More garbage from Germany: Communion for Protestants

That caput malorum omnium, Germany, has produced another nasty that will take years of effort to clean up, if it can ever be cleaned up.

LifeSite has it.  A German bishop, Felix Genn of Münster, published

a guide about the pastoral care for married couples called “I walk with you,” which contains both the German bishops’ statements about Amoris Laetitia and their controversial handout allowing some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion on a regular basis. Genn states that it is not up to priests to “deny or allow access to the Eucharist.”

As the German bishops’ news website Katholisch.de reported on November 20, Bishop Genn just published his own guide about marriage on his diocesan website. In his comments in the guide concerning Communion for Protestant spouses of Catholics, he makes it clear that “from the beginning, I have supported it [the German bishops’ handout] and…I shall continue to do so.”

While he also admits “full Eucharistic communion is only possible by means of ecclesial communion,” Genn still endorses the idea of giving Holy Communion to some Protestant spouses of Catholics on a regular basis. [No disconnect there!] He comments: “As pastoral caretakers, [Orwellian.] we do not have the right to allow or to deny access to the Eucharist. It is irreconcilable strictly to deny Holy Communion.” [I wonder if he will use that language before the Just Judge.]

In October, another German bishop, Gerhard Fürst of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, [The former diocese of Walter “Accompany Me” Kasper] sent out a letter to his pastoral caretakers in which he instructed them to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics – in individual cases and after a decision of conscience – to receive Holy Communion. In the letter dated October 1, a copy of which LifeSiteNews obtained, he also admits that he knows that Communion for Protestant spouses has already been practiced in his diocese for quite some time, and he adds that those couples still could receive some additional accompaniment.  [It’s ongoing, you see.  Seemingly forever, since no one has much of a motive to decide what to do.]

At the end of this pastoral process with Protestant spouses, Fürst explains, stands “the individual decision of conscience of the partners of a mixed marriage which, in each case, is to be respected.” The German bishop attached to his letter a flyer containing the essential guidelines for Communion for Protestant spouses, explaining, “I firmly ask you to advertise the possibilities that are to be found in it [the flyer] (conversation, and the possibility to receive Communion after a decision of conscience).”

[…]

A couple of bishops have fought back.   But will their efforts be enough?

And where is Rome in all of this?

You know exactly where Rome is in all of this.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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35 Responses to More garbage from Germany: Communion for Protestants

  1. Gab says:

    If they want to receive Holy Communion then they can convert to Catholicism and follow all the rules, like the rest of we Catholics.

  2. The Egyptian says:

    feelings, nothing more than feelings, keep singing, with FEELING

  3. Johann says:

    Those Germans. How many heterodox thinkers have they produced to pollute the faith (Luther, Zwingli, Dollinger, Rahner, Metz, Kasper, Marx)?

    All the Johann Von Ecks, Heinrich Denzingers, Ludwig Otts, Joseph Ratzingers and Gerhard Mullers cannot make up for the damage they have done.

  4. pjsandstrom says:

    On this subject there is a question which never seems to be brought up: that is, if it is permissible for a non-Catholic to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, then would the ‘permission’ be recipocal? If the Catholic accompanies the spouse to the local Protestant Church, what then? I am sure that is not just a hypothetical question,

  5. Gab says:

    I have another question. If these Protestants are given the Eucharist without receiving the sacrament of Confession because the Bishop says it’s AOK, is this Bishop then leading these souls to hell?

  6. GM Thobe says:

    It seems to me that, if such spouses are to he admitted to Holy Communion, surely the protestant spouse is expected to go to confession regularly as well, right? Isn’t that the forum in which to accompany their discernment of their conscience?

  7. Grabski says:

    I wonder about the bishops then remember only St John Fisher remained steadfast against Henry

  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    Described here is not merely some small liturgical rubric — this is at the very heart of the faith.
    Indeed we do know where Rome is on this and the entire spectrum of the perennial Magisterium. It is expendable and nonconsequential. The only remaining doctrine is the supreme authority of an office that has been hijacked for its own infallible eradication.
    If the living Magisterium is not upholding the perennial Magisterium does it actually exist? Does it merit any deference? If it exists only to spout personal opinions and notions rather than to preserve the perennial Magisterium it has denied the reason for its existence and has essentially eradicated itself.
    Now what do we do? Or more precisely, what does the global episcopate — not just Cardinals — what do the bishops do? And when exactly do they do it?
    And no, it cannot wait for a more opportune moment — the moment is now. We are in the hands of the demonic.

