Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, right, Concelebrates Mass during the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America" July 2 in Orlando, Fla. Bishops should look at ways to help verify and guarantee the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican said in a recent document. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bishops should look at ways to help verify and guarantee the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican said in a recent document.
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 Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said.
The recommendations came in a circular letter, "On the bread and wine for the Eucharist," sent to diocesan bishops "at the request of the Holy Father, Pope Francis." Dated June 15 -- the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ -- the letter was made public by the Vatican July 8. The letter was signed by Cardinal Robert Sarah, congregation prefect, and Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary.
Because the church requires certainty regarding the conditions necessary for the validity of the sacraments, the congregation offered some suggestions so that bishops can continue to "watch over the quality of the bread and wine" as well as "those who prepare these materials."