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Congress Explores Communion Through Baptism

Dublin Welcomes Pilgrims for Second Day of International Event

By Ann Schneible

DUBLIN, Ireland, JUNE 11, 2012 ( The 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) explored the themes of baptism and ecumenism today, with addresses delivered by both Catholic and Anglican archbishops.

The IEC, under way through Sunday, explored today the theme: “Exploring and Celebrating Our Communion through Baptism.” Two of the main speakers of the day were Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and his Anglican counterpart, Archbishop Michael Jackson, who addressed the theme of baptism specifically within the context of working together ecumenically toward peace and renewal in the Church.

Archbishop Jackson explained at a press conference today that “one of the themes that comes through very strongly is that theme of pilgrimage. I think the number of people who come from many parts of the world and many parts of Ireland, both as participants and as volunteers, this is something which I think brings us to a new place, and holds us there in good faith.”

“The opportunity has been opened up through this conference,” he continued, “for the involvement and the participation and the contribution of people of traditions beyond the Roman Catholic Church. I think there is something which is of great enrichment to us who have been invited to be part of that.”

Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin expanded upon the statements made by Archbishop Jackson, speaking about the importance for uniting in common purpose. “The Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church,” the archbishop explained, “and the other main Christian churches in Ireland, are facing many of the same challenges in what we call ‘evangelizing,’ in bringing the message of Jesus Christ to young people. We are all aware of the fact that we need to find new structures, new methods for that evangelization.”

“I think there is a real temptation by people,” Archbishop Martin continued, “faced with the rapidity of change, with all of the refuges that people take, to simply say that there is nothing I can do, and let the thing take over. We are in a situation today where we will not rebuild [or] renew the Church by simply letting it take over.”

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