Summer 2002

Priestly Fraternities: Living the Sacrament of the Other

Massimo Camisasca

“If we do not see our brother as an obstacle, we cannot love him. It is at this point that we discover the meaning of the sacramental presence of the other; his otherness or diversity is a sign of a Presence that transcends the other and makes him a sign of something more. ”

One can speak of priestly fraternities or friendships in the Church from a juridical point of view.1 This is an interesting approach, since law always reveals the history of man and sheds light on how he has understood himself and others. Nevertheless, I would like to approach this topic from a more profound point of view, examining priestly fraternities or friendships as the expression of something essential to the life of the Church, and, even more fundamentally, to man as such. Our theme thus becomes the experience of friendship (obviously, we can cover only a few aspects of this experience here).

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1. This essay reproduces a talk given in Rome to the school for priests of the Congregation for the Clergy, 30 January 2002.