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Vatican's Apostolic letter on Eucharist to appear this week

Pope John Paul is set to release an apostolic letter welcoming the Year of the Eucharist at a Rome media conference chaired by Congregation for Divine Worship head, Cardinal Francis Arinze, on Friday.

Catholic World News reports that the Holy Father announced on 10 June that he is declaring a special Year of the Eucharist, to run from October 2004 to October 2005. The year will formally commence with the Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, which opens on Sunday. It will close with the meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, beginning on 2 October 2005. That meeting of the Synod will be devoted to a discussion of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.

The Pope's apostolic letter will follow in a sequence of several magisterial texts on the Eucharist. In April 2003 the Holy Father issued his 14th encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, in which he wrote that the Church "cannot realise her proper vocation without cultivating a constant relation with the Eucharist." In the encyclical, the Pope expressed regret for the liturgical abuses that "obscure true faith and Catholic doctrine."

On 17 October, Pope John Paul is scheduled to preside at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at which he will officially open the worldwide observance of the Year of the Eucharist. His homily will be relayed by satellite broadcast to the participants in the Eucharistic Congress in Mexico, which will close that day.

According to informed sources at the Vatican, the Holy Father is considering a trip to Bari, Italy, in May 2005, to attend the national Eucharistic congress there, if his health allows.

Another major international event to be held this month is the Congress for Priests in Malta, for five days from Monday 18 October. The event is being sponsored by the Congregation for the Clergy. Australian participants include Cardinal George Pell, who will be honoured by a special reception by Malta's Emigrants Commission and Friends of Australia Association on the eve of the Congress.

Apostolic letter of Eucharist to appear Friday (Catholic World News 5/10/04)
Welcome to Cardinal Pell (Independent Online 5/10/04)

Presentation of Apostolic Letter for Year of the Eucharist (Vatican Information Service 5/10/04)
Apostolic Letter on the Year of the Eucharist to be released on Friday (Catholic News Agency 5/10/04)
International priests' congress set for October in Malta (Catholic World News 23/7/04)

6 Oct 2004