Page 8, 24th July 1981

24th July 1981
Page 8
Page 8, 24th July 1981 — Lourdes Congress

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Organisations: Lourdes Congress, Congress
People: Jesus Christ


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Lourdes Congress

Continued from page I eluded that the Congress "will bear an outstanding witness to religious fervour and to faith." It has certainly dope that, with or without the help of the Toulouse think-tank.

But ordinary delegates did not know what the Pope's message said, for no translations were provided. The theme of the Congress is: Jesus Christ, bread broken for a new world. The Pope commented: "The total regeneration of the world which mankind so badly needs is understood to be essentially spiritual and supernatural."

As in his encyclical Redemptor Nomads, he says: "The living Bread and Wine regenerate our lives, they give us eagerness to accomplish Christian works and charity to restore the whole universe."

On Sunday, Cardinal Gantin presided over a Mass with more than 300 bishops and a thousand priests. Local estimates put the attendance at 80,000.

During Mass, which with poor co-ordination lasted three hours. Cardinal Gantin gave a homily in four languages warning delegates not to be too eager to condemn wicked men. "You would risk pulling up the good with the bad. The line of separation is difficult to trace, we know it does not necessarily pass between the Church and the world, it can pass within the Church, it passes through the heart of each one of us."

All delegates agreed that the Eucharist is a real force to change the world. During the week many have asked whether the Congress should have been held in Lourdes at all. Today is the closing ceremony and no one could deny that in the event its internationalism and its setting have conspired to produce if nothing else an astonishing mass demonstration.

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