Charismatics Urged to Promote Eucharist as Bond of Unity

Pope Sends Message to Catholic Fraternity

Vatican City ( John Paul II expressed his appreciation for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal communities and encouraged them to promote the Eucharist as a bond of unity in a troubled world.

The Pope disclosed his hopes in a message read by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, at the 11th International Conference of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.

The four-day conference in Fiuggi, Italy, ends Monday. The meeting has brought together 1,200 delegates from 70 nations.

Also attending the event are Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments; Bishop Renato Boccardo, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio; and Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement.

The Holy Father's message, signed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, is addressed to Charismatic communities to express "all his affection" and to impart "his blessing."

The message appeals to Charismatics "to be committed in this Eucharistic Year to take initiatives so that the Eucharist will become increasingly a factor of union and cohesion in the People of God, in this world marked by violence and division," according to the text reported by Vatican Radio.

At the opening of the meeting, Matteo Calisi, president of the Catholic Fraternity, said that the new challenge is to spread the Eucharistic message, confirm the presence of Christ in society, and give hope to a world that is ever more secularized, reported Vatican Radio.

The Catholic Fraternity, an international organization of pontifical right, is composed of more than 50 communities of Catholic Charismatic Renewal.