Sunday 4 December 2016

Colum Kenny: Is the Church a club with rules you accept or leave?

Consuming Christ's 'body and blood' has echoes of cannibalism for some, says Colum Kenny

Published 10/06/2012 | 05:00

THIS week Irish Catholic bishops are hosting the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. It is a busy and colourful event. Yet most Irish Catholics do not share their Church's official teaching on the nature of the Eucharist (Holy Communion).

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So are the effort and expense involved in mounting what its episcopal organisers describe as "a Spiritual Olympics" at the RDS and Croke Park more about show than substance?

Last week, an opinion poll for the Irish Times revealed that three-quarters of Irish Catholics do not believe that when a Catholic priest blesses bread and wine at Mass it "transforms into the body and blood of Christ". Two out of three opted instead to tick the box that said that it "only represents the body and blood of Christ".

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