From the website of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference:

In many mixed marriages it is already practiced: Eucharistic community. But it is not permitted. Bishop Franz-Josef Bode hopes for a change – and real soon.

Franz-Josef Bode, bishop of Osnabruck, wishes for the possibility of Communion for mixed-confession married couples. He said this in conversation with Evangelischer Pressedienst (“Lutheran Press Service”).

The church would thereby permit was is already the frequent practice of mixed-confession marriage partners. Bode consideres such a change in the Catholic position, particularly in the 2017 commemoration year of the Reformation, “not utopian.” The Lutheran Church allows the participation of Catholics in the Lord’s Supper. It invites all baptized Christians to participate. But the Catholic Church does not allow its faithful to participate in the Protestant Lord’s Supper, and it also as a rule limits the reception of the Eucharist to Catholic faithful.

Church of the Future

Bode also emphasized an intensification of ecumenical efforts with a view toward a “common church of the future.” He named agreement on general eucharistic community and the churches’ understanding of ordained office as “important basic points.”

The commonalities between the different confessions are already great: “One cannot call common faith in Jesus Christ and the triune God minimal consensus.”

Franz-Josef Bode is Bishop of Osnabruck since 1995, and president of the commission for pastoral ministry of the German Bishops’ Conference since 2010. The area of his diocese, with a Catholic proportion of 26%, is broadly influenced by Protestantism.

Translation: awr

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