Uganda has enjoyed the fruits of ‘grass-roots evangelisation’ based on their martyrs of the 19th century, according to Sydney Seminary Rector Fr Anthony Percy.
This includes a re-alignment and proper understanding of the true intentions of the Second Vatican Council, he said. It also brought home to him “how much we really need to pray to the Lord of the harvest for vocations” to the priesthood.
In Uganda he noticed a mutual love, affection and support between those in the ministerial priesthood and those who form the common priesthood – that is, between priest and people.
This is a crucial point for Australia where there is confusion in the life of the Church with respect to the vocation and function of both priest and people, he said.
“Both are essential for the good governance and functioning of the Church and for the mission that Christ entrusts to us. It is a true ‘sign of the times’ when both priestly and lay vocation are respected and loved and when the two work together in harmony,” he said.
“One of the retired Archbishops of Australia, Francis Carroll, used to say that the Second Vatican Council tried to move the Church away from being centred upon the Sacrament of Holy Orders to being rooted in the Sacrament of Baptism. This is entirely true.
“However, some people misinterpreted this critical theological shift. They thought that what was intended was a reorientation away from priesthood to the lay state.