Pope Hopes Synod Leads to a More Missionary Church

Emphasizes Link Between Eucharist and Proclamation of Gospel

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI hopes the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist under way at the Vatican gives the Church a renewed missionary commitment.



As he greeted pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square today to pray the Angelus, the Pope appealed for the prayers of the world's Catholics for this intention.

The Holy Father said that the synod, which has gathered 256 bishops from 118 countries to reflect on "The Eucharist in the Life and Mission of the Church," is his "principal engagement" in these days.

"I have presided at the meetings of the first week and also in the two that will follow," he said. "I ask you to continue to pray for the synod so that it can give the expected fruits."

The assembly will end Oct. 23, World Mission Sunday. This coincidence led the Pope to remind the synod that this is the month "in which all the ecclesial community is called to renew its own missionary commitment."

Quoting from Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine," Benedict XVI said: "The encounter with Christ, constantly intensified and deepened in the Eucharist, issues in the Church and in every Christian an urgent summons to testimony and evangelization."

Those who participate in Mass, he added, must "take to all the Good News received and animate society with it."

Benedict XVI commended this intention to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Daniele Comboni, founder of the Comboni Missionaries, who will be remembered in Monday's liturgy.

"May he, famous evangelizer and protector of the African continent, help the Church in our time to respond with faith and courage to the risen Lord's mandate, who invites her to proclaim the love of God to all peoples," the Pope said.