VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI confirmed the convocation of the Synod of Bishops planned for October on the Eucharist.
Pope John Paul II planned the synod for the conclusion of the Year of the Eucharist, dedicated to the sacrament of the real presence of Christ.
The theme that will gather representatives of episcopates to Rome is “The Eucharist, Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.”
It will be the first important opportunity for representatives of the world’s episcopates to gather for a month around the new Pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
“How very significant it is that my pontificate begins while the Church is living the special Year dedicated to the Eucharist,” the Holy Father said today in the first formal message of his pontificate, to cardinals gathered for Mass in the Sistine Chapel.
“How can one not perceive in this providential coincidence an element that must characterize the ministry to which I have been called?” he asked in the message he read at the end of the Mass.
“The Eucharist, heart of Christian life and source of the evangelizing mission of the Church, cannot but constitute the permanent center and the source of the Petrine service that has been entrusted to me,” Benedict XVI said.
“The Eucharist renders the risen Christ constantly present, who continues to give himself to us, calling us to participate at the table of his Body and his Blood,” he said.
“From full communion with him flows every other element of the life of the Church, in the first place communion among all the faithful, commitment to proclamation and testimony of the Gospel, the ardor of charity toward all, especially toward the poor and the little ones,” the Pontiff added.
Benedict XVI suggested that this year “the solemnity of Corpus Domini” be “celebrated with particular prominence.”
“I ask all to intensify over the next months their love and devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to express in a courageous and clear way their faith in the Lord’s real presence, above all through the solemnity and correctness of the celebrations,” he affirmed. “I ask this in a special way of priests, whom I am thinking of at this moment with great affection.”