The Concept Eucharist in Oriental Code: Towards a Eucharist Spirituality in Canon Law

Rev. Dr. Thomas Kuzhinapurath

1.0 Introduction

It is the Eucharist that makes the Church the living body of Christ. This understanding of the Holy Eucharist has evolved through a very long history of the Church. At one time the Church condemned those who were not in communion with the Eucharist. The tenth canon of the Council of Trent was originally drawn up in the following words, “If any one shall say, that faith alone is sufficient preparation for receiving the most excellent sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, let him be anathema. And, that this sacrament may not be taken unworthily and therefore unto death and condemnation, the Council ordains and declares, that, for those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, it is necessary to premise sacramental confession. And if any one shall presume to teach, preach, obstinately to affirm, or publicly to dispute to the contrary, let him be ipso facto excommunicated.”1 Where as the Second Vatican Council declared, “This Church of Christ is truly present in all legitimate local congregations of the faithful which, united with their pastors, are themselves called churches in the New Testament. (Acts. 8, 1; 14, 22-23; 29m 17). For in their locality these are the new People called by God, in the Holy Spirit and in much fullness. (1 Thess. 1, 5)/ In them the faithful are gathered together by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated, that by the food and blood of the Lord’s body the whole brotherhood may be joined together. In any community of the altar, under the sacred ministry of the bishop, there is exhibited a symbol of that charity and ‘unity of the mystical Body, without which there can be no salvation.’ In these communities, though frequently small and poor, or living in the Diaspora, Christ is present, and in virtue of His presence there is brought together one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. For ‘the partaking of the body and blood of Christ does nothing other than make us be transformed into that which we consume” (LG. 26). “Therefore all should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church; they must be convinced that the pre-eminent manifestation of the Church consists in the full active participation of all God’s holy people in these liturgical celebrations, especially in the same Eucharist, in a single prayer, at one altar, at which there presides the bishop surrounded by his college of priests and by his ministers.” ( (SC. 41). We, therefore, can say with full confidence, that the local church that celebrates the Eucharist is an authentic manifestation of the Church of Christ. And the people of God gathered around the altar of Christ in fact “becomes the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church in this celebration.”2 The Oriental Code which came into force on October 1, 1991 has its own Eucharistic spirituality.

1. WATER WORTHY, Council of Trent, cxxxiv. The official canon of the council is a little modified one. We quote this draft just to show the mind of the Church.

1.1 The Sources of the Salvific Nature of the Eucharist.

We can find the Passover meal of the old covenant, which is a liturgical rite that represents the core of the Passover celebrations as laid down in Chapter 12 of Exodus as an Old Testament source of the Eucharistic liturgy. It was the commemoration of the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery. It also enacts the creation of the liberated people, specifically through covenant, as the holy and priestly people of Goad. Through this memorial celebration of liberation, Israel enters into communion with God. Moreover, it becomes a “prophetic sign for the future, and a guarantee of final salvation.”3 The Old Testament Passover meal “is a sacrificial meal of an anamnetic and eschatological nature.” It at the same time recalls the Lord and his salvific action of the past, and, in virtue of the ‘memory’ of the Lord, the divine salvation worked in the past is performed in it in the present, while the fulfillment of eschatological salvation is foretold in it as prophetic sign.4

The Last Supper of Our Lord (Mt. 26, 26-29) and the Eucharistic celebrations of the primitive Church have a kind of structural similarity with the Old Testament Passover meal. “All the essential elements of the Old Testament Jewish Passover liturgy are still found in the Christian Eucharistic celebration.”5 And “in its structure and thematic content, the New Testament Eucharistic celebration corresponds broadly to the Jewish Old Testament Passover celebration”6 Jesus celebrates the Last Supper with his disciples as an Old Testament Passover meal of an anamnetic nature. Within the framework of memorial meal, Jesus presents a new salvific action on God’s part and institutes a new memorial of this action. The Lord foreshadows his sacrificial act, the new divine act of salvation that would be fulfilled on the cross.7 Thus we can say that, the salvific action, as become evident in the sacrifice of Jesus, is anticipated in the Last Supper in they symbolic and sacramental action of ‘giving his body’ and ‘pouring out his blood.’ The present Eucharistic celebration is the enactment of this sacrifice on the cross. The Eucharist is celebrated “not only in order that the believers should remember Jesus and his salvific action, but also in order that God should remember Christ and Christians so as to implement in the present the salvation that has its basis in the past, that is , in the salvific action that took place once and for ever.”8 Thus the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist being originated from the Passover of the Old Testament and the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross is essentially and explicitly salvific. The canons of the Church, which deal with the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, therefore, essentially communicate this salvific character.

