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


22 - 14.10.2005




Yesterday, Thursday 13 and today, Friday 14 October 2005 continued the works of the Working Groups. Present 238 Fathers in the Second Session, 235 in the Third and 236 in the Fourth.

The first phase of the works of the Working Groups (with the discussion on the main points needing further in-depth study, offered by the Report after the discussion) concluded with the approval of the Reports of the Working Groups, which the Relators of the Working Groups presented in the Seventeenth General Congregation of this afternoon 14 October 2005.



At 4:30 p.m., in optional remembrance of St. Callisto I, Pope and Martyr, in the presence of the Holy Father, with the prayer Actiones nostras qæsumus Domine aspirando præveni et adiuvando prosequere ut cuncta nostra oratio et operatio a te semper incipiat et per te coepta finiatur (Inspire, we beg You, Lord, our actions and accompany them, so that all our prayers and work always begins with You and through You we have fulfillment), began the Seventeenth General Congregation, with the reading in the Hall of the Reports of the Working Groups. In addition, there was the first voting for the election of the post-synodal Council.

The President Delegate on duty was H.Em. Card. Francis ARINZE, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

This General Congregation Generale ended at 7:00 p.m. with the prayer Angelus Domini. 233 Fathers were present.


Fruit of the discussion of the Working Groups are the Reports compiled as a collection of opinions of the majority and minority, who transparently express the converging and non converging opinions, if any. These reports which have been submitted for the approval of the Working Groups to collect all the suggestions and reflections of the members of each Group thus form a faithful projection of the opinions of the majority as well as any minority. These reports are very important since they are the most evident expression of the thought of the Synodal Fathers involved in the discussion of the Groups and also contain on a life line the elements for the general consensus of the Synod itself. All the reports considered on as a whole represent in some way the first summary of the synodal work.

In the Seventeenth General Congregation of this afternoon, were read, according to the order of presentation of the request of the intervention, the Reports of the Working Groups, prepared by the Relators of the Working Groups:

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Donald William WUERL, Bishop of Pittsburgh (U.S.A)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. José María ARANCIBIA, Archbishop of Mendoza (Argentina)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS C: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Seán Baptist BRADY, Archbishop of Armagh, President of the Episcopal Conference (Ireland)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Alberto GIRALDO JARAMILLO, P.S.S., Archbishop of Medellín (Colombia)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS A:S.E.R. H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Diarmuid MARTIN, Archbishop of Dublin (Ireland)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS C: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Paul-André DUROCHER, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (Canada)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS C: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Juan Francisco SARASTI JARAMILLO, C.I.M., Archbishop of Cali (Colombia)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GERMANICUS: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Gerhard Ludwig MÜLLER, Bishop of Regensburg (Germany)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Robert LE GALL, O.S.B., Bishop of Mende (France)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Renato CORTI, Bishop of Novara (Italy)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS A A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Alain HAREL, Titular Bishop of Forconio, Apostolic Vicar of Rodrigues (MAURITIUS)
- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Francesco CACUCCI, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto (Italy)

We publish below the summaries of the Reports of the Working Groups presented in the Seventeenth General Congregation:

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Donald William WUERL, Bishop of Pittsburgh (U.S.A)

