Archbishop Martin promotes Eucharistic Congress in VaticanFriday, May 11st, 2012
"There are divisions within the Irish Church, sometimes unhealthy divisions, said Archbishop Martin who was in the Vatican on Thursday May 10 for a presentation about the forthcoming fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress.
He added that it is helpful to look back to the last congress in 1932 and to Irish society of the time, which, less than a decade previously, had been lacerated by a harsh civil war lasting two years.
My predecessor, Archbishop Edward Byrne, celebrated the Congress as a moment of reconciliation and rediscovered unity. For the first time in the newly independent Ireland, men and woman on both sides of a bitter divide met to work together on a shared project. The Eucharist has the power to reconcile. Communion with Christ nourishes communion and reconciliation with others," he said.
At the Holy See Press Office, Archbishop Piero Marini, the president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and others outlined the event.
Archbishop Marini explained that the Congress is, A pause for commitment and prayer to which a particular community invites the universal Church. During that time, the celebration of the Eucharist becomes, the centre and vertex of all forms of piety ... of theological and pastoral reflections, of social commitment.
He explained that by participating in the Eucharist, we construct communion with Christ and, at the same time, with one another, in other words, the most authentic face of the Church.
He said that the ecclesiology of communion is among topics to be studied in Dublin at a theological symposium to be held before the Congress.
Archbishop Marini explained that the Congress will be attended by thousands from all over the world who, apart from celebrating the Eucharist together, will pray and participate in a number of processions, eighteen general conferences and 150 workshops and discussion groups, examining important religious themes and experiencing, "authentic ecclesial solidarity.
Archbishop Martin recalled that when Dublin hosted the thirty-first International Eucharistic Congress in 1932, the Church in Ireland was very different to the Church in Ireland today.
"The Eucharistic Congress must address its participants in the context of the culture in which they live," he said and explained that in 2012 it must, "reflect and present the Church in Ireland, a Church which has faced and continues to face enormous challenges, but a Church which is alive, energetic and anxious to start a journey of renewal.
He concluded, "The fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress of Dublin will again be a moment of renewal and reconciliation, an event reawakening awareness among all Catholics of the central place of the Eucharist in the life of the Church, the true summit to which all Church activities strive, the source whence all Church life pours forth."
The Congress will remind the Church in Ireland "of the centrality of spiritual renewal and of the significance of the Church as the Body of Christ.
by Ann Marie Foley