Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 5

This covers paragraphs 22-26 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in the...it's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

III. The Eucharist and the Anointing of the sick

22. Jesus did not only send his disciples forth to heal the sick (cf. Mt 10:8; Lk 9:2, 10:9); he also instituted a specific sacrament for them: the Anointing of the Sick.(66) The Letter of James attests to the presence existence of this sacramental sign in the early first Christian community (cf. 5:14-16). If the Eucharist shows how Christ's sufferings and death have been transformed into love, the Anointing of the Sick, for its part, unites associates [i.e. puts into association] the sick with Christ's self-offering for the salvation of all, so that they too he too, within the mystery of the communion of saints, can participate in the redemption of the world. The relationship between these two sacraments becomes clear in situations of serious illness is [further] manifested when illness worsens: "In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum." (67) On their journey At the moment of passing to the Father, communion in the Body and Blood of Christ appears as the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection: "Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day" (Jn 6:54). Since the holy viaticum gives opens to the sick a glimpse of the fullness of the Paschal Mystery, its administration should be readily provided for it is necessary to assure [their] reception of it. (68) Attentiveness and pastoral care shown to those who are ill brings of the sick, undoubtedly redounds great spiritual benefit to the entire community, since whatever we do to one of the least of our brothers and sisters, we do have done to Jesus himself (cf. Mt 25:40).

IV. The Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders

In persona Christi capitis

23. The intrinsic relationship between the Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders clearly emerges hang [i.e., are taken] from Jesus' own words in the Upper Room: "Do this in memory of me" (Lk 22:19). On the night before he died, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and at the same time established founded the priesthood of the New Covenant. He is priest, victim and altar: the mediator between God the Father and his people (cf. Heb 5:5-10), the victim of atonement expiation (cf. 1 Jn 2:2, 4:10) who offers himself on the altar of the Cross. No one can say "this is my body" and "this is the cup of my blood" except in the name and in the person of Christ, the one only high priest of the new and eternal Covenant (cf. Heb 8-9). Earlier meetings In other assemblies of the Synod of Bishops had considered treated [i.e., dealt with] the question of the ordained priesthood, both with regard to the nature identity of the ministry (69) and the formation of candidates.(70) Here, in the light of the discussion dialogue that took place during the assembly of the last Synod, I consider it important believe it opportune to recall several important valuable points about the relationship between the sacrament of the Eucharist and Holy Orders Ordination. First of all, we need to stress once again that reaffirm the connection between Holy Orders and the Eucharist is seen most clearly becomes more visible at Mass, when the Bishop or priest presbyter presides in the person of Christ as the the Head.

The Church teaches has as doctrine that priestly ordination is the an indispensable condition for the valid celebration of the Eucharist.(71) Indeed, "in the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, High Priest of the redemptive sacrifice." (72) Certainly the ordained minister also acts "in the name of the whole Church, when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the eucharistic sacrifice." (73) As a result, priests should be conscious of the fact that in their ministry It is necessary, therefore, for priests to be conscious of the fact they must never put themselves or their personal opinions in first the prime place, but Jesus Christ. Any attempt intent to make themselves the centre protagonists of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity as priests the priestly identity. The priest is above all a servant of others, and he must continually work at being, like a docile instrument in his [i.e. Christ's] hands, a sign pointing of reference to Christ , a docile instrument in the Lord's hands. This is seen particularly expressed in his the humility in leading the liturgical assembly with which the priest leads the liturgical action, in obedience to the rite obeying and corresponding [i.e., properly responding to] to the rite with heart and mind uniting himself to it in mind and heart, and avoiding anything that might precisely give the impression of an inordinate inopportune emphasis on his own personality protagonism [i.e., starring role]. I encourage recommend the clergy always to see deepen their awareness of their eucharistic ministry as a humble service offered to Christ and his Church. The priesthood, as Saint Augustine said, is amoris officium, (74) it is the office [i.e., proper charge] of the good shepherd, who offers his life for his the sheep (cf. Jn 10:14-15).

