The Holy See Search



2-23 October 2005

The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church

This Bulletin is only a working instrument for the press.
Translations are not official.

English Edition


06 - 04.10.2005





At 09:00 a.m. today, Tuesday 4 October 2005,in remembrance of St Francis of Assisi,in the presence of the Holy Father,with the chant of the Third Hour, the Third General Congregation took place for the continuation of the interventions of the Synod Fathers in the Hall on the Synod topic: The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church. The President Delegate on duty was His Em. Card. Juan SANDOVAL ÍÑIGUEZ, Archbishop of Guadalajara (Mexico).
This General Congregation concluded at 12:30 p.m. with the prayer Angelus Domini; 243 Fathers were present.


At the opening of the Third General Congregation the President Delegate on duty offered greetings for the name day of the Synod Fathers on the occasion of today’s feast.


Then the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops informed about the composition of the Commission for Information:

H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. John Patrick FOLEY, Titular Archbishop of Neapolis in Proconsulari, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications

Vice President
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Sofron Stefan MUDRY, O.S.B.M., Bishop Emeritus of Ivano-Frankivsk, Stanislav of the Ukrainians
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Evaristus Thatho BITSOANE, Bishop of Qacha's Nek, President of the Episcopal Conference
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Luciano Pedro MENDES DE ALMEIDA, S.I, Archbishop of Mariana
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Joseph POWATHIL, Archbishop of Changanacherry of the Syro-Malabras
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Franjo KOMARICA, Bishop of Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
H.Exc. Most. Arnold OREWAE, Bishop Coadjutor of Wabag (Papua New Guinea)

Ex - ufficio Members
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Nikola ETEROVIĆ, Titular Archbishop of Sisak, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops
H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Roland MINNERATH, Archbishop of Dijon

Ex - ufficio Member and Secretary
Prof. Joaquín NAVARRO-VALLS, Director of the Holy See Press Office


Voting under electronic form for the election of the members of the Commission for the Message took place after the break.


The following Fathers intervened in this Third General Congregation:

- H.E. Most. Rev. Juan Abelardo MATA GUEVARA, S.D.B., Bishop of Estelí (NICARAGUA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Paul-André DUROCHER, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (CANADA)
- H. Em. Card. Javier LOZANO BARRAGÁN, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Geraldo LYRIO ROCHA, Archbishop of Vitória da Conquista (BRAZIL)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Pedro Ricardo BARRETO JIMENO, S.I., Archbishop of Huancayo (PERU)
- H. Em. Card. Jorge Arturo MEDINA ESTÉVEZ, Prefecy Emeritus for the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (VATICAN CITY)
- H. Em. Card. Cormac MURPHY-O'CONNOR, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Episcopal Conference (GREAT BRITAIN)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Gerald William WIESNER, O.M.I., Bishop of Prince George (CANADA)
- H. Em. Card. Justin Francis RIGALI, Archbishop of Philadelphia (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Clément FECTEAU, Bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière (CANADA)
- H. Em. Card. Miguel OBANDO BRAVO, S.D.B., Archbishop Emeritus of Managua (NICARAGUA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Peter KANG U-IL, Bishop of Cheju (KOREA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. José Trinidad GONZÁLEZ RODRÍGUEZ, Titular Bishop of Menefessi, Auxiliary Bishop of Guadalajara (MEXICO)
- H. Em. Card. Telesphore Placidus TOPPO, Archbishop of Ranchi (INDIA)
- H. Em. Card. James Francis STAFFORD, Penitentiary Major (VATICAN CITY)
- Rev. Father Mark R. FRANCIS, C.S.V., Superior General of the Clerics of Saint Viator
- H.E. Most Rev. Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA, Archbishop of Kisangani, President of the Episcopal Conference (DEM. REPUBLIC OF CONGO)

Below are the summaries of the interventions:

