Thursday, October 6, 2005

Synod of the Eucharist

Bread of Life vs. Culture of Death

ARCHBISHOP JUAN FRANCSICO SARASTI JARAMILLO C.I.M., OF CALI COLOMBIA. "The Eucharist is the response to the negative signs of modern culture. In the first instance, in the face of a culture or anti-culture of death that traffics in arms, builds systems of wide-scale destruction, legalizes abortion and authorizes research on human embryos, Jesus defines and gives Himself to us as 'Bread of Life.' In the second instance, our culture is marked by hatred and terrorism. ... The Eucharist offers the permanent possibility of reconciliation with God and our brethren, an invitation to find reconciliation among ourselves before worshipping the Lord. This is the reason that so many communities feel so deeply about the 'rite of peace', as renewed by liturgical reform. Another modern trait is that of scientific positivism or relativism, yet the Eucharist reaffirms the reality of the 'mystery' and the value of belief and love as a way to knowledge; with Eucharistic faith, upheld by ecclesial tradition and based on the words of the Lord, we have access to real, though imperfect, certainties. Finally, in the face of the solitude and desperation that undermine mankind today, the Eucharist offers us ... profound companionship and a promise of eternal life that fills us with definitive hope."

Regaining the Sacredness of the Event

BISHOP JAVIER ECHEVARRIA RODRIGUEZ, PRELATE OF THE PERSONAL PRELATURE OF OPUS DEI. "Paragraph 34 of the 'Instrumentum Laboris' highlights the importance of a sense of the sacred in celebrating the Eucharist. We should study practical ways to help the faithful to a clearer understanding of the sacredness of Eucharistic sacrifice. ... It would therefore be useful, on the basis of the Instruction 'Redemptionis sacramentum,' to try to remove abuses that harm the sacred nature of Eucharistic celebrations, and to rethink certain regulations which may be interpreted and applied in an abusive fashion. For example, I suggest reviewing the appropriateness of Eucharistic ceremonies in which there is such an excessive number of concelebrants as to make the dignified celebration of the liturgy impossible; and re-evaluating whether communion should actually be given to all participants in a Mass where great numbers of believers are present, when such general distribution may harm the dignity of worship


BISHOP EDWARD OZOROWSKI, AUXILIARY OF BIALYSTOK, POLAND. "The Eucharist, as the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, brings the sacrifice of the cross into the present day. The sacrifice is the 'primum principium' of the Eucharist and creates a hierarchy of all the truths related thereto. ... Eucharistic teaching underlines many important themes: banquet, communion, listening to the word of God, sacrament, etc., however these themes lack a 'keystone.' One consequence of this is a certain 'protestantization' of the theology of the Eucharist, which such teaching reveals as being a beautiful rite, but one with little meaning for life. Yet it is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, to which man has access through the Eucharist, that is most important in this mystery. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross brought salvation to humanity. ... Thanks to the Eucharist, sacrifice in human life is transformed into the sacrifice of Christ. Only by walking the path of the cross can we reach the glory of the resurrection."

What Kind of Training is Necessary for Priests?

BISHOP ARNOLD OROWAE, COADJUTOR OF WABAG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. "Experiences of injustice, violence, corruption, poverty, etc., show that there is a separation between the Eucharist and life. Thus the real saving and transforming presence of Jesus in the Eucharist should not be understood vaguely and taken lightly but Catholics should be serious in their faith, with due respect and adoration. ... How can this be true for communities who live in the remote villages that do not have the opportunity for frequent celebration and reception of the Eucharist? This poses the question, what kind of priest do we need in our situation? Does one need years of intellectual formation in philosophy and theology to give much-needed service to poor people in remote areas who may not equal his intellectual capabilities? The issue here is not having more vocations, but justice and equality for all the children of God, having the right to make the Eucharist the center of their lives by celebrating and receiving it as often as they can. ... Should the Church allow for mature Christian men who are strong in faith, very committed, and have the respect of the people, to be easily trained to preside at the Eucharistic celebration, which will make it easy for the people to participate in the Eucharist, so that the importance and centrality of the Eucharist becomes true for the people?"

Restore the "Breadiness" of the Eucharist

ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY SABLAN APURON O.F.M. Cap., OF AGANA, GUAM. "In the Pacific, the scarcity of priests and the aggressiveness of the evangelistic sects are challenging the very survival of the Catholic faith. In my experience, the only answer to this double predicament is to 'form communities based on faith,' as Pope Benedict told the youth in Cologne. ... Today, the Church needs to make clearly visible the signs of the Eucharist: maybe the Church needs to restore the 'breadness' of the bread which becomes the Body of Christ to be eaten by all, and wine drunk by all which becomes the Blood of Christ. These signs fully and powerfully represent the reality that they signify and not just approximate them. ... I urge leaders of the Church today, to do everything possible to help people come to really know Jesus Christ through the signs of the Eucharist and the reality they signify."


  1. Let me add this:

    ARCHBISHOP JAN PAWEL LENGA M.I.C. OF KARAGANDA, KAZAKHSTAN. "Among the liturgical innovations produced in the Western world, two in particular tend to cloud the visible aspect of the Eucharist, especially as regards its centrality and sacredness: the removal of the tabernacle from the center and the distribution of communion in the hand. ... Communion in the hand is spreading and even prevailing as being easier, as a kind of fashion. ... Therefore, I humbly propose the following practical propositions: that the Holy See issue a universal regulation establishing the official way of receiving communion as being in the mouth and kneeling; with communion in the hand to be reserved for the clergy alone. May bishops in places where communion in the hand has been introduced work with pastoral prudence to bring the faithful slowly back to the official rite of communion, valid for all local Churches."

  2. Sorry, I missed it on the other thread. Here were my comments:

    Putting something in your hand signifies ownership. That is why keys are put in your hand to signify that you own the car.

    More to the point, as Pope Paul VI taught, if even a single fragment of Host falls on the ground and is not immediately picked up so noone steps on it, it is a sacrilege against Our Lord's True Body. You realize that about one out of every two Hosts leaves particles in the hand. Do you - does your neighbor - bother checking for particles after receiving in the hand? Every time your neighbor drops a particle of Host on the ground, sacrilege is committed when someone steps on It.

    The seminary I attended never gives Communion in the hand - ever. It is extremely edifying when, during Ordinations, you have hundreds of people talking outside the tent where Ordinations were conferred on the new priests. When a priest comes to move the Blessed Sacrament from the tent to the church, everybody - and I mean EVERYBODY - stops what they're doing, shuts up immediately without being prompted, and kneels in adoration of Our Lord, Who is passing. That is one of the most edifying scenes I've ever seen, and it happens every year. Nobody even has to say, "Sh!"

    Is Our Lord treated with that much reverence where Communion in the hand is practiced? Is there a correlation? I believe so. More adoration shown to the Host leads to more adoration offered to It. One may keep a beautiful faith in the Real Presence despite receiving CIH, but man is body and soul, and it is truly despite the overfamiliarity and potential for sacrilege of CIH

  3. Hmmm. What about a return to the notion that the Eucharistic Liturgy is a sacrifice? We would do well to heed Pope John Paul II warning: "Unfortunately, alongside these lights, there are also shadows... At times one encounters an extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet." Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia 10


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