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Apostolic exhortation on Eucharist is "imminent" February 22, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will soon release the apostolic exhortation summarizing the work of the Synod on the Eucharist, which concluded its deliberations 16 months ago.

The appearance of the apostolic exhortation is “imminent,” the Holy Father told priests of the Rome diocese, during a traditional early-Lenten meeting in the Hall of Benedictions at the Vatican on Thursday morning.

In June 2006, the bishops who make up the ordinary council of the Synod completed a final text on the previous year's Synod on the Eucharist, to be submitted to the Pope as the basis for his apostolic exhortation.

The Synod of Bishops met in October 2005 to discuss the theme, “The Eucharist: Living Bread for Peace in the World,” with 256 bishops from 118 countries participating in the discussions. In a break from the usual practice, the Synod fathers made public an “unofficial” list of the 50 propositions approved at the conclusion of their deliberations. Ordinarily the propositions remain confidential to be used by the Pope in preparing an apostolic exhortation on the topic of the Synod's deliberations. But Pope Benedict approved the public release of the conclusions.

During his February 22 meeting with priests of Rome, the Pope said that his apostolic exhortation would offer a series of meditations on some of the key points made during the Synod.

Pope Benedict did not mention the motu proprio that he is also expected to release in the near future, allowing broader use of the pre-conciliar Latin liturgy. Several Vatican journalists have suggested that the motu proprio is likely to appear in conjunction with the apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist, although the Holy See has not confirmed that speculation.

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