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


19 - 12.10.2005





At 09.00 a.m. today, Wednesday, 12 October 2005, with the prayer the Hour of Terce, the Fifteenth General Congregation began, for the Auditio Auditorium I, the First Audition of the Auditors and for the continuation of the interventions by 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. Telesphore Placidus TOPPO, Archbishop of Ranchi (India).

This General Congregation ended at 12.30 with the prayer Angelus Domini and 239 Fathers were present.


At this Fifteenth General Congregation the following Fathers intervened:

- H. Em. Card. Jānis PUJATS, Archbishop of Riga, President of the Episcopal Conference (LETTONIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Pierre KUTWA, Archbishop of Gagnoa (IVORY COAST)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Oswald Thomas Colman GOMIS, Archbishop of Colombo, Secretary General of the Federation of Conferences of Bishops of Asia (F.A.B.C.) (SRI LANKA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Fernando R. CAPALLA, Archbishop of Davao, President of the Episcopal Conference (Davao, PHILIPPINES)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Angel FLORO MARTÍNEZ, I.E.M.E., Bishop of Gokwe (ZIMBABWE)
- H. Em. Card. George PELL, Archbishop of Sydney (AUSTRALIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph MERCIECA, Archbishop of Malta, President of the Episcopal Conference (MALTA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Zbigniew KIERNIKOWSKI, Bishop of Siedlce (POLAND)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Hil KABASHI, O.F.M., Titular Bishop of Torri di Bizacena, Apostolic Administrator of South Albania (ALBANIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Fulgence RABEMAHAFALY, Archbishop of Fianarantsoa (MADAGASCAR)
- H. Em. Card. Attilio NICORA, President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (VATICAN CITY)
- Rev. Father Ottaviano D'EGIDIO, C.P., Superior General of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ
- H.E. Most. Rev. Emile DESTOMBES, M.E.P., Titular Bishop of Altava, Vicar Apostolic of Phnom-Penh (CAMBODIA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Zygmunt ZIMOWSKI, Bishop of Radom (POLAND)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Franjo KOMARICA, Bishop of Banja Luka (BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA)
- H.E. Most. Rev. Luigi PADOVESE, O.F.M. CAP., Vicar Apostolic of Anatolia, Titular Bishop of Monteverde (Anatolia, TURKEY)
- H. Em. Card. Marc OUELLET, P.S.S., Archbishop of Québec (CANADA)

Below are the summaries of the interventions of the Synodal Fathers:

- H. Em. Card. Jānis PUJATS, Archbishop of Riga, President of the Episcopal Conference (LETTONIA)

In the parish churches, the particularly apt place (on the priesthood) for the Most Holy is the main altar, which hosts the tabernacle. In this case, the main altar with its retablo (panel) is truly the throne of Christ the King and attracts the eyes of all those in the church to it. The presence of the Most Holy in the main area of the church offers the faithful the occasion to adore God even outside of the sacrifice of the Mass (for example during the intervals between the Divine Offices). In fact, they come to the church to pray, not to converse. Before Communion, it is the priest’s duty to invite the faithful to the individual confession of their sins. The best place for confession is the confessional, located in the church and built with a fixed grill between the confessor and the penitent. Whenever it is possible, priests must favor the conditions so that the faithful may have access to the Sacrament of Penance: if, in fact, the men live and die in sin, any pastoral effort is useless. Reserving a time for confession every day would be opportune, during pre-established times, in particular before Mass. If we truly wish to renew the spiritual life of the people, we are allowed to leave the confessional only after the last penitent has received forgiveness. To the priests and lay persons who generally participate at the table of the Lord every day, individual confession, more or less, once a month should be advised. For all the others, Confession is necessary at least every time they wish to receive Communion.
In general, we must eliminate the abuse of accessing Communion without the Sacrament of Penance. In the past, there was the habit, during Mass, to go to Communion in a procession, but with the passing of time, this practice was rightly denied for pastoral reasons. As we know, in church the people have a communitarian attitude: all respond to the priest’s words, all, sitting, listen to the readings of the Holy Scriptures, all stand for the Gospel, all kneel for the consecration (which is painful to us!), all stand to participate in the procession to Communion - among these even the Pharisee and the publican, the penitent and the non-penitent. The individual faithful are afraid of abstaining from this procession, because in this way they expose themselves publically as unworthy. This is why this abuse came about so soon. What should be done? We should renew the use of going to Communion individually to preserve the freedom of conscience. The Mass is a common action, however Communion should remain an individual one.

[00282-02.02] [IN216] [Original text: Latin]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Pierre KUTWA, Archbishop of Gagnoa (IVORY COAST)

I would like to refer, in my intervention, to number 25 of the Instrumentum laboris: the relationship between the Eucharist and the faithful.
In the Ivory Coast, we can see with marvel that the lay faithful participate in large numbers to the Sunday Eucharistic celebrations, to such a point that even the large religious buildings no longer suffice. This participation is even greater during the liturgical feast days. We should also underline that even during the week, in many parishes, the number of faithful who come to Mass is constantly increasing.
But unfortunately, this massive participation in the Eucharist is often reduced to its external aspects. Not everybody understands the true sense that is born from the faith in Jesus, the Son of God. Among the many causes for this state of affairs, I would like to mention the miscomprehension of the Word of God. Does not faith emerge from listening to the Word? Does it not grow when in contact with the same “Word that is spirit and life” (Jn 6:63)?
It is no secret to anybody that for many years, the majority of Catholic faithful could not access the Word of God except through the preaching of pastoral agents. This lead, inexorably, many of the faithful to a notorious ignorance of Holy Scripture. Does not Saint Jerome say “to ignore the Scriptures is to ignore Christ”?
To believe in Jesus is to receive the Word and accept putting it into practice. In fact, listening and meditating on the Word of God allows, in a certain sense, the knowledge of the person of Christ, to assimilate Him and to love Him to the point of aspiring the receiving of His Body as a deer aspires for fresh water.
How then can we make the Word of God better known? We should be given the right to cite the biblical apostolate that is not well-known in many parishes. This to give the faithful the habit of regular attendance, and assiduous in the Bible. To achieve the creation in the soul of our faithful the hunger for the knowledge of the Word of God is urgent for us.
In reading, in meditating the Word of God and in committing oneself to following it, the look of the faithful will be refined and Jesus will appear as the true bread descended from heaven, which he absolutely needs.
The table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist, being intimately tied, I would hope for deeper access into that mystery of faith that is the Eucharist, the theme of the next Synod of Bishops could be about the Word of God.

