Pope to German bishops: find ‘unanimous’ decision regarding intercommunion

Pope to German bishops: find ‘unanimous’ decision regarding intercommunion May 4, 2018

From Vatican News:

At a meeting in the Vatican on Thursday, senior Vatican officials and members of the German Bishops conference held a conversation on a set of pastoral guidelines announced in February. The German Bishops’ Conference at the time approved the development of the guidelines, which would potentially broaden permission for non-Catholic Christians who are married to Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, released in the wake of the encounter, the meeting took place in a “cordial and fraternal atmosphere.”

The German Bishops had been called to Rome by Pope Francis after “a not inconsiderable number” of Bishops expressed their opposition to the proposed guidelines. Seven diocesan Bishops appealed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts for clarification.

During the conversation, which took place in German, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, explained that Pope Francis “appreciates the ecumenical commitment of the German Bishops” and asks them to seek “a possibly unanimous arrangement”.

The Press Office statement said that during the meeting, various points of view were discussed, concerning, for example, how the question of extending permission to receive Holy Communion relates to the Faith and to pastoral care; the relevance of the question to the universal Church; and various juridical aspects of the question. “Archbishop Ladaria will inform the Holy Father about the content of the conversation,” the statement said.

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