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


09 - 06.10.2005





At 09:00 a.m. today, Thursday, 6 October 2005, in remembrance of St Bruno of Calabria, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the prayer of the Third Hour, the Sixth General Congregation began for the continuation of the interventions of the Synod Fathers in the Hall on the Synodal theme The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.
The President Delegate on duty was H. Em. Card. Francis ARINZE, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
On the opening of the Sixth General Congregation, the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops expressed his best wishes to those Synodal Fathers and other participants of the Assembly who were celebrating their saint’s day, in view of today’s remembrance.
This General Congregation ended at 12.30 with the prayer Angelus Domini and 243 Fathers were present.


At this Sixth General Congregation the following Fathers were present:

- H. Em. Card. Eduardo MARTÍNEZ SOMALO, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Manfred SCHEUER, Bishop of Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Lucian MUREŞAN, Metropolitan Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Julia of the Romanians, President of the Episcopal Conference, President of the Romanian Episcopal Conference (ROMANIA)
- H. Em. Card. Adrianus Johannes SIMONIS, Archbishop of Utrecht, President of the Episcopal Conference (NETHERLANDS)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Javier ECHEVARRÍA RODRÍGUEZ, Titular Bishop of Cilibia, Prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and of Opus Dei (SPAIN)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Arthur ROCHE, Bishop of Leeds (GREAT BRITAIN)
- H. Em. Card. Giovanni Battista RE, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Edward OZOROWSKI, Titular Bishop of Bitetto, Auxiliary of Białystok (POLAND)
- H. Em. Card. Joachim MEISNER, Archbishop of Köln (Colonia, GERMANY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Gerhard Ludwig MÜLLER, Bishop of Regensburg (GERMANY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Arnold OROWAE, Bishop Coadjutor of Wabag (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Miguel Angel MORÁN AQUINO, Bishop of San Miguel (EL SALVADOR)
- H. Em. Card. Ignace Moussa I DAOUD, Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Chuches (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Paul Josef CORDES, Titular Archbishop of Naisso, President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" (VATICAN CITY)
- H. Em. Card. Camillo RUINI, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, President of the Episcopal Conference (ITALY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Michel Christian CARTATÉGUY, S.M.A., Bishop of Niamey (NIGER)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Jacques PERRIER, Bishop of Tarbes et Lourdes (FRANCE)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Pierre RICARD, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the Episcopal Conference (FRANCE)
- H.E. Most. Rev. José Guadalupe MARTÍN RÁBAGO, Bishop of León, President of the Episcopal Conference (MEXICO)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Anthony Sablan APURON, O.F.M. CAP., Archbishop of Agaña, President of the Episcopal Conference (GUAM)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Pierre-Antoine PAULO, O.M.I., Archbishop Coadjutor Port-de-Paix (HAITI)

Below are the summaries of the interventions:

- H. Em. Card. Eduardo MARTÍNEZ SOMALO, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (VATICAN CITY)

The Second Vatican Council remind us, as it is well known, that we priests are consecrated, above all, to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice, as the representatives of Christ, “in persona Christi agentes” (LG 28).
The priest, as the minister of Christ, is himself in the measure in which, in the Church, he is not a presence of himself, but that of Christ; he does not act by himself, but as Christ’s instrument.
All this determines the priest’s life and his activity. In fact, it makes no sense to put personal intelligence, will and our own voice at the service of Christ but then not to establish with Him a real communion of life, of intentions and of sentiments.
It is not possible to transform into human history the mystery of grace through the sacramental administration without this illuminating, inspiring and fertilizing the life. All this is valid in a particular way, when it deals with the Eucharistic Celebration, in which also the practice of the sacred ministry reaches its summit.
Acting “in persona Christi” without this leaving a mark in us, would be even a contradiction. It is not possible to be an instrument and mediator of love and mercy without becoming ourselves mercy and love: amoris officium (S. Augustine).
The priest is the man of “sacrifice”, and not only in the sense that he offers the sacrifice of Christ, but that he offers it as “being Him”. The whole life of the priest is sacrificial because it must be offered continuously. And the Eucharistic sacrifice is center, summit and source of this. It is above all here that the priest learns to make of his existence a joyful immolation. “Let us also learn from the Lord Jesus Christ, who sacrificed Himself... - said the Holy Father at the meeting with the Clergy of Rome on 13 May 2005 - the art of priestly ascesis”.