[00283-02.03] [IN217] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Oswald Thomas Colman GOMIS, Archbishop of Colombo, Secretary General of the Federation of Conferences of Bishops of Asia (F.A.B.C.) (SRI LANKA)

Even though much was said so far of the doctrinal aspect of the Eucharist by the Venerable Fathers of this Synod I believe there is little that we could add to what has already been clearly said in the documents “Eucharistia de Ecclesia”, “Redemptoris Sacramentum” and “Mane Nobiscum” in that respect. It is more important for us here to look into the pastoral aspects of the matter and see how we could promote this devotion so that we could make the Eucharistic Lord alive in the hearts and minds of our faithful people as they live their daily lives.
Together with this teaching we have to promote a visible demonstration of our faith in the Eucharistic Lord. And this has to be done more in deed than in word. Reference was already made here to many abuses and aberrations in the celebration of the Eucharist and gross lack of reverence to the Most Blessed Sacrament. Naturally, these abuses on the part of the Ministers of the Eucharist are bound to undermine the faith of the people and affect primarily our young generation. Particular reference was made to Secularism and Relativism. It is unfortunate that these are creeping in even to Asia.
While respecting common liturgical norms we need to make a deep study of the cultural patterns of the various worshipping people and have them integrated to our liturgy. The cultural patterns of people differ from continent to continent and often from country to country. Therefore liturgists in these respective areas will have to make a study of these patterns and have the forms of highest adoration integrated to the adoration of the Eucharist.
The document does not bring out a very important meaning of the Eucharist that could bring rich pastoral rewards. And that is conversion. The Eucharist is a conversion of the Christian community and the individual Christian into the Body of Christ. This nexus between the Eucharistic Body and the Mystical Body is brought out by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11 and 12. We have to insist that this transformation is the purpose of the Eucharistic mystery.
Finally today we have the serious problem of Christian Fundamentalism which affects our belief in the Eucharist. This Synod has to address its mind to this danger. Else it would be like an effort to plant a beautiful tree - our faith in the Eucharist without when there is a dangerous virus attacking it.

[00289-02.06] [IN223] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Fernando R. CAPALLA, Archbishop of Davao, President of the Episcopal Conference (Davao, PHILIPPINES)

At the heart of the Eucharistic Liturgy is a dynamism in which Jesus is revealed to his disciples. From this sacred process, genuine communion and commitment are deepened.
The dynamism is divided in three inter-related movements a) the Descending Movement of the Liturgy of the Word; b) the Ascending Movement of the Eucharistic Prayer; c) the Descending Movement of the Eucharistic Peace and Communion.
The first Movement is analogous to the dynamics of the Gospel of John where he affirmed that the Divine Word became flesh and pitched his tent in our midst (1: 14). Here Jesus descends in a similar way into the Sacred Liturgy through the Holy Scripture, the Celebrant and the Assembly just like he did during his public life.
In the Second Movement Jesus ascends with the celebrant and the assembly from where they were to where he is, that is, to the consecrated bread and wine now transformed into his Body and Blood. Here both celebrant and assembly contemplate him as really present in their midst in a more intense way.
In the Third Movement Jesus descends once more to where the celebrant and the assembly are. He now brings them eucharistic peace and reveals to them their mission as committed disciples.

[00236-02.04] [IN200] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Angel FLORO MARTÍNEZ, I.E.M.E., Bishop of Gokwe (ZIMBABWE)

The ZCBC had its Annual Plenary Assembly in April 2005 on the theme "The Lord Jesus is present on our Journey of Life at the tables of the Word and the Eucharist”. This was done in response of the Year of the Eucharist and the previous call by SECAM to celebrate in 2005 the Year of the Bible in Africa.
The Instrumentum Laboris in no. 46 reminds us about it saying "The Liturgy of the Word together with the Liturgy of the Eucharist constitute a single, inseparable act of worship". Nos. 54 to 56 will deal with it again in a practical way.
Our Liturgies of the Eucharist are well attended and constitute a real feast and celebration with an active participation from the faithful expressed in joy, song and a dignified dance.
Let me bring here to you the main challenges our faithful are facing, not of a theological but of a pastoral nature:
1. The first challenge concerns the availability or accessibility of the Eucharist to many of our Catholics.
The shortage of priests and the scattering of our faithful in our vast rural areas make that the priests be available to them for the Eucharist once a month, two months or even longer.
This challenges the centrality of the Eucharist in the lives of our Catholics.
Could our rural Christian Communities that rely mostly in the celebration of the Word be called Eucharistic Communities? This is an interesting question that could be discussed in our groups.
2. The second challenge concerns the Eucharist and Marriage. Precisely the ZCBC published a second Pastoral Letter on the Eucharist this year under this heading exhorting the faithful to appreciate the greatness of the Eucharist and its deep relationship with the dignity of the sacrament of Marriage and regularize their situation. Many Catholics who used to receive the Eucharist in their youth no longer do so in their adult lives because of irregular marriages.
3. The Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance pose the third challenge. Our people understand the relationship of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance and go often to receive this sacrament. Penance is viewed as an act of washing one's hands before a meal, a tradition among our people, the Eucharist being that meal. New trends among the youth seem not to appreciate confession as the elders do and here comes a challenge to priest and pastoral workers.
4. For many of our Catholics the Eucharist is above all a meal deriving mainly from the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, and not so much a sacrifice that embraces the whole Paschal Mystery. An in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist as a sacrifice should be imparted to our people who would be able to understand it well in the light of their traditional beliefs.
5. The Eucharist and its social dimension among our people.
Our people need still to make in-roads on it, seeing the Eucharist as source and a demand posed to them to share with others their riches or possessions in a spirit of solidarity and as an expression of their communion with Christ and his Church, a real commitment to buibl a more just and fraternal society.
How to make more relevant the Eucharist to the sick, physically and mentally handicapped, marginalised groups, refugees and immigrants is another challenge that goes with it.
"The Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist builds the Church" here it is the greatest challenge to us all.

