Germany: The Archbishop of Cologne forbids intercommunion in his diocese.

Source: FSSPX News


Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, has reaffirmed his opposition to the participation of Protestants in the Eucharist. In an open letter published on February 9, he gave his reaction to the campaign of signatures organized in his diocese, in favor of intercommunion.

Such an opening as this to members of other communities is contrary to canon law, he stressed, denouncing the stance made by the Synod of the Evangelical Church of Rhénanie in January, that no one is excluded from worship. Its president, Nikolaus Schneider, considered the suspension of the priest Gotthold Hasenhüttl, “annoying”. The latter, suspended from office by his bishop, had invited Protestants to Communion during a celebration organized during the ecumenical Kirchentag 2003, in Berlin. The Archbishop of Cologne described Nikolaus Schneider’s declaration as “destructive”. He recalled that Fr. Hassenhüttl did not act in accordance with canon law.

The German cardinal expressed himself equally “dismayed by the lack of religious understanding” shown through the presentation of this petition in his archdiocese. Pope John Paul II has confirmed, in his recent encyclical on the Eucharist, that the community of communion presupposes the ecclesial community, he recalled.

For their part, the instigators of the petition consider that “the Eucharist must not inevitably be the sign of a unity already accomplished, but that it may, as a sacrament, contribute to this unity”. – On this question, among others, it would be good to see a firm stand taken by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian.