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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Unperceived Ideol. Transship. and Dial.

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4. Dialogue, Irenicism, and Religious Persecution

 

Does the fact that communism accepts peaceful coexistence with the several religions that resist it perhaps indicate that the period of religious persecutions is over?

Strictly speaking, no. Communism will accept such coexistence with religions or religious groups that, taking a Hegelian position, acquiesce to dialogue with communism on a relativistic basis. Here it seems that communism's attitude is new, but on reflecting we see that the newness is not communism's but rather that of certain religious currents whose position on relativism is becoming more and more weak and conniving. Communism persecuted religions when they fought it. Therefore it is consistent for communism to stop fighting those who are ready to start a relativistic dialogue with it in a climate of peaceful coexistence.

These assertions have interesting confirmations in fact, and as we see it, the Polish Communist Party supports the " Pax" group for no other reason.

The persons who join "Pax," while still calling themselves Catholics, nevertheless acquiesce in collaborating with the communist regime in building the socialist world. These "Catholics" thus insinuate that the social thought of the Church has evolved and now supports a flexibility toward socialism that it did not have before. Now, if the thought of the Church can evolve in a social matter, it can also evolve in anything else. The position of the "Pax" group contains an implicit confession of relativism that aims at presenting a completely mutable Catholic doctrine to the public. Furthermore, by accepting irenistic dialogue with the communists "Pax" reveals itself to be a tool in promoting the spread of relativism in Catholic circles all over unfortunate Poland.

This relativistic tendency can also be observed in the controversial book Il Dialogo Alla Prova (A Cura di Mario Gozzini, Messo Secolo, Vallecchi Editore Florence, 1964), in which more than one contributor insinuates that, from the point of view of dialogue, men are not divided into ideological groups but into two large supraideological categories. In the various doctrinal outlooks, some people are sensitive to dialogue and capable of it, and these move toward peaceful coexistence and synthesis. These are the good. The others are insensitive to the attractions of dialogue and obstinately stick to controversy of a "dogmatic" nature, therefore lacking the mark of relativism. These are the bad, the hardhearted, and the intransigent.

One needs not have much political perspicacity to see that the bad will not have the delights of peaceful coexistence, but only the inflexible rigors of the most ferocious persecution.

 




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