[00238-02.02] [IN202] [Original text: English]

- H. Em. Card. George PELL, Archbishop of Sydney (AUSTRALIA)

Many Synod Fathers have spoken of the difficulties experienced by the Church throughout the world. Some of these are caused by our own mistakes.
The Second Vatican Council brought great blessings and substantial gains, for example, continuing missionary expansion and the new movements and communities. But it was also followed by confusion, some decline, especially in the West, and pockets of collapse. Good intentions are not enough.
Two areas of decline in Oceania are the number of priestly vocations in Australia and New Zealand (but not everywhere in Oceania) and the confusion evident in the proliferation of Communion services.
My recommendations to the Synod on how to deal with these “shadows” presuppose the maintenance in the Latin Church of the ancient tradition and life-giving discipline of mandatory celibacy for the diocesan clergy as well as the religious orders. To loosen this tradition now would be a serious error, which would provoke confusion in the mission areas and would not strengthen spiritual vitality in the First World. It would be a departure from the practice of the Lord Himself, bring significant practical disadvantages to the work of the Church, e.g. financial, and weaken the sign value of the priesthood; it would weaken, too, the witness to loving sacrifice, and to the reality of the Last Things, and the rewards of Heaven.
We should remember the situation of the Church 500 years ago just before the Reformation, a small weak community separated from the East. The enormous expansion since then and the purification of Church leadership (imperfect but substantial) were achieved primarily under grace, through the lives of celibate sisters, brothers and priests. The recent sexual scandals have not invalidated these gains.
I request the Synod to draw up a further list of suggestions and criteria to regulate the celebration of Communion services, especially on Sundays.
“Liturgies awaiting a priest” is a better title than “priest-less liturgies.” There is no such thing as “lay-led liturgy,” because lay people can only lead devotional prayers and para-liturgies. The suggestion of Archbishop Paolo of Haiti that we use the title “special ministers of Holy Communion” is much better than “ministers of the Eucharist.”
I support the suggestion that a list of topics for thematic homilies be drawn up for the liturgical year. One such topic should be the nature of the Eucharist and the essential role of the ministerial priest.
Communion services or liturgies of the Word should not be substituted for Mass, when priests are available. Such unnecessary substitutions are often not motivated by a hunger for the Bread of Life, but by ignorance and confusion or even by hostility to the ministerial priesthood and the sacraments.
To what extent are regular celebrations of Communion services, Sunday after Sunday, a genuine development or distortion, a Protestantization, which risks confusing even regular Church-goers?

[00268-02.02] [IN210] [Original text: English]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph MERCIECA, Archbishop of Malta, President of the Episcopal Conference (MALTA)

Reference is made to number 65 of the Instrumentum Laboris “From Celebration to Adoration”: reflections and consequences that the Eucharist worship/worship had on the Eucharistic life of the Church before and after the liturgical Reform of the Second Vatican Council.
The expression “Eucharistic worship” includes acts of worship offered to the Eucharist outside of Mass, like the Eucharistic adoration, the forty hours and the Corpus Domini feast, with which one professes his own faith in Jesus’ divinity, God and man, in the consecrated bread and wine that remains after the communion and the adoration.
At first, the Eucharist was not always received during the Eucharistic ceremony. It was conserved after the celebration in order to give it as Viaticum to sick people; others received Eucharist and brought it to their homes. It regarded, in these cases, communion out of the Mass but maintaining an intimate bond with it.
Afterwards, the Eucharistic worship developed separating itself from the Eucharistic celebration and had its own identity and autonomy. People did not participate to the Mass, but were more interested in the elevation, the highest possible, of the Host in the secretarium and to stay in silent adoration. Thus occurred the passage from celebration to adoration.
The Council of Trent, that had asserted against the Reformers that in the consecrated Host, that remained after Mass, remained the Body of the Lord that was to be proposed for adoration by the people, gave a major separation to the Eucharistic celebration.
The principal attention was the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and therefore adoration, while the Eucharistic celebration was considered on a secondary level. This is how an absolutization of an aspect occurred, which though it is essential to the ministry of Christ as is His real presence and the Eucharistic adoration, it does not reap the totality that is expressed in the Eucharistic celebration. This, in fact, has the community who listens to the Word of God, the conversion of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, the offering to the Father of the sacrifice of the Cross on the altar and the communion to the Body of Jesus who makes the Church one and holy.
This vague was illuminated by the Constitution “Sacrosanctum Concilium” of the Second Vatican Council and by other pontifical documents like the document “Eucaristiae Sacramentum” et “Inestimabile donum”. Here it is affirmed that the celebration of the Eucharist is the center of the entire Christian life and that in the Church all derives, as from a source, from the celebrations of the Eucharist and all leads to and must lead to it, as its last aim.
The assertions of these documents do not want to create doubts on the validity of the Eucharistic worship which was, for many, one of the principal resources of their sanctification. The truth is that the liturgical Reform intends to place Eucharistic worship in its own perspective: recognize the central place that it must have in the Church’s life as a necessary mean of sanctification. Its place is inside the Eucharistic celebration and not parallel to Mass. The Eucharistic worship is not autonomous and independent from the Mass, it does not substitute it, but it is relative to it.
Far be it from canceling the validity of the Eucharistic worship, the liturgical Reform strongly recommends the worship of the Eucharistic adoration for the spiritual fruits that it has.

[00271-02.02] [IN213] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Zbigniew KIERNIKOWSKI, Bishop of Siedlce (POLAND)

1. Liturgical signs and the risk of abuses: an enormous threat
The liturgy is achieved through the language of signs (IL 58) even if it is an action of God (IL 42). There is no more eloquent sign than that of the breaking of bread - body of Christ and to divide it in order to communicate in the reality. When in the liturgy this act is well achieved - naturally after an adequate catechesis - it speaks directly to whoever participates in it in an present and actualizing manner.
Several abuses are noted in the Eucharistic celebration, especially in reference to the missing or insufficient reverence towards Eucharist. But I pose a question: When from the participants in the Eucharist the possibility of the Mystery penetrating their lives in order to break the yoke of the old self is taken away, does not every failing in the language of the signs not perhaps constitute an abuse? This is still more evident when the chalice is not given to drink from it?
Having had the experience of the Neocatechumenal journey - from the beginning till the end - I can bear witness that the celebration made paying attention to the Word and to signs, especially the breaking of Bread and the participation in the Chalice, works miracles. I saw many persons reconciled with their history, the re-unification of weddings in crisis, many couples opening up to life in order to build up families with numerous children, many young people that found the orientation in life according to the Gospel and many vocations for the consecrated life and for priesthood. The common denomination for all this is the participation in the mystery of the Word and of the Sacrament celebrated with abundance of signs.
2. Some proposals
1. I propose that the possibility of using the full richness of the signs is assured, so that the liturgy can achieve its own character and its own formative and constitutive value for Christian life.
2. It is necessary to pay more attention to the formative catechesis in which signs are not only didactically explained but in which the faithful or the catechumenals are introduced to the mystery through mystagogy.
3. We must be careful that no abuses are committed both in the sense of the lack of reverence and of negligence, which are frequently mentioned, and also in the reductive sense, i.e. in the sense that exactly that which expresses the dynamic of the Eucharist is left out or ignored. I note in particular:
- It is good when the character and the value of the sacrifice in Eucharist is emphasized, but it is bad - and is an abuse, in the sense of failing - when it is underestimated and is not made present by the aspect of the Banquet that communicates and puts in communion, i.e. creates the Body.
- It is good to underline the aspect of the real presence, but is bad - and it is an abuse of omission - when because of reverence, sometimes maybe not well understood - signs are not used as for example the matter of bread that should have the aspect of food (ut cibus appareat IGMR 321), and when it is not allowed to drink from the chalice although this is possible, (and it is recommended by dilucidiorem signi sacramentalis formam - IGMR 14, 281).
- It is good to value the consecration moment, but it is bad - and is also an abuse - when it is lacking a good expression of the doxology that sometimes in celebrations passes even quietly unobserved; like this also the response of the assembly, i.e. acclamation Amen.
- And similarly it is bad - and is also an abuse - when that very essential part of the Eucharist which is the liturgy of the Word is not well prepared and lived.
- In addition, it is surely bad, from the pastoral and ecclesial point of view, when the role of the assembly is not valued, especially in the Sunday Eucharist, but it is only the priest who “says the Mass” - as if he is doing a service to a group or even to some person according to prepaid private intentions.

