Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Point of Clarification

In a recent post, I made reference to enemies in the title of my post and the linked article mentioned non-Christians. Does Fr. Tharp think that non-Christians are enemies?

Well, no. It was a momentarily lapse of verbage.

The word I wanted was "opponents." Not that I make a blanket assertion that everyone who is not a Catholic is an opponent of mine. I certainly have Catholic people who get up in my face on a regular basis. However, this may not satisfy some readers: does Fr. Tharp think of non-Catholics as opponents and is that right?

Well, the short answer is a yes with qualifications.

You have to concede that when you read a Jack Chick tract which refers to the Most Blessed Sacrament as "The Death Cookie," this guy is not on your side. And when a religion 'respects' Jesus as a prophet but openly speaks against Him as God, then that person too is not exactly on your side. It doesn't mean that you can't be cordial or friendly or even charitible to the other person. You are simply acknowleding differences between people. And quite frankly, that is a step in the right direction.

Like it or not, we all don't see eye to eye. There is nothing more dangerous to healthy, religious and philosophical dialogue than ignoring that there are real, substantive differences between peoples and groups. However, and this was the point in making this link, when even those who don't agree with you see the value of the life and legacy of someone whose own co-religionist often derided and mocked as "that old man in Rome," claiming that "once he's dead, the new Pope will change things," that says an awful lot for the person in question. In other words, we all loved you, John Paul. Please pray for us.

So, to everyone who was shocked and/or offended, my apologies for a hasty post.

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