Conscience and Spiritual Conversations
The German Bishops’ Guidelines on sharing the Eucharist in interchurch families
Last year the Conference of German Bishops issued guidelines indicating that, under certain conditions, eucharistic hospitality might be extended to the non-Catholic spouse in an interchurch marriage. At the heart of their document the bishops say that any decisions to share communion should be made by the interchurch spouses themselves informed by their consciences after a “spiritual conversation” in which they should be guided by a priest or pastor. They envisage such spiritual conversations following the guidance given in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Discernment at this level is not something with which most lay people are likely to be familiar and so during the weekend we will therefore consider:
- How such a process of discernment might “work”
- The steps that someone might take, both in planning and in holding, that conversation.
- What the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises are – and how they might help in the process of discernment.
- How else a “spiritual conversation” might proceed.
The weekend will also include bible study and, as always, opportunities for joining in worship as well as time for fellowship, sharing experiences and learning together.
During the weekend we will be joined by:
Fr Dominic Robinson SJ – who will lead our discussions on discernment
Jenny Bond from Churches Together in England – who will lead our bible study
Revd Dr Callan Slipper – National Ecumenical Officer for the Church of England
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