Eucharistic Hospitality: From Pastoral Question to Ecumenical Quest. A Response to the German Kommuniondebatte

Fokke Wouda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The decision of the German Bishops’ Conference to publish a pastoral guideline for offering Eucharistic hospitality to non-Catholic spouses sparked fierce international debate. The author reflects on the document, eventually published as orientation aid entitled Mit Christus gehen – Der Einheit auf der Spur; Konfessionsverbindende Ehen und gemeinsame Teilnahme an der Eucharistie and on the discussion that accompanied it. He argues that the German Bishops address the issue almost exclusively as a pastoral question, based on the particular challenges mixed couples face in their personal faith and within their marriage. Supported by his interpretation of Pope Francis’ responses to the matter, the author appeals to regard the issue just as much, or even primarily, as an ecumenical quest. Eucharistic hospitality, then, should be reimagined as significant step along the path towards Christian unity: a path indicated by the unique intuitions and experiences of Brother Roger of Taizé. A practical theological evaluation of the experiences of Brother Roger, partners in ecumenical marriages, and others may offer new insights for the debate about the place of Eucharistic sharing in the ecumenical process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-262
Number of pages17
JournalCatholica. Vierteljahresschrift für Ökumenische Theologie
Volume72
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Theology
  • Catholic Theology
  • Christianity
  • Ecumenism
  • Eucharist
  • Sacramental theology
  • Taizé
  • Pope Francis

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