Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Post Synodal Exhortation on the Mass/Eucharist

[I should note to Tridentine Liberalization watchers, many people believe this document will be separate from this reported post-synodal document.]

Oct. 24 (CWNews.com) - The publication of the papal document concluding the work of last year's Synod on the Eucharist is "imminent," according to the I Media news agency.

Citing informed sources at the Vatican, I Media reports that Pope Benedict XVI will soon release his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist. The Holy Father reportedly was reviewing a final draft of the document late in August.

The imminent release of a papal document on the Eucharist would be noteworthy under any circumstances. But in light of the reports that Pope Benedict is preparing another document on the use of the Latin Mass, the document will be even more anxiously awaited. Some Vatican-watchers have surmised that the Pontiff will release his motu proprio on the Latin Mass in conjunction with the apostolic exhortation on the Synod.

The members of the bishops' committee charged with drafting a document on the Synod discussions, which the Pope would use as the basis for his apostolic exhortation, met in Rome early in June. At that time the Pope had expressed a desire to see the document soon, and wrap up the work of the Synod on the Eucharist. He apparently worked on the document during his summer stay at Castel Gandolfo.

The informed Vatican sources cited by I Media say that the papal document will be quite similar to the list of final propositions endorsed by the Synod fathers after concluding their discussions in Rome last October. In a break from ordinary Vatican practice, the Synod released that list of 50 propositions in an "unofficial" Italian-language statement last October 22. The "official" Synod conclusions, in Latin, were given to the Holy Father.

Pope Benedict, respectful of the collegial authority of the Synod, has made relatively few changes to the text approved by the Synod fathers, sources report.

Meanwhile the ordinary council for the Synod met in Rome earlier in October to prepare a working document for the next full meeting of the synod, scheduled to take place in Rome in October 2008. The subject will be "the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church."

The Synod council is now working on the lineamenta, the first working document for the Synod discussions. Once that is complete-- with a final document expected to be approved by the Synod council in January 2007-- the lineamenta is circulated among the world's bishops for their comments. On the basis of their suggestions a new document, the instrumentum laboris, is drawn up to serve as the basis for the Synod discussions.


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