Deferring the Eucharistic Congress

I’m just wondering how you would all respond to comments made by a Catholic commentator regarding the Eucharistic Congress, due to be held in Ireland in 2012. The Irish Catholic newspaper reported that Mr Oliver Maloney suggested that the E.C. be deferred “as a mark of respect to the victims of clerical abuse”. Mr Maloney believes that if it goes ahead, lay faithful might consider boycotting it.

[Read the article [URL=“http://www.irishcatholic.ie/d5/content/defer-eucharistic-congress-oliver-maloney”]here]

Personally, I think it’s a ridiculous suggestion. It seems to me that Mr Maloney, as a Catholic commentator, does not grasp the significance of the Eucharist - the source and summit of the life & mission of the Church. I think the Eucharistic Congress could actually be a positive thing for healing the damage done to the Church and the faithful in Ireland - I believe that the sufferings of abuse victims are tied very closely with the sufferings of Christ. For each act of betrayal committed against those children, the perpetrators also dealt Christ the same blistering kiss of betrayal that Judas gave. Surely reparation must also be made before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Indeed, the theme of the congress - The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another - has real potential to bring about healing.

How would you all respond to Mr Maloney’s suggestion? Can there be a positive relationship between the Eucharistic Congress and the quest for healing and justice for victims of abuse? Or is it the wrong time altogether to hold the E.C. in Ireland?

What is Mr. Maloney’s standing to make such a suggestion?

I don’t really know, to be honest… As you can see from the newspaper article, his comments appeared in an Irish Catholic publication called The Furrow - www.thefurrow.ie. I’ve never read The Furrow, but it seems, from doing a search on the website, that Mr Maloney is a regular contributor to the journal. I know he is also a former director general of Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE. Though he may be somewhat misguided, judging by the content of the article, his opinions must carry some weight for The Irish Catholic to open a discussion on his suggestion.

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