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Eucharistic Congress could help heal Irish Church, archbishop believes

Catholic World News - May 10, 2012

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin believes that the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Dublin in June, will be an important moment for 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.”

Speaking at a May 10 press conference in Rome, Archbishop Martin said that although the Irish Catholic Church has been battered by public criticism, there is a general sense that the Eucharistic Congress is a positive event. “Even in secularized Ireland,” he said, “there is a recognition that this is an important event for the Catholic Church, that others should respect.”

Archbishop Martin chaired the May 10 press conference along with Archbishop Piero Marini, the president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. The Italian prelate reminded reporters that a Eucharistic Congress is “a pause for commitment and prayer to which a particular community invites the universal Church.”

Dublin will be hosting the international event for the 2nd time. Archbishop Martin recalled that in 1932 the Eucharistic Congress was held in the Irish capital at a time when the country “had been lacerated by a harsh civil war.” At that time the event helped promote reconciliation, he said, and he hopes for the same from this year’s event.

Speaking directly to reporters about the problems facing the Church in Ireland today, Archbishop Martin said: “The overall crisis of the Church in Ireland isn’t about the child sexual abuse; it isn’t about any one individual. It is a much deeper challenge. They are just symptoms of an underlying cause.”

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