We recognize that we are essentially a faith community whose members believe in the Lord Jesus and thus we have an identity that is ours in and through the Church which itself is rooted in the Eucharist. For this reason we take very seriously our need and duty to pass on our witness to Christ and our understanding of the Mystery of Divine Revelation.
In discussing the need to celebrate the Eucharist in the circumstances of our day, we recognize a number of values at issue. First and most significant is the fact that the Eucharist is essential to the Church. It forms the source and summit of her life and mission. Yet we must also take into account the seriousness of the shortage of priests in so many parts of the world. We also recognize the place of married clergy in the Eastern Churches.
Our discussion highlighted that celibacy is not the principal and certainly not the sole reason for this shortage. In fact the culture of today is in crisis in a number of other areas including the nature, duration and vitality of marriage. The lack of lifelong commitment seems to be a fundamental "leit motif' throughout our reflections on much of modem life.
The shortage of priests is expressed in many ways. We recognize the existence of scattered small faith communities and the almost impossibility of providing the Eucharist for them on any regular short-term basis. Even in areas where there are larger closely clustered faith communities there is a stress on the availability of priests. In the light of this actual situation the question becomes are there alternative measures.
In looking at the situation we must now provide some observations on how to deal with it. A number of reflections surfaced. First was the obvious need to encourage vocations to priestly ministry. An indigenous clergy is the expected result of the Church's presence in a region. However, local churches should be open to sharing priests. Just as in the early apostolic days and throughout her history, the Church has encouraged a missionary spirit that enriches life and outreach.
Under the term "solidarity of personnel" falls the matter of sharing priests, of providing in a just manner for the support of priests as they move from area to area.
The permanent diaconate offers some assistance. It needs to be developed to meet today's needs, especially in relieving the priest of many administrative, educational and service ministries.
Finally we faced the issue of Eucharistic Services that now often take the place of Mass. We highlighted the theological reality of the Paschal Mystery as completely and qualitatively distinct from any other religious service employed in the absence of a priest and the imperative that this distinction not be blurred.
Our reflections reinforced the need to find some more clearly definable religious service in place of the Mass where this is necessary. We also appreciated that in some areas this has been done in creative and helpful ways.
The liturgies of the Eastern Churches were recognized for their sense of sacredness as we attempt to find the proper balance in liturgy between the sense of action involving us, the so-called horizontal dimension, and the action that bring our attention to God, the vertical dimension.
We concluded that programs for priests, deacons and the laity on good liturgy are not only helpful but necessary. The involvement of well-prepared laity and parish liturgical formation programs was encouraged.
Finally we supported the concept of a sense of stability in the liturgy so that the false impression is not created that everything involved in worship is either in flux or depends on individual personality.
When we turned our attention to the criteria for correct inculturation we were aware of the documents encouraging and guiding it such as “Ecclesia in Africa”, “Ecclesia in Asia”, and “Ecclesia in Oceania”. We encourage their implementation.
In conclusion, we express appreciation for the role of contemplative communities of women and men who quietly bear witness to the transcendent realm made present to us in the Eucharist.

[00316-02.04] [CM001] [Original text: English]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. José María ARANCIBIA, Archbishop of Mendoza (Argentina)

The Working group has shared, first of all, the for hunger for material bread and the hunger for God, in today’s world. A deep need, earthly and divine, related to the Eucharist. We live a secularized culture. Nonetheless, the mystery of the Redeeming Incarnation and of the Eucharist invite us to put our complete trust in a God committed to human history.
We are grateful to the liturgical reform fostered by the 2nd Vatican Council. Under its guidance, we should continue renewing out evangelizing celebrative and pastoral process.It hurts us that the Eucharist, an immense gift of love from God, should not be know, valued and well celebrated, and thereby to give abundant fruits of eternal life. We are seriously worried that, due to the lack of priests, so many communities should be unable to celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays. But we wish to thank and to encourage priests, who with generous efforts offer the Eucharist in such places. We feel even more obliged to accompany them. We also thank the deacons and the lay faithful who help them, even taking the Word and Communion to places where they do not regularly go.
We are aware of the need to increase and deepen the catechesis at all levels, as an authentic mystagogy for the initiation sacraments, closely inter-linked. In such a sense, we proposed to renew and deepen the contents of catechesis, incorporating the families with their children, and also reviewing the material, in order to introduce the people of God into all the rich and multiple dimensions of the Eucharistic mystery. Furthermore, it is necessary to offer a systematic catechesis for adults.
The Sunday celebration, as the day of the Lord, has to call the faithful to the Holy Mass, not only as a precept, but also as a true demand of Christian life. For an active and fruitful celebration, it will be necessary to wait for the proclamation of the Word, followed by prepared homilies; to the sense of the signs and gestures charged with deep meaning, as to the richness of the texts used by the ecclesial tradition. The community is dismissed on every Sunday Mass, with a missionary mandate, which should provoke its apostolic conscience, its commitment to life and its duty to committed charity.
The renewing strength of Easter, and therefore of each Eucharist, is not only celebrated for personal benefit of each participant. But that the conversion and eternal life which grow in the heart, should move to share and to imitate the same merciful love of God. Thus, conscious of the needs, crises and conflicts of today’s world, we are encouraged to trust in the fruits of personal and communal renewal which stem from the Eucharist. On eating the Body and drinking the Blood of the Lord, which gives them new life, the faithful necessarily grow also in social commitment, to defend human life, family values, justice, solidarity and peace.
We have furthermore dealt with the complex topic of inculturation, moved by the preoccupation to foster the fruitful participation of all faiths, according to the various cultures. We desire fervently that the Episcopal Conferences continue to work in this sense, guided by the recent guidelines of the Church herself

