The Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin: The Condition for Dialogue is the Mutual Respect of Both Parties
One of the conditions for dialogue is that both sides approach each other with respect and the willingness to seek the truth. They should calmly listen to each other’s arguments, and when criticizing or rejecting them, they must avoid hurting the interlocutor, emphasized the Rector of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Fr. Prof. Mirosław Kalinowski in the opening speech of the VI Congress of Christian Culture.
In this way, the topic of the Congress was presented: “Spaces of Dialogue. Christian Inspirations of the Culture of Encounter”.
“It is hard to find a more appropriate topic in times marked by all kinds of social disputes, a lack of respect for interlocutors in public debate, and the inability to listen to the other side. This leads to the breakdown of interpersonal unity and the inability to present one’s arguments peacefully and, consequently, to searching for good solutions. Christianity as a religion of love, whose distinguishing feature is merciful reaching out to people so that they can recognize and preserve their human dignity, certainly has much to offer in this field,” said Fr. Prof. Kalinowski.
He added that dialogue and meeting are special features of the mission with which the founder of Christianity came to earth. “Pope Francis, speaking about this during a congress at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Naples, said: “Jesus himself announced the kingdom of God in dialogue with all kinds and categories of people of the Judaism of his time: with the scribes, the Pharisees, the doctors of the law, the tax-collectors, the learned, the simple, sinners. […] We lose nothing by engaging in dialogue. We always gain something. In a monologue, we all lose, all of us,” pointed out the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin.
As Fr. Prof. Kalinowski said, Pope Francis’s words remind us that Christ, before helping the people he encountered, listened attentively to what they had to say to him and looked at them with love. “Only then did he convey a teaching that went deep into their inner problems, a certain proposal for life, expressed with the care and the power of God’s truth, with which he identified himself. His teaching was not always sweet but, at times, painful and demanding, because those who love know that they must sometimes admonish and even punish, for the benefit of the beloved and his proper development,” he emphasized.
The Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin stressed that for a dialogue to take place, several conditions must be met. “First, both sides must be respectful and willing to seek the truth. Secondly, both sides should listen to their arguments calmly, and when criticizing or rejecting them, avoid hurting the interlocutor or violating his dignity. Thirdly, pointing out, criticizing, or proposing a difficult solution cannot be the result of prejudices or a hostile attitude on the part of the one admonishing, and the person being admonished must avoid taking this kind of remark as an attack on himself but instead treat it as a suggestion to reflect on his behavior,” he said.