VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger warned his brother dignitaries that the consistory which began today is not a club meeting of friends.
The meeting and its conclusions will only be meaningful if the participants conceive the Church for what she is, the archbishop of Paris explained.
"She must not be considered from human points of view, as one of the institutions of the social body of humanity, but with the eyes of faith, as the Bride of Christ," the cardinal said during an afternoon session.
The French archbishop, 74, delivered his brief address entitled "Pastoral Perspectives of the Church in the New Millennium," which is the central topic presented by John Paul II to the 155 cardinals in attendance.
Cardinal Lustiger's emphasis contrasted with the numerous media reports that depicted the consistory as a "pre-conclave" for the election of the next pope.
The Parisian archbishop also focused on the methods that the Church must follow in the renewal proposed by John Paul II during this meeting. "It is not about inventing a new program; the program already exists," Cardinal Lustiger said.
"We are certainly not satisfied with the naive conviction that there is a magic formula for the great challenges of our time," he said. "No, it will not be a formula that saves us, but a Person" -- Christ.
He added: "Charity and love must be the source and strength of all renewal" in the Church.