From Afar, Pope to Join in Mexico's Eucharistic Congress

VATICAN CITY, JULY 4, 2004 ( John Paul II will participate in the International Eucharistic Congress in Mexico this year via a special television connection by satellite, the Holy See announced.

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Both the Mexican episcopal conference as well as the country’s government had invited the Pope to visit Guadalajara to participate in the Oct. 10-17 meeting which will open the Year of the Eucharist, which he himself has convoked.

The length and rigor of the trip would sorely test the Holy Father’s fragile health. Instead, he will send Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Committee for Eucharistic Congresses, as his legate.

“The Holy Father will be present through a special television connection, which will allow him to follow the final celebration of the solemn Eucharistic Congress and to address a special message to the pastors and faithful gathered,” the Vatican press office explained Saturday.

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