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

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5. Irenistic Pacifism and Dialogue


When sprouting from the soil of irenic utopia, the words "dialogue" and "coexistence" make a trilogy with the word "peace". Irenic peace is not just the absence of thermonuclear or conventional wars, revolutions or guerrillas. It has a doctrine and both public and private lifestyles, in which all clashing elements would be replaced with a cordial and dialectic coexistence of thesis and antithesis in continuous collaboration to prepare the synthesis.

Irenistic dialogue is the direct application of this doctrine, the language of this lifestyle, and the instrument of this collaboration.26


26 Upon reading these considerations, a victim of the talismanic word "dialogue" will doubtless ask whether the author, so hostile to irenicism, is indifferent to the danger of a thermonuclear hecatomb.

This question is in itself an insult, since only an insane or soulless man can be indifferent to such danger. A Catholic who does not really fear it, is not sincere in his faith. He is really nothing but a Pharisee.

But for a sincere Catholic there is an even greater evil than war: sin. St. Augustine makes this idea very clear: "What is there to recriminate in war? Is it the fact that men destined to die one day are killed in it, so that the victors can live in peace? To thus censure war would be something for the pusillanimous and not religious men to do. What is justly reprimanded in war is the desire to do harm, the cruelty of vengeance, a spirit implacable and inimical to all peace, the ferocity of reprisals, the passion for dominion, and other like sentiments" (Cont. Faust., XXII, 74, PL. 42, 447). If these are the sins which war can induce men to commit, much graver is the sin to which, in the present circumstances, irenicism can lead them.

This sin is apostasy, the most serious of all sins because it attacks Faith ‑ the root of all virtues.

If the condition of preserving peace is for the sons of the Church to accept a relativistic view of religionfraudulently introduced in then by the talismanic word "dialogue" and the like ‑ and a socialist civilization, then it must be frankly recognized that the human race is given the alternative of either obeying God, who commands us to believe in what He revealed, or obeying the communist despots who, brandishing their hydrogen bomb, command us to reject revelation. And confronted with this alternative once more there is nothing to doubt: "We ought to obey God rather than men, " warns the Prince of Apostles (Acts 5:29).

In reality, however, we deny that the options confronting mankind are either apostasy or atomic destruction. True, there is the Divine precept on one hand and the communist threat on the other. But the danger of a thermonuclear hecatomb will be greater if we disobey God than if we disobey the despots of Peking and Moscow.

If public opinion, dominated by the fear-sympathy syndrome and intoxicated with the talismanic words of irenicism, including "dialogue," accepts a relativistic and Hegelian conception of religion, it will inevitably result in the noncommunist nations accepting, in terms of coexistence and to preserve peace, the worldwide establishment of Communism.

This supreme sin, precisely on being committed by nations and not only by individuals, is subject to Divine Justice in a very special way.

Indeed, while the sins of individuals can be punished in this world or the next, it is not that way with the sins of nations. As St. Augustine says, since nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next life, they are rewarded for their good actions and punished for their bad actions here on earth.

Thus, in terms of justice, to a supreme sin of countries corresponds a supreme punishment in this world. And this could well be a thermonuclear catastrophe.

There is more danger of such a catastrophe in apostasy than in fidelity.

This affirmation will be even better proven if we consider not only the punishment, but also the reward. Nations faithful to the Law of God should receive just recompense on this earth. Nothing then is more suitable to attract the protection and favor of God to a nation, even regarding the goods of this life, than heroic fidelity in the face of a thermonuclear danger. This fidelity is the means par excellence to drive this danger away.

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