Benedict XVI Publishes Synod's Recommendations

Only Available in Non-official Translation

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2005 ( In an unprecedented move, Benedict XVI published the 50 propositions presented by the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

The propositions, which will be the basis for the Pope’s postsynodal apostolic exhortation, will only be presented in a non-official Italian translation of the Latin original, in order to preserve some confidentiality, reported the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops on Saturday.

Benedict XVI said today that the postsynodal exhortation will «portray the face of the ‘Catholic’ community,» which finds its strength and unity in the Eucharist.

This announcement would meet Proposition 1, which requests that the Pontiff write the exhortation on the Eucharist.

Proposition 2 refers to the «beneficial influence that the liturgical reform implemented since the Second Vatican Council has had for the life of the Church.»

Proposition 6 emphasized Eucharistic adoration, and No. 7 emphasizes the relationship between the Eucharist and confession, and underlines that «the worthy reception of the Eucharist calls for the state of grace.»

Proposition 8 is on the relationship between the Eucharist and marriage, and encourages matrimonial spirituality.

Divorced and remarried

Proposition 40 touches on the topic of divorced a person who have remarried, and reflects the «deeply felt concern expressed by many fathers,» and «confirms the importance of a pastoral attitude and action of care and acceptance toward divorced and remarried faithful.»

«According to the tradition of the Catholic Church,» says the proposition, «they cannot be admitted to holy Communion, being in a condition of objective disagreement with the word of the Lord who has given back to marriage its original value of indissolubility.»

Encouraging such persons to participate in all areas of the life of the Church, the synod promotes the «pastoral character, the presence and the correct and solicitous activity of the ecclesiastical tribunals for the causes of matrimonial annulment.»

Proposition 10 is on «Sunday assemblies awaiting a priest,» and requests that they not be confused with the Mass itself, and that «the episcopal conferences provide fitting aids that explain the meaning of the celebration of the word of God with the distribution of Communion, and the norms that regulate it.»

Proposition 11 addresses the challenge of the «scarcity of priests,» stating that recourse to the theory of priestly ordination of «viri probati,» ordaining married men, «was evaluated as a course not to be followed.»

Priest promoters

The synod requests that pastors «promote priestly vocations.»

In particular, it invites priests «not to be afraid to propose to youths the radicalism of following of Christ» and «to sensitize families, which is some cases are indifferent if not downright opposed» to their son following a priestly vocation.

The proposition encourages the cultivation of «prayer for vocations in all communities and ecclesial realms.»

Proposition 17 calls for the writing of a «Compendium on the Eucharist,» which will «bring together liturgical, doctrinal, catechetical and devotional elements on the Eucharist, to help develop Eucharistic faith and piety.»

Proposition 23 requests an investigation to see if the «sign of peace cannot take place in another moment of the celebration, also taking into account ancient and venerable customs.»

Proposition 24 calls for new formulas for dismissal from the Mass — «Go in peace» («Ite, missa est») — and for «solemn blessings … which underline the mission in the world of the faithful who have participated in the Eucharist.»

Proposition 41 reminds that the «Eucharist is the symbol of full communion with the Church.»

Therefore, «we request that non-Catholic Christians understand and respect the fact that for us, in keeping with the entire biblically based tradition, Eucharistic Communion and ecclesial communion belong profoundly to one another and therefore Eucharistic communion with non-Catholic Christians is not generally possible. Even more excluded is an ecumenical concelebration.

«Likewise, it must be clear that in view of personal salvation the admission of non-Catholic Christians to the Eucharist, to the sacrament of penance and to the anointing of the sick, in specific individual situations under precise conditions is possible and even recommended.»

These conditions are expressed clearly by the papal magisterium and the Code of Canon Law.


Proposition 46 calls for «Eucharistic coherence of Catholic politicians and lawmakers» and reminds them of their «grave social responsibility in presenting and upholding iniquitous laws.»

Proposition 47 illustrates the relationship between the Eucharist and ecology, and No. 48 underlines the social dimension of the Eucharist, and No. 49 the union between the Eucharist and the reconciliation of peoples in conflict.

The propositions conclude presenting Mary as «Eucharistic woman,» and encourage the faithful to have «the same sentiments of Mary.»

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