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Propositions of Synod on the Eucharist, Nos. 11-15

10/28/2005 - 6:00 AM PST

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"Urging Pastors to Promote Priestly Vocations"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of propositions, Nos. 11-15, given to Benedict XVI by the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

The Pope has allowed the publication of a non-official provisional translation in Italian, on which this text is based. Catholic Online plans to publish translations of all 50 propositions.

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Proposition 11

Scarcity of Priests

The centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Church makes the problem of the serious lack of priests in some parts of the world felt with acute pain. Many faithful are thus deprived of the Bread of life. To respond to the Eucharistic hunger of the People of God that often and for long periods must do without the Eucharistic celebration, it is necessary to take recourse to effective pastoral initiatives. In this context, the Synodal Fathers affirmed the importance of the inestimable gift of ecclesiastical celibacy in the praxis of the Latin Church.

Referring to the Magisterium, especially to the Second Vatican Council and to the Magisterium of the last Popes, the Fathers requested that the reasons for the relationship between celibacy and priestly ordination be properly explained to the faithful, in full respect of the tradition of the Eastern Churches. Some have alluded to the "viri probati" [priestly ordination of married men of proven virtue], but this theory has been considered as a path that must not be followed.

Moreover, it must be taken into account that the Christian quality of the community and its force of attraction have decisive weight when it comes to offering the Eucharistic gift to all the faithful. Specifically, it is about:

-- urging pastors to promote priestly vocations; to discover them and to become their "heralds," beginning with adolescents and paying attention to acolytes;

-- not being afraid to propose to young people the radical nature of the following of Christ -- to sensitize families, which in some cases are indifferent or even opposed;

-- cultivating prayer for vocations in all communities and ecclesial realms;

-- Bishops seeking -- and also involving Religious Families, while respecting the charism proper to them -- a more equitable distribution of the clergy and urging the clergy itself to greater willingness to serve the Church where there is need, even at the cost of sacrifice.

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Proposition 12

Vocational Pastoral Program

By way of response to the Church's urgent duty to offer the gift of the Eucharist to all faithful on a regular basis, and given the scarcity of priests in different places, we turn to the Lord and ask him persistently to send laborers to his harvest.

For our part, we intend to reinforce the vocational pastoral program and the vocational dimension of all pastoral care, especially of youth and the family. Therefore, we request

-- that groups of altar servers be constituted and that they be given spiritual support;

-- that Eucharistic adoration for vocations be spread in parishes, schools and ecclesial movements;

-- that parish priests and all priests be encouraged to support young people spiritually and to form them, inviting them to follow Christ in the priesthood with their testimony;

-- that a vocational center or minor seminary be organized, according to possibilities, in [local] Churches.

-- that we, Bishops and priests, be committed in the first person in this kind of pastoral care, giving example of enthusiasm and piety.

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Catechesis and Mystagogy

Proposition 13

The Sequence of Sacraments of Christian Initiation

The close connection between Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist is not sufficiently perceived. It is opportune, therefore, to explain that we are baptized and confirmed in function of the Eucharist. A better insertion must therefore be favored of the relationship between the three sacraments of Christian initiation in the celebration of each of these sacraments, regardless of the chronological order or the age of the celebration of Confirmation and First Communion. In this connection, an in-depth theological and pastoral study of Confirmation might be very valuable. All this, moreover, would have a positive value in ecumenical dialogue.

There could be renewed reflection on the appropriate age for Confirmation. Thought should also be given if in the Latin Church the sequence of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion must be observed only for adults and not for children. The Latin tradition, which is differentiated from the Eastern tradition by the separation of the celebration of Confirmation from that of Baptism, has a raison d'Ítre and a weight. On the other hand, the differences between ...

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