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German prelates, Vatican officials to huddle on Communion for non-Catholic spouses

April 30, 2018

A delegation of German bishops will visit Rome this week, to speak with leading Vatican officials about a controversial policy, approved by the German bishops’ conference, that would allow the non-Catholic spouses of Catholics to receive Communion under some circumstances.

The German bishops’ policy was rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), according to reports that circulated earlier this month. However, the German bishops’ conference denied that the report was accurate.

The German delegation will be led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the episcopal conference, who has been a champion of the proposed policy. However, it will also include Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, one of several German prelates who wrote to the CDF in March, arguing strongly against acceptance of the policy, which they said would be a blow to the unity of the Church.

The Vatican announced on April 30 that the visiting German bishops would meet with Cardinal Luis Ladaria, the prefect of the CDF, on May 3. They are also scheduled to meet with Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, and other officials of both the CDF and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. (The latter office, which is responsible for the interpretation of canon law, could shed light on the apparent conflict between the German bishops’ proposal and existing Church law.)


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  • Posted by: filioque - May. 01, 2018 1:51 PM ET USA

    Yes,he could fire Cardinal Marx and his friends.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Apr. 30, 2018 9:40 PM ET USA

    Reports said the Holy Father backed the CDF, despite the German bishops conference's protestations. Has Rome not spoken? The Holy Father has an opportunity here.

  • Posted by: filioque - Apr. 30, 2018 6:45 PM ET USA

    What is there to talk about? It should be a short meeting. But why have a meeting at all? These days, sadly, anything can happen.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Apr. 30, 2018 12:43 PM ET USA

    That a Cardinal should have to travel to Rome to be taught why Holy Eucharist cannot legitimately be given to a non-Catholic... well, it tells us a lot about the state of the Church in general, and of the Church in Germany in particular.