Congress Theme for IEC 2012

10-17 June 2012, Dublin, Ireland

source – www.iec2012.ie

Pope Benedict XVI has given his formal approval to the theme proposed by Archbishop Martin for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress: The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another

What follows here is a short presentation of the theme. The Congress theological document, which is a more substantial exploration of the theme can be found here.

The Congress theme The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another, has its roots in The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, (Lumen Gentium) of the Second Vatican Council, where we read

Really partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. “Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread”. In this way all of us are made members of His Body, “but severally members one of another” (Lumen Gentium, 7)

The ecclesiology of Vatican II is an ecclesiology of communion. Commenting on this, Pope John Paul II, in an address to the Roman Curia in 1990, explained

Koinonia is a dimension which clothes the very constitution of the Church and every expression of it: from the profession of faith to the testimony of praxis, from the transmission of doc trine to the articulation of structures. Rightly, then, the teaching of the Second Vatican Council insists on it, making it the inspiring idea and the central axis of its documents. It is a question of a theologal and Trinitarian communion of every member of the faithful with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which is reflected effusively in the communion of believers among themselves, gathering them into one people… with an essential dimension which is visible and social. The church appears in this way as the universal communion of charity, founded in the faith, in the sacraments and in the hierarchical order in which pastors and faithful are personally and communally nourished at the sources of grace, obedient to the Spirit of the Lord, who is the Spirit of truth and love. (Address to the Roman Curia, 20/12/1990, AAS 83, 1991, 742)

What Motivates our Choice of Theme?

The Eucharistic Congress is intended to make manifest “the central place of the Eucharist in the life of the Church and in her mission pro mundi vita” (Statutes, Art. 16)

The ecclesiology of communion makes important links between the Church and the Eucharist. The Church is a communion, drawing her life from the Eucharist (cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia). This communion is constituted by the real presence of Jesus but also by the presence of those who, many or few, gather in His name at the “one table of the Word and of the Bread of Life.” (Dies Domini, 36), and enter into a real personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist which shapes their lives

In a world in which many forms of community have collapsed, the Church not only is communion, but also has, as an essential element of her mission, the task of proposing, building-up and sustaining forms of community:

The Sunday Eucharist which every week gathers Christians together as God’s family round the table of the Word and the Bread of Life, is also the most natural antidote to dispersion. It is the privileged place where communion is ceaselessly proclaimed and nurtured. Precisely through sharing in the Eucharist, the Lord’s Day also becomes the Day of the Church, when she can effectively exercise her role as the sacrament of unity. (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 36; cf. also 43-45

It is our hope that the theme: The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one anotherwill contribute to an enriched understanding of the Eucharist as true personal Communion with Jesus Christ and to a renewed understanding of the Church as an essentially Eucharistic community.