[00129-02.03] [IN121] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Manfred SCHEUER, Bishop of Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)

The difficult situation in which the Eucharist lies, is also a consequence of the lack of theological-dogmatic orientation. What is missing is a link which confers unity to the aspects of the Eucharist: epiclesis, anamnesis, koinonia and prosphora; the real presence, sacrifice and communion; forms of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Word, in the sacramental gifts, in the community and in the priest.
The Church is united and built by the Word of the Living God, which is rightly demanded from priests. The administration and the pastoral office find their fulfilment in the Eucharist, from which the Church continuously draws life and grows (LG 26). The ecclesial Community should be embodied in a personal and concrete way from the internal logic of Incarnation and the Eucharist. Parish Communities, in which the Eucharist is celebrated only rarely or never, are separated ‘de facto’ from the sacramental office. How can we carry out our duty of proclaiming the Word and celebrating the sacraments with regard to the people of God? Considering the shortage of priests in many countries, this problem also concerns the testimony, the way of living the priestly service and the possibility of following the rules which this service imposes.

[00130-02.07] [IN122] [Original text: German]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Lucian MUREŞAN, Metropolitan Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Julia of the Romanians, President of the Episcopal Conference, President of the Romanian Episcopal Conference (ROMANIA)

I am referring to the first chapter of the Instrumentum laboris, number 3: hunger for the Bread of God. “For the bread of God is the bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (Jn 6:33).
In our country, Romania, the communists tried to give man material bread alone, and wanted to chase “the bread of God” from society and from the heart of the human person. Now, we realize that, outlawing our Greek Catholic Church, they were very afraid of the God present in the Eucharist.
The priests we imprisoned for the only reason that they were Catholic so that they could not celebrate or speak about God. Even the lay persons who participated in the Holy Masses clandestinely celebrated suffered the same destiny. In the famous period of “re-education” and “brainwashing” in the Romanian prisons, to compromise priests, to ridicule the Eucharist and to destroy human dignity, the persecutors made them celebrate with excrements, but never managed to take away their faith.
Instead how many Masses have there been, clandestinely celebrate in a spoon rather than the chalice and with wine made from grapes found in the street; how many rosaries made by a thread with pieces of bread; how many humiliations, when during winters at minus 30 degrees they were undressed for body searches; how many days spent in the famous “black room”, as the punishment for having been found in prayer? No one will ever know, ever. These modern martyrs, of the 20th Century, offered all their suffering to the Lord for dignity and human freedom.
Today, we live the freedom of the sons of God truly “hungry for the Eucharistic bread”. I confirm this affirmation with the participation in the Divine Liturgy of 80% of our faithful; with vocations to the priestly and religious life that are not lacking; with so many people of great intellect who are so close to the Church.
Unfortunately, after the fall of the regime, some heavy plagues have risen in our country: abortion, the abandonment of children, corruption, immigration. Communism promised man paradise on earth, and managed to destroy the conscience of our people in Eastern Europe; now to rebuild this will take time. The Catholic Church in Romania is a minority (12%) and together with the Orthodox brothers we try to mend these wounds.
There is no lack of hope, and I think first of all of the deep religious sense of our people, the deep devotion with which this people comes close to the Liturgical celebrations and to the Eucharist, to the blood of our martyrs that pray for us before the Lord, and that by their blood have given birth to a new generation of faithful.

[00126-02.04] [IN126] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Adrianus Johannes SIMONIS, Archbishop of Utrecht, President of the Episcopal Conference (NETHERLANDS)

The faithful are conditioned by influences and external impulses of a secularized and individualistic world. Today’s complex problems can have an influence on the faithful in a different way according to how he or she lives the mystery of the Eucharist.
This conditions and can lead to rethink the concept of faith in the sacrament, participation in it and their wishes concerning the expression of Eucharistic union.
In the year of the Lord many give the preference - sometimes forced - to other activities which unfortunately become priorities to the meeting with God.
All this corrodes the central meaning of the Eucharist. It also corrodes the social texture of the community of faith.
Generally speaking, a scene of depreciation and inflation emerges with regard to the Eucharist.
First of all one has to have compassion taking into account all the conditions to which men and women are subjected.
The crisis reaches much deeper. It can be identified in feeling and in understanding what is a gift, and what is a sacrifice. A person who receives and thanks, knows the meaning of giving and has a sensitivity for sacrifice, also for the sacrificial oblation that is Christ.
Should we not continue reminding this fundamental intuition of life as a gift and sacrifice (demonstrated)?
Structural changes, as for instance having married men priests, do not seem to be a solution.
Are they not perhaps celibacy for the priesthood, as is religious life, a testimony of this fundamental intuition? This means we will begin living more eucharistically to thus prepare the way to rediscover the value of the Eucharist.

