First the ban on confession, now Fine Gael want to cancel the Eucharistic Congress

Last week Enda Kenny spoke of his determination to ban the seal of confession, now a member of his Fine Gail party is calling for the cancellation of the International Eucharistic Congress due to be held in Dublin in 2012.  Even worse the proposal to cancel the Eucharistic Congress first came from a dissenting group of Catholic priests, the Association of Catholic Priests.

The Guardian reports:

Senator Cáit Keane said the Eucharistic Congress, which is scheduled to be held in the capital’s Phoenix Park in June, to be put off in the light of the row over the Vatican‘s attitude to clerical child sex abuse inquiries in the republic.

She said she backed suggestions from a group of rebel Catholic priests that one of the largest liturgical Catholic events be postponed.

Speaking in the Irish parliament, Keane said: “I support the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland request to postpone this event as I believe it is not an appropriate time for an event such as the Eucharistic Congress to take place in this country.

“I believe that everyone will be better served, given the sensitivities around the findings of this report, that it be held at a later date.

“The association has over five hundred ordinary priests as members in this country who are not afraid to speak out on the injustices and wrongdoings in the Church, and we must support their efforts to stand up and be counted.”

Protect the Pope comment: As well as putting robust safe-guarding procedures in place and co-operating with the Irish government, Pope Benedict recommended that the Catholic Church in Ireland could find renewal through acts of reparation through confession and the Eucharist.

In just over a week the Fine Gail party has ignored the hard work put in by the Irish Church to improve the safeguarding of children, and attacked both confession and the Eucharist. And they say they are not anti-Catholic!

The fact that a group of dissenting Catholic priests has called for the cancellation of the International Eucharistic Congress is shocking but really shouldn’t surprise – liberal priests are not known for their love of the Eucharist, seen in their abandonment of Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. They see such devotions as medievalism that has no place in the Church they are shaping in their own image.

According to The Guardian over 500 Catholic priests belong to the Association of Catholic Priests. Poor Ireland, things just get worse and worse.

14 comments to First the ban on confession, now Fine Gael want to cancel the Eucharistic Congress

  • Edmund

    Let’s not forget what Blessed John Paul said to the one and a quarter million people in Phoenix Park September 1979 for the Irish would do well to remind themselves of it especially in this year of a Presidential election:

    “…When the moral fibre of a nation is weakened, when the sense of personal responsibility is diminished, then the door is open for the justification of injustices, for violence in all its forms, and for the manipulation of the many by the few

    I have come to you as Bishop of Rome and Pastor of the whole Church, in order to celebrate this union with you in the Sacrifice of the Eucharist, here in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin, for the first time in Irish history. As I stand at this moment, a pilgrim for Christ to the land from which so many pilgrims for Christ, peregrini pro Christo, went out over Europe, the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia, I am living a moment of intense emotion. As I stand here, in the company of so many hundreds of thousands of Irish men and women, I am thinking of how many times, across how many centuries, the Eucharist has been celebrated in this land. How many and how varied the places where Mass has been offered—in stately mediaeval and in splendid modern cathedrals ; in early monastic and in modern churches; at Mass rocks in the glens and forests by “hunted priests”, and in poor thatch-covered chapels, for a people poor in worldly goods but rich in the things of the spirit, in “wake-houses” or “station houses”, or at great open-air hostings of faithful—on the top of Croagh Patrick and at Lough Derg. Small matter where the Mass was offered ; for the Irish, it was always the Mass that mattered. How many have found in it the spiritual strength to live, even through the times of greatest hardship and poverty, through days of persecution and vexations. Dear brothers and sisters, dear sons and daughters of Ireland, permit me, together with you, to glance back over your history, in the light of the Eucharist celebrated here for so many centuries.

    Today I wish to express the gratitude of Jesus Christ and his Church for the devotion that Ireland has shown to the Holy Eucharist.

    The visit to the Blessed Sacrament—so much a part of Ireland, so much a part of your piety, so much a part of your pilgrimage to Knock—is a great treasure of the Catholic faith. It nourishes social love and gives us opportunities for adoration and thanksgiving, for reparation and supplication. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Hours and Eucharistic processions are likewise precious elements of your henitage—in full accord with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.

    At this time, it is also my joy to reaffirm before Ireland and the whole world the wonderful teaching of the Catholic Church regarding Christ’s consoling presence in the Blessed Sacrament”

  • Robin Leslie

    Well, the simple answer to the banning of the Eucharistic Congress
    is to take Prime Minister Kenny to the European Court of Human Rights. The Irish State was been mired in corruption even before Haughey ran his racing stud and acquired his millions by virtue of his office, unlike De Valera who was a devout Catholic and a virtuous politician. So Kenny has little warrant to start lecturing the Catholic Church. The country is mired in debt, millions repossessed and widespread homelessness for which the Church usually picks up the tab.
    On the question of the seal of confession the Church will never break that seal for that would make render all the sacraments
    meaningless and would shatter the trust between priests and people.
    Incidentally it is interesting to note how the secular media and the motley assortment of feminists, gays, atheists, humanists and others have constantly sought to undermine this trust to seek out weak points in the Church’s life in order to break its resistance to the tyranny of plutocratic secularism.

