The U.S. bishops are seeking to deepen “awareness” of the Eucharist with their new teaching document, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference stated on Monday.
“As bishops, our desire is to deepen our people’s awareness of this great mystery of faith, and to awaken their amazement at this divine gift, in which we have communion with the living God,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference (USCCB), stated on Monday. “That is our pastoral purpose in writing this document.”
At their annual spring meeting last week, the U.S. bishops voted decisively to begin drafting a teaching document on the Eucharist.
Of those bishops who voted, nearly three-fourths, 168 bishops, voted in favor of drafting a formal statement on “the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.” Fewer than one-quarter, 55 bishops, voted against the motion, while six bishops abstained from voting.
Archbishop Gomez said the proposed document will focus on “the beauty and power of the Eucharist.”
“The Eucharist is the heart of the Church and the heart of our lives as Catholics,” he said. “In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ himself draws near to each one of us personally and gathers us together as one family of God and one Body of Christ.”
Following the bishops’ vote, the USCCB doctrine committee will begin drafting the document, with regional meetings and consultations to follow, Gomez explained. The bishops will consider the full document at their fall meeting in November.
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