The bishops also proposed that the decision to receive the Eucharist should be left to the individual's judgment, in discussion with a priest.
Following the promulgation of the letter, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called the bishops to attend a series of meetings at the Vatican.
The CDF also issued a corrective letter in October 1994, reaffirming Church teaching that the divorced-and-civilly-remarried may not receive Holy Communion "as long as this situation persists," unless the couple decides to live in continence.
In 2015 Lehmann was identified as having belonged to a group of progressive reformer cardinals, who are said to promoted alternative candidates at the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, and are rumored to have promoted the election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis.
It was dubbed the "St. Gallen Group," after the host of their discussions, the Bishop of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Ivo Furer.
The group is said to have also included Cardinals Godfried Danneels, Walter Kasper, Ad van Luyn, and Achille Silvestrini, as well as the now-deceased Cardinals Basil Hume, Jose da Cruz Policarpo, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Carlo Martini, and Lubomyr Husar.
It met primarily between 1995 and 2006, discussing various topics, including papal primacy.
The group's meetings were first revealed in an authorized biography of Cardinal Danneels. At the book's launch in Brussels in Sept. 2015, Danneels said the group called themselves "the mafia."
In 2005 Lehmann participated in the papal conclave that elected Benedict XVI, and in the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.