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SYNODUS EPISCOPORUM
BULLETIN

XI ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
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

 

15 - 10.10.2005

SUMMARY

♦ TENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION (SATURDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2005 - MORNING)
♦ ELEVENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION (MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2005 - MORNING)
♦ SECOND PRESS CONFERENCE

♦ TENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION (SATURDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2005 - MORNING)

● PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE, CARDINAL RENATO RAFFAELE MARTINO THE FRENCH EDITION OF THE COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, after the Italian, English and Spanish editions, has also published in French the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which gathers in a harmonious and articulated synthesis the fundamental principles of the Social Teaching of the Church, recording, in full, the complete quotations of the Sources of the same Magisterium.
In the X General Congregation, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace presented to the Synodal Fathers the French Edition of the Compendium, which was welcomed by them with warm applause.
For a long time the French speaking world was awaiting the publication of the French edition, loudly called for by pastoral workers and Study Centres, not only in France but in all the countries where French is spoken.
The same Cardinal Martino gave the first copy of the French Edition into the hands of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI.

[00205-02.02] [NNNNN] [Original text: Italian]

♦ ELEVENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION (MONDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2005 - MORNING)

● INTERVENTIONS IN THE HALL (CONTINUATION)

At 09.00 a.m. today, Monday, 10 October 2005, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the prayer The Hour of Terce, the Eleventh 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.

President Delegate on duty was H.Em. Card. Francis ARINZE, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments. On the opening of the Eleventh General Congregation the President Delegate on duty, recalling the words of the Holy Father after the prayer Angelus Domini of yesterday, invited all to prayer and to worldwide solidarity for the earthquake victims in South Asia (Pakistan, India and Afghanistan), and also for the hurricane victims in Central America and Mexico, especially El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

After, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, H. Exc. Msg. Nikola ETEROVIĆ, on opening the works of the second week of the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, communicated that 148 Synodal Fathers had intervened during the first week of the works.

This General Congregation ended at 12.30 with the prayer Angelus Domini and 244 Fathers were present.

● INTERVENTIONS IN THE HALL (CONTINUATION)

At this Eleventh General Congregation the following Fathers intervened:

- H. Em. Card. Lubomyr HUSAR, M.S.U., Archbishop Major of Lviv of the Ucrainians, President of the Synodm of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (Kyiv-Halych, UKRAINE)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Evarist PINTO, Archbishop of Karachi (PAKISTAN)
- Rev. Father Barry FISCHER, C.PP.S., General Moderator of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Blood
- H. Em. Card. Varkey VITHAYATHIL, C.SS.R., Archbishop Major of Ernakulam-Angamaly of teh Syro-Malabars, President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church (INDIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Tharcisse TSHIBANGU TSHISHIKU, Bishop of Mbujimayi (CONGO R.)
- H. Em. Card. Crescenzio SEPE, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Djura DŽUDŽAR, Titular Bishop of Acrasso, Apostolic Exarch of Serbia e Montenegro for the Catholics of Byzantine Rite (SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Bosco LIN CHI-NAN, Bishop of Tainan (CHINA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Christopher Henry TOOHEY, Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes (AUSTRALIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Petru GHERGHEL, Bishop of Iaşi (ROMANIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Gabriel MALZAIRE, Bishop of Roseau (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
- H.E. Most. Rev. John Olorunfemi ONAIYEKAN, Archbishop of Abuja, President of the Episcopal Conference, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences for Africa and Madagascar (S.E.C.A.M.) (NIGERIA)
- Rev. Peter-Hans KOLVENBACH, S.I., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (NETHERLANDS)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Oswald GRACIAS, Archbishop of Agra, President of the Episcopal Conference (INDIA)
- H. Em. Card. Pedro RUBIANO SÁENZ, Archbishop of Bogotá (COLOMBIA)
- H. Em. Card. Jozef TOMKO, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Louis BRUGUČS, O.P., Bishop of Angers (FRANCE)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Francesco CACUCCI, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto (ITALY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. George Cosmas Zumaire LUNGU, Bishop of Chipata (ZAMBIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Luis SÁINZ HINOJOSA, O.F.M., Titular Archbishop of Giunca of Mauritania, Auxiliary of Cochabamba (BOLIVIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Menghisteab TESFAMARIAM, M.C.C.I., Bishop of Asmara (ERITREA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Baptiste TIAMA, Bishop of Sikasso (MALI)

Below are the summaries of the interventions:

- H. Em. Card. Lubomyr HUSAR, M.S.U., Archbishop Major of Lviv of the Ucrainians, President of the Synodm of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (Kyiv-Halych, UKRAINE)

I believe, first of all, I must express my gratitude to the Secretary General and to the Preparatory Commission who took into account the observations made by the Oriental Churches both in the Lineamenta and in the Instrumentum Laboris.
I would like also to intervene on the Eucharistic practice (no. 22. 23. 24) in the Tradition of the Greek Ukrainian catholic Church, but, wanting to focus the present intervention on another problem, I will postpone this aspect to an in scriptis intervention.
The problem that I face as a Hierarch of a sui iuris Oriental Church refers to numbers 85, 86 and 87 of the Instrumentum Laboris. I express myself in interrogative terms. My preface is that there can be no doubt whatsoever that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the life and the mission of the Church. But this is also true for Oriental Churches!
- If the Liturgy is a regula fidei (lex orandi, lex credendi)
- if the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Oriental Churches in communion with the See of Rome and by the Orthodox or Apostolical Churches is identical for both,
-if there is mutual recognition of the Apostolic Succession of Bishops and, consequently, of priests that celebrate it, then my question is: what more is required for unity?
Is there maybe another fons or another culmen superior to the Eucharist? And if not, why isn’t con-celebration permitted?
A final proposal. In order to grow also in Catholic intraecclesial communion I would like to propose that the next Synod be dedicated to the Oriental Churches.