[00062-02.05] [IN053] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Javier ECHEVARRÍA RODRÍGUEZ, Titular Bishop of Cilibia, Prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and of Opus Dei (SPAIN)

No. 34 of the Instrumentum Laboris highlights the importance of the meaning of sacrality in celebrating the Eucharist. It is useful to study practical ways that help the faithful to understand, in a clearest way, the meaning of the sacrality of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, so that the people of God can be reinforced in his faith and helped to live in a holy way. Then it would be useful, on the basis of the instructions of Redemptionis sacramentum, to endeavor to remove the abuses that cause damage to the sacrality of the Eucharistic celebrations, and also to review some regulations, whose application may lead to abusive interpretation. For example, the suggestion to re-think the opportunity of Eucharistic ceremonies with an excessive number of con-celebrants, which makes it impossible for a dignified devleopment of the liturgical act to take place; or to evaluate the real convenience in distributing Communion to all participants in a Mass with a great number of believers, when the general distribution goes against the dignity of worship. Giving importance to maintaining the sense of the sacred in the Eucharistic liturgies, will be very beneficial to the whole Church.

[00075-02.04] [IN058] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Arthur ROCHE, Bishop of Leeds (GREAT BRITAIN)

Developments in some post-Conciliar approaches to Eucharistic catechesis have sought to provide a point of experiential access by employing the notion of the meal as the overriding category of understanding. A theology of the Eucharist viewed predominantly through the lens of the meal is deficiently devoid of the Eucharist's necessary and intrinsic link with Calvary and Christ's sacrifice.
One result of a catechesis of Eucharistic presence, but not of sacrifice, is difficulty in distinguishing the superiority of the celebration of the Mass over a Celebration of Word and Holy Communion. Reception of Holy Communion becomes the significant element, not being caught into Christ's once and for all sacrifice of Calvary through the Mass. I believe this to be problematic not least of all for those who are separated by the circumstances of their lives from receiving the sacraments.
An impoverished appreciation of the irreplaceable nature of Eucharistic sacrifice also has obvious implications for understandings of the priesthood. Facilitating the reception of Holy Communion becomes as relevant and important as being present at the celebration of the Mass. We need to re-connect the reception of Holy Communion with the offering of the Mass throug which we are caught up into Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Holy Communion properly belongs to the Mass as the fruit of a sacramental act in which we encounter Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
In this discussion the value of the place of Eucharistic adoration becomes all the more important for our prayer and contemplation. Christ's presence and his offering are united, flowing from and pointing towards the Mass, that sacramental celebration where Christ's offering of sacrifice and presence in Holy Communion are held in rightful unity.

[00078-02.05] [IN065] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. Giovanni Battista RE, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops (VATICAN CITY)

I deal with the responsibility of the Bishop towards the Eucharist.
1) We Bishops cannot be good Shepherds if the Eucharist is not the center and the root of our life, the inspiring force of all of our apostolic work. Pope John Paul II’s witness has been illuminating with regards to this.
2) The Bishop is the custodian of the Eucharist. He must promote a pastoral that helps the faithful to find afresh a style of life that has the Eucharist at its center. The very way of celebrating Mass by the Bishop nourishes the faith of priests and of the people. In particular, it is important to dedicate every effort for the participation of the faithful in Sunday Masses and to take care that the Eucharistic celebrations are always dignified and beautiful.
3) We Bishops must commit ourselves to recuperating the pedagogy of conversion that emerges from the Eucharist, as requested by the intrinsic bond between the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance. Also, the Bishop must do everything possible to spread the frequent practice of individual confession.
4) The duties of the Bishop towards the Eucharist extend to the obligation of not allowing an abusive use of the practice of general or collective absolution in the Diocese, following the dispositions on this in the Motu proprio “Misericordia Dei” by Pope John Paul II.
Thus inserted in an authentic itinerary of faith which the Eucharist itself stimulates, it becomes the source of strength to win over sin in the Church, source of life and hope, light that transforms the cultures and becomes the seed of a new world.

[00131-02.04] [IN076] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Edward OZOROWSKI, Titular Bishop of Bitetto, Auxiliary of Białystok (POLAND)

The Eucharist as a sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ makes present the sacrifice of the cross. The sacrifice is the primum principium of the Eucharist that hierarchically situates all the truths related to it. In addition, it is the key to understand man and God. Love is necessary in order to define the person, and sacrifice is required to define love. Without sacrifice neither love nor the human person exist. As a consequence, sacrifice gives light on the intra-Trinitarian life of God, the relationship of God with humanity and the communion between human beings.
Economical globalization and free commerce leave always less space in the world for the spirit of sacrifice. The human being is frequently treated as a piece of merchandise or as an object to be examined and no longer considered as a precious good in himself with the consequent dehumanization of interpersonal relations. Even Christians end up giving in to these pressures. They search for an easy and comfortable religion without rules and without the cross.
Recently these tendencies can be noted even in the teaching on the Eucharist. In it many important themes are outlined: the quality of banquet, communion, listening to the word of God, sacrament and so on. However they do not have a “keystone”. From this derives a certain protestantization of Eucharistic theology, which in such a teaching reveals itself to be a nice rite but with little meaning for life.
Meanwhile, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, to which man has access through the Eucharist, is what is most important in this mystery. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross brought salvation to humanity. The Eucharist permits man to take really part in it. Receiving the Body of Christ, man becomes one body with Him, and drinking His Blood becomes the same blood with Christ (Cyril of Jerusalem , Mystagogical catechesis 4). Thanks to the Eucharist, what is a sacrifice in human beings’ lives, is transformed in the sacrifice of Christ. It is only through walking the path of the cross that the glory of the resurrection is reached.

