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Pope blocks German plan for Protestants to receive Catholic communion

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends a meeting with faithful of the diocese of Rome at Saint John Lateran Basilica in Rome

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends a meeting with faithful of the diocese of Rome at Saint John Lateran Basilica in Rome, Italy May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has blocked a move by German bishops to allow Protestants married to Roman Catholics to receive communion in Catholic churches, a prospect that had alarmed conservatives.

The issue has sparked major debate in Germany, where Martin Luther sparked the split in Western Christianity 500 years ago. Even German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Lutheran, has entered the debate.

The pope’s decision was made known in a letter by Archbishop Luis Ladaria, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops’ conference.

It was reported by the German Catholic news agency on Monday and the Vatican confirmed its authenticity.

A majority of German bishops voted this year to publish guidelines that would have made it easier for Protestants to receive Catholic communion – bread and sometimes wine that have been consecrated.

Catholics believe these become the body and blood of Christ; some Protestants, notably Lutherans, say Christ is present in the sacrament.

Protestants are currently allowed to receive Catholic communion only in extreme circumstances, such as when they are in danger of death.

The German bishops who supported what is known as “inter-communion” in marriages between Catholics and Protestants argued that it was the compassionate thing to do. Steinmeier, who is married to a Catholic, also supported that view.

But seven conservative bishops were opposed, saying that communion was central to the Catholic faith and the issue should not be decided by local churches.

In the letter, written with the pope’s approval, Ladaria says the German document “raises problems of notable relevance” for the whole Church around the world.

Catholic conservatives in other countries had also argued that such a change would dilute Catholic identity and confuse the faithful.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia wrote that it would be “the first stage in opening communion to all Protestants … since marriage ultimately provides no unique reason to allow communion for non-Catholics”.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Kevin Liffey)



1 reply »

  1. Do this Catholics of Germany understand that God said ” I will have mercy and not sacrifice”
    Daniel was very specific when he saw in his visions that the (seven beast)) fourth beast was the one which descended from one of the four heads of the third beast (six beast), which could be accounted as the four tetrarch of the Roman Empire, because in the times of the Popes Gregory, started the big turbulence of religions almost a century after the Roman empire finished the orthodox Byzantine kingdom, Jewish, the Prophet Muslim, because the the Pope Gregory ll raised as the first roman pope after seven consecutive popes, who has the strength to claim sacred images to be venerated inside the churches ( even the orthodox and the Muslim were against that) , and against the opposition of the emperor Leo. By the 733 the Pope Gregory III have had invest money to pay the army which recovered the Roman lands from Germany, which may the emperor be partial to the Pope’s decree of the erection of images inside the churches from the east and the west which is considered as abomination . The abomination Idolatry of the Jewish in ancient times provoked the anger of God. as in Deut 31:29 “end evil befall you in the later days, provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.” Also Jeremiah 8:1 “why they provoked me to anger with their graven images” so Jeremiah predicted also the captivity and the desolation of Israel for 70 years. Now Daniel is giving us a length of time for the abomination of desolation, for later times.
    Dan 12:13 “… and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
    In this present days we are confronting the warming earth, vanishing of glaciers which is signing a great desolation in the future. Ezekiel 4: 5 “…I have appointed thee each day for a day” if we consider that Daniel ‘s prophecy as 1290 years so we may add 733 which could see that in 2023. can start a desolation


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