[00087-02.03] [IN081] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Evarist PINTO, Archbishop of Karachi (PAKISTAN)

I come as a representative of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference . Ours is a small Church of 1.3 million Catholics among Muslims who constitute 98 % of the population.
The Eucharist is a source of strength and nourishment for the Catholics. They love the Word of God. They listen to sacred music. They love to sing the Psalms in their mother tongue.
The Priest cannot always provide the Eucharist because of the large Parishes and many sub-stations. In the rural areas the situation becomes even more grave. The Catholics are spread in far away villages.
I make two recommendations:
1. Inculturation. Often the rituals are not understood by the simple people. We need to discover the “seeds of divine Wisdom” present among the people (Ecclesia in Asia, no. 20).
2. New forms of Ministry. Our Catechists do much praiseworthy pastoral work. But we need other Pastoral Workers, Married Deacons, Pastoral Assistants, and other forms of ministry.

[00148-02.02] [IN105] [Original text: English]

- Rev. Father Barry FISCHER, C.PP.S., General Moderator of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Blood

"The cup ofblessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the Blood of Christ?" (I Cor 10:16) With these words, St. Paul reminds us of the circle of communion that is created by participation in the Eucharist.
In sharing in the Eucharistic cup, God invites us to renew the covenant relationship with Him, as the basis of all other relationships. For reconciliation is indeed a gift from God, ''Who has reconciled us to himself in Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation...So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us" (2 Cor 5:18-20).
The aim ofthat reconciling ministry is to overcome hatred, injustice, and division. But its ultimate goal is the bringing of peace, the peace that Christ has won by the blood ofhis cross (cf. Col 1:20), the peace that reconciles all things in Christ.
The communion achieved in the reconciling Blood of Christ empowers us to be bridgebuilders, truth-tellers, and the healers ofwounds. Our "amen" when receiving communion affirms not only the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; it invites us to be bread broken and blood poured out, life given, for the life of the world. We become as it were "living chalices" carrying the Precious Blood of Christ, that sacred balm, to those who are in need of healing in their brokenness, to those wounded by poverty, to those left half dead by the wayside, scorned and scarred by prejudice, racism, and war.
As "ambassadors of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:20) we offer the Blood of Christ to a world thirsty for harmony with God, with humanity and with all creation. The Blood of Christ quenches the thirst for that communion in which people of great diversity can come together in deep and abiding unity, and calls us to be Eucharistic communities which embrace those who are distant, separated, or cut off. Participation in the Eucharist strengthens and emboldens us to dream a different history, to build a new world, a world that conforms to God's plan for humanity as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

[00152-02.04] [IN111] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. Varkey VITHAYATHIL, C.SS.R., Archbishop Major of Ernakulam-Angamaly of teh Syro-Malabars, President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church (INDIA)

The Eucharist gives a great power to preach the gospel to the whole world. The Syro-Malabar Church is a Eucharist-centered community. The parish churches are crowded on Sundays and many take part in the Eucharist on week days also. It may be due to this fact that our Church is blessed with so many vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
I am happy to note that a good number of the missionary personnel in the mission dioceses of India, even in many of the Latin Rite dioceses is coming from the Syro-Malabar Church and we send priests and religious to Africa, South and North America, Europe and Oceania. But the restriction of the proper territory of this Church for over a hundred years now, has created serious problems both in her missionary activity as well as the proper pastoral care of her faithful in India and abroad. The St. Thomas Christians of the Syro-Malabar Church have an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother. Her attitude of always fulfilling the will of God, her humble service to those in need and her radical discipleship even unto the Cross, all these are inspiring us to dedicate ourselves to build up a better society based on justice and peace.
Finally, I consider that the year of the Eucharist, of which the final stage is this synod, is a God-given occasion to all of us to rededicate ourselves to the Eucharistic Lord and to His missionary mandate.

[00175-02.04] [IN113] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Tharcisse TSHIBANGU TSHISHIKU, Bishop of Mbujimayi (CONGO R.)

I. THE EUCHARIST, EDIFICATION OF THE CHURCH, INCULTURATION AND LITURGICAL RITES
As with reason Pope Benedict XVI insists, the Eucharist is truly at the center and constitutes the great visible foundation of the permanence and continuity of the Faith and the Way of the Church. The Church is edified on and organizes the different structures and the different ministries for the good of People of God around the places of Eucharistic celebration and of all the other Christian Sacraments.
Therefore the necessary and indispensable efforts towards inculturation, in particular, come through the Eucharist. It is here, just as on the subject of other facts and doctrinal notions of Supernatural Revelation, that the opportunity and the necessity to promote and pursue, in each socio-cultural area or region, -Ad Gentes no. 22 -, pertinent theological research and studies, comes in, in view of better defining and making available the most correct type of catechetic expressions.
The framework of the Eucharistic celebration is that of the liturgy. Here, new missionary efforts should still be made and pursued. After Vatican Council II, the Christians of Africa, like those in other parts or regions of Catholicism, have had to live the shock of the passage from the universal rite, called of the liturgy or mass by Pius V, to the rite promulgated by Paul VI.
Following this, the possibilities of integration of new specific elements were opened, until the official promulgation of the Rite notably called “Roman Rite of the Mass for the Dioceses of Zaire”, published by John Paul II in 1988, and commonly called “Zairese Rite for the Mass”.
Today, close to twenty years later, the need is being felt throughout Africa, and beginning with the Church of the democratic Republic of Congo, to evaluate the evolution of the practice, to better the way the rite is being implemented, as is its due, and to avoid deviations, slight or more or less worrisome, which have already been noted here and there.
II. Social Implications of the Eucharist in Today’s Globalized World
Today’s globalized world is full of positive promises for all. But they also contain many very negative aspects and effects, unfavorable to the countries in the southern hemisphere in general, and particularly Africa, a continent recognized by all as the most “globalized” with relationship to others.
III. Themes for the next “African Synod”
On the occasion of the celebration of the African Synod (Special Synod for Africa), already announced by Pope Benedict XVI, very important questions like the following should be in the agenda:
-Inculturation of Divine worship and Liturgy in Africa
-Today’s general context of “Globalization” and the Mission of the Church
-Inter-ecclesial solidarity. Exchanges and mutual help.
-Situation and future of the Missionary Institutes and Religious Congregations.
-General development of Africa and commitments by the Church.
-Challenges of the Mission and ways of theological research in Africa. Conclusion
May this XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops contribute to renewing and reinforcing the missionary impulse of the Church.

