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


11 - 07.10.2005





At 09.00 a.m. today, Friday 7 October 2005, feast of the Virgin Mary of the Rosary, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the prayer of the Hour of Terce, the Eighth General Congregation began for the continuation of the interventions by the Synodal 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. Juan SANDOVAL ÍÑIGUEZ, Archbishop of Guadalajara (Mexico).

After the pause of the Eighth General Congregation, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops asked the Synodal Fathers to pray for the victims of the tropical hurricane in Central America.

Afterwards, he expressed his best wishes for the Saint’s day of two of the Synodal Fathers in occasion of today’s remembrance.

Finally, before resuming the intervention by the Synodal Fathers in the Hall, the Secretary General said that the Holy Father, welcoming the suggestion of several Synodal Fathers, had decided that an hour of Eucharistic Adoration would be held in St. Peter’s Patriarchal Basilica in the Vatican City, on Monday, 17 October 2005, from 05.00 p.m. to 06.00 p.m.

This General Congregation ended at 12.30 with the prayer Angelus Domini and 245 Fathers were present.


The following Fathers intervened during the Eighth General Congregation:

- H. Em. Card. Alfonso LÓPEZ TRUJILLO, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family (VATICAN CITY)
- H. Em. Card. Darío CASTRILLÓN HOYOS, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (VATICAN CITY)
- H. Em. Card. Nasrallah Pierre SFEIR, Patriarch of Antiochia of the Maronites, Head of the Synod of the Maronite Church (LEBANON)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Aleksander KASZKIEWICZ, Bishop of Grodno (BELARUS)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Dominik DUKA, O.P., Bishop of Hradec Králové (CZECH REPUBLIC)
- H. Em. Card. Juan Luis CIPRIANI THORNE, Archbishop of Lima (PERU)
- H. Em. Card. Karl LEHMANN, Bishop of Mainz, President of the Episcopal Conference (GERMANY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Henryk MUSZYŃSKI, Archbishop of Gniezno (POLAND)
- H. Em. Card. Francis ARINZE, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Rosario Pio RAMOLO, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop of Goré (CHAD)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Juan Antonio UGARTE PÉREZ, Archbishop of Cuzco (PERU)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Brian Michael NOBLE, Bishop of Shrewsbury (GREAT BRITAIN)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Cornelius Fontem ESUA, Archbishop Coadjutor of Bamenda (CAMEROON)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Theotonius GOMES, C.S.C., Titular Bishop of Zucchabar, Auxiliary of Dhaka (BANGLADESH)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph Mohsen BÉCHARA, Archbishop of Antélias of the Maronites (LEBANON)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Denis George BROWNE, Bishop of Hamilton in New Zealand, President of the Federation of the Conferences of Catholic Bishops of Oceania (F.C.B.C.O.) (NEW ZEALAND)
- H. Em. Card. Jean-Louis TAURAN, Archivist and Librarian of S.R.C. (VATICAN CITY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. William Joseph LEVADA, Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (San Francisco, VATICAN CITY)
- H. Em. Card. Péter ERDŐ, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, President of the Episcopal Conference (HUNGARY)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Adrian Leo DOYLE, Archbishop of Hobart (AUSTRALIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Anthony MUHERIA, Bishop of Embu (KENYA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Tarcisius Gervazio ZIYAYE, Archbishop of Blantyre, President of the Episcopal Conference (MALAWI)

The summaries of the interventions follow:

- H. Em. Card. Alfonso LÓPEZ TRUJILLO, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family (VATICAN CITY)

Eucharistic coherence of politicians and legislators is a serious problem in quite a few nations and parliaments. Today, the projects for laws and the choices made or to be made seriously imperil “the good news”, that is the Gospel of the family and of life, that form an indivisible unity. The future of man and society comes into play and, in many aspects, the genuine possibility for integral evangelization.
As can be often heard, there is a spurious argument for a so-called free political choice, which would have the primacy over evangelical principles and also over the reference to correct reasoning. Juridical positivism would be a sufficient explanation. The ambiguous positions of legislators on divorce, de facto couples, which at least implicitly would constitute an alternative to marriage, even if these unions are simply a “juridical fiction” and “the circulation of false money” are rather well-known. Worse yet, when dealing with “couples” of the same sex, something unknown in the cultural histories of people and in law, even if not presented as “matrimony”.
Presenting this juridical lie as a “marriage” and to have the pretense of adopting children is certainly even more destructive. This whole tendency, which could invade many nations, is clearly contrary to Divine law, to God’s commandments and is a negation of natural law. Social fabric is wounded in a lethal way. A disastrous influx on laws and on the truth concerning man follows, who no longer comprehends the “transcendent” character of his “existence as man” and is lowered to being an instrument and an object in the different attempts against life, starting from the abominable crime of abortion.
Can we allow access to Eucharistic communion to those who deny the human and Christian principles and values? The responsibility of the politicians and legislators is great. So called personal option cannot be separated from the socio-political duty. It is not a “private” problem, the acceptance of the Gospel, of the Magisterium and of right reasoning are needed! As for all, even for politicians and legislators the word of God holds true: “Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup f the Lord unworthily... is eating and drinking his own condemnation” (1 Cor 11:27-29).
The Lord of the family and of life, of love, of the covenant that unites spouses is truly present in the Eucharist. God is the creator of human dignity. The question cannot be resolved in a circumstantial way, according to the various diverse attitudes in the different countries, because the Christian consciences and ecclesial communion would become vague and confused. All these problems need to be clarified and illuminated by the Word of God in the light of the Magisterium of the Church, in the splendor Veritatis. Politicians and legislators must know that, by proposing or defending projects for iniquitous laws, they have a serious responsibility for, and must find a remedy to the evil done and spread, to be allowed access to communion with the Lord who is the way, truth and life (cf. Jn 14:6).

