Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2012 Eucharistic Congress to take place in Dublin

This announcement comes from the Catholic Communications Office in Ireland. Melancholicus has added his own comments below in red.

Dublin to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has announced today (22 June) that Dublin will host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012.

Pope Benedict's announcement was broadcast live from Rome as part of his homily during the final Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, the final event in a week-long Church celebration in Quebec city.

Attending the Congress in Quebec city, Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, welcomed the news: "On behalf of the Catholic faithful of Ireland, we are honoured and humbled that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen Dublin to host the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in 2012. While the theme for the next Congress has yet to be finalised, we are deeply conscious that 2012 also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council [Melancholicus has grown weary—and more than a little annoyed—with the profoundly misplaced awe in which the last council is held by so many of our fathers in God. Why must they always refer EVERYTHING back to it, as though it were the summit and source of all revelation? Can they not place it in its proper perspective as merely one (decidedly mediocre) council among twenty others that have taken place in the history of the Church? I fear we shall not have a restoration of a true sensus fidei until bishops and archbishops are no longer blinded by the glorious and heavenly light they imagine streaming forth still, after nearly half a century, from The Greatest Council Of All TimeTM].

"The purpose of the Congress is to deepen our knowledge of the Eucharist which in itself is central to our Catholic faith. The Church received the Eucharist from the Lord. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the life of every follower of Jesus. We ask the faithful to pray to the Holy Spirit and that its work will lead us all to a greater appreciation of the presence of Jesus in our midst, for love of us, in the gift of the Eucharist [Sound sentiments indeed. But is it not passing odd that it is here thrust upon the Holy Ghost to repair the damage wrought by the Irish bishops' own catechetical and liturgical policies ever since 'renewal' was thrust upon us? I guess it is left to Daddy to clean up the horrendous mess after the kiddies have spent the last forty years playing in their own faeces. Do these prelates not have any inkling why the knowledge and practice of religion among the Catholic faithful in this country is at an all time low, or why esteem for the Eucharist has all but vanished from our churches? Our shepherds are supposed to teach us the truth about the Eucharist. This is not best served when expensively-produced catechetical pap fails to pass on the truths of the faith to Catholic schoolchildren, or when churches are 're-ordered' in such a way that the tabernacle is banished to the sidelines, or even to a glorified broom closet. Likewise, reverence for the Blessed Sacrament is not well served when the sacred sacrifice of Calvary is masked beneath a tasteless modern(ist) liturgy redolent of a community jamboree. Who do the bishops think they're fooling? If they're fooling anyone, it's most probably themselves].

"The hosting of the Congress in Dublin will be an international event. The celebration will attract thousands of pilgrims and will enable Catholics at home and abroad to meet, pray together and discuss issues of faith.

"This is the second time that Dublin and Ireland plays host to the International Eucharistic Congress. The 1932 Congress in Dublin was considered an organisational success and it publicly showcased Catholic faith in the newly established State. We live in different times now and it is our hope that the 2012 Congress will be an opportunity for the Catholic Church in Ireland to both reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist at the heart of our increasingly diverse community [Merely to 'reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist', without explaining to the thoroughly confused and de-catechized Catholics of our time what precisely the Eucharist is and why it is so important? Melancholicus here prophesies that the 'increasingly diverse community' will receive far more extensive consideration than Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and the sacrifice of the Mass], and, to give renewed impetus to the living of faith [would that be the Catholic faith or the conciliar faith, your worships?].

"Our planning for the 2012 Congress will be guided by Article 20 of the Statutes of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses (1986), which stipulates that: 'In preparing a Congress, emphasis is laid mainly on an intense catechesis on the Eucharist as the Paschal Mystery of Christ…, on active and conscious participation in the Liturgy…, and on a careful choice of initiatives and the diligent implementation of social ministries, in such a way that the Eucharistic table may be a sign of solidarity and sharing with the poor.' [Here, alas, is the answer to the question Melancholicus posed at the end of the previous paragraph.]

"Accordingly, over the next four years, parishes are invited to suggest how best to celebrate the 2012 Congress. In all our preparations we shall continue to: promote renewal of faith; bear witness for the Gospel [doubtless by calling for social justice, something any marxist heathen could do]; and, communicate the principle that the Eucharist represents the community professing itself as belonging to the Lord [at first Melancholicus misread the 'community professing itself' as 'the community worshipping itself' and thought, in amazement, that the conciliar church had at last let the cat out of the bag and frankly admitted what was really going on at their liturgies. One would not be overly surprised, since that sort of thing is exactly what transpires in so many churches where the Spirit of Vatican IITM holds sway. But what the text actually says is not a million miles removed from Melancholicus' original misreading. For this 'definition', if such it be, of the holy Eucharist is frighteningly reminiscent of the heretical article 7 of the 1969 Institutio Generalis of the new Roman Missal that defined the Mass as merely a 'synaxis' or shared community meal. There is no mention whatever of the sacrificial nature of the Mass, or of the nature of the Eucharist as the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus. In fact authentic Catholic Eucharistic teaching is so thoroughly disregarded by this press release that the text contains absolutely nothing to which protestants could possibly take exception! Melancholicus for one finds that remarkable. Not surprising... but nonetheless remarkable].

