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Canonist: German archdiocese has no authority to change rules for receiving Communion

October 11, 2013

If the Archdiocese of Frieburg, Germany, has adopted a new policy allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, it is an apparent violation of Church norms, points out canon lawyer Edward Peters.

Freiburg’s Archbishop Robert Zollitsch resigned in September, and his successor has not yet been appointed. Peters cites Canon 428 #1: “When a see is vacant, nothing is to be altered.” A change regarding the rules for receiving Communion—and particularly a change that countermands the rules of the universal Church—would surely constitute an alteration in the affairs of the archdiocese.


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