[00086-02.05] [IN080] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Joachim MEISNER, Archbishop of Köln (Colonia, GERMANY)

I refer to the mystery of Transubstantiation through which our Lord Jesus Christ becomes present in the body and blood of the Eucharistic species. The Real Eucharistic presence is different from the other forms - even the sacramental ones - of the presence of Christ because in the bread and the wine Christ is "truly, really, and substantially contained in holy communion. His presence is not momentary or simply signified but wholly and permanently real under each of the consecrated species of bread and wine” (cf. Council of Trent, DS 1651). This Eucharistic faith has a fundamental meaning for the Catholic Church and therefore should be thought of as a given essential, and yet today it is weakening. Because of a secularized interpretation of Consecration, which ignores and even denies the substantial presence of the body of Christ, the Eucharist loses its particular role. The Consecration of the Eucharistic offerings in the body and blood of the Lord is “fittingly and properly named the conversion of nature (Transubstantiation)” (cf. Council of Trent, DS 1651). Today, people interpret this concept in a slightly improper way. Because “substance” today means the matter, that is what - cum grano salis - the Scholastica did not define as “substance” but rather as “accident”. However one wishes to interpret the change in this term. In reality the concept of Transubstantiation “that amazing and singular conversion of all the substance of bread in the body and of all the substance of the wine in blood” (cf. Council of Trent, DS 1652), has been made a dogma by the Council of Trent and constitutes the basis of Catholic faith.

[00088-02.04] [IN082] [Original text: German]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Gerhard Ludwig MÜLLER, Bishop of Regensburg (GERMANY)

Luther says: “from a gift of God for us (testamentum seu sacramentum) was drawn for God a sacrifice of men (sacrificium seu bonum opus)”, (cap. babyl. WA 6,25).
The Council of Trent, on the contrary, asserts: “Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Last Supper,... left to his beloved Bride, the Church, a visible sacrifice, as required by the nature of man” (DS 1740).
What is the sacrifice “sicut hominum natura exigit”?
The sacrifice is the method corresponding to human nature where man welcomes the gift of God.
The Word of God was made flesh, but “in carne peccati” in view of sin (Rom 8:3). The sacrificium of the supreme priest, offering himself in sacrifice, becomes victima because of the forcefulness of sins.
In the Cenacle Hall, Jesus gives thanks to the Father and gives us his body and his blood that are offered in sacrifice for us. Whoever in the Eucharist welcomes the gift of God in the Eucharist, also becomes a new creature. Welcomed in Christ, the baptized offers himself to God. The sacrifice of the Church corresponds, therefore, to the nature of redeemed man. In Christ there is a co-operatio with God that is authentic and necessary for salvation. “Christus totus, caput et membra”, is the force of the “unio hypostatica”, the unity of the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Church. Man is thus capable of offering his body “as a living, holy and pleasing sacrifice to God”, according to his own nature and vocation “through the mercy of God”. (Rom 12:1).

[00091-02.04] [IN085] [Original text: German]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Arnold OROWAE, Bishop Coadjutor of Wabag (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

a) There is greater attention still needed for inculturation. In the liturgy of the Eucharist. meaningful adaptation of cultural elements, which creates a religious atmosphere, with appropriate language, symbols, hymns, gestures, etc., could be accepted as part of the liturgy.
b) While emphasizing the importance of the Eucharist pastoral needs leave people in a situation where different opinions are believed and expressed. Some feel that Eucharistic hospitality is important. The Eucharist is food for the hungry, not a reward for being good. They maintain that the Eucharist should not be an elitist sacrament, but should be a celebration of the generosity of God. Others feel that the Eucharist be given only to those who are adequately prepared. How
should the Church explain these different opinions?
c) The relationship of Eucharist and Life should be integrated, the fonner effectively transfonning and creating real communio among the people, which can be characterized by love, peace, joy, righteousness, etc, (cfr. Rom 14:17). But experiences of injustices, violence, corruption, poverty, etc, show that there is a separation between Eucharist and Life. Thus the real saving and transfonning presence of Jesus in the Eucharist should not be understood vaguely and taken lightly but Catholics should be serious in their faith with due respect, adoration and personal relationship.
d) The Church believes and teaches the Eucharist as the source and summit of her life. It is also important for her spiritual nourishment. How can this be true for communities who live in the remote villages that do no have the opportunity for frequent celebration and reception of the Eucharist? This poses the question, what kind of priest do we need in our situation? Does one need years of intellectual formation in philosophy and theology to give needed service to the poor people in the remote areas who may not equal his intellectual capabilities? The issue here is not on having more vocations, but on justice and equality for all the children of God having the right to make the Eucharist the center of their lives by celebrating and receiving it as often as they can. It is about preparing ministers who would be able to celebrate the Eucharist for the people. The minister for this kind of service would receive the necessary training required and then be officially ordained for this purpose only, and make things simpler, by adapting to the situation, such as ours, and make what the Church believe about the Eucharist true to the people. On the one hand we emphasize the importance of the Eucharist as the center of Christian lives, and on the other hand, we have rules that block the people from receiving the Eucharist. Should the Church allow for mature Christian men who are strong in faith, very committed, and have the respect of the people, to be easily trained to preside at the Eucharistic celebration, which will make it easy for the people to participate in the Eucharist, so that the importance and centrality of the Eucharist become true for the people?

