"Truth of Minorities" Can Be Overlooked, Warns Cardinal Hamao

Delivers Homily Before 1 Million in Guadalajara

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 17, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A world accustomed to majority rule could run the "risk of losing with it the truth of the minorities," warns a cardinal.



Cardinal Stephen Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, delivered that message to an estimated 1 million people during a Mass celebrated Thursday at the La Minerva roundabout in Guadalajara, as part of the International Eucharistic Congress.

During his homily the cardinal said that "grace and the Holy Spirit are not governed by majority criteria."

Cardinal Hamao was accompanied on the altar by cardinals Jozef Tomko, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Francis Arinze and Juan Luis Cipriani.

The Japanese cardinal highlighted the fact that in "holy Communion we are united to Jesus' spirit, divine and human; he gave himself up for us with the real love that puts itself at the disposition of others."

On the eve of the Mass, Cardinal Hamao told ZENIT that his homily would focus on Eucharistic love, which "obliges us to do that which is good for others."

The Church's raison d'être is the spread of that love, fruit of Jesus' oblation, he said. "We must all regard our neighbors as real brothers and sisters, and share their joys and hopes, their sufferings and sadnesses, and help to make amends for the sins committed," the cardinal added.

The Catholic Church cannot remain -- because of its intimate union with the Eucharist that builds it -- removed from the problems that affect people today, he continued.

Quoting John Paul II, Cardinal Hamao said that it is a commitment of the Church "to contribute with the light of the Gospel to the building of a livable world in full conformity with the plan of God."

Among the poor, the weak and the humble whom the Church must serve in today's world, stemming from faith in the Eucharistic Jesus, are "masses of refugees, migrants, victims of the traffic of persons, especially women and children," he stressed.

Cardinal Hamao ended his homily by pointing out that two-thirds of the world's people live in Asia and Oceania.

"Among them," he said, "we Christians are a small flock, but we count on the strength of the Holy Spirit who, through the sacrament of the Eucharist, makes us go forward with courage in faith, gives us hope, and exhorts us to the charity of Jesus Christ to build and spread, also in these very continents, the Kingdom of God."