Aussie Synod expert stresses Eucharist values before rules

Australian biblical scholar Fr Frank Moloney, who will attend the Synod of Bishops that begins in Rome on Sunday, has said he would like to see less emphasis on alleged liturgical abuses and more reflection on "what the Eucharist is".

CLICK HERECatholic News Agency reports that Fr Moloney, an internationally recognised scripture expert who holds a position at the Catholic University of America in Washington, said he was somewhat disappointed in the Instrumentum Laboris, document, which the Vatican released last July in preparation for the Synod.

The document, which lays out the theme for the Synod: "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church," stresses the need for the Eucharist to be the centre of Christian life but also addresses liturgical abuses in the liturgy.

Fr Moloney said that he would like to see less about the practicals, the "rights and wrongs" of liturgy and more on the general sense of "what the Eucharist is."

Acknowledging that the concerns of a theologian like himself are quite different than those of a bishop who needs to regulate practices in his diocese however, Fr Moloney said that part of the beauty of a Synod is the wider interplay with bishops and consultants.

Hopefully, he said, "we will see a balance."

As to his major concerns and desires for the Synod, the biblical scholar said that "I would like to see a greater sense of sensitivity, not just among the celebrants and ministers, but of the church as a whole" as to the meaning of the Eucharist.

"The Church," he said, "is not just a body of believers brought together, but rather, a Eucharistic people."

"My dream for the synod", he stressed, "is that the focus of the Eucharist will be the grandeur of our lives." And, he said, "they will hear it from me until they're sick of it."

Fr Moloney added with a bit of humor that when the Vatican approached him and asked him to be one of two Americans from the U.S. present at the Synod, he had to confess, "I'm not an American…I'm Australian."

The Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution set forth in 1965 by Pope Paul VI for the purpose of unity and discussion among the Church's shepherds throughout the world.

Biblical expert wants Bishop's Synod to recognize Eucharist as 'the grandeur of our lives' (Catholic News Agency 28/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic University of America: Francis J Moloney
Synod of Bishops
Instrumentum Laboris

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29 Sep 2005