- H.E. Most. Rev. Juan Abelardo MATA GUEVARA, S.D.B., Bishop of Estelí (NICARAGUA)

a. Social Breakdown
Secularization as a cultural process has been internalized in our environments. It is unraveling the cultural tapestry of our people, some signs of which are already manifest in the reality in which we live: there is a social plague that dehumanizes the atmosphere and makes it immoral, due to its distance from God and the rejection of Christian principles. Alcoholism and divorce have subtly become incrusted as something normal, and drug addiction, pornography, murders violence, etc. weigh us down as social evils.
b. The moral crisis
The Church has been attacked, with no respect for her representatives, who are constantly submitted to sharp criticisms and sarcastic caricatures.
On the other hand, the moral crisis denigrates the dignity of the human person. Together with these evils, the asphyxiating consumer propaganda taints our opaque reality, and the idolatry of money and pleasure is imposed on us.
c. Attacks on our Culture
This overwhelming ideology is destroying the family and promotes erotic pleasure, unleashing a selfish culture which brings with it customs alien to our own culture, such as the promotion of spectacles that belittle women’s dignity and instigate the unmeasured consumption of alcohol. This situation is even more painful for the Church when these celebrations, called carnivals, affect religious celebrations, manipulating them ideologically, creating more confusion and emptiness of God.
d. Ecclesial Commitment
The damages derived from the diffusion of secularism of these environments, shows the urgency for an audacious evangelization in all social ambits, which could transform and humanize these structures, in such a way that they could return to their true unity on Christ (cf. Eph 1: 10; Church in America 67).
a. The Eucharist, food that gives strength for the journey.
In the Eucharist, as Vatican Council II affirms, Christians find the source and summit of all that we are. In this providential hour, the Lord invites us to contemplate our reality and to life our eyes on high, to recuperate the hopes and the will to fight against all that distances us from God.
The Lord exhorts us as He did the prophet Elijah: “Get up and eat, because the journey is too long for you” (1 Kings 19: 7). In the Sacrament of the Eucharist we find the food that gives us strength to fight against sin and discouragement, apathy and lack of hope.
The journey is still too long and without this food we would not be able to resist the trials, the difficulties and sufferings that daily life presents us with.
b. Communion
The Eucharistic year has been inviting us to a renewal of the spirit of communion, reconciliation, fraternal love, solidarity, and missionary spirit. This goes beyond a simple event or a celebrative encounter. It seeks a deepening in the most intimate of our interior and ecclesial life. In this way, the Eucharistic year is for us a strong call to unity and communion of all the Church of Nicaragua, and to a return to the roots of Christian faith that has made our communities fruitful.

[00039-02.04] [IN033] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Paul-André DUROCHER, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (CANADA)

The Cross of Christ, formed by the trunk and a board, recalls the two dimensions of the saving death of Christ: vertical, the glorification of the Father; horizontal, the salvation of humanity. The Cross calls upon the Christian community to unite in Christ according to these two dimensions - praise of the Father and prayer for the world - making of the Eucharist both a doxological and missionary liturgical action, at the same time. In our contemporary world, we are lead fist of all to look for personal satisfaction and immediate gratification. In such a cultural context, we risk diminishing the Eucharist to the narrowness of our own needs and desires. Therefore, the doxological and missionary dimensions need to be developed in cultivating the art of celebrating, remaining attentive to the possibilities of praise and openness to the world already present in the heart of the liturgy, to develop new prayer formulae, new prefaces, a new rite of sending out. All this to finally realize in the celebration what the cross of the procession already symbolizes.

[00042-02.03] [IN039] [Original text: French]

- H. Em. Card. Javier LOZANO BARRAGÁN, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care (VATICAN CITY)

The Eucharist received as Viaticum gives us the contemporaneity with the saving event in the moment of death. Thus it means life, communion and eternity. As life, our death is one in the Viaticum with the death and resurrection of Christ. This way we accomplish in our body that which is lacking in the passion of Christ and we enter in his glorious resurrection. Our life becomes worthy for the worthiness of Christ, thanks to the Holy Spirit that gives worth to the virtue and delivers us eternal happiness. As communion, by the Viaticum, death ceases to be loneliness and becomes the maximum company: it gives us the transparency of ourselves, it unites us to Christ center of the Universe and thus with the whole Universe, it opens us up to the company of the whole Church for the communion of saints; it unites us with most Holy Virgin Mary, with all saints and with all the members of the Church. Through the Viaticum we reach the moment of the recapitulation of everything in Christ. We defeat solitude. The solitude in death goes the opposite way of the faith in the Viaticum. As eternity, through the Viaticum, we dominate the mobility of the wish in the plenitude of Trinitarian love, which we participate in, considering Christ as the eternal happiness to reach full participation in the Divine life.

