Fall 1964

Page 111

Pri£•1-E"perl 225

Church, of Christ. And free choice is not possible without suffi¡ cient knowledge. Thus the people must be brought up to a certain level of secular knowledge, and, in order to make their choice truly prudent, this knowledge must contain some pastoral-theological orientation. Gradually out of these two elements a Christian wisdom is formed. Only when the priest's doctrinal mediation has thus lifted his people to some unity among themselves and with him, is it possible for the priest to unite his people to God through the abundantly grace-filled liturgy of Mass and sacraments. Doctrinal mediation seems to be the concomitant basis for liturgical mediation. Does this not mean that the extent of secularism's triumph in the twentieth century can be measured by the extent of theology's alienation from the secnlar knowledges, that is, by the extent of the failure of Christian wisdom? Does not history, philosophy, and theology tell us that to the extent the priest-experts and bishops fail to integrate secular learning with theology in their daily living, to that extent the Church fails in her mission to structure society according to Christian principles? How else can revelation, God's good news, be seen as news unless through a theology in tonch with the "real world" of secular learning and of culture? These are not rhetorical questions purely. They are meant as genuine inquiry. For this present study stakes out merely one answer among several possible responses in order to provoke more solid discussion of this basic problem: does or does not the fullness of the priesthood demand doctrinal as well as sacramental mediation? and is or is not this doctrinal mediation achieved through a theology derived from revelation and vitally contacting all the secular knowledges so as to form a full Christian wisdom? This would seem to be the vocation of the priest-expert and it would seem to explain the absolute necessity for some secular learning in the life of every priest according to his talents and according to the needs of his people.