1.2 The Eucharist-centered Spirituality of the Oriental Code

According to some authors the Catholic spirituality manifested in the law codes of the Church is first of all centered on the liturgy.9 CCEO.17 (CIC.214) states. “Christ’s faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescriptions of their own Church sui iuris, and to follow their own form of spiritual life, of course in accord with the teaching of the Church.” Again when the Oriental Code speaks about the prescription in CCEO. 1542 – 3 (CIC 199 – 3) it holds that a canonical prescription cannot affect the rights and obligations which bear directly on the spiritual life of the Christian faithful. Great emphasis on the spiritual life of the Christian faithful is given in the Oriental Code. Principally the Catholic spirituality is centered on the mystery of the Holy Eucharist.10 For, “The mystery of the Eucharist is the true centre of the sacred liturgy and indeed of the whole Christian life.”11. According to the Oriental traditions the sacrament is called mystery (mysterion), but when they speak about ‘divine mysteries’ or ‘immaculate mysteries’ they intend to speak only about the Eucharist. According to the Antiochian tradition the Eucharist is the mystery in which all the salvific events of both Old Testament and New Testament are culminated.12 Thus the Eucharist is the culmination or the centre of every other mystery. From the early times the Church called the order of the Eucharist by the names such as ‘the Divine Liturgy of St. James’ or ‘the Divine

9. See HUELS, “Spirituality”, 111.
10. Some ancient Oriental Sources of Monastic Life give witness to the Eucharist-centered spiritual life of the Monks. Thus goes the rule 9 of some anonymous monastic rules of early 4th century: “It is not lawful for a monk of stand outside and narrate vanities at the time of the prayer of the community of the Eucharist: if he is a partaker he shall go in and weep over his sins or else he shall not go as the one not guilty”, VOOBUS, Syriac and Arabic Documents Regarding Legislation, 73. See also, Rules of Rabbula for the Clergy and Qeiama (5th Century), Rules: 31, 33, 49, 52, 59 in VOOBUS, Syriac and Arabic Documents Regarding Legislation, 44 – 50.
11. Eucharisticum Mysterium, 539.
12. See SMC, Hasaganangal, 68
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom’ or ‘the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil’13. The Syriac word Qurbono / Qurbana, which is used to mean the Eucharist, has this sense of divinity. Thus Eucharist always has the nature of a divine mystery that brings about the real presence of the Body of Christ.

The code exhorts Christian faithful in CCEO. 881 § 1-4 (CIC 1247 – 1248) to hold the Eucharist in highest honour. All the Christian faithful are bound to participate in it every Sunday and Holy Day of obligation. The Code encourages the seminarians (CCEO. 346 §1, CIC 246 § 1), the clerics (CCEO, 377, CIC 276), the members of the religious and secular institutes (CCEO, 538 § 1-3, CIC 663 §2) to participate in the daily Eucharistic celebration. Again the code suggests that the reception of Holy Eucharist is to be considered as that much essential and important so that it can be received frequently and especially in some special occasions, such as in danger of death (CCEO. 713§ 1-3, 708, CIC 918, 920 – 921).14. The code also suggests the directives to be observed in giving communion to the non-Catholic Christians (CCEO, 671§1-5, CIC, 844).15 Here the Oriental Code understands Eucharist as a symbol of unity among the Christians. Thus the Code gives directives for a Eucharist-centered Christian life and spirituality.

