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Summary - The Holy Eucharist as Sacrifice in Canonical Discipline, Cardinal Burke

Summary - The Holy Eucharist as Sacrifice in Canonical Discipline, Cardinal Burke

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Summary of the Keynote Address of Cardinal Burke presented at the 2012 Fota International Liturgy Conference, Cork, Ireland
Summary of the Keynote Address of Cardinal Burke presented at the 2012 Fota International Liturgy Conference, Cork, Ireland

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Published by: New Liturgical Movement on Jul 18, 2012
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Summary of the Keynote Address“The Holy Eucharist as Sacrifice in Canonical Discipline”delivered by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Fifth Fota International Liturgy ConferenceCork, 9 July 2012
Introduction
Canonical discipline, especially as it is found in the 1917 Code of Canon Law and itssuccessor the 1983 Code of Canon Law, safeguards and promotes the essentially andfundamentally sacrificial nature of the Holy Eucharist. The presentation is limited to thestudy of the truth of the Holy Eucharist as Sacrifice in the 1917 and 1983 Code of Canon Lawand theirs sources, and in the teaching of one of the great canonists of the last century,Cardinal Pietro Gasparri. It follows a simple structure: first, a look at the notion of the HolyEucharist as Sacrifice in the Pio-Benedictine or 1917 Code of Canon Law; second, a study of the same notion in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, with special attention to any differences incomparison with the 1917 Code; and, finally, a treatment of the life of Cardinal PietroGasparri and of his exposition of the Church’s discipline especially in what pertains to theHoly Eucharist as Sacrifice.Cardinal Gasparri was the principal architect of the Pio-Benedictine or 1917 Code of Canon Law and is perhaps unmatched in his time for his comprehensive knowledge of theChurch’s discipline based on a profound knowledge of the doctrine of the faith. One of thegreat fruits of his studies is his two volume work,
Tractatus Canonicus de Sanctissima Eucharistia
, written during his 18 years as a professor of the text of canon law at the
 Institut Catholique
in Paris.
The 1917 Code of Canon Law
The 1917 Code of Canon law treats the Most Holy Eucharist in Title III of Part I,
 
2regarding the Sacraments, of Book III. Title III, the Most Holy Eucharist, after a singleintroductory canon, is divided into two chapters: Chapter One, regarding the Most HolySacrifice of the Mass, and Chapter II, Regarding the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.The introductory canon, can. 801, declares succinctly the Mystery of Faith which the normsto follow safeguard and promoted: “In the most holy Eucharist, under the species of breadand wine, Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered, and received.”
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The sacred realitywhich the canonical discipline serves is: the Real Presence of Christ, the Sacrifice by whichHe makes present ever anew the Sacrifice of Calvary, and the fruit of His Sacrifice,Communion in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.Chapter I of Title III rightly takes up the discipline regarding the most holy Sacrificeof the Mass, for the reality of the Holy Eucharist is made possible by Christ’s makingsacramentally present the outpouring of His life for the salvation of all man at Calvary, whichHe anticipated on the night before His death by transforming the bread and wine of the LastSupper, the last meal with the Apostles during the Passover, into His Body and Blood. At thesame moment, He consecrated the Apostles so that the Eucharistic Sacrifice might continue inthe Church in every time and place until His Final Coming.Article I of Chapter takes up them the disciplinary questions pertaining to the priest asthe celebrant of the Holy Sacrifice. Article II, on the rites and ceremonies of the Masssafeguards the matter of the Sacrament, the form of the Sacrament, namely, the Words of Institution within the Rite of the Mass, and the rubrics of the Mass as handed down throughthe centuries in the Roman Missal and the other liturgical books. Can. 818 reads: “While anycontrary custom is reprobated, the priest celebrant accurately and devoutly observes therubrics of his ritual books, and must beware lest he add by his own judgment other ceremonies or prayers.”
2
 Article III takes up the question of the time and place of the Mass to be celebrated. Article IV is on Mass offerings or stipends, for the Mass offering is a particular form of participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass by the faithful which, by its nature, needs to be carefully protected and disciplined. In the post-Conciliar period the Mass offering becamemore and more questioned and even abandoned, in some places, because of the excessiveemphasis on the Holy Eucharist as Banquet. In fact, the use of the Mass offering signifies toall of the faithful the lifting up of intentions in the offering of the Sacrifice as a participationin the suffering of Christ for our salvation. The Mass offering is a heightened expression of our call to fill up in our lives what is lacking in the suffering of Christ, not in the sense thatanything could be lacking in the suffering of Christ except that we apply the grace of his
1
CIC-1917, can. 801.
2
CIC-1917, can. 818.
 
3suffering to our lives.Chapter II of the Title III on the Most Holy Eucharist treats the Sacrament as HolyCommunion, in other words, the finality of the offering of the Holy Sacrifice,
ut sumatur 
.
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Itis comprised of the following articles: Article I, on the minister of Holy Communion; ArticleII, on the subject of Holy Communion; and Article III, on the time and place in which HolyCommunion can be distributed. In all of the norms, one sees how the reality of theEucharistic Sacrifice is respected and safeguarded also in attaining its finality, thecommunion of all men with Christ in His true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Suchcommunion must be signified in the minister, in the disposition of the communicant, and inthe manner of the communication.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law
The treatment of the canonical discipline regarding the Most Holy Eucharist is foundin Title III of Book IV, on the sanctifying office of the Church. After two introductory canons,the canons are divided into three chapters: Chapter I, the Eucharistic Celebration; andChapter II, the Reservation and Veneration of the Most Holy Eucharist; and Chapter III, theoffering given for the celebration of the Mass. As is clear, the division of the norms of the lawlacks the doctrinal character of the division in the 1917 Code. The emphasis of the division isvery much on the Sacrament as Communion with the Lord.The first introductory canon repeats the substance of the introductory canon in the1917 Code and then, drawing upon the teaching of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council,amplifies the description of the Mystery of Faith. The amplification is centered upon theEucharist as Sacrifice but stresses very much the effect of the Sacrifice in the life of theChurch and of the individual members of the Church. The amplification is essentially directquotations taken from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Sacrosanctum Concilium
andthe Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
 Lumen Gentium
of the Second Vatican EcumenicalCouncil.The second introductory canon reflects the emphasis of the Second VaticanEcumenical Council on the
 participatio actuosa
of the faithful. It draws upon no. 48 of 
Sacrosanctum Concilium
. It associates the notion of 
 participatio actuosa
with the highesthonor in which the faithful are to hold the Most Holy Eucharist, the frequent reception of Holy Communion and the worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament with the greatestadoration.The notion of the Most Holy Eucharist as sacrifice appears in the canons which
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