Irish church leaders plan for 2012 eucharistic congress

DUBLIN (CNS) — Irish Catholic leaders formally announced plans for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, including efforts to keep the costs affordable.

The congress will be June 10-17, 2012, at various locations in the Dublin archdiocese, including Royal Dublin Society. The closing Mass will be held at Dublin’s Croke Park and is expected to attract up to 80,000 pilgrims, including 12,000 from overseas.

During the official launch March 7, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin moved to dampen expectations that Pope Benedict XVI will attend the congress.

“There are no plans in place for a visit of the pope at this moment,” he said. He added that the pope had been invited. Anne Griffin, general manager of the congress, told Catholic News Service the closing ceremony will be ticketed and that international delegates who come on a three- or seven-day registration will have the option to attend.

“Registration is opening in the next month for anybody who wishes to come to the Congress,” she said March 7. “We know that there will be roughly 1,000 people from Canada because they have already expressed an interest; we have approximately 1,200 from the deaf community from all around the world; we have 100 priests from South Africa who are waiting for registration to open so that they can come; and we have a delegation from Taiwan who are waiting to register.”

At least 800 pilgrims from Australia are also expected to attend, she said.

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