[00179-02.03] [IN120] [Original text: French]

- H. Em. Card. Crescenzio SEPE, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (VATICAN CITY)

In reference to what was stated in chapter 2 of part IV of the “Instrumentum laboris”, a more organic and logical treatment, that clarifies the distinction between Evangelization “ad Gentes” and Evangelization for those who have abandoned their faith, is necessary. It is true, that Evangelization is one in its content, but it is diversified in relation to those it is addressed to.
There are different passages of the Instrumentum laboris that need clarification, for example, clearly stating that today there are approximately 5 billion persons who do not know Jesus Christ and therefore cannot be nourished by His Body and His Blood. The Church has the right and the duty to bring the bread of life and the cup of salvation to them as well.
For this, Eucharistic doctrine must be offered to non-Christians in its integral truth, without giving in to “cultural modes” that could lead to that hermeneutical drifting by which the Eucharist loses its mystical-real dimension and become a variation of that cultural anthropology that relativizes the very person of Jesus Christ.
With the force of the Holy Spirit, the missionary, even today, will know how to establish the Church among the peoples, nourishing them with the Bread of life, given for all.

[00180-02.03] [IN123] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Djura DŽUDŽAR, Titular Bishop of Acrasso, Apostolic Exarch of Serbia e Montenegro for the Catholics of Byzantine Rite (SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO)

I will now refer to the fourth chapter of Instrumentum Laboris: “The Eucharist and Inculturation” (Nos. 80 and 81), “The Eucharist and Ecumenism” (No. 86), “The Eucharist and Intercommunion” (No. 87).
Inculturation
The constant meetings between East and West leads to confrontation between the two Christian liturgical traditions. The Eastern liturgy is “accused’ of incomprehensibility and archaism, which make the celebration moments “heavy”, but there is good reason for it to be very involving and mystical. Latin simplification instead brings about “liturgical impoverishment”.
To allow our celebration to be a sign of recognition and identity for non Catholics, it is necessary to stress this formation in all the categories of the people of God, with priority for the education institutes, priest-liturgists, deacons, animators and ministrants. In a word, regular pastoral care and an adequate ordinary liturgical catechesis must take precedence.
The Eucharist and Ecumenism
The common celebration can become a strong message in daily life. However, what is necessary are clear premises which indicate up to where it is possible to operate at a liturgical level with the churches and Christian communities which make up the ecumenical mosaic. Therefore, we propose a liturgical guide which helps to make sure that communion, not yet reached, is invoked in the prayer and not taken for granted, and even as an “instrument” of dialogue. The Eucharist and Intercommunion
I underline two possible threats: prejudice, as a first danger, or relativism. Here we also call for clarity and truth; opening up but without disregarding our identity. Even in this sector, the Eucharist cannot be the means for communion, not even the means for building a generic human community. The Eucharist is not even a starting point. It is the ministry of Christ who in the gift of the Eucharist gives us his Body. It is the gift given to he who belongs to Christ and must become a saint for this and therefore, thanks to this fundamental preoccupation, also the seed of unity in the Church and in the world.
The most urgent request to this Synod is: to revisit the Eucharistic mystery in relation to the other Sacraments, especially in relation to the sacramentality of marriage in mixed marriages and offer essential guidance, although to lower it into the local context on the part of the bishops concerned. It is a challenge which we consider involves other areas which are always vaster, and strongly pertinent in the European continent.

[00156-02.06] [IN127] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Bosco LIN CHI-NAN, Bishop of Tainan (CHINA)

Today, our faith is finding great pastoral and evangelizing difficulties, both from within and from without. At the beginning of the third millennium, we must wholeheartedly and forcefully overcome these problems. Pope John Paul II proposed to us: 1. Today, we must rekindle the spirit of evangelization in the people and preach Jesus Christ, the only Savior, to them. 2. The Church, gathered around the Sacrament of the altar, can better understand her origin and mission. The Church, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, gathered around the Sacrament of the Eucharist, is made the family and People of God.
1. The strength to promote the mission of evangelization is drawn from the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
In this year, dedicated to the Eucharist, worship dedicated to it from the whole Taiwanese church has created a great movement: the priests’ Sunday preaching, exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament, Holy Hour, etc., have all rekindled the fervor in the faithful towards the Most Holy Sacrament. The faithful in Christ receive the strength to go forth and proclaim the Gospel to their neighbors. Many adults have been baptized. We hope that the conclusion of the Eucharistic Year may represent a beginning, rather than an end.
2. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of union and communion.
As the Chinese people grow, as do the Catholics. We must only worry about one thing: the lack of religious freedom, by which the Church the Church risks division.
We must pray with all our hearts, to be one body, one spirit, just as we have been called to edify the body of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
3. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church and of the faithful’s spiritual life. We must promote and spread catechism concerning the Most Holy Eucharist, so that all the faithful may know their relationship, union and communion with the Eucharist, and that they may fulfill the sacred mission, “Go forth and preach the Gospel”, so as to achieve the aim, that is to say ,one shepherd and one fold.

[00182-02.03] [IN134] [Original text: Latin]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Christopher Henry TOOHEY, Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes (AUSTRALIA)

Consider the fact that the Author of the Universe took human nature to himself, was born of a Virgin, had (and still has) a human body and a human soul, lived, died and rose again on this tiny planet we call Earth. He did all of this for us and our salvation. And his presence remains with us substantially and really in the Eucharist. This Mystery staggers the mind; is beyond our full comprehension. But the human heart can know it and love it and accept it in true humility in the act of conversion.
We know that the Eucharist is the Father's pledge of fidelity to and love for the human race. Our faith is audacious and bold in its vision. It comes from God as a gift. We, who are its teachers, must mirror its staggering beauty in the way we speak of the Eucharist, in the way we celebrate the ritual of the Eucharist, and the way we live the Eucharist.

