Not everyone is happy with a proposal for priests to be allowed to bless homosexual relationships and give the Eucharist to non-Catholic spouses.
The Christian Post reports that Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands, has issued an open letter to the Hoy Father.
In it, he reveals his unhappiness with the Pope’s reaction to a proposal by German bishops for priests to be allowed to bless homosexual relationships and give the Eucharist to non-Catholic spouses.
“Failure to give German bishops proper directives, based on the clear doctrine and practice of the Church, points to a drift toward apostasy from the truth,” Eijk writes.
The Dutch cardinal goes on to say that “Protestants do not share faith in the priesthood and the Eucharist. Assuming that all members of the German bishops’ conference, after having discussed them again, unanimously decide that Communion can be administered to Protestants married to a Catholic (something that will not happen), will this — while being contrary to what the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church say in this regard — become the new practice in the Catholic Church in Germany?”
Concerning the blessing of homosexual couples, Ejik says, “This is also the case with cardinals who publicly propose to bless homosexual relationships, something which is diametrically opposed to the doctrine of the Church, founded on Sacred Scripture, that marriage, according to the order of creation, exists only between a man and a woman.”
The cardinal concludes by insisting that the practice of the Catholic Church “is not determined and does not change statistically when a majority of an episcopal conference votes in favor of it, not even if unanimously.”
According to him, Pope Francis “should have given the delegation of the German episcopal conference clear directives, based on the clear doctrine and practice of the Church. By failing to create clarity, great confusion is created among the faithful and the unity of the Church is endangered.”
Following a directive from Pope Francis, six German bishops and the general secretary of the bishops’ conference gathered in Rome on May 3, 2018.
They met with top officials from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts discuss the guidelines for allowing people receive the Eucharist.
“Pope Francis appreciates the ecumenical commitment of the German bishops and asks them to find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a result as unanimously as possible,” a Vatican statement read.
Discussing the meeting, the Vatican statement said, “Various points of view were discussed; for example, how the question relates to the faith and to pastoral care, its relevance for the universal church and its juridical dimension.”
The bishops' decision has not been made public yet.