Eucharist is a source of spiritual nourishment for the priests. The Council of Trent teaches, “The Bishop is to see that they celebrate mass at least on Sundays and solemn feasts, and if they have the care for souls as often as their responsibilities require.”16. We read in the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Ministry and Life of the Priests. “Priests act especially in the person of Christ as ministers of holy things, particularly in the Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrifice of Christ who gave himself for the sanctification of men. Hence, they are asked to take example from that which they deal, and inasmuch as they celebrate the mystery of the Lord’s death they should keep their bodies free of wantonness and lusts. In the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, in which priests fulfill their greatest task, the work of our redemption is being constantly carried on; and hence the daily celebration of Mass is strongly urged, since even if there cannot be present a number of the faithful, it is still an act of Christ and of the Church. Thus when priests join in the act of Christ the Priest, they offer themselves entirely to God, and when they are nourished with the body of Christ they profoundly share in the love of him who gives himself as food to the faithful.” (PO. 13), CCEO. 378 (CIC. 276 § 2/2) goes as follows, “In accord with the norm of particular law, clerics are to celebrate the Divine Liturgy frequently, especially on Sundays and holy days of obligation; indeed daily celebration is strongly encouraged.” In CCEO. 704 (CIC. 931) we read, “The Divine Liturgy can be praiseworthily celebrated on any day except those tht are excluded according to the prescripts of the liturgical books of the Church sui iuris in which the priest is ascribed/” Bishop Salachas comments on these canons, “Since the celebration of the Divine Liturgy is an act of Christ and the Church, in which the work of redemption is continuously exercised, the canon recommends its daily celebration as praiseworthy, without imposing it as a juridical duty. Indeed, a priest’s spiritual life must be nourished by drawing upon the sacred scripture and the Holy Eucharist.”17. Thus according to Oriental Code Holy Eucharist is the core of the spiritual life of the priest.

13. See De Divina Eucharistia, Nuntia, 4, 34-35. See also, SALACHAS, “Divine Worship , Especially the Sacraments”, 511 – 512 and SALACHAS, “De Divina Eucharistica”, 585.
14. See HUELS., “Spirituality”, 111
15. See WIJLENS, Sharing the Eucharist, 311-312, See also, CHEMPAKASSERY, Memory and Presence, 5-7.
16. Council if Trent, Sess. 23, Can. 14 in TANNER, Decrees, Vol.2, 749
17. SALACHAS, “Divine Worship, Especially the Sacraments”, 514. “Poiche la celebrazione della Divina Liturgia e un atto di Cristo e della Chiesa in cui e initerrottamente l’opera della redenzione, il canone raccomanda la celebrazione quotidiana, azione lodevole, senza imporre un obbligo giuridico, L’evangelo e l’Eucharistico sono il centro della vita Cristiana: nell’eparchia, nella parrochia, nel seminario, nei monasteri e dei conventi religiosi (cf. cann. 177 § 1, 289 § 2, 346 § 1, 473 § 1, 538 § 1). Tra i doveri dei chierici, il CCEO al can. 378 prescrive, che <

1.3 Eucharist the Bread of Life

Jesus instituted the mystery of the Eucharist as the bread of life, given by the Father in heaven for the eternal life of those who believe in him and so that they may become God’s children (Jn. 6, 33, 35,54). “Therefore, our Saviour about to depart from this world to the Father, instituted this sacrament in which he as it were poured out the riches of his divine love towards humanity, causing his wonder works to be remembered (Ps. 110, 4) and bade us cherish his memory as we partook of it (Lk. 22, 19; 1Cor, 11, 24) and to proclaim his death until he comes (1Cor. 11, 26) to judge the world. He wished this sacrament to be taken as the spiritual food of souls, to nourish and strengthen them as they lived by his life who said, he who eats me will live because of me (Jn. 6, 58), and as an antidote to free us from daily faults and preserve us from mortal sins. He further wished it to be a pledge of our future glory and unending happiness, and thus a sign of that one body of which he is the head and to which he wished us all to be united as members by the closest bonds of faith, hope and love, so that we should all speak with one voice and there might be no division among us.”18 The Oriental Code defines Holy Eucharist as the bread of Life. “What the Lord Jesus himself did at the Lat Supper is perpetuated in the Divine Liturgy by the power of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of the priest who acts in the person of Christ over the offering of the Church. Christ Jesus gave to his disciples his body, which was to be offered for us on the cross, and his blood, which as to be poured out for us, thus instituting the true and mystical sacrifice. In this sacrifice the bloody sacrifice of the cross is commemorated with thanksgiving, is actuated and shared by the Church through oblation and through communion, in order to signify and realize the unity of the people of God and to build up Christ’s Body, namely the Church.” (CCEO. 698, CIC. 897). This canon of CCEO is very much theological. It communicates both the pneumatological and sacrificial discussions of the Eucharist. This offering signifies the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord. At the same time the bread of life is offered and sanctified through the Holy Spirit. It is both a thanksgiving eucharistia to the Father, and the expression of the people of God as the Body of Christ (1 Cor.10, 17).19 The reception of the Holy Communion is considered as a cause of stability in the Church. Can. 9 of the Apostles (ca. 400) states that “All the faithful who enter into the Church and hear the Scripture, but not remaining for the prayer and the Holy Communion, therefore, create confusion in the Church.”20. According to the canonical teachings of the Church, the purpose of the Eucharistic celebration is the communion of the people of God as the Body of Christ, which ultimately aims at the final communion with God that is salvation through the ministry of the Church.21 According to Pope Paul VI, through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist a priest can have an abundance of Graces. We must listen with docility to the voice of the teaching and praying Church. This voice, which constantly echoes the voice of Christ, assures us that the way Christ is made present in this Sacrament is not other than by the change of the whole substance of the bread into His Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into His Blood, and that this unique and truly wonderful change the Catholic Church rightly calls transubstantiation. As a result of transubstantiation, the species of bread and wine undoubtedly take on a new meaning and a new finality, for they no longer remain ordinary bread and ordinary wine, but become the sign of something sacred, the sign of a spiritual food. However, the reason they take on this new significance and this new finality is simply because they contain a new “reality” which we may justly term ontological. Not that there lies under those species what was already there before, but something quite different, and that not only because of the faith of the Church, but in objective reality, since after the change of the substance or nature of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, nothing remains of the bread and wine but the appearances, under which Christ, whole and entire, in His physical “reality” is bodily present, although not in the same way that bodies are present in a given place.”22

