SPECIAL REPORT: DETROIT MONEY GRAB premieres Thursday, Oct. 21, during Church Militant Catholic Info Hour at 7 pm ET
Rome is rejecting intercommunion.
In a letter dated May 25, Vatican doctrine chief Abp. Luis Ladaria revealed Pope Francis is, for now, curbing a proposal by the German Bishops' Conference to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion without becoming Catholic themselves.
Ladaria explained: "The Holy Father has reached the conclusion that the document has not matured enough to be published."
The archbishop noted the proposal is problematic because it stems from a faulty interpretation of Canon Law.
He also said that opening a door to Protestant communion while barring other faiths from the Eucharist could sour relations with them.
Ladaria reminded the German bishops that admitting non-Catholics to Holy Communion is not a local issue, but affects the entire universal Church.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, head of the German bishops, voiced surprise at the Pope's decision, which seems to clarify earlier ambiguity.
Speaking to Rome's Lutheran community in 2015, Pope Francis joked: "The question of sharing the Lord's Supper isn't easy for me to respond to, above all in front of a theologian like [intercommunion proponent] Cardinal Kasper."
Marx has indicated he intends to discuss the letter with other members of the German hierarchy and with Pope Francis himself.