[00107-02.05] [IN089] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Miguel Angel MORÁN AQUINO, Bishop of San Miguel (EL SALVADOR)

Number 36 of the Instrumentum Laboris, quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, mentions the names by which this Sacrament has been called: Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, The Breaking of Bread, Memorial, Holy Sacrifice, Holy or Divine Liturgy, The Sacred Mysteries, Holy Communion, Holy Mass. The truly conscious participation in the Liturgy depends upon a comprehensive catechesis and understanding of these terms, without excluding any of them. Yet in number 37, quoting the Catechism, it says that the name which prevails over includes the others is that of sacramental Sacrifice , which helps overcome the dialectic between sacrifice and shared meal.
Taking into account the call to attention that John Paul II makes in Mane nobiscum Domine, 14: “it is important that no dimension of the Eucharist be neglected...The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation”, I consider we run the risk of not maintaining the balance between the two dimensions of the Eucharist: Sacrifice and The Lord’s Supper.
As H. Exc. Msg Nicola ETEROVIĆ, has well expressed, in his preface of the Instrumentum Laboris: In the Eucharist the Church finds “the anticipation of her glory in the Eternal Banquet at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (cf. Rev 19:7-9).This inestimable gift and great mystery were realized at the Last supper. Sacred Tradition accounts for its faithful transmission from one generation to the next, down to the present day.”
The Banquet or Supper of the Lord is not a synonym or shared meal or opposite to sacrifice, because it is the Supper of the Immolated Lamb, and what is more, is a synonym of communion which constitutes the aim or culmination of the Eucharist.
The Gospels describe the Eucharist as the last Supper of Jesus with his disciples before dying on the cross. This reminds us of how Jesus wanted us to participate in his Easter: celebrating a banquet, a meal with bread (symbol of life) and wine (symbol of happiness, friendship and covenant). Jesus assumes these elements, but gives them a new meaning: they are his body given up and his blood poured out, that is to say, He Himself gives Himself up in favour of humanity.
To offer his body as food and his blood as drink caused scandal amidst his contemporaries, because its not a metaphorical food: “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” (Jn 6:55). What we receive is the body and blood of the Lord, that is to say, He has offered Himself for us. To explain it to his hearers, Jesus compared Himself to the Manna with which Yahweh fed the people of Israel as they crossed the desert: “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and they are dead. But this is the bread which comes down from heaven, so that a person may eat it and not die” (Jn 6:48-50).
Jesus is the Bread of life because He is our Easter, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn 1:29). The ardent longing to eat this bread with us (Lk 22:15), expresses his ardent desire for “communion” with us.
The Eucharist is, therefore, food and banquet. It is not only a demonstrative sign, like a meal is family, but a reality. Jesus, preset in the Eucharist, becomes our spiritual food.
If we take some time looking at the Jesus’ accounts of the banquets in the Gospel of Luke, we can understand in what way the Eucharist creates communion. The first banquet that he narrates is the one of Jesus with Levi (Lk 5:27-32). The second is in the house of Simon the pharisee (Lk 7:36-50); there a sinful woman anoints his feet with precious oil. The third banquet was in Martha, Mary and Lazarus’ house (Lk 10:38-42). The fourth, in the house of another pharisee where he cures a sick man on the Sabbath (Lk 14:1-24). The last banquet was before the Last Supper with another publican: Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10). All these banquets explain the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. Sending Peter and John explicitly to prepare the Easter supper “tell the owner of the house, `The Master says this to you: Where is the room for me to eat the Passover with my disciples?'” (Lk 22:14-23).
Once risen, one day in the evening, he has supper with the disciples of Emmaus and they recognize Him at the “Breaking of the Bread” (Lk 24:13-34). In the Eucharist we encounter the risen Lord.
In instituting the Eucharist, Jesus did not merely say: “This is my body”, “this is my blood”, but went on to add: “which is given for you”, “which is poured out for you” (Lk 22:19-20; Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 12)), or as the Catechism tells us: “The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord's body and blood” (1382)
The Congregation for Divine Worship, in presenting the first redaction of the General Institution of the Roman Missal on November 18 1969, after clarifying that it should not be considered as a doctrinal or dogmatic document, but as a pastoral or ritual instruction, but that it had taken into account the doctrinal principles contained in the documents of the Magisterium, received, however, strong attacks denouncing the fact that neither the sacrificial doctrine of the Mass, the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist nor the existence of the Ministerial Priesthood were adequately expressed; moreover, some expressions such as “the Lord’s Supper” were considered inappropriate.
After examination of he document by the congregation they discovered no doctrinal error. Yet in the first edition of the Roman Missal (1970), the Congregation introduced some modifications to the text.
In neglecting this dimension of banquet, the powers of unity and communion are weakened among those who are fed by the Body and Blood of Christ, and will not be able to be “disciples and missionaries of
Jesus Christ so that in Him, all peoples have life” (Theme for the V General conference of the Latin-American Episcopate).