[00184-02.05] [IN138] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Petru GHERGHEL, Bishop of Iaşi (ROMANIA)

“Remaining in Christ” (Jn 15:4) has guaranteed, from the beginning, the vitality and the force of the first Christian communities, united in the celebration of the Eucharist. His living and also sacramental presence is the certain guarantee of a continuity and growth that can never end, despite the difficulties of History with its ideologies and persecutions. The many testimonies of the Eucharistic celebrations taken place in the catacombs of every time and place are the obvious proof of this. Even if partially, I was the direct witness of many heroic acts during the decades of totalitarian communism. I knew Bishops and priests who managed, with unimaginable creativity, to consecrate and preserve the Holy Eucharistic Bread even in their own cells. During the long period of Communism, the only place where the faithful could nourish the courage of their faith was the Church. The celebration of the Eucharist was, at the same time, a moment of evangelization, catechesis and communion with God and their brothers.
The changes in 1989 opened the way to many values in situations of freedom, but misunderstood freedom leads to the degradation of customs in social life, in the family and sometimes even distancing from faith. Thanks be to God, similar tendencies have not invaded our Catholic churches, where the respect and love for the Eucharist are even stronger than in the past. Rather, the attendance in Sunday Mass is high and perhaps motivated in a greater way.
I suggest a proposal to increase respect towards the Eucharist. Keeping in mind the Oriental tradition, the richness of such witness and the attempt of an exchange of gifts between our Churches, I propose using for the Holy Mass also the name “The Holy and Divine Liturgy”, next to the Latin one, already in use but not very precise. It would be a title that suggests in a better way the sacred and invites to meditation, to amazement, to silence, to adoration.
Finally, an appeal: let us conserve in the structures of our churches the most visible and accessible place for the Tabernacle, to avoid the risk of our churches becoming like lovely shells whose inhabitant no longer can be found there.

[00186-02.03] [IN140] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Gabriel MALZAIRE, Bishop of Roseau (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)

My presentation focuses on the pastoral challenges faced in the Antilles with regard to some of the areas presented in the Instrumentum Laboris.
The Antilles Episcopal Conference serves Guyana, Cayenne and Suriname on the South American mainland, all the British, French and Dutch Antilles and Belize. The Catholic ethos in each of the dioceses is dependent significantly on the particular European nation that colonized the country. In recent times the presence of the Evangelical Movement from the United States has infiltrated both the Catholic and Protestant cultures of the Antilles, thus affecting their mode of worship and the way of being Church.
In some of the dioceses that are predominantly Protestant and/or strongly influenced by the evangelical culture some of the faithful have difficulty appreciating the difference between the Mass and non-Catholic worship. For practicing Catholics the Eucharist is very important for their growth in the Faith.
Systematic formation on the Eucharist is most prevalent for children and young adults preparing for first communion and Confirmation. By and lager the adult population has depended on the Sunday homily for their doctrinal and spiritual formation
Great efforts are made to ensure that the Eucharist is celebrated with dignity, decorum and with true participation of the faithful.
The awareness of the need for inculturating the liturgy is growing in the Caribbean. Many of the faithful resist the short handshake for the sign of peace. They want a more feeling expression of fraternity, such as a bear hug or an embrace.
The Sacrament of Penance is not a regular part of the spiritual life a growing number of Catholics.
Mixed marriages sometimes lead to a diminished regard for the Eucharist. Intercommunion poses a problem in the Antilles.
Many of the faithful believe Holy Communion leads to personal sanctification and transformation of attitudes and engenders responsiveness to the needs of others. However, for many others there is a disparity between what they believe and how they live.
Some recommendations include: (1) A return to the emphasis on Easter duties with its requirement for (at least) annual Confession; (2) Reclaim the respect and reverence due to the holy places; (3) The need for grater silence before and during the celebration of the Holy Massa; (4) That pews with kneelers be returned to the Church so that people get into the habit of showing reverence before the Blessed Sacrament

[00187-02.03] [IN146] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. John Olorunfemi ONAIYEKAN, Archbishop of Abuja, President of the Episcopal Conference, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences for Africa and Madagascar (S.E.C.A.M.) (NIGERIA)

My intervention is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to God for the great blessings that the Church in Africa has enjoyed in the Post Vatican II era through the "active, conscious, fruitful" and indeed also joyous participation in the Eucharist celebrated in the richness of our cultural expressions. I refer especially to nos. 80-81 of the Instrumentum Laboris with the title: "The Eucharist and Inculturation".
The I.L. in many places has warnings, cautions, and even sometimes anxieties expressed about errors, exaggerations and reckless experiments in this matter. Such reservations are no doubt not without reason, and should be taken seriously. But on the whole, as the I. L. 34 states, "these should not lead to great alarm". Rather, we should rejoice at the wonderful things the Spirit is doing in our local Churches. All over Africa, in the last forty years, beautiful eucharistic celebrations have emerged which have deepened the faith of the people, improved the quality of their participation, increased the love for the priesthood, given joy and hope in the midst of distress and despair, fostered ecumenical rapport, and generally promoted evangelization.
The Eucharist deserves - and is receiving the best of our cultures. We may not have much to offer in terms of the glorious architecture of European cathedrals or the fabulous paintings of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. But what we have, we are happy to give: our songs and lyrics, our drumming and rhythmic body movements, all to the glory of God.
We do well to acknowledge and extol the valuable heritage of the eucharistic traditions of the different ancient rites of both the East and the West. I believe these are themselves products of an inculturation that took place many centuries ago under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit has not gone to sleep. "The process of inculturation still remains active today in Church communities". (IL 80)
Let me conclude by recalling the sweet memories of our dear Pope John Paul II, whose love, respect and admiration for our efforts at the inculturation of the eucharist are obvious and vivid, not only in the liturgical celebrations during his many visits to many parts of Africa, but on many occasions right here in the Basilica of St. Peter.
Many are the problems of Africa. But at least in this case, we rejoice that the Almighty has done great things for us. Holy is his name.

