Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, self-exiled Primate of Hungary, today (Thursday 30 September) joined Pope Paul in concelebrating mass at the opening of the third World Synod of Bishops in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican.
Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, self-exiled Primate of Hungary, today (Thursday 30 September) joined Pope Paul in concelebrating mass at the opening of the third World Synod of Bishops in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican. Cardinal Mindszenty had arrived earlier from Budapest after 23 years of confinement, 15 of those had been spent in the American Embassy.
At the close of the mass, in an emotional gesture which brought tears to the eyes of many of the Synod fathers, the Pontiff took the frail figure of the Cardinal by the hand and led him through the ranks of Bishops and Cardinals.
SYNOPSIS: At the opening of the third world synod of Bishops in the Vatican City on Thursday, Pope Paul concelebrated mass with Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, the self-exiled primate of Hungary who has just left his country after 23 years of confinement.
The Bishops at this year's synod will discuss the problem of justice in the world, and the admission of married men into the priesthood. It is customary for the Pope to conduct the opening ceremonies, but traditionally synods are a time for the church to air its conscience, discussing matters on a lower level than pontifical intervention.
The three alternating presidents of the synod also celebrated mass with the Pope and Cardinal Mindszenty.
The Cardinal looked drawn and pale as he read the praises of the mass, and his hands shook, making the pages of his mass book flutter -- apparently from the strain of so long a ceremony rather than an illness, and he found it difficult to genuflect as he came to the alter to share the moment of the consecration of the host with the Pope.
After the mass had ended, Pope Paul led Cardinal Mindszenty through the Sistine Chapel, past the Bishops and Cardinals gathered for the synod.