[00115-02.09] [IN098] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Ignace Moussa I DAOUD, Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Chuches (VATICAN CITY)

In this intervention I will focus on the Trinitarian, Marian, and Ecclesiological dimension of the Eucharist, with reference to Nos. 28 and 77 of the Instrumentum Laboris.
But I would like to start, giving honour to the Holy Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, remarkable Eucharistic master, whose name I carry as Patriarch Emeritus, with a quote from his letter to the Ephesians. With joy I have also seen it in the Instrumentum Laboris (n. 23 and note 40). It is brief but very famous: “Every one of you, man by man, in Christian grace, in one faith and one Jesus Christ, who, after the flesh was of David’s race, Son of Man and Son of God, be intimately united in obeying the Bishop and the Presbytery College, breaking one bread, which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote that we should not die but live forever in Jesus Christ” (St. Ignatius Epistle to the Ephesians 20: 2).Of Catholic Eucharistic doctrine I will underline first of all the Trinitarian dimension.
We receive the holy Eucharist from the Heavenly Father who sent his Son; from the Son who was incarnated and offered Himself in sacrifice on the cross; from the Holy spirit who came over Mary and who sanctifies the bread and the wine in the Eucharistic celebration. Without the action of the Most Holy Trinity we would not have the Incarnation, Redemption, Eucharist nor Communion.
Then the Marian Dimension.
We receive the gift of the Eucharist from the hands of Mary also. God has disposed that, thanks to her, the Incarnation, Redemption, the Eucharist and Communion would reach us. Mary was the first to receive in her womb the Body and the Blood of Christ. The Incarnation was the first Communion of history. The first tabernacle was her immaculate heart. Syrian liturgy invokes Mary, who carries in her womb the Baby Jesus, calling her “second heaven”. Before any apostle or priest it is Mary who gives Jesus to the world. Mary and the Eucharist cannot be disassociated.
Finally, the Ecclesiological dimension of the Eucharistic mystery.
Only closely united to Mary can the Church, make the Lord Jesus present through the celebration of the Eucharist, to give Him to all “so they may have life and have it to the full” (cf. Jn 10: 10) We receive the Eucharist from the Church as well. The Eucharist is the heart of the Church, but at the same time it is the Church that celebrates the Eucharist through the Ministers ordained for this. The Eucharistic encounter with the Lord makes fraternal communion grow with those who form part of the Catholic community, gathered around the Successor of Peter and his brothers in the Episcopate, opening horizons of communion as well with the Pastors and faithful of the other Churches and Christian Communities. The Trinitarian, Marian and Ecclesiological dimensions of the Holy Eucharist are so at the heart of the Oriental traditions, that see there the surest way to the unity so longed for with all brothers and sisters in Christ.
I am delighted with and grateful for the participation of the ecumenical delegates in our Synodal journey, and I ask the Lord to fulfill the wish that opens the Instrumentum Laboris “...if the Catholic Church is said to breathe with two lungs—and for this, we render thanks to Divine Providence—she also awaits the blessed day when such spiritual richness can be extended and revived in full, visible union with those Eastern Churches, who, in the absence of full communion, profess in great part the same faith in the mystery of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.” (Preface of the Instrumentum Laboris)”.

