A Dutch prelate is reminding Pope Francis of his duty to clarify doctrine.
Writing in the National Catholic Register last week, Cdl. Willem Eijk of the Netherlands slammed the pope's failure to denounce a German plan to offer Holy Communion to non-Catholics.
In February, the German bishops floated a proposal to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive the Eucharist without becoming Catholic themselves — a clear violation of Church teaching.
Instead of explicitly condemning the plan, the pope left it to the bishops to find a solution — a move Cdl. Eijk called "completely incomprehensible."
The pope's ambiguity on Protestant intercommunion isn't new.
Speaking at Rome's Lutheran Church in November 2015, Francis said, "The question [of Lutherans and Catholics] sharing the Lord's Supper isn't easy for me to respond to, above all in front of a theologian like Cdl. Kasper."
Warning of a drift toward apostasy, the Utrecht archbishop quoted Article 675 of the catechism, which foretells a future "ultimate trial" for the Church: "Before Christ's Second Coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' ... in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the Truth."
Cardinal Eijk said the pope's failure to create clarity endangers the unity of the Church.