Spring 1969

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Page 104



conference or the apostolic delegate will gaze at the horizon and make comments touching on the subject of the priests' remarks. After all the listeners have considered what they have heard there will be another round of statements addressed without a name or a zipcode number. So it will go, to the despair of newsmen. Somehow, possibly with open collaboration near the close of the oratory, steps will be taken and changes made without any definable background. The process will be slow and clumsy, as it has been whenever it has been used in the past. It will work because everyone who should hear will be listening. Anct ideas absorbed will have consequences. The factors that can be seen at a glance which will fuel the process are the times, the state of the church, and the world conditions. The less obvious ones can be summed up in the word, interdependence. Everyone knows that priests are dependent on the hierarchy of the church. The observers stumble only when they try to set forth all that this involves. The fact that it is only beginning to be identified is that the hierarchy is dependent on priests in ways never before recognized. It is as though generals were to have thrust upon them new reasons for taking enlisted men more seriously. In another way the fact resembles the situation created when officers of a business enterprise are compelled by circumstances to formulate a new concept of the importance of workers. Personally, I cherish the thought that bishops, priests, and laymen alike are placing more stress on and attaching more value to their relationships of love and brotherhood rathei' than those of supremacy and subordination. Because I have attended A.C.P. meetings I know that there are priests asking, who a1¡e we? ... what is our mission as priests? And as they ask they become increasingly aware of the men on their left and right and behind and ahead. Watching and listening to the priests at their meetings and at a symposium I became convinced that they are gaining a