At a recent audience with participants in the plenary of the Pontifical Committee for the International Eucharistic Congresses, Pope Francis said: “In a Europe afflicted by indifference and swept by divisions and forms of rejection, Christians renew before everyone, Sunday after Sunday, the simple and powerful gesture of their faith: they gather in the Lord’s name and acknowledge that they are brothers and sisters.

“And the miracle is repeated: in the hearing of the word and in the sign of the broken bread, even the smallest and lowliest assembly of believers becomes the body of the Lord, his tabernacle in the world.

“The celebration of the Eucharist thus becomes a cradle of attitudes that generate a Eucharistic culture, for it impels us to express in our way of life and our thinking the grace of Christ who gave of himself to the full. …The first of these attitudes is communion. …The second attitude is that of service.”

The Church in China

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, an emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, said: “I want to talk to the Pope again and hope he will consider again, but this may be the last time. …The Holy See does not support them [underground Church in China] and regards them as trouble, referring to them causing trouble and not supporting unity. This is what makes them most painful.

“The Pope has said that members of the Chinese Church should be the prophets and sometimes criticise the government. I feel very surprised that he does not understand the situation of the Chinese Church.”          

No to human trafficking

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, said: “In 2015, Pope Francis dedicated his annual Message for the World Day of Prayer for Peace to human trafficking. He had stress­ed: ‘We are facing a global phenomenon that exceeds the competence of any one community or country’, and therefore, ‘we need a mobilisation comparable in size to that of the phenomenon itself.’ We’re all part of that mobilisation.”     

Justice for miners

Bishop Abel Gabuza, president of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said: “For decades, coal mining companies allowed their workers to be exposed to unsafe levels of coal dust. The mines need to take both ethical and legal responsibility for the sick miners. The fact that South Africa has hundreds of sick miners from coal industry is an indictment on corporate greed in the mining sector and its insistence on profit over the dignity of mine workers.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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