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Religion | Religion IN BRIEF

Pope Links Charity to the Eucharist

November 11, 2000|Religion News Service

Pope John Paul II told about 35,000 pilgrims attending his general audience this past week that the "profound significance of the Eucharist" is closely linked to acts of charity and Communion.

Although John Paul did not spell out the kinds of charity he expects from Roman Catholics, he has often spoken of the need to help the weak and poor and to give special consideration to immigrants.

John Paul devoted his customary teaching at the weekly audience to the Eucharist, the sacrament of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, which the Bible says Jesus instituted at his Last Supper with his disciples before his Crucifixion and Resurrection.

"The Eucharist is the sacrament which both symbolizes and brings about the unity of the church," the pope said. "When Christians celebrate and receive the Eucharist, they are joined to Christ in a profound union.

"However, the profound significance of the Eucharist is repudiated when it is celebrated without taking into account the needs of charity and of communion."

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