[00284-02.02] [IN218] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Hil KABASHI, O.F.M., Titular Bishop of Torri di Bizacena, Apostolic Administrator of South Albania (ALBANIA)

The three dimensions of Christian faith: martyria, liturgia and diakonia, are the fulcrum of being Christians and Christian identity. On the other hand, martyria and diakonia find their essence, force and perspective in the liturgy.
Otherwise, how could one think about the many martyrs in Albania that have been discriminated against, arrested, persecuted and killed for being witnesses of Christian faith, without the strength of a deep faith in Jesus Christ and in His presence in the Eucharist?
Still today, in the port of Vlora, there is a statue of Mary, at the Order of the Servants of Mary, where the priest used to hide the hosts for the sisters after having clandestinely celebrated Mass, at the risk of life.
The etymology of the Greek word ‘Eucharist’ means ‘giving thanks’, that is to say, in a theological sense, that this is the highest giving of thanks possible to the Creator, Savior, Pastor and Father, for all He has done and continues doing for the world, creation, and above all, for men and their salvation. And this happens thanks to Our Lord Jesus Christ who is on our side..
In the Eucharist, a vital and mutual relationship between God and men is realized. In this relationship and encounter, God truly manifests Himself as the Emanuel and Good Shepherd that always remains among us and with us.
Jesus, the Son of God, did a lot for us men. He came among us, suffered for us, died on the Cross and was risen. But what would we have gained if, after His ascension into heaven, He had left us alone? What would have happened to His promise: “I am with you every day...”?
His real presence in the Eucharist is the best proof of the realization of His promises and His love.
In the celebration of the Eucharist, the encounter of God with His people and Christian unity is are expressed in a particular way: in the universal Church with the Pope, in the particular Church with the local Bishop and in the parish with the parish priest, this unity becomes visible.

[00286-02.03] [IN220] [Original text: German]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Fulgence RABEMAHAFALY, Archbishop of Fianarantsoa (MADAGASCAR)

My intervention refers to chapter II of the third part of the “Instrumentum laboris”: “Ite missa est”. At the beginning of the Third Millennium where our society is very agitated, family life is easily lost. Now, the family is the crib of all evangelization, in particular Christian education and formation. I would like to express two wishes: a) support for the Christian family; b) the formation of priests.
A) Since Vatican Council II, the Church continues to make a lot of efforts in the liturgical celebration. The liturgy of the Word has found its place among the devotional prayers of all types: rosary, litanies and different traditional songs. Of course, the celebration is more rapid, but the effective participation of the faithful is very reduced to give way to the three readings and the Sunday homily.
However, it has been taught in “Familiaris Consortio” that the family is a small church, the crib itself of the whole community. Should we not urge greater liturgical studies, to better maintain the forms of devotional prayer of each family; emphasize the exchanges and sharing of the reading of the day; recited prayers and traditional songs.
It is true that the liturgy consists greatly in listening, but to express oneself witnesses that we have already sufficiently understood it.
B) Another suggestion I would like to give is to encourage the family itself to realize the prayer for vocations. The young people that we welcome in the seminaries are youths who are past the age of puberty. Practically, their human education has been finished.
We discover a decrease in priestly vocations since the small seminaries receive less financial aide from Rome. The families, however, cannot take on the long formation of all their children. The seminaries must quickly progress with the spiritual and doctrinal formation.
I would also like to exhort each large family to offer a child for the service of God and the good of the Church. It is good to encourage young couples to ask the Lord that at least one of their children receive His calling.
There is a mission here, an offering, which we all must make, “our Eucharist”.

[00290-02.03] [IN224] [Original text: French]

- H. Em. Card. Attilio NICORA, President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (VATICAN CITY)

Number 53 of the “Instrumentum laboris” is dedicated in a praiseworthy way to the “probatus Ecclesiae mos” - as called by canon 954 - of the offering made by the faithful for the celebration of Holy Mass according to their particular intentions.
I am sad to note that the practice of having the Holy Mass celebrated in favor of the living or the dead, is in a direct way through the personal offering given to the priest as well as in the of form testaments or founding dispositions, is rapidly being eroded in many ecclesial areas.
In reality, where this happens, one loses a positive occasion to make the sense of spiritual and material participation in the Eucharist grow, as well as the dynamism of charity that derives from this. The Code and the various recent documents by the Magisterium of the Church re-propose, in fact, with clarity the great values that the gesture of offering can and must express: it is a form of personal participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice recognized in its great spiritual relevance; it is the privation of one’s own goods, in a spirit of sacrifice and solidarity, that the glory of God may be given and that certain ends of the Church may be promoted; it is a rather concrete and useful way to join in the support of priests and the realization of the apostolic activities of the Church; it can become a means of support for the missionaries and for the priests in the neediest Dioceses, in a horizon of lived Catholicity. For all these reasons, we are not surprised that the Decree by the Congregation for the Clergy dated February 1991 “Mos iugiter” recalls the duty to instruct the faithful on this matter through a specific catechesis, recognizing its “elevated theological significance”. As happens for many other aspects of the spiritual tradition, if nobody speaks about it and shows its reasons and worth this practice is also destined to consume itself.
Undoubtedly, this old practice is exposed to risks and ambiguities, and therefore the vigilance of the Shepherds and the rigorous correctness by the priests with respect to those offering are absolutely necessary. The best antidote against these risks, in any case, is the correct formation of the conscience, which underlines the authentically spiritual value of this form of Eucharistic participation, totally outside of any contractual or commercial logic, and thus founds the motivated, caring and rigorous practice.
As well underlined in the “Instrumentum laboris”, piety towards the dead is traditionally also connected to this “probatus mos Ecclesiae”: this is a profile that also is worth being cultivated among our faithful, who by now, especially in the Western world, a context in which there is the tendency to make the consideration of the mystery of death disappear, to deal with the body of the dead person as a burden, to reduce to a generic memory the spiritual relationship with him, which Christian faith instead places in the framework and in the dynamism of the communio sanctorum and in the perspective of the resurrection of the flesh. The celebration of the Holy Masses for the dead therefore takes on great educational value also from this point of view.