[00155-02.03] [IN125] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Darío CASTRILLÓN HOYOS, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (VATICAN CITY)

I refer especially to numbers 6, 25 - 33, 34 and 18 of the Instrumentum Laboris.
This Synod professes and ratifies the age old faith of the Church in this venerable sacrament, which has excellence over the other sacraments because in it, under the consecrated species, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really and substantially present. In the Eucharist, as He is truly human and truly present, I can converse with my Lord without fear at the poverty of my language or my feelings; because He is truly God, an infinite panorama is opened for me to contemplate, one of securities and certainties. Do the Catholic people truly know what is the Eucharist, with vital wisdom? The scarce participation in the Dominical Eucharist, the disappearance of Associations of Eucharistic worship, the incoherence between Eucharistic practice and the lives of many, the generalized custom of receiving communion without Confession, the sacramental practice of those divorced and remarried, or of those involved in active violence provoke the question: do the Catholic people truly know what is the Eucharist? The greatness of the mystery of a God who becomes bread and company, who comes to dwell in order to offer us his redeeming love in the awnings of our pilgrimage, is not known at depth.
I allow myself to propose a few solutions.
1.A catechesis at all levels according to the cultures, ages, intellectual, economic and social conditions.
2. The executing leaders of this project are the priests. Chosen from all eternity by the Father, they have been sealed by the Christ. Faithful in their task, they need encouragement in the tiredness of the journey, help and comprehension in fragility and guides towards holiness. There are more than 400.000 of them, a huge vital network that has not forgotten the mandate: “do this in memory of me”. We could respectfully ask the Holy Father to encourage and motivate them in his Post-synodal Exhortation. They are the ones who, formed and guided, can fill the void and correct the abuses, imparting healthy and strong doctrine. They can motivate and guide the lay leaders of the communities without a stable priest, and, when the occasion demands it, celebrate the Eucharist in an almost itinerary way. With the priests will be the male and female Religious, the families, movements, catechists, young people, and all the committed lay people, nurtured and impelled by the same Eucharist.
For this catechetical undertaking we count on two powerful instruments: the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism recently given by the Holy Father to the Church.
3. For the appropriate worship of the Eucharist it is necessary to embark upon a recuperation of the sense of mystery and a pious veneration of the sacred. The dignity of the rite excludes superficiality and the trivialization of the sacred. The abuses dim the richness of liturgical reform.
4. Worldwide action towards promoting the sanctification of ministers of the Eucharist is a must: profound spiritual reflection, constant prayer, days of fasting and silent contemplation of the Eucharistic face of Jesus, the Lord. They will communicate that strength and that life to the whole catholic family.
The richness of celibacy, a precious gift from the Holy Spirit, highlights the being and the Eucharistic figure of the priest. Within the present sexual culture, the marriage of priests would not be a guarantee or a security in the face of the problems of a moral nature that affect some priests.
The Synod can ask the Holy Father to give us strength in order to appreciate more every day in our Church the invaluable gift of celibacy, and to close the road to false expectations, which may create concern and confusion.

[00157-02.02] [IN132] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Nasrallah Pierre SFEIR, Patriarch of Antiochia of the Maronites, Head of the Synod of the Maronite Church (LEBANON)