[00044-02.02] [IN043] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Geraldo LYRIO ROCHA, Archbishop of Vitória da Conquista (BRAZIL)

There are celebrations of the Holy Mass broadcast by television that, in some parts, give rise to serious and grievous concerns. ,With respect to these issues, it would be of the maximum convenience to remember that in the liturgy we celebrate the Paschal Mystery. By all, there should be, respect and faithfulness to what has been established by the Magisterium of the Church for the celebration of the Holy Mass and Eucharistic Worship, in order to avoid deviations and abuses, especially in television broadcasts. Those who follow Mass on TV should be encouraged in participating in the celebration with the liturgical assembly. Every celebration should always have a tone of prayer, so that the dimension of sacrality of the celebrated mystery may be seen. Their proper value should be given to the liturgical symbols, and the artistic expression of the celebrative spaces, as well as that of the objects and the liturgical vestments, should be taken care of. The singing and music should be in harmony with the character of the celebration, the liturgical time and the celebrative moments.

[00045-02.03] [IN044] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Pedro Ricardo BARRETO JIMENO, S.I., Archbishop of Huancayo (PERU)

In the contemporary world, with regard to the environment and the realities of extreme poverty, there is anguish and deception in the face of the failure of human hopes, as His Holiness Benedict XVI said on Sunday, God has been banished from public life; for this reason, as John Paul II pointed out, the ecological crisis is not only a scientific and technological one, but also and principally an ethical and moral one. The conviction of the Church is that “the technology that contaminates can also decontaminate; the production that accumulates can also distribute fairly, as long as the ethics of respect for life, for human dignity and for the rights of human generations, present and future, prevail.”
The climactic change presents a serious threat to world peace. It is an authentic “sign of the times” that demands of us an “ecological conversion”. And the Church has a huge responsibility in the spiritual field. In this context, since the Eucharist is the summit towards which all creation tends, it is also the response to the concerns of the contemporary world, even those of ecology.” (Instrumentum Laboris 3)
As “fruit of the earth”, the bread and the wine represent the creation which is entrusted to us by our Creator. For that reason the Eucharist has a direct relationship with the life and hope pf humanity and must be a constant concern for the Church and a sign of Eucharistic authenticity. Humanity and all creation in general (cf. 2 Pt 3: 13) await...the unification of all things in Christ, even the things of earth (cf. Eph 1: 10)” (Instrumentum Laboris 3). As “fruit of the work” of the human person, in many parts of the world, as is the case of the Archdiocese of Huancayo (Perú), the air, the ground and the basin of the river Mantaro are seriously affected by contamination. The Eucharist commits us to working so that the bread and wine be fruit of “a fertile, pure and uncontaminated land”. For that reason, it is necessary to make ever more visible the “communion” of the Episcopal college, gathered under the Vicar of Christ, and the “affective and effective collegiality”, from which the solicitude of us Bishops for the other particular Churches and for the Universal Church, is derived,”, thus encouraging the participation of the laity.
Faith in the Risen Christ makes of the Eucharist a project of solidarity to share their goods with the most poor, and to live the Eucharistic spirituality in the Church.

[00046-02.03] [IN046] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Jorge Arturo MEDINA ESTÉVEZ, Prefecy Emeritus for the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (VATICAN CITY)

The three aspects of the Eucharist, Sacrifice, real presence and sacramental Communion are not juxtaposed realities, but are expressed so that the original reality is sacrificial. The real presence gives its complete dimension to the Eucharistic sacrifice and Holy Communion is participating in the sacrifice. It is not possible to separate any one of these realities from the other two, and the whole leads to the fact that all Christian life is dedicated to the glory of God.
Intimately united to the sacrificial nature is the propitiatory dimension of the Eucharistic celebration, as much in for the living as for the dead. The obsequial liturgy above all looks at the support of the soul of the deceased and it is a misapplication to convert the obsequial homily into a tribute of the person who has passed away.

