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Questions without answers
on November 7, 2006
In a recent interview with Rochester's Catholic Courier, Deacon Dardess explained his approach to ecumenism and dialogue vis a vis Islam by stating that "for now, the discussion itself is more important than the answer."
Yet the point of religion -- any religion -- is truth, i.e., answers. Dialogue and discussion, therefore, must be rooted in the quest for truth. That is why Council fathers at Vatican II taught, "Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false conciliatory approach which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and obscures its assured genuine meaning."
Unfortunately, Deacon Dardess does not share this commitment, and his writings gloss-over profound theological differences between Islam and Christianity. Those who disagree with his pacific, ahistorical version of Islam are labeled as either fear-mongers or benighted ignoramuses.
And given that this book is onstensibly about religion, Dardess's viewpoint is steeped in faddish materialism. Here is how he explains -- and excuses -- Islamic terrorism: "The cause of violence and terrorism has to be found in political and economic injustice. Any religion -- Christianity included -- can be used to justify violent behavior by those who believe they have no other way to redress wrongs done against them."
In any event, Catholics seeking a more balanced guide to the differences and similarities between their faith and Islam are advised to purchase "Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics" by Daniel Ali and Robert Spencer.