On "Dialogue"

Let's take a ride in the way-back machine to 1997 and this goodie from Fr. Schall. He reviews then-Cardinal Ratzinger's bemused evaluation of the extremes of modern intellectual thought and its roots. This is a deeper treatment of the themes Bishop Chaput treated in his prayer breakfast address, and a further insight into how B16 thinks about relativism. Curtsy to Ignatius Insight.

Just for starters, savor this:
"The notion of dialogue also has a new meaning, not the honest and open accounting for what one believes or holds (“We hold these truths”), rather it means “to put one’s own position, i.e., one’s faith, on the same level as the convictions of others, without recognizing in principle more truth in it than that which is attributed to the opinion of others.” To take this view of dialogue, of course, means that one must already, in principle, doubt one’s faith before entering into dialogue."

In RC2's view, this is precisely why we have a new culture of ignorance. Ask yourself if you would have anything to learn from a Math tutor who wasn't certain his way of doing Math was correct. Or you would let a surgeon who wasn't certain he knew the best techniques take out your appendix. If the first principle of "dialogue" is not knowing anything, this can have only two effects. Either it renders dialogue pointless, or --as has happened in the Academy-- it elevates every idiot opinion or feeling to the same place at the table as a well-researched and knowledgable position. It's no longer necessary to know anything; knowledge is in effect undesirable.