Intercommunion War

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  May 14, 2018   

Cdl. Müller: The problem is a loss of supernatural faith in the sacraments

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The Vatican's former doctrinal chief is saying the underlying issue of Germany's desire for intercommunion is a loss of supernatural faith in the sacraments.

Reflecting on Germany's proposal for Protestant intercommunion, Cdl. Gerhard Müller, former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in April wrote that the sacraments are "no longer regarded as the visible signs instituted by Christ and celebrated in the Church, effecting invisible grace in those who are well disposed."

One reason German bishops profer for opening Holy Communion to Protestant spouses is to end their so-called "serious spiritual distress," seemingly caused by not receiving the Eucharist. Viewing the sacraments through the eyes of faith, says Cdl. Müller is largely being replaced with a natural psychological lens. "The sacraments are turned into psychological and social means of support to facilitate our inner mystical experiences with a 'Christ' that is shaped in our consciousness according to our own image and likeness," said the cardinal.


The underlying premise of morality is that evil can never be done in order to accomplish a good. It has been summed up by stating the [good] end never justifies the [evil] means. This has been replaced by situational ethics whereby Holy Communion may be given to Protestants for the sake of their psychological well-being.

The seven prelates, who sought Rome's aid in fighting the German bishops' proposal, questioned whether such "distress" is really anything extraordinary. In their letter to the Vatican April 25, they wrote, "In our opinion, this distress is none other than which belongs ecumenism as a whole, that is, of every Christian who seriously strives for unity. In our view, therefore, it is not an exceptional criterion."

Watch the panel discuss the battle of German bishops over sacrilegious Holy Communion in The Download—Intercommunion War.


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