[00299-02.03] [IN225] [Original text: Italian]

- Rev. Father Ottaviano D'EGIDIO, C.P., Superior General of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ

My reflection pertains to the following numbers in the “Instrumentum laboris”: 39 - The Real Presence; 37 - Sacrifice, Memorial and Meal; 77 - Mary, Woman of the Eucharist.
There is concern in the Church for the progressive distancing of the People of God from the Eucharist. The secularization of today’s world is the “darnel” to be contrasted with the “seed” of the Good News of the First Proclamation.
- To enliven the parochial and missionary communities with simple and clear catechesis on the sacrificial concept of the Eucharist and the real presence. To help them have the eyes of the good thief that sees in Jesus, the Lord. He goes beyond the wounds, the derision, the rejection: he sees Him as God, as King even if hanging on the Cross. To believe is to go beyond, it means to trust in God. As for observing the liturgical discipline, if one is in love with the Eucharist, respect will be spontaneous. It is amazement found once again.
- The homily must be taken care of in a greater way, which is often neglected, and courses of Ars dicendi or sacred eloquence must be recuperated.
The sacrificial aspect, memoria passionis, is the heart of the Paschal Mystery. With Christ, head of the mystic body that is the Church, the Church itself also dies and rises, as in a wider sense does all of humanity and the cosmos. The passion of humanity, with its injustices, hunger and violence, unites itself with the Passion of Jesus and completes it. There is a deep relationship between the mystery of the Eucharist and Matthew 25:35-40, For I was hungry... I was thirsty... I was a stranger... lacking clothes... sick... in prison and you came to see me... Lord when did we see you...? in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me”.
To recognize Him in the Eucharist and not in those who suffer is like dividing Christ from Himself. An authentic Eucharistic life opens the eyes and the heart to recognize Jesus in those “crucified”ones of our times. Saint Paul of the Cross used to see the name of Jesus written on the foreheads of the poor.
What is Mary’s role in the Eucharistic liturgy? The mustard-seed that is her fiat, grew and will sprout in and beyond Bethlehem, even on Calvary. Jesus gives her new motherhood: “Woman, here is your son”. Now, even the most hardened sinners have a mother in common with God, and even Judas, if he wanted, would have the sweetest of mothers. A new world is born in the cenacle under the Cross. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was made Flesh, the Word was made Eucharist.
Then we should ask: Is Mary, the “Eucharistic Woman” who contemplates and adores pausing at the threshold of the Eucharist or with her maternity, is she, in an admirable and mysterious way, part of it?
In the Eucharist Jesus is present in totality with the mystery of His incarnation, passion, death and resurrection: Can we then invoke Mary also with the title of Mother of the Eucharist?

[00300-02.03] [IN226] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Emile DESTOMBES, M.E.P., Titular Bishop of Altava, Vicar Apostolic of Phnom-Penh (CAMBODIA)

The Eucharist is the sacrament of the presence of Christ, dead and risen.
It is the celebration in memorial of the redeeming sacrifice of Christ, unique and definitive.
In a Theravada Buddhist country, man can only save himself and rely on his own merits that will lead through progressive births to Nirvana, which is the liberation of life and fusion in the absolute.
Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the way, the truth and the life. For those who welcome Him in faith, this means to let oneself love and be loved in return. God, who is love, sent His Son, who so loved men that he gave His life to reconcile them with the Father. This love of the Father, which is revealed by the face of Jesus, calls all those that recognize Him to see Him in the faces of all men, especially in the little ones: “in so far as you do this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me”.

[00272-02.03] [IN214] [Original text: French]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Zygmunt ZIMOWSKI, Bishop of Radom (POLAND)

What is said in the second part chapter II and in the third part chapter I of the “Instrumentum Laboris” about the priests as ministers of the Eucharist and of the sanctity of their life is true. However, it seems to me that in part IV of this document the theme of Eucharistic spirituality of priests and seminarists has to be dealt with. Do this. Christ the Lord does not say only announce, narrate, but he says do. And this word is decisive.
The priesthood is a sacrament of action. It is the sacrament of the saving and redeeming act of Christ, an act that was made available to the apostles at the Cenacle: Do this in memory of me. The Eucharist not only bears witness to Who loved us till the end; it educates to such a love. The humanity of today searches for witnesses of the transfiguration.
The bishop reminds the deacon who receives the priestly ordination: imitate what you will celebrate, conform your life to the mystery of the Cross of Christ the Lord. The priest must imitate the Eucharist that he celebrates; imitating it he becomes the witness of the Eucharistic Christ. St. Thomas of Aquinas wrote: “The Eucharist is like the achievement of spiritual life, and the aim of all sacraments”. These words were the basis for Vatican Council II, which asserted that “in the most Holy Eucharist is enclosed the whole spiritual good of the Church, that is to say Christ himself, our Easter”.
1. Eucharistic spirituality of Bishops and of priests
The Eucharist is the fullness of spiritual life, because in it is concentrated all that Christ did and wants to do for men and with men. Therefore, the Eucharist has to form our spiritual life. The spirituality of the priest must be a Eucharistic spirituality, for the priest is the minister of the Eucharist. Each Christian, but in a special way the priest, must be the witness of the Eucharist, that is to say has to be:
- Holocaust offered to others
- Bread for others
- Be always with the others
2. Eucharistic spirituality of the seminarians
Regarding the Eucharistic education in the seminary, the Holy Father John Paul II recalled to seminarists three things:
In the seminarian’s life and overall in priesthood, there should always be room for prayer.
The consciousness that on the world’s paths the Risen Himself is met, who equips with the potential of the Holy Spirit should be deepened. Then the dedication to God and to men will not be a burden, but a trusting and joyful participation in the eternal priesthood of Christ.
The profound Eucharistic spirituality of future priests must deepen in their hearts the true missionary spirit. Ite, misio est. I know well that the Holy Father Benedict XVI always counts upon the many missionary vocations from Poland, the country of the Servant of God, John Paul II.

