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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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The Travails of Dialogue

The Travails of Dialogue

November 19, 1996

(p.221) 16 The Travails of Dialogue
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the difficulties of establishing a dialogue between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions, non-Catholic Christianity, and the modern world. It notes that dialogue, properly understood, is an excellent thing, whether carried on within the Church or between the different Christian churches or different religions. But it needs to be kept in mind that authentic dialogue is premised on truth and is directed to an increment of truth. Where the conditions are not met, true dialogue cannot occur. The chapter holds that groups that call for dialogue in order to confront the Church with inexorable demands must be met with a firm refusal. It concludes that polarization is more likely to arise when the true teaching is obscured by the indulgence of contrary opinions. The hierarchical magisterium must be vigilant to prevent and correct error in matters of doctrine.

Keywords:   dialogue, non-Christian religion, Christian doctrine, polarization, truth

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