[00022-02.06] [IN002] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Cormac MURPHY-O'CONNOR, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Episcopal Conference (GREAT BRITAIN)

It is my sincere hope that our deliberations will concentrate on the implications of the Eucharist for the ecclesial community and its mission in the world. The Final Report of the 1985 Synod chose as its title: Ecclesia sub Verbo Dei celebrans mysteria Christi pro salute mundi. In that title we find the four great constitutions of Vatican II linked together.
In referring to the Extraordinary Synod of 1985 I am quite explicitly pointing to one of the greatest fruits that issued from it: namely, its focus on koinonia/communion - Ecclesiologia communionis.
I am convinced that a recovery of the theology and ecclesiology of koinonia, in its many dimensions, is truly a fruit of the presence of the Spirit of the Risen Christ in his Church and a theme of immense ecumenical significance.
It is essential that the profound relationship between communion/koinonia and the Eucharist be a central feature of our discussions and of any documents that emerge from this assembly. We cannot reduce our gathering at this Synod to a narrow discussion of practical norms or catechetical guidelines, important as these are.
This Synod on the Eucharist takes us to the heart of all that the Second Vatican Council sought to say about Church, the world, and the destiny of all human history in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.

[00023-02.05] [IN003] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Gerald William WIESNER, O.M.I., Bishop of Prince George (CANADA)

In the Apostolic Letter Novo Millenio Ineunte Pope John Paul II points to the celebration of the Holy Year of 2000 as an opportunity for the Church to examine how far she had renewed herself in light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
The Council, clearly and repeatedly, calls for the full, conscious and active participation of the faithful in the celebration of the liturgy. This quality of participation is both demanded by the nature of the liturgy and called for in virtue of baptism.
The royal priesthood, conferred on the faithful in the sacrament of baptism, requires of them and enables them to offer the divine Victim to the Father and to offer themselves along with the divine Victim.
As indicated in the Instrumentum Laboris many lack a proper understanding of the Eucharist and hence fail to participate properly. This brief paper is an effort to underline and address this issue.

[00031-02.04] [IN021] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. Justin Francis RIGALI, Archbishop of Philadelphia (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

To speak of "the Eucharist: the Mystery of Faith" (no.28) is also to speak of "the Eucharist: Mystery of Trinitarian Love." The same is true in speaking of the Sacrifice of Jesus (no. 37).
In speaking about the relation of Jesus to His Father in the communion of the Most Blessed Trinity, we find the deepest explanation of the Eucharist, especially as sacrifice-a sacrifice renewed in the Eucharist.
Christ's love for us and the love of the Father who sent His Son into the world to redeem us explain to a great extent the Eucharist. Two other aspects of God's love are, however, even more basic for an understanding of the Eucharist and all the suffering Christ endured for us on Calvary. The Eucharist flows directly from the love of the Son of God for His Father, in response to the eternal love by which He is loved by the Father in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus' greatest proclamation was the love that the Father has for Him and the love that He has for the Father. Jesus says: "The Father loves the Son" (Jn 3:35); 5:20). "The Father loves me" (Jn 10: 17). "I love the Father" (Jn 14:31).
The Sacrifice of Jesus is motivated by His love for the Father and His obedience to the Father. Calvary and the Eucharist, which re-enacts and renews Calvary, express the exchange of love between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. The Resurrection is the Father's response of love to Christ's Sacrifice and the greatest proclamation of His eternal love for His Son. As the mystery of faith, the Eucharist is, above all, the mystery of Trinitarian love.

[00035-02.03] [IN028] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Clément FECTEAU, Bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière (CANADA)

Rightly so, the document submitted to the present assembly recommends asserting with insistence that Christ Jesus is truly present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Number 38 of the Instrumentum laboris invites the present Synodal assembly to assert, once again, “that the Lord’s enduring, substantial presence in the Sacrament is not a mere type or metaphor”.
On this subject, we have reason to ask for the “explanation of the theology of consecration” to facilitate ecumenical dialogue and to facilitate the understanding of Catholics themselves. There is also room to ask the experts to develop a more appropriate language for the catechesis of this great mystery.
Often, we consider the Eucharist as something static, whereas it is a dynamic reality. Isn’t the Eucharist the person of Christ, not only present, but also in the sacrificial act, constantly and permanently, even if in the form of a memorial.
It would be opportune that some specialists suggest a renewed language on this aspect so that pastors, catechetes and faithful may reach a deeper and truer understanding of the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist.
The act of adoration, the attitude of interior adoration, constitutes the place where the expression of the faith in the presence of the Lord in the most holy Sacrament reaches its culmination. However, one should avoid interpreting this assertion as if the celebrations of adoration outside mass were, more than this last one, the expression of such a faith.
It is auspicable that this Synodal assembly more deeply studies this question of Eucharistic Adoration, because there is a great effort to be made to renew this practice in making the meaning more explicit and in furnishing texts with appropriate prayers to support those persons who yet do not have the habit of spontaneous prayer.

