German churches to continue talks on shared Communion

A Catholic priest distributes Communion at a church in Vallendar, Germany, in May (CNS/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

The German Catholic bishops’ conference and the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany plan to continue their discussions about shared Communion. Source: Crux.

German Catholic and Protestant theologians and bishops had published an appraisal of the topic in May, and it was scheduled to be discussed at the German bishops’ plenary assembly in Fulda at the end of September.

However, on September 18, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith voiced strong objections to the appraisal, saying that differences between Catholics and Protestants in the understanding of the Eucharist and the ministry were “still so grave” that they ruled out the attendance of at each other’s services, German news agency KNA reported.

On October 6, leaders of both churches identified questions that “still need to be clarified” and addressed by Catholic and Protestant sides in different ways, KNA reported.

“For the Catholic Church, the open questions are so weighty that it does not feel able to allow mutual participation in general before they are clarified, especially since the question of the unity of the Catholic Church is affected here as well,” said the statement from the church leaders.

Germany has many mixed marriages — Catholic and Protestant — and the issue of being able to receive Communion at each other’s churches has long been an issue of concern.

FULL STORY

German churches plan to continue talks on shared Communion (CNS via Crux

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