"Finally, we wish to congratulate Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, and his fellow clergy, religious and laity of Canada on the quality of the reflections and liturgical events which all contributed to a very successful Congress in Quebec. The daily Masses, workshops [!], witness reflections, discussions and adoration of the Eucharist made for a joyous week while leaving a lasting impression on all the pilgrims who attended this special event."


A pox upon these conciliar prelates, and upon all their houses.

While Melancholicus is not old enough to remember the 1932 Eucharistic Congress, he is intimately familiar with it since in his boyhood he chanced upon an old picture-book of the same while holidaying in his grandparents’ house one summer.

Many years later, when both of his grandparents had died, Melancholicus and his mother were clearing out their vacant house as it was due to be sold. It was a sad task, filled with many memories. It was not a big job as they were poor people, and aside from a few old bits of furniture, they owned little else. Melancholicus was at that time discerning the beginnings of a possible vocation to the priesthood, and so he retained for a keepsake all that his grandparents had owned that pertained to the Catholic faith — medals, scapulars, rosaries, prayer books, pictures, holy cards and of course the picture-book of the 1932 Eucharistic Congress.

Many times he has read through that book, even during those years of his adolescence in which he cared nothing particularly for the things of God and of religion, and the images therefrom are imprinted on his mind. Even in the days of his heathendom he was captivated by the sight of the vast crowds, the children turned out in their first holy communion finery, the sight of our political and military leaders kneeling—yes, kneeling—on the bare ground for the Apostolic legate’s Mass in the Phoenix Park; they had faith in those days. The photographs (all black-and-white of course), with their capture forever of the old-fashioned dress, motor vehicles and architecture of the 1930s, and of so many people, most of whom would have been long dead by the time Melancholicus found the book, made the scene romantic as a lost world into which one might enter as though by means of the wardrobe in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories. Of course the reality of 1932 was decidedly less romantic than it appears in Melancholicus’ picture-book; Ireland was then a desperately poor country, with a sky-high rate of child mortality (especially from TB), alcoholism, and unemployment. But what a breathtaking contrast with today’s third-rate tat were the beautiful vestments of the clergy, the lacy surplices and rochets, the flowing robes of the assembled prelates and of the papal legate Cardinal Lauri! The Irish Free State was at that time only ten years old. The Second World War had not yet come, but is was soon, as Our Lady had prophesied at Fatima, as Pius XI was at that time on the throne of Peter. Among sundry other oddities, this pontiff was enthusiastic about convoking an ecumenical council to finish the work of the Vatican Council that had been suspended indefinitely owing to the occupation of Rome by Italian forces in 1870. His advisers ultimately dissuaded him from this project, convincing the pontiff that the time was not opportune, nor would the Church stand to gain from a council. ’Tis a pity indeed that John XXIII’s advisers were not able so to convince their man!

So the recent announcement that the next Eucharistic Congress will be held in Dublin was momentous news.

When Melancholicus heard the news, his first reaction was a flash of delight.

Nevertheless, he must admit to mixed feelings about the proposed event. Given the state of the Church today, and especially the ruin of the liturgy, it can hardly top the 1932 Congress—or even come close to it.

One should start as one means to go on, and the announcement of the 2012 Congress in the above release from the Catholic Communications Office, replete as it is with buzzwords, jargon and studied ambiguity, is not the kind of beginning which makes for a good end.

In the first instance, the event will furnish our enemies with endless scope for sneering and for blasphemies against the Catholic faith. As at any prominent and public Catholic event, all the dissidents and politicised self-interest groups will slither out from beneath the leaf litter and court the attention of the media, who will be only too happy to oblige. All the old chestnuts will be raised; the journalists—both unbaptised and apostates alike—will pack countless column inches with tedious and predictable ‘debates’ about Catholic teaching on contraception, homosexuality, clerical celibacy, women’s ordination, etc. etc. etc. to such an extent that the Congress itself will be forgotten.

This unhappy state of affairs would obtain even were holy Church in a state of robust health, but given her current ailing condition, weakened by the widespread loss of faith and the lack of clarity in Catholic teaching characteristic of our time, these negative effects can only be amplified accordingly.

While it is unlikely that Melancholicus will himself witness the 2012 Eucharistic Congress at first hand, since he will then be living in Washington with his wife, it is of great concern to him that such an event in the diocese in which he was baptized and confirmed should at least be edifying. He does not expect it to top the Congress of 1932; but he hopes it shall not prove itself to a be a shameful embarrassment at which Catholic teaching shall be obscured in favour of the maxims of contemporary political correctness, or that its liturgies shall feature creepy giant puppets or other unseemly spectacles more suited to the circus tent than to the sacrifice of calvary, along with pop music and rock guitars in place of traditional hymns and solemn chant.

Otherwise the whole event will have been a fruitless—and no doubt expensive—waste of time.

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