The Eucharist and priestly celibacy

24. The Synod Fathers wished wanted to emphasize that the ministerial priesthood, through ordination, calls for complete fullness in configuration to Christ. While respecting the different practice praxis and tradition of the Eastern Churches, there is a need it is necessary to reaffirm the profound meaning sense of priestly celibacy, which is rightly considered with [good] reason a priceless treasure, and is also confirmed by the Eastern practice praxis of choosing Bishops only from the ranks of the celibate those who live celibately. These Churches also greatly esteem the decision of option many priests take to embrace celibacy. This choice option on the part of the priest expresses in a special way the dedication is a particular expression of the selfgiving which conforms him to Christ and his exclusive offering giving of himself for the Kingdom of God. (75) The fact that Christ himself, the eternal priest, lived his mission even to until the sacrifice of the Cross in the state of virginity constitutes the sure is the point of reference for understanding the meaning sense of the tradition of the Latin Church. It is not sufficient to understand priestly celibacy in purely merely functional terms. Celibacy is really a special way of conforming configuration of oneself to Christ's own way of life. This choice has first and foremost a nuptial spousal meaning; it is a profound an identification with the heart of Christ the Bridegroom who gives his life for his Bride. In continuity with the great ecclesial tradition, with the Second Vatican Council (76) and with my predecessors in the papacy, (77) I reaffirm the beauty and the importance of a priestly life lived in celibacy as a sign expressing total and exclusive devotion dedication to Christ, to the Church and to the Kingdom of God, and I therefore confirm that it remains obligatory in the Latin tradition. Priestly celibacy lived with maturity, joy and dedication is an immense blessing for the Church and for society itself.

The clergy shortage and the pastoral care of vocations

25. In the light Addressing the purpose of the connection between the sacrament of Holy Orders and the Eucharist, the Synod considered the difficult situation that has arisen in various diverse Dioceses which face a shortage of priests. This happens not only in some areas of first evangelization, but also in many countries of long-standing Christian tradition. Certainly a more equitable distribution of clergy would help to solve favor [i.e., points with favor, goes partly towards] a solution to the problem. Efforts need to must be made to encourage create a greater awareness of this situation at every down to the chapel level. Bishops should involve are to include Institutes of Consecrated Life and the new ecclesial groups realities in their the [list of] pastoral needs, while respecting their particular individual charisms, and they should invite request the clergy to become more open to serving the Church wherever there is need it is necessary, even if this calls for demands sacrifice. (78) The Synod also discussed pastoral initiatives aimed at promoting that are to be promoted to favorably dispose, especially among the young, an attitude of interior openness to a priestly calling the priestly vocation. The situation cannot be resolved by purely practical decisions solved by simple, pragmatic means. On no account should Bishops react to real and understandable concerns about the shortage of priests by failing to carry Bishops are to avoid, due to understandable concerns regarding a shortfall of clergy, carrying out adequate vocational discernment, or by admitting to seminary formation and ordination candidates who lack the necessary qualities requirements for priestly ministry service (79). An insufficiently formed clergy, admitted to ordination without the necessary discernment, will not easily can hardly be able to offer a witness capable of evoking awakening in others the desire to respond generously with generosity to Christ's call. The pastoral care of vocations needs to involve the entire Christian community in every area of its life facet. (80) Obviously, this pastoral work on all levels also includes exploring the matter with creating awareness in families, which are often indifferent or even opposed to the idea of a priestly vocation. Families should generously embrace be generously open to the gift of life and bring up their children to be open to doing God's will. In a word, they must have the courage to set before young people the radical decision to follow radicalness of following Christ, showing them how deeply rewarding it is its fascinating aspect [i.e., attractiveness].

Gratitude and hope

26. Finally, we need to have ever greater faith and hope in God's providence Divine iniciative. Even if there is a shortage of priests in some areas, we must never lose there must never be a lack of confidence that Christ continues will continue to inspire men to leave everything behind any other business [i.e., employment, livelihood] and to dedicate themselves totally to celebrating the sacred mysteries, preaching the Gospel and ministering to the flock pastoral ministry. In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity to express the gratitude of the whole Church for all those Bishops and priests who faithfully carry out their respective proper missions with fidelity, devotion and zeal dedication and selfgiving. Naturally, the Church's gratitude also goes to deacons, who receive the laying on of hands "not for priesthood but for service." (81) As the Synod Assembly recommended, I offer a special word of thanks to those Fidei Donum priests who work faithfully and generously at building up the community by proclaiming the word of God and breaking the Bread of Life, devoting all their energy to serving the mission of the Church who, with competence [i.e., skill, ability] and generous dedication, without stinting on effort, work at the service of the mission of the Church, edifying the community by proclaiming the word of God and breaking the Bread of Life. (82) Let us Lastly, we are to thank God for all those priests who have suffered even to the sacrifice of their own lives in order to serve Christ. The eloquence of their example shows In them we see in an eloquent manner what it means to be a priest to the end. Theirs is a moving witness that can inspire give impetus for many young people to follow Christ and to expend give their lives for others, and thus to discover [what is] the true life.