The Church of Perpetual Dialogue

The whole Al Smith Dinner Scandal involving New York’s Archbishop, Cardinal Dolan is now in full swing.

There was a time when Socon or Bust would have joined the band wagon denunciation, but frankly I see no point any more.  The hierarchy just don’t get it, and the word “scandal” has become completely meaningless in the Catholic Church today.  What’s the point of blowing your stack when your opponents are the bishops and whose vocabulary does not include the word?

We’ve become the tower of Babel.  We speak languages that the other cannot understand.  The Bishops do not understand the language of Humanae Vitae.  They pay lipservice to it but are unwilling to accept the consequences of what it means for their ministry in this cuture of Death.  We don’t like to admit that it is not possible to solve the problem.  We think that more “dialogue” is the solution – both with our opponents within the Church and our enemies outside of it.  It’s the endless dialogue that permeates everything in the Church today.  The dialogue never ends and it’s usually a subtle self-deception to avoid the Cross.  Problems, conflicts? Not a problem…just engage in dialogue forever and ever Amen, and never bring down the hammer.  Is that how Jesus did it?  Ask the Pharisees about how long He “dialogued” with them.

It’s not unlike the “courtship” in today’s relationships between men and women which never seem to end.  They just don’t end up marrying until their 40s or 50s, if ever.   Actually, if you think about it, the endless dialogue that happens today is like contraceptive sex:  all of the pleasure and none of the consequences.  Ask yourself, honestly, if this is not exactly  what he have today. 

When you have real sex, there are real consequences.  Lives and relationships change forever.  Some people are euphoric.  Other people not so much.  But when you are in a state of perpetual “sex without consequences”, it’s the same, sterile results. Nothing changes for the better.  In fact, it gets worse.  So too it is with the Church of Perpetual Dialogue.  Talk, talk, talk. Make nice. Try to see the good in the Devil himself, if you can.  It’s just misunderstandings that dialogue can overcome!  No declarations. No judgements. No consequences.  And as a result, No change either.  Just more talk.

When an intelligent young woman figures out that her boyfriend isn’t really interested in marriage, she dumps him. She does this, of course, because she’s interested in the long haul, not a short term fling where she is used and thrown overboard once the next best thing comes along.  But today’s Church is like the foolish young woman who thinks that if she sticks around long enough, compromises and scandalizes herself, that everything will eventually turnout.  In the end, we know how that sad spectacle turns out, don’t we?

4 thoughts on “The Church of Perpetual Dialogue

  1. Wow. Well-spoken, my friend. Sterile “dialogue” in a sterilized culture. We definitely need some serious renewal, maybe like that which came out of the deserts after the age of martyrs following the peace of Constantine. Christians fled the cities where church and state had become too cozy, to rediscover their true identity as Christ’s disciples, in the desert. Those desert monks and nuns became a prophetic voice, drawing the Church back to her true identity – not in union with the empire, but in union with Christ. I wonder if the time is again ripe for this kind of out-of-the-desert renewal. In a sense, many of our great renewing saints came out of their own deserts of below-the-radar obscurity to become humble agents of great change. God knows best, and I suppose at this point we need to strive to be true to the Gospel ourselves… Still, I wonder, where are the deserts from whence perhaps these transformative people will emerge/are emerging? Perhaps they’ve come and gone like Mother Teresa Brother Andre, Catherine Doherty… and the mire is much deeper and darker… Alas, I ramble… Nice post. 🙂

  2. I think blowing our stacks at the hierarchy is probably useless. But I think we have to keep up the pressure because we have to get average Catholics– if not the hierarchy– to stop being the tool of the enemy.

    There is a certain logic to some dialogue. You don’t want to have a siege mentality.

    But like you said, there comes a point it becomes toxic.

    Catholics have this stupid tendency to think if I just get people to talk to me and check me and out, they’ll think I’m really okay, and we’ll make headway.

    And so we think if we can befriend the opposition, they’ll finally see our way of thinking, they’ll be open to compromise, and it’ll work out fine.

