TO THE EDITOR:
The recent directive of Pope Francis on the use of the Latin Mass has been getting a lot of attention. What stands out for me on reading it is his heartfelt search for unity in the Church. I write thinking that the directive might help with stalling further divisions, at least for a while. I don’t see, however, that the directive will restore a true unity. Conformity, maybe, but not unity.
My own conviction is that a necessary step toward unity was not mentioned. That is, the unity of the priests — in this diocese and in many dioceses. We have little or no idea of what our brothers in ministry are thinking, what motivates them and what they see as their mission.
Until we come to know one another, work to understand each other and listen to each other, how can we possibly love one another? How can we be one in our Eucharistic celebrations?
My own hope is that initiating frequent and regular meetings of the priests in the deaneries around the state will give us opportunities to bridge the gaps between us. These small groups would offer moments of sharing, where each man would have an opportunity to speak, to be heard, to be respected. Over time, despite the generation, this could well lead us to love one another. The pope’s “The Joy of the Gospel,” reflected on page by page, would be an excellent place to begin.
Rev. Robert M. Beirne, Providence