09 May 2018, The Tablet

Rules must help Christian couples

Interchurch marriages


With mixed marriages between Catholics and Protestants in Germany now very common, pressure is increasing on the Catholic Church to relax its rules on the reception of Holy Communion by the non-Catholic partner. In many parishes it happens already. Responding to such pressure from below and because they are not themselves satisfied with a strict interpretation of the rules, at their plenary in February the German bishops voted by a two-thirds majority in favour of allowing couples in interchurch marriages to receive Communion together. Seven German bishops who oppose this change then wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seeking clarification as to whether the issue fell within the competence of local bishops’ conferences.

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