Archbishop José H. Gómez, president of the US Bishops’ Conference, asked Catholics to pray for him and other bishops working on the document on the Eucharist.
News Desk (23/06/2021 15:30, Gaudium Press)“I pray that this will be a time for all of us in the church to reflect on our own faith and willingness to receive Our Lord in Holy Eucharist,” Archbishop José H. Gómez of Los Angeles said in a statement issued June 21 on the occasion of the decision, taken by the bishops’ conference, to prepare a document on the Eucharist.
At the same time, Archbishop Gomez asked Catholics to pray for him and the other bishops “as we continue our dialogues and reflections” in the drafting of said document, which will treat “the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.”
With 158 votes in favour, the US bishops voted at their recent plenary assembly to draft a document on the Eucharist, which will include a third part on “Eucharistic coherence”, and teachings on the disposition one should have to receive communion.
“My brother bishops and I voted overwhelmingly to issue a pastoral document on the beauty and power of the Eucharist,” the prelate confirmed.
While the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith prepares the draft document, “in the coming months, we bishops will continue our prayer and discernment through a series of regional meetings and consultations.” The draft is to be discussed at the autumn Plenary Assembly.
“The Eucharist is the heart of the Church and the heart of our lives as Catholics,” the Archbishop of Los Angeles stressed. “In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ himself approaches each of us personally and unites us as one Family of God and one Body of Christ.”
“As bishops, our desire is to deepen our people’s awareness of this great mystery of faith, and to awaken their awe at this divine gift, in which we have communion with the living God,” he added. “That is our pastoral purpose in writing this document.”
The decision to prepare it was preceded by a wide debate, in which some prelates expressed the need to provide clarity on the meaning of the Eucharist, while others questioned that it could be seen as fracturing the unity of the Church. The opinion to strengthen the teaching on the subject was a majority in the discussion.
There is already a draft
Kevin Rhoades, bishop of Fort Wayne and president of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, presented an outline of what the document would be, in a pre-recorded message.
The document would consist of three parts: “The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Celebrated,” “The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Believed,” and “The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Lived.
Each part would include three topics: the real presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in Communion; unity, beauty and identity as the “source and summit of the whole Christian life”; and moral transformation, Eucharistic coherence and missionary discipleship.
Msgr. Rhoades emphasized the need for the document because of the decline in American Catholics’ belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
With information from Crux