Malcolm Reville reflects on dialogue within the Church
When I tried to send a comment on 22nd May the ‘capptcha code’ got me, and the message was lost. Now that Brian D’Arcy has been censured I think it is important to re-send the post about ‘Dialogue within the church’.
In the book ‘Future Directions’, ” A Call to Dialog within the Church” which he edited, the late Carroll Stuhlmueller C.P. wrote that, ‘the ordination of women enlarges a dialog across the entire church, male and female, and forces us to re-examine the nature and force of symbol within the sacramental system of the Catholic church. Dialog such as this unites rather than divides. It enriches and so makes the bond within the church more worthy of Jesus’ death and resurrection.’… This book presents no final answers. The authors, however, call all of us to dialog with honesty and dignity, with openness in the pastoral and scholarly forum, that the future directions of priesthood reflect the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our midst.’
The fact that there are now married priests in the Ordinariate, and in a number of dioceses worldwide, allows the ordinary Catholic to become familiar with the role of the married priest. Where I live, there is a Ukrainian married Catholic priest with a family, who runs a family bookstore on a full-time basis. His parishioners have no problem accepting his role as other than normal. It is unfortunate that other Catholic priests who are married, do not have the opportunity of exercising a pastoral ministry
As a result of the recent ‘blitzkrieg’ emanating from the Vatican, against male and female religious, in Ireland and the U.S., many in the church will feel some trepidation at becoming involved in any dialogue about married, or women priests.
Now that our brother Brian has been disciplined, I will now have to add one more individual to my list of people to pray for, who have been ‘wounded’, in the exercise of their conscience. Brian D’Arcy said he had been “living with the pain of censure for 14 months and will have to live with it for the rest of my priestly life”.
As Carroll Stuhlmueller said; ‘Fire is the prophet Jeremiah’s word for the divine summons within his conscience’. ‘I say to myself, I will not mention it, I will speak his name no more. But then it becomes like a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones: I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it’ Jer 0;9
Malcolm Reville, M.R.E.
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Canada