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Aug 242016

On the third day of the National Eucharistic Congress, the Cardinal of Sao Paulo, highlighted the role of lay people in society

The NewsRoom

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Mass with the Cardinal of Sao Paulo, Dom Odilo Pedro Scherer, during the National Eucharistic Congress/photo: Play TV Nazaré

On the third day of the National Eucharistic Congress, held in Belém , Paraná, one of the masses was presided over by the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer.

During his homily, the Cardinal made a reflection on the Eucharist and highlighted the role of laypeople in church.

Cardinal Odilo recalled the words of Saint John Paul II “the Eucharist makes the Church and the Church makes the Eucharist”, and explained that this sacrament is a mystery of faith which is connected to the mystery of the Church. In the celebration of the Eucharist, the faithful gather around of him who is the Foundation of the Church: Jesus Christ, he speaks and the faithful they instruct.

Dom Odilo preside celebração eucarística / Foto: Leonardo Monteiro

DOM Odilo presided over the Eucharistic Celebration/photo: Leonardo Monteiro

To start the reflection on the laity, the Cardinal pointed out that the Church is composed of all the baptized and disciples of Jesus missionaries, graced by the gift of faith. “The Church is the people of God”. The laity are those who in every place of common life take the testimony of Jesus Christ and in the Church, therefore, playinf an important role, he said; recalling that the laity are sent to be the salt of the Earth.

“They are also called to be a missionary force, giving testimony of handing on the faith, of the charity of God.” He argues that the celebration of the Eucharist is the time when we are in Christ and we received the grace of testimony.

Lay people in the Church

About the Gospel (MAT 16, 15) “Jesus said to them: ‘ and who, do you say that I am”? Cardinal Odilo pointed out that today too there are many answers to this question, but that this question is put to all and requires conviction of every Christian to answer it.

The Cardinal of Sao Paulo was keen to emphasize that the church relies on lay people, both in the work of parish communities as witnesses of Christ in the middle of society. He argues that the Church’s evangelizing work cannot depend on just a few. “Sometimes the testimony does not need words, but the works”.

The Mission of the lay faithful is grandiose and difficult, said Cardinal Odilo, and so requires spiritual vigor. But he emphasized that it is possible, as this force comes from Union with Christ and with the Church.

For him, without the Mission of the lay faithful the Church’s mission is reduced to four walls, and that’s all that the Church does not need. He recalls that Pope Francisco has insisted on a “Church of outside”

Finally, he directed to all who are not afraid to be Catholics in the midst of society. “Be vigilant and docile to the Holy Spirit and to the shepherds”.

When complete, Cardinal Odilo thanked and encouraged lay people of the Amazon region, saying they are a great missionary force present often in places where there is no ordained Ministers. “In the Eucharist, Christ strengthens us and sends us”.

Congresso Eucarístico Nacional / Foto: Reprodução TV Nazaré

National Eucharistic Congress/Photo: TV Nazaré


The Brazilian National Eucharistic Congress ran from Monday August 15, until Sunday August, 21. The goal of the event is to make visible to the whole country the strength of the Eucharist and missionary activity in the Amazon.

With the theme “Eucharist and Sharing in the Amazon Missionary”, the event takes place in the year of the fourth centenary of the beginning of evangelization in the Amazon and the founding of the city of Santa Maria de Belém do Grão Pará.

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 202015

Cardinal Odilo Scherer has given an exclusive interview about the Synod; family disputes, couples second marriage and homosexuals which are some themes in debate

CN News, with Vatican Radio


Since the beginning of the Synod on the family, the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Scherer presents the works which are carried out within the framework of the 14th ordinary General Assembly of the Synod on the theme: “the vocation and the Mission of the family in the Church and in contemporary society”.

One week from the conclusion of the Assembly, Cardinal Odilo answered some questions about issues raised during the General Congregations and Smaller circles (discussion groups).

Read the interview in its entirety:

Why conduct a synod to address a topic so vast and difficult convergence as the family? Wouldn’t it be easier for in respect to the Pope’s position as an apostolic letter or Encyclical?

