Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 23, 2008
Africa provides fertile soil for the Eucharist, says Cardinal
By REGINA LINSKEY
"My heart aches when I travel to the West and see closed churches."
But he said the attendance rate at Mass in his country "is remarkable." Senegal needs more parishes and churches to keep up with the growing number of Catholics, but the country only has limited resources, he explained.
"My heart aches when I travel to the West and see closed churches," he said. "We (in Senegal) have to find a place to build new churches."
In gratitude for the missionaries who came to Africa to spread the faith "it is time now for Africa to live out the Gospel and give it back," said the cardinal.
Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu, Philippines, said the celebration of the Eucharist is "at times routine" and "Mass is used for political purposes" in his Asian island nation. More than 80 per cent of the country's 93 million people are Catholic.
"We need to regulate the celebration of the Eucharist so it isn't abused" and "purify Filipino understanding of the Eucharist," he said.
Noting the fervent practice of the people who pack eucharistic adoration chapels, he said there is a dichotomy in their society, in which this faith life does not translate into social, political and economic life.
"Corruption flourishes in public office," he said.
The lack of priests is part of the problem in the Philippines, he said, adding that churches and parishes are packed and some parishes in rural areas do not have a priest.
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