Thursday, October 13, 2005

Synod on the Eucharist

From the Vatican Information Service:

The Relatio was presented by Cardinal Angelo Scola, relator general of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly, who began by recalling the fact that John Paul II wished to dedicate this Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to the theme: "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church." He also recalled the meditation with which Pope Benedict XVI opened the First General Congregation.

The cardinal affirmed that he had not written "a synthesis, but rather a collage of the interventions, due to the vastness of the themes dealt with and the sensitivities involved." The introduction of the Relatio, he said, shows "the basic orientation that emerged, in a general sense, from the interventions: overcoming any dualism between doctrine and pastoral care, between theology and liturgy."
The Relatio is divided into two parts. The first part, "Educating the People of God to Faith in the Eucharist," contains five chapters. Chapter one explains how many interventions highlighted the objective difficulties encountered by Christians today in believing and celebrating the Eucharist. The serious responsibility of pastors in evangelization and new evangelization also emerged.
Chapter two outlines the essential contents of this great mystery, and the main points arising arose from the need to educate believers in an integral Eucharistic faith.
Chapter three highlights the great importance given, during the discussions, to the bond between the Eucharist and the seven Sacraments.
Chapter four considers the subject of the Eucharist and the priestly people, the faithful who, gathering together, rediscover their own sense of belonging to the Church. Mention is also made of 'Dies Domini', bishops and priests, permanent deacons and special ministers of Communion, parishes and small communities, family, consecrated life, and youth.
Finally, Chapter V discusses the theme of the Eucharist and mission: to be missionary the Church must also be deeply Eucharistic.
The second part, "Eucharistic Action," contains four chapters. In Chapter one, the relator notes how many Fathers gratefully recalled the beneficial influence of the liturgical reform of Vatican Council II on the life of the Church. Chapter two deals with the structure of liturgical celebration, chapter three with the urgent need for greater attention to 'ars celebrandi,' and chapter four with the 'actuosa participatio.'
In the conclusion, which closes the Relatio and precedes the 17 questions due to be considered by the Working Groups, Cardinal Scola asserts that the "work that now awaits all the Synodal Fathers is the most delicate part, the part from which the propositions will emerge, which we will offer to the discernment of the charism of Peter's Successor."