Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Admit you're wrong. Then we can talk."

Fosco was always a little suspicious of the previous Pope's zeal for "interreligious dialogue." Not that "interreligious dialogue" is a bad thing--Fosco heartily supports it, as long as it doesn't mean Catholics and Mormons teaming up to beat down the gays. Reasonable religious dialogue might be nice, actually. Heck, it could stop some killing. It's just that Fosco never believed that any "dialogue" is possible with a religion (like Catholicism) that axiomatically believes that every other faith is incorrect.

Of course, this was the problem that puzzled all the commentators when old Pope Droopy II used to hold all those Interfaith Clambakes. After all, how can the Pope talk to non-Christians when it is the Church's infallible teaching that Jesus alone leads to salvation and that other religions are "objectively speaking [...] in a gravely deficient situation" (emphasis in original).

Can you imagine the conversation?

[CATHOLIC CHURCH]: Do you believe in Jesus?
[ISLAM]: We are actually more interested in a God we call Allah.
[CATHOLIC CHURCH]: That is gravely deficient. Would you like a cannoli?

How's that for dialogue?

Well, as Pope Buckaroo XVI (pictured above) continues his sprightly little dance on the grave of Vatican II, it seems the idea of Catholic participation in "interreligious dialogue" has finally been admitted as a sham.

According to an article in the NYTimes, the Pope has written a letter to an author of a book on Christianity's salvific uniqueness, a letter in which

the pope said the book “explained with great clarity” that “an interreligious dialogue in the strict sense of the word is not possible.” In theological terms, added the pope, “a true dialogue is not possible without putting one’s faith in parentheses.”
I'm not sure the Pope needed to resort to tricky "theological terms" such as "in parentheses" to make his point here. The ground of any "dialogue" is the essential possibility that one's position may change when one listens to what the other person has to say. If you rule out that possibility from the start, there is no dialogue (rather, it's a double monologue or something--at any rate, it sounds exactly like Fosco's conversations with his father...).

In related news, Fosco would like a cannoli.

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