Missionary Appeal Made at Synod

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 10, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The great challenge facing the Synod of Bishops is the number of people who cannot go to Communion because they do not know Christ, says a Vatican official.

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Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, today launched an urgent missionary exhortation to the synodal fathers who are gathered in the synod on the Eucharist. The synod ends Oct. 23.

“Today there are approximately 5 billion people who do not know Jesus Christ and therefore cannot be nourished by his Body and his Blood,” the cardinal said. “The Church has the right and the duty to bring the bread of life and the cup of salvation to them as well.

“For this reason, Eucharistic doctrine must be offered to non-Christians in its integral truth, without giving in to ‘cultural modes’ that could lead to that hermeneutical drifting by which the Eucharist loses its mystical-real dimension and becomes a variation of that cultural anthropology that relativizes the very person of Jesus Christ.”

Cardinal Sepe added: “With the force of the Holy Spirit, the missionary, even today, will know how to establish the Church among the peoples, nourishing them with the Bread of life, given for all.”

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