Headlines > Müller warns against ‘protestantisation’

08 March 2018 | by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Müller warns against ‘protestantisation’

The former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has sharply criticised the German bishops’ conference’s decision allowing the Protestant partners of a mixed marriage to receive the Catholic Eucharist under certain conditions and in individual cases.

The first thing that needed clarifying was whether the conference had overstepped its competences, as bishops’ conferences had “no authority whatsoever” to decide doctrinal issues, Müller told the Tagespost daily. He described use of the words “in individual cases” as a “rhetorical trick”.

Furthermore, a Protestant partner who truly believed in the Catholic Eucharist and wanted to partake of it would have to “reject the contradictory teaching of their non-Catholic community”, he underlined. Ecumenism, he said, “cannot proceed in the direction of a protestantisation”.

When his interviewer recalled what Pope Francis had said on a visit to Rome’s Lutheran church in November 2015, Müller replied that the Pope’s statements and gestures carried “no doctrinal weight”. In that visit, Pope Francis, asked about communion for both members of a “mixed marriage”, said: “If we have the same Baptism we have to walk together.”

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