“The word of the Pope on this theme will come in time. But the Pope himself, before speaking up, wanted to hear the Church anew, calling on the Synod of Bishops to gather in two general meetings, in 2014 and 2015. The Synod is to involve the whole Church in search of answers to inquiries made about marriage and the family in the Church and in contemporary society. “

The press highlights the differences within the Synod with regard to communion to remarried. There are Synod Fathers who speak of the possibility of giving communion and others who do not think so. There is this difference, and how can we get around the positions?

“There are certainly differences in the way they view the issue and one should not be surprised; After all, there are about 300 participants and come from different ecclesial, cultural, social, and religious environments. The difference in thinking is not necessarily a problem, but can be a treasure; It helps to better understand the various aspects of the issue. And the Synod should not necessarily “get around” the different views, but make the judgment about the truth and the will of God, that is if you search through the reflection of all the participants. Anyway, the Synod is consultative and not decision-making. “

The famous letter of 13 Cardinals was given to the Pope. What truth is in it, and have the contents of the letter echoed within the Synod.

“I didn’t see the mentioned letter; Certainly, if some Cardinals wrote to the Pope, they exercised their right and one should not see in it something strange. Everyone can write to the Pope, if they wish. In fact, however, the letter did not have particular impact in the context of the Synod; There, as planned, it was made available to all participants, which might manifest itself freely. “

Certain media describe the Synod debates are marked by conflicts and poisons. How to respond to that?

“Honestly, I didn’t see conflicts or poisons in the reflections. The general climate was and remains of fraternity, respect and serenity. The different positions should not be interpreted as conflicts, but as various contributions in the pursuit of “common way”, that is proper to the Synod. There’s a lot of interest and desire to contribute to the reflection. “

Has the issue of homosexual marriage been addressed at the Synod? Has reflection been done on this topic. Does there exist an opening of the Church in this regard? What should expect these couples of the Synod?

“Reflection on people of the same sex who cohabit as if they were marriages, appeared especially in the third part of the work Instrument and reflections of the Synod. The position of the Church on these unions is clear: there is the no possibility to equip them to the marriage of people of different sexes. What is sought is the most appropriate way to accompanying these people, pastorally in order that they may welcome Gospel and reach mercy and salvation of God. “

Certainly due to the presence of 270 Synod Fathers from five continents there are different accents on some themes, it is also obvious that the doctrine will not be touched. But what can change specifically on the topic of family?

“The reflections of the Synod, several perspectives on the family in the Church and in contemporary society: think of a renewed appreciation of marriage and the family; a renewed interest in the pastoral care of the Church in relation to the family, especially in relation to young people and the engaged; geared especially for pastoral situations of pain and suffering experienced of families; I believe in a sort of “Alliance” between Church and family, that participates more in evangelism. I also believe that the family should be more valued as a social, economic and political subject in society. And I think there will be a special appreciation of the good elements that already exist in the incomplete and irregular families. “

Comment-if the apparent contrast between the Synod Fathers about truth and mercy. How can we understand it in the context of the debate on the family.

“I don’t think this contrast exists; Mercy and truth cannot be counteracted. But it is true that some people are more aware of the truth and be more attentive to mercy. This tension will exist always and will need to work it with Evangelical wisdom. The truth of the Gospel about the marriage and the family can never be omitted or neglected; the Gospel is a call to conversion for all. But in specific situations, the Gospel of mercy of God needs to be presented to the people, because all depend on it, more than on the own abilities and virtues. “

This Synod is looking for understanding how the primacy of mercy can be applied in all forms of pastoral life in relation to the family, especially in relation to families. That Mercy talk?

“We speak always of the mercy of God, which must also guide our action. Think of the many families who suffer illness, bereavement, poverty, violence, contempt, prejudice, or for some particular problem linked to drug abuse, the vices, the human weaknesses. All need, beyond justice and solidarity, the merciful attention also. And there are also in families the situations in life that need to be taken as such, without a satisfactory solution: in these situations, more than anything, we need to trust in the mercy of God and rely on the merciful heart of others and the Church herself. “

What is the concrete expectation of  the Final document? Or should we expect a post-Sinodal Exhortation from the Holy Father?

