.- Yesterday afternoon, as the 11th General Synod of Bishops began to draw to a close in Rome, Cardinal Angelo Scola, relator general of the Assembly presented the "Relatio post disceptationem", or "Report after the Discussion," to over 200 bishops and delegates present. The 2-part document focuses on the new ways to teach the faithful about the nature of the Eucharist, and proper, liturgical means to live out that instruction.
Noting first, that the late John Paul II wished the Synod to focus on the theme: "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church," the cardinal said that the document is not so much "a synthesis, but rather a collage of the interventions, due to the vastness of the themes dealt with and the sensitivities involved."
The introduction of the Relatio, he said, shows "the basic orientation that emerged, in a general sense, from the interventions: overcoming any dualism between doctrine and pastoral care, between theology and liturgy."
The first part, called, "Educating the People of God to Faith in the Eucharist," contains five chapters.
The first, discusses the myriad difficulties encountered by Christians today in believing and celebrating the Eucharist. The cardinal noted that the serious responsibility of pastors in evangelization and new evangelization also emerged in this chapter.
The second chapter outlines the essential contents of the "great mystery" of the Eucharist and lays out the main points arising from the need to educate believers in an integral Eucharistic faith.
Chapter three highlights the great importance given, during the discussions, to the bond between the Eucharist and the seven Sacraments.
The document's fourth chapter looks at the subject of the Eucharist and the priestly people, specifically the rediscovery of the faithful's own sense of belonging to the Church.
This chapter also notes the role of bishops, priests, permanent deacons and special ministers of Communion, parishes and small communities, family, consecrated life, and youth in the Eucharistic mission of the Church.
The fifth chapter then, discusses the fact that to fulfill its missionary mandate, the Church must also be deeply eucharistic.
In part two, called: "Eucharistic Action," there are four chapters relating to the structure and suggested reforms of liturgy, the beneficial influence of Vatican II on the life of the Church, and suggestions for greater focus on 'ars celebrandi' and 'actuosa participatio.'
17 questions close the Relatio, which will now be discussed by Working Groups. Regarding those, Cardinal Scola said that the "work that now awaits all the Synodal Fathers is the most delicate part, the part from which the propositions will emerge, which we will offer to the discernment of the charisma of Peter's Successor."