[00040-02.03] [IN034] [Original text: French]

- H. Em. Card. Miguel OBANDO BRAVO, S.D.B., Archbishop Emeritus of Managua (NICARAGUA)

Jesus teaches us that the fundamental law of human perfection, and therefore, of transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love.
A person’s behaviour is fully human when love blossoms and is orientated towards love. This truth is also valid from a social point of view: it is necessary for Christians to be deeply convinced witnesses and are able to show, by their lives, that love is the only strength which can lead to personal and social perfection, as well as move history towards good.
To form a more human society, and a more worthy societyof the person, it is necessary to revalue love in social life - from a political, economic and cultural point of view, making it the constant and supreme norm of action.
Only charity can completely change man. A similar change does not mean erasing the earthly dimension into a disincarnate spirituality. Whoever thinks of complying with the supernatural virtue of love without taking into account its natural fundamental correspondence, which includes the duties of justice, is deceiving himself: charity represents the best social commandment. Respect others and their rights.
However, neither can charity be exhausted in the earthly dimension of human and social relations because all its efficiency derives from the reference to God.
One cannot speak of the Eucharist without fraternity. At least without an open attitude, a will
for union and mutual surrender.
In the celebration of the Eucharist, elements of fraternity (The Our Father, the gesture of peace, breaking of the bread) are accumulated. It is simply wising to underline the horizontal aspect of our communion.

[00041-02.05] [IN038] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Peter KANG U-IL, Bishop of Cheju (KOREA)

In these modern times the reason why the beauty, light and worth of the Eucharist is being forgotten is not so much that we disregard the rules but more due to the secularization of modem materialistic and sensual culture. All society is under the influence of these images and as times go on, the general population are made indifferent to 'mystery'.
In the Church in Korea the attendance of children at Eucharist decreases drastically as they move on to higher age. The children who don't attend the Mass say it is because Mass is too tedious and not interesting. Adults also say tbat because they find it very boring, they cannot motivate themselves to attend. As a priority we have to motivate and give rise within the hearts of Catholics a desire and aspiration to participate in the Eucharist.
Up to now there has been very little deep personal contact between Catholics within the parish structure. But in recent years Asian believers have been building up a sense of communion with their brothers and sisters in faith through the Small Christian Communities.
People who experience this sense of communion with their neighbors are better prepared to deepen their sense of communion within the context of Eucharist. From this point of view the vitalization of S.C.C. is an excellent means of helping believers to deeply understand the value of the Eucharist and to participate more fully in its celebration.
In order to communicate to modern people the mystery of the Eucharist it is not enough to strictly enforce the rules and regulations regarding the celebration of the Sacrament. For o ur part as bishops we need to more actively research ways to facilitate modern Catholics to experience the real value of the Eucharist, to participate fully in it and to experience the joy of it.

[00043-02.04] [IN042] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. José Trinidad GONZÁLEZ RODRÍGUEZ, Titular Bishop of Menefessi, Auxiliary Bishop of Guadalajara (MEXICO)

