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Pope declines to rule on German bishops’ intercommunion proposal

May 04, 2018

Pope Francis has declined to rule on the validity of a policy approved by the German bishops’ conference, which would allow non-Catholic spouses of Catholics to receive Communion.

The policy was approved by a majority of the German bishops, but a substantial minority objected, and seven German bishops wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) asking for clarification on whether the policy was in line with Church teaching.

At a May 3 meeting at the Vatican, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, the prefect of the CDF, told a delegation of the German hierarchy that the Holy Father wished them to continue discussion of the issue among themselves, hoping for “a possibly unanimous arrangement.”

During their visit to Rome, the German bishops spoke with officials of the CDF, the Congregation for Bishops, and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. The Vatican announced after the meeting that Archbishop Ladaria would report to Pope Francis, giving him a summary of the conversations.

In April, a widely circulated report indicated that the CDF had ruled against the German bishops’ proposed policy. The German bishops’ conference denied the accuracy of that report.


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  • Posted by: pmmillison469380 - May. 08, 2018 7:59 PM ET USA

    It appears that the laity are demanding in Catholic blogs that bishops speak up about the confusion wrought by this pope.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - May. 05, 2018 11:15 AM ET USA

    Such a grave and obvious deviation from the very meaning of the Eucharist and furthermore, an obvious ploy to introduce Communion for the divorced and remarried! Northern Germany, Cyprus and perhaps a few other places are provoking an obvious schism. What is the Pope's function if not to end this awful turn of events?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - May. 05, 2018 1:00 AM ET USA

    Why am I not surprised. This Pope continues to create confusion by not being clear. What the German bishops propose is wrong. To say go back and study the issue some more only shows the Pope's lack of leadership again.

  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - May. 04, 2018 4:03 PM ET USA

    In not immediately rejecting an obvious desecration of the Eucharist, Francis again proves his unfitness for his office. I pray for his resignation daily.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - May. 04, 2018 3:19 PM ET USA

    Refusing to defend the teachings of the Church is an abdication of his position as Pope. He is basically saying "Whatever you agree to, hopefully unanimously, is OK by me."

  • Posted by: rghatt6599 - May. 04, 2018 2:21 PM ET USA

    Once again the pope says, "Who am I to Judge?"

  • Posted by: feedback - May. 04, 2018 11:37 AM ET USA

    Having no opinion on this, or having one but keeping it only for oneself, hidden from the Church, is really not an option for the Pope.