German bishop criticizes methods used to oppose Eucharistic hospitality

‘We must get out of this way of argumentation which uses insinuation and suspicion,’ says Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz
[His Excellency’s idea of implementing FrankenPope’s suggestion that the KrautChurch bishops seek unanimity or consensus on the issue is to cower or silence the opposing bishops; hat-tip to the British Catholic Herald: “German dioceses could eventually differ on Communion for Protestants, Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz has said”; more of that new version of “cuius regio, eius religio”! – AQ Tom]
Christa Pongratz-Lippit – May 17, 2018

A German bishop has criticized a small minority in his nation’s episcopal conference for questioning the orthodoxy of the vast majority of bishops who favor a pastoral plan to allow non-Catholic spouses in inter-confessional marriages to receive the Eucharist at Mass.

“We must get out of this way of argumentation which uses insinuation and suspicion and acts as if the position of the majority is out of line with church teaching,” said Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz.

“I feel personally affected when, in their letter to Rome, the seven bishops warn that my vote and that of the majority of my fellow bishops is endangering the deposit of the faith and church unity,” he said in an interview published May 12 in the Kölner Stadtanzeiger.

The 51-year-old Kohlgraf, who just last year succeeded Cardinal Karl Lehmann as bishop of Mainz and is Germany’s youngest bishop, said he did not believe Pope Francis saw this as a danger either.

He said that, on the contrary, Francis praised the German bishops’ ecumenical commitment and signaled how they could proceed. He said the pope has often pointed out that ecumenism is not a case of black or white or yes or no.

Bishop Kohlgraf said Francis now expects the bishops to reach a consensus on Eucharistic hospitality that is “as unanimous as possible.”

But he emphasized that this does not mean fully unanimous. He said it was his understanding, however, that dealing with this issue was within the competence of the German bishops.

Their task now, he said, was to explain their interpretation of shared communion to those mixed marriage couples who still had a problem with receiving the Catholic Eucharist or had already made up their own minds.

“Let’s be honest. People vote with their feet. And while I’m the last person to say, ‘OK, we must follow the crowd,’ conversely I ask myself if we really think we must protect God by deciding who may go to communion and who may not?” the bishop said.

Asked what would happen if the bishops could not agree on the communion handout, Kohlgraf said in that case every bishop would be free to allow Eucharistic hospitality in his diocese or not.

“But I do wonder what would happen if the ruling in Cologne were different to the one in Aachen. I’m quite sure that that would further increase incomprehension and resentment among the faithful. In fact I can positively hear people saying ‘we can’t take what the bishops say seriously any longer,’” he said. 

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who is president of the German bishops’ conference, said on May 13 that he would be informing his fellow bishops extensively “in the next few days” on what he and a small delegation of German bishops discussed with Vatican officials in Rome.

The cardinal told the German Catholic news agency KNA that he hoped the bishops could re-start their discussions on the issue next month when the episcopal conference’s permanent council meets.

He said he was confident that a “consensual” agreement would be found. However, he also added this caveat: “We want to find as great a consensus as possible but one cannot go on discussing and re-discussing the issue until a unanimous decision is reached.”

Cardinal Marx said that, in the end, it would be up to each diocesan bishop to decide whether or not to allow Eucharist hospitality in his diocese.

But he stressed that all the bishops, and not just the two opposing groups, should therefore approach one another and make a concerted effort to seek common ground.

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3 comments on “German bishop criticizes methods used to oppose Eucharistic hospitality

  1. Are we to forget what St. Paul said in 1 Cor, Chap 11, vs 26-30, to wit:” [26] For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. [27] Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. [28] But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.
    I’ll take St. Paul’s words over those of newchurch bishops.

    • Although somewhat out of context, I prefer to apply these words of Jesus (Matthew 15:26) to the situation of Communion for Prots and other unbelievers:

      It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs.

  2. If anyone still doubts that Vatican Twice was NOT a schismatic event, a carnival used as cover for the Revolution begun in earnest in the 16th Century, a font of sinister misdirections led in part and now wholly by the Rhein Gang, he may now lay such doubts to rest.
    Germany is in open schism, although such defiance of Tradition and the Perennial Magisterium in liturgical ( and numerous other) matters goes back to a century or more before Luther. That a pope is leaving a “final decision” on who may receive Communion up to these wildly schismatic enemies of the Church only reinforces the gravity and depth of the black crime of schism on the part of the Bergoglian papacy itself.
    Which is, of course, exactly where the Revolutionaries intended to take the Church since the 16th Century.

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