Pope Francis has asked the president of the German bishops’ conference to come to Rome to discuss pastoral guidelines for possibly allowing some non-Catholics married to Catholics to receive the Eucharist, the conference spokesman said.
Reports that “the document was rejected in the Vatican by the Holy Father or by the dicasteries are false,” said Matthias Kopp, the conference spokesman.
For one thing, Kopp said, the guidelines still have not been finalised and, therefore, they have not been reviewed by the Vatican. Members of the German bishops’ conference were asked to submit proposed amendments to the draft document by Easter; the heads of the conference’s doctrinal and ecumenical committees and the president of the conference were to formulate a final draft and present it to the conference’s permanent council on 23rd April.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, conference president, had announced on 22nd February at the end of their plenary meeting that three-quarters of the German bishops approved the development of pastoral guidelines for determining situations in which a non-Catholic spouse married to a Catholic could receive Communion.
Picture: German bishops proceed into Trier Cathedral in this 2013 file photo. (CNS photo/Thomas Frey, EPA).