  9. yatzer says:

    How will there be any faithful vocations if, by becoming a priest, a man would have to agree to this travesty? If unworthy Communions are OK, how is anything else not permitted? The Church seems to collapse, although I have faith that Christ will keep his promise. I just don’t see how. Maybe I don’t need to, but all this is demoralizing and confusing.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    The hands of Satan are around the Church’s neck, which is being throttled.
    Lord, deliver us!

  11. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    This is the same Bishop Felix Genn on the record in October 2018 as saying “I can tell you decidedly: I do not want to consecrate pre-conciliar clerical types and will not consecrate them” with regard to traditionally minded seminarians.

  12. jaykay says:

    pjsandstrom: “then would the ‘permission’ be reciprocal? If the Catholic accompanies the spouse to the local Protestant Church, what then?”

    I can only speak for the Church of Ireland (Anglican) where I have attended services, in a choral capacity, and they have what they term “Eucharistic hospitality” whereby, according to the blog of the C of I priest Canon Patrick Comerford: “Christians of other traditions who are baptised and in good standing in their churches are generally welcomed, but their consciences are respected.”

    Rev. Comerford then goes on to state: “Because of this tradition of Eucharistic hospitality, Anglicans find it difficult to understand the practices of other traditions and we often feel excluded. This is particularly difficult, because of family relationships, in the Roman Catholic Church, and it is of little comfort, to point to similar practices in other traditions, including the Orthodox Churches, and in many evangelical traditions such as the Baptists and the Brethren.”

    But, but… Canon Comerford said that his Church “respects the consciences” of others when inviting them to partake in the C of I Eucharist, so it logically follows that the C of I should therefore “respect their consciences” in regard to their own. Why the difficulty of understanding that others (i.e. we) value something so highly that they (we) place a restriction not only on those who are not members, but also on those of their own members who have disqualified themselves by serious sin?

    Interesting blog, anyway:

    http://www.patrickcomerford.com/2016/01/the-eucharist-or-holy-communion-in.html

  13. Sol says:

    “Accompaniment” is the new “dialogue”. “Dialoguing” was also supposed to make it possible to avoid reaching any conclusions, especially if these conclusions might upset some people (extra ecclesiam nulla salus!).

    All empty shells and buzzwords: “accompaniment”, “synodality”, “pastorality”, “discernment”…

  14. Simon_GNR says:

    pjsandstrom: My recent experience is that some Protestant churches allow anyone who is a communicant member of Christian church to receive the bread and wine. But why would a faithful Catholic *want* to receive a little morsel of bread and a sip of wine, when he could go to Mass and eat the Bread of Angels, the true Body of Christ?

  15. From Bl. Clemens von Galen to Bishop Genn: a few million steps backward for Muenster.

  16. richiedel says:

    “Bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.” – Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 27

  17. “…it is not up to priests to deny or allow access to the Eucharist”.

    Nonsense.

    In principle, there is an obligation on the part of the priest distributing Holy Communion to either “deny or allow access” to an individual, based on the circumstances involved, in accordance with the norm of law. The Code of Canon Law itself makes this extremely clear. Canon 915, for example, exists for a reason; if there are cases in which even Catholics must be denied communion according to the law, then what about non-Catholics? Should it not be even stricter?

    In my view, these atrocities from Germany in the past couple of months are simply the logical consequence of the already too-lax canon 844. The Church’s traditional practice of forbidding communication in sacris in the harshest terms is based very much in doctrine. Compromises in doctrine simply lead to more compromises, until it spirals out of control, and all of Catholicism itself is undermined. Modernism, whose essence is separating doctrine from practice, is everywhere.

  18. Clinton R. says:

    If the German bishops allow Holy Communion to non Catholics, then one of two conclusions must be drawn: One, the German bishops have no qualms about the Body of Christ being abused by giving it to non Catholics, which is a grave sacrilege. Or two, the Bishops of Germany simply do not believe the Lord is present in the Eucharist, so it doesn’t matter to them if Communion is received by non Catholics.

  19. jaykay says:

    richiedel: “and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate.”

    Yes, that’s the “ordering” of worship, not disordering the fundamental Truth behind it. “Ordering” is “say the black, do the red”.

  20. In the Orthodox Church, at the Divine Liturgy after the ordination of a priest:

    And immediately after the consecration of the Eucharist, if a Priest has been ordained at this same Liturgy, the Bishop now bids him to draw near, and taking the Holy Bread and breaking the portion XC from the top thereof where the cross is, he gives it to him, saying:

    Receive this pledge, and preserve it whole and unharmed until your last breath, because you shall be held to an accounting therefore in the second and terrible Coming of our great Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  21. acardnal says:

    When will the Rhine stop flowing into the Tiber?

