Pope urges Pakistani Catholics: focus on Eucharist

Pope urges Pakistani Catholics: focus on Eucharist

Vatican, Jun. 19, 2008 (CWNews.com) - During a June 19 meeting with the bishops of Pakistan, who were making their ad limina visit to Rome, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) emphasized the central importance of Eucharistic spirituality in the life of the Catholic Church.

The Eucharist "reorients the way Christians think, speak, and act in the world," the Pope told the Pakistani bishops.

The Pope said that the spiritual perspective nourished by the celebration and adoration of the Eucharist is particularly important in Pakistan, where the seeds of faith have grown despite "conditions that sometimes hinder their capacity to take root." For Christians who face the threat of violence, the Pope said, the Eucharist furnishes a constant reminder that "the absurdity of violence never has the last word, for Christ has conquered sin and death through His glorious resurrection."

Although the Pope's words hinted at a recognition of the problems that the Christian minority faces in an overwhelmingly Islamic country, where threats and intimidation against Christians have become increasingly common, the Holy Father encouraged the Pakistani Church leaders to cultivate inter-religious ties. The Catholic people, he said, should "foster genuine fellowship and create ever expanding networks of charitable solicitude for their neighbors."

Pope Benedict went on to observe that Catholic schools, hospitals, and charitable institutions continue to make important contributions to the welfare of Pakistani society. These efforts, the Pontiff said, "reveal the human face of God's love for each and every person."

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