Sacramentum Caritatis

March 6, 2007

Papal document on Eucharist due March 13

Vatican, Mar. 6, 2007 (CWNews.com) – Pope Benedict’s apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist will be released on Tuesday, March 13, the Vatican has announced.

The new papal document, entitled Sacramentum Caritatis, summarizes and concludes the deliberations of the Synod of Bishops, which met in October 2005 to discuss the Eucharist.

The apostolic exhortation will be introduced to the press at a briefing hosted by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice, who was the relator general for the Synod assembly; and Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops.

The Synod of Bishops met in October 2005 to discuss the theme, “The Eucharist: Living Bread for Peace in the World,” with 256 bishops from 118 countries participating in the discussions. In a break from the usual practice, the Synod fathers made public an “unofficial” list of the 50 propositions approved at the conclusion of their deliberations. Ordinarily the propositions remain confidential, to be used by the Pope in preparing an apostolic exhortation on the topic of the Synod’s deliberations. But Pope Benedict approved the public release of the conclusions from this assembly.

During a February 22 meeting with priests in Rome, Pope Benedict had said that the release of his apostolic exhortation was imminent.

Some Vatican sources have suggested that the unveiling of the apostolic exhortation could clear the way for another long-awaited papal document: a motu proprio allowing wider use of the pre-conciliar liturgy. In announcing the release of Sacramentum Caritatis, the Vatican press office made no mention of that other document.

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2 Responses to “Sacramentum Caritatis”

  1. Anonymous said

    This sounds encouraging. But really, talk about moving at the speed of molasses running up hill on a cold day…

  2. Larry said

    I’ve been a Catholic Church organist for almost 50 years.
    I think the pope has a valid point about bringing back the old Latin mass but I think it will be a change that will take a few years to accomplish. Many priests don’t speak Latin and are too old to learn. They will have to take the younger priests and re-educate them.
    The musicians will fall into place (eventually) and maybe the older style music can be re-incorporated but it’s going to take a while. I’ve noticed that in my diocese, almost all of the new priests are being educated at the N.American College in Rome. This has been going on for a while so there is already a bunch of Latin speaking priests around here. It seems like the Vatican knows what they are doing after all.

    I like the idea of benediction but I just don’t know if enough modern day Catholics would attend right away. On the other hand, once people begin to see the beauty of the old liturgies and find the true joy of the Eucharist it could be a wonderful ‘new again’ experience for everyone.

    “Traditio” is not a bad word. There is a great deal of wealth within our older traditions. The music written for the older style mass is an immense library of some of the greatest compositions in the history of music.

    I had the privilege of attending an older ritualized mass in Vienna a while ago. The priests came out in their golden embroidered robes and the orchestra and organ started playing a mass by ‘Mozart’ with several hundred boys singing the mass parts (Latin of course). The sun came pouring into the chapel and the golden ornamentation dazzled my eyes. As the boys sang out
    ‘Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus’ I remember thinking to myself that all of my senses were being awakened to the simple fact that ‘God was here’.
    And when I received the Eucharist, kneeling at the altar rail, I was sure of it. The mass helped me in my faith and it felt great to be alive. That said a lot to me about our universal Catholic heritage and wealth of our traditions.

    Is the pope on the right track? YES!

    I played the older style chants for 15 years or so and I’ve played the newer stuff for about 35 years. There’s a lot to be said for the chant.
    Mind you I’m not saying anything bad about the Marty Haugens or the St. Louis Jesuits of the world, but the time has come to bring liturgical music to a higher place that could easily make the distinction between secular and religious more recognizable to the laity. And frankly, point the way to ‘the truth and the light’.

    I wish I was young again….
    Perhaps I would compose music that would incorporate the older chants with a new perspective for modern times. With God all things are possible. (I’m smiling right now)

    Final comment: Our parish was given an old 150 year old pipe organ. We hooked it up to our new computerized organ and those old pipes are singing again,
    right along with the more modern computerized sounds.
    What’s old has became new again.

    It works…… ‘Traditio’

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