[00317-02.03] [CM002] [Original text: Spanish]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS C: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Seán Baptist BRADY, Archbishop of Armagh, President of the Episcopal Conference (Ireland)

The group agreed that the Relatio post Disceptationem had provided an excellent sunimary of the debates that had taken place in the Aula.
The members of Circulus Anglicus 'c' agreed that achieving a better formation in Eucharistic faith within the Church could be addressed in a number of ways including updating catechetical texts in the light of recent Church teaching on the Eucharist and presenting a systematic and integrated presentation of the doctrine of the Church on the Real Presence.
It was agreed that study of the history of religious art and architecture by priests, seminarians and committed lay people would enrich catechesis and reawaken the capacity for symbolic thought, basic to sacramental mystagogy.
Similarly, it was agreed that the formation of celebrants and participants in the Ars Celebrandi is essential for a renewed and deepened understanding of the Eucharistic mystery and that this should include formation in the more frequent use of silence in the liturgy.
On the other hand, the frequency with which the issue of inculturation had been raised in the Aula was noted and it was agreed that this matter needs to be addressed more comprehensively and more precisely by the Synod. We proposed the following criteria:
● The unity of the celebration must be preserved;
● The celebration must be in conformity with the deposit of faith;
● It should be conducive to prayer and adoration;
● It should be an expression of reverence in conformity with “Varietates Legitimae” (1994) and the General Introduction to the Roman Missal.
This also gave rise to an important discussion about how to develop the link between Mass and daily life, including providing a more accurate translation of Ite Missa Est. It was agreed that it was important to indicate that the mission is a consequence of participation in the Eucharist and to elaborate, in very practical terms, on the implications of participation in the Eucharist for important social issues such as justice, solidarity, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace. We also ask the Congregation for Divine Worship to reconsider removing the sign of peace from before Holy Communion and placing it before the offertory of the Mass.
It was agreed that the power of the Eucharist to transform individual lives and social realities, however, was intimately linked to an adequate understanding of the Real Presence and a renewed emphasis on the practice of adoration of our Eucharistic Lord as a prolongation of the spiritual communion with Christ in His self-offering to the Father. It was noted that veneration and adoration, in turn, lead to the celebration of the Eucharist in a spirit of praise and thanksgiving for this immense gift.
Critical to making this immense gift of our Eucharistic Lord available to the faithful, however, is the role of the Priest. There was strong endorsement of the proposal that the Synod would acknowledge with gratitude the indispensable ministry of priests as preachers of the Word, celebrants of the Eucharist and leaders of the Christian community.
It was also agreed that the Synod should provide support to priests in their proclamation of the Word of God, by way of thematic homilies proposed, not imposed, in a three year cycle, soundly based on Scripture, theology and liturgical texts. It was also proposed that the readings from Sacred Scripture in the Sacred Liturgy be reviewed and consideration be given to the use of modem means of communication.
The question of Ecumenical relations in the matter of Eucharistic hospitality was also discussed. Our group is proposing that a thorough study be made in regard to the Catholic practice of Eucharistic hospitality in order to help local Churches overcome the confusion that currently exists among clergy and faithful.
The group asks that the question of restoring the original order of the Sacraments of Initiation, which would give the Eucharist its rightful place as the completion of Christian Initiation, may be studied further.
The group urges the Synod to give strong emphasis to the celebration of Sunday Mass and the importance for the community of gathering together in faith and to include a clear reference to the Sabbath rest after God's work of creation.
As regards Masses for small groups, the following criteria are being proposed:
● They must serve to unify the Parish and not fragment the Parish community;
● They should respect the needs of the particular group and favour fruitful participation of the people involved and;
● Preserve the unity of the family.
It is proposed that those who suffer from disability be recognised as full members of the Church and be helped to take their rightful place in the liturgical life of the Church. For this to happen the architecture of Churches should be made friendly to them, they should be actively included in celebrations, as we keep in mind the teaching of Pope John Paul II on the value of suffering.
Our group believes that the Christian people will be drawn into a full, active and fruitful sharing in the Eucharist when the desire of the heart is drawn to the Eucharist and finds its delight there. We urge that conditions be created where the truth, blessedness and holiness of Christ, which alone delight the heart fully, should shine forth in all their splendour in Eucharistic celebrations.

