GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 14, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Theological Pastoral Symposium that preceded the International Eucharistic Congress here has awakened the “wonder” and “admiration” of the Church for the Eucharist, says the symposium’s general moderator.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, 71, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, responded to some of the questions posed on the topics discussed by the 1,000 theologians at the symposium.
Q: What is the objective of the symposium and of the Eucharistic Congress?
Cardinal Lozano Barragán: This symposium was held to understand the faith of the People of God, what the Church signifies, and what it means to be a Christian today.
All we are doing, with this gathering of theologians from all over the world, is to have them apply their intelligence, their thinking to the service of the faith in our present reality, to faith in the Eucharist which summarized all the ways of being a Christian.
Q: What was the methodology?
Cardinal Lozano Barragán: We began by hearing how the Eucharist is lived in the five continents. Then we took as our basis the Pope’s encyclical which states that the Church is born of the Eucharist, and we reflected on six topics: faith, building the Church, apostolicity, communion, decorum in celebrations, and the Virgin Mary.
As speakers and theologians we have tried to reflect deeply on this mystery. We did not come to waste time: We need reflection so that the Church will make progress in the world, so that it will be seen that Christ is present in the world in the year 2004, in the third millennium, and beyond.
Q: Can the Eucharist be the starting point of this plan of the Church?
Cardinal Lozano Barragán: The challenge is how the Most Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of the Word, Christ our Lord, his death and resurrection, are present in the Eucharistic event and how that which is frail, which is not apparent, the very poverty of a piece of bread and of a little wine, bears an unfathomable mystery.
Here is the concrete meaning of the Church in the world, from its beginning until the end of time.
Q: Is an attempt being made to generate the wonder that the Eucharist aroused in the early days of the Church?
Cardinal Lozano Barragán: This symposium is wonderful. It is a kaleidoscope where we realize, in different ways, how sublime what we Catholics think and believe is; it is not something of the sacristy, or for “pious,” “mystical” people. The Eucharist is the fulfillment of man in and for the community.
Q: Is there a common denominator on the negative aspects of the practice of faith in the Eucharist worldwide?
Cardinal Lozano Barragán: Yes. I think there is a double threat to the Catholic faith in the world: on one hand, secularism and, on the other, fundamentalism.
By secularism I understand the exclusive globalization of the economy. By fundamentalism I understand the structural functioning of the sects, which consists in denying the apostolicity of the Church and in emptying the sacraments of their divine meaning.