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Tuesday, October 4, 2005


VATICAN CITY, OCT 4, 2005 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday, October 9, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica during which Cardinal Clemens August von Galen (1878-1946), bishop of Munster, Germany, will be beatified. Cardinal von Galen was a vocal opponent of the Nazis' persecution of the Jews and of their euthanasia programs.

  A note from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff reads: "With the beatification of this generous pastor, the Church invites us to imitate, amid the vicissitudes of our own times, his brave and faithful witness."

  At the end of the ceremony, Benedict XVI will arrive in the basilica in order to venerate the relics of the new blessed, greet those present and impart his apostolic blessing.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 4, 2005 (VIS) - At the end of the Third General Congregation, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, announced the following officials and members of the Commission for Information of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops:

  President: Archbishop John Patrick Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

  Vice-presidents: Bishop Sofron Stefan Mudry, O.S.B.M., eneritus of Ivano-Frankivsk, Stanislav, Ukraine; Bishop Evaristus Thatho Bitsoane of Qacha's Nek, Lesotho; Archbishop Luciano Pedro Mendes de Almeida, S.J., of Mariana, Brazil; Archbishop Joseph Powathil of Changanacherry of the Syro-Malabars, India; Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina; and Bishop Arnold Orewae, coadjutor of Wabag, Papua New Guinea.

  Ex-officio members: Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; and Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France.

Ex-officio member and secretary: Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office.
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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."
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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.
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