Vatican City, Apr 30, 2018 / 06:16 am
The Vatican confirmed Monday that a delegation of six German bishops and one priest will meet with Vatican officials, including the head of the CDF, later this week to discuss the issue of the reception of the Eucharist by non-Catholic spouses of Catholics.
The meeting will take place May 3 with Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Fr. Hermann Geissler, head of the department’s doctrinal section.
The German delegation, which includes Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising and Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, will also meet with Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Fr. Markus Graulich, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
The meeting takes place following reports, later denied by the German bishops’ conference, that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had rejected a planned proposal by the conference to publish guidelines permitting non-Catholic spouses of Catholics to receive the Eucharist in some limited circumstances.
In February, Cardinal Marx, announced that the 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.”
The announcement concerned a draft version of the guidelines, which were adopted “after intensive debate” during a Feb. 19-22 general assembly of the German bishops’ conference under the leadership of Cardinal Marx, who is the conference chairman.
The German delegation will also include Bishop Felix Genn of Munster, as well as both the president and vice-president of the conference’s doctrinal commission, Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg.
Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg, president of the commission for ecumenism of the German bishops’ conference and Fr. Hans Langendorfer, general secretary of the conference will also take part.