50th International Eucharistic Congress Explores True Meaning of Forgiveness

15 Jun 2012

50th International Eucharistic Congress Explores True Meaning of Forgiveness

Images of the daily IEC2012 events are available from Media Gallery here.

Thousands of pilgrims from around the globe gathered to explore and discuss the true meaning of forgiveness and how we can forgive others in our daily lives at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) on Thursday 14 June 2012 at the RDS Arena, Dublin.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, delivered a liturgy of reconciliation at 10am focusing on the daily theme of ‘Reconciliation in our Communion’.

During the Liturgy of Reconciliation, Cardinal Turkson said: “Be perfect and mend your ways! It’s a call for intense introspection and examination of conscience, so that we can put all our broken ways into the healing and repairing hands of God in the sacrament of Penance – a Penance that can reconcile us with each other and bring us back into the embrace of communion with each other.”

Pilgrims had the opportunity to attend confession in the IEC2012 Prayer Space, while a series of interesting workshops focusing on reconciliation took place. Daily Catechesis was delivered by Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Earlier while delivering Morning Prayer, Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, spoke about the importance of the psalm and the role it plays in morning prayer. Archbishop Neary said that as Christians we dedicate our whole day to God in the morning offering. Speaking about Psalm 95, he said: “This Psalm is a Psalm of personal dedication.  It helps to refocus our life on God as we live in a busy world.  It calls for a personal decision.”  By praying this Psalm today, “we have access to God in a special way,” Archbishop Neary explained.

At 3pm, a personal testimony was delivered by Mr Richard Moore, Founder of Children in Crossfire, who was blinded by a bullet in Derry, whilst on his way home from school at the age of 10 years old in 1972. Moore spoke to pilgrims, gathered in the arena, about forgiveness: “First and foremost, forgiveness is a gift to yourself.”  The second thing he said is that “Forgiveness won’t change the past, but it will change the future.”

Cardinal Sean Brady was the main concelebrant at the daily Congress Mass at 4pm. Speaking about the surviving victims of Clerical abuse, Cardinal Brady told pilgrims gathered in the rain: “I want to take this opportunity of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress to apologise for the times when some of us were blind to your fear, deaf to your cries and silent in response to your pain.”

The Primate of All-Ireland explained: “My prayer is that one day this [Healing] stone might become a symbol of conversion, healing and hope. I hope it will become a symbol of a Church that has learned from the mistakes of the past and strives to become a model for the care and well-being of children. What this stone represents, what has happened in the Church in Ireland and in other places in the world, is a stark warning to all that there can be no passing by on the other side, no room for half-heartedness in our care for the vulnerable and the young.”

Concelebrating the Mass with Cradinal Bray were Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya; Archbishop of Kinshasa,  Archbishop Michael Neary; Archbishop of Tuam, Archbishop William Slattery; Archbishop of South Africa, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin; IEC2012 President.

The Congress Choir performed on the main RDS arena stage and during the Mass as well as the Vard Sisters, Full Set: Young Musicians, Liam Lawton: Composer and Musician, St Laurence’s Children’s Choir, and the Vocalese Singers.


Further information:

  • Aisling Harmey, Media Relations Manager, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Mob: 00353 (0) 87 137 2447  Email: [email protected]
  • Aoife Connors, Media Officer, 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Mob: 00353 (0) 87 628 0580  Email: [email protected]

Notes for Editors:

  • The 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 will take place in Dublin from 10 – 17 June 2012 with thousands of Irish and international pilgrims representing more than 120 different countries.
  • IEC2012 will transform the RDS into a Eucharistic Village for an eight day festival of faith and culture. The Eucharist will be celebrated in the Liturgy and adored in the Prayer Space.
  • The Congress is an international gathering of people, held every four years somewhere in the world, which aims to promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church; to help improve our understanding and celebration of the liturgy and to draw attention to the social dimension of the Eucharist. These aims are achieved through a programme of pastoral preparation in the years leading up to the Congress and a programme of liturgical and cultural events, lectures and workshops over the course of one week.  Previous Congresses took place in Quebec (2008) and Guadalajara (2004)
  • The theme of the Congress is ‘The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one Another’ (Communion – like Solidarity – means a relationship of mutual love and self-giving).
  • On 17 June, more than 80,000 people are expected to gather and celebrate Statio Orbis, the Final Mass, of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress 2012 at Croke Park Stadium.
  • There are a total of 223 speakers as part of the IEC2012 programme of events, which includes 38 speakers in the main arena delivering Catechesis (teaching), personal testimonies, homilies and addresses.
  • There are 41 speakers delivering addresses at the Chiara Luce Youth Space for young people between 17 and 25 years old.
  • A total of 160 workshops including talks, addresses, group reflections, meetings, concerts and plays
  • The full programme is available at: http://www.iec2012.ie/programme
  • For more information: www.iec2012.ie
  • Follow the Congress Week events live: http://www.rte.ie/news/congress2012/