[00323-02.04] [CM003] [Original text: English]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Alberto GIRALDO JARAMILLO, P.S.S., Archbishop of Medellín (Colombia)

The Group Hispanicus B had as moderator, H.Em. Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and as relator, H. Exc. Most Rev. Msg. Alberto Giraldo, Archbishop of Medellín. The group judged it important to begin with the topic: the Eucharist and the Life of the Priest. From the Synod should come out a voice of admiration and encouragement to all the brother priests who throughout the world make the Eucharist possible and who direct their existence based upon an authentic Eucharistic spirituality.The members elaborated 27 propositions which can be encompassed in these 10 headings.
1.- That there should be given support guidelines to priests so that celebartions should express the awareness of performing, under the effect of the Holy Spirit. In this way will they ensure the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, with all the richness of His Redeeming Work.
2.- That every Bishop should give all the importance to the formation of semarists, accompanying them and their teachers. Special care and attention has to be given to the selection and formation of the candidates to live the carism of celibacy.
3.- That the dignified celebration in the Cathedral, in parishes and the various churches of the Diocese should be assured, as also that the faithful can visit the Holy Sacrament at various times in the day.
4.- There should be organized in the Diocese a highly structured vocational pastoral care service, which starts from prayer for vocations and that has the support of the families, the priests and the seminarists.
5.- Special attention should be paid to the sick in such a way that one guarantees the Eucharist, food for immortality for them. The Eucharist will be inexhaustible source of of a culture of life.
6.- There should be offered a special company to those who have formed their families based on the sacrament of matrimony. Expecting the difficult situation of those who have suffered the breaking-off pains of separation, one will attempt to reach them with a compasionate attitude, so that one may offer them a guidance and support to permit them to clarify their situation with a suitable canonical process.
7.- There should be a renewed pastoral care of the sacrament of Reconciliation...
8.- As fruit of the Eucharist, there should be sought a pedagogy so that the faithful may come o encounter the Risen lord in the Sunday Mass.
9.- That we should succeed in finding suitable catechistic ways for the priests and the faithful to understand the presence of Mary in every Eucharistic celebration.
10.- That we should succeed in seeing that, if the Eucharist is a gift, it is our pastoral duty to bring people close to this sacrament, offering them help for a worthy receiving of the Lord.

