Vatican City, May 3, 2018 / 12:58 pm
After several German bishops appealed to the Vatican over an alleged proposal to allow non-Catholic spouses in mixed faith marriages to receive communion, the Church's top authority on doctrine has sent the ball back, saying Pope Francis wants Germany's bishops to come to an agreement among themselves.
Released after a 4-hour meeting between German bishops and the heads of certain curial offices, a Vatican communique said that Archbishop Luis Ladaria SJ, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the bishops that the pope "appreciates the ecumenical commitment of the German bishops" and asked them "to find, in a spirit of ecumenical communion, a possibly unanimous decision."
It is not clear whether a "possibly unanimous decision" asks the German bishops' conference for a fully unanimous vote on the issue, or asks for a nearly unanimous decision, or whether the bishops are simply being asked to discuss the matter further to see if they can resolve the issue themselves before a central authority steps in.
The Vatican declined to comment on the meaning of the phrase.