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Cardinal Müller, “German Bishops Cause Strife Instead of Unity”

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has criticised the decision of the German bishops to give Communion to Protestants living in mixed marriages.

He said to Die Tagespost (February 28) that bishops have no authority to decide questions of Faith in a way that contradicts the Faith. Abandoning doctrine “for the sake of the salvation of the souls” would imply “that we correct God who in his commandments was not able to anticipated all individual cases.”

Further, the Germans’ presupposition that receiving Communion has little to do with professing the Catholic Faith leads to the co-existence of several confessional communities who contradict each other. But this, Müller explains, “cannot be the will of God.”

He does not deny that there may exist “emergency situations” when non-Catholic may confess and receive Communion. But, “A mixed marriage is no emergency situation.”

The German Bishops’ reference to “a decision of conscience in individual cases” is therefore according to Müller a “rhetorical trick” and pleonasm, “Decisions of conscience cannot be taken but on a case-by-case bases.”

Now the German bishops will be faced with unwanted consequences, Müller warns: How can they give Communion to Protestants but refuse it to Catholics who do not pay the German church tax. Or, In future German Protestants may ask for confirmation while wanting to remain Protestants.

According to Müller the decision will cause strife in the Church's own ranks instead of promoting unity with the Protestants.

Picture: Gerhard Ludwig Müller, © Elke Wetzig, CC BY-SA, #newsEonvvbwrpa
...that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned...the Church will be full of those who accept compromises...
- Sister Agnes, Akita, Japan. October 13, 1973