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IEC2012 explores forgiveness and reconciliation

Friday June 15, 2012

Thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and overseas 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 14th June 2012 at the RDS Arena, Dublin.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, delivered a liturgy of reconciliation 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 Mr Richard Moore, Founder of Children in Crossfire, delivered a personal testimony. A ten year old in 1972, on the way home from school, he was blinded by a bullet in Derry. Mr 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 Seán 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 Cardinal 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, Father Liam Lawton: Composer and Musician, St Laurence’s Children’s Choir, and the Vocalese Singers.



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