Monday, July 14, 2014

Fota VII: Card. Burke Presents Proceeding of Fota V

Last Monday, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke presented the collected papers of the Fota conference from two years ago, which have been edited by Fr Gerard Deighan and published by SMENOS Publications. ( We are pleased to present the Cardinal’s address; further reports from the recently concluded Fota VII will be published here this week.



It gives me great pleasure to present this evening the fifth volume of the Fota Liturgy Series, the Proceedings of the Fota International Liturgical Conference held in July of 2012. It is the first volume to be published by Smenos Publications who are to be highly complemented on the quality of the printing and binding. Due to a lengthy delay in publishing the Proceedings of the First Fota Conference, there has been a persistent delay of over a year in publishing the proceedings of the subsequent Conferences. I am happy to say that, within this year, the acts of the Sixth Fota Conference will also be published, making the proceedings of this year’s conference and future conferences, God willing, more immediately accessible.

The volumes of the Fota Liturgy Series have enjoyed the interest and acclaim of both liturgical scholars and other members of the faithful, especially priests, who have wanted to deepen their appreciation of the greatest richness in the Church’s life, Her worship of God. With the careful planning of each annual conference, the Series provides a prized tool for the more in-depth study of the many aspects of the great mystery of God’s action in our midst through the Sacred Liturgy. Volume Five, entitled Celebrating the Eucharist: Sacrifice and Communion, is an especially important volume in the whole of the Series, both because it addresses the highest and most perfect act of Divine Worship, the Mystery of Faith which is the Holy Eucharist, and because its individual essays open our eyes and hearts to see and to love the Mystery, the Sacrifice of Christ made sacramentally present on our altars, in order that we may receive the incomparable fruit of the Sacrifice, His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, as the spiritual sustenance for our earthly pilgrimage and the pledge of the final destiny of our pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Father Robert Abyneiko, Professor Klaus Berger, Dr. Mariusz Bliniewicz, and Father Gerard Deighan open up to us the revelation of the Eucharistic mystery in the Sacred Scriptures. In the context of the emphasis on the liturgical theology of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, in all of the Fota Conferences, I draw special attention to the presentation of Dr. Mariusz Bliniewicz on the Pauline notion of reasonable worship, which is key to the hermeneutic of reform within continuity for the authentic reform of the rites of the Sacred Liturgy, in accord with the directives of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. In the same line, I commend the excellent study of the continuity of the notion of sacrifice from the Old Testament to the New Testament by Father Gerard Deighan who is also the Editor of the volume.

Father Daniel Jones provides a profound study of the notion of the true sacrifice of Christ and of Christians, as presented in the De civitate Dei of Saint Augustine of Hippo, while Father Patrick Gorevan presents us the great treasure of theological reflection on the Holy Eucharist in the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas, taking his inspiration from the Angelic Doctor’s hymn, O sacrum convivium. Monsignor Joseph Murphy presents the spiritual theology of the Holy Eucharist in the writings of Father Divo Barsotti, one of the greatest Italian spiritual writers of the last century, who sadly is little known in the anglophone world. Father Michael Stickelbroeck unfolds the important reflection on the Holy Eucharist in the theology of the great German theologian Matthias Joseph Scheeben. The rich Eucharistic magisterium of Saint John Paul II is presented by Father Thomas McGovern. Lastly, Father Manfred Hauke, a most faithful and highly-qualified contributor to the Fota Liturgy Series, provides a systematic theological presentation on the heart of the Eucharist as Sacrifice.

Father Neil Xavier O’Donoghue presents an historical study related, in particular, to Ireland, the setting of the annual Conference. His study explores the understanding of the Eucharistic sacrifice in the pre-Norman period.

Two contributions are devoted principally to the canonical discipline by which the mystery of the Holy Eucharist as Sacrifice and Communion is safeguarded and promoted. Father D. Vincent Twomey, a central figure in the development of the Fota International Liturgical Conference, offers a timely reflection on the importance of rubrics, drawing especially upon the liturgical thought of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. Lastly, I offer a study on the safeguarding and promoting of the Holy Eucharist as Sacrifice and Communion through canonical discipline, drawing upon the classic work of Pietro Gasparri, renowned canonist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and principal editor of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.

I conclude by expressing once again the heartfelt gratitude of us all for the commitment of the Saint Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy and, especially of Monsignor James O’Brien, official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to the work of the International Liturgical Conference. A particular word of congratulations to Father Gerard Deighan for the editing of the volume.

I highly commend to your reading the fifth volume of the Fota Liturgy Series, Celebrating the Eucharist: Sacrifice and Communion. May it lead its readers into an ever deeper knowledge and love of the Mystery of Faith, the Most Holy Eucharist.

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE - 6 July 2014

Mons. James O’Brien, Cardinal Burke and Fr. Deighan at the presentation.

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