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

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2. Emotional Irenistic Fermentation


It is necessary to place the irenistic tendency that we have been analyzing in relation to the several meanings of "dialogue" and "argument" in its ideological context and proper psychological setting.22


22 Here we understand the word "irenicism" not in the sense of a temperate love and true peace , but in that of a disorderly intemperate love of a peace obtained at any price to the harm of principles, acquired rights, etc. In short, we refer to an unauthentic peace. Pius XII, in the Encyclical Humani Generis of August 12, 1950, says of this kind of irenicism: "There is also another danger, which is graver still since it is hidden under the cloak of virtue. There are many who, deploring the discord within the human race and the confusion reigning in souls, are forcefully impelled by an ardent desire to break the barriers which separate good and honorable men from each other,‑ they embrace an "irenicism" (policy of appeasement) such that, putting to the side all the questions that divide men, they pretend not only to join forces against an overwhelming atheism but also to reconcile contrary opinions even in the dogmatic field... If such persons intended nothing but to better accommodate, with some renovation, ecclesiastical teaching and its methods to current needs and conditions, there would be practically no reason to fear; but some, carried away by imprudent "irenicism," seem to consider an obstacle to the reestablishment of that fraternal unity precisely that which is based on the laws and principles established by Christ and the institutions founded by Him, or that which constitutes the defense and support of the integrity of the Faith. If all this were to collapse, all things would become united, indeed, but only for their perdition (Discorsi e Radiomessagi, vol. XII, p. 488).

Paul VI also speaks expressively about this irenicism in the part of his Lenten exhortation to the priests and clergymen of Rome, cited in footnote 16.

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