Münster, Germany, May 14, 2018 / 13:28 pm
The unresolved debate over a proposal to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive communion in German dioceses under some limited circumstances has gathered steam after the country's president waded into the debate at the major national Catholic conference in the town of Münster.
The planned proposal has been championed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, president of the German bishops' conference, who announced in February 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".
Subsequently, seven German bishops, led by Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for clarification, asking 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.
Speaking in an interview with EWTN this week, Cardinal Woelki reaffirmed his position, calling for all parties to "consider and recognize that the Eucharist is ordered to the unity of the creed".