  22. Grant M says:

    Something is rotten in that burg.

  23. Dismas says:

    @acardinal – When the Lord is done vomiting out the lukewarm.

  24. Archlaic says:

    I think Evelyn why put it very well: “I think it a great cheek of the Germans to try and teach the rest of the world anything about religion. They should be in perpetual sackcloth and ashes for all their enormities from Luther to Hitler.“

  25. Archlaic says:

    The foregoing was of course written so memorably by Evelyn WAUGH… the “autocorrect” feature on my smart(arse)phone is just the sort of thing that he’d have hated!

  26. JuliB says:

    Unfortunately this goes near Nova Scotia. I worked with a Lutheran who said she thought it was odd that she could take Communion in a Catholic Church, but her (divorced Catholic) husband couldn’t. She didn’t like my clarifications of rules.

  27. Fr. Reader says:

    It is great that it is now much “better” to be protestant than catholic. No need to pay the tax and no need to go to confession to receive Holy Communion.

  28. ex seaxe says:

    Simon_GNR asks –
    But why would a faithful Catholic *want* to receive a little morsel of bread and a sip of wine.
    We do, as baptized Christians, have some measure of fellowship with those of the Reformed tradition. So if invited to share some bread and wine which neither they nor I think is the very flesh and blood of Christ, perhaps I could be open to doing so. I would have to consider, among other things, whether I would be giving scandal.
    I think it is more complicated if they have a higher estimation of the presence of Christ, as did Luther, and (I think) Wesley, though not all their nominal followers.

  29. Suburbanbanshee says:

    St. Paul warns against things like communing while in sin or schism, because it is dangerous sacrilege as well as leading to bodily temporal punishments. Obviously the German bishops do not care whether Protestant spouses live or die, temporally or eternally.

    But then, St. Paul warns against bad things that German bishops do, like teaching false doctrine on purpose. So I doubt that they want to read anything by Paul.

  30. gordon.w.thomson says:

    May the Lion of Münster roar one more time to protect what is left of this once great flock from Satan’s hand.

  31. robtbrown says:

    ex seaxe says:

    Simon_GNR asks –
    But why would a faithful Catholic *want* to receive a little morsel of bread and a sip of wine.
    We do, as baptized Christians, have some measure of fellowship with those of the Reformed tradition. So if invited to share some bread and wine which neither they nor I think is the very flesh and blood of Christ, perhaps I could be open to doing so. I would have to consider, among other things, whether I would be giving scandal.
    I think it is more complicated if they have a higher estimation of the presence of Christ, as did Luther, and (I think) Wesley, though not all their nominal followers.

    In both cases there is denial of the nature of the Eucharist. With the first it is merely bread and wine. With the second it is some vague idea that even though it is still bread and wine Christ is somehow present.

    If memory serves, Calvin advocated the second

  32. AndyMo says:

    The Holy Father obviously has the right to do what he likes, but seriously:

    German Bishops’ Conference: ignores millenia of Eucharistic discipline, encouraging sacrilege and de facto heretical teaching about the nature of Holy Communion? Fine.

    US Bishops’ Conference: tries to set forth guidelines for disciplining bishops complicit in sexual abuse? NO.

  33. Dave H says:

    Dear Fr Z,
    In discussions regarding present crisis, a friend suggested that I consider a theory proposed by a lady named Ann Barnhardt. She has a new video (https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=UXe76S2lkK8 ) where she provides extensive documentary evidence (even in just the 1st 30 minutes of the video) that BXVI’s resignation is not valid because he actually tried to “partially abdicate” the papacy—abdicating the executive and judicial authority while retaining the contemplative vocation of the papacy within the bounds of the See of Peter. BXVI essentially “bifurcated” the papacy just as the later Roman emperors had both “Augustus” and “Caesar” positions. Unlike the Roman Empire, the constitution of the Catholic Church was set up by God the Son and cannot be altered by men. Could this possibly explain the present crisis?
    Blessings in Christ

  34. Ben Kenobi says:

    Taking communion implies, both ways, that there is unity where there is division. Insofar as the Church of England blesses homosexuals I’m reminded what St. Peter says about uniting yourself with a prostitute. Is this really the impression you wish to give to others who may not be aware of the Catholic church? No. Which is also why I don’t take communion with them either.

    Another analogy is between Christ and his Bride. What are you really saying when you take communion elsewhere? We have an obligation, freely chosen to His Church.

  35. JohnE says:

    “I walk with you”
    Yes, but to where?