1. I refer to the relatio ante disceptationem, chapter a2 entitled the tested men, where there is a question about the celibacy of Catholic priests. The text says: “To overcome the lack of priests, some, guided by the principle of salus animarum suprema lex, advance the request for the ordination of married faithful, of proven faith and virtue”, rather than leaving the parishes without any priestly service.
1. There is a problem there that nobody ignores. We should reflect on it seriously. In the Maronite Church, we allow married priests. Half of our diocesan priests are married. However, we must admit that the marriage of priests, even if resolving one problem, also creates other serious problems. A married priest has the duty of taking care of his wife and children, to ensure their education, to secure for them a certain social standing. The priesthood was also a means of social promotion in Lebanon.
Another problem arises for a married priest, that of not having misunderstandings with the parishioners. Despite this, it can be the case that the Bishop cannot transfer him, due to the impossibility of his family to move with him. Despite all this, these married priests have preserved the faith of the people with whom they have shared a hard life. Without them, this faith would have disappeared.
3. On the other hand, Celibacy is the most precious gem in the treasure of the Catholic Church. But how to maintain it in an eroticized environment: Newspapers, Internet, posters, everything displayed without shame, wounding the virtue of chastity. It is obvious that once ordained, a priest can no longer marry. To send priests, either to a country in need of them, or to a country having many of them, is not an ideal solution, if we take into consideration traditions, habits and mentalities.
The problem has been stated. One must pray to the Holy Spirit that he may suggest to his Church the means to find an adequate solution.

[00154-02.03] [IN143] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Aleksander KASZKIEWICZ, Bishop of Grodno (BELARUS)

In my intervention I would like to evoke the second part of the instrumentum Laboris, that is, the faith of the Church in the Eucharistic Mystery. More precisely - the point I deal with remains connected to the conclusion of the second part. The starting point for the reflection is the experience lived by the local Church in Belarus compared with what can be observed in other countries of the world.
From this derives some concrete proposals:
-to give back the central place to the tabernacle in churches, in order to underline the faith in the real presence of Jesus in the sacramental symbols;
-to prepare precise regulations regarding the planning of sacred premises, so that the architecture itself could help to bring man to the encounter with the Eucharistic Jesus;
- even if some churches function as historical monuments, it is necessary to create in them an atmosphere of profound respect towards the Holy Eucharist, so that no economical or commercial reason decreases their character as the house of God;
-to make churches accessible even outside celebration times, to assure people of the possibility of encountering Jesus, present in the Most Holy Eucharist;
-to promote Eucharistic Adoration, especially in cities, at during some hours of the day, with the possibility of Eucharistic Reconciliation; our experience tells us that the places of Eucharistic worship contribute to the increase of healthy devotion.

[00153-02.02] [IN144] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Dominik DUKA, O.P., Bishop of Hradec Králové (CZECH REPUBLIC)

When we experience the life of the Church in the Eucharist, we cannot hope for an “experience without tensions”. Without tensions there is no life! Many of us are convinced that a “Tridentine liturgy” and a “liturgy after Vatican Council II” exist. This is not true. There are different liturgies and liturgical developments have always existed. We must have great consideration and respect for the liturgy of the Oriental Church, but also for the new developments in the “Latin liturgy”.
When the Byzantine liturgy was elaborated, to give honor to Christ, imperial court ceremonial was used, while maintaining, at the same time, faithfulness to the mystery of the Son of God. In this sense, different ways of venerating Christ in Asia, Africa and Europe should be allowed. The difference between the Latin and the Byzantine liturgy is deeper than the one between the “Tridentine Rite” and the “liturgy of Zaire”!
Study on the history of the Liturgy and of the Sacraments also encourages new liturgical action. Everything cannot be lowered to an over-meticulous observance of rubrics. We also need to appreciate the deep meaning inherent in the liturgy, and that flows from it.

[00160-02.03] [IN153] [Original text: German]

- H. Em. Card. Juan Luis CIPRIANI THORNE, Archbishop of Lima (PERU)

In number 37 of the Instrumentum Laboris, it is recalled that the Holy Mass is Sacramental Sacrifice; however, the whole of the life of Christ also presents a sacrificial character. Christians find in the Mass a privileged place to seek their identification with Christ. For this reason, the best response of the Church to secularized culture is the “scandal of the Cross” (Gal 5:11), foundation of the pastoral for holiness that should be proposed. Two lines of action are proposed: one, directed to all the faithful, in order to make confession more accessible offering timetables at hours that are compatible with the working day, facilitating the presence of confessors before and during celebrations, promoting the right to use confessionals with screens and not increasing the extraordinary ministers of Communion. The other, centered on the holiness of priests and seminarians: the frequent practice of Confession, the selection of candidates for priesthood and care for the Seminary is recommended.

[00159-02.03] [IN154] [Original text: Spanish]

- H. Em. Card. Karl LEHMANN, Bishop of Mainz, President of the Episcopal Conference (GERMANY)

A Synod of Bishops refers to the practice of the Church, but should also bear the theological notions in mind that can help. Discussion on the Eucharist was influenced, for a long time, by the rejection of the reforming tendencies. This was necessary and maintained the faith of the Church.
We have rediscovered our rich tradition through the Biblical, Patristic, liturgical and ecumenical movements of the 20th Century. Much has been received from Vatican Council II and the documents that followed. However, there is still much that has not yet been received and made ours in a fruitful way. First of all: The Eucharist as the complete expression of thankfulness to the Trine God, memory (anamnesis, memory) as the fundamental characteristic, sacrifice, as Jesus Christ’s gift of self, invocation of the Spirit, Eucharistic communion and the unity of the Church.
The richness of our faith can be better understood this way, and even certain ecumenical problems can be resolved. The classic dogmatic decisions can be properly inserted in this context and are indispensable. Thus we can also better respond to the mandate that the Bishop entrusts each priest with during Ordination: “Be aware of what you do!”. The Synod of Bishops therefore truly represents a great opportunity.