[00172-02.03] [IN148] [Original text: English]

- Rev. Peter-Hans KOLVENBACH, S.I., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (NETHERLAND)

The rediscovery of the Tridentine notion of sacramental representation by Odo Casel, recently integrated and founded under the biblical profile, opens encouraging horizons in the dialogue between Catholic and the Reformed Churches. Instead of saying that the Mass is the renovation of the sacrifice of the Cross, today we say more exactly that the Mass is the renovation of the memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross. In fact, the Mass is a sacramental sacrifice, i.e. the sacrament of that sacrifice, our sacramental re-presentation to the sole sacrifice.
The limit which sets the Catholic theology of the second millennium against the Orthodox one was that of analyzing the Eucharistic transformation on the basis of the notion of physical time, making it exclusively dependent either on the moment when the consecration words are pronounced or on the moment in which the consecratory epiclesis is pronounced. On the one hand as on the other, it has been forgotten that the moment when the transubstantiation (or metabolč) occurs is not that of our chronometer, but it is God’s instant, which is sacramental time. The Magisterium of the lex orandi teaches that this instant, being by its own nature, “beyond physical things”, admits two strong moments, both provided with an absolute consecratory efficacy: the institutional narration and the epiclesis. Referring to the consecration words and to the consecratory epiclesis, the notion of absolute consacretory efficacy does not support conflictuality or exclusivisms. Far be it from presenting itself as an obstacle, the question of the epiclesis is revealed as a real ecumenical bridge in the dialogue between Catholics and the Othodox.

[00171-02.02] [IN149] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Oswald GRACIAS, Archbishop of Agra, President of the Episcopal Conference (INDIA)

This intervention seeks to focus on the Indian Context, keeping in mind specially the minority nature of the Church.
1. Following the paradigm of the experience on the road to Emmaus, wherein the Lord explained the Scriptures and then broke bread with his disciples, we too need to give enough importance to the Liturgy of the Word in our Eucharistic celebrations. In India where there is a great need for faith formation, more attention would have to be paid to lead the people to understand, appreciate and live the Scriptures in their richness. For this purpose, attempts could be made to use mediatic means like audiovisuals, projections of Gospel scenes and power presentations to make the proclamation appeal to the different human senses. Bishops, being fully involved would take care to avoid the danger of showmanship.
2. As indicated by the Instrumentum Laboris, the connection between the Eucharist and Spirituality should be reinforced. The participation in the Eucharist, an immersion into the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord must lead the faithful to a transformation that enables them to permeate the temporal world with the power of the Gospels. Thus they would be harbingers of unity, and bearers of peace and reconciliation in a world torn by the strife of caste and class, communal and religious intolerance and give human dignity to those devastated by injustice and exploitation.
3. People in some areas in India are attracted to the sects because they find our liturgies monotonous and impersonal, far from being a God experience. The Episcopal conferences along with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments could work out ways of further inculturation of the liturgy as well as introduction of more freedom and creativity, while at the same time safeguarding it from the danger of abuse.
Group Masses and Masses for Families could be effective means for strengthening family unity and in giving family cathechesis.

[00168-02.04] [IN152] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. Pedro RUBIANO SÁENZ, Archbishop of Bogotá (COLOMBIA)

In the Eucharist we live the encounter with Christ, our peace and in consequence, we must welcome its peace, bear witness to it and promote it with our life. Peace is love, truth, reconciliation, justice and solidarity with our brother, in whom we discover the presence of Christ, not only Risen, but also wounded by hatred, injustice and violence. To receive communion demands commitment and willingness to work united with our brothers in the building of peace. To be reconciled and at peace is a condition to draw near to the Eucharistic banquet and many baptized people live a life of suffering with the marks which violence and hatred leave.
The Sacrament of Penance reconciles us with God and demands, not only the recognition of sin, but also the intention to rectify in order for conversion, which leads to adjusting life in agreement with the will of God. He who nourishes himself with the Eucharist has to be reconciled with his brothers in order to live the communion with God, our Father. The parable of the Prodigal Son shows us the mercy of God Father and also the repentance of the sinner, who recognizes his sin and gets up, trusting in the mercy and the pardon of God.
In the moment of giving one another the embrace of peace, we are expressing that there remains no hatred nor bitterness in our heart. It would be more coherent if the embrace of peace would be put before the offering, after the prayers of the faithful, in agreement with what the Lord asks in the Gospel: “So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering”(Mt 5:23). Because if we do not have peace, how can we give it? It would be a mere gesture without content and not a witness of communion with the Lord and with our brothers.
How can we draw near to the Eucharist Sacrament of love, if there is no forgiveness and true love? The peace that the Lord gives us demands that we should forgive and that we should uproot hatred and the desire for revenge, the wall which separates us from our brother and also from the Lord.
We will only overcome the violence engendered by hatred when we are capable of forgiving as God forgives us, and thus, with sincerity, will we be able to head towards our Father: “and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us” (Lk 11:4)
It is scandalous that there are baptized people who break, through ambition, injustice, discrimination, rancour and hatred, their human and fraternal relationships; how can they call themselves children of God, if they do not live their relationship of love with Him, present in their neighbour? And how can they come to receive the Eucharist, without recognizing that through hatred they have broken communion with their brother, without first welcoming the mercy of God through the Sacrament of Penance?
It is urgent to insist in the permanent preparation of the faithful in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the food which nourishes faith, so that they should live the encounter with Jesus Christ and welcome the peace that He gives us and which we have to share with their brothers.

[00167-02.04] [IN157] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Jozef TOMKO, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses (VATICAN CITY)

