Emmanuel Fuchs, president of the Protestant Church in Geneva and a pastor in Saint-Pierre, added that the invitation indicates that “the climate in Geneva is extremely favorable and fruitful with the Roman Catholic Church. We have made notable progress in terms of ecumenism, especially with the Joint Declaration, signed in 2017, which recognizes our respective ministries.”
In a first since the Reformation era, Protestants are set to receive communion during a Catholic mass at a historic Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, John Calvin’s adopted home.
The historic Swiss church, Saint-Pierre Reformed Protestant church, will hold a Catholic mass on Feb. 29, leap day, and Protestants have been invited to attend and take part, including in receiving communion.
Although open communion is forbidden by Catholic doctrine, the practice is reportedly common in Geneva, according to Protest Info, a Swiss Protestant news outlet.
The church became the home of French Protestant Reformer John Calvin, whose famous triangular chair continues to be kept beside the pulpit.
“The decision to invite Fr. Desthieux to say mass in Saint-Pierre began as informal talks followed by an ecumenical service in the cathedral, which then “matured” into a discussion and a council vote, said Parish Council President Daniel Pilly,” LifeSite reported.
Pilly told Protest Info that he faced no opposition to the idea.
“The idea appealed because it corresponds to our desire to make the cathedral a meeting place for all Geneva Christians. A space that transcends confessional boundaries,” he said.