Irish Prelate Raises Multi-Denominational Eyebrows

Archbishop Desmond Connell, archbishop of Dublin, Ireland surprised fellow clergy—and angered reporters—by preaching about the Real Presence.

A June 1 Irish Times article reported that Archbishop Connell, dedicating a multi-denominational chapel along with Irish leaders of several Protestant denominations, reportedly said, “the body and blood of the Lord remain really and truly present in the Sacrament [of the Eucharist].”

He continued: “The tabernacle is thus the sanctuary of this abiding presence of the Lord, a center of adoration and prayer.”

The archbishop called his listeners' attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and said, “Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. To visit the Blessed Sacrament is … proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration towards Christ our Lord.”

The archbishop's words at the event attended by so many Protestant clergy may have been prompted by the continuing controversies regarding inter-denominational Communion in Ireland, a practice that the Church does not allow because of the implications of the Catholic sacrament for the issue of unity.

The Protestant leaders were “surprised” at his choice of words on the occasion of the dedication of a multi-denominational chapel, said the article. It also noted that the chapel features a wooden cross with no depiction of Christ, in the Protestant style.

Poland's Catholic Talk Radio Under Fire

In Poland, said a Reuters News Service report June 2, controversial but popular Radio Maryja “brings solace to millions of Catholics” with its devotion to the faith and vigorous defense of pro-life and other positions. But is the station too concerned with politics and ideology?

The Catholic Voice in the Polish Home features daily prayers and catechetical instruction, along with wary commentary on the threats of communists and their sympathizers in a country which has seen devastation at the hands of Marxist ideologues.

An audience of 4 million hears the station's pro-Solidarity sentiments. The Solidarity movement, along with Pope John Paul II, is given credit for the demise of Polish communism in 1989.

But Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, a Pole who was recently appointed to work in the Vatican, is quoted saying that the station is over-concerned with political enemies. “I think the Church's biggest enemy is human weakness and sin,” not “communists” and “Freemasons,” he said.

At the same time, he admitted that he likes the station. “This is a difficult problem for the Church because this radio has much that is good. But mixing this good with any kind of politics simply harms the Church,” Bishop Pieronek said.

According to the report, Pope John Paul II last year called on the radio station to cooperate with the bishops and “speak with the same voice.”