilda

    once again,the Catholic church manages to have bizarre priorities.
    -Priests abusing kids? not really a big deal. I mean, it was just plain vanilla sex.
    -Me and my wife, both women, loving each other and being married? Very big deal, not ok. Downfall of civilization and all that.
    -The two of us raising traumatized children adopted from foster care and giving them a good life? So not ok.
    -Nuts or other grains getting into the communion wafers? To quote: “May the Lord Jesus, the Most Blessed Sacrament Himself, save us from such awful thinking.”

    Well ok then. There’s God’s church on earth for you.

  • TXGunner1

    Someone was going to go there. If not you it would have been me.

  • epeeist

    Most of my bread is no-knead. I autolyse, stretch and fold several times over a four hour period and then retard the fermentation in the fridge overnight.

    I bake in the morning in an oven which has a steam injector.

  • larry parker

    Yuca might turn into brown jesus instead of white jesus.

  • Raging Bee


  • Raging Bee

    Jesus was Middle-Eastern…so we’d have to use Soylent Olive.

  • Raging Bee

    I love how this article is illustrated with a pic of Irish Redhead Jesus holding up a white wafer as the immutable standard.

  • Raging Bee


  • Raging Bee

    I’m not touching that with a ten-foot pole. (A NON-SOGGY pole, thankyouverymuch!)

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, no knead to restrict our options…

  • Raging Bee

    In fairness, they’re basically saying this ISN’T a priority, which is why they’re not going to talk about changing it. Offhand, it looks like the only Church person making it a priority is this Pope guy, who seems to be auditioning for Bill Donohue’s “job.”

  • MR

    Yeah, that would be crumby…

  • Jim Baerg

    or a 3 meter ukrainian either.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Do you think it might be a wind-up?

  • Broga

    How can we tell?

  • Tawreos

    You folks know I tend to get crusty when people try to do pun runs, right? =)

  • MR

    Oops, I didn’t mean to make a pun, I just spelt that wrong.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I will rise to the challenge and start a new pun thread its the yeast I can dough.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    So the magic spell that turns the wafer into the flesh* of jesus only works on one recipe for bread? Why don’t they just upgrade the rule book and change the spell? AD&D does that ALL the time.

    *And I thought canabalism was supposed to be BAD.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Catholic god really is a wimpy deity. So easy to defeat. Iron chariots, prayers to satan, rock music, porn, meat on fridays (oh wait I think they changed that), sex (especially gay sex), science books, comic books. The list of things that hurt the all powerful creator of the universe just goes on and on.

  • Jim Jones

    It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.

    If only they were as pure about fucking little boys in the ass. There seem to be no rules there.

  • Raging Bee

    Well, that would certainly explain all the twisted mutant versions of Jesus we’ve been seeing since day one…

  • Die Anyway

    If God were real, I wonder if He would really care? I grew up Protestant… Presbyterian… and most Sundays the “wafers” were just cubes of Wonder Bread cut up by a couple of church ladies just before the communion service. And not real wine either, Welch’s Grape Juice. I’m not real sure what the church’s stance was on transubstantiation. I seem to remember that the ritual was supposed to be symbolic, not literal, but I wasn’t paying real close attention to details. There was a tall redhead in the teen group that I was paying all of my attention to.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Good idea. I’m sure I can pull an appropriate recipe from To Serve the Son of Man.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    ¡No lo permita Dios!

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Apparently, the “Ordination of married men” is merely a controversial topic of spirited debate, not the unspeakable abomination of a strange type of magic cracker.

  • M. Reid

    Well, I guess my suggestion to replace the sacramental wine with an 18 year-old Speyside single malt is right out….

  • Matt G

    Shouldn’t an omnipotent God be able to turn ANY plant product into human flesh?

  • Matt G

    I trust you will soon be leaven this thread?

  • Matt G

    I guess I’d be wasting my time proposing a barley and hops alternative.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    With some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

  • Sophotroph

    I love watching them argue over whether eye of newt or tongue of bat is the more proper reagent for their magic spells.

  • Freethinker

    Not sure if a ‘recipe’ change will do anything to alter the fact that this is symbolic ritualized cannibalism.

  • barriejohn

    You’re right. The practice of eating your god goes back long before Christianity arrived on the scene, and the Aztecs were doing it before their Christian conquerors arrived:

    I love the first comment, about “plagiarism”!