[00318-02.04] [CM004] [Original text: Spanish]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ANGLICUS A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Diarmuid MARTIN, Archbishop of Dublin (Ireland)

In speaking on devotion to the Eucharist, it was recognised that the Eucharistic action of the Sacrifice of the Mass is the Church's greatest act of adoration. Eucharistic adoration outside Mass should spring from and lead back to the Eucharistic action. Eucharistic adoration, considered as a reemerging sign of the times, can greatly sustain the holiness of individuals and communities.
The group expressed particular appreciation, affirmation and encouragement to priests for their fidelity in the ministry of the Eucharist. Speaking of the Ars Celebrandi it was stressed that what is involved is not some type of choreography of the liturgical rite but a way of entering into the Mystery of the Eucharist and a longing to enter into communion with God, through the Paschal mystery.
Much attention was given to reflection on the Liturgy of the Word. It was suggested that a listing of thematic homilies be prepared to cover the basic Mysteries of Salvation with appropriate references to the Lectionary, the Fathers of the Church and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The group stressed the need to develop a lay Eucharistic spirituality. It was also suggested that a "Eucharistic Companion" be drawn up with doctrinal, catechetical and devotional contents for the benefits of the faithful.
The group stressed the bonds between Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance, especially as many have lost the sense of sin.
The acute shortage of priests in some areas is a matter of anguish to the entire Church. In the absence of priests, the group emphasised the value of the liturgy of the Word as sustenance for those who are deprived of access to the Eucharist.
In certain parts of the world the drop in the numbers participating regularly Sunday Mass is a source of great concern.
The "eclipse of faith" among many will only however be overcome and reversed through personal conversion.

[00319-02.04] [CM005] [Original text: English]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS C: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Paul-André DUROCHER, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (Canada)

We have decided to follow the questions put forward by the Relator General at the end of the
report after the discussion. The group relator took note of the different propositions put forward as they came along during the discussion and prepared a list which was discussed and adopted by the group, so that each of the propositions, with some exceptions, represented the consensus of the group not only in its content but in its expression.
In addition, each of the Synodal Fathers was invited to prepare some propositions which he was interested in order to complete our study on the set of questions. This method of working allowed us to draw up about seventy-five brief propositions which truly reflect the thought of our working group.
Some points of discussion were able to draw our attention in a special way. And here is a brief presentation with some pertinent remarks.
Our attitude towards secularization must be more qualified. In fact, there are seeds of the Word in our world of today. The Eucharist may meet the thirsts and hope of our times.
As the sacrament of faith, the Eucharist should be studied further in-depth by a mystagogical and initializing catechesis, based on the study of the Word of God and focused on the risen Christ.
Faith celebrated in the Eucharist should also be lived on a daily basis. The contemplation of the sacrifice of Christ to whom we are called to be associated with could help us to make this unity of faith and life. However, one should understand this sacrifice as a mystery of love, a promise of life and a way of freedom.
The shortage of priests saddens us and we strongly feel the anguish of many faithful who have no access to the sacraments due to this. The idea to order viri probati has been discussed, but has not reached majority approval. The group is unanimous in stating the invaluable value of priestly celibacy for the Latin Church and wishes to engage the Church in vocational pastoral care which is even more energetic, positive and open to the gifts of God. Moreover, we think that a better training for priests fidei donum will help to gradually overcome this shortage.
We have quietly exchanged on several other issues: Eucharistic adoration, ecumenism, social commitment which follows from the Eucharist, the liturgy. The issue of the place of confirmation in the initiation sacraments has aroused several debates, but we agree to state that, whatever the option held by the episcopal conferences on this topic , the Eucharist should always be perceived as the summit of Christian initiation. One should also have to find the relationship between baptism and reconciliation in this same perspective.
Lastly, the following drew our attention: Sundays as the day of our Lord; a delicate situation for people in irregular marriage situations, in particular in southern countries where polygamy, inter-religious marriages and traditional marriages present very serious cases of pastoral challenges; inculturation of rites which is urgent; and the commitment of Catholics for justice, a commitment which verifies the depth of true Eucharistic spirituality.
We have been blessed by the presence in our group of bishops coming from America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and likewise from oriental traditions. This diversity has been for us a source of discovery and wisdom, revealing to us the depth of unity of this faith which we share. Also for this reason, our prayer is “Eucharistic”.