At the closure of this Synodal Assembly the year of Eucharist, which the Servant of God, John Paul II, inaugurated at the end of the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, 18 October 2004, will also finish. The theme of the congress, which lasted a week and was preceded by a deep theological symposium, was: “The Eucharist: light and life for the New Millennium” What was impressive was the massive manifestation of faith, prolonged for a week, with a few million participants, the Eucharistic procession that lasted for hours, with young people chanting the words: “Jesus is present, He can be seen, He can be felt”, the imposing pilgrimage of a few million people to Our Lady of Zapopan (Eucharistic Woman), the daily presence of 17.000 participants at the Eucharistic liturgies followed by Catecheses and testimonies, and finally the message by John Paul II broadcast on television. An authentic immersion in faith. The whole Church was represented at this ‘Statio Orbis” around the Eucharistic Christ, with groups arriving even from Siberia and Korea, and with a strong presence of Adorerers of the Eucharist.
Eucharistic congresses were born on France in 1881, from a fervent Eucharistic devotion, thanks to the harmonious cooperation between clergy and lay people, under the inspiration of Saint Pier Giuliano Eymard. Their motto, “The salvation of Society by means of the Eucharist”, aimed at confronting religious indifference, so similar to the agnosticism of our times. A Permanent Committee, approved by Leon XIII, which later became“Pontifical”, was constituted for the preparation of the first International Congress of Lille, in 1881, and continues to promote the periodical celebration of International Eucharistic Congresses, and besides this: “it encourages and supports initiatives which are in harmony with the norms in force within the Church, seek to foster devotion to the Eucharistic Mystery in all its aspects, from the celebration of the Eucharist to its worship extra missam” (Statutes, Art. 3).
The International Eucharistic Congresses are celebrated every four years in different continents. Any will still remember the one celebrated in Rome during the Jubilee of 2000, and, moving down the years, that of Wroclaw, Seville, Seoul, Nairobi, Philadelphia, Bombay, Muenchen and others. The next one will take place in Quebec (Canada) in 2008. The recent World Youth Day in Cologne, thanks to its theme “Venimus Adorare Eum” in truth nearly became a Eucharistic congress.
With Vatican II Council, the International Eucharistic Congresses have taken on the physiognomy of the “Statio Orbis”, a type of “break” in which the particular churches of the various part of the Orb unite themselves with the Pope or his Legate, in a city, gathered around Christ in his Eucharistic Mystery, in order to manifest and deepen in their faith. Catechesis, the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, the Adoration of the most holy Sacrament, the solemn Eucharistic Procession, first Communion, charitable activities towards the poor, the sick and the disabled, encounters for reflection according to different categories make of such a Congress a true occasion of spiritual renewal, with visible and invisible fruits, that only God knows but are certainly abundant.
In the right proportion, the same may be affirmed also of other forms of Eucharistic Congresses, which can be celebrated at a National, Diocesan, or Deanery-Vicarage and similar levels. A communitarian encounter with the Eucharistic Christ is always fruitful in helping religious fervour, communion, vocations, missionary spirit, social peace and solidarity grow.
The rediscovery of Adoration, also Nocturnal Adoration, has been mentioned. The Adorerers that we have seen in Mexico are an example of this. As contemplative sisters are also. However, now Jesus the Eucharist is attracting young people as well, who in Him discover God - Love. We hope this happens in our Parishes, Seminaries, convents and the presbyteries. Before Him, great reasonings are not necessary, all that is needed is simple faith. Like that of the countryman of Ars to whom Saint Giovanni Vianney asked what he was doing for such a long time in front of the tabernacle. The answer is disarming in its depth: “I look at Him and He looks at me!” In that meeting of eyes, the solution to many problems of our time is to be found.

[00196-02.03] [IN159] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Louis BRUGUČS, O.P., Bishop of Angers (FRANCE)

We need to take our part in the ongoing secularization: it is a weighty and lasting tendency. It has secreted a mentality - secularism - which singularly questions Christian conscience. Secularism challenges any form of relationship with the world beyond and the invisible world. There exists even a self-secularization within our Christian communities. What becomes of the Eucharist, “bread from Heaven” if there is no longer a heaven? The role that the Eucharist should play in the “new evangelization”, more precisely in evangelization by culture, should be defined. Our young people who have discovered in Eucharistic Adoration the source of their mission in the service of modern rationalism, should also be encourage.

[00197-02.04] [IN158] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Francesco CACUCCI, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto (ITALY)

The demand for a “mystagogical turn” in our pastoral is always greater and more contemporary. The “Lineamenta” of the Synod have dedicated an entire chapter to this. The “Instrumentum laboris” makes an explicit reference to mystagogy in numbers 31, 40, 47 and 52. Also several Synod Fathers have expressed this need.
We are anchored in a pastoral that “prepares” for the sacraments. As soon as the sacraments of Christian initiation are celebrated, one speaks about the “goodbye” to the Christian community. In reality, an essential experience is lacking: the progressive entrance to the mystery of salvation.
The Fathers of the Church, who lived a cultural situation in some ways analogous to that of post-modern man, make a “mystagogic” choice, directed, not at “fervent” Christians, but at the Christians marked by the contradictions of a sort of “secularism” of those times.
In a period of fragmentation such as ours, mystagogy guides within the mystery, marks the encounter between catechesis, the experience of celebration and daily Christian life.
There can be no true synthesis between faith and life if the link of celebration is missing. Thus the synthesis Eucharist-life cannot be achieved without faith. It is the trinomial faith-liturgy-life recalled in the “Instrumentum laboris” at no. 29 and so spread out in the pastoral plans.
How can a Christian community achieve this mystagogical development? By recuperating the centrality of Sunday Eucharist. “Sine Dominico non possumus”: expression of the martyrs of Abitene, recalled by a Synodal Father, poses a question to Christian identity, with precise ecumenic nuances.
No. 70 of the Instrumentum laboris underlines this centrality.
Faced with the ever arising rationalizing temptation, Eucharistic mystagogy highlights the primacy of grace.
The Sunday Eucharistic celebration is also the missionary place of greatest relevance in the Church. The faithful meet there, but also those who rarely take part in Sunday Mass.
But it is also a question of pastoral method that, in my opinion, the Synod could propose.
The Liturgical Year has been lived, from the beginning, as the place in which the community lives and proclaims the mystery of Christ. The rhythm of this itinerary is strongly marked by the conferring of the sacraments of Christian initiation, which has its summit in the Eucharist, and by the various steps in preparation for it.
If the Christian community is the subject of the itinerary of faith, full, active and conscious participation (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 48) of the People of God in the Sunday liturgy requires a “mystagogical accompaniment” that could be prepared, not only by priests, but also by the animators of a weekly community encounter during which, beginning with the mystery celebrated in the rite, in the light of the Words of the Old and New Testaments and the teachings of the Fathers, learn to reflect together on the life of the community and to improve the commitment in history.
These considerations come from a pastoral choice lived in our local Church and proposed on the occasion of the Italian National Eucharistic Congress of this year.,

[00204-02.03] [IN169] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. George Cosmas Zumaire LUNGU, Bishop of Chipata (ZAMBIA)

