That's Catholic media professional Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz's question. In an email to GetReligion, Szyszkiewicz writes:
The gluten-free host bit is old. The regulations have been in place for years and, for some reason, were raised again, this time by Pope Francis.
Cardinal Sarah's letter is almost entirely made up of quotes from previous documents and nothing more. It's obvious that the journalists who reported on this didn't read the text to see that it's a rehash — or they didn't care about that fact.
So what's the purpose of the reporting? To make the Vatican look like a bunch of bad guys who don't give a damn about celiacs?
What reporting is Szyszkiewicz talking about?
Here's the lede from the New York Times:
The unleavened bread that Roman Catholics use in the celebration of Mass must contain some gluten, even if only a trace amount, according to a new Vatican directive.
The directive, which was dated June 15 but received significant attention only after it was reported by Vatican Radio on Saturday, affirms an existing policy. But it may help to relieve some of the confusion surrounding church doctrine on gluten, a protein that occurs naturally in wheat and has become the subject of debates over nutrition and regulation.
The issue is especially urgent for people with celiac disease, a gastrointestinal immune disorder that causes stomach pain, diarrhea and weight loss and that can lead to serious complications, or for those with other digestive conditions that make them vulnerable even to small amounts of gluten.
Many other people who do not have celiac disease may nonetheless have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, and yet others have adopted a gluten-free diet in the belief that it is healthier — although science is far from clear on this point.