17 September 2020, The Tablet

Wanted: new kinds of priests

Cardinal Sarah’s letter


The coronavirus pandemic, deadly though it is, has taught humanity many lessons, not least the importance for human wellbeing of connectedness and interdependence. Zoom, Team, Hangout, Skype and so on are valuable software tools for communication and interaction. But they lack something – the “real presence” of other people, for which there is no substitute. And there is a close parallel here to the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, especially in the celebration of Mass. Catholics the world over have felt the absence of that sense of closeness to God that comes from being actually and really present. It affects and deepens the experience of prayer in mysterious ways. Watching a screen is not the same as being there.

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