“The job is done in view of a ‘Synodal document’ to be voted on as usual. But it will be a document consistent with the very nature of the Synod, which is not a decision-making body, but advisory.In other words, the final text will present the result of the work done, but it won’t be the final word on the issue. As usual, wait for the Pope’s word on the subject, after the Synod. “

Original Portuguese Version 


 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 142015

It will be up to the Pope to say a word of guidance, any statement of any doctrinal point or in any particular issue, to families, says Cardinal Odilo

CN News, with Vatican Radio

Dom-Odilo-Pedro-Cardeal-SchererThe Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, is one of the 183 Synod Fathers to debate the future of the family at the Synod of bishops. The event concludes on Saturday, 10, the first of the three-week meeting.

Cardinal Odilio said he is optimistic about the synodal route. “I think the Synod walks well, quite dynamic, very participatory. Although the Synod is largely to hear, through the smaller circles it is being also intentional to formulate new questions or enrich the discussions already under way, with insights that come from many parts of the world. “

According to Cardinal Odilo, it will be up to the Pope to say a word of guidance, any statement of any doctrinal point or in any particular issue, to their families. “On the issues of families, those who are wanting to hear a word from the Pope, will hear a word, a word that gives peace of mind and security about how to continue things in families”.

Portuguese Version


 Posted by at 01:01
Jun 232015

We can not be afraid to ask God where He is

With this “Embrace of São Paulo,” we say we want the good of all, we want to embrace each with love and have the desire to spread the Word of God.

I want you to take the theme of this conference home: “God is acting, who can reverse it” (Isaiah 43.13). What should be the Christian’s attitude in today’s world? It must be courage, coming from the power of faith, an act of parresia. What was old has passed; now the new has come, and whoever is in Christ is a new creation.

Today’s (Sunday June 21) reading speaks of people who believed without leaving old habits. St. Paul, however, draws our attention to say that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. What is the gift of the Holy Spirit of being courageous? It is the gift of fortitude. We really need this gift today, not to abandon our faith and not to  follow the easy way.

Jesus told the apostles: “He who wants to follow me take his cross and follow me.” To follow Jesus we must carry the cross.

I want to refer to the Gospel and to today’s readings because they have something in common.The first reading tells the story of Job, a friend of God, righteous man who has undergone several tests. In the Bible, we see clearly that is the enemy of the Lord who tests him; then comes a time when it begins to balance in the faith of God and address some things, including he complains: “God, where are you”. So it is with us, we go through difficulties and even a question we ask ourselves, “Where is God?” We can not be afraid to ask God where He is..

The Lord come to the aid of Job and answers: “Who shut the sea with doors when it gushed vehemently the womb, when I gave the cloud the garment and thick darkness by bands; when I scored their limits and put doors and locks, and said, ‘Thus far you will come, and no farther;Here ends the arrogance of your waves’? “; with this, the Lord meant to Job who was with him, asking him not to give up.

The Gospel shows Jesus at the end of the day, being tired, Jesus asked the apostles to cross the sea. They went. There was a storm, the apostles were afraid and woke Jesus. The Lord stood up and ordered the sea and the winds calm down. The apostles asked: “Who is He?”.They had not yet understood who was the Son of God. It is the same one who put limits to the sea, who created heaven and earth. Jesus asked them why they were afraid if He is always with them. We are afraid when we do not trust.

With time and gradually, the apostles understood who Jesus was. Gradually, we will also understand that Christ is the one who gives us courage that does not let us walk alone and is with us.

How many times did God say to the people and to those whom He has chosen for the mission: “I am with you”?

Our culture and mindset cause us to solve everything alone, so living trust in God is very difficult.The Lord has given us the ability to accomplish things, but we can not solve everything alone because we can forget the ways that He has shown us. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.A saint of the Church says we should do everything as if it depended only on us, and pray as if everything depended on God.

We can not want to solve everything by force, it is always good to stop and think where God wants to lead us. He is with us to show us the way. Thank Him for all that is in us. We must live with the proposal of today’s readings, leaving everything old to experience the joy of what is new.

Portuguese Transcription and adaptation: Rogéria Nair


Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer

Metropolitan Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil

 Posted by at 01:01
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