    So we work on being liked.

    Nothing wrong with that, but anyone with eyes can see that trying to be liked isn’t working.

    So it fails. So we do it some more. And it fails again. And we do it some more.

    And we do it again, and again and again. Because we want to be liked, and if we do the opposite, we’ll be DISliked.

    And if we’re DISliked, the opposition won’t give us what we want. And all that emotional investment in trying to like people and being liked will be “wasted’.

    And we want to be liked because doing the things that Jesus did is the way to get liked.

    And if you are not liked, then it MUST be because you’re not being Christ-like. If our opponent-“friends” feel offended at things we say, we must be doing something wrong. They’re not feeling the love of Jesus!

    Meanwhile, they’re using this “friendliness” to walk all over us and get what they want.

    Please don’t get me wrong. We should try to be friendly with people who think differently.

    But we shouldn’t be afraid of pissing people off. Especially those we think need to ingratiate ourselves with.

  3. Through our Education Establishments the Worldview of Politically Correct Relativism has permeated Western society.
    When the majority are thus taught from Kindergarten they grow up not knowing any different. Look at how our Culture has changed since 1962 when school prayer was declared unconstitutional. Christian morality was separated from Government, Law, and Education and replaced by Secular Pagan morality.
    If a person does not accept the tenets of Politically Correct Relativism by decree, it is difficult for the person to survive. Almost all of Western Civilization has bought into this PC mentality. When the PC Social Engineers took Benevolent Christianity out of Western Government, Law and Education they regressed Western Nations closer to their former beliefs. Study the attributes of their gods, their Priests, and Priestesses. All one has to do is to look at the consequences of these worldviews.

    Dialogue, discussion and debate are always useful means of communication. Each side ought to respectfully state and prove their points, and in a democracy the majority get their way right or wrong. Professor Tom Landers was very good at communication proving by verifiable evidence what democratic society ought to legalize or not. When Parliament did not raise the age of sex consent in 2005 as concerned parents and citizens asked them to ,and The Supreme Court of Canada declared consenting 14 year old’s as adults as a Human Right and Social Justice, Tom got upset. This made Canada a preferred destination for Sex Trafficking predators and pedophiles. What kind of people allow this? Tom and friends united Canadians from all faiths and agnostics to pressure Parliament to raise the age of sex consent to stop this evil from prospering. Finally in 2008 Parliament raised the age of sex consent to put an end to this. When people really want to unite to prevent evil from prospering they have. Tom was a good Canadian, Irishman and teacher. We need more Gatekeepers like him. We have to many that open the gate to evil and let it permeate society.

  4. The problem with dialogue is that most people don’t know what dialogue is. It is not simply “keeping the conversation going.” This is a favourite phrase of the Ontario Catholic educational community, especially the trustees and the Institute for Catholic education: keep the conversation going among all the “partners”, secular and in the Catholic community, and we’ll survive and even thrive. Not really.
    Suzanne’s point is important. Dialogue presupposes standing consciously in one’s identity and faithfulness to that identity, which includes long held, time-tested beliefs and Tradition. When true dialogue of this kind takes place, people will respectfully agree to disagree, and sometimes resentment results – as Suzanne noted. That’s okay. There are too many Catholics in positions of responsibility in Church-related organizations (e.g., Catholic education, even diocesan funded organizations), who are smugly convinced they know better than 2000 years of time-tested Tradition. The tragedy is that they’re engaging in what they think is dialogue (but isn’t) and selling the rest of us out in a slow, insidious progression of concessions. Well, this is bigger than all of us. It’s right to bring it to light, but ultimately, God never loses, Christ triumphs, and the Holy Spirit continues to be the Spirit of Truth, bringing fruition to what has been divinely authored, in mysterious unforseen ways. These are our times, and John, you are right to turn to prayer as your consolation while engaging in this ministry against such forces that prey on ignorance and pride. We need to speak the truth, but to be detached from the outcome, which rests in God’s hands. This is the way of the Saints.

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