[00320-02.08] [CM006] [Original text: French]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP HISPANICUS C: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Juan Francisco SARASTI JARAMILLO, C.I.M., Archbishop of Cali (Colombia)

The group was formed of 19 Synodal Fathers and had the presence of two Auditors, two Collaborators and two Assistants.
After the reading of sixteen questions pointed out by the Relator General and its convenient division, grouping and integration, the group chose by vote the arguments that were considered of greater interest. In the light of the preferences expressed, one went on to the discussion of some of them. Later, the Fathers were asked to draw up propositions,in particular starting from their interventions in the Hall, the ones presented yesterday afternoon, in a general way, then discussed and approved in detail this morning.
As a result of all this work, carried out with great diligence and in an extremely fraternal atmosphere and of love for the Church, 24 proposals emerged.

[00322-02.04] [CM007] [Original text: Spanish]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GERMANICUS: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Gerhard Ludwig MÜLLER, Bishop of Regensburg (Germany)

The presentation of the Eucharist as the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church remains the task of theology, spirituality and pastoral care.
The lack of understanding of the liturgy and its practice can only be overcome by a positive and attracting orientation towards Jesus Christ. For He is “the real Light, that gives light to everyone” (Jn 1:9).
However, Christians in Western civilization are surrounded by the secularization of the conscience. This can lead to banalizing the real Christian truths and to the profanation of the liturgy and the way of life. Often, there is a discrepancy between the catechism one has in mind and the temptations and the pressures of an imposition of collective life, only in the internal world. Therefore the consequences of this can be indifference, but even aggressions towards the doctrines and the morals of the Church, in appearance strange to the world and hostile to life.
However, there is a hunger for justice and for an authentic life in freedom and in love.
Thus, the question arises in the whole world as to how one can transmit the proposing of oneself, by God, as light and love for all men, in their contemporary situations of daily life and with the constant presence of a certain spirit of secular time in mass communication.
How can the Church, as meant in Gaudium et spes (No. 10), welcome, divide and formulate the worries and the needs of today’s man and, at the same time, today, bear witness to Christ as the answer to the fundamental existential demands of man?
It is possible for us to expect an authentic renewal by Christians, the religious and the lay persons, especially the young committed Christians, allowing themselves to be attracted to Christ, who live in the love of Eucharistic Christ and are willing to accept a way of living Christian matrimony and life according to the evangelical counsels, to which they have been called by the Holy Spirit to build the Church with different charisms. We are not talking about number here, rather than about quality.
The best that can be done for faith in the Eucharist in the thinking and life of Christians is to live of the Eucharist.
“Now while Jesus was with them at table, He took the bread and said the blessing, then He broke it and handed it to them” (cf. Lk 24:31).

[00321-02.02] [CM008] [Original text: German]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Robert LE GALL, O.S.B., Bishop of Mende (France)

Summary of the report not received before the closure of the Bulletin.

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS B: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Renato CORTI, Bishop of Novara (Italy)

It would seem positive to favour two questions: one concerning the education to Eucharistic faith and one relative to missionary commitment, which we are called to cultivate through the Eucharistic celebration. After having elaborated two propositiones on these points, we went on to some other themes in some way connected to the first two This is how the group confronted the theme of Sunday, on the Priest and on the celebration “awaiting a Priest”, Christian initiation, the promotion of welcoming pastoral care in favour of persons living an irregular matrimonial situation.
The propositiones related to the commitment to teach the Christian people about Eucharistic faith have, above all, expressed certain proposals concerning the question: “Who teaches?” “How to teach?” Those concerning the Eucharist, the source of mission have considered what should be deeply assimilated so that this can happen, have indicated some paths of missionary education through the Eucharist and have mentioned some difficulties present today. As for the theme of educating the faithful to the centrality of Sunday Eucharistic celebrations, the discussion lead to dedicating ample space to Sunday, understood as the "Dies Christi" and as the "Dies hominis". It touched upon the theme of the Eucharist , especially considering Sunday as the "Dies Ecclesiae". The urgency to offer the Eucharistic gift to all faithful urged this group to answer in a concrete way by indicating the many attentions which must characterize the life of our communities. Then, the group made some reflections on the Sunday celebration “awaiting a Priest”. As for Christian initiation, some observations on the relationship between the following were made: Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. The group also reflected on the experience that should be proposed to who comes to the Sacraments and how to give all of this the form of an itinerary, and rather of a mystagogy. As for the pastoral care in favour of those in an irregular matrimonial situation, the reflection considered the time, first of all, that precedes Matrimony, referring to the education of the young people and to pre-matrimonial courses, then the condition often full of solitude lived within the families, seeing the urgency for direct contact with the families in our parishes; finally, the group considered the specific situation of those living an irregular matrimonial situation, attempting to indicate some possible answers so that these people feel like they are being welcomed, entrusting themselves to the Lord and achieving concrete steps in the light of the Gospel.
The presence in the group of members coming from various parts of the world certainly widened the horizons. This probably allowed taking into consideration all the elements characteristic to the various theological, liturgical and pastoral traditions. And at the same time, even if in a limited way, the richness of each one was taken into consideration with respect and the desire to learn.
Because of all of this, I feel that I can say that it was a fruitful encounter.

