Dutch cardinal says the pope is endangering church unity

The head of the Roman Catholic church in the Netherlands has written an open letter to the pope, criticising him for ‘creating confusion’ among the faithful and ‘endangering the unity of the church’.

Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk wrote the English-language letter following a conflict among German cardinals about allowing the non-Catholic partners of Catholics to also take part in the eucharist – the sharing of bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus.

The issue ended up with the pope, who urged German cardinals to get round the table and come to a unanimous decision, something with Eijk said is ‘completely incomprehensible’.

The pope’s failure to give German bishops proper directives, based on the clear doctrine and practice of the church, points to a drift towards apostasy from the truth, he said in the letter, published on an American website.

Catholic teaching is quite clear and there are only a very few specific exceptions to allowing non-Catholics to participate, the cardinal said.

He also criticised proposals by some cardinals to bless homosexual relationships.

This, he says is ‘diametrically opposed to the doctrine of the church… that marriage, according to the order of creation, exists only between a man and a woman.

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