Fratelli Tutti 201: Clinging To One’s Ideas

201. Indeed, the media’s noisy potpourri of facts and opinions is often an obstacle to dialogue, since it lets everyone cling stubbornly to his or her own ideas, interests and choices, with the excuse that everyone else is wrong.

Mainly because one has freedom to choose to whom one will listen and find enough allies in the wide world to reinforce insular ideas and notions.

It becomes easier to discredit and insult opponents from the outset than to open a respectful dialogue aimed at achieving agreement on a deeper level. Worse, this kind of language, usually drawn from media coverage of political campaigns, has become so widespread as to be part of daily conversation.

Yes, the practice that every exchange of ideas has to become a win-for-me-you-lose proposition. The Church is not immune from this, from bloggers, and coffee circles to groups of bishops:

Discussion is often manipulated by powerful special interests that seek to tilt public opinion unfairly in their favor. This kind of manipulation can be exercised not only by governments, but also in economics, politics, communications, religion and in other spheres. Attempts can be made to justify or excuse it when it tends to serve one’s own economic or ideological interests, but sooner or later it turns against those very interests.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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