Monday, December 3, 2012

a painful reality

I'm in the middle of organising a funeral. While the deceased is 'one of mine' most of his family are RC. So I made contact with the local PP to see if he was available to take part in the service. He was happy to agree. As we were talking he said:

'I've got a new job since we spoke last.' The 'new job' is looking after a nearby parish during a vacancy. He didn't grumble, but it would be hard to think that he's not feeling a bit overwhelmed. He's not a young man and his only assistance is from two retired priests who are even older and not in great health. It's going to be a big challenge trying to cover even some of the Masses in the 'new' parish on top of his own. 

It was on the tip of my to offer to help in some way, but I had to bite my tongue. The truth is that I can't help. Ecumenical relations are good within the parish, but there are limits. I can't celebrate the Eucharist at his altar or receive from it; and he can't celebrate at mine or receive either. That is just the painful reality of the situation. 

What makes it worse is that it seems unlikely that the situation can be remedied. There was a time, not that many years ago it seems, that the ultimate goal of some form of inter-communion, & indeed the possibility of corporate reunion, seemed almost within reach. That no longer seems to be something that is going to happen, not with the Catholic Church in any case. And, as I posted on previously, neither does it seem like it will happen with the Orthodox Churches either. 

This should be a cause of sorrow to all concerned. Christ commanded us to be one. We are failing our Lord and Saviour. It is something we must all pray hard about.  Please pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit as to how these road-blocks are to be overcome. And pray that we will have the courage to listen and obey.

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