Germany: letter on communion in interfaith marriages. Card. Marx (Bishops), “further discussion is needed within the Bishops’ Conference”

The President of the German Bishops “is surprised that this letter has come from Rome before we reach a unanimous decision”. The spokesperson for the German Bishops, Matthias Kopp, said this in a press statement, following the reception by Card. Reinhard Marx of a letter from the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The letter, dated 25 May, was received on the evening of 4 June and refers to the document entitled “Walking with Christ – In the Footsteps of Unity: Mixed Marriages and Common Participation in the Eucharist. Pastoral Guidelines from the German Bishops’ Conference”. The latter document had attracted criticism from some members of the Bishops’ Conference, giving rise to the need for a meeting in Rome, which took place on 3 May. During the meeting, Mr Kopp said, “the Bishops present were told that they would have to reach a ‘unanimous’ decision, in a spirit of ecclesial communion”. Hence the surprise of Card. Marx at the letter, which arrived before dialogue could be taken forward. The president of the German Bishops, “even after the letter, sees the need for further dialogue within the German Bishops’ Conference, especially in the Permanent Council and the Autumn Assembly, but also with the relevant Roman Dicasteries and the Holy Father himself”, Mr Kopp said.