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Adoration Is Awakening
A cardinal attending this month's Synod of Bishops in Rome
to reflect on the Eucharist, gives his view of the gathering.
He found the exposure to to
traditions of the Oriental-rite Churches "very enriching."
- by Andrew Rabel
VATICAN CITY, October 20, 2005
Canadian Cardinal Marc Oulette has been
the archbishop of Quebec City, Canada since 2002. A member
of the Order of St. Sulpice, he is an accomplished theologian
who has been a professor at the John Paul II Institute for
Marriage & the Family. He was made a cardinal by John
Paul II in 2003.
His Eminence spoke today to Inside the Vatican about this
month's Bishops' Synod of the Eucharist.
Some at this month's Synod, discussing liturgical abuses,
have lamented a
general forgetfulness of the supernatural dimension of the
CARDINAL MARC OULETTE: Something very enriching was the experience
of the Oriental Churches. They have different liturgies and
they have a different sense of the liturgy and so to hear
them speak about the Holy Eucharist was very defining for
us. At the same time, I think we became more aware of the
abuses here and there in the way the liturgical reform has
The Oriental Christians exploit the architecture of their
churches to be
respectful of the Church herself and of the Holy Eucharist
which is the heart of the temple. They have a deep sense of
the sacredness and so to hear them speak about the Holy Eucharist
was very edifying for me. At the same time I think we became
more aware of some abuses here and there in the way the liturgical
reform has been implemented.
Many have spoken on that and I think there will be a follow-up
congregations and in the different countries. I hope that
the sacredness of the holy liturgy will be more conscious
in the future. We need that in the West, to recover the sacredness
of the liturgy. But what I have observed is that the adoration
of the Blessed Sacrament is awakening and developing all over
the world and this will help to restore the sacredness of
the liturgical celebration of the Mass.
In your country you have a Prime Minister who is a Catholic,
Paul Martin; but his public stances are at variance with Catholic
teaching, such as his support for the new law legalising same
sex marriage. How has the issue of Catholic politicians who
have such positions and their rights at the altar been addressed?
OULETTE: That is a big problem no doubt. The Prime Minister
of Canada has this program which is not at all accepted by
the Church. We have been strongly against and we have fought
to impede this law but we did not succeed. We did all we could
do to dialogue with the Prime Minister to let him know that
he should take seriously into consideration the doctrine of
But at the same time we did not excommunicate him.
It is a mistake to support such a law. It is certainly a
failure no doubt as a
Christian, as a Catholic
This has been discussed the issue of the reception of communion
by people in these circumstances, and there is something in
the propositons related to that. But I have not seen the final
list, they come out tomorrow.
So by and large, you feel Your Eminence this synod has beeen
successful and bringing to the fore a number of very important
OULETTE: My feeling at this point, and we are close to the
end, is that the
Synod has been successful. The presence of the Holy Father
was a great part of that success and his personal interventions
have really given a sort of rhythm or a depth to our Synod.
He has been very attentive, very receptive and respectful,
of great cordiality.
He is a man who has a deep conviction and security in his
doctrine, so he can listen very much and very carefully to
any other position because he does?t fear to be shaken up
in his own convictions because he has also the charism of
Peter, the gift of the Holy Spirit, to support his brother
bishops in the faith.
Do you feel more devotion to the Eucharist among our clergy,
would have the same effect on the laity?
OULETTE: I think the renewal of adoration of the Blessed
example, comes from the laity. And that is a sign of the times,
and a great
sign of encouragement.
At the same time, I think that the Synod has a message of
encouragement for the priest. They are in many parts of the
world asked to cover long distances and give many Masses on
Sundays, so it is a hard job. So they need encouragement;
and so they need to be sustained by the people of God, by
their prayer and sacrifices.
In 2008, you are going to be hosting the International Eucharistic
Congress in Quebec City, on the 4th centenary of its foundation
as a community. What do you hope this event will accomplish
for your people?
OULETTE: This is a great opportunity for the new evangelization
America, Canada, the United States in particular. It is an
occasion to also
give a follow up to the Synod on the Holy Eucharist and to
rekindle the flame of the Catholic faith in our country where
in the past there was a deep unity between the culture and
the faith. This has been strongly challenged nowadays and
we need to rebuild a positive link with the culture and generate
a new Catholic culture.
The Eucharistic Congress implies a long preparation, so many
catecheses over a couple of years, in the whole country. So
we are preparing material for that and we will have a nice
theme which has also been chosen and approved by Pope Benedict.
It is "The Eucharist: Gift of God for the Life of the
We need to stress the vertical gift of God, the Holy Eucharist,
and at the same time this gift is bringing life to the world.
We need to recapture and develop a culture of life in our
country, and so we think the Congress will be a great contribution
I pray everyday that Pope Benedict will be able to attend,
Inside The Vatican (ISSN 1068-8579) is a Catholic news magazine, published monthly except July
and September, with occasional special supplements.