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Pope to address Eucharistic Congress by satellite

Pope John Paul II will use a satellite television link to address the World Eucharistic Congress to be held in Mexico next month.

Catholic World News reports that the Pope will speak during closing ceremonies on 17 October, addressing the crowd at Guadalajara. At the same time he will formally proclaim the opening of the Year of the Eucharist, which he announced in June.

Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, the secretary-general of the Mexican bishops' conference, yesterday discussed plans for the Eucharistic Congress with the I Media news agency during a visit to Rome.

Bishop Aguiar explained that Guadalajara had been chosen to host the Eucharistic congress because the city has a very strong Catholic history.

"Many martyrs, already canonised or on the road to beatification, died there," he said. "It's really there that the persecution of Christians by the political authorities in the 1920s was most cruel."

Meanwhile the Bishops Conference of Germany expressed hope this week that Pope John Paul II will visit Cologne next August to preside at World Youth Day.

During their recent assembly, the German bishops said they were hopeful the Pope's health would allow him to visit the country.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, said the Pope's health is currently "stable" and that nothing would be better for his health than a gathering with young people from around the world.

The Cardinal said World Youth Day is the most important event for Cologne "since the arrival of the three wise men," whose remains are entombed at the Archdiocesan Cathedral.

800,000 young people are expected to attend the event next August in Cologne.

Pope will address Eucharistic Congress by satellite (Catholic World News 23/9/04)
German bishops hopeful John Paul II will preside at World Youth Day in Cologne (Catholic News Agency 23/9/04)

48th International Eucharistic Congress
World Youth Day 2005
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24 Sep 2004