New Papal Encyclical on Eucharist due soon
Pope John Paul II will publish a new encyclical on the Eucharist within the next few months, informed Vatican sources have revealed.
Rumors have been circulating since early last year that the Holy Father has been working on a document about the Eucharist. But the Holy See has made no announcement on the subject, and there had been no indication as to what form that document might take.
But now Vatican sources confirm that the Pope is in the final stages of preparing an encyclical letter. The Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Divine Worship are now helping with the final editorial process, at the Pope's request. Final publication of the encyclical is expected to take place before mid-year.
The coming encyclical will be the 14th produced by Pope John Paul II, and his first of the new millennium. His most recent encyclical letter, Fides et Ratio, was released in October 1998.
In addition, the same two congregations are expected to produce disciplinary decrees to counter the
"general desacralisation" of the Eucharist. Concerns include the widespread "abuses" such as routine use of extraordinary Eucharistic ministers, the disappearance of the penitential rite from the Mass, and "most seriously" - the Vatican officials note - the modification of the words of consecration.
Catholic World News
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments
Pope writing encyclical on Eucharist to summarise his theology (31/5/02)
Pope John Paul II on the Eucharist (Michael Gilchrist in AD2000)
The Eucharist: Documents of Pope John Paul II (Resources for Catholic Educators)
5 Feb 2003