Friday, October 13, 2006

Ecumenical honesty

Commenting on an article in the New Republic, Richard John Neuhaus, at the First Things site, makes the following observation.
Mr. Nirenberg seems to assume—and a good many Christians, regrettably, share the assumption—that “dialogue” requires that truth claims be set aside or can only begin from the stipulation that all truth claims are equally true, or false, as the case may be. But genuine dialogue is not pretending that our differences make no difference. Genuine dialogue is the engagement of our deepest differences within the bond of civility and mutual respect. [my emphasis]
Whether in personal relationships, political disagreements, or efforts at genuine ecumenism, the same rule holds true — no progress can be made until there is first an identification of significant disagreements. Papering over disagreement with pretense is dishonest and prevents the discovery of actual areas of accommodation or agreement.

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