Reflection 192 Resolution Previous reflections
Based on the
Vatican 2 document
"Gaudium et Spes" (Church in the world) 92
This beautiful article is a Declaration of Dialogue
- dialogue within the Catholic
- dialogue with other Christians
- dialogue with other faiths
- dialogue with anyone and everyone
God is continually inviting us to
a conversation, to friendship.
Christians must continually be inviting others to a conversation and friendship
Pope Paul VI once said "We
Christians must take the first step in dialogue"
= we must be the ones who say "hello" first
The words of this article are
beautiful, yet also sad,
since the "D" word within the Catholic Church has been largely deleted.
c.f. the appeals for dialogue from the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland
...to which the Irish bishops won't respond.
c.f. the unwillingness of bishops around the world to hold a synod in their dioceses
(even though Vatican II called for the holding of such synods)
c.f. the censorship that goes on when a rare synod is held
(...many hot topics are put on the "you may not talk about this" list)
As we re-read the words below,
we pray Jesus, you are the Father's Word to us. May we be your word to the world
Declaration of Dialogue - article 92 of Gaudium et Spes
By virtue of her mission to shed on the whole world the radiance of the Gospel message, and to unify under one Spirit all men of whatever nation, race or culture, the Church stands forth as a sign of that brotherhood which allows honest dialogue and gives it vigor.
Such a mission requires in the first place that we foster within the Church herself mutual esteem, reverence and harmony, through the full recognition of lawful diversity. Thus all those who compose the one People of God, both pastors and the general faithful, can engage in dialogue with ever abounding fruitfulness. For the bonds which unite the faithful are mightier than anything dividing them. Hence, let there be unity in what is necessary; freedom in what is unsettled, and charity in any case.
Our hearts embrace also those brothers and communities not yet living with us in full communion; to them we are linked nonetheless by our profession of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and by the bond of charity. We do not forget that the unity of Christians is today awaited and desired by many, too, who do not believe in Christ; for the farther it advances toward truth and love under the powerful impulse of the Holy Spirit, the more this unity will be a harbinger of unity and peace for the world at large. Therefore, by common effort and in ways which are today increasingly appropriate for seeking this splendid goal effectively, let us take pains to pattern ourselves after the Gospel more exactly every day, and thus work as brothers in rendering service to the human family. For, in Christ Jesus this family is called to the family of the sons of God.
We think cordially too of all who acknowledge God, and who preserve in their traditions precious elements of religion and humanity. We want frank conversation to compel us all to receive the impulses of the Spirit faithfully and to act on them energetically.
For our part, the desire for such dialogue, which can lead to truth through love alone, excludes no one, though an appropriate measure of prudence must undoubtedly be exercised. We include those who cultivate outstanding qualities of the human spirit, but do not yet acknowledge the Source of these qualities. We include those who oppress the Church and harass her in manifold ways. Since God the Father is the origin and purpose of all men, we are all called to be brothers. Therefore, if we have been summoned to the same destiny, human and divine, we can and we should work together without violence and deceit in order to build up the world in genuine peace.