Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Communion and Communication
Korea has seven Catholic seminaries, and although this helped to open the way for more vocations it has also divided the clergy into different groups. When they had only the Seoul seminary they all new each other and when the Kwangju seminary was built it was the first division but now we have seven and for some, in a very homogeneous and well organized society, hard to accept.
For the religious this is a bigger problem for they have experienced community and are not easily able to fraternize with their fellow Korean religious-divided as they are in formation, among the different seminaries.
One of the religious in an article thought that (communio and communicatio) communion and communication are two very important elements in the life of priests. He would recommend a proposal that has been around for some time that after the course of studies for the priesthood is finished, all end up at one place for the final year for communion and communication. He feels that this is necessary for renewal, they have a need to build community and through communication to work towards renewal, an ongoing sign of the health of the Church.
Although this has many approving of the idea he acknowledges that it does not seem feasible. There are just too many obstacles to overcome to have it see the light of day.
The whole idea of communion and communication does present one with a good blueprint for life in the Church. A problem that we have is a failure to communicate and possibly the first step is communion. Unless we know one another and make an effort to understand and talk to one another from the heart, divisions that we have will continue.
Cardinal Avery Dulles had one of the models of Church as a Community. The six that he proposed need not be independent of each other but help to make for an integral vision of Church. The problems we have in parishes, dioceses and communities is the absence of a desire to talk to one another at a deeper level. The communio is missing and the lack of communication naturally follows.
Here in Korea where we still have a very uniform society it is still noteworthy to see some in the Church desiring an almost impossible dream. It is is a beautiful dream but the obstacles are just too many to overcome - having more communion , however, is not something that we should ignore because of the difficulty.