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Message of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist

"The Eucharist: Living Bread for the Peace of the World"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2005 (ZENIT) - During the Twentieth General Congregation held yesterday, Friday 21th October 2005, the Synodal Fathers approved the Message of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God, at the conclusion of the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

We publish here below the full text of the English version:

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The Eucharist: Living Bread for the Peace of the World

Dear brother bishops,
dear priests and deacons,
Dearly beloved brothers and sisters

1. «Peace be with you!» In the name of the Lord who appeared in the Cenacle of Jerusalem on the evening of Easter, we repeat, «Peace be with you!» (Jn 20:21). May the mystery of his death and resurrection bring you consolation and give meaning to the whole of your life! May he keep you joyful and full of hope! For Christ is living in his Church, as he promised (see Mt 28:20). He remains with us always until the end of the world. He gives himself to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, along with the joy of loving as he loved. He commands us to share his victorious love with our brothers and sisters of the whole world. This is the joyful message that we proclaim to you, beloved brothers and sisters, at the end of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has again gathered us as in the Cenacle, with Mary the Mother of God and our Mother, to recall the gift par excellence of the Holy Eucharist.

2. Called to Rome by Pope John Paul II, of venerable memory, and confirmed by His Holiness Benedict XVI, we have come from the five continents of the world to pray and reflect together on The Eucharist, Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church. The goal of the Synod was to offer proposals to the Holy Father that might help him to update and deepen the Eucharistic life of the Church. We have been able to experience what the Holy Eucharist has been from the very beginning: one faith and one Church, nourished by one bread of life, in visible communion with the successor of Peter.

3. The fraternal sharing among the Bishops, the auditors, and also the ecumenical representatives, has renewed our conviction that the Holy Eucharist animates and transforms the life of the particular Churches of the East and West, as well as the many human activities in the very different circumstances in which we live. We have sensed a profound joy in experiencing the unity of our Eucharistic faith in the midst of the widespread diversity of rites, cultures and pastoral situations. The presence of so many Brother bishops has allowed us to experience, in a more direct way, the richness of our different liturgical traditions that makes the depths of the unique Eucharistic mystery shine forth.

We invite you, dear Christian brothers and sisters of every confession, to pray more fervently that the day of reconciliation, and the full visible unity of the Church might come in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in conformity with the prayer of Jesus on the eve of his death: «That all may be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, that they may be one in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me» (Jn 17:21).

4. Profoundly thankful to God for the Pontificate of the Holy Father, John Paul II, and for his final Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, followed by the Apostolic Letter that opened the Year of the Eucharist, Mane nobiscum Domine, we ask God to multiply the fruits of his witness and his teaching. We also extend our thanks to all the people of God, whose presence and solidarity we have felt during these three weeks of prayer and reflection. The local Churches in China, and their bishops who were not able to join us in our work, had a special place in our thoughts and prayers.

To all of you, bishops, priests and deacons, missionaries from all the world, consecrated men and women, lay faithful, and also to you, men and women of good will, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit in the name of the Risen Christ!

Listening to the Suffering of the World

5. The meeting of the Synod has been an intense time of sharing and witnessing to the life of the Church in the different continents. We have been made aware of extreme situations and suffering generated by wars, hunger, different forms of terrorism and injustice, which touch the daily life of hundreds of millions of human beings. The explosive violence in the Middle East and in Africa has reminded us that the African continent has been forgotten by the public opinion of the world. Natural disasters, which seem to have multiplied, force us to look upon nature with greater respect and to strengthen our solidarity with those suffering peoples.

We have not remained silent before the ...

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