[00158-02.03] [IN155] [Original text: German]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Henryk MUSZYŃSKI, Archbishop of Gniezno (POLAND)

Number 54 of the Instrumentum Laboris “The Word and the Bread of life” demands a biblical and theological deepening. Both the Sacred Scriptures and Patristical Tradition bear witness to the interdependence of Word and the divine Bread and the analogy (not the identity) between the Verb made flesh and the Word of God “embodied” in the human condition. In both, Christ, Verb of eternal life (I Jn 1:3), offers Himself as redeeming nourishment. A very close relationship between the word and the Bread comes from the centrality of the Person and mission of the Risen Lord (cf. The narration of the Emmaus disciples: the presence of Christ in the Scriptures prepares the disciples to comprehend the mystery of his presence in the broken bread). In a similar way, the bread of life (Jn 6:5; cf. 6:51) is equivalent to the verb of life (1 Jn 1:1; cf. Jn 6:68).The same parallelism is also found in the ancient Christian tradition, for example in Origin (Scholia in Mattheum 17, 14-21), Tertullian (De res. mort 37,11) St. Irenaeus (Adv. Haereses 4.23,22-29), Ceasarius of Arles (Sermo 78, 2) and St. Gerolamus : it is possible to nourish [ourselves] with his Body and drink his Blood not only in the mystery of the Eucharist but also through reading the Sacred Scripture (Cf. Gerolamus, In Eccles. 3,12).

[00064-02.03] [IN056] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Francis ARINZE, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (VATICAN CITY)

Focussing on the Eucharistic Celebration, ars celebrandi refers to both interior and exterior participation on the part of the celebrating priest and on the part of the congregation. It underlines the importance of a strong sense of wondering contemplation, almost sacred stupor, in front of the Mystery of God who reveals himself and gives us his riches in the Holy Eucharist. It demands receptive silence and a reaction of prayer which proceed from listening hearts which are open to the hidden but powerful action of the Holy Spirit.
Ars celebrandi makes serious demands of the priest who celebrates the Eucharistic sacrifice: consciousness of the ministry received at ordination ("agnosce quod agis, imitare quod tractas") and awareness that he is acting "in persona Christi" and also as a minister of the Universal Church. It convinces the priest that his knowledge of liturgy, scripture and theology must grow and underlines the importance of on-going formation for priests in the ministry. Indeed, many liturgical "abuses are often based on ignorance" or "in a false understanding of liberty". (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 7, 9).
Ars celebrandi helps the priest to have a faith-filled and disciplined posture at Mass. On the one hand, he cannot isolate himself from the presence of the people. On the other hand he should not become a showman who projects himself. The liturgy is not primarily what we make but what we receive in faith.
On the part of other contributors to the Eucharistic celebration - the altar servers, the readers, the choir, etc - ars celebrandi demands good preparation, faith, humility and focussing attention on the sacred mystery rather than on self.
When the Mass is celebrated in this spirit it nourishes faith and manifests it powerfully - lex orandi, lex credendi. With a genuine understanding of the role of liturgical norms, such a celebration is free of banalization and desacralization. It sends the people of God home properly nourished, spiritually refreshed and dynamically sent to evangelize.
The role of the Diocesan Bishop in promoting ars celebrandi is of crucial importance (cf Sacrosanctum Concilium, 41; Instr. Laboris, 52). Masses celebrated in cathedral churches, in major sanctuaries and pilgrimage centres and in big gatherings of the faithful should be models in ars celebrandi.

[00074-02.04] [IN050] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Rosario Pio RAMOLO, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop of Goré (CHAD)

