Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

A few moments after saying the communion rite, the priest looked at his congregation and uttered easily the most disturbing thing I have ever heard said in a church: 'If anyone wants a gluten-free Eucharist, please queue up on this side.'

The builder boyfriend, already grumpy at being made to go to mass, tittered behind me. We hadn't been able to find two seats together so I now had to imagine him making a series of faces to my back.

I couldn't resist. I had to turn round and seek his opinion on this most revoltingly PC of moments. I have been going to mass off and on like the bad Catholic I am all my life but I have never heard anything so ludicrous.

As the congregation started queuing for communion, I turned round as discreetly as I could and the builder b's face was a picture. His response was everything one could have hoped for: 'They'll be offering halal communion next.'

He whispered it, but he whispered it loudly enough for several pews full of worshippers to hear, so it produced a few gasps.

But he's right. Where does it all end?

Strictly speaking, for us Catholics for whom transubstantiation really happens, the Eucharist is the body of Christ, so vegetarians are going to cut up rough if the Catholic Church wants to start going down the literal route. But I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Pope gave in to food allergies. He won't allow divorce, extra-marital sex or birth control but wheat intolerance? The might of Rome is no match for wheat intolerance.

The Catholic Church presumably knows that if it were to fight 'fad' diets it would eventually do itself out of the few million people left who are willing to troop down to mass every Sunday.

While every poor soul in the developing world is happy to eat anything, every spoilt idiot in the western world is allergic to some perfectly innocuous foodstuff that they claim will kill them if they eat a molecule of it. No dietary assumption is too illogical or too scientifically baseless for us to trumpet it.

It has entered into middle-class legend that carbohydrates are poisonous as surely as it has become a well-known fact in chattering circles that if you place silk flowers on the dashboard of your Volkswagen it will render it carbon neutral.

I have girlfriends who say, 'What? …

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