January 26, 2016, 10:11a.m. – CEBU CITY – THE EUCHARIST is an event for all people as it is a representation of the “saving act of Christ.”

Speakers at the concurrent sessions of the second day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress on Jan. 25, said the Eucharist is for everybody, including sinners.

Fr. Francis Moloney, in his talk titled “The Word of God, Jesus Christ and the Eucharist: Christian Hope in the Secularizing World,” said the Holy Eucharist is “not a reward for the perfect but a magnanimous remedy and nourishment for the weak.”

Fr. Moloney was responding to critics of Pope Francis’ “Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy” that allowed the absolution of reserved sins like abortion.

“It is to these holier-than-thou people at Corinth that Paul warns: ‘Examine yourselves, and only then eat the bread and drink of the cup,'” Fr. Moloney told delegates at the Waterfront Hotel.

“Not all will agree [with changes]. There were decisions of John Paul II and Benedict XVI we didn’t all like … But we had to take them. Because they were the Holy Father,” Moloney said.


Role of women

Georgian Ambassador to the Vatican Tamara Grdzelidze, meanwhile, spoke on the issues faced by Christian women in her country.

In her talk titled ““The Church is Woman: The Missionary and Pastoral Role of Women in the Church,” Grdzelidze said being a woman Orthodox theologian was not easy during the the Soviet era. 

At present, Orthodox women continue to have less privilege than Catholic women in church. “I wish Orthodox women could be as seriously taken by their church as the Catholic women are at present,” she said.

Grdzelidze grew up in Soviet Georgia and practiced Orthodox Christianity. She received her degree in Georgian Philology in 1979, and her post-graduate degree in theology from Oxford in 1998.


Eucharist as preparation

In another concurrent session, Fr. Paul Vu Chi Hy described the Eucharist as the manifestation of the saving act of Christ, wherein the whole Christian community takes part.

“To celebrate the Eucharist is to participate in a Holy Communion with God through the shared bread and together,” Fr. Hy said in his talk titled, “The Manifold Dimensions of Eucharistic Hope.” 

Fr. Hy finished his doctorate degree in theology at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. He is a professor at various religious institutions in Vietnam. Gabriel M. Agcaoili, Lea Mat P. Vicencio, and Krystel Nicole A. Sevilla


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