Pope asks German bishop to make “unanimous” decision on intercommunion

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German bishops disagree on the content of a pastoral guide written by Cardinal Marx on the Eucharistic participation of Protestants who are in mixed marriages.

There are two sides. The one represented by Cardinal Marx proposes to turn into a norm what is already being practiced: that a Protestant spouse of a Catholic who regularly accompanies the spouse to Mass and believes in the Eucharist, can also receive communion.

The other side, held by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, believes that this is not a pastoral issue, and that it cannot be solved unilaterally by an episcopal conference. Therefore, the bishop asked the Vatican to clarify the issue.

These two cardinals, and a group of bishops from Germany, met with Vatican Curia representatives, headed by Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Ladaria told them that Pope Francis 'appreciates their ecumenical commitment' and asks them to try to find a “possibly unanimous arrangement.”

According to the Vatican spokesman, the meeting was in a 'cordial and fraternal atmosphere.' They faced 'various points of view,' speaking about how to resolve “the relationship of this question with the faith and with pastoral care, [and] its relevance for the universal Church and its juridical dimension.”

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