[00285-02.02] [IN219] [Original text: Italian]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Franjo KOMARICA, Bishop of Banja Luka (BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA)

Eucharistic people - IL no. 76
Eucharist and Peace - IL no. 83, 84
I refer to numbers 76, 83, and 84 of the IL in my intervention.
Among the names of the many Saints and Blesseds of all the centuries mentioned in the IL, there is also the name of a young lay person, Ivan Merz. And evidently this was for a reason. Seeing his relevance, I would like to give some information about him. Born in Banja Luka, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, towards the end of the 19th Century, he lived for only 32 years and died in Zagreb in 1928. He was a professor and teacher of Christian young persons and laity.
Looking at his multicultural origins, his intellectual education, his formation and his spiritual activities, he unites in one person a series of European peoples and States: with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, also the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Austria, France and Italy.
An authentic Christian European, with a high level of education received in Vienna and in Paris, he was able to harmonize science and faith. He became an untiring apostle of the living faith in the love of Christ, the Church and the Successor of Peter, above also to Catholic Action, instituted by Pope Pius XI.
Forty years before Vatican Council II, he testified with his own example and promoted many aspects of the Council doctrine on liturgy and on the laity.
On the occasion of his beatification, celebrated two years ago, the Holy Father John Paul II said: “At the school of the liturgy, [...] Ivan Merz grew to the fullness of Christian maturity and became one of the principal promotors of the liturgical renewal in his country. Taking part in Mass and drawing nourishment from the Body of Christ and the Word of God, he drew the inspiration to become an apostle of young people. It was not by chance that he chose as his motto ‘Sacrifice – Eucharist – Apostolate’”..
Pope John Paul II underlined that: “The name of Ivan Merz has signified in the pasta programme of life and of activity for an entire generation of young Catholics. Today too it must do the same!”.
In our days, the figure of the Blessed Ivan Merz is a true discovery, and authentic breath of fresh air, not only for the Church in Europe.
In the native country of the Blessed Ivan Merz, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Catholics were subjected to repeated humiliations and persecutions, due to their faithfulness to Christ, especially Christ present in the Eucharist, and also to the Successor of Peter, for centuries and up until recent times,. Even during the last wars, during the ‘90's, more than half of the Catholics were thrown out of the Country and the majority of these could never return. In my diocese alone, more than two thirds of the faithful, peaceful persons and promoters of reconciliation, were exterminated without reason, and this with the support of international representatives.
Almost one fifth of my parishioners (7) were assassinated (and add to these one religious man and one religious woman), because they revealed reconciliation and love for the enemy, preaching this and testifying it unceasingly, because they celebrated Mass regularly with their faithful, despite the destroyed churches,.
These authentic testimonies of faithfulness to Christ, to the Church, to the lived Gospel and to their priestly service sealed, with their own blood, their unshakeable faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
We want to believe that these real sacrifices of our priests and religious persons, like the sacrifice of many of our lay faithful, a true “crucified Church” of Europe’s present, united to the unique sacrifice of Jesus Christ, may be fruitful for a longed for reconciliation, for a just peace and for the salvation of many persons in my country and other places.

[00287-02.04] [IN221] [Original text: German]]

- H.E. Most. Rev. Luigi PADOVESE, O.F.M. CAP., Vicar Apostolic of Anatolia, Titular Bishop of Monteverde (Anatolia, TURKEY)

I speak as the Bishop of the Church of Anatolia, which saw the first great expansion of the message of Jesus and where Christians are now only a few thousand.
In the city of Tarsus, home of the Apostle Paul, the only Christians are the three sisters that welcome the pilgrims who, in order to celebrate the Eucharist in the only Church-museum remaining, must have a permit. The same is true for the Church-museum of Saint Peter in Antioch.
In this city, John Chrysostome was born, whose 16th centennial of his death in exile will be celebrated in the year 2007. Chrysostome himself, with his homilies, reminds us that the Eucharist was and is the privileged place of the parousia. His memory, together with the more one of Bishops such as Clement Von Galen and Oscar Romero, is a living testimony of the bond between the memorial of the sacrifice of Jesus and those who, in it, have found the reasons and the strength for a proclamation made with intelligence, courage and without reticence.
The Eucharist, as the memorial of the offering of Christ, imposes upon us to take our proclamation from this center and imposes also that our moral teaching be founded on this as the expression of the sequela of Christ.
The Eucharist can also recall us to the which is specific of Christian morals that are born of a vision of faith and in which ethical action is lived as a religious response. From this point of view it is important to recall the example of the Saints, who discovered that “even more”, which the total donation of Christ in the Eucharist sustains and calls for.

[00288-02.03] [IN222] [Original text: Italian]

- H. Em. Card. Marc OUELLET, P.S.S., Archbishop of Québec (CANADA)

The Year of the Eucharist is a launching ramp for a long term Eucharistic movement that allows the evangelizing of culture beginning with the family, the domestic church. Today’s anthropological crisis is manifested in the break up of family and social relationships. Only the Eucharist, the source of Trinitarian communion, can respond to this cultural and social crisis. The assiduous practice of Sunday Mass in the family is the proven and always contemporary way to evangelize culture and society. The preparation of the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec in 2008 promotes this, in the light of the teachings by John Paul II, who left us in heritage this conviction.

[00301-02.03] [IN227] [Original text: French]

The summaries of two other Synod Fathers, which arrived after the closing of the Bulletin’s edition, will be published in the next Bulletin number 20.


Afterwards the following Auditors intervened:

- Br. Alvaro RODRÍGUEZ ECHEVERRÍA, F.S.C., President of the Union of Superiors General (ITALY)
- Ms. Henrietta TAMBUNTING DE VILLA, ex Ambassador of the Philippines to the Holy See (PHILIPPINES)
- Sr. Renu Rita SILVANO, Member of teh Executive Committee of the "International Catholic Biblical Federation"; Director of the Catholic Bible Institute of Mumbai (INDIA)
- Rev. Paul ROUHANA, Priest of the Maronite Lebanese Order (LEBANON)
- Sr. Elvira PETROZZI, Founder of the Cenacle Community (ITALY)
- Mr. Moysés Lauro DE AZEVEDO FILHO, Founder and General Moderator of the Catholic Community Shalom (BRAZIL)

Below are the summaries of the interventions of the Auditors:

- Br. Alvaro RODRÍGUEZ ECHEVERRÍA, F.S.C., President of the Union of Superiors General (ITALY)