Dear Holy Father, dear Synodal brothers, brothers and sisters in Christ
I speak in name of the Episcopal Conference of Chad and in my own name.
In Chad the first Catholic missionaries arrived in 1929.
Today, Catholic Christians represent about 20% of the 7 million inhabitants spread over 7 Dioceses and 1 Apostolic Prefecture.
The Church of Chad is in full growth and lives her faith above all around the sacraments, by which Baptism and the Eucharist are the pillars of our communities. As regards the Eucharist, our country is about to live a “premiere”: a National Eucharistic Congress which will be celebrated next January. This had been prepared for three years by the Parish and Diocesan Eucharistic Congresses, which turned out successful beyond all expectations.
1. Our Joys around Jesus the Eucharist
The Sunday Eucharistic celebrations are the most awaited moments of the week by the communities both at the level of large centers and in the most remote villages. The Eucharist occupies a very important place in the life of our communities and of the faithful. All Eucharistic celebrations, especially the Sunday ones, are moments of festivity. They are the expression of our salvation and the sign of our unity. Christians are proud of participating in them. The Liturgy is made alive by the songs and dances which Christians weave together at the different moments of the celebration. The large participation of children and women makes this liturgy even more festive and joyful.
2. Our Anxieties
The Dioceses do not have a sufficient number of priests to cover the needs of the Christian communities. Hence, many Christians remain without Eucharistic celebration and without communion on Sundays.
The extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist are not sufficiently prepared for this ministry.
There is often confusion among the faithful between Eucharistic celebration and celebration of the Word of God in the absence of a priest. This confusion is even greater when to the latterone is Eucharistic communion is associated.
The loss of the sense of the sacred is one of the most important problems which we encounter today in the Eucharistic celebrations. The sense of the sacred, that is a reality which currently goes beyond the faithful and which for, different reasons, is no longer part of their cultural heritage. Another difficulty is caused by the few faithful who receive communion during the Eucharistic celebrations due to marriage situations: delay in regularizing the marriage, fear of the sacrament of marriage, polygamy...The same situation is experienced by mixed couples.
3.Attempts at Solutions
Faced with all these problems, a catechesis should be elaborated to study the deepening in faith of adult Christians.
We should think of the establishment of a permanent Deaconate so that Christian communities benefit from the Eucharistic communion every Sunday.
To officially revitalize the institution of the extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist even if the problems of means of transport for long distances and the economic problem remain intact.
Beyond all these joys, in spite of the anxieties and these difficult attempts at solutions, the Eucharist remains for our Church the centre of the whole Christian life and of our celebrations. May it become the source and summit of the life and mission of this young Church Family of God that is in Chad. Thank you.

[00061-02.10] [INO52] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Juan Antonio UGARTE PÉREZ, Archbishop of Cuzco (PERU)

In number 50 of the Instrumentum Laboris some provisions in order to receive the Body of Christ with dignity are pointed out. Taking this into account gives me reason to comment on an important aspect on this matter: the distribution of communion in the hand. Certainly, in the terms in which this act was initially contemplated - limited to groups of people of good formation - it is an acceptable option. In this case one does not run the risk that some abuses are committed, which unfortunately happens when communion is distributed in the hand in an indiscriminate manner, that is to say, without the guarantee that those who receive it have sufficient training and an upright attitude. Furthermore, for those who are aware of these risks, this practice becomes a source of tension: as much for the priest, who must question those who do not consume the consecrated form immediately, as for the remainder of the faithful who are present during these situations. In short, out of respect to the Holy Sacrament, and as a safety measure, I consider it necessary that this Assembly study the possibility of suggesting norms to limit this practice to small groups of people whose good faith and formation is held in evidence.

[00063-02.04] [IN054] [Original text: Spanish]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Brian Michael NOBLE, Bishop of Shrewsbury (GREAT BRITAIN)

Section 71 speaks of the importance for the survival of Faith of Sunday Mass. For this reason it must “be guaranteed to the greatest possible number of the faithful”.
But in many Dioceses, due to a shortage of priests adequate provision is difficult and is likely to become more so.
Sections 55 and 56 of the Instrumentum draw attention to some of the consequences of this situation: substitute Liturgies of the Word can reduce Christian worship to a service of the assembly. There can be confusion concerning the difference between ordained and nonordained ministry. To these should we not also add the danger of priests having to assume an almost exclusively cultic role and so endangering the prophetic and pastoral dimensions of ordained ministry? And isn't it an important part of our Tradition that there is a close link between presiding at the Eucharist and presiding in love over a community?
Prayer for vocations and a sharing of priests among the churches (55) are ways forward but I suggest the need for a more urgent approach. If the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life and mission, should not adequate provision for its celebration be our priority? And for how long should communities be “communities awaiting a priest”?
For these reasons, I propose that the Holy See consults the Bishops over the extent of the problem and seeks our views concerning how best to deal with the problem in those countries where the need is acute.