    • Tim

      “Well,the simple answer to the banning of the Eucharistic Congress
      is to take Prime Minister Kenny to the European Court of Human Rights.”

      Calm down. Kenny isn’t banning the Congress. Thanks to the fact that Ireland is a Secular Republic he doesn’t have power to ban the Congress. Church and State are separate. That means that it is up to teh Church to hold this event or not and that the policians and everyone else can say what they like, but can’t stop it.

  • Tim

    They are not banning it, an individual is merely suggesting that it is postponed. The Church is free to ignore those calls and hold the event anyway because Ireland is a free secular republic. A perfect example of how the church gains from separation of church and state.

  • Well said, Edmund & Robin. Another ignorant ill-informed politician who does’nt realise that there is a demarcation line between Church & State in the Irish Republic. Kenny & his sychophantic acolytes dont own this country, least of all the Catholic Church ; notwithstanding the presence of a large cohort of establishment/state friendly Quisling-like clerics & cowardly bishops. As usual it’s the laity who are stepping up to the mark & confronting the vile ” blue shirts “. The level of anti-Catholic hysteria which Kenny has unleashed in Ireland is very frightening. The fundamentalists in the Irish media ( virtually them all ) have totally lost the run of themselves. Thankfully Ireland is’nt a secular Republic ( despite the best efforts of the liberal/feminist fundamentalists ) ; secularists have no monopoly on the public square !.

    • Tim

      “Another ignorant ill-informed politician who does’nt realise that there is a demarcation line between Church &State in the Irish Republic.”

      “Thankfully Ireland is’nt a secular Republic ”

      Can I suggest that you find out what secular means. Might help you aviod making such condradictory comments

      • Pedro


        I truly admire your patience and your perseverance.

        • Deacon Nick

          And I truly admire the patience and tolerance of both the secularists and Catholics who are prepared to engage in robust but respectful debate on Protect the Pope. I value the contribution made by both groups of people on this site. Deacon Nick.

        • Tim

          Thanks Pedro,

          I *am* getting frustrated. Contrary to what some people might think, I really don’t care what other people believe (and I would hope that everyone is able to believe what they believe, because trying to believe something that you don;t really believe, can;t really make for a healthy mind – as the immortal Tom Paine said “Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.” )

          I just don’t think that anyone should be advantaged or disadvanted by what they beleive or do not believe.

          I am not trying to convert anyone to atheism, It just gets very frustrated when Secularists are attacked on the basis of something that they are not.

  • A secular state in the European context has come to mean a state in which religion ( especially Catholicism ) is banned from the public square ( notwithstanding the fact that, in Ireland especially, the state is funded by the public’s taxes – the majority of whom are Catholics ). Thus secularists attempted to ban Crucifix’s in Italian public schools. The Court of Justice held that the State has no business promoting/preferring this concept of secularism. Like the Court of Justice, & unlike our two secularists friends above, I support the concept of pluralism, not a narrow-minded/intolerant secularism ; the ideology lurking at the root of Kenny’s rant.

    • Tim

      “A secular state in the European context has come to mean a state in which religion ( especially Catholicism ) is banned from the public square ”

      I say it again. Noone, least of all Kenny, is talking about banning the Congress.

      You cannot accuse Kenny of intolerant secularism which seeks to ban religion from the public sqaure without giving a single example of what he has banned.

  • Kenny’s sectarian, mob rousing remarks are indicative enough of his intentions. His lackey’s ( Sen. Keane ) comments are merely trying to raise the stakes further. Eternal vigilance is absolutely essential. It’s disingenuous to suggest that they have’nt sinister intentions in this regard.

    • Tim


      Kenny’s intentions are irrelevent. The point is regardless of whether he wishes to distroy the church or whether he wants to be the next Pope, the secular nature of the Irish republic means that he cannot ban this event even if he wanted to. It is therefore nothing more than a scare tractic to say that he is banning it.

  • Tim, we will have to agree to disagree. Starting with the ” secular nature of the Irish Rpublic “. Many of the media/political commentariat/ayatollahs are pushing for same, but thankfully Dev’s Constitution ( so far ) has prevented them – but I would’nt hold my breath. The lunatics are already well ensconced also in the legal establishment. John Waters put it in black & white terms recently ( vis-a-vis the media & David Norris ) a large section of Irish society has been intellectually infantilised ( including within the Church ) over the last 20/30 years ; for those of us who value rationality/reason – be afraid, be very afraid !.

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