The Instrumentum Laboris underlines the hope the Church has in its young people (IL 74). Those young of today who, living in globalized cultures characterized by an unending change of perspectives, and in a society destroyed by so much economic insecurity and by the glorification of violence, only with difficulty find points of support to articulate an outline for their lives, that could give meaning, direction and purpose to their young dreams. Today more than yesterday, we need to feed the hunger and thirst that youth experiences in the quest for a mystical experience of union with God. This is, without a doubt, a strength that attracts young people of the world today. From this centre, they find the most intimate and unifying movement of their lives, even though they vacillate between desperation and their hopes.
Yet this centre is not merely an experience of personal tranquility and pacification. Rather, drinking from this fountain in the encounter with Christ, they discover also the strength to see in the world their crucified brothers and sisters, those who suffer through the oppression of wars, violence and hunger. Those who have no future. From this source and summit they come out, inflamed with a new passion and with the strength grace gives to participate in the mission of the Church in society and in the world. Young people will be, without a doubt, that portion of the Church that is most sensitive in sensing the hopes in ruins that millions of children and other young people have in the world of today.
The Eucharist, centre towards which all their actions tend, is also the summit from which all their actions flow. In that way, the Eucharist is not disconnected from the social and political concerns that the disciple of Jesus lives in the midst of other men and women in the world, especially amongst the poor.

[00239-02.02] [AU001] [Original text: Spanish]

- Ms. Henrietta TAMBUNTING DE VILLA, ex Ambassador of the Philippines to the Holy See (PHILIPPINES)

Dearest Holy Father and all our good shepherds and the people of God in this august hall, I am so awed at being in this synod - a simple housewife and an ordinary lay woman. This verifies that the Church I believe in and love with all my heart embraces all her children. Oh, how with God everything is gift. His gift of faith at Baptism, re-presented daily in the Eucharist - the Eucharist is, in the words of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, "love that never ends."
I come from a country - the Philippines - which holds the biggest number of Catholics in Asia, I believe third in the world with that distinction. And I still recall what the great Pope John Paul II whom we all love told me in 1996. He said that God has given the Filipinos two great gifts: the richness of our faith and the closeness of our families. While today this is still true, thank God, we cannot close our eyes to the sad fact that our faith is being eroded and separation in our families is a cause for concern.
Last month, two high school students in one of our parochial schools committed suicide. Some of their classmates said it might be because these boys felt no one loved them. The parents of one are both overseas contract workers, while the other came from a broken home. The struggle of these boys could also be reflective of the struggle of their parents. Perhaps they did not know Jesus enough to find their happiness and meaning in him. Many young people, including the older ones, attend Sunday Mass because it has been a family tradition, and so, a requirement. There is not that "I desire with great desire" the Eucharist, that "hungering for the Bread of God".
This is because a lot of people of our times, the young especially, are no longer excited about Christ, no longer awed by the Eucharist. The sense of wonder at this "love that never ends" has not taken root in their minds, nor moved their hearts. Their center of gravity seems tilted in favor of the attractions this world offers. And so many lives waste away detached from the values of the Eucharist.
The Church - mater et magistra - does not seem able to grasp them. Maybe they do not listen to her as a teacher because they have not experienced her as a mother.
The parishes wh~re "the Church lives her life" have to move - and move fast - so that these become centers of charity - love that welcomes, forgives and saves. Centers that are models for families where people, especially the young, feel they belong, are loved and are connected with one another. Centers where the liturgy is alive, a real celebration of faith that leads us to a person-to-person meeting with Jesus - God with us. And we need catechesis - ongoing catechesis on different levels - that will give us access to Christ as presented in the Scriptures who shows us the face of Abba, Father, and makes alive the transforming power of the Spirit in our lives.
Holy Father, and all our shepherds, give us Jesus, only Jesus, always Jesus, so that filled with the wonder of his love that never ends, manifested in the Eucharist, we will possess "the joy and the daring" to proclaim with our lives: We believe, we hope, we love.

[00240-02.04] [AU002] [Original text: English]

- Sr. Renu Rita SILVANO, Member of teh Executive Committee of the "International Catholic Biblical Federation"; Director of the Catholic Bible Institute of Mumbai (INDIA)

The Instrumentum Laboris calls the Eucharist "A Sacrament of Intense Spirituality" (75). Indeed it is, as I can witness from my own happy experience and that of others whom I have met. But we must do more to make it so for all Sunday-going Catholics in India and the world. One area of effort is the Table of the Word, which the IL (n.46) reminds us is inseparably linked with the Table of the Eucharist. Another area of effort is that of contemplation in adoration (IL, n.66).
1. In my experience as a lector in the parish, I am often told by people that they find many readings, and especially Old Testament texts, difficult to understand. This is because the majority of our people are not "Scripture-literate." I appeal to this Synod to find ways to implement the plea made 40 years ago by Vatican II's Dei Verbum: that the faithful be helped to develop an "increased devotion to the word of God," so as to experience "a new impulse of spiritual life" (D V, 26). This must be done both inside and outside the Eucharistic celebration. In it, the role of the celebrant is a key one: he can do much more to help the laity understand and love God's word. He must do this both in the way he "proclaims" (not just reads) the Gospel, and in the biblical content he takes the trouble to put into his homilies every Sunday. Many homilies I have heard do not make the Scriptures come alive adequately, or are not at all connected with the readings. Hence, one goes away from the Mass having totally forgotten the word of God that was proclaimed in that liturgy (just like in Jesus' parable, "the seed that fell along the path was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it" [Luke 8:5]).
On the other hand, there are priests who take much trouble to provide rich nourishment from the Table of the Word, and I sincerely thank such priests! Remembering the Eucharistic context in which they are proclaiming the word of God, they try to bring the congregation to faith in the presence of the Lord, speaking through the Readings. May every celebrant do likewise! Also, on behalf of the Catholic Biblical Federation, I take this opportunity to humbly ask His Holiness to convene a future Synod of Bishops on the very important and urgent topic of The Word of God in the Life of the Church.
2. Contemplation in Adoration: I greatly liked our beloved Pope John Paul II's comment: "I would like to rekindle Eucharistic amazement..."( Eucharistia de Ecclesia, n.6). He also said: "The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting... souls enamored of him, ready to wait patiently to hear his voice and ... to sense the beating of his heart" (Mane Nobiscum Domine, n.18). Let us take these words seriously! My appeal to all priests is to teach the faithful (also by their own example) to spend several minutes after Communion in complete silence, so as to listen lovingly to the beating of the heart of Jesus, in the tabernacle or within ourselves. Such deep worship of the Lord will set us free to give ourselves totally to the Father. It will also necessarily lead to a generous giving of self in service to our neighbor, so that our fruitful contemplation will flow into apostolic action, and be "the criterion by which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebrations is judged" (I. L., 3).
To conclude, I am convinced that renewed ministry from the Table of the Word will lead to a renewed spirit of contemplation in adoration. May this Synod create among us all a new commitment to make of the Eucharist, which is both "the table of the Word and the table of the Bread" (MND, 12), a sacrament of intense spirituality for all! Thank you.

