Intercommunion – Cardinal Marx and Pope Francis

Intercommunion – enabling non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist – is to be discussed in Rome.

Although several news sources say Francis has already rejected a draft plan to allow non-Catholics who are married to Catholics to receive Communion in certain circumstances, it seems this is not the case.

German Bishops’ Conference president, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, says he has “welcomed the request of Pope Francis who proposed a discussion in Rome” about the draft plan.

Marx says the draft was adopted by a three-quarters majority of the German Bishops’ Conference after an “intense debate” on 22 February.

However, on 22 March, seven bishops wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity seeking their “assistance” and “clarification.”

They questioned whether the draft plan was outside the competence of an episcopal conference.

In particular, they asked if it was of a pastoral nature, as Marx had suggested, or of a doctrinal nature.

If it is doctrinal, unanimous adoption and Roman approval are both required.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says “Neither the Pope nor we bishops can redefine the sacraments as a means of alleviating mental distress and satisfying spiritual needs.

“They are effective signs of the grace of God.”

The Code of Canon Law already provides that in the danger of death or if “some other grave necessity urges it,” Catholic ministers licitly administer penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick to Protestants.

This can only be in cases where the person “cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.”


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News category: World.

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