The Catholic Church in Germany is divided over whether to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
Cardinal Arinze said that if Protestants want to receive Communion, they should become Catholic.
“It is very important to look at the doctrine,” he added. “The Eucharistic celebration of the Mass is not an ecumenical service. It is not a gathering of those who believe in Christ and who invent a prayer for the occasion. It is a celebration of the mysteries of Christ who died for us on the Cross, who made bread into His body and wine into His blood and told the Apostles ‘do this in memory of me’.
“So the Eucharistic celebration of the Mass is the celebration of the faith community, those who believe in Christ. They are communicating in the faith, and in the sacraments, and in ecclesiastical communion, not now Holy Communion but ecclesiastical unity with their pastor, their bishop and the Pope. It is the community that celebrates the Holy Eucharist. Anybody who is not a member of that community does not fit in at all.
“It isn’t just that we wish one another well. After Mass, you can have a cup of tea and even a glass of beer and a bit of cake. That’s OK. But the Mass is not like that.