ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, September 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Faith and political views
In my church...




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Ecumenism
 

Controversy as German Catholic Church opens Communion to Protestants

Seven bishops ask the Vatican to stop what they believe is a “banalisation” of the Eucharist. Evangelicals see the decision of the Episcopal conference as a part of an ecumenical strategy.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BERLIN 19 APRIL 2018 14:51 h GMT+1
German Catholic bishops plan to allow some Protestants to cake Communion in their churches. / Photo: J. Applegate (Unsplash, CC0)

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”.



 



PROTESTANT CHURCH WELCOMES PROPOSAL



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.



 



STRONG CRITICISM OF SOME BISHOPS



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”.



In interviews with the media, some of the signatories have criticised what they believe is a “banalisation” of the “holiest Sacrament” of Catholicism.



Protestant taking part in the Communion would ‘de facto’ contradict the Protestant doctrines and its view of the Lord’s Supper. These bishops called the Vatican and Pope Francis to step into the debate.



Catholic media have reported in the last days that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would have sent a letter to the German conference asking to pause the proposal. It is not expected, though, that Rome will express this position publicly.



 



EVANGELICALS SEE ECUMENIAL STRATEGY



Evangelical leaders have also reacted with surprise to the moves towards Intercommunion. In an interview with German news agency Idea, evangelical theology professor Ulrich Körtner said it would be difficult for a Protestant believer to accept the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, which “includes the veneration of Mary as the Mother of God, and the intercession of the Apostles, martyrs and saints”.



The decision of the German Episcopal Conference can be understood as a strategy to attract Protestants to the Catholic liturgy. “I would not be surprised that someday other ecumenical formulas are presented to us to try to sell us that high prayers of the Catholic Eucharist are evangelical”.



 



MARX: COMMUNION NOT OPEN TO EVERYONE



Responding to critics, Cardinal Marx has said the final guide has not yet been published. Opening the Catholic Communion to Protestant spouses of Catholics, he added, would only be an option in “individual cases in which a thoughtful spiritual discernment would be needed”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Controversy as German Catholic Church opens Communion to Protestants
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.