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Title: 'From the open side of the Lord' : on Joseph Ratzinger's Eucharistic ecclesiology
Other Titles: The quest for authenticity and human dignity
Authors: Berry, John Anthony
Keywords: Jesus Christ
Benedict XVI, Pope, 1927-
Lord's Supper
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: The quest for authenticity and human dignity: Melita Theologica Supplementary Series 6. Malta: University of Malta, 2015. 93-115.
Series/Report no.: Melita Theologica Supplementary Series 6;
Abstract: This chapter aims to examine Ratzinger’s claim that a proper understanding of the Church is obtained from the standpoint of her liturgy. While Ratzinger presents a eucharistic ecclesiology, not only must one pay attention to complement a sociological interpretation of the Church with Revelation as a dogmatic truth, but also to identify and distinguish among the various levels that are at play in speaking of a eucharistic ecclesiology. What is examined here is the relation of the Eucharist to the Church in the light of Christ, the sacraments and the Christian life. The primary level, then, is Christological. This means that in Christ, particularly shedding his life on the cross, the Church has its foundation and life in the world. The second level is a sacramental one, where the believing Christian community gathers around one altar to celebrate the breaking of the bread and to live in communion with each other. The third level is the existential one where belonging to the Church implies bearing witness, leading a Christian life, and being of service to others in the community and in the world. Our aim here is to elucidate the importance and complementarity of each dimension of Ratzinger’s eucharistic ecclesiology after having presented his understanding that ecclesial communion has its centre in the Eucharist.
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