[00324-02.04] [CM010] [Original text: Italian]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP GALLICUS A A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Alain HAREL, Titular Bishop of Forconio, Apostolic Vicar of Rodrigues (MAURITIUS)

As Bishops, we have the serious preoccupation that the Eucharist be considered as truly the “source and summit” of the life of each Christian and our different communities. How to discover Christ? How to better lead the Christians to drink from this enlivening source?
We believe it is urgent to propose to the Christians the kerygma of the Church, which enlightens and enlivens.
In this catechesis, the Word of God must have a central place. In relationship to the spreading of sects, more than ever, we must help Christians discover - rediscover - the Biblical foundations of the Eucharist.
In the permanent formation of Christians, we must help them more to make the bond with the two tables: the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist.
The Gospel is not an ideology but a living person! The mystery of the Eucharist, tied to the discovery of the Word, leads us towards the person of the risen Jesus. The family, “the domestic Church”, is the privileged place where the children, from an early age, are called upon to the initiation to this great mystery. On the other hand, faith in Jesus, gift of the Spirit, can but blossom within the Church-family of God, from where the importance of allowing, particularly the young persons, to live a real ecclesial experience.
Communion in Christ opens us to communion and to the commitment towards our brothers who are thirsty, who suffer, who are excluded. Thus, our Eucharistic communities are prophetic signs within this world, often torn by violence, injustice and so hungry for reconciliation and peace.
Inasmuch as Bishops, we feel that we are called at all levels to promote a pastoral practice of hospitality.

[00325-02.02] [CM011] [Original text: French]

- RELATION OF THE WORKING GROUP ITALICUS A: H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Francesco CACUCCI, Archbishop of Bari-Bitonto (Italy)

15 Propositions have been formulated grouped into 4 sections.
In the first one Mysterium fidei: The Eucharist and the Church, the implications of Eucharistic ecclesiology for the life of the Church and ecumenism have been tackled. In the second section, related to the proclaimed Mystery, the relationship between the Word of God and the Eucharist has been deepened with the need for a mystagogical journey. In the third one, the celebrated Mystery dignity and beauty of the Eucharistic celebration have been studied further in depth. The celebration of the Eucharist as a gift of God and as a right of the faithul; the use of Latin and of the Gregorian chant in international celebrations, to express unity and universality of the Church; the shortage of priests and the hunger for bread of life as an impulse towards renewed commitment for vocations and collaboration between particular Churches for fairer distribution of priests in the world; conditions of admission to the Eucharist in the case of remarried divorcees; Sunday with its focus on the celebration of the Eucharist; the importance of formation to sing and music in the liturgy. Lastly in the fourth section there is the Lived Mystery, in particular the need for charity and justice which stem from the Eucharist, in particular in a globalized world marked by very serious social and economic injustice and inequality and by many persisting wars and conflicts; the impulse towards the mission of the Gospel to all peoples and towards authentic lay spirituality to be lived in daily life through the free gift of forgiveness of sins and offences, which alone can generate peace; Eucharistic Adoration as a preparation and expansion of the celebration of the Holy Mass with the need for reverence before the Eucharistic Jesus in the tabernacle.

