In Dublin, the 50. World Eucharistic Congress of the Catholic Church comes to an end. Monsignor Robert Kleine, who presided over the national Eucharistic Congress of 5. by 9. June 2013 in Cologne plans. On our site interview, he talks about the days in Dublin and the lessons Cologne organizers plan to draw from the event.
Interviewer: What makes the Eucharist so important in the Catholic Church that they even hold congresses on it?
Monsignor Kleine: We encounter Jesus Christ not only in His Word, in the Scriptures, but concretely in the sacrament of the Eucharist, in receiving Holy Communion. When we gather on Sundays, we do so as a congregation, in communion with him and receive him in communion. There is no faith or religion where God makes himself so small that we have such communion with him. To become aware of this and then, from the reception of the Eucharist, to shape the coming week and everyday life, that is a mission that was again reminded of at this congress.
Interviewer: What impressions did you bring back from there??
Monsignor Kleine: Very different, very enthusiastic, also about the seriousness of the examination of the Eucharist in testimonies of life and faith that were given. And in the celebration of the most diverse services, especially of course the liturgy. But there was also a little bit of dejection over everything, because in Ireland the abuse scandal had a very big extent and the question of forgiveness and guilt was again and again thematized especially in the services, the intercessions, but also in a reconciliation service.
Interviewer: The World Congress in Dublin was also clearly marked by the crisis that the Catholic Church is currently experiencing in Ireland. Here in Germany, too, there are currently many discussions within the church, such as the admission of remarried divorcees to communion. Will these themes also be dealt with at next year's congress in Cologne??
Monsignor Kleine: First and foremost, the congress is about the celebration of the Eucharist and the substantive, theological verification of what we are celebrating there. That there was the Reformation in our country, that there is separation and no unity of the church, that will certainly be addressed. But it is not the place for controversial discussions, but actually a look together on the center of the church, which is Jesus Christ our Lord. This will take place in various forms: In church services, in lectures, also in discussions and workshops z.B. for communion catechesis or communion helpers. We want to address the most diverse groups that have to do with the Eucharist in their Christian life and life of faith.
Interviewer: Were there things in Ireland that could be adopted here in Cologne??
Monsignor Kleine: Well, it was a very exciting week. We here in Cologne have the congress for only four days, there it was from Monday to Sunday. The first days were dominated by older participants, because the others were working or still at school. We have the same problem here on Wednesdays. But on Thursday, we want to consciously invite the schools, so that will be a very lively and filled day. What I took away with me is that you have to pay attention to the weather! In Dublin it rained almost all the time, but all events took place outdoors. We certainly have the opportunity in Cologne, through the cathedral, the Romanesque churches and other venues, to reduce this risk and at the same time, above all, to celebrate the services in a smaller setting. And we can give catechesis there, where consultation is also possible. That was with up to 5.000 participants in the racecourse during catechesis in Ireland is not possible, of course.
Interviewer: The number of participants at the Eucharistic World Congress fell short of expectations. Should we therefore not set our expectations so high for Cologne next year??
Monsignor Kleine: We never did, or at least I didn't. We take our cue from the numbers that come between these world congresses and z.B. lie a Catholic Congress. Although this one is of course differently oriented and has a different clientele in mind. So we expect up to 20 to 25.000 permanent and daily participants. At the end we want to celebrate the closing mass in the Mungersdorfer stadium with 40.000 believers celebrating. That is certainly something that we in Cologne, together with all the dioceses, can achieve well.
The interview was conducted by Stephanie Gebert.
In Dublin, the 50. Eucharistic World Congress of the Catholic Church came to an end. Benedict XVI was also present at the closing service. LinkedIn. A total of well over 100.000 visitors to the week-long meeting. Bishops, priests, religious and lay people met in the Irish capital last week. The motto of the jubilee meeting was "The Eucharist: communion with Christ and with one another.". An important role was played by the theme of ecumenism, as well as the unity of the Christian churches. The German Bishops' Conference was represented by Friedhelm Hofmann, bishop of Wurzburg.
According to organizers, tickets for Sunday afternoon's final event at Croke Park Stadium, which hosts about 80.000 spectators, almost sold out. The service was celebrated by Curia Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Canadian prefect of bishops' congregation is pope's delegate at world congress in Dublin. A video message from the Pope was broadcast afterwards.
In the past week, according to organizers, up to 20 had daily.000 people attended the World Congress. A total of 160 symposiums, speeches, workshops and concerts were held, at which 223 invited clergy, experts and believers spoke.
During the congress, Pope's delegate Cardinal Marc Ouellet had met with victims of sexual abuse. On behalf of Benedict XVI. he asked for "forgiveness from God and the victims for the grave sin of sexual abuse of children by clergy". Already during the opening ceremony on Sunday, a "Stone of Healing" was unveiled, which is dedicated to the victims of abuse of the Catholic Church and will be permanently installed in Dublin after the congress.
The Eucharistic World Congress is an international gathering of Catholic believers and deals with topics related to the sacrament of the altar. The meeting takes place at intervals of one to three years. Ireland last hosted the event in 1932. The last meeting of this kind in Quebec, Canada, in 2008, was attended by about 200.000 people took part. In Germany, a national Eucharistic congress is scheduled for 5. to 9. June 2013 in Cologne planned.