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Cardinal Arinze's Presentation on Instruction Regarding the Eucharist

4/25/2004 - 7:00 AM PST

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Cardinal Arinze's Presentation on Instruction Regarding the Eucharist

Cardinal Arinze's Presentation on Instruction Regarding the Eucharist

"Redemptionis Sacramentum" Published

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2004 - Zenit - Here is the presentation, made today by Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, of the instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," on matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Eucharist.

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1. Origins of this Instruction

It helps first of all to place this Instruction at its origins. At the Solemn Last Supper Mass on Holy Thursday in St. Peter's Basilica, on April 17, 2003, the Holy Father signed and gave to the Church his 14th encyclical letter, "Ecclesia de Eucharistia."

In this beautiful document Pope John Paul II states, inter alia, that the Holy Eucharist "stands at the center of the Church's life" (No. 3), that "it unites heaven and earth. It embraces and permeates all creation" (No. 8), and that it "is the most precious possession which the Church can have in her journey through history" (No. 9).

At the same time he notes that there are positive and negative developments in its celebration and worship since the Second Vatican Council (No. 10), that a number of abuses have been a source of suffering for many and that he considers it his duty "to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity" (No. 52).

"Precisely to bring out more clearly this deeper meaning of liturgical norms," he continued, "I have asked the competent offices of the Roman Curia to prepare a more specific document, including prescriptions of a juridical nature, on this very important subject. No one is permitted to undervalue the mystery entrusted to our hands: it is too great for anyone to feel free to treat it lightly and with disregard for its ...

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