SUMMARY OF THE NATIONAL PRESS-CON ON THE
INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS 2016
ARZOBISPADO DE MANILA
JUNE 10, 2014, 11 AM
On June 10, 2014, 11 in the morning, the national press conference on the 51st International Eucharistic Congress was held at the Arzobispado de Manila where Archbishop Jose Palma, head of the Committee, together with Cardinal Tagle, Cardinal Quevedo, Cardinal Rosales and Cardinal Vidal, discussed the global gathering with the media. The good Archbishop of Cebu referred to this event as “a gift and a privilege.”
During the press-con, the history of the International Cardinal Congress was shown. The themesong “Christ in Us, Our Hope of Glory” was also sang by Dulce and her son David Cruz.
The infomercial regarding the International Eucharistic Congress was also presented: Kim Chiu, Senator Grace Poe, Mike Enriquez, and many other kapuso stars endorsed the event.
Cardinal Quevedo: He referred to Jesus as a “reconciler” and introduced himself as a Cardinal from the “land of Bangasamoro.”He expressed his message to the youth: “Christ is in you, the hope not only of your glory but also of the country.” He also called on the poor: “Christ is in you, you are the privileged faces of Jesus. Become what you are. Christ is in you.”
Cardinal Vidal About the International Eucharistic Congress 1937 in Manila: “I was privileged to witness it at the age of 6. I was one of the first communicants during that time. The mass was in Spanish and I did not understand it. When I saw the Cardinals during the procession who were all in red, I exclaimed, ‘what kind of dress is this? It looks nice!’”
Cardinal Rosales About the International Eucharistic Congress 1937 in Manila: “I was still 4 during that time and my mother brought me to Luneta. As a young child, I could not yet understand what was going on.”
Cardinal Tagle, noticing that his companion-Cardinals, talked about the International Eucharistic Congress in 1937, started his speech with an apology that put media people into laughter: “I’m sorry; I can’t give you details about the International Eucharistic Congress 1937 because I was not yet born during that time.” The good Cardinal made mention that he attended two International Eucharistic Congresses: the one in Quebec, Canada and the one in Dublin, Ireland. He also made a remark that international gatherings are held during our time: “When the football opens, the world will go to Brazil. When the Olympics start in 2015, the world will gather in Russia. When the World Economic Forum starts, the world will go to the Davos, Switzerland. In 2016, the world will gather for the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. We are not gathered by something, for we are a people gathered by God. The Roman Catholic Church has been gathering in many places: presence of Christ in the youth, Christ in the family, Christ in the Eucharist. What a beautiful way of bringing the world together!”
He also appreciated the theme: “Christ in You: Our Hope of Glory.” He remarked: “What better theme than the theme of hope! Today, we have many wishes – good job, stable life, happy family – but had no hope. Our international gathering is not about fleeting hope but an experience of ‘I hope in a person.’ We hope in a person, a person who comes to us, not distant, one who understands. He has been betrayed, homeless, object of ridicule. Friends, many of our wishes will not come true, but our hope will never fail.
During the question and answer portion, the media asked about the security for the international congress. Archbishop Jose Palma, the Archbishop of Cebu, answered the question that he has been meeting with the Cebu City council, different embassies and has been coordinating with many others, so that visitors will be provided protection and transportation.
As to the coming of Pope Francis, Archbishop Palma said that there is no definite word yet. “Pope Francis manifested his love to the people. We pray that he comes next year and the International Eucharistic Congress 2016, so it will be double blessing.”
Cardinal Quevedo, also expressed his wish that the Pope will also consider Central Mindanao. Few weeks ago, it was announced that the Vicar of Christ will come to Yolanda-stricken areas. “He shall visit areas affected by natural calamity; I hope he also visit areas affected by man-made calamity,” referring to war experienced in his ecclesiastical turf.
As to the delegates coming from Mainland China, the Cardinals made it clear that there was no official word yet. “But they are welcome,” they said.
As to the question about those who are divorced/separated and constantly receiving holy communion, Cardinal Tagle did not give a direct answer. He announced, however, that there will be Synod of Bishops – one in October and the other in 2015. The one in October will be the extraordinary synod by restricted members to clarify the situations of families all over the world. Then the 2015 Ordinary Synod will reflect on the data and the vision of humanity. He shared in one gathering the Philippine situation of the family: “In the Philippines, there are separations not because of the other woman, not because they don’t like each other, but because of love.” He then cited the plight of OFWs who worked in other countries for the love of their families back in the Philippines.
To which one remarked, “This is the story we want to hear over and over again.”
In conclusion, Cardinal Tagle called on the faithful to make the event as an opportunity for conscience examination. He also looked forward to the occasion as an experience and celebration of hope.
Before the press conference ended, Mrs. Elvira Go, founder of the Piso Para sa Misa ng Mundo, asked the media people to make this “good news” be bannered in the headlines for the following day.
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