The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has reportedly rejected a planned proposal by the German bishops’ conference to publish guidelines permitting non-Catholic spouses of Catholics to receive the Eucharist in some limited circumstances.
Austrian news site kath.net has reported that Vatican sources say the CDF, with papal approval, has suspended the German bishops’ proposal, and sources close to the congregation have confirmed this to CNA.
It is not clear whether the Vatican has asked the bishops’ conference to modify the contents of the draft guidelines, whether they have suspended the development of a draft while the matter is considered further, or whether it has been entirely rejected.
In February, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising announced that the German bishops’ conference would publish a pastoral handout for married couples that allows Protestant spouses of Catholics “in individual cases” and “under certain conditions” to receive Holy Communion, provided they “affirm the Catholic faith in the Eucharist”.
Last month, seven German bishops sent a letter to the CDF and to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity asking for clarification on the matter. The signatories did not consult beforehand with Cardinal Marx.
The seven bishops asked whether the question of Holy Communion for Protestant spouses in interdenominational marriages can be decided on the level of a national bishops’ conference, or if rather, “a decision of the Universal Church” is required in the matter.
The letter was signed by Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg, Bishop Gregor Hanke of Eichstätt, Bishop Konrad Zdarsa of Augsburg, Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, and Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.
CNS reports that the the German bishops deny that the CDF denied their request, and Cardinal Mark will speak to His Holiness. See article below:
Who are we to believe? Answer: When in doubt, go to the Catechism. No prelate has authority to go against the validly recognized source of the “deposit of faith.”
Phil Lawler wrote this in 2016 about witnessing the USCCB meeting in Dallas in 2002:
What the bishops “didn’t get” is the simple, stark reality that they were the problem.
Of course, the Marx-Germans insist that the Vatican did not reject their position on Protestant Spouse Communion. Who knows, given the character of the present Vatican, what was truly said, or will be said after the Germans protest.
For decades, our Popes feared the Germans and those under its spell. Don’t expect a burst of orthodoxy from the Vatican, although the Holy Ghost might get tough here.
True, the Church still has the promise of Divine assistance —– “I will be with you until the end of days.”
Cardinal Mueller answers quite validly here :
Cardilnal Mueller is right. I was always told that only those non Catholic Christians whose priests had valid ordinations could take Communion from a Catholic priest in an emergency. In other words, those of the Orthodox churches or those Anglicans whose bishops had been ordained by an Orthodox bishop, All others could not do so because their bishops, priests or ministers did not have Apostolic Succession.
Canon Law 844 treats of this.
I read the third paragraph to say the status is totally unclear. The Vatican may take quite a while to review this.