What is happening with catholic communion for protestants


not sure if anyone has heard that the german bishops were proposing that protestant spouses of catholics be allowed to receive communion, when originally asked, pope francis has said it was up to the bishops to decide in hwich situations it was warranted, (i know, canon law does allow for it in serious situaions of necessity).but it seems upon reading their actualy proposal, he was concerned so the Vatican was supposed to study the question, and he told the bisops to abandon the idea.

but I just saw an article by catholic news agency tha the german bishops are now inviting all protestants to communion, more of less.

so have they just gone against what the Vatican instructed? there are a lot of other articles on the subject, many of which say that the church is allowing it now


I just hope it’s not true…the problem with just anyone taking communion is that it is a very sacred thing. Lots of Protestants don’t believe it’s actually his body and blood. If you do it without believing that’s what it is, I think you’re being very…disrespectful I guess would be the word, to God…but I’ll say this, if someone really believes in the teaching and they aren’t officially a Catholic, maybe they could do it. I’m not saying they can but whether it would be right or not. Probably isn’t bad in God’s eyes. The reason that people should get a Catholic education first though is so they are more likely to know the significance of it before they just go and do it.


what is wrong with the German bishops?
they always seem to want to change the rules?


Not exactly. He asked them to work it out among themselves.


No, “they” (the German Bishops) have not. “A” German bishop (singular) invited spouses at a specific set of jubilee masses (for those married 25, 50, 60 years etc.) to receive.

This was not a blanket invitation or pronouncement in his diocese let alone all of Germany.


SAD and very confusing for those to understand the difference in Catholic Communion and other Protestant communions. Blurs the lines and confuses people.


well, exactly, if they believed in it, then why don’t they just become catholic, if they don’t believe in it, why do they really want to take communion anyways?


seems like some bishops want to head in that direction though, I personally tink it’s a bad idea to go down that road


Probably to not feel “left out” or whatever at their spouse’s mass but there’s two sides to every coin. To the Catholic mind I would think not seriously partaking in the eucharist would be pretty darn disrespectful. I don’t know if it’s sinful or whatever but it’s denying what Jesus said for sure. I agree that if a person agrees with it then they should be on their way to becoming Catholics anyway. Take me for example, I’m not Catholic yet but I plan on doing RCIA soon. So, the question is, can I partake in it yet? I actually don’t even know. I’ve been meaning to talk to my parents about this. Last time I went to mass I partook in it, though they didn’t seem to have the wine, just the bread. I was unconsciously doing it at the time, didn’t even cross my mind whether I should be doing it or not.

I’d done it as a kid too. Back then I didn’t even care at all. You know how kids are. It’s interesting because I was baptized Lutheran but my dad’s Catholic and I was raised with both traditions. Only now do I find myself wanting to become entirely Catholic, but in a way I always have been, so it’s kind of strange. It’s an unusual story of a convert, I think. Catholic-Protestant marriages here still aren’t too common, my grandparents on my mom’s side were in fact the first of such marriages in their town and they were in the newspaper when it happened and everything.


First of all, the bishop’s “invitation” is in direct violation of Catholic doctrine concerning reception of the Eucharist for protestants and the canon law governing such practices.

However, the German bishops in general, and Pope Francis have repeatedly demonstrated that they do not care about the teaching. So despite the long standing teaching of the Church regarding the Eucharist, expect more dioceses in Germany and the western world to take a lax approach to the Eucharist in general. It started with AL. This is just the next step. It will spread to other dioceses outside of Germany soon enough.

If Pope Francis were to live another 10 or more years, I do not think it is unlikely that the Catholic Chuch will have de facto open communion, while still claiming that “but the teaching hasn’t changed!” There isn’t really anything that can be done at this point. The Pope wants more Protestants receiving communion, many bishops do as well, and the bishops who disagree aren’t likely to make a fuss over it or object in any meaningful way. For us laypersons, all we can really do is ignore heterodox bishops and teachings and spread the truth as best as we can.


It seems that everyone is searching for nuanced ways of dealing with many moral and spiritual situations. Nuance is fine, and necessary in many complicated or unclear occasions, but I recall that the serpent is the most subtle - therefore nuanced - of all creatures.

“If” this is an attempt to re-fill the rapidly emptying European parishes - well, I think that preaching the Gospel at full strength would attract more and have no appearance of scandal.


Hmm… are you sure about that? Have you read the relevant canon?

Right. It feels more like he’s floating a test balloon…


Yes. Here it is:

Even if we concede that in this situation is within his authority as bishop to consider these jubilee masses as “grave necessity” (which is laughable) the protestant spouses would not be meeting the other conditions of the canon.


OK. So, your argument boils down to your opinion of “grave necessity” over that of the bishop? And, of course, your interpretation of the canon of that of the bishop (and his canon lawyers)?

I guess I’m just not willing to stand in judgment of a bishop. :man_shrugging:


If you disagree that is your prerogative. I am not judging the bishop, but rather his actions. And this argument is not my own, but rather that of many other canon lawyers, bishops, and clergy in the Church, who I am willing to believe over the opinions of German bishops who have repeatedly demonstrated that they have more important worldly priorities other than the salvation of souls.


Umm… really? You’re not? :roll_eyes: :innocent:


Is Pope Francis infallible?


That’s not really relevant here since he has not made any kind of definitive statement on the matter, nor has he authored any kind of teaching document, such as an encyclical or apostolic exhortation, dealing with this teaching on the Eucharist.


It’s not just the subjective judgment of what constitutes grave necessity, but also the objective fact of whether “who cannot approach a minister of their own community” is satisfied. Unless all of the EKD churches in Germany disappeared over night these Protestant spouses still have recourse to the communion of their own churches.

This is sacrilege no matter how you splice or dice it.

I’m also curious, did this bishop open up the Sacrament of Reconciliation to all of these Protestant spouses before they received? Or were they just assumed to already be in a state of grace?


It is “relevant here” because you’re suggesting he would likely change Catholic doctrine.


I see what you’re saying. I personally don’t think he make a recourse to papal infallibility to formally cement such a change. That’s not his style. What would likely happen is something like what is happening in Germany now (and it will likely happen again in Germany in all probability). A bishops’ conference will take an even more lax approach with communion until protestants are allowed to receive without condition, or conditions so easily met that they are essentially irrelevant. The policy will never formally be put in writing by Rome or written into canon law, but it will be allowed to take affect without interference. Some bishops will resist adopting such a trend, but eventually they will reach retirement age and be replaced by bishops who will be more open to such a change. It may never take hold 100% universally in the Church, but it will become common practice in many places, especially in the western world.

Maybe I am wrong, and I hope. But so far every indication is that Pope Francis agrees with the German push for more protestant access to the Eucharist, and that he is unwilling to go against the wishes of an entire conference of bishops, no matter what their proposal. And the German bishops will surely push further on this issue in time; they will not be satisfied with this proposal for long, and indeed some of them have already advocated for completely open communion with protestants. Maybe there is some red line that Pope Francis will not allow them to cross, but if there is one he has given no indication that there is some limit that he will hold bishops to regarding reception of the Eucharist.

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