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Tuesday, October 4, 2005


VATICAN CITY, OCT 3, 2005 (VIS) - The Second General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops began at 4.30 p.m. in the Synod Hall. The Holy Father was present for the free discussions which took place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze, and there were 241 Synod Fathers present.

  Following are excerpts from a number of the speeches given:

CARDINAL JOSE SARAIVA MARTINS C.M.F., PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS. "The Eucharist is, in the first place, source of the deepest, most sublime and radical communion with the Redeemer. ... But the intimate and mysterious communion with Christ achieved in the Eucharist cannot be fully understood or experienced outside "ecclesial communion". The former necessarily leads to the latter. ... The Eucharist, therefore, by vitally uniting men to Christ, also unites them to one another. In the Eucharist, Christ Himself becomes a living link between the members of His Body. The Eucharist breaks down all cultural and social barriers, to make of those who receive it one community of faith, hope and love, directing them towards that unity which has its model and perfection in the union of the Holy Trinity itself. ... Never as in the celebration of the Eucharist, does the Church appear so perfectly united, a 'koinonia,' a communion. The Church is one because the Eucharist is one."

BISHOP PHILIPPE GUENELEY OF LANGRES, FRANCE. "One of the main worries of pastors in Christian communities is the initiation to the Eucharist. This initiation involves children preparing for first communion, as well as youth and adults presented with a catechumenal path proper to their age and which progressively leads them to the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation, such as the Eucharist. ... It would be opportune for this Synod to insist on the close bond between Baptism and the Eucharist. In order for it to be seen as the summit of baptismal life. ... If Eucharistic practice is weak, is this not because the meaning of the Eucharist has yet to be discovered? It is important to take the time to discover what the Eucharist is. Celebrations in preparation for the Eucharist should be proposed. True education should be undertaken."

FR. JOSEPH WILLIAM TOBIN C.SS.R., SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER. "The 'Instrumentum laboris' makes frequent reference to the relationship between Eucharist and Penance and the relationship between the two Sacraments is most often presented as a reason for concern. How can we help people to regain an affection for the Sacrament of Penance and appreciate the gift of the Eucharist as a supreme motivation for loving God Who has given Himself to us? ... The human realities of both Sacraments are important, but not as essential as the fact that the Sacraments receive their deepest significance from the Paschal Mystery of Christ, which is the key to understanding the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the freeing from the bonds of grave sins in the Sacrament of Penance."

ARCHBISHOP BRUNO FORTE OF CHIETI-VASTO, ITALY. "The second chapter of part one of the 'Instrumentum laboris' is dedicated to the theme 'The Eucharist and Ecclesial communion.' In particular, para. 11 deals with the Eucharistic mystery as an 'expression of Ecclesial unity.' Other paragraphs consider the relationship between the Eucharist and the Church. ... Despite these references, it seems to me that little value is given to the potential of Eucharistic ecclesiology, in other words, of that relationship between the Eucharist and the Church which was conceived by Christian tradition as being part of and essential to the life and actions of the Church herself. ... We ask ourselves how, in the Synod of Bishops, we can best express and achieve that 'synodality' or 'collegiality' of bishops 'cum Petro et sub Petro,' founded and expressed in the Eucharistic 'communio' of the Churches in the one Church. And it is up to the bishop of the Church that presides in love, the Pope, to indicate or establish other possible ways to favor the practice of episcopal collegiality, in the light of the 'communio' generated and expressed by the Eucharist."

BISHOP SALVATORE FISICHELLA, AUXILIARY OF ROME AND RECTOR OF THE PONTIFICAL LATERAN UNIVERSITY. "In a period such as our own, weighed down by a culture that imposes endless acquisition simply on the basis of desire to possess, or that, vice versa, demands rights simply in order to see desires realized, the Eucharist becomes an expression of how to approach the essentials of life through a form of behavior that finds strength in 'gratuity.' Without such a rediscovery it is difficult to imagine a future in which we can achieve the goals that qualify individual existence and create progress in all human history. ... Until the coming of the Lord, we are called to bring everyone to share in the mystery we celebrate. This calls for the capacity to transform the world in such a way that everyone can express themselves in the best possible manner. It requires an opportunity to reach out to others, sharing their journey in search of truth, accompanying them on their way. In any case, while respecting each person's needs, the believer knows how to indicate the path to find the definitive answer to the search for meaning."

ARCHBISHOP TADEUSZ KONDRUSIEWICZ OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF THE MOTHER OF GOD IN MOSCOW, RUSSIA. "Liturgical reform has led to more active, fruitful and conscious participation of the faithful in the Eucharist. However, alongside the positive aspects, this has also led to some negative ones. Insufficient liturgical discipline ... in the celebration of the Eucharist also has a negative effect on ecumenical relationships. The violation of liturgical norms clouds the faith and the doctrine of the Church on the Eucharist, and leads to betrayal of the rule 'Lex orandi - Lex credendi.' ... Pope Benedict XVI calls us back to Eucharistic devotion, to clear and courageous expression of faith in the real presence of the Lord in all its solemnity and correctness. It is, therefore, necessary to accept the fact that the nature of the Liturgy is 'established from above and not libertarian' and that it is, by its essence, 'incorruptible.' ... The corruption of liturgical life requires the approval of a new doctrinal document emphasizing the observation of liturgical norms. Christ should not suffer because of abuses in the celebration of the Eucharist, which should always be received and experienced by the faithful as 'sacrum,' as the mysterious renewal of Chris's sacrifice, as His saving energy that transforms man and the world, as reinforcement of faith and the source of morality."

ARCHBISHOP CRISTIAN CARO CORDERO OF PUERTO MONTT, CHILE. "My proposal is that, given the close theological, spiritual and pastoral relationship between the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance, and taking into account the shadows in the latter, a year be dedicated to the Sacrament of Penance, taking as fundamental points the following: the meaning of the true and living God, and His eclipse in modern culture; the need of salvation and the announcement of Jesus Christ; ... the sense of sin, which is diminished or annulled, due to the loss of God and moral relativism; conversion and the virtue of penance; spiritual guidance or accompaniment; the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance as an encounter between the sinner, who converts from his misery, and God who, in His mercy in Christ, welcomes and forgives him; the conditions for receiving Holy Communion; new life in Christ, as His disciples and members of the Church. With respect to the relationship between the Eucharist and the pastoral care of vocations, I propose that in the 'Year of Penance' priests be formed and motivated to give spiritual direction to young people and to give time to the Sacrament of Reconciliation which, together with the Eucharist, are fundamental in spiritual guidance.
SE/SECOND CONGREGATION/...                        VIS 20051004 (1330)

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