Vatican declines to rule on German dispute over Communion

Source: Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican declined Thursday to rule on a dispute among German bishops over whether non-Catholic spouses can receive Communion, asking the bishops to work it out among themselves.

The Vatican urged the bishops to try to find a unanimous solution “in the spirit of ecclesial communion” after a German delegation met with top Holy See officials, a Vatican statement said.

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Seven German bishops had written the Vatican asking it to rule on a proposal adopted by a two-thirds majority of the German bishops’ conference to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Communion in certain circumstances. The conference approved the proposal in February in part as a gesture of ecumenical outreach to Protestants in a country where mixed marriages are common.

The seven conservative bishops had argued the proposal undermines the Catholic faith and shouldn’t be decided by a mere national bishops’ conference.

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