Irish Prelates: Eucharist Has Something to Say
Consider 2012 International Congress at October Meeting
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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, OCT. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Irish Bishops' Conference is affirming that the Eucharist has "something to say about every truly human experience."
The prelates made this observation at their October General Meeting, as the 2012 International Eucharistic Congress was one of the points on the agenda.
The bishops reported in a statement that they also spoke of other themes ranging from the apostolic visitation being held in Ireland in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal, to Benedict XVI's vigil for the unborn scheduled for next month, and an effort to ensure that stipends for Masses are being received in accordance with canon law.
Regarding the '12 International Eucharistic Congress, the prelates pointed to the "journey of spiritual and practical preparation" under way.
The theme of the conference is "The Eucharist: Communion With Christ and With One Another."
"The Son of God took on our human nature and lived our human reality, including our experience of suffering and death," the bishops observed. "This means that the Eucharist has something to say about every truly human experience."
The episcopal conference also looked at the celebration of Corpus Christi next June as a key moment in the preparations. They announced a new Eucharistic Congress Prayer and reported that the theme song has been composed by Bernard Sexton.
The Irish bishops spoke of the Holy Father's extraordinary vigil for all unborn children, which will coincide with the First Sunday of Advent on Nov. 28. The Pope has asked that similar vigils take place around the world.
They also noted the Pontiff's letter to seminarians, released on Monday as a conclusion to the Year for Priests.
"The letter underlines the core elements of an integrated human and spiritual formation for those who will engage in priestly ministry over coming decades," the prelates reflected. "Bishops commended the letter to all seminarians, seminary staff and clergy."
Prayer and visitation
Regarding Benedict XVI's pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland about sexual abuse by clergy, the Irish bishops affirmed their recognition of the need for "'profound renewal' and for 'a new vision to inspire present and future generations to treasure the gift of our common faith.'"
They encouraged the faithful to take advantage of the Year of Matthew that starts on the First Sunday of Advent to, "avail of Scripture-based prayer to guide the renewal of the Church in Ireland at this time."
The bishops also gave an update on the apostolic visitation, noting that certain Irish prelates were in Rome this month for a meeting with members of the Curia to discuss the organization of the visit.
Generous in hard times
The episcopal conference welcomed the fact that nearly €15 million has been donated to Trocaire, the Irish division of Caritas.
They also reiterated expectations of the new Roman Missal translation, set to be in use in November 2011, for the First Sunday of Advent.
The prelates noted the six-year process of adapting the translation and also referred to some of the new saints whose feasts are included.
"Bishops are very aware that this means changes in prayers that have been used and loved for almost 40 years," the conference statement affirmed. "[...] A new edition of the Missal provides opportunities for all who take part in the Mass to enhance our appreciation of the gift of the Eucharist and its celebration of the sacred mysteries of the Risen Lord."
Marriages and Masses
The bishops also reported that criteria have been established for pre-marriage courses.
"These criteria are intended to ensure that the full richness of the Church’s pastoral care for marriage is promoted and built up," they stated.
And regarding Mass cards, the prelates announced that support information will soon be published on this issue.
They explained: "Bishops will ask priests to review personal and parish procedures to ensure that they are fully compliant with the provisions of Canon Law. [...] It is important to be particularly vigilant to ensure that people’s good faith in asking to have a Mass offered for a particular intention would not be exploited by others for profit. Any appearance of trafficking or profit-making from Mass offerings must be entirely avoided."
Finally, the Irish Episcopal Conference announced a new appointment. Father Gearoid Dullea of the Diocese of Cork and Ross has been appointed executive secretary of the conference. He succeeds Monsignor Eamon Martin who is returning to his native Diocese of Derry to take up duties as the full time vicar general for the diocese.
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On the Net:
Eucharistic congress resources: www.catholicbishops.ie and www.iec2012.ie
Benedict XVI's letter to seminarians: www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/letters/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_let_20101018_seminaristi_en.html
Benedict XVI's letter to Irish Catholics regarding sexual abuse: www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/letters/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_let_20100319_church-ireland_en.html