A friend forwarded to me an excellent post by Sean Blanda titled The “Other Side” Is Not Dumb. Mr. Blanda decries the “holier-than-thou social media behavior” that casts anyone who disagrees with us, regardless of the merits of their position, as dumb or evil. Pope Francis has had a lot to say about the same attitude when it comes to evangelization. Dialogue is required, not as a means to reach agreement at any cost, but to investigate the reasons for another’s stance and to be able, when it comes to a matter of objective truth, to help that person realize it. Cardinal Wuerl’s recent post on employment practices of Catholic institutions is a great example of an approach that recognizes the rights and dignity of every person while still being true to the Gospel.
The same goes for prudential matters, like so many of the economic and social issues addressed in Laudato Si. Respectful dialogue will help us gain better understandings of the pros and cons of specific issues, thereby aiding our own exercise of prudence, as well as making it more likely that we can reach a consensual outcome that really furthers the common good.