18. Council of Trent, Sess. 23, Cap. 2 in TANNER, Decrees, Vol. 2, 694.
19. See SALACHAS, “Divine Worship, Especially the Sacraments”, 512 and SALACHAS, “De Divina Eucharistica”, 585 – 586
20. See SALACHAS, “De Divina Eucharistica”. 599
21. See VASIL’, “La communione eucaristica”, 772-775
22. PAUL VI, Mysterium Fidei, 46

From the view point of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church through Eucharistic Christian faithful participate in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “In sacramentalizing God’s giving of eternal life and human reception of it, the Eucharist sacramentalizes Christ: he is the full, definitive giving of divine life to humanity and its perfect reception by humanity. It sacramentalizes Christ in his resurrection, by which his body was made fully alive and life giving by God. It does so by sacramentalizing him in the death by which he gave his earthly life in witness to his acceptance that eternal life comes only from God who is his Father: it was because of the way he died that he became totally open to receive that life from his Father at the resurrection. In sacramentalizing the Father’s gift of life through, with and in Christ, the Eucharist sacramentalizes the Holy Spirit, who is given from the risen Lord as the transforming pledge of eternal life in the midst of the world. It is as a Spirit-filled meal that the Eucharist does its sacramentalizing:”23 Thus Eucharist is the bread of life through which the Christian faithful partake in the life of Christ and it is a foretaste of the eternal heavenly banquet.

1.4 Priest and the Eucharist

The Oriental Code asserts that every ordained priest has an essential right to celebrate Eucharist. The English translation has made use of the term “inviolate” to indicate the essential nature of this right. CCEO.700 § 2 states that “If it is possible, presbyters are to celebrate the Divine Liturgy together with the presiding bishop or with another presbyter, since thus the unity of the priesthood and of the sacrifice will be properly manifested. Each priest, however has his inviolate right to celebrate the Divine Liturgy individually, not, however, simultaneously when a concelebration is taking place in the same church.” Thus the canon asserts that catholic priesthood is a eucharist-centered one. According to CCE. 704 (CIC.931) the Eucharist can be celebrated on any days according to the liturgical prescriptions of each church sui iuris. “Since the celebration of the Divine Liturgy is an act of Christ and the Church, in which the work of Christ is continuously exercised, the canon recommends its daily celebration as praiseworthy, without imposing it as a juridical duty. Indeed, priest’s spiritual life must be nourished by drawing upon the sacred scripture and the Holy Eucharist.”24. Again Can. 711 of CCEO (CIC. 916) reads thus, “With a grave sin on one’s conscience, no one is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy or receive the Divine Eucharist, unless there is a serious reason and there is no opportunity to receive the sacrament of penance. In this case one should make an act of perfect contrition, which comprises the intention of approaching this sacrament as soon as possible.” Full reconciliation with God and the Church is an indispensable condition for celebrating and participating in the Eucharist. In the liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil and St. James the priest recites, ‘No one who is a slave to carnal desires and passions is worthy to present himself, draw near or offer sacrifice to you, King of glory, since serving you is a great and tremendous thing even for the same celestial powers.’25 But CCEO also asserts that the purity of the celebrant’s conscience is trustworthy. The celebration of the Eucharist is to be considered as a source of power for the day-to-day priestly life. It ultimately leads the priest in the path of salvation. Here by the path of salvation we mean the salvation of both the priest and the souls entrusted to his pastoral care.

