IEC proves Church is for all –  priest

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CEBU City, Jan. 24, 2015 – A Catholic priest-theologian taking part in the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) said Sunday that the religious gathering proves that the Catholic Church is a Church for all people.

“These people are coming from all over. It is a manifestation of the universality of the Church, and how the Eucharist really brings us together in a very concrete manner,” Fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III, O.P., told CBCP News in an interview.

Fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III, O.P., one of the hundreds of priests who concelebrated the opening Mass of the week-long 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) with Myanmar's Cardinal Charles Maung Bo as main presider at Cebu's Plaza Independencia. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

Fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III, O.P., one of the hundreds of priests who concelebrated the Opening Mass of the week-long 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) with Myanmar’s Cardinal Charles Maung Bo as main presider at Cebu’s Plaza Independencia. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

The prior provincial of the Philippine Dominicans was commenting on the droves of local and foreign pilgrims from at least 71 countries who braved the afternoon heat to attend the IEC opening Mass presided over by Papal legate and Yangon Archbishop Charles Maung Cardinal Bo at Cebu City’s Plaza Independencia.

“And of course it [Eucharist] is the presence of Christ,” he added.

Timoner, a member of the current International Theological Commission (ITC), went on to point out that the Eucharist cannot be particularized given that it is a celebration of the unity of the Church.

“We cannot particularize it because it’s universal. It is for all,” he explained.

According to the Bicolano priest, the Real Presence of Jesus is what St. Thomas of Aquinas calls as “reality as a Sacrament.”

“But the reality, the grace itself, is communion,” he noted.

Timoner pointed out that the grace of the Eucharist is impeded if there is division as well as fractures that run across families, communities, and the society. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

 

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