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Vatican Rejects German Protestant Communion

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has sent a letter rejecting again a never published document of the German bishops’ which allows Protestant Communion.

According to Sandro Magister, the letter (May 25) is written by the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Ladaria and addressed to Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

Ladaria writes that he spoke to Pope Francis on May 11 and May 24 and that Francis has called the German document “not ready for publication".

Ladaria gives three reasons:

• the [hasty] decision of the Germans regards the Church worldwide, not only Germany,
• the decision effects ecumenical relations with other Churches and ecclesial communities,
• the decision effects the interpretation of Church law, Canon 844, that allows Protestant Communion only in cases of “grave necessity” [imminent death]

Picture: Rainhard Marx, Rainer Maria Woelki, © Raimond Spekking, CC BY-SA, #newsOlqczhhvfc
Lisi Sterndorfer
A zig-zag tactical move in the Peronist mould?
Lisi Sterndorfer
It is hard to imagine a more total defeat for the ecumenism of indifference than this letter from this pope, in whom its advocates have placed such great hopes.
Joseph a' Christian
False Francis' homosexual bishop's are duplicitous.
They celebrated Martin Luther's 500th anniversary, with a lesbian lutheran "bishopette."
Christ's faithful are a remnant,
Seidenspinner
Shouldn't this same logic apply to Amoris Laetitia and the Communion question?
Tesa
Your Eminence, Most Illustrious President!

At the end of our fraternal conversation on May 3, 2018 on the document "Mit Christus gehen…" [“Walking with Christ. On the path of unity. Interconfessional marriages and joint participation in the Eucharist. A pastoral guide from the German episcopal conference"] we determined together that I would inform the Holy Father about the meeting.

Already in …More
Your Eminence, Most Illustrious President!

At the end of our fraternal conversation on May 3, 2018 on the document "Mit Christus gehen…" [“Walking with Christ. On the path of unity. Interconfessional marriages and joint participation in the Eucharist. A pastoral guide from the German episcopal conference"] we determined together that I would inform the Holy Father about the meeting.

Already in our audience of May 11 2018 I spoke with Pope Francis about our meeting and gave him a summary of the conversation. On May 24 2018 I again discussed the question with the Holy Father. Following these meetings I would like to bring to your attention the following points, with the explicit approval of the pope.

1. The multiple ecumenical efforts of the German episcopal conference, in a particular way the intense collaboration with the council of the Evangelical Church of Germany, deserve recognition and appreciation. The joint commemoration of the Reformation in 2017 has shown that in recent years and decades a foundation has been found that allows bearing witness together to Jesus Christ, the savior of all men, and working together in an effective and decisive way in many areas of public life. This encourages us to move forward with trust on the road of an ever deeper unity.

2. Our conversation of May 3 2018 showed that the text of the guide raises a series of problems of noteworthy significance. The Holy Father has therefore reached the conclusion that the document is not ready for publication. The essential reasons for this decision can be summarized as follows:

a. The question of admission to communion for evangelical Christians in interconfessional marriages is an issue that touches on the faith of the Church and has significance for the universal Church.

b. This question has effects on ecumenical relations with other Churches and other ecclesial communities that are not to be underestimated.

c. The issue concerns the law of the Church, above all the interpretation of canon 844 CIC. Since in a few sectors of the Church there are open questions in this regard, the dicasteries of the Holy See concerned have already been instructed to produce a timely clarification of these questions at the level of the universal Church. In particular it appears opportune to leave to the diocesan bishop the judgment on the existence of “grave and urgent necessity.”

3. For the Holy Father it is of great concern that in the German episcopal conference the spirit of episcopal collegiality should remain alive. As Vatican Council II has emphasized, “the Episcopal bodies of today are in a position to render a manifold and fruitful assistance, so that this collegiate feeling may be put into practical application” (Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium” no. 23).

Bringing this to Your attention, I send You fraternal greetings and wishes of blessing.

Yours in the Lord,

Luis F. Ladaria, S.I.
Titular bishop of Thibica
Prefect
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