The German Catholic Episcopal Conference, headed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, approved in its February gathering a proposal that has sparked a huge theological debate.
The 62 German bishops have voted to produce a guide on how to allow Protestants married to Catholics to receive Communion.
This non-Catholic spouses in “mixed marriages” could access the Catholic rite if they “affirm the Catholic Eucharist”.
The Intercommunion, the bishops said, would be a solution for cases in which “the spiritual hunger to receive Communion together (…) is so strong that it could threat the marriage and the faith”.
The President of the German Protestant Church (EKD), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, welcomed the announcement as “an important step in our ecumenical path”.
Bedford-Strohm and his Catholic counterpart Reinhard Marx have been very proactive in sending pro-ecumenical messages during the commemoration of the 500 anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, in 2017, with calls to “heal the wounds of the past” and advance to stronger “unity” among the two Church institutions.
The open door for Protestants has been challenged by important Catholic sectors in Germany. Among them, seven German bishops that have written an open letter expressing their opposition to what they define as a “Protestantisation of the Church”. Full report Evangelical Focus.
This would be yet another move by the Catholic Church for inclusivity of all other religions under her banner, a sure sign of the end times we are living in.