.- In a pastoral letter sent to the priests of his diocese, Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Tarazona, Spain, said they should they should wear the Roman collar as “a sign of God for mankind today,” and he reminded them that “simple people want to see priests as men of God.” In his letter, which marked the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist, Bishop Fernandez wondered “why it is that in a secular society such as ours, priests are contributing to the erasing of all signs of God and hiding our consecrated nature by not dressing as priests.”
He also pointed to the same phenomenon among religious. “And so we complain about a secularized society, when we have been on the forefront in eliminating the signs that distinguish us and are signs of God for mankind today.”
In his letter, the bishop invites priests to celebrate the liturgy with great care, since “what we have in our hands is a great mystery of our faith, and not something we should mess around with.”
Bishop Fernandez recalled the need to do away with the idea that there is some kind of opposition between the laity and religious and instead build up the relationship between the two states of life in the Church. “We need to be clear that if there are more priests, there will be more laity as well,” he concluded.