Bishop Felix Genn of Münster is one of the bishops to attend the meeting of German bishops and Vatican officials this Thursday to discuss the proposal from Germany to allow non-Catholics in mixed marriages to receive Holy Communion, as Pray Tell reported. In a recent article in Kirche+Leben Netz, Bishop Genn said that he is “very saddened” by the controversy, but also confident about its resolution.
Genn said that he is “very happy about the manner with which we have discussed it at the standing committee [of the conference]” which took place on April 23. The discussion made him confident about the coming meeting in Rome to resolve the issue. The bishops spoke “with great openness” about the conflict, he said. There is no other way forward, for “only in discussion does it go forward, and thus I would have wished a conversation” before seven bishops led by Cardinal Woelki appealed to Rome to intervene against the proposal approved by over three-fourths of the German bishops. These seven bishops appealed to Rome without communicating to the other bishops that they were taking this step.
Speaking of the coming meeting at the Vatican officials this Thursday, Bishop Genn said, “I hope that after the conversation in Rome we can come to a consensus.” He does not know why he was invited to be part of the German delegation. He does not believe it is because he is a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.
Genn notes that he supports the vote of the majority of the bishops. But he also has “understanding for questions of conscience of other brother bishops,” although he was not happy about the manner of their objection.