[00241-02.04] [AU003] [Original text: English]

- Rev. Paul ROUHANA, Priest of the Maronite Lebanese Order (LEBANON)

My intervention leads to the eschatological dimension of the Eucharist, according to numbers. 68-69 of the “Instrumentum laboris”. I will present this theme following two anaphoras: of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Saint James, Brother of the Lord, in use in the Syro-Antiochian Maronite Church.
If waiting for the second coming of the Lord is usually presented in the Eucharistic liturgies of the Orient and of the West as a future event that Church prepares itself for with prayer, vigils and hope, this is presented in the three Eucharistic prayers aforementioned as an event from the past, which the Eucharist community remembers. This is how the celebrant addresses Christ in the anaphora of Saint Mark in proclaiming: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, we remember all your saving economy for us: your conception, your birth, your baptism..., and your majestic coming when you will judge all men, giving retribution to each one according to his works...”. The Orthodox theologian, Jean Zizioulas (today Bishop of Pergame), gives this particular vision of the anamnesis, which can also be found in the Liturgy of saint John Chrysostome, the expression of “future memory”.
I propose more studies on this notion of “future memory” in a time when the eschatological dimension of faith is undergoing a sharp crisis; where the Christian sense of History is blurred in favor of a Christianity with a social predominance where ambitions don’t go beyond the limits of a more just and solidary human society. In celebrating the Eucharist in the “future memory”, Christians will meditate upon the mystery of the economy of salvation realized by Christ, not in a fragmentary and selective way, but as a unique, multi-faceted, soteriological reality of Incarnation and parousia. This reality, so well deployed in the events of the liturgical year, finds, however, in the Paschal Mystery celebrated in the Eucharist, its foundation and its culminating summit. Pilgrims of God, Christians will find in this “future memory” the necessary force and light, coming from above, to witness to the liberating values of the Gospel, often against the current, in communion with the hosts of saints, martyrs and confessors and with “all those who were pleasing to the Lord since Adam until today” (offertory prayer in the Maronite Missal).

[00242-02.04] [AU004] [Original text: French]

- Sr. Elvira PETROZZI, Founder of the Cenacle Community (ITALY)

I am a simple and poor nun, but a witness of what God does through the Eucharist today.
In front of the Eucharist I started to understand the profound pain of many young people in the roads, to hear their cries of their solitude. Jesus sent me to those young people who have the sadness of drugs in their heart, the hunger and thirst for the sense of their life which they have not found.
What therapeutic method or medicine could I offer them? There is no pill that can give them the joy to live and peace in the heart!
I proposed to them what lifted me and gave me back hope so many times: the Mercy of God and the Eucharistic prayer. The Eucharist cannot be understood by one’s brain, but it is felt in the heart. If you trustfully kneel before Him, you will feel that His humanity present in the consecrated Host reawakens God’s image in you that returns to shine.
It is the “Eucharistic miracle” that I have been contemplating for so many years. The Eucharist creates not only a personal but also a dynamism of the People. At the beginning some young people started to get up in the night for personal adoration; then every Saturday night, for them the night to party, they decided to kneel, in all the fifty communities, from two to three a. m., to pray for those young people lost in the false proposals of the world.
Afterwards they started the continuous Eucharistic adoration. It was a revolution in the history of the Community: young people came from everywhere, the communities have increased, missions were instituted in Latin America and then the vocations of families and of consecrated people to God in this work of his. What the Holy Father called at Cologne the revolution of Love exploded.
I wanted to tell you with simplicity, this piece of our history to give thanks to Jesus who in the Eucharist, left in our hands the treasure, the medicine, the most extraordinary light to come out of the darkness of evil. The young people with whom I have lived for the past twenty two years have been for me, a religious person, the living witness that the Eucharist is really the living presence of the Risen, and that also our own dead life when entering in His own is resurrected.
Really if someone is in Christ, he is a new creature!
Thank you for having listened to me.

[00243-02.02] [AU005] [Original text: Italian]

- Mr. Moysés Lauro DE AZEVEDO FILHO, Founder and General Moderator of the Catholic Community Shalom (BRAZIL)

In most of these new charisms, which are the Movements and the new Communities, a renewed love for Christ has been experienced in the Eucharist. It is through this that they allow the pain of the men and women of our time who are hungry for God touch them. This hungry multitude are the “Thomases” of our times who resist believing in Christ without seeing Him, without hearing Him, and without touching His Body. In the Eucharist and in Christ’s disciples , nourished by His Word and by His Flesh, Jesus allows Himself to be seen, heard and touched by the “Thomases”.
One of the most important fruits of the Eucharist which we must cultivate is the
“Parresia”. “Parresia” is a Greek word which in the New Testament takes on the meaning of audacity in the proclamation of Christ.
In the period of Carnival, in Brazil, when youngsters are exposed to serious dangers, the Catholic Shalom Community promotes evangelization through witnessing, music and art. During this event, we have a moment of adoration before the Most Holy Sacrament. It was impressive to see what many consider impossible: one hundred thousand young people in a deep silence of adoration before the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This was a prelude to Cologne. Even more impressive were the fruits of this and of other actions of this type: many conversions, a large number of confessions, commitment in the Church with a return to participation in Mass, an awakening of priestly vocations and the love and service to the poor. We have discovered that the best reply to the challenge of secularization is: to present Christ with audacity!
Inflamed by the Holy Spirit, which arouses new forms of ecclesial experience in the Movements and New Communities, the lay faithful, in communion with their Pastors, multiply the forms and means to attract, with the “Parresia”, the “Thomases” of this new millennium who, without even knowing it, yearn to know Christ in the Eucharist.

[00244-02.05] [AU006] [Original text: Italian]

The interventions of the Auditors in the Hall will continue in the Sixteenth General Congregation this afternoon, after the Relatio post disceptationem.



The briefing of the linguistic groups of Saturday 15 October 2005 will take place at mid-day.


Accredited journalists are informed that on Thursday 13 October 2005, at 12:45 p.m., 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
● H.Em. Card. Telesphore Placidus Toppo
Archbishop of Ranchi (India)
● H.Exc. Msg. John Patrick Foley
Archbishop of Neapolis of Proconsolari
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
● H.Exc. Msg. Luciano Pedro Mendes de Almeida, S.I.
Archbishop of Mariana (Brazil)
Member of the Information Commission


Return to:

- Index Bulletin Synodus Episcoporum - XI Ordinary General Assembly - 2005
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- Index Holy See Press Office
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