Something to remember for the remainder of this pontificate. When the Pope encounters enough resistance he can be slowed down, if not stopped. Sandro Magister brings us the details:
In receiving this morning, Monday June 4, a delegation of the German Lutheran Evangelical Church, Pope Francis cautioned against the “eagerness to run ahead” and was at pains to say that “some issues, I think of the Church, the Eucharist and the ecclesial ministry, deserve detailed and thoroughly shared reflection.”
In these words there can be glimpsed a veiled allusion to the controversy, which has exploded among the Catholic bishops of Germany, of whether or not to admit Protestant spouses as well to Eucharistic communion.
But that’s not all. Because this same morning the German bishops received a letter from newly created cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer (in the photo), prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which establishes firm guidelines on this very question.
The letter is reproduced in its entirety further below, translated from the original German. It bears the date of May 25. And the day before, on May 24, Francis had met with Ladaria to compose the definitive draft.
The background to this letter is the document approved last February by a majority vote in the German episcopal conference, headed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, which says how and when to allow communion for Protestant spouses.
An appeal against this document was made to Rome, to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, by seven bishops including the cardinal of Cologne, Rainer Maria Woelki:
After this a summit was convened in Rome by the pope on May 3, with the Vatican authorities in charge of doctrine and ecumenism and German representatives of the two conflicting sides.
The summit had concluded with a statement informing that Ladaria had communicated to the German bishops Pope Francis’s request that they “find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a unanimous result if possible.”
And this made the dispute continue in an even more heated way, not only in Germany but all over the world:
Now, however, this letter from the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, written and sent “with the explicit approval of the pope,” blocks the publication of the document of the German bishops that ignited the controversy and reassigns the question to a more mature reflection at the level of the “universal” Church and of ecumenical relations with other Churches, apart from the Protestants.
Go here to read the rest.