Moreover the celebration of the Eucharist also manifests the priestly unity, especially in concelebration. “Concelebration, whereby the unity of the priesthood is appropriately manifested, has remained in use to this day in the Church both in the east and in the west” (SC. 57). The priests when they concelebrate with the Bishop, give witness to their participation in the identical priesthood and ministry of Christ (PO.7). As the priests concelebrate, they also manifest the faith, ministry an d fraternity that bind them together. It also manifests the apostolic charity among the priests.26 The Oriental Code, therefore, holds that the Holy Eucharist has a salvific dimension in the life of an priest in both the personal and communitarian realms.

23. PANICKER, Eucharist.
24. See, SALACHAS, “Divine Worship, Especially the Sacraments”, 513-514 and SALACHAS, “De Divina Eucharistica”, 589
25. SALACHAS, “Divine Worship, Especially the Sacraments”, 517 and SALACHAS, “De Divina Eucharistica”, 598
26. ee SALACHAS, “Divine Worship, Especially the Sacraments”, 513 and SALACHAS, “De Divina Eucharistica”, 588.

1.5 The Healing Dimension of the Eucharist

The Church always upheld the practice of giving the Holy Eucharist to the sick. The Council of Trent teaches, “If anyone says that it is unlawful to reserve the holy Eucharist in a sacred place, but that it must of necessity be distributed to those present immediately after the consecration; or that it is unlawful for it to be carried with due honour to the sick: let him be anathema.”27 St. Ignatius of Antioch qualifies the Eucharist as the “medicine of immorality.”28 CCEO 713 § 1 (CIC. 918) states, “The Divine Eucharist is to be distributed in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, unless a just cause suggests otherwise.” Here what is intended is the case of viaticum. Bishop Salachas comments on this canon saying. “Only a just reason, such as viaticum for the sick, ca justify the administration of Holy Communion outside the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.”29 Thus the Eucharist is understood as a medicine. In the Syro-Malankara liturgy of the Holy Qurbono the priest says the prayer Husoyo as follows: “The Lord and Merciful One grant us peace, forgiveness and healing.”30 Some psychologists give witness that participation in the Holy Eucharist has helped a good number of their patients to get healed of their diseases.31 It is worthy to quote the Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo. “Hence I want to focus the attention of they Synod on the healing aspect of the Eucharist, and share what the Christian Faith has done for us. There is first the reality of God’s love, symbolized in Catholic Tradition by the Image of the Sacred Heart, which brings us directly to the Paschal Mystery and the Eucharist. (Jn.19, 34). Then there is the reality of ‘anamnesis,’ which means that the faith of the Church make the Paschal Mystery of our Saviour Jesus Christ become spiritually present to the faithful. This is what we learned from our own founding missionary Constant Lievens. More recently, the much loved Pope John Paul II of happy memory, and blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, also underlined this reality of participation in the Eucharist. Our Christian tribals today have full confidence that Jesus’ saving death and resurrection has stripped the sovereignties and ruling forces of the universe and destroyed their power (Col.2, 14-15). In this faith experience of our people, the Eucharist has brought about a paradigm shift from their former blood-sacrifices with which they tried to placate so called ‘evil spirits’ and reoriented them to the new and eternal covenant established in Jesus Christ.”32 The participation in the Eucharist gives a soothing touch of the divine and it is therefore a salvific intervention through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Here we understand salvation as something, which is concerned with the whole person. Therefore, through the Holy Eucharist, the Church is carrying out a salvific action or a healing ministry too.

