Religion: Spiritual Olympics in Melbourne

IT was hardly the type of Mass that might have been expected at a Eucharistic Congress, a Roman Catholic spectacular long noted for its traditional pomp. Australian aborigines wore only breechcloths, their bodies painted in geometric patterns of dots and streaks. Along with tribal women in short yellow skirts, they leaped and stomped and mimed their version of the Last Supper to the rhythm of clapping hands, tapping sticks and a primitive wood wind called the didgeridoo.

Lawrence Cardinal Shehan of Baltimore, who presided at the aboriginal liturgy before a crowd of 20,000 in...

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