Sunday, December 27, 2009

When dialogue become collaboration

Back in 1985, when the New York Times' columnist E. J. Dionne was rehearsing the liberal Catholicism which has now become so reflexively predictable, he conducted an interview -- via correspondence -- with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the cardinal's capacity of the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. In the exchange, Cardinal Ratzinger acknowledged a lesson he had learned in trying to enter into dialogue with the radicals of the May, 1968 uprisings in Europe. It is something that it might be beneficial for our president to think about as he scurries around the world courting the favor of sundry international ideologues and thugs.

Cardinal Ratzinger said: "I learned that it is impossible to discuss with terror and on terror, as there are no premises for a discussion -- and such a discussion becomes collaboration with terror ... I think that in those years, I learned where discussion must stop because it is turning into a lie, and resistance must begin in order to maintain freedom."


martin said...

I'm particularly grateful for this gem of a quote.

Listening to you in the car "if you do not get to close".

Thank you for all your great work.

-Martin from Australia

Gil Bailie said...

I'm headed to Australia in about 10 days. I doubt you'll still be there. Where are you? I'll be on the Gold Coast -- for a grand total of 4 days -- not long enough to recover from jet lag.
Thanks for your friendship and kind words.

martin said...


I'm in Adelaide - about as far from the Gold Coast as Dallas is from New Haven?

I've searched but can't find the reason for your visit to Oz. I'd like to know what sensible group invited you if that's the case.

Otherwise, hope you enjoy your stay. I hope that we can organise ourselves so that next time you can stay longer.

Robert Mooney said...

I agree with the quote, but to generalize from dialog with terror or on terror as pressing sundry ideologues and thugs to be more respectful to human rights or to forgo nuclear weapons is neither logical nor responsible.

Gil I am again saddened that you have stretched to take a shot at Obama. He has enough to complain about without stretching the meaning of good words to get a shot in.