VATICAN CITY, MARCH 17, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger, who worked closely with John Paul II in the forthcoming encyclical
on the Eucharist, has just published a book on this sacrament.
"In the crisis of faith we are experiencing, the critical issue seems
to be increasingly the correct celebration and correct understanding of the
Eucharist," the cardinal says in "An Intimate God" ("Il
Dio Vicino," St. Paul Editions), which has just gone on sale in Italian.
Vatican sources say the encyclical on the Eucharist will be published in April.
"All of us know the difference between a Church that prays and a Church
that has been reduced to a museum," explains Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect
of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"Today we run the risk of having our churches turned into museums and
ending like museums: If they are not closed, they are pillaged," he says. "They
have no life. The measure of the Church’s vitality, the measure of its interior
openness, will be reflected in the fact that its doors remain open, precisely
because it is a church where there is constant prayer.