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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Eucharistic Synod Document

Okay, for those of you who want my own Reader's Digest version, read on. Those of you who want to see the full text for yourself {Click Here}.
  1. General greetings and Blessings
  2. Credit given to Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, along with a statement of purpose. "The goal of the Synod was to offer proposals to the Holy Father that might help him to update and deepen the Eucharistic life of the Church."
  3. The Church calls all Catholics to pray for Christian reconciliation and unity.
  4. Greetings extended to all who could not attend the Synod.
  5. Recognition given to the natural disasters around the world and the suffering of humanity. Secularization and relativism are strongly condemned. World leaders called upon to protect human life from the womb to the tomb, and to respect traditional marriage and family. The Church pledges to feed the poor and needy.
  6. Church calls to memory those who have been martyred for the faith in recent days.
  7. The Eucharist is recognized as the true presence of Christ. The doctrine of transubstantiation is reaffirmed, and emphasized that the Eucharist is a gift of God's love, pledging our own future resurrection.
  8. "The Synod reaffirms that the Second Vatican Council provided the necessary basis for an authentic liturgical renewal. It is necessary now to cultivate the positive fruits of this reform, and to correct abuses that have crept into liturgical practice."
  9. "The Synod Fathers hope that the Year of the Eucharist might be a beginning and a point of departure for a new evangelization of our globalized humanity, that begins with the Eucharist."
  10. All Catholics urged to practice "adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside Mass, Eucharistic Benediction, processions with the Blessed Sacrament, and healthy manifestations of popular piety."
  11. Both liberty and persecution of Church recognized around the world. Bishops urge world leaders to allow Christians "to celebrate the Day of the Lord in complete freedom."
  12. All Catholics urged to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation more frequently. It is necessary for worthy reception of Holy Communion.
  13. Special thanks given to priests and religious for their personal sacrifices for the sake of the gospel. Recognition is given of the current priest shortage.
  14. "Spiritual communion" should be practices by those who cannot receive communion due to the priest shortage or other circumstances.
  15. Sympathy is given to Catholics who cannot receive communion because of divorce. Though they cannot receive communion, they are still welcomed to celebrate the rest of the liturgy fully.
  16. The Synod of bishops invites "parents, pastors and catechists to work toward re-establishing a strategy for evangelization and education in the faith at the beginning of this new millennium."
  17. The bishops said: "We cannot delude ourselves: mutual love and especially the care that we show for those who are in need will indicate that we will be recognized as true disciples of Christ (see Jn 13:35; Mt 25:31-46). This is the criterion that will attest the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebrations"
  18. The bishops affirm that Jesus Christ washed away our sins by his sacrificial death, and said "The Holy Eucharist is the gift of love, an encounter with the God who loves us and a spring welling up to eternal life."
  19. Recognition and gratitude given to all clergy for their daily hardships and trials. A blessing is extended to them.
  20. To those laity, the bishops say: "Your Eucharistic witness in the service of Christ is a cry of love in the darkness of the world, an echo of the ancient Marian hymns, the Stabat Mater and of the Magnificat. May the Woman of the Eucharist par excellence, crowned with stars, and rich in love, the Virgin of the Assumption and of the Immaculate Conception, watch over you in your service of God and the poor, in the joy of Easter, for the hope of the world."
  21. To young people are encouraged "Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life." The bishops trust the Church's future to them, and pledge their prayers and support to them. They are encouraged to draw upon the Eucharist as a source of strength and energy to accomplish their goals. This is especially directed toward young seminarians.
  22. Married Catholics are reminded of their great role in the Church, and the bishops are mindful of how difficult things are for them sometimes. They are encouraged to "remain strong in your struggle to educate your children in the faith." They are encouraged to maintain the practice of participating as a family in the Sunday Eucharist.
  23. Special sympathy is extended to the sick and dying, and they are encouraged to draw upon the strength of the Eucharist.
  24. All Catholics are reminded that Holy Communion is for Catholics only. "The precise regulations of the Church determine the position we are to take on sharing the Eucharist with brothers and sisters who are not yet in full communion with us."
  25. A sentiment of brotherly love and unity is extended toward people of other faiths. "In celebrating the Holy Eucharist, we also believe that we are, in the words of Saint Augustine, 'a sacrament of humanity' (De civ. Dei, 16), the voice of all the prayers and supplications that rise from the earth toward God."