The intimate connection between the Eucharist and the right to life has been reinforced in the minds of Christians after Pope Benedict XVI and Quebec City Cardinal Marc Ouellet both addressed the issue at the 2008 Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City.In a TV homily, Pope Benedict XVI connected the right to life, the state of the poor and the need for world peace and justice to the theme of the congress: “The Eucharist, a gift from God for the life of the world.”
The Pontiff said, “Participation in the Eucharist, then, does not distance us from our contemporaries; on the contrary, because it is the expression par excellence of the love of God, it calls us to be involved with all our brothers to address the present challenges and to make the planet a place where it is good to live.
“To accomplish this, it is necessary to struggle ceaselessly so that every person will be respected from his conception until his natural death; that our rich societies welcome the poorest and allow them their dignity, that all persons be able to find nourishment and enable their families to live, that peace and justice may shine in all continents.”
The Pope explained that in order to meet these challenges, “Christians must draw their strength from the Eucharistic mystery.”
The Holy Father also addressed the question of worthiness to receive Communion, an issue that has come to the fore in recent years with many strongly pro-abortion politicians unabashedly receiving the Eucharist, particularly at highly public Masses.
“I would also like to invite the pastors and faithful to a renewed care in their preparation for reception of the Eucharist,” said the Holy Father. “Despite our weakness and our sin, Christ wills to make his dwelling in us, asking him for healing. To bring this about, we must do everything that is in our power to receive him with a pure heart, ceaselessly rediscovering, through the sacrament of penance, the purity that sin has stained, ‘putting our soul and our voice in accord,’ according to the invitation of the Council. In fact, sin, especially grave sin, is opposed to the action of Eucharistic grace in us. However, those who cannot go to communion because of their situation, will find nevertheless in a communion of desire and in participation in the Mass saving strength and efficacy.”
In a LifeSiteNews interview, the Canadian prelate Cardinal Ouellet, also spoke on the link between the Eucharist and the respect for human life, noting the fact that the Eucharistic Congress occurred just a month before the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Humane Vitae” (“On Human Life”).
“Obviously the welcoming of the Risen Lord and the Gift of His Body calls for the respect of human life, and I think it will foster in the future more commitment for the respect of human life.”
See Pope Benedict XVI full homily at:
See Interview with Cardinal Ouellet at:
Cardinal Ouellet Praises Humanae Vitae – Abortion the Consequence of the ‘Culture of Contraception’
See English Videos of all the conference talks and homilies at http://www.ecdq.tv/en/videos/ ;
At the moment the Pope’s homily is available only in the French version at