The Editor: Thank you and all those who have worked to publish the Prairie Mesenger over the years. We greatly appreciate all your efforts to bring important and interesting stories into our home each week.
Your progressive and uplifting paper has been an inspiration and source of hope to us in what have been some disappointing times following the initial hopeful expectations generated by the Second Vatican Council.
We will miss the PM very much. If there is any way publication can continue, even in a smaller perhaps “online” format, I am certain it swould be much appreciated by many of your loyal subscribers. — Robert and Leona Donnan, Tisdale, Sask.
The Editor: In an article from the Prairie Messenger on ecumenism, Dr. Jason West said it is “clear that ecumenism is a daily task in which all Roman Catholics are engaged in a variety of ways.” West warns that ecumenical dialogues are not fruitful if begun from the assumption that Catholicism has the fullness of truth and the means of salvation, and that whatever small share our partners might have in these really comes from the Catholic Church.
In Ut Unum Sint, Pope John Paul II raises and legitimizes the question of reform and change in the papal office. He calls for widespread discussion on how reform could be brought about and the shape it could take. Ut Unum Sint calls for unity in legitimate diversity. It takes wisdom and a receptivity of respect to be willing to accept the paradox of being fully committed to Catholicism yet open to accept other denominations on an equal basis. West says that an important requirement for ecumenism is the conviction that Catholics can learn from non-Catholic Christians.
For unity to happen, Christians will have to overcome denominational bias, which is an enhanced view of one's own denomination and may have accompanying negative thoughts about other denominations. An attitude of God-is-on-our-side certainty closes off rather than encourages open dialogue. Open-ended conversation has the potential to become the antidote to intra-Christian separation.
West writes: “Genuine ecumenical engagement should lead us to become more fully immersed in our own faith, not less, for only if each is committed to their faith and genuinely interested in learning and living the truth come what may, can true dialogue occur. Only then can we hope to realize Jesus' wish ‘that they may all be one.’ ” — David LIdster, Kamloops, B.C.