Letís always have
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
August 28, 2020
WE have to convince
ourselves that the best way to resolve our unavoidable differences
and conflicts in the area of politics, social life, and other fields
prone to contention and controversies, is for us to always engage in
civil discourse, in cordial dialogue.
We have to avoid as much
as possible engaging in discussions where we think our views and
positions are the only correct ones, the only fair ones, etc., and
those of the others have no validity whatsoever. Thatís definitely
the wrong way to look at things.
Itís unbelievable that
some politicians, for example, claim that they have all the truth,
that they are practically infallible about their views and ways, and
that their opponents have nothing whatsoever of what may be
considered as true and fair.
We need to listen to
everyone, no matter how different and even in conflict their views
are from ours. They will also have some good reason for their
opinions and we just have to learn to respect them.
Even in their clearly
wrong views, as in being immoral and sinful, they can always be
handled properly without sacrificing charity, since evil can only
have a power that is borrowed from what pertains to its
corresponding good. All we have to do to rebut evil is to appeal to
the good and the truth that is being distorted or denied.
Itís important that we
presume that everyone has good intentions. We have to avoid calling
to question the intentions behind the views of others, unless it can
be clearly ascertained that there is malice.
And even if that is the
case, it should be brought up in as cordial a manner as possible. To
be avoided are the ways of sarcasm and ironies, direct, frontal
attacks, insults and mockeries, name-calling, etc. In other words,
to respond without charity. Charity and good manners should never be
Letís never forget what
Christ told us about loving our enemies. St. Paul reiterated that
point when he said, ďDo not repay anyone evil for evilÖIf it is
possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revengeÖbut leave room for Godís wrathÖDo not be
overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Ē (Rom 12,17-21) St.
Peter also said something similar. (cfr. 1 Pt 3,9)
While we can have our
partisan position in political issues, we have to remember that such
condition should not undermine our universal goal for the common
good that can be pursued in different and even in legitimately and
morally conflicting ways.
Letís not forget that
temporal matters, as in politics, can follow some political
doctrines that at best can only have a tentative effectivity and
varying interpretations, and are always in need of updating,
purifying and contextualizing.
These temporal matters
hardly have dogmas where everyone is supposed to agree and to follow
all the time. Temporal matters do not have the same status as
religious faith and creed. And even in the latter, their dogmas are
not supposed to be forced on anyone.
We all have to create the
proper environment and atmosphere for a civil discourse, a cordial
dialogue to take place. This is especially incumbent on our leaders,
both the civil and the spiritual. Everything should be done to keep
this environment as it should be Ė clean, open, welcoming, always
working for unity.
The different actors and
parties should do their part. The media especially should be fair
and balanced in monitoring the developments. Everyone should have a
clear idea of what can be tolerated and what not in the exchanges of
opinions. Everyone should agree that some compromises may have to be
made to reach a certain consensus, so everyone can move on.
There has to be some set
of ground rules that everyone should accept. Of course, these ground
rules may also be modified as we go along, but such modification
should also be done gradually, not violently!