[00128-02.05] [IN117] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Paul Josef CORDES, Titular Archbishop of Naisso, President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" (VATICAN CITY)

In referring to Nos. 31, 33 and 7 of the Instrumentum Laboris it is important to emphasize the dimension of faith as a condition to enter into the Mystery of the Eucharist. Faith, therefore, is a central, and not merely marginal aspect to address the theme of this Synod.
It is necessary to underline in particular the sacrificial character of the Eucharist.
Placing Himself in the tradition of the Prophets, who manifested with signs their own messages, Jesus also anticipates in the Last Supper, in the sign, what during the days of the Paschal Mystery happens in his Person.
The very term ANAMNESIS not only indicates the memory of an historical fact, but implies that in the memory the fact itself becomes present and efficacious.
The theologian Odo Casel has emphasized how the historically unique sacrifice of Christ in reality transcends the limits of space and time, and in this way reaches every person who opens himself to faith.
The dogma of the sacrificial character of the Eucharist, sanctioned by the Council of Trent, has been reiterated by the Catechism of the Church, applying it also to the offering of the Church herself with her Head.

[00127-02.03] [IN119] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Camillo RUINI, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, President of the Episcopal Conference (ITALY)

A significant development in the way of relating to the Eucharist is the rediscovery of Eucharistic Adoration, in particular by young people: in the prolonged silence of the Adoration, they can find the opportunity for a better personal relationship with Christ and with God the Father.
A personal experience I had, while holding a catechesis on the theme “Encountering Christ in the Eucharist” to many youths on the occasion of the World Youth day, I showed these young people, even if they were sincere believers and culturally well-informed, they had great difficulty in understanding the proper meaning of the real Eucharistic presence. In fact, it was clear to them the difference between the real and the simple change of meaning, however, what was difficult to understand was how the Eucharistic presence of Christ could truly be real, since to our senses and possible experiments they always seem to be the bread and the wine.
At the basis of the difficulties there is the equation, even if not completely conscious, between what is real and what is experimental. The only way that I have found useful to make young people overcome this equation was to propose the reality of God to them, being supremely real and yet not attainable through any physical experiment. In effect, the type of rationalization and culture prevalent today places in communication of faith the problem of making clear, to begin with, that the authentic reality is much vaster than what falls under our experience: and this is an important field for work for catechesis and theology.

[00125-02.03] [IN124] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Michel Christian CARTATÉGUY, S.M.A., Bishop of Niamey (NIGER)

We live in a region with a majority of Muslims. The Christians do not even reach 1% of the population. The Christian community does not live closed within itself and many are the cases of mixed marriages between Muslims and Christians. Christian women marrying Muslim men are often excluded from the Muslim community and from the Christian community.
The Christian woman cannot receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. It is difficult for a Muslim to make a Christian act. Therefore she is definitely excluded from sacramental communion.
As a Christian, she will be excluded from the Muslim community. She will be expected to convert to Islam. Religious appurtenance is a very strong identity question. Religious appurtenance is equivalent to social appurtenance.
We are presented with the doctrine on spiritual communion; this will not suffice to totally integrate these women in ecclesial communion. To live communion in its fullness should we not be able to receive communion? There can be no half measures in this. The Eucharist is a sensitive encounter with Jesus Christ.
In situations of exclusion and fragility in which our Christian women find themselves, we remain convinced that the Eucharist can contribute this so necessary recognition for a Christian life and a witness of life.
We are the spokesmen for these women who suffer and who are in locked in this situation, which cannot evolve. Is there a possibility for a Bishop to allow these women to participate in the Eucharist? I submit my question and the suffering of these women in Islamic land, to you, dear Fathers of the Synod.

[00134-02.03] [IN007] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Jacques PERRIER, Bishop of Tarbes et Lourdes (FRANCE)

Eucharistic Adoration is notably mentioned in numbers 41, 66, 67 and 75.
We can see that, in our countries, Eucharistic Adoration is very taken by the young Catholic generations. For these young generations, this is not a rediscovery, it is, purely and simply, a discovery.
1) How can the mode of Eucharistic Adoration in the young be explained? Because these generations cannot live without images. In looking at the Host, certainly, we do not see Christ, in his Divinity nor in his humanity but we fix our eyes on the most direct sign of his real presence.
2) What is the great advantage of Eucharistic Adoration? It is that Christian prayer escaped the trap of introspection. Eucharistic Adoration is lived face to face.
3) Could Eucharistic Adoration pose a threat? Eucharistic Adoration risks being lived in an individualistic way and not very ecclesial. Second danger: the absence of words. Because young people need to hear the expression of faith and to express their faith. Third threat: neglecting the other ways of real presence, even if somewhat different, of the Risen Christ.
4) Eucharistic Adoration can lead and lead again to Eucharistic action.

