Monday, October 10, 2005

Synod on the Eucharist

A Suggested Name Change

- H.E. Most. Rev. Petru GHERGHEL, Bishop of Ia?i (ROMANIA)

I suggest a proposal to increase respect towards the Eucharist. Keeping in mind the Oriental tradition, the richness of such witness and the attempt of an exchange of gifts between our Churches, I propose using for the Holy Mass also the name “The Holy and Divine Liturgy”, next to the Latin one, already in use but not very precise. It would be a title that suggests in a better way the sacred and invites to meditation, to amazement, to silence, to adoration.
Finally, an appeal: let us conserve in the structures of our churches the most visible and accessible place for the Tabernacle, to avoid the risk of our churches becoming like lovely shells whose inhabitant no longer can be found there.

More Reverence

- H.E. Most. Rev. Gabriel MALZAIRE, Bishop of Roseau (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)

In some of the dioceses that are predominantly Protestant and/or
strongly influenced by the evangelical culture some of the faithful have
difficulty appreciating the difference between the Mass and non-Catholic
worship. For practicing Catholics the Eucharist is very important for their
growth in the Faith.
Systematic formation on the Eucharist is most prevalent
for children and young adults preparing for first communion and Confirmation. By
and lager the adult population has depended on the Sunday homily for their
doctrinal and spiritual formation
Great efforts are made to ensure that the
Eucharist is celebrated with dignity, decorum and with true participation of the
The awareness of the need for inculturating the liturgy is growing
in the Caribbean. Many of the faithful resist the short handshake for the sign
of peace. They want a more feeling expression of fraternity, such as a bear hug
or an embrace.
The Sacrament of Penance is not a regular part of the
spiritual life a growing number of Catholics.
Mixed marriages sometimes lead
to a diminished regard for the Eucharist. Intercommunion poses a problem in the
Many of the faithful believe Holy Communion leads to personal
sanctification and transformation of attitudes and engenders responsiveness to
the needs of others. However, for many others there is a disparity between what
they believe and how they live.
Some recommendations include: (1) A return
to the emphasis on Easter duties with its requirement for (at least) annual
Confession; (2) Reclaim the respect and reverence due to the holy places; (3)
The need for grater silence before and during the celebration of the Holy Mass;
(4) That pews with kneelers be returned to the Church so that people get into
the habit of showing reverence before the Blessed Sacrament.

The "Moment" of Consecration and Dialogue

- Rev. Peter-Hans KOLVENBACH, S.I., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (NETHERLAND)

The rediscovery of the Tridentine notion of sacramental representation by Odo Casel, recently integrated and founded under the biblical profile, opens encouraging horizons in the dialogue between Catholic and the Reformed Churches. Instead of saying that the Mass is the renovation of the sacrifice of the Cross, today we say more exactly that the Mass is the renovation of the memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross. In fact, the Mass is a sacramental sacrifice, i.e. the sacrament of that sacrifice, our sacramental re-presentation to the sole sacrifice.
The limit which sets the Catholic theology of the second millennium against the Orthodox one was that of analyzing the Eucharistic transformation on the basis of the notion of physical time, making it exclusively dependent either on the moment when the consecration words are pronounced or on the moment in which the consecratory epiclesis is pronounced. On the one hand as on the other, it has been forgotten that the moment when the transubstantiation (or metabolè) occurs is not that of our chronometer, but it is God’s instant, which is sacramental time. The Magisterium of the lex orandi teaches that this instant, being by its own nature, “beyond physical things”, admits two strong moments, both provided with an absolute consecratory efficacy: the institutional narration and the epiclesis. Referring to the consecration words and to the consecratory epiclesis, the notion of absolute consacretory efficacy does not support conflictuality or exclusivisms. Far be it from presenting itself as an obstacle, the question of the epiclesis is revealed as a real ecumenical bridge in the dialogue between Catholics and the Othodox.


- H.E. Most. Rev. Jean-Louis BRUGUÈS, O.P., Bishop of Angers (FRANCE)

We need to take our part in the ongoing secularization: it is a weighty and lasting tendency. It has secreted a mentality - secularism - which singularly questions Christian conscience. Secularism challenges any form of relationship with the world beyond and the invisible world. There exists even a self-secularization within our Christian communities. What becomes of the Eucharist, “bread from Heaven” if there is no longer a heaven? The role that the Eucharist should play in the “new evangelization”, more precisely in evangelization by culture, should be defined. Our young people who have discovered in Eucharistic Adoration the source of their mission in the service of modern rationalism, should also be encourage.