The Eucharist and Social Justice
Justice bound to charity towards those to whom the Eucharist urges us directs us to an active, concrete and effective love with each human being, that should not be lacking in our ecclesial style of Christian life and in our programmes.of pastoral care Because, “if we have truly started from the contemplation of the (Eucharistic) Christ, we must learn to see Him especially in the faces of those with whom He Himself wished to be identified”, when He said: “I was hungry and you gave me food”... (Mt 25: 35-36). This Gospel text is not a simple invitation to charity: it is a page of Christology,which sheds a ray of light on the mystery of Christ. By these words, no less than by the orthodoxy of her doctrine, the Church measures her fidelity as Bride of Christ.”, stated His Holiness John Paul II (Nuovo Millennio inneunte, 49).
The present Synod offers us the magnificent opportunity to make effective the Eucharistic commitment In the joy of proclaiming that, above all, in the Eucharist, “The Saviour, made incarnate in the womb of Mary, twenty centuries ago, continues to offer Himself to mankind as the source of divine life” (Tertio millennio adveniente, 55), and to remind us that to offer, in truth, the sacrifice of Christ implies to continue this same sacrifice in a life of commitment to the rest.
So then, Jesus Bread of Life, drives us to work so there should be no lack to anyone or any nation of that bread which is still lacking to many;
-The bread of peace and justice, where there are wars and the rights of man, the family and of peoples are not respected.
The bread of the Word of God, where Christ, Bread of Life, still has not been announced and men are deprived of the food and drink which quenches the hunger and thirst of the spirit.
-The bread of true freedom, where a just religious freedom to profess and openly proclaim ones own religion still do not prevail.
The Bread of fraternity, where the sense of universal communion in peace and concord are not recognised or practised.
The bread of unity, especially amongst Christians, who are still divided, but on the way to participate in the same Bread and the same chalice, in order to bear witness to unity, such as the world may create.

[00047-02.05] [IN005] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Telesphore Placidus TOPPO, Archbishop of Ranchi (INDIA)

The local Church of the Tribal heartland of India, which now numbers over 2 million faithful, is undoubtedly one of the best success stories of the Catholic Church's mission. In just 130 years, the Archdiocese of Ranchi has given birth to 12 dioceses, and produced 23 bishops, hundreds of priests, and thousands of religious. This dynamism and growth I attribute totally to our special devotion to the Eucharist. This forms our very 'identity.' Ever since the tribals accepted the Gospel, the 'real presence' of the Risen Lord in the Eucharist has set them free, bringing them healing, and transforming them into a 'new creation' in Christ.
Hence I want to focus the attention of this Synod on the healing aspect of the Eucharist, and share what the Christian Faith has done for us. There is first the reality of God's love, symbolised in Catholic Tradition by the Image of the Sacred Heart, which brings us directly to the Paschal Mystery and the Eucharist (see Jn.19:34).
Then there is the reality of 'anamnesis,' which means that the faith of the Church makes the Paschal Mystery of our Saviour Jesus Christ become spiritually present to the faithful. This is what we learned from our own founding missionary Constant Lievens. More recently, the much loved Pope John Paul II of happy memory, and blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, also underlined this reality of participation in the Eucharist. Our Christian tribals today have full confidence that Jesus' saving death and resurrection has stripped the sovereignties and ruling forces of the universe and destroyed their power [see Co1.2:14-15]. In this faith experience of our people, the Eucharist has brought about a paradigm shift from their former blood-sacrifices with which they tried to placate so called 'evil spirits', and reoriented them to the new and eternal covenant established in Jesus Christ.
There is again the reality of 'admirabile commercium' by which "we share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity." This reality brings not merely healing but a 'wondrous exchange,' that is, a transformation into "heirs of God" and "co-heirs with Jesus Christ." The believers are indeed liberated from all bondages and endowed with the 'freedom of the children of God'.
This Synod, providential as it is, must lead all Christians to participate in the Eucharist with a new intensity and depth of faith. And may the intercession of Mary, "Woman of the Eucharist," bring to the world ongoing healing, true freedom, and abundant life from her Son, Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life!

[00051-02.04] [IN047] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. James Francis STAFFORD, Penitentiary Major (VATICAN CITY)

My reflections are founded on the Paschal Mystery celebrated in the Eucharist. In particular, by reason of my service to the Church as the Penitentiary Major and, therefore, because of my experience in the activity of the Apostolic Penitentiary, I would like to underline the present importance of the bond between the Eucharist and Penance.
1. The whole life and mission of the Church derives its reason for being and its vigor from the Eucharist and is completely oriented towards making present in the history of humanity the saving efficacy of the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ. In accomplishing Christ’s mandate (“Do this in memory of me” Lk 22:19), the Church recognizes itself as the people of the redeemed, the saved, those reconciled with the Father through the blood of the Son. At the same time, the Church recognizes herself as the new people of God, a pilgrim experiencing the temptations and dangers of the path, and also the unfaithfulness of its members. A constant need for conversion and a permanent need for reconciliation is derived from this.
2. Therefore, Christian life is authentic when lived in an attitude of continuous personal and community conversion, which has its highest expression in the sign of sacramental reconciliation. To renew the covenant of friendship with God is not only an intimate decision made by the Christian penitent, but requires a sign recognized in and by the ecclesial community, in the person of the minister, because sin has broken the bond of friendship with the Lord and with the Church. Participation at the Eucharistic Banquet with the brethren requires, as an inescapable condition, an express public sign of reconciliation of the sin.
3. I end my intervention with a recommendation: there should be a canonic penitentiary or at least a priest that exercises the same job in every diocese, as foreseen by canon 508 of the Codex Juris Canonici. These are the ones who can help the confessors in their delicate ministry and teach them about possible recourse to the Apostolic Penitentiary. This is an important service in favor of the serenity of the conscience of many of the faithful, as witnessed by the work of the Apostolic Penitentiary itself.

