Organisers of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) have announced that a Healing Stone is going to be unveiled during the Opening Ceremony in the RDS on 10 June as a means of acknowledging the abuse of children.
The Healing Stone comprises a large, shaped piece of Wicklow granite is engraved with a prayer composed by a survivor of clerical abuse. The prayer was originally featured in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral in 2011.
Work on the Healing Stone project began in early 2012. Following consultation with various people, including abuse survivors, it was agreed that the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the Congress.
Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of IEC2012, said: "Stone speaks of permanence. To say something is 'carved in stone' is to say that it is here to stay rather than just a passing thought. The stone represents the firm determination to work for healing and renewal.
"In our Christian tradition, the stone which covered the tomb of Jesus, symbolises both the end of His earthly existence and the fact of His Resurrection. We are conscious of the fact that, for many who have experienced abuse, either themselves or to a member of their family, the pain of abuse can sometimes be like a stone weighing heavily on them. It is a stone that, in some way or other needs to be rolled back so that they can be set free."
Fr Doran added: "It is planned that after the Congress, the Stone will be given a more permanent home on an accessible site, where people can pause and pray, and so that there will be a permanent public reminder of our need never to take safeguarding for granted."
For more information see: : www.iec2012.ie
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