“Enough is Enough!” German Bishop Defends Intercommunion Guidelines

“Enough is enough! The time has come to no longer put off a well-justified decision – even if some people still insist on contradicting it,” said Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg, head of ecumenical affairs in the German bishops’ conference and participant in the meeting tomorrow at the Vatican on allowing Protestant spouses in mixed marriages to receive the Eucharist at Catholic Masses. “Missing a chance like this would be both shameful and macabre!”

Read the story in La Croix.




  1. Perhaps illustrating how Pio “”La tradizione son’ io” Nono wasn’t alone in his approach to, um, building consensus?

  2. It has been remarkable how in recent years some of a more “progressive” bent have adopted exactly the same, dare I say, “rigid” approach they decried for so long under the previous two pontiffs.

  3. Prohibiting “non-Catholics” from receiving at RC Masses only serves to maintain the divisions that exist amongst Christians. Doesn’t this contradict Vatican 2 Ecumenism and also the heart of Jesus’ message that all may be one? I don’t understand why there is such a big deal about this. What do people think will happen? I hope it doesn’t go back to what I used to hear as a child, that RC is the “one, TRUE faith.”

  4. It would be good to actually read the Documents of Vatican II. “Intercommunion”actually contradicts what was said at VCII. See the Decree on Ecumenism. Maybe it’s time to read what the documents say instead of using them to justify what we want them/think them to say.

    Regarding what supposedly Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburgit said,“Enough is enough! The time has come to no longer put off a well-justified decision – even if some people still insist on contradicting”. “Missing a chance like this would be both shameful and macabre!”

    Some would say that what is “shameful and macabre” is his attitude where collegiality and co responsibility are thrown out the window, since he thinks that the decision is “well-justified.” Forget those who contradict his opinion. Let’s just go with the majority of his brother bishops want. The heck with consensus, go with what the stronger and more powerful majority want. That is real “consensus building.”

    1. Vatican II was a beginning not an end, and there has been further development since the V2 decree on ecumenism – both in the documents of the magisterium and in the work of theologians the last 50+ years.

      I deleted your last paragraph which is disrespectful of Protestants and lacking in ecumenical sensitivity.


  5. What is certainly sad is how some forget the end which ecumenism has in mind. It is not only showing respect and learning to understand one another. No, it is our prayer and desire to end the scandal of division and become one. Although it may, may mind you, lead to indaviduaal abuses, it is good for us to rally around the Eucharist since it is the the source of the Church’s life and the memorial of the very nature of the Church. That is far more important in Christ’s eyes than scattered abuses. Do we forget the pain we cause Him in our arrogance and divisiveness?

    Again, it may lead to chaos, but it’s one of those things that if no step is taken, we’ll just end up standing still. Having just past the 500’th anniversary of the Reformation, it is a good time to start.

  6. Guidelines for admitting non-Catholics to the sacraments have been around for decades. There are some situations in which admitting a Protestant to Holy Communion on a particular occasion is warranted. In my experience they have been few and far between. One thing we certainly don’t have to worry about in this regard is the danger of scandal. Very few Catholics are scandalized by an inclusive Eucharistic hospitality. After all, we offer Communion to all who present themselves without asking them to first pass a litmus test on their understanding and practice of the faith.

    1. Fr. Jack, the point you make is THE point……Roman Catholics do not have an RC tattooed on their foreheads. If someone presents themselves, they are Communicated. The same issue has always bothered me about Gay issues…..there is no G tattooed on their foreheads. How is the celebrant to know, or even care about a person’s sexuality in a 2 second Communion interaction.

      The only ones I know who are guarded about the sacrament are the Orthodox who think nothing of stopping the action of the Communion line and spend time questioning the communicant about their jurisdiction, their bishop, their preparedness for the sacrament and making a judgment yes or no on the spot.

      From the pulpit, no one advocates for the inclusion of Protestants, on a case by case basis, in the pews, it happens with great regularity…..and that includes the remarried sans annulment as well. There is more Eucharistic hospitality out there than you think.

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