His answer to a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic about receiving communion at Mass is ambiguous.
Edward Pentin gives a full account here.
The reason the pope’s comments are fuzzy is that, on the one hand he says clearly that he doesn’t dare to say the woman can receive communion. That is not his competence.
On the other hand he says, “Talk to the Lord and go forward.”
What does that mean?
Here’s the crucial paragraph.
Pope Francis: It’s a problem each must answer, but a pastor-friend once told me: “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present. You all believe that the Lord is present. And so what’s the difference?” — “Eh, there are explanations, interpretations.” Life is bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism. “One faith, one baptism, one Lord.” This is what Paul tells us, and then take the consequences from there. I wouldn’t ever dare to allow this, because it’s not my competence. One baptism, one Lord, one faith. Talk to the Lord and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.
The pope’s comments on the matter are very confusing. Fr Z attempts some clear explanation here.
The Pope observes that a Lutheran pastor says to him, “We believe the Lord is present here. He is present. So what’s the difference?”
The difficulty is that there are great differences and simply saying “Eh, there are explanations, interpretations. Life is bigger than explanations and interpretations…” is unsatisfactory waffle from a successor of Peter.
Most Protestants will say about the Eucharist something like “The Lord is present.” But what do they mean by it? Baptists mean, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20) and they would say therefore “The Lord is present” when a couple of them are meeting for prayer and Bible study. They would be right about that, but what they mean by “the Lord’s presence” is very different from a Catholic understanding of transubstantiation and they would be quick to point that out. Continue Reading