The summons to the peace of Christ is not to be confused with a longing for that good nature that is, in reality, only weakness, that would like to shield itself from the vexations that arise when one openly defends his convictions. The demand for unity in the Church is not, then, to be identified with the wish that everyone would agree about everything. Just being together is not unity, but ultimately an evasion of it. The admonition, “Be nice to one another”, is certainly not to be scorned, but it does not reach the height of the Gospel because it spares us the effort of setting out on the way to truth and so of really coming together.
From: L’Osservatore Romano 7, no. 30–31 (1977), p. 13
I was thinking the other day about how much that is done in the name of unity is often either evil or damaging. A false unity that is not a striving after truth, but a forcing of a Pollyanna vision into a one-size-fits-all Procrustism. We should embrace the both/and nature of our faith regarding any valid expression of it. Or as one wise man stated “Different strokes for different folks.”
First, thanks for expanding my knowledge of Greek mythology via the Procustes reference, Jeff!
The Cardinal Ratzinger quote has two main points which leap to the eye and speak to our times.
“…a longing for that good nature that is, in reality, only weakness, that would like to shield itself from the vexations that arise when one openly defends his convictions.” Moral Cowardice would be a good term for this.
“…it spares us the effort of setting out on the way to truth and so of really coming together.” Intellectual Laziness sums this up.
Your call for ‘Why not both” is so often overlooked as an option!
For this to succeed, though, both parties must desire to travel ‘on the way to truth’. Our current dialogue often does not follow the path of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. But rather thesis, Shut Up!, and silence.
Thanks for your thoughts, Jeff. Hope to see you in Milwaukee later this year at the GKC conference.