CEBU CITY, Philippines – Pope Francis urged Catholics to reject corruption and injustice as the Catholic Church ended a huge week-long conference on the Mass, also known as the Eucharist, in Cebu City.
Closing the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), the Pope explained that the Mass – the most important form of worship for Catholics – “changes hearts.” He said it enables people “to be caring, to protect the poor and the vulnerable, and to be sensitive to the cry of our brothers and sisters in need.”
“It teaches us to act with integrity and to reject injustice and corruption which poison the roots of society,” Francis said in a video message aired during the closing Mass of the IEC on Sunday, January 31.
To drive home this point, he recalled the relief efforts after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 2013.
Francis said Yolanda “brought immense devastation to the Philippines, yet it also brought in its wake an immense outpouring of solidarity, generosity, and goodness.”
“People set about rebuilding not just homes, but lives. The Eucharist speaks to us of that power, which flows from the Cross and constantly brings new life,” he said.
‘World in need of justice, peace’
At the same time, the Pope said the Mass “is also a summons to go forth, as missionaries.”
He said: “How much our world needs this message! When we think of the conflicts, the injustices, and the urgent humanitarian crises which mark our time, we realize how important it is for every Christian to be a true missionary disciple, bringing the good news of Christ’s redemptive love to a world in such need of reconciliation, justice, and peace.”
The Catholic Church holds the IEC every 4 years. Through this global conference, the Catholic Church aims to discuss the Eucharist, better known as the Mass, as well as its “social dimension.”
IEC topics this year included hunger, climate change, and terrorism.
Speakers also tackled issues such as the Mass being “boring” for many Catholics.
The Pope’s representative at the IEC, for his part, urged the Catholic Church on Sunday to “return to the youth.”
“Instead of expecting the youth to return to the Church, the Church should return to the youth,” Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar said during the IEC’s closing Mass.
Bo paid a courtesy call on Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Monday, February 1, a day after the 51st IEC ended. – Rappler.com
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