[00077-02.04] [IN064] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Cornelius Fontem ESUA, Archbishop Coadjutor of Bamenda (CAMEROON)

The Instrumentum Laboris in n. 47 regrets the fact that “adequate concern has not always been shown for the proclamation of the Word of God”
In order to highlight the importance of the Liturgy of the Word during the Eucharistic Celebration, in the first place, there should be in our Parishes a proper organization of the Biblical Pastoral Ministry (the Biblical Apostolate). Through it the faithful are taught to respect and venerate the Word of God (cf Dei Verbum, n.21). Bibles are installed in the homes, Christian communities and Churches for veneration and prayer just as the Eucharist is reserved in our Churches and chapels for adoration and prayer. The faithful learn to read, pray and meditate the Word of God which is alive, active and powerful. This would help both the ordained and non-ordained ministers to proclaim the Word of God more meaningfully during the liturgical celebration and the faithful would more profitably listen to it with due attention and veneration. A proper organization of Bible Study and Gospel Sharing groups, especially on the level of Small Christian Communities would better prepare the faithful for a more attentive and fruitful listening to the Word of God when proclaimed during the celebration of the Eucharist.
Secondly, the importance of the homily, which breaks the Word of God for the consumption of the faithful, should be emphasized. It links the Word to the Eucharist and enables the participants to continue to live the Eucharist, to witness it in charity and to go on mission at the end of the celebration. Effort should be made to show the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies in Jesus Christ, the final word spoken to humanity by God, and who continues to speak his saving word today in the concrete situations of their lives. Without the homily the Eucharistic celebration could be considered a magical act. It is the homily which makes the Christian celebration of the Eucharist different from the sacrifices of the Aftican Traditional Religions which are often accompanied by invocations and incantations, some times in languages not understood by the participants.
Thirdly, the solemn procession with the Book of the Gospels just before the Gospel is proclaimed (the Byzantine Little Entrance), “'understood to be the mystical entrance of the Incarnate Word and his presence in the midst of the assembly of believers” (n. 46), is not enough to highlight the importance of the Liturgy of the Word. In some Particular Churches' in Aftica, for example, in many Dioceses in Cameroon, the Liturgy of the Word is introduced by a solemn Lectionary or Bible Procession which begins immediately after the Opening Prayer and not just before the proclamation of the Gospel. The assembly is thus invited to listen to the Word of God with attention and reverence just as they do when a traditional ruler addresses them or when a message from him is proclaimed to them. All this would help to highlight the importance of the Word of God and underline the fact that it is God himself who is speaking to his People when his Word, both from the Old and New Testaments, is proclaimed during the Eucharistic celebration. The faithful would listen to it with more reverence just as they do during the time of Consecration.

[00079-02.04] [IN068] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Theotonius GOMES, C.S.C., Titular Bishop of Zucchabar, Auxiliary of Dhaka (BANGLADESH)

The following are some aspects of the Eucharist, requiring pastoral action:
a) Eucharist as Food: Scripture speaks of food as essential earthly need, referred to at creation, in the wilderness of Sinai, in the "Lord's Prayer"; the multiplication of bread expresses its "sufficiency and plenitude", the Eucharist points to its inner holiness. Food, keeping our body united with our spirit, has a spiritual purpose; received as daily bread, in contentment in the spirit of the "poor", it becomes a holy thing. Handled in lustfulness food loses that holy quality. Oppression, death of so many persons from lack of food is immensely most "un-Eucharistic", a very humiliating sinful situation of our advanced times, making us less worthy to celebrate the Eucharist. Very concretely the Church locally at the parish and diocesan level, and at higher levels, nations and international communities as well, needs to address this situation substantially, as a Eucharistic obligation and task.
b) Eucharist as Body: the Eucharist as body of Jesus points to our body as holy and Eucharistic, not a burden and stumbling block for our spirit. There is communion of the body and the spirit, not dichotomy. We need to take "spiritual" care of our body. The Body in Suffering, of persons in difficult sicknesses, of elderly and dying, of the greatly handicapped, of those grossly oppressed and violated in the body, participates in the mystery of the Eucharist, manifesting inner power and glory and beauty. By their wounds, united with the Lord, we are healed.
c) The Eucharist as creating Community: the Eucharistic celebration itself, creating sacramental and mystical communion with Jesus, should lead us to a more concrete communion within the local community. Very concretely, the Offerings at the Eucharistic Celebration can be arranged to be offered directly to the poor of the local community, making our works of charity as flowing directly from the Eucharist, thus more spiritual and mystical, more attractive and effective for creating communion in the community.
d) The growing ecumenical and inter-religious situation calls for more meaningful presence of non-Catholics and non-Christians at our Eucharist, to manifest fuller closeness to us. Within doctrinal and larger pastoral consideration, some maximum participation or active presence for them, including all those unable to receive the Eucharist, may be had.

