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Cebu News

Pre-IEC gathering helps ‘rediscover bedrock of faith’

Kristine B. Quintas/RHM - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Around 1,500 theology professors, students, seminarians, lay formation volunteers and catechists have convened in Mandaue City for a three-day pre-International Eucharistic Congress symposium.

The 51st IEC Theological Symposium, which started yesterday and will end tomorrow, was held at the Cebu Doctors’ University campus to ‘rediscover the very bedrock of faith”.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the gathering was aimed to better understand the depth of our faith and of the Eucharist, as well as deepening the understanding and enriching the participants’ liturgical and pastoral practice.

“(It is meant) to understand fully and better what we believe in and to deepen our belief because not so many Filipinos are catechists. And if they are catechists they are not catechists enough and there is a very shallow theological foundation for many for the things we believe in,” he told a press conference.

He hoped that the theological symposium will enlighten and help make people practice what they believe in.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop and 51st IEC Secretary General Dennis Villarojo, on the other hand, said the symposium is more “technical and academic” in content while the actual IEC is more “pastoral”.

He said the IEC, which will happen in Cebu on January 24 to 31, is designed to be “deep enough for an elephant to swim in but shallow enough for children to be in.”

At least 12,000 delegates have already registered for the IEC. Villarojo said around 1,500, or 30 percent of the total number of registered delegates, are coming from 71 countries.

During the symposium yesterday, Reverend Father Ti-mothy Radcliffe, spoke on the promotion of Social Justice and Human Rights while Reverend Father Francis Moloney explained in detail the Eucharist in the Gospel of St. John, particularly John 13:18-20 and John 13:21-38, which dwelt on how great and unconditional God’s love is.

Radcliffe is director of the Las Casas Institute of Blackfriars Oxford while Moloney is the founding editor of Australian theological journal Pacifica and the associate editor of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Meanwhile, a bi-annual gathering of bishops will start this Friday, January 22, at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral with a 10 a.m. Mass to be presided by Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines.

This will be first time that the CBCP plenary assembly, the country’s Roman Catholic Church’s highest governing body, will be held outside Luzon since its the CBCP was established in 1945.

The CBCP usually issues a collective statement on pastoral and social issues after its plenary assembly. It currently has 131 members, 37 of whom are retired. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ARCHBISHOP GUISEPPE PINTO CATHOLIC BIBLICAL QUARTERLY CEBU ARCHBISHOP JOSE PALMA CEBU AUXILIARY BISHOP CEBU DOCTORS CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS LAS CASAS INSTITUTE OF BLACKFRIARS OXFORD MANDAUE CITY
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