It is a curious conceit of an obtuse generation that it believes itself to be committed to modernity, embodied by devotion to science and reason, and yet is so irrevocably immutable to evidence.
The spiritual (but not religious) Mecca of modernity in the Catholic Church is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the headquarters of which would likely be a smoking ruin if we had a God quick to anger rather than slow.
The absurdity of this very modern institution is embodied perfectly in their recent USCCB statement on their “Commitment To Dialogue With Muslims.”
What is the bottom line? They are so committed to dialogue with Muslims, it seems, that they will persevere in useless dialogue until every last one of us Christians is dead.
“We understand the confusion and deep emotions stirred by real and apparent acts of aggression and discrimination by certain Muslims against non-Muslims, often against Christians abroad,” the bishops wrote. “Along with many of our fellow Catholics and the many Muslims who themselves are targeted by radicals, we wish to voice our sadness, indeed our outrage, over the random and sometimes systematic acts of violence and harassment—acts that for both Christians and Muslims threaten to disrupt the harmony that binds us together in mutual support, recognition, and friendship.”
In the face of a terrifying juggernaut of death and destruction that 50 years of dialogue have done absolutely nothing to stop and arguably encouraged, the USCCB is committed to more of the same. Everyone knows that dialogue with Islam is impossible since there is no monolithic Islam with which to dialogue, so we have endeavored to dialogue merely with its adherents. I think the most humble and unambitious goal of such interreligious dialogue would have been some sort of consensus that, in general, they shouldn’t try to kill us or anyone else. Even with the bar set so low, by any measurement, 50 years of dialogue has been a miserable failure.
So what do we need? More dialogue!!
You know why? You know what the real problem has been? You and I—we are the problem.
“The bishops expressed sadness over “deliberate rejection” of the call to engage in dialogue with Muslims by some Christians, Catholic and not. They noted that the call to respect and dialogue comes from the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) and has been reaffirmed by subsequent popes. They also noted that, for nearly 20 years, their committee has dialogued with several national Muslim organizations, producing documents on education, marriage and revelation.”
There is no agreement, however, on the value of all human life or even on the need for heads to remain attached to necks.
As I said, no amount of evidence of complete and utter failure of their preferred and ever-so-modern methods are enough to dissuade them from their chosen path. If it hasn’t worked, it’s because all the Christian riff-raff have not been sufficiently on board.
This should come as no surprise as it is exactly the mindset that informs every novelty and impulse of aggiornamento of the last 50 years post-Vatican II. As the Churches empty and close, and committees convene to close Churches by the triple digits, they call the closure committee “Making All Things New.” In the face of the pervasive and manifest failure of aggiornamento, they lament that the spirit of Vatican II, likes its blood brother Communism, has only failed because it has never really been tried. This level of doublespeak and absurd groupthink would astound even Orwell.
One can only shake one’s head in disbelief right up until the moment it gets chopped off.