[00083-02.04] [IN077] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph Mohsen BÉCHARA, Archbishop of Antélias of the Maronites (LEBANON)

A small paragraph is dedicated to the epiclesis in no. 49 of the Instrumentum Laboris.
I would like to draw the attention on two points:
1. We would gain a lot if we would give more space to the Eucharistic prayers which are utilized, and they are so many, in the Oriental liturgies, in order to be able to present a comprehensive vision of the theme of the Synod.
2. To shed some light on the conception of Epiclesis in the Syro-Maronite tradition, especially on St. Ephrem.
In this tradition, Consecration and Epiclesis are intimately linked, because they emerge from a global conception of the redeeming economy that has developed, from Creation till the Parousia.
Eucharistic prayers give an important place to the role of the Holy Spirit, who vivifies and deifies, not only the bread and the wine, but also the whole Christian Assembly celebrating the Saint Mysteries.
More precisely, the role of the Spirit in the Eucharistic celebration is linked to His role in the resurrection of Christ. In fact, the altar symbolizes the tomb, the species of the bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ delivered to the cross and buried. In the same way that Christ was resurrected by the force of the Spirit, thus are the species: bread and wine become body and blood of the Risen Christ. The Eucharistic prayer by St. Jacob, IV century, is enlightning enoug on this point.
It is clear that the dynamics of the Epiclesis is not bound by certain limitations; it has a more infinite ecclesial dimension.
St. Ephrem is more explicit when addressing the Church: “... eat the Fire in the bread; drink the Spirit in the blood; dress tourself with the Fire and the Spirit and enter the room of lights”.
Fire and Spirit are associated to the Eucharistic bread and wine because they translate the same pneumatic reality, acting throughout the Bible, especially at the Baptism of Christ, at His Resurrection and at the Pentecost. In the eyes of Ephrem, it is the same “pneuma” that acts also at the level of Christian life, personnel as well as community.
To receive the Spirit in receiving the Eucharistic body of Christ, is to constitute and to edify the Body of Christ, which is the Church, animated by the Spirit. Hence the Eucharist contains, at the same time, Christic, pneumatic and ecclesial dimensions.
Placing the emphasis on the Epiclesis shows that the Church admits pluralism and draws from her tradition, Oriental as well as Western, the richness of her multiform patrimony.

[00084-02.03] [IN078] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Denis George BROWNE, Bishop of Hamilton in New Zealand, President of the Federation of the Conferences of Catholic Bishops of Oceania (F.C.B.C.O.) (NEW ZEALAND)

1. It is important for us as a Church to remember that small communities of Catholic people have as much right to participate in the Eucharist as their brothers and sisters in large busy parishes. We, as Church, need to be continually open to finding ways in which the Eucharist can become easily available to all of our faithful people. “Sir”,they said, “give us that bread always” (Jn 6:34). We need to be sensitive to the questions that the faithful often ask us e.g. “Why does it seem to be possible for former married priests of the Anglican Communion to be ordained and function as Catholic priests while former Catholic priests who have been dispensed from their vow of celibacy are unable to function in any pastoral way?”
2. We need to continually encourage our priests and deacons to be as effective as possible in preaching homilies that give nourishment, hope and inspiration to our congregations. Good homilies enable the congregation to enter into the liturgy of the Eucharist with deepened faith and love for the Lord. May our people always be led through good homilies into the company of Jesus Christ as He takes the congregation from the table of the Word to the table of the Eucharist

[00090-02.06[IN084] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. Jean-Louis TAURAN, Archivist and Librarian of S.R.C. (VATICAN CITY)

The intervention refers to the 3rd part of the Instrumentum laboris, “The Eucharist in the way of the Church”, chapter II, no. 66: “Attitudes of Adoration”.
In the Western world at least, genuflection is being used less and less. We practically never kneel anymore during the celebration of Mass. Churches often being closed during the week means that visiting the Holy Sacrament is often made impossible.
It would be good to recall the importance of the witness of Christians and communities who do not hesitate in kneeling to testify the greatness and the closeness of God in the Eucharist.
In front of the Eucharist, man recognizes that he has need of Another to give him new energies for the battles of life. A world without adoration would be a world made solely to the measure of man. A world that would no more than a world of production would soon become unbreathable. A world without adoration is not only irreligious; it is an inhuman world!

[00111-02.03] [IN094] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. William Joseph LEVADA, Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (San Francisco, VATICAN CITY)

A certain artificial opposition between the homilies with a doctrinal characteristic and those with a liturgical one prevented the catechetical formation of the faithful in order to be able to carry out their faith in the modern secularized world. This false dichotomy can be surpassed only by showing how the doctrinal aspect is that which takes the most profound sense from the Sacred Scriptures, similarly to what the liturgy itself does: making us meet with Christ, our Redeemer.

Thus I propose that the Synod makes its own the recommendation (cf. No. 47) to ask for the preparation of a pastoral program - not to be imposed, but to be proposed to those who preach during the Sunday Eucharistic celebrations - on the basis of the allocation over three years of the Lezionario, linking the proclamation of the doctrine of faith to biblical texts in which such truths are well-rooted, and making reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to its recently published Compendio.