[00052-02.03] [IN049] [Original text: Italian]

- Rev. Father Mark R. FRANCIS, C.S.V., Superior General of the Clerics of Saint Viator

I would like to comment on paragraph 8 of the Instromentum Laboris since it reflects one of the weaknesses I see in the approach of the whole document-weaknesses that are both theological and pastoral. Due to a desire to underscore the importance of adoration of Christ in the Eucharistic species, the document seems to place the liturgical celebration itself and the popular expressions of piety toward the Eucharistic elements on the same level of importance. This seems to lead to some reductive statements. For example, in article 8 we read that "Christ's presence is the sacrament's basic end." This is an incomplete and impoverished understanding of the "end of the Eucharist. It is a question here of the res sacramenti or res tantum of scholastic sacramental theology which the Council of Trent- as one authoritative source - described in a much more complete way as communion of the believer with Christ and the pledge of future glory. Christ is really and truly present in the Eucharist-not just to be present-but to have a transforming effect on the believer. This fact is underlined in many of the post-communion prayers of the Roman Missal. It is also an important part of the rediscovered pneumatological grounding of the Eucharist in the Latin Rite expressed by the communion epicleses of the "new" Eucharistic prayers: for example Prayer III: "Spiritu eius Sancto repleti, unum corpus et unus spiritus inveniamur in Christo."
I believe the document needs to place more emphasis on the traditional Eucharistic teaching of the Church: the worship of the Blessed Sacrament outside of the liturgical context flows from and leads back to the Mass itself. The words set forth in the praenotanda on the Rites of Holy communion and Worship of the Eucharist outside Mass (Eucharistiae Sacramentum) would have
'been helpfully recalled here: "The primary and original reason for reservation of the Eucharist outside Mass is the administration of viaticum; the secondary ends are the giving of communion and the adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ present in the sacrament" (ES 5). This is also consistent with the Council of Trent's treatment of worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass: the Eucharist was instituted by Christ. ... "ut sumatu'' that it might be received; and secondarily, rightly and fitting adored in the reserved sacrament (Cf. Sessio XIII, Caput V).
This is in no way to deny the value of Eucharistic exposition and other popular Eucharistic practices of the Latin Church. I simply believe that there needs to be a better appreciation for the action of the Eucharist which is, as Sacrosanctum Concilium states an action, "Attamen Liturgia est culmen ad quod actio Ecclesiae tendit et simul fons unde omnis eius virtus emanat" (SC 14).
By emphasizing more the celebrative moment of the Eucharist-both in the Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist, I believe that another weakness of the document would also be strengthened, i.e., the lack of real attention to practical ways of improving what the IL calls the ars celebrandi (52). If the synod is to have a positive effect on the Eucharistic life of the faithful, practical means for training and encouraging priests to better understand the Sacred Scriptures, to prepare homilies that truly proclaim the Good News, and to cultivate an effective celebratory style all need to be emphasized in seminary formation and in on-going programs of formation for priests and deacons. For example, how many of our seminaries devote time to the practical matter of preaching or to liturgical presiding? As a Superior General, in reviewing the seminary formation of my candidates for priesthood in the 14 countries where my community is at work, it is my impression that they are given little in the way of practical help in homiletics or liturgical presiding. Undoubtedly there are sociological arid other factors that militate against Mass attendance of the Christian faithful. But rather than simply blame our Catholic people's lack of faith and the secularization of society for the small percentage who attend Mass in many countries, we also need to acknowledge with sadness that bad preaching, and poorly prepared and poorly executed Eucharistic celebrations sometimes drive good people away from the Church.