1.6 Holiness: The Purpose of the Eucharist Sacrifice

The Oriental Code underlines the sanctifying nature of the Holy Eucharist. CCEO. 713 § 1 (CIC. 918) stated, “The Divine Eucharist is to be distributed in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, unless a just cause suggests otherwise, § 2. Concerning the preparation for participation in the Divine Eucharist through fast, prayers and other works, the Christian faithful are to observe faithfully the norms of the Church sui iuris in which they are ascribed, not only within the territorial boundaries of the same Church, but, in as much as it is possible, everywhere.” Here the Code exhorts the faithful to approach the Holy Eucharist with due preparation and reverential fear. For, according to the Syro-Malankara tradition, the Holy Eucharist symbolizes the fire placed on the tongue of Isaiah.33 The purpose of such a symbolic action was just to purify the prophet. In the history of the Church we can always see that a minimum one hour fasting is the prerequisite for the reception of the Holy Communion.34 The very sacrificial purpose of the Eucharist is the purification of the people of God. “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her- a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God – tht he might sanctify hr… so that she might not have any spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5, 2, 22-27). “Only God is holy, and no creature can be holy except to the extent of its union with he who is Holy….From this point of view, in the light of the divine transcendence, the religious relationship of man with God cannot be other than sacrifice as access to the one who is holy.”35 That is why the Eucharist is called Holy Communion. Through this mystery of mysteries one truly encounters the Holy of holies. We sing according to the Syro-Malankara tradition, “We see on the altar in the form of bread and wine, the Holy One, at whose sight even the fiery angels tremble.”36 It is the Eucharist, especially the precious blood of Jesus that cleanses the contrite sinner and washes away his sin. The ancient Oriental liturgies emphasize strongly this cleansing power of the Eucharist both sacrificially and sacramentally. This is probably to be explained through an imperceptible overlapping of penitential and Eucharistic services, for in those early centuries the Church used to exercise the power of the keys within the framework of the Eucharistic celebration. This typically Oriental solution to the problem, so widespread in the entire first millennium, obviously relies heavily on the cleansing power of the Eucharist, especially the purifying value of the Eucharistic blood, which in those early centuries the faithful always drank from the cup. Internal repentance and subjective reconciliation with God were absolutely necessary, for the cleansing efficacy of the Eucharist presupposes as an indispensable condition the living faith and the repentant heart of the communicant.37. Through the sacrament of Holy Eucharist the Christian faithful are sanctified in their heart.

1.7 Conclusion

The memorial celebration of liberation in the history of Israel and the Last Supper of Jesus Christ are the sources of the Eucharistic spirituality of the Oriental Code. The spirituality of the Code is centered on the Holy Eucharist. The Code upholds Eucharist-centered spirituality for all groups of Christian faithful. The Code further defines the Holy Eucharist as the Bread of lift. Then the Eucharist is presented as a sacrament of healing. And finally the Code sees holiness and salvation as the ultimate purpose of the Divine Eucharistic celebration. The Eucharistic spirituality of the Oriental Code thus reveals an explicit salvific character of the Code. And here we can see the character of the Oriental Code which has a profound foundation on theology. Thus the Code is free from the so called traditional legalism by a true emphasis on salvation.

27. Council of Trent, Sess. 23, Can. 7 in TANNER, Decrees, Vol. 2, 698..
28. ST. IGNATIUS, Epistles, 36-37.
29. SALACHAS, “Divine Worhsip, Especially the Sacraments”, 518
30. SMC, Thakso Di Qurbo, 142
31. See, McMANUS, The Healing Power of the Sacraments. 77
32. TOPPO, Synodus Episcoporum
33. See, SMC, Kurbanakramam, 43
34. See, BENEDICT XIV, De synodo diocesana, 6. cap.8, n.10; Council of Hippo (393) can. 28 in MANSI, 3, 923; Council of Carthage (397), III, 29 in MANSI, 3, 885; St. Augustine Ep. 54, Ad Jan., cap 6 in MIGNE, PL., 33, 203 and all these references are quoted in PIUS XII, Apost. Const.
The Eucharistic Fast, 25. See, also MORIARTY, “New Regulations on the Eucharistic Fast”, 1-31: SCHO, Instruction on the Eucharistic Fast. 47-51.
35. BOURASSA, “Sacrifice”, 144
36. SMC, Kurbanakramam, 44
37. The eastern code admits only ferendae sententiae penalties, that is, imposed penalties. Accordingly, CCEO asks to impose a confessor who has directly violated the seal of confession or who has absolved an accomplice in a sin against chastity with major excommunication (c. 1456 § 1; c. 1457). Similarly, one who procured abortion effectively is to be punished with a major excommunication. But the hierarch may use the discretion whether to proceed with the process of inflicting penalties in above stated cases if permission to absolve from those sins has been obtained from the competent authority.