Pacem In Terris 100: Contacts Between Races

The post title doesn’t quite go far enough with this important concern. Let’s read:

100. Furthermore, the universal common good requires the encouragement in all nations of every kind of reciprocation between citizens and their intermediate societies. There are many parts of the world where we find groupings of people of more or less different ethnic origin. Nothing must be allowed to prevent reciprocal relations between them. Indeed such a prohibition would flout the very spirit of an age which has done so much to nullify the distances separating peoples.

Nor must one overlook the fact that whatever their ethnic background, (people) possess, besides the special characteristics which distinguish them from other(s), other very important elements in common with the rest of (hu)mankind. And these can form the basis of their progressive development and self-realization especially in regard to spiritual values. They have, therefore, the right and duty to carry on their lives with others in society.

These are something of countercultural values even today. It is to the advantage of powers-that-be in today’s world to keep factions fighting. It certainly keeps arms dealers and talk radio in business.

Poep John suggests there are spiritual values to be found in the sharing of common values and in the appreciation of different traditions. It’s about more than just “contact.”

I do think that people need direction post-contact. The misunderstood aim of dialogue is conversion. That’s not, of course, what dialogue is about. The mutual sharing and exploration of aims uncovers the commonality among disparate people. One could suggest that this is a fruitful tack when speaking of those with different ideological characteristics.

What do you think?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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