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Cardinal Eijk: Pope’s response to German bishops ‘incomprehensible’

Cardinal Eijk (Getty)

Pope Francis’s response to the German bishops’ draft guidelines on Communion for Protestants is “completely incomprehensible”, Cardinal Willem Eijk has said.

The Archbishop of Utrecht said the guidelines clearly breach Church teaching, and expressed his surprise that Pope Francis had not rejected them outright.

“The Holy Father should have given the delegation of the German episcopal conference clear directives, based on the clear doctrine and practice of the Church,” he said.

“He should have also responded on this basis to the Lutheran woman who asked him on November 15, 2015 if she could receive Communion with her Catholic spouse, saying that this is not acceptable instead of suggesting she could receive Communion on the basis of her being baptized, and in accordance with her conscience.”

Writing in National Catholic Register, Cardinal Eijk said Pope Francis had caused “great confusion among the faithful” and “endangered” the Church’s unity.

“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,” he added.

The cardinal concluded by saying the situation resembled the end times, quoting Article 675 of the Catechism which speaks of “a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.”