The Catholic Church today announced that it has sold the exclusivity rights for the manufacture of Communion Bread to Pat The Baker for an undisclosed fee. The company are understand to be in the final stages of perfecting a recipe for a loaf hospitable to harbouring the ghost of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

It’s time for Jesus Bread to enter the 21st century,” said a church spokesperson. “Falling church attendances can surely only be attributed to the fact that we have failed to keep pace with recent advancements in bread. Today’s Communion Wafers just don’t make the grade, they’re awful. It’s churlish of us to expect anyone, in today’s food-savvy world, to be happy with being served something that seems like it would’ve been used to stuff a mattress in a Victorian orphanage.”

It was thought that the clergy may have been less receptive to the proposed changes, however, one Fr. McNally believes that it is all in the name of progress. “What with the whole Tuam thing, the maternity hospital and… well, just years of widespread systemic abuse in general, the church has been coming under a lot of flak lately. Well this seems like the sort of suitably hollow gesture that we can point to to illustrate the church’s willingness to change with the times. And besides, I love their ads ‘Today’s Bread Today’. Oh wait that’s Brennan’s isn’t it? Fuck, who’ve we got?…”

Further plans are apparently in place to expand the range of culinary options available during sermons to hopefully entice even more ex-church-goers to return. One church in Dublin, The Presumption Of Mary’s Virginity, is even piloting a deli. Those in attendance will be able to choose from a range of meats and salads to accompany their Communion Bread, all of which have been blessed with the Holy Spirit. They say they are looking to combine two of this nation’s historically favourite past-times; pledging blind obedience to a mysterious deity and consuming incredibly cholesterol-laden foods. Brandon Throng, one of the lay-parishioners who helped implement this scheme said “It’s great, you can now save your soul with some of the freshest meats and salads that we could find from retailers that would deliver on a Sunday.”

Unfortunately there were a few hiccoughs at the launch event thrown by Pat The Baker to announce the deal. A publicity stunt recreating the miracle of the loaves and the fishes- in collaboration with John West LLC- went awry after an employee’s child, afflicted with coeliac disease, ate one of the complimentary sandwiches and, making an absolute pig’s ear of digesting the gluten, began to be violently ill. A priest in attendance, erroneously believing the child to be rejecting the Holy Spirit infused bread, tried to perform an exorcism on the panicked boy. The holy-water doused child was subsequently rushed to hospital where he made a full recovery.

It is understood that the old communion wafers will still be manufactured, they have been licensed instead by Amazon to be used as a cheap, biodegradable packing material.