Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 28, 2008
Pope will not attend Quebec Eucharistic Congress
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Pope Benedict has sent his regrets he will not attend the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City June 15-22.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, said the pope will send a representative to the congress that coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec. Ouellet cited the pope's packed schedule and concerns about maintaining the health of the 81-year old pontiff.
Pope Benedict will visit Washington, D.C. and New York City in April and Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day in July.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed, since his visit would have enhanced the celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress and given Quebec City's 400th anniversary a global profile," Ouellet said.
The Congress will feature speakers like L'Arche's Jean Vanier, other lay Catholic luminaries, and prominent clerics.
"The Eucharistic Congress is really about Jesus' presence in the Eucharist," said Archbishop James Weisgerber, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. "And that reality will be there."