Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 1-4

«Jesus Created a Radical Novelty»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2005 ( Here are the first four of the 50 propositions sent to Benedict XVI by the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

The Pope has allowed the publication, official and non-official, of a provisional version in Italian, on which this working translation is based. Others will be published by ZENIT in subsequent days.

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Proposition 1

Documents Submitted to the Supreme Pontiff

Submitted to the consideration of the Supreme Pontiff, in addition to the documents on the Eucharist, source and summit of the life and mission of the Church, relative to this Synod, namely the «Lineamenta,» the «Instrumentum laboris,» the reports «ante and post disceptationem» and the texts of the interventions, both those presented in the Hall in writing, as well as the reports of the minor circles and their discussions, [are] above all some specific propositions that the Fathers have regarded of particular importance.

The Synodal Fathers humbly request that the Holy Father take advantage of the opportunity to publish a document on the sublime mystery of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church.

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Proposition 2

The Liturgical Reform of Vatican II

The Synodal Assembly recalled with gratitude the beneficial influence that the liturgical reform carried out since the Second Vatican Council has had for the life of the Church. It has highlighted the beauty of the Eucharistic action that shines in the liturgical rite. Abuses were verified in the past; they are not even lacking today, although they have diminished greatly. However, such incidents cannot darken the goodness and validity of the reform, which still has riches that are not totally explored; rather, they call for greater care in regard to the «ars celebrandi,» which favors «actuosa participatio.»

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First Part

The People of God Educated in Faith in the Eucharist

Faith in the Eucharist

Proposition 3

The Novelty of the Paschal Mystery

When instituting the Eucharist, Jesus created a radical novelty: He fulfilled in himself the new and eternal Covenant. Jesus inscribed, in the context of the Jewish ritual supper — which concentrates in the memorial of the past event of deliverance from Egypt, its present importance and future promise — his total surrender. The true immolated Lamb sacrificed himself once and for all in the paschal mystery and is able to liberate man from sin and the darkness of death forever. The Lord himself offered us the essential elements of the «new worship.» The Church, inasmuch as Bride and led by the Holy Spirit, is called to celebrate the redeeming sacrifice of her Bridegroom in history and makes it present sacramentally in all cultures. This «great mystery» is celebrated in the liturgical forms that the Church, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, develops in time and space.

In the celebration of the Eucharist, Jesus, substantially present, introduces us through his Spirit in the Pasch: We pass from death to life, from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy. The celebration of the Eucharist reinforces in us this paschal dynamism and consolidates our identity. With Christ, we are able to overcome hatred with love, violence with peace, pride with humility, egoism with generosity, discord with reconciliation, despair with hope. United to Jesus Christ, dead and risen, we can carry his cross each day and follow him, in view of the resurrection of the flesh, following the example of the martyrs of antiquity and of our days. The Eucharist, as paschal mystery, is pledge of the future glory and from it is already born the eschatological transformation of the world. Celebrating the Eucharist, we anticipate this joy in the great communion of saints.

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Proposition 4

The Eucharist is a gift that springs from the love of the Father, from the filial obedience of Jesus carried to the point of the sacrifice of the cross, made present for us in the sacrament, of the power of the Holy Spirit that, called over the gifts by the prayer of the Church, transforms them into the body and blood of Jesus. In it is revealed fully the mystery of the love of God for humanity and his plan of salvation is fulfilled, characterized by absolute gratitude, which responds solely to his promises, fulfilled beyond all measure.

The Church receives, worships, celebrates this gift with tremulous and faithful obedience, without arrogating to herself any powers of availability which are not the ones that Jesus entrusted to her so that the sacramental rite is realized in history.

Under the cross, the Most Holy Virgin unites herself completely to the Savior’s sacrificial gift. By her immaculate conception and fullness of grace, Mary inaugurates the participation of the Church in the Redeemer’s sacrifice.

The faithful «have the right to receive abundantly from the sacred pastors the spiritual goods of the Church, above all the aids of the Word of God and the sacraments» (LG, 37; cf. CCC Canon 213; CCEO Canon 16), when the law does not prohibit it.

To such a right, corresponds the duty of the pastors to do everything possible so that access to the Eucharist is not hindered in practice, showing in this regard intelligent care and great generosity. The Synod appreciates and is grateful to priests who, even at the cost at times of great and risky sacrifices, assure to Christian communities this gift of life and educate them to celebrate it in truth and fullness.

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