I am speaking on behalf of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. I must admit that in spite of today's advanced means of technology, our Episcopal Conference did not receive the Instrumentum Laboris with sufficient time to be able to respond a as conference. Therefore, I was given the freedom to make a personal intervention, keeping in mind the pastoral situation in Zambia. My intervention is based on numbers 42, 44, 61 and 62 of Instrumentum Laboris.
In number 42 it states that in liturgy, a person looks not at himself but God. The document therefore needs to emphasize more on the living God in his relationship with his people rather than the human activities encapsulated in liturgical traditions, norms and rubrics. In this way, we will avoid the temptation of either finding past solutions for today's pastoral challenges related to the Eucharist or focussing too much on the shadows as it has been reflected in the document. One liturgical issue that comes to my mind is BEAUTY.
Art. No. 62. refers to beauty as a means to penetrate into the mystery of God and of the Eucharist, it would be useful to quote the then Cardinal Ratzinger who, addressing the movement known as Communion and Liberation in 2002 said: “Being struck and overcome by the beauty of Christ is more real, more profound knowledge than mere rational deduction. Of course we must not underrate the importance of theological reflection, of exact and precise theological thought; it remains absolutely necessary. But to move from here to disdain or reject the impact produced by the responses of the heart in the encounter with beauty as a true form of knowledge would impoverish us and dry up our faith and theology. We must rediscover this form of knowledge (through beauty), it is a pressing need of our time ... Today, for faith to grow, we must lead ourselves and the persons we meet to encounter the saints and to enter into contact with the Beautiful.”
More recently, the Religious who gathered here in Rome for the Congress of 2004 were also sensitive to this dimension made manifest in their final document where they said: “Arts and beauty are icons for all cultures; artists help the communities of consecrated life fight against a consumerist mentality, create beautiful spaces for prayer, find new symbols to tell new stories to the hearts of the men and women who listen. This communication of beauty will give birth to joy and life in the midst of violence and death.” (Final document III/2/4, page 222. Pauline edition).
Could we ask our theologians to launch a pastoral reflection on the theology of beauty in order to shed more light on the shadows experienced in the celebration of the Eucharist?
Participation of the laity, art. No. 44... The use of the phrase minimal assistance and collaboration in reference to the participation of the laity in the celebration of the Eucharist should either be modified or removed completely. In his article, the Eucharist: Source and Summit of the life of the Lay Faithful, Matteo Calisi states: “despite liturgical reform, there still lingers on a widespread clerical mentality in the liturgy, seeing the celebration of the mystery more the work of the clergy- the celebrant-than the 'work of the whole people of god' celebrating their Lord for it is often the case that the people do not unite themselves with the celebrant by active and lively participation, but aformal manner by only relating to the celebrant through the dialogue of ritual responses.” (Rediscovering the Eucharist: Pontificium Consilium Pro Laicis. Page 70).
Still on the topic on participation of the laity, and this time through music, songs (art.61) and the use of Latin (at international meetings)(art.62), my impression about these articles is that they do not seem to reflect contributions from some mission countries like Zambia. I find this part of the document to be over-optimistic about the organ, Gregorian chant and even the use of Latin at international meetings in an attempt to meet the needs of the people of all time and places. My proposal is that we should not go back to making these instruments of worship universal. Our consideration of our cultural items should not be in comparison to, or in relation to either the organ, Gregorian chant or Latin, although they could still be treated as options for those who find them helpful. Communication and participation is vital in every liturgical celebration including the Eucharistic celebration. Our hope lies in the future and not in the past. We need courage to face our present pastoral challenges with regard to the Eucharist without nostalgic tendencies if the Eucharist is to respond to the pastoral needs of the time.

[00207-02.03] [IN171] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Luis SÁINZ HINOJOSA, O.F.M., Titular Archbishop of Giunca of Mauritania, Auxiliary of Cochabamba (BOLIVIA)

I speak in the name of the Episcopal Conference of Bolivia and I refer to numbers 53, 55, and 56 of the Instrumentum Laboris.
The Risen Christ does not abandon humanity; He continues the gesture lived on the Cross, giving his Body and his Blood, he gives Himself to us as food, welcoming us in Himself. He unites us in the fullest communion with his eternal life and with his infinite love. (Cf. Mane Nobiscum Domine, 19).
Remaining in Him gives us Divine life; it is the greatest grace for a disciple of Jesus (Jn 15:4-9). The bread, formed by many grains of wheat, and the wine, produced by so many grapes are a symbol of unity. Jesus, the One Bread shared with all, creates full communion with Him; makes of all those who believe, one sole body.
The Eucharist is given to the Church through the Apostles. Jesus Himself, in the miracle of the multiplication of the bread (Mk 6:37-44), does not directly offer the bread to the people Himself, but invites the Twelve to give them to eat. For the Church this is a fundamental indication. The Lord, Bread of Life and food of salvation is found in the community of those who believe, where the Apostles, the Bishops of today, continue the Mandate to break the Bread for the whole People, and satisfy their hunger.
I come from a country that is rich in culture, as all of you; that has a deep faith in the Eucharist, in the Virgin Mary and in the suffering Christ.
The veneration of their deceased is something sacred to them; it is not conceivable to bury a dead person without celebrating the Holy Eucharist, as they are convinced this is the best way to hand him over to God. They celebrate their patrons feast days, their civic feat days and every important event with the celebration of the Eucharist; followed immediately by folklore, dancing and drinking, often in an exaggerated way.
What stands out most, and calls one’s attention, sometimes even calling upon the Pastoral Workers, is the simplicity, the profound faith and hunger for God they have. Based on this experience, I allow emphasize to the formation of priests and of those in consecrated life, giving priority to the Theology of the Eucharist as a very important foundation for their spirituality and an indispensable food for the maturing of their vocation, that will lead them to be good shepherds, missionaries who give a witness of their faith with generous service
Christian spirituality is centered on the Eucharist, a spirituality of profound ecclesial communion; the people of the countryside above all, in the communities where a priest does not reach and who love the Holy Father and his Pastors, in the best of cases are attended by a catechist or a Religious sister; that is to say, they are left without the Eucharist through lack of priests...What should be done in the future? The people grow in number and priests decrease; sects increase.
The pastoral orientations and suggestions of the Synod, which help us to recognize the experience of the Jesus Christ Risen as the True Bread that fills man, that is the only one capable of giving real life; suggestions that could be an answer to the lived culture of the religiosity of the people, which lead us to comprehend the true meaning of the same, from the “Eucharistic communities”, “that love and serve in solidarity”.