[00326-02.02] [CM012] [Original text: Italian]


Then the first voting for the election of 12 members of the post-synodal council took place.




Tomorrow morning, Saturday 15 October 2005 will take place the Eighteenth General Congregation for the presentation of the first draft of the Message and for the discussion of the Message.

Tomorrow afternoon, Saturday 15 October 2005 will take place the Audience of the Supreme Pontiff for the children for their First Communion The Bread from Heaven: a completely Eucharistic title gives the name to the event which will bring into St. Peter’s Square 100,000 children for their First Communion, coming from all over the world to meet Pope Benedict XVI.The Eucharistic meeting wanted by the Holy Father has been included in the schedule of appointments envisaged for the Year of the Eucharist. Pope Benedict XVI will join the children in prayer and will help them on reflection with a catechesis and answer their questions. At the end of the catechesis, Adoration and Eucharistic Benediction will take place. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m., and will be broadcast live in the Holy See Press Office.

In the next few days will continue the work of unification of the Propositions by the Relator General, the Special Secretary and the Relators of the Working Groups, according to the Calendar for the Synodal Works, published in Bulletin No. 2.

Monday 17 October 2005, at 11:00 a.m., at the Confession Altar in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican there will be the Adoration of the Eucharist presided by Pope Benedict XVI with the participation of the Synod Fathers. The Celebration is open to everyone without any need for passes. The opening hours of the Basilica are from 3:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

The Seventeenth General Congregation for the presentation of the Integrated List of Propositions will take place on the morning of Tuesday 18 October 2005.

The Working Groups will meet on Wednesday 19 October 2005, in the VI and VII Session, for the preparation of the Amendments to the Propositions, according to what has been scheduled in the Synodal Working Calendar.


The briefing for the working groups with the Press Officers (Don Giorgio COSTANTINO, of the episcopal Conference of Calabria, for Italian; Father John BARTUNEK, of the Legionaries of Christ, for English; Padre Pierre GÉRARD, S.I., Centre for Spirituality, for French; Mr. Isidoro CATELA MARCOS, Director of the office for information of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, for Spanish; Don Markus GRAULICH, S.D.B., for German) accompanied by a Synod Father for each language, will take place on Tuesday 18 October 2005 at 12.30 p.m. (In the place indicated for briefings in Bulletin No. 2).

The following is a list with the names of the Synod fathers for each language group.

Italian language group

H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Tadeusz KONDRUSIEWICZ

English language group

H. Em. Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON

French language group

H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Laurent MONSENGWO PASINYA

Spanish language group

H. Em. Card. Francisco Javier ERRAZURIZ OSSA

German language group

H. Em. Card. Walter KASPER

The audio-visual operators (cameramen and technicians) are reminded to apply to the Pontifical Council for Social Communication for access permits (very restricted in number).


Accredited journalists are informed that on Saturday 22 October 2005, at 12:15 p.m., in the John Paul II Conference Hall of the Holy See Press Office, the Third Press Conference will be held on the works of the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Elenchus finalis).

● H. Em. Card. George PELL
Archbishop of Sydney (Australia)
● H. Em. Card. Marc OUELLET, P.S.S.
Archbishop of Québec (Canada)
● H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Roland MINNERATH
Archbishop of Dijon (France)
Special Secretary
● H.Exc. Most. Rev. Msg. Salvatore FISICHELLA
, Titular Bishop of Voghenza
Auxiliary of Rome
Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome


Friday 14 October: from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 15 October: from 9:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Sunday 16 October: from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Monday 17 October: ore 09.00 - 6:00 p.m.
From Tuesday 18 October to Saturday 22 October: From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 23 October: from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
From Monday 24 October to Friday 28 October: from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Saturday 29 October: from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday 30 October: from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday 31 October: from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


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