DIALOGUE BETWEEN RELIGION AND POLITICS: AN UNAVOIDABLE IMPERATIVE
By Andrés Pastrana Arango
From the field of politics, the subject of this meeting is particularly attractive.
After the end of the Cold War brought the death of the ideologies, it showed up a gap that has been necessary to fill up tackling problems from other dimensions, spiritual or even axiological.
We can’t forget that the moral dilemma of the XXI century has its roots in the great trauma of the generation that, in 1968, in the streets of Paris and of the big capitals of the European world, questioned the soundness of all the dogmas, of all the beliefs, and introduced the permissiveness in personal and social life.
The Conference for the Cooperation and the European Security, commonly well-known as the Conference of Helsinki, carried out among the years of 1974 and 1975, it questioned the capacity of West to be survived to if same.
The world in that time was united by the fear, for the panic that somebody put again in movement the destruction mechanism, not already on behalf of the racial” “cleaning but of any other value that, maximized, he/she transformed into incentive for all kinds of absolutisms.
It is clear that the reaction to the rising of the 68 was the one of to determine and to face the threats that hung on the humanity.
The science and the politics fixed as immediate dangers those of the nuclear armamentismo, the conventional armamentismo, the destruction of the environment and the worsening of the poverty. All they are dangers that you/they believe serious queries about the capacity of the human being to survive.
In Helsinki, they took big and urgent determinations in front of each one of those points. It is good, from time to time, the pages written then by the statesmen of that to see to travel with how much seriousness those queries were confronted.
He/she comes me to the memory Henry’s book Kissinger, “Diplomacy” where moments and unforgettable ideas are consigned in the history of the survival of the species.
Although the meeting of overwhelming answer at the 68 took place in the year of 1974 it is necessary to applaud to who, years before, from the Church, they acted with capacity anticipativa, as Pope XXIII Juan when summoning the Council Vatican II and Pope Paulo VI when giving him/her continuity.
Of this Council the Pastoral Constitution was born “Gaudium et Spes” that advanced, in 1965, answers to the challenges of the world of then whose queries are prolonged until today’s day.
Among us it is one of the main characters of that spectacular moment of the Intelligence, the professor Hans Kung that in that time, in the professor’s company Ratzinger, was two of the eight privileged heads that were called to deepen the analysis and to make headway for then unsuspected.
There is political very serious that have not forgotten these elaborations of then and that they come in them a conductive thread of the discussions of today’s world.
“Give to God what is of God and to Caesar what belongs to Cesar” Jesus said in the writings.
This postulate was captured in the Constitution “Gaudium et Spes” in the following sentence: “The political community and the Church are interdependent and autonomous, each one in their own land.”
It recognizes the Church that, although the religion and the politics are autonomous institutions. However, it enunciates, at the same time that they are interdependent, because “both are to the service of the man’s” personal and social vocation.
“The man is not limited to the temporary single horizon, but rather, subject of the human history, it maintains his eternal” vocation entirely.
Outlined the relationship between religion and politics, between Church and State, in interdependence term, doesn’t stop to be discussed, in many topics, what it is what belongs to God and what it is what corresponds Caesar.
Coarse with thinking of the discussion about the life, the abortion, the contraception, the attended death, the gender problems and other aspects in those that the representatives of God and of Caesar they discuss, not always in good terms, the “property” of the topic or of the topics in question.
To solve this problem they contributed, from different angles, the Professor Hans Kung and the Professor Ratzinger and, next to them, the Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who would contribute, next to Lech Walessa, the dynamics of the contemporary value par excellence: that of the solidarity.
They are not the experts those that make a council but yes they are them, after the termination of the assembly, those that are in better capacity of to interpret and to appraise the roads that are undertaken. This can explain why who worked in a moment united they began an intelligent controversy that doesn’t still finish later.
John Paul II opted, with the then Cardinal Ratzinger, for a road that was not that of the Professor Kung.
It is certain that John Paul II was an ingrained conservative, mainly in the fields of the contraception and the measures around the topic of the life in his origin and in his conclusion, but it is also certain that John Paul II was the man that, with his moral force, it summoned to the world – once defeated the Marxist totalitarianism – to respond that question that Alain Touraine is made about if we will “be able to live together.”
That conservative Pope was the author of the fall of the wall of Berlin at the same time and of the definitive defeat of the communism, and it is necessary to recognize him/her and to give him/her that merit.
Wojtyla was able to create “the splendor of the truth” beside the value of the Solidarity and to make of her the dynamic transforming value of the world.
However, the right will never be abolished to wonder and to ask “what thing it is and where the truth is and, further on, if there is somebody that administrator of her” can be declared.
The Professor Hans Kung, for their side, it has highlighted the necessity to elaborate and to converge in an universal ethics whose principles have enunciated, stirring up the interest of who, fighting for the survival of the species, they are about finding creative consents.
Same Pope XVI Benedicto, worried by the “relativism”, it can see the wealth that this ethics universal proposal has in the purpose of contributing to find reasons to “survive together.”
Very wisely the Professor has stood out Kung the elements from those which the Catholic Church and the churches of the Reformation play a primordial role in the contingent politics.
The finalization, for example, of the war in Ireland, it is a clear casop and I specify that it contributes to the construction of the well-being of the society, and it is not room for doubt that the churches present are there and they will continue being he in the solutions of these crucial problems for the human being’s survival.
Out the traditional geopolitics or, at least, in symptoms of almost total annihilation, they are the ideas and religious feelings as relating of a society that looks for reference points laboriously.
The religions – although they are in a long period of “convalescence” – they are – like it is admitted in the political thought of the big ones – factors principalísimos of the analysis that should always be present before giving at least an opinion.
To think a distant politics of the religious referent is, to say the less ones, a political terrible error.
To act against the to think or feeling religious is a mistake because it is equal to work against people’s intimate convictions, of the personal element that can maintain the social cohesion of a nation.
Myself, in Colombia, a deeply religious and for the most part Catholic country, I found many times, as President of the Republic, the necessity and the convenience of working jointly with the Church to look for solutions to the most urgent problems in the country.
The paper of the high hierarches of the Church or of simple priests in the search of the peace with the groups armed illegals was fundamental during my government, and it follows it being still in the current times.
The terrorist most violent groups even recognized in the Church a speaker worthy of respect, with the capacity to facilitate agreements and to build trust.
Concluding, and valuing with critical sense the contribution that the religion makes to the politics and that the politics makes to the religion, inside the combined search of the very common one, I find that this relationship can and he/she should bring more benefits than conflicts.
A resurgence .un rebirth should be expected. where both institutions converge, more and more, in the same values and contribute to build a new society able to not only guarantee the survival but the quality of the life.
One cannot make of the politics a religion neither to transform the religion into politics but yes it is urgent to recognize that, respecting their autonomy, they should maintain I live the imperative of the dialogue if it is really certain that .en different dimensions – they are in charge of both of the very common one.