PopeWatch: Schism

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/

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  1. “…affirms the faith of the Catholic Church.”

    If the Protestant will “affirm the faith of the Catholic Church” then let them start and finish the faith formation process and become Catholic.

    Is that too difficult or rigid a request?
    If the local Bishops wish to enact new laws maybe they should consider becoming Protestant…for goodness sake.

    A muddy pool of water is being chosen over the clear waters Our Holy Catholic Church has been providing over the centuries.
    Go figure? Call it Mercy I guess. (Shaking head.)

  2. That is precisely my reaction, Philip. What, exactly, is the issue here? What conditions prevent faith formation and acceptance into the Church prior to reception of the sacraments? Are we talking about serious medical issues? See, I thought that was handled through normal pastoral means since I know a family in which a family member was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of cancer. With the treatments and such, RCIA was out of the question but our parish was able to make it happen for the family in just a bit more than two weeks and she was formally received into the Church before her death, with all of the attending sacraments.

    From my view, even the most extreme circumstances have regularly employed remedies so what are these special circumstances that make RCIA the wrong remedy?

    The Germans… What the heck is wrong with our German bishops?

  3. It is an attack on the One True Catholic Church within her walls.
    The picking away, twisting and bending the truth is a diabolical activity and then to add insult to injury the defender of the faith par excellence, His Holiness, is pressed to hold ecumenism high above solid teaching that has withstood the test of time…until now. (?)

    Dave Spalding. I don’t get it. My synopsis may be a half bubble out of plumb and if it is please excuse me, but this push to bypass RCIA without dire medical reasons isn’t kosher …but hey, I don’t wear the funny hat.

  4. What conditions prevent faith formation and acceptance into the church?
    Obviously, the answer is the loss of faith by the hierarchy and pope in the Catholic church’s position as the one true church of God. Did Francis himself not say that he despises talk of separated brethren coming home? Did he not advise against a prominent protestant minister not to convert?
    To them protecting Protestant heresies, excuse me, faith traditions, is more important than making converts … and certainly more important than protecting Catholic Tradition.

  5. @ Pat.

    Your correct. “..the answer is the loss of faith by the hierarchy and pope in the Catholic church’s position as the one true church of God.”

    Relativism has eaten it’s way into many a heart.
    Archbishop Fulton Sheen; “tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”

  6. Call it what it is: it’s a modernist process-starter whose goal is open communion.
    What is most surprising (in a positive sense) is how adamant the otherwise quite-reliably-progressive Cardinal Woelki is in opposing it.

  7. I suspect this has less to do with adding another person than to keep the one that is still there. Am I mistaken that the German parishes get their money from the government (taxes) based on the declared status of the person?
    It would not surprise me if there was a certain amount of going to the Catholic parish one week and going to the Lutheran parish the next among the younger split-faith couples in Germany. That must get very tiring. I am guessing that the Catholic spouse is pretty much free to go to communion at the Lutheran Church and probably does not need to do the equivalent of a year long RCIA process. But of course at the Catholic parish, the Protestant spouse does not go to Communion and joining requires RCIA.
    I do not imagine that German Catholics are any better catechized than the American ones. I know Catholics who married Protestants, who ended up at the Protestant church because it was just so much easier. Less paperwork.
    Looked at this way, it makes sense what the German bishops are trying to do. Affirming the Catholic faith probably isn’t much more than reciting the Nicene creed or something. Maybe declaring that Luther took books out of the Bible (bad Luther) as oppose to the Catholic Church adding books. I doubt questions about contraception, abortion, the status of Mary, papal infallibility, transubstantiation and the like will ever be used to verify the Protestant spouse believes in all things Catholic. Both the Catholic and Protestant spouse now get to go to Communion, and perhaps the Catholic spouse won’t jump ship.
    I could be totally wrong. but it would not surprise me if the above had quite a bit of truth to it.

  8. DJH
    that is another way of saying indifference. Although, of course today we don’t say it that way. We say things like “what really matters” or “core issues” and so on. We all agree that God is cool, that bridges are good and walls are bad. That tolerance, diversity and inclusion are the highest of virtues… all the other stuff, Mary, transubstantiation, canonical scripture, etc are just trivial angels on a pin issues that shouldn’t keep anyone from communion. So, how many of the German hierarchy, or the Vatican would suffer martyrdom over transubstantiation or any other part of Catholic Tradition? Probably not too many. Probably far less than would do so over a woman’s right to wear a burka.

  9. Don-Jorge Bergoglio will be remembered forever down through history by the name of his heresises: bergoglianism. Yes, with a lower case “b”. Take comfort in the fact that today’s demonic Vatican media cannot change this. Guy McClung, Texas

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