Thursday, April 10, 2008
DIALOGING AWAY THE FAITH
There was an "old saw" the previous generation lived by. In polite company no one brought up religion or politics. It worked pretty well when people wanted to have polite company. Today we want to have dialogue, resulting in downright impolite company as the recent firestorm over the Good Friday prayer indicates.
Steve sent in an essay by Michael J. Matt, Editor of The Remnant, titled "Dialogued to Death: Catholics Support Suspension of Inter-Faith Dialogue". He writes:
One positive fallout from the brouhaha over the Good Friday prayer is that “inter-faith dialogue” was inadvertently exposed for the wobbly house of cards it has always been. The moment Peter brought Christ the Savior of all men back to the table, his “dialogue partners” began packing up their goodies in disgust, and down went the card house. What does that tell us about inter-faith dialogue?
It’s amazing to consider here in 2008 that grown men and women on both sides of this aisle can with straight faces still claim that a “better understanding” is just around the corner so long as inter-faith dialogue continues unabated. Exactly how long is this process supposed to take?
For forty years they’ve been gabbing about this ill-defined "dialogue" and yet things have only gone from bad to worse. After all, unearthing fundamental religious differences isn't exactly rocket science: He says Christ was merely a rabbi; she says Christ was only a prophet; they say He is whatever they want Him to be; and we say He is the Son of God. How is a lot of inter-faith palaver going to cause any of these contradictory beliefs to suddenly gel, unless, of course, “divisive” dogma is deep-sixed. And once that happens how is a “better understanding” of anything ever going to be achieved? It would be like trying to understand what’s wrong with a car while refusing to open its hood. But such contradictions no longer register with the enlightened dialoguers. They remind me of those lunatical sex “educators” in public schools calling for still more sex education after veritable epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases began spreading among vigorously sex-educated teenagers. “Just because it isn’t working doesn’t mean we need to stop using it!”
Madness, they say, is manifested by those who repeat the same action over and over again but expect different results. It would seem that ecumeniacs and sex “educators” have something in common.
Bottom line: Inter-faith dialogue hasn’t worked. Tensions between the religions are getting worse every day. Why? Because inter-faith dialogue doesn’t serve truth—it buries it! And a world without truth quickly descends into barbarism.
Dialogue seems to be premised on a certain unspoken willingness on the part of the Catholic Church to downplay her own doctrine, if not actually renege on her claim to be the one true Church. If there was ever any doubt of this before, there isn’t any now. The Pope revised one prayer to be said once per annum by a minority of Catholics and what did his “dialogue partners” do? As the Bible puts it, they rent their garments. Why? Because the fundamental rule of dialogue was violated by 9 words written by the pope: “acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind.” Anathema sit! He has blasphemed! Dialogue be damned!
Clearly, this sort of dialogue isn’t really about achieving a "better understanding” of anything; our “dialogue partners” understand perfectly well the theological differences the abound. What they evidently want is for the Church to modify her teachings to say that Christ is Savior but only for Catholics and those who believe in Him--not for all men! Evidently, this has been the ultimate goal of inter-faith dialogue all along.
I must say I found the entire article a pleasure to read because it makes more sense than most of the high-minded diatribes in support of dialogue. Perhaps when the Pope is here in the U.S. someone will give him a copy of Matt's comments.