Rorate Caeli

German Bishop: Communion for non-Catholics married to Catholics Possible

From the official website of the German Bishops' Conference:

Hope for shared Holy Communion for married couples

It is already being lived out in many interdenominational marriages: Eucharistic communion. It is, however, not allowed. Bishop Franz-Josef Bode [of Osnabrück] has hopes for a change in this matter — and soon.

The Bishop of Osnabrück, Franz-Josef Bode, would like to see the possibility of Holy Communion for mixed marriages. He said so in a conversation with the Evangelical Press Service [Evangelischer Pressedienst, epd].

Thereby, the Church would allow a practice, reportedly already common among spouses from different Christian confessions. In 2017, the year of the commemoration of the Protestant Reformation, Bode called such a change in the Catholic position "not utopian." From the point of view of the evangelical church, Catholics can already take part in the Lord’s Supper, inviting all baptised Christians to participate. The Catholic Church, however, does not allow her faithful to take part in the Protestant Lord’s Supper, and she usually restricts the reception of the Eucharist to Catholic faithful.

The Church of the Future

Bishop Bode emphasised intensified ecumenical efforts for a "common Church of the Future." Some of the "key points" he named were an agreement about general Eucharistic communion and the ordained ministry of the Churches [sic].

Common ground between the different denominations is already substantial, according to him: "Our common faith in Jesus Christ and a triune God cannot be called a minimal consensus."

[Excerpt translated by reader Wolfgang of Regensburg]