Europe

German church OKs case-by-case Communion for remarried

  • Pope Francis poses with a chorus during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis poses with a chorus during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colored balloons float as Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Colored balloons float as Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's bishops have declared that Pope Francis' outreach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics opens the door to letting them receive Communion.

In a statement Wednesday, the German bishops' conference says Francis' document titled "The Joy of Love" sets out how pastors can provide "differentiated solutions" to individual cases through a process of accompaniment. They said that method "opens the possibility of receiving the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist."

So far, Argentine and Maltese bishops have issued similar guidelines. The Maltese bishops have gone even further, saying the Eucharist cannot be denied to these Catholics if, after a path of spiritual discernment, they are at peace with God.

Francis' doctrinal czar, however, says in an interview that church doctrine prevents these Catholics from receiving Communion.