John Allen's piece from Tuesday morning answers the question some have: Exactly what is this for, anyway? (link will change later this AM)
At the end of the synod, participants will produce two documents -- a set of propositions that are private and for the pope and a message for the public.
Statement to ‘grab the media’
Synod members charged with crafting the meeting’s final message are meeting over these days. They received a charge from synod officials to come up with a statement that will grab the attention of the media, reflecting a concern that the synod should seem relevant to the broader world.
One member of the committee charged with preparing the message told NCR Oct. 10 that this will be difficult to do, given that the topics of greatest public interest -- such as celibacy, or the situation of divorced and remarried Catholics -- have to date not generated any consensus, and moreover it’s up to the pope, not the synod, to take concrete steps on those subjects.
After a week and a half of experience with the new custom of one hour of open discussion in the evenings, opinions in the synod appear divided about how useful this innovation has been. Some say it has provided previously impossible examples of follow-up discussion to points made in the morning sessions, while others are frustrated that it seems largely a series of unrelated speeches rather than a direct exchange of views on particular questions.
One synod participant told NCR that he has noticed a trend on days when Benedict XVI is not present in the morning but comes in the evening for the open discussion for bishops largely to summarize their interventions from the morning, because they want to make their points in the presence of the pope.
From the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latin Rite:
Re-education in the Eucharist is necessary, to tell the Christian in the Holy Land that adoration, mass and communion, are not exercises in piety, but a way of communion with the parish and, beyond the parish, with the whole city or village and with the whole country. A re-education that helps Christians, who are in a minority, come out of their complex of smallness and of being minoritary, and to move from a piety of refuge to a piety that sends out on the mission. Adorers are needed, that re-enter the world to contribute to its construction, to become the builders, not remaining as weak people, full of only protests and complaints and miners asking for protection.
By the Eucharist and adoration, Christians achieve the “measure of Christ” and in being true adorers they take a place no other can give them. By their adoration and their faith in the real presence, Christians make God present in his society and where there is conflict. And, with the presence of God, everyone, great and small, strong and weak, will have equal relations as human persons all equally objects of God’s love, who is Creator and Redeemer, and altogether they will find, once again, the paths that lead to peace and reconciliation.
An interesting point from Portugal. The bishop points out that in an era in which intellectual and theological relativism reigns, beauty can still have the power to attract and communicate:
How can we reawaken Eucharistic amazement, the sense of wonder before the Eucharist, if the beauty in it can’t be discovered? In post-modern culture, dominated by relativism with regard to truth and goodness, yet still fascinated by the aesthetic, beauty is truly a way or a doorway to discover the Eucharist as a mystery of beauty. In fact, the Eucharist is the highest icon of the beauty of God revealed in Christ, because He is “of all men...the most handsome”(Psa 45:2), in the totality of his risen presence and in the plenitude of his mystery: the beauty of love that gives itself, redeems and transfigures us, reveals to us the gaze of the Father that permanently creates us, and makes us good and beautiful. Using the words of His Holiness, this is not only a theological problem but also a pastoral one, which must offer to contemporary man the encounter with the beauty of faith.
Archbishop Gregory makes an excellent point. Seems as if he's listening to the arguments back home.
Increasingly, the faithful expect better homilies from celebrants at the Sunday Eucharist. Bishops must lead by our own good example as well as our admonitions to improve the quality of Catholic preaching at the Sunday Eucharist. Ritual precision alone will not bring back those who do not attend Sunday Mass.
Wisdom from India:
Today's generation characterized by a scientific mentality and devoid of the sense of transcendence, seems to say, 'we can believe only what we can see, hear and touch.' The Church has to help these people through the sacred liturgy to see, hear and touch the Lord.
That is a rather striking observation, and a fascinating path into evangelization.
Lots more good stuff from all over the world, she said again. Reading these interventions is a quite useful little mini-course in the global experience of Catholicism.