CEBU City, Jan. 24, 2015 – A Catholic priest-theologian taking part in the ongoing 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) said on 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.
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 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 a point of division 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 priest from Bicol, the Real Presence of Jesus is what St. Thomas of Aquinas calls “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)