Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, former prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (archive photo)
Photo: Andreas Arnold / picture alliance / dpa
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the former prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has criticized the communion services of Catholic and Protestant Christians at the Ecumenical Church Congress in Frankfurt / Main.
This was "a provocation of the teaching office of the Catholic Church," said Müller to the German Press Agency.
In four face-to-face services in Frankfurt on Saturday evening, Catholics were invited to take part in the Evangelical Supper, while Protestants, conversely, were able to celebrate the Catholic Eucharist.
"Nobody can, on their own initiative and according to their own taste, declare the contradictions between Evangelical-Protestant and Catholic creeds to be irrelevant or ignore them," commented Müller, formerly Bishop of Regensburg.
"Anyone who contradicts Catholic teaching and its binding interpretation by the Roman Magisterium is no longer Catholic."
"I felt at home"
The President of the Ecumenical Church Congress in Frankfurt, Thomas Sternberg, rejected Müller's criticism. "We live an ecumenical hospitality," said Sternberg at the closing press conference of the Kirchentag. "The whole thing touched me very, very deeply." The mutual invitation practiced in Frankfurt is a reality in countless German communities. It is therefore only honest if this has now been done publicly for the first time at a church convention. "This is ecumenical progress," he said. "I felt at home."
According to biblical tradition, Jesus and his apostles held the Last Supper on the evening before his arrest and execution.
The most important Christian form of cult, the communal communion of the faithful, which the Catholics call the Eucharist, developed from the memory of this.
In addition to many similarities, there are also differences in understanding, so the Catholic Eucharist may only be celebrated by the priest.
mjm / dpa