[00132-02.03] [IN012] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Pierre RICARD, Archbishop of Bordeaux, President of the Episcopal Conference (FRANCE)

In France we face, as in many other countries in Western Europe, a very subjective approach to participation in Sunday Mass: “ I go when I feel like it; I will go when I feel the need”. Is it not important to discover that our participation in the Sunday Eucharist is very tied to our profession of faith in the Risen Christ? Let us not forget that the Risen One has no other mediation to reveal Himself to the world and to pursue his work of salvation than the body he gives today to the community of His disciples, the Church. In the Eucharist, Christ makes the community of His disciples He has gathered His ecclesial Body. And each one is called to being a living member of this body. At the heart of the liturgy of the Mass, Eucharistic prayer invites us to receive the Eucharistic body of the Lord and to become His ecclesial body in the world. Saint Augustine said to the newly baptized: “You hear ‘the Body of Christ’ and you answer ‘Amen’. Be a member of the body of Christ so that your ‘amen’ may be true” (Sermon 272). It is necessary to better discover the dynamics of Eucharistic prayer to more deeply enter into the great spiritual attitudes it calls us to live by.

[00133-02.03] [IN015] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. José Guadalupe MARTÍN RÁBAGO, Bishop of León, President of the Episcopal Conference (MEXICO)

I want to give recognition to the beneficial and not always well valued spiritual work which “Nocturnal Adoration” carries out in the different parts of the world. It is an Association that was founded in the XIX century with a small group of humble people that soon spread through the five continents. Today, Nocturnal Adoration is still alive, but is going through many difficulties, due to the secularization of customs and the lack of appreciation of pastoral agents, who consider it to be antiquated and without impact on the work to transform the world.
In Mexico, Nocturnal Adoration numbers more than four million adorers; they have as an aim to keep vigil in prayer during the night before the sacramental Jesus, in an attitude of adoration, reparation and amendment. They connect in this way, with spirit of the early Christian communities that used to have prayer vigils on the vesper of important liturgical feast days.
Among us, in the tragic times of religious persecution, at the beginning of the XX century, Nocturnal Adoration and Catholic Action gave a numerous contingent of martyrs who offered their blood as a witness to the authenticity of their faith in Christ.
Today it is urgent to achieve a renewal of Nocturnal Adoration that, respecting its style, could allow it to integrate schemes of prayer that are more adapted to the spiritual sensitivity of our time and respond to the needs of the new generations and their sensitivity.
It is important to achieve this, amongst other reasons, because the families of adorers have traditionally been seed-beds of vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life, so necessary in our days.

[00093-02.05] [IN018] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Anthony Sablan APURON, O.F.M. CAP., Archbishop of Agaña, President of the Episcopal Conference (GUAM)

In the Pacific, the scarcity of priests and the aggressiveness of the evangelistic sects are challenging the very survival of the Catholic faith. In my experience, the only answer to this double predicament is to "form communities based on faith, "as Pope Benedict told the youth in Cologne. Our Holy Father also told the youth that "the power of the gospel is keenly felt" in small communities of faith.
Today, the Church needs to make clearly visible the signs of the Eucharist: maybe the Church needs to restore the "breadness" of the bread which becomes the Body of Christ to be eaten by all and wine drunk by all which becomes the Blood of Christ. These signs fully and powerfully represent the reality that they signify and not just approximate them. Moreover, if the Eucharist is a banquet, the proper posture when the people are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ is seated, not standing! (Instrumentum Laboris. Nos.
The “Kiss of Peace,” should take place just before the preparation of the gifts and before the Anaphora begins as a conclusion of the Liturgy ofthe Word, rather than before the
fractio panis. Otherwise, the forgiveness signified in the Kiss of Peace and the reverence due the fractio panis both lose their impact while people exchange the 'Kiss of peace.' All of this can be implemented in a meaningful and reverential way through proper catechesis.
In my experience with communities of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, I have witnessed a remarkable growth in faith in the lives of thousands of people, of families, including the youth, who love the Church and have reverence and love for the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
I urge leaders of the Church, today, to do everything possible to help people come to really know Jesus Christ through the signs of the Eucharist and the reality they signify.

[00094-02.04] [IN020] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Pierre-Antoine PAULO, O.M.I., Archbishop Coadjutor Port-de-Paix (HAITI)

The extraordinary minister of the Eucharist or of Holy Communion?
The Instrumentum laboris, at numbers 55 and 56, mentions “the extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist”, while the Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum” of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in numbers 158 and 159, uses the expression: “extraordinary minister of Holy Communion”.
Therefore there is a problem in terminology between these two documents from the Magisterium. Which of these two expressions is the best for the doctrinal plan?
Considering that the Eucharist is the sacrament and that communion is a rite in the interior of the sacrament;
Considering that the extraordinary ministers mentioned intervene not on the level of the celebration of the sacrament, but rather the accomplishment of the rite, when necessary, for the distribution of communion; consequentially, in our opinion, it is more precise, as to the terminology and most correct with regard to theology, to used, for this type of ministers, the expression “extraordinary minister of Holy Communion”.

[00096-02.04] [IN025] [Original text: French]


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