Those clerics are everywhere

By 
  • June 20, 2008

Not that a Eucharistic Congress is a numbers game, but it has been readily apparent with anyone with eyes around here that the priesthood and hierarchy are very well represented indeed.

Among the 12,000 are so registrants are:

  • 1,500 priests;
  • 250 bishops and archbishops;
  • 40 cardinals.

They were particularly visible in the June 19 procession through the streets of Quebec City. The priests were in white, the bishops in their magenta and the cardinals in red and black. They formed an impressive phalanx in the middle of the procession.

However, they were greatly outnumbered by the countless religious sisters, wearing innumerable variations of habits. There were also a number of lay groups who feel, for one reason or another, that they need uniforms to demonstrate their religious zeal.

Speaking of numbers, there's been quite a debate in the press tent about the crowd estimates for Thursday's procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The congress organizers reported 25,000 participants, a number approached by various TV news programs, including Radio Canada. But Yves Therrien of the Quebec City daily Le Soleil used a figure of 10,000.

When challenged on that number this morning, he insisted the higher figure was absolutely impossible. He argued that only about 9,000 pilgrims have been attending congress events and only about three-quarters of these would be able to manage the five-kilometre hike in the procession, the rest being too old or feeble. And though the procession picked up participants as it went along, he didn't believe that number was high enough to make up the difference.

What can I say? The crowd filled the street for at least a kilometre, some places from sidewalk to sidewalk. It looked much larger than 10,000 people to me, but then again, I'm not from here.

 


For more coverage by the Catholic Register on the 49th International Eucharistic Congress see:

You’ll know they are pilgrims by their backpacks

Your TV eye on the Eucharistic Congress

This just in from head office

Rain or applause?

There's plenty of elbow room

Why is it always a United Church?

Where are young priests? Right here

Something old, something new

The Eucharist is also service

More on the numbers front

Spending a little quiet time with Jesus

New priests bring new life to church

We're all softies at heart


 

 

 

 

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