Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Cardinal Kasper: "Eucharistic hospitality licit in some circumstances"

Catholic World News this morning is carrying two significant developments concerning the broad canvas of who is eligible to receive Communion.

In Europe, the senior Cardinal and President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Walter Kasper, said on the weekend "there are circumstances when a non-Catholic can receive Communion at a Catholic Mass."

In the other story, CWN reports that the American Bishops have taken a cautious approach in their own statement issued on the weekend regarding the distribution of communion to politicians who might not be supporting Catholic social teaching.

NOTE:Over the weekend CathNews received a complaint from the Editor of CWN over the choice of words I had used in the descriptor on Friday to their story on Cardinal Ratzinger's attitudes on this matter. I have apologised to CWN for the inappropriate phrase and removed it from our website. The correspondence between CWN and CathNews is published on our own discussion board at The shared observations in that correspondence, combined with the latest news this morning on the response of the US bishops, adds further weight to the observation that the highest teaching authorities of the Church are taking a very cautious attitude to this matter of any form of public condemnation of public figures through the refusal of Holy Communion. It would seem the attitude of the highest authorities in the Church is that if people are ineligible to receive Communion these matters are best handled privately by the local bishop in both the interests of the individuals concerned and of the wider Church. The public judgment of the "Catholicity" of any person is not a subject for media speculation and discussion in every village square. - Relief Editor.

CWN - Cardinal Kasper backs "Eucharistic hospitality"
CWN - US bishops take cautious stand on Communion flap

CWN - Ratzinger joins US debate on withholding Eucharist
CNS - No easy answers: U.S. debate over Communion reverberates at Vatican
Communion Issue Creates Split Among U.S. Bishops (New York Times 6/6/04)
Denial of Eucharist a 'slippery slope,' cardinal tells journalists (Catholic News Service 1/6/04)
Church's Freedom in U.S. Threatened, Says Cardinal George (Zenit 1/6/04)
Cardinal George denies Communion to Rainbow Sash gay activists (Catholic News Service 1/6/04)
Cardinal Stands by Decision on Holy Communion (Zenit 1/6/04)
Questions the Holy See is asking about the Eucharist (Zenit 1/6/04)
Steady as she goes (Online Catholics 2/6/04)

21 Jun 2004