[00053-02.05] [IN055] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA, Archbishop of Kisangani, President of the Episcopal Conference (Democratic Rep. of CONGO)

I speak on behalf of the national Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO).
My intervention is on the spiritual effects and social implications of the Eucharist (Instrumentum Laboris Nos. 11 and 79).
1. In a country like ours, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where for nine years, the impoverished people have been experiencing torments of an unjust and useless war, the Eucharist, celebrated in an atmosphere of festivity and joy, also for the sake of inculturation, constitutes for the faithful:
- an ardent hearth of charity, where on learns the incomparable value of life and the inestimable price of love of He Who loves life so much that he freely opts for death so as to give life in full (Cf. Jn 10:10);
A place where the Church-family of God is built, the sacrament of unity and fraternity, of forgiveness, of reconciliation and of peace (Cf. SCEAM, Pastoral Letter “Christ is our Peace (Eph 2:14)”, Accra 2001; an inexhaustible source of consolation, of comfort and endurance in trials and sufferings associated with the Cross and with the Resurrection of Christ (Cf 2Tm 2: 11-12a);
- a school of collective humility, where as people one experiments the paschal mystery of purification through lowering and humiliation: the royal way towards resurrection and both spiritual and material raising.
2. As regards the Eucharist, theology teaches that the spiritual effects of the Eucharist in the life of the faithful are the incorporation with Christ and the concorporation between the members of his body, otherwise known as the koinonia: “The blessing cup, which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? And as there is one loaf, so we, although there are many of us, are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf” (1 Cor 10: 16-17); Cf Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Nos 22-24; Insturmentum Laboris No.11).
This is the very sacramental grace of the Eucharist.
3. Furthermore, in the celebration of the Eucharist, we say “Blessed are You, Lord, God of the Universe, You who gives us this bread, fruit of the earth and of the work of man”...”You who give us this wine, fruit of the vine and of the work of man” (Offertory). That is to say that the Eucharist recapitulates the wealth and poverty of the world, poverty which strongly underlines the poverty of Eucharistic materials. The Eucharist “recapitulates under one Head, Christ” (Ep 1:10), the whole of humanity in its productivity and in its poverty, that is to say the world of the rich and the one of the poor. Hence, the recapitulation (anakephalaiôsis) of the economy of salvation implies that of the humanity-family in daily social life. It is integral salvation and true liberation in Christ, the centre and summit of history, the Alpha and the Omega.
4. That is why the daily Eucharist must become for the disciples of Christ in general a pressing incentive to build a more fraternal and united world, which is more just and supportive. In particular, drawing the consequences of the daily Eucharist, the Church must invite economic and financial professionals as well as the Christian geopolitical decision takers to work without rest to instal a new world economic order, where solidarity and sharing should go beyond what is humanitarian, often linked to the political interests to become a dimension which is inherent in the system itself. Thus, the greatly appreciated cancellation of foreign debt of the poorest countries, which is one of the best initiatives, in turn calls for a deeper examination of new mechanisms which in future are susceptible of these same countries having the same kinds of debt.

[00065-02.10] [IN057] [Original text: French]




The second briefing for the language groups will take place on Wednesday, 5 October 2005 at 1:10 p.m. (in the briefing locations and with the Press Officers indicated in Bulletin No. 2).
The audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) are kindly reminded to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications for their entry permit (very restricted).


The third Information Pool for the Synod Hall will be formed for the opening prayer of the Fifth General Congregation, on Wednesday morning, 5 October 2005.
The lists for applying to the Information Pool are available to the editors at the Information and Accreditation Office of the Holy See Press Office (at the entrance on the right)
We would like to remind that the audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) and photographers are kindly requested to apply at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications to participate in the Information Pool at the Synod Hall.
We would also like to remind the participants in the Information Pool that they are kindly requested to be at the Press Area at 8:30 a.m., outside the entrance of the Paul VI Hall from where they will be called to enter the Synod Hall always accompanied by an officer of the Holy See Press Office or from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


The next Bulletin No. 7, regarding the works of the Fourth General Congregation of the XI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of this afternoon will be available to the accredited journalists tomorrow, Wednesday, 5 October 2005, at the opening of the Press Office of the Holy See.


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