Pope Francis, the Pope of the Great Schism of the Twenty-First Century, may be how he is remembered:
The recent proposal by Germany’s bishops to allow some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion under certain conditions is meeting serious resistance in Germany, as well as opposition from some Church leaders elsewhere.
On April 4, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported that seven German bishops — including Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne — have written an urgent appeal to the Vatican in protest against the proposal.
According to German media, the seven bishops said in their letter that they believe the proposal contradicts Catholic doctrine, undermines Church unity and exceeds the competence of the bishops’ conference. The letter, leaked to the media April 4, was sent last month to both the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, the president of the German bishops’ conference, sent a letter to Germany’s bishops Wednesday, written and released immediately after the seven bishops’ letter was leaked. In it, the cardinal defended the bishops’ conference’s decision, saying it was consistent with theological and ecumenical texts and canon law.
Cardinal Marx, who according to a prelate invariably invokes the Pope to justify his positions, also said it was the result of “the encouragement of Pope Francis to take further steps in ecumenism.”
At their spring conference in February, Germany’s bishops voted in favor of producing a guide, or pastoral handout, to allow some Protestant spouses to receive Holy Communion under certain circumstances.
They voted overwhelmingly to offer guidelines allowing a Protestant partner of a Catholic to receive the Eucharist if, after having made a “serious examination” of conscience with a priest or another person with pastoral responsibilities, the partner “affirms the faith of the Catholic Church,” wishes to end “serious spiritual distress,” and has a “longing to satisfy a hunger for the Eucharist.”
At the time, Cardinal Marx said the guide would only be a “pastoral handout” and that the intention is not to “change any doctrine.” He said the proposal rejects any path for Protestant spouses to conversion, otherwise known as an “ecumenism of return.” It also leaves much discretion of the local bishop who may establish new laws in this area, he said.
Go here to read the rest. A Pope has two main duties: to defend the teachings of the Church and to maintain the unity of the Church. Pope Francis has been a grade one disaster as to both/