[00112-02.05] [IN095] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Péter ERDŐ, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, President of the Episcopal Conference (HUNGARY)

As we heard from the report of the Relator General, “amazement” with regard to the Eucharist is an attitude that corresponds to its most holy reality. The attitude of adoration must by now truly characterize our way of participation at the Eucharistic celebration itself. Adoration of Christ present in the Eucharist even outside of Mass is really a consequence of our faith regarding the celebrated mystery. This way God, who is the Other with respect to the whole created world, although present everywhere in this world, meets man in the most intensive way in the holy Eucharist. This way, Christ becomes the source of our Christian, community and individual life, and that of the whole mission of the Church.
It is of great merit that a person fervently longs for Communion in the Catholic Church, but it is necessary to accomplish an adequate journey in order to reach it: to change one’s life, to receive the sacrament of penance, etc. These steps must be really and objectively carried out. The emotional desire is not enough and receiving the Eucharist cannot be lived with a consumer mentality.
It seems necessary that priests and also the faithful receive a clear orientation through the promulgation of rules disciplining these points, as also regarding the celebration of the sacrament of penance during the Mass.
Openness towards the poor is a consequence of the special holiness of the Eucharist. In our country, the most important moment that expresses solidarity towards the poor is the collection during Mass.

[00113-02.02] [IN096] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Adrian Leo DOYLE, Archbishop of Hobart (AUSTRALIA)

After reading the Instrumentum Laboris prepared for this Synod, it occurred to me that there is not a strong recognition of the wonderful contribution of our priests. In some parts of the world today, including my own country of Australia, it continues to be a very challenging vocation, perhaps more so that in the immediate past.
I note in the document, par. 56, where gratitude is expressed to the Catechists. I am sure that such gratitude is well deserved, particularly in locations where the Church relies so heavily on the presence and contribution of Catechists.
Could not a similar statement be made to the many thousands of priests who, often in very difficult circumstances, exercise an irreplaceable ministry in celebrating the Eucharist, about which this Synod has given so much consideration, as part of the Year of the Eucharist?
Many older priests often carry heavy responsibilities for longer than their counterparts in society. The very same priests have pastoral responsibility for a greater number of people than they did in the earlier years of their priestly ministry. Many priests travel long distances to serve disparate communities, while others celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments for very large numbers with little assistance. Many younger priests face a future which they know already will be very challenging, because of the smaller numbers of priests with whom they will sharing the ministry.

[00146-02.04] [IN103] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Anthony MUHERIA, Bishop of Embu (KENYA)

Great emphasis has been placed on external expressions, at times at the expense of the “inexpressive inwardness” of the mystery. The Challenge to the Church in Africa is discernment. The Liturgy must lead inwards into the mystery. In the discernment of the liturgical dances and other elements of inculturation, they must be capable of leading inwards into the mystery if they are to be fitting for the liturgy. There must be room for the mystery to speak to us, so that ample provision is made for both its Upwards-Godward aspects and its Downward-Sanctifying aspect of the Paschal Mystery. Only this "inwardness-upwardness" of the festive aspect of the Church in Africa will genuinely enrich the celebration of the Eucharistic mystery.
The Celebration of the Eucharist as the sacrifice of the Cross, also needs the presence of a contemplative approach. To this end inculturation efforts in the Liturgical celebration of the Eucharist have to be imbued with a deep sacramental sense, so that these external aspects be a true “externalization” of the mystery celebrated. “Creativity” in the inculturation process loses direction when it does not have a deep grasp of the Mystery.

[00145-02.04] [IN104] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Tarcisius Gervazio ZIYAYE, Archbishop of Blantyre, President of the Episcopal Conference (MALAWI)

I speak on behalf of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi and refer to Instrumentum laboris, n. 70, on Sunday Eucharist.
The Eucharist is indeed the centre, source and summit of our Christian life; yet the reality for 80% of the faithful in Malawi is that they cannot celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday. In addition, many of them cannot even participate in the Eucharist once a month, due to the shortage and scarcity of priests. For the majority of our Christians it is the Word of God which is really present to them on constant basis. We promote Bible sharing that offers better methods of reading the Word of God, such as the “Lectio Divina”.
Now, the challenge in Malawi and in other countries is to make the Eucharist what it really is: the centre of Christian life. What can we do that all the faithful have the possibility of participating in the Eucharistic celebration every Sunday? With the shortage of ordained ministers, how can we make the Eucharist the centre of Christian life? How do we make the Holy Mass available to the people for their spiritual nourishment and growth? The Church must find appropriate ways of addressing this challenge.
We thank God that in Malawi we have many vocations to the priesthood. The training of seminarians, our future priests who will be ministers of the Eucharist, is of paramount importance. However, our efforts to fulfil this essential obligation are sometimes hampered by a critical and serious lack of adequate and effective resources, both human and material. We believe that commitment to a genuine sharing and exchange of resources between the North and the South can transform our situations and communities and provide them with well trained priests who are ready to render full pastoral services to the people of God. The resources in the North together with our local resources can assist in the training of our future priests.
The Church needs many priests who are well formed for fruitful celebration and reception of the Holy Eucharist. Thank you very much.

[00149-02.03] [IN107] [Original text: English]


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