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Tuesday, October 4, 2005


VATICAN CITY, OCT 4, 2005 (VIS) - The Third General Congregation of the Eucharistic Synod of Bishops began in the Vatican's Synod Hall at 9.00 a.m., in the presence of the Pope and of 243 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, and the meeting closed at 12.30 p.m.

  Following are excerpts from a number of the speeches given during this morning's session:

BISHOP JUAN ABELARDO MATA GUEVARA S.D.B., SECRETARY OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF NICARAGUA. "Secularization as a cultural process has been internalized in our environments. It is unraveling the cultural tapestry of our people, some signs of which are already clear in the reality in which we live: there is a social plague that dehumanizes the atmosphere and makes it immoral, due to its distance from God and the rejection of Christian principles. ... At the same time, the moral crisis denigrates the dignity of the human person. Together with these evils, the asphyxiating consumer propaganda taints our reality, and the idolatry of money and pleasure is imposed on us. ...The damage derived from the spread of secularism ... shows the urgent need for bold evangelization in all social fields, which could transform and humanize these structures, in such a way that they could return to their true unity in Christ. ... The Eucharistic year has invited us to a renewal of the spirit of communion, reconciliation, fraternal love, solidarity, and missionary spirit. ... In this way, the Eucharistic year is for us a strong call to unity and communion of all the Church of Nicaragua, and to a return to the roots of the Christian faith that has made our communities fruitful."

BISHOP PAUL-ANDRE DUROCHER OF ALEXANDRIA-CORNWALL, CANADA. "The Cross of Christ, formed of a trunk and a beam, recalls the two dimensions of His salvific death: vertical, the glorification of the Father; horizontal, the salvation of humanity. ... The doxological and missionary dimensions need to be developed in cultivating the art of celebration, while remaining attentive to the possibilities of praise and openness already present in the heart of the liturgy, to the development of new prayer formulae, new prefaces, and a new closing rite. All this should be done with the aim of finally realizing in the celebration what the cross of the procession already symbolizes."

ARCHBISHOP  PEDRO RICARDO BARRETO JIMENO S.J., OF HUANCAYO, PERU. "The world today is full of anguish and disillusion in the face of the breakdown of human hopes, an anguish associated with the environment and extreme poverty because 'God has been exiled from public life. Hence, 'the ecological crisis is not only a scientific and technical problem, it is also, and principally, an ethical and moral one.' The Church is convinced 'that the technology that contaminates can also decontaminate; that the production that accumulates can also distribute fairly, so long as an ethic prevails of respect for the life and dignity of man, and for the rights of human generations, both present and future.' ... As 'fruit of the earth,' bread and wine represent the creation with which our Creator entrusted to us. For this reason, the Eucharist has a direct relationship with the life and hope of humanity and must be a constant concern of the Church. ... Faith in the Risen Christ makes the Eucharist 'a project of solidarity,' to share wealth with the poorest and to experience Eucharistic spirituality in the Church."

CARDINAL JORGE ARTURO MEDINA ESTEVEZ, PREFECT EMERITUS OF THE CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS. "Intimately united to the sacrificial nature of the Eucharistic celebration is its propitiatory element, as much for the living as for the dead. Obsequial liturgy aims above all to support the soul of the deceased, and it is a misapplication to convert the obsequial homily into a tribute of the person who has passed away."

BISHOP CLEMENT FECTEAU OF SAINTE-ANNE-DE-LA-POCATIERE, CANADA. "Paragraph 38 of the 'Instrumentum laboris' again exhorts this assembly to affirm that 'the Lord's enduring, substantial presence in the Sacrament is not a mere type or metaphor.' On this subject, we have reason to ask for an 'explanation of the theology of consecration' to facilitate ecumenical dialogue and to facilitate the understanding of Catholics themselves. ... It often happens that the Eucharist is considered as something static when in reality it is dynamic. The Eucharist is not just the person of Christ; He is not merely present, but is in the constant and permanent act of sacrifice, even in the form of a memorial. It is to be hoped that the specialists may suggest a new language for this subject."

BISHOP PETER KANG U-IL OF CHEJU, KOREA. "In the Church in Korea the attendance of children at Eucharist decreases drastically as they move on to higher age. The children who don't attend the Mass say it is because Mass is too tedious and not interesting. Adults also say that because they find it very boring, they cannot motivate themselves to attend. As a priority we have to motivate and give rise within the hearts of Catholics to a desire and aspiration to participate in the Eucharist. ... In order to communicate to modern people the mystery of the Eucharist it is not enough to strictly enforce the rules and regulations regarding the celebration of the Sacrament. For our part, as bishops we need to more actively research ways to make it easier for modern Catholics to experience the real value of the Eucharist, to participate fully in it and to experience the joy of it."
SE/THIRD CONGREGATION/...                        VIS 20051004 (940)

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