December 2004 meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference

07 Dec 2004





The December 2004 meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference opened with a
presentation and briefing from its Child Protection Office (CPO). The CPO
has commenced a national training initiative which has come about as a
result of four pilot projects conducted over the last year. The objective
of the training initiative is to train trainers in each diocese who in turn
will train facilitators at parish level to deliver awareness sessions for
best practice in working with children.

The Conference also noted that the sponsoring bodies (Bishops, CORI and IMU)
have progressed discussions, with Ms Maureen Lynott, in developing a
comprehensive child protection policy for the Irish Catholic Church.

>B>Year of the Eucharist October 2004 – October 2005
In October Pope John Paul II published an apostolic letter Mane nobiscum Domine
(Stay with us, Lord) which inaugurated a Year of the Eucharist. It began with
the closing of the International Eucharistic Congress in Gaudalajara, Mexico
and will end with the Synod of Bishops, to be held in Rome, 2-29 October 2005,
on the theme: “The Eucharist – source and summit of the life and mission of
the Church.”

In his Holy Thursday 2003 encyclical letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia,
Pope John Paul called on us to foster a Eucharistic heart and mind since
the Church draws her life from the Eucharist. He has stated his aim for
the Year: that dioceses and parishes recognise the Eucharist as the centre
of the life of the Christian, that they foster a revival of the celebration
of the Sunday Mass and an increase in Eucharistic worship outside Mass.

Celebrations to mark the Year of the Eucharist in Ireland will take place
at local level. Bishops discussed how best to celebrate this special year
which allows us an opportunity to renew our commitment to the faith and the
Eucharist. It was agreed that events would culminate with the celebration
of the Feast of Corpus Christi on 29th May 2005. A pastoral letter, including
a ‘frequently asked questions’ section, will be issued addressing the Catholic
understanding of the Eucharist.

The Centre for Education Services at the Marino Institute of Education
presented to the Bishops’ Conference on the theme, “The Catholic School –
Imagining the Future” which addressed its work concerning the formation of
staff at Catholic schools.

The Irish Bishops’ Conference has offered to host the next available
meeting – which is in 2006 – of the spokespeople and media officers of
Europe’s Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE). This year’s event, which dealt
with various operational challenges and media issues that can arise
for communications offices, included partcipants from Ireland to Russia.
It was held in June, in Athens, and next year’s venue will be Poland.

The aim of the CCEE is to promote co-operation between the bishops of

The Irish Bishops’ Conference’s Committee on Family Welfare and Children
will make a submission to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the
Constitution which is currently reviewing and examining those Articles
in the Constitution relating to the family.


Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

Notes to Editors
The Irish Bishops’ Conference is the collective term used to describe the
formal meetings held between all 33 Catholic bishops. The bishops meet at
least on a quarterly basis. Bishops are represented at Conference from
all the 26 dioceses in Ireland (32 counties).