The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments issued a circular letter on July 8 sent to all diocesan bishops titled, “On the bread and wine for the Eucharist.” The letter was sent at the request of Pope Francis. It was signed by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect and Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary, on June 15, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
The letter contains recommendations to ensure the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist.
According to the Catholic News Service (July 10, 2017), because bread and wine for the Eucharist are no longer supplied just by religious communities, but “are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet,” bishops should set up guidelines, an oversight body and/or even a form of certification to help “remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist.”
The letter goes on to note that every bishop “is bound to remind priests, especially parish priests and rectors of churches, of their responsibility to verify those who provide the bread and wine for the celebration and the worthiness of the material.”
Bishops must also provide information to the producers of the bread and wine for the Eucharist and to remind them of the absolute respect that is due to the norms,” the letter stated. Producers “must be aware that their work is directed toward the eucharistic sacrifice and that this demands their honesty, responsibility and competence,” it added.
For the CNS report, click here.
For the Vatican Radio report and link to the circular letter, click here.