[00211-02.04] [IN175] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Menghisteab TESFAMARIAM, M.C.C.I., Bishop of Asmara (ERITREA)

I come from an area of Eastern African Christian Tradition where, among non Catholics, daily celebration of the Eucharist, frequent reception of Holy Communion, reservation of the Sacred Speces in the Tabernacle, and adoration of the Eucharist outside Holy Mass are not practiced.
Does this mean there is less celebration of the Sacred Mysteries? Or, does it mean there is less adoration in these Churches? Not at all. There is only a different approach and different theological sensibilities. As a Catholic minority we do have all the above mentioned traditional Latin Catholic practices. But we feel we need to embed them better within an Eastern Christian Spirituality.
The second chapter of Part III of the Instrumentum Laboris has a beautiful title: Adoring the Lord in Mystery. The Eucharist is indeed the Mystery of our Faith. The subtitle of the same chapter is however not clear. What does" From Celebration to Adoration" mean? I hope it does not mean a temporal sequence, or an essential dichotomy between the two actions of the people of God. In the Liturgical action of the Eastern Churches celebration and adoration are two actions intrinsecally united. They are two aspects of the same reality, just as the table of the word and that of the Body and Blood of Christ are two parts of the same Eucharistic Banquet. Celebration and adoration go hand in hand. They do not follow each other. The first stresses the festive aspect, the second highlights the Greatness and Holiness of God. On one hand, we celebrate the great things God has done for us through His only Son our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ. We feel so close and familiar to Him and sing Allelujah! In our tradition there should be only the High Mass all sung and everybody involved: Priest, deacon, people. Liturgical dances prepare the people before Mass. God has become one of us and has offered His life for us. He is the Emmanuel! God with us.
On the other hand, we adore the Lord of Glory together with the angels and archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim. During the Holy Eucharistic action Heaven and Earth are in unison to prostrate themselves in adoration before pteMajesty of the Triune God, the wholly O!her. The doxologies sung during the Holy Mass are but an expression of the intense experiences of this awe inspiring presence of the Holy: "Holy, Holy Holy, God of Power and Might. Heaven and Earth are full of your Glory. Hosanna in the Highest".
Celebration and Adoration are thus two inseparable actions of the people of God gathered around the table of the Word and Christ's Body and Blood. These two actions unite Heaven and Earth. For a brief moment heaven descends and is tangible among men. It is like the experience of the disciples of Jesus, Peter John and James on Mount Tabor. The Eucharist is Mystery of Faith. It cannot be worthily celebrated without a deep sense of the Sacred. An act of adoration without a feeling of wonder and amazement may inspire only fear and despair. Hence we need to stress the unity of celebration and adoration. We have to encourage our faithful to become an adoring celebrating community, be it during Mass or outside Mass.

[00215-02.03] [IN179] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Baptiste TIAMA, Bishop of Sikasso (MALI)

The Catholic Church in Mali chose the option of a Family Church, a brotherly Communion at the service of the Gospel.
It is a minority in the midst of a population with 80% Muslim and 20% belonging to the traditional religion according to the areas; the Christians (Catholics and Protestants) of Mali are but a small portion of the population, of 3%.
The Catholic Church is well presented and well respected in the country. Its pastoral objective is to build a Family Church, fraternal communion at the service of the Gospel, a Church that lives and celebrates its faith; a Church where the Word of God is announced, welcomed and celebrated, and where the Eucharist represents the place for the expression par excellence of its Unity and the starting point of its mission in the midst of the brothers from other religions, such as Islam and the traditional religion. And with the assistance of the grace of Christ, every year it receives hundreds of new children at Easter.
This Church awaits from this Synod help in promoting in the whole body of the Church, “Eucharistic worship”: respect for the holy places, adoration and procession of the Holy Sacrament by priests, persons from consecrated life and the lay faithful.
In fact, the people among which the church lives is a deeply religious people that respectfully welcomes all that touches upon the religious. Thus, the Christian has the time to leave work to participate in liturgical celebrations on the holy days of obligation, even if the law does not make it a feast day. During the periods of drought and calamity, the administrative authorities ask them for prayers to help the country to face the situation.
Christian seriousness and commitment in society have given the Church its due place. This testimony that inspires confidence draws its source and strength from the good formation that some have received, and above all from the unity of all around Christ, unity that is achieved each day more through th Eucharist. Our deepest wish is to maintain, if not to also to promote within this Church, Eucharistic worship: at the level of the clergy, the persons of consecrated life and the lay faithful.
Also, one must insist on the formation at al levels: ordinary catechesis and Christian initiation of the adults; but we can never insist enough on what we believe is essential. The formation of children of the age to receive first communion is of great importance, and also for priests, liturgical formation must be intensified in the seminaries, so that when in the parish, the minister is very respectful of the worship he is celebrating.

[00216-02.03] [IN180] [Original text: French]

♦ SECOND PRESS CONFERENCE

Accredited journalists are informed that Thursday, 13 October 2005, at 12.45 in the John Paul II Conference Hall of the Holy See Press Office, the Second Press Conference will be held on the works of the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Relatio post disceptationem).

The following will intervene:

● H. Em. Card. Francis Arinze
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
President-Delegate
● H. Em. Card. Juan Sandoval Íńiguez
Archbishop of Guadalajara (Mexico)
President-Delegate
● H. Em. Card. Telesphore Placidus Toppo
Archbishop of Ranchi (India)
President-Delegate
● H. Exc. Msg. John Patrick Foley
Titular Archbishop Of Neapolis of Proconsulari
President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
President of the Information Commission
● H. Exc. Msg. Sofron Stefan Mudry, O.S.B.M.
Bishop Emeritus of Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine)
Vice-President of the Information Commission

 

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- Index Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - XI Ordinary General Assembly - 2005
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