Although views differ on the way forward, we need to maintain community - brought to mind how Romero was compassionate to bishops who opposed him. Respectful dialogue is key.
Each of us is a product of our background - the problem arises when we are unwilling to have dialogue with others -so become trapped in own narrow experience and perceptions.
Must always - as we did tonight - pray for our own renewal and work for that, not just call for others to change.
Growth in Christ happens with others: not Me-Christ then involve others; personal prayer is essential and yet is always as member of community of the Church. We recalled how people unable to come to the meeting were with us in prayer.
We sought to understand the current trends and letters from those in positions of leadership:
- "without priesthood there would be no Eucharist... " We prefer "without Christ"...... One danger that the priesthood of all the baptised is identified solely with the ordained priesthood.... the Church is dependent on Christ not ordained priesthood.
- http://comeandsee.scot/ an initiative to encourage vocations to the ordained priesthood. "But how do we encounter Christ? Primarily in the teachings of his Holy Church, through prayer and in the sacraments." We thought better would be : "the teaching of the church, to be relevant, must help us to meet Christ" which is why we take delight and challenge in Joy of the Gospel; and also thought of Clare's letter, which was read out.
Tendency from some exercising authority is to undermine the value of each person, and also of each baptised person, in glorifying the clergy
We spoke of the need to re-imagine priesthood - we focused on presiding at Eucharist (which the whole community celebrates). We noted the recent Open House article. We asked whether there are advantages in a model whereby someone is ordained for a limited period for a particular community. We observed that although it can be wonderful, it can also be very hard to have a life-long commitment to spiritual leadership: we mused for a few moments on whether in some circumstances a short-lived (3 year?) commitment can in some ways be healthier...
Discussed and committed to the 24 may (Pentecost Sunday) proclamation in public of Joy of the Gospel - subject of another email soon
Next meeting - we forgot to set this when all were there, but we then decided on Tue 16 June, same time and place.
How many people who see our emails do not connect to the V G site? We had assumed latter was easy, but its not always for the less technologically-minded...