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Cardinal Kasper says Catholic-Lutheran couples should be allowed to share Communion

December 15, 2016

Cardinal Walter Kasper has said that the Church should move to allow Lutherans who are married to Catholics to share Communion.

Cardinal Kasper—whose proposal to extend Communion to couples who are divorced and remarried opened a heated worldwide debate within the Catholic Church—told the Italian daily Avvenire that he hopes the next major step by the Vatican will allow “Eucharistic sharing” for couples in mixed marriages. The German cardinal said that the inability of Catholic-Lutheran couples to share Communion is an “urgent pastoral problem” in countries like Germany and the US.

The former president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity indicated that he did not think the time is yet ripe for such a step, but that it is only a matter of time before the Vatican adopts a policy allowing for “Eucharistic sharing.”


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Dec. 16, 2016 10:41 AM ET USA

    If you ask Ma and Pa Lutheran out in the Midwest whether their Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, they will say "yes". That does not mean, of course, that the Catholic Church should admit them to Communion.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Dec. 16, 2016 9:59 AM ET USA

    Years ago, my Lutheran wife and I met with the pastor of a parish I was joining. She had rarely felt welcome in Catholic parishes. He encouraged her to worship, but asked her to respect that the Eucharist is for those in communion with the Church. The way he put it was so loving that she enthusiastically embraced the teaching. I think she would be offended if it were changed. What was the point in her forsaking Communion with her family for the past 20 years if it really was licit after all?

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Dec. 15, 2016 10:11 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Kasper seems intent to remake the Church that Jesus Christ founded into one of Kasper's own design. Does the term heresiarch spring to mind?

  • Posted by: Conor Cook - Dec. 15, 2016 8:41 PM ET USA

    The "urgent pastoral problem" is catechesis, sacramental and liturgical formation, and apologetics. Why on earth should a Lutheran married to a Catholic receive Communion? What is the theological reasoning? I recognize the pastoral problem that couples in that situation feel a strain, but why shouldn't they? They are NOT in full communion. That's the point!

  • Posted by: johnmaria6985 - Dec. 15, 2016 7:12 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Kasper is an “urgent pastoral problem.”

  • Posted by: mwean7331 - Dec. 15, 2016 6:11 PM ET USA

    ALC is absolutely right about the current slate of bishops in our midst. As to Cardinal Kasper and his liberal proposals it sounds to me like we have another Luther on our hands and we may be witnessing another schism. The Catholic church seems to be becoming more Protestant by the day. . When did Lutherans recognize the Holy Eucharist as the real Body and blood of Christ? If you choose to wed a Catholic does that turn you into a Catholic? We certainly need Holy Spirt

  • Posted by: claude-ccc2991 - Dec. 15, 2016 6:03 PM ET USA

    Chapter VIII of Amoris was "for the children". Now, an intercommunion plea "for the couples". This is not so much pastoral as emotional. I understand from Lutheran siblings that their belief is that Jesus is somehow associated with the bread, which remains. This construct is clearly refuted by Scripture. So, at the very least, a union in Communion must be preceded by unity in belief. Otherwise, Lutheran communicants misperceive what they receive, and objective Eucharistic sacrilege is committed.

  • Posted by: ALC - Dec. 15, 2016 12:15 PM ET USA

    You know, if it were up to Card. Kasper, we should just throw out all Catholic doctrine and let anyone decide what they want to do and it would be OK with him. Hasn't he ever heard of the slippery slope? Little by little, our doctrines are being eroded. I pray that the Holy Spirit will do something to rein in all the cardinals and bishops who seem to be leading their people astray.