Perspectives and limits of ecumenism. Part II
Ecumenism in the name of life
Religious dialogue with the objective of creating an anti-liberal block whose members would share anthropological and ethical views is possible, however, also outside the Christian community. This demonstrates the progress of the population and social conferences of the United Nations. The origins of the movement date back to 1927, when inspired by American feminist and advocate of abortion, Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), the first such conference was held in Geneva under the auspices of the League of Nations. Next conferences in Rome (1954) and Belgrade (1966) had a professional character.
At a conference in Bucharest (1974) the position of liberal states promoting abortion and population control, led by the US, collided with the position of African countries, Asian, Latin American and socialist states, and the Holy See, who opposed such solutions. At the conference also, Masonic groups like the Club of Rome, that was founded back in 1968 by an Italian industrialist and supporter of eugenics, Aurelio Peccei (1908-1984), openly presented themselves for the first time, the Bilderberg Group which was established under the auspices of the CIA in 1954 as a forum for promoting Atlanticism in Western Europe , The Trilateral Commission which was founded in 1973, by members of the American political oligarchy. Several publications such as The Population Bomb (1971) by Paul Ehrlih (b. 1932) and, developed by the US National Security Council National Security Study Memorandum of 2000, were distributed and popularised. These publications determined that the birthrate in third world countries was a threat to the security of the West and called to counteract it, not excluding the use of coercion.
At the next population conference in Mexico City (1984), the Western countries put less stress on population control, but more on the liberalization of the economies of the third world countries. Such recommendations developed during the conference included the World Population Plan of Action. Its adoption has encountered resistance from Muslim countries and many other Asian, African and Latin American countries, the document was also criticized by the Holy See. The implementation of neoliberal recommendations contained in the World Population Plan of Action brought social and economic crises, and in many cases also the demographic collapse of some states.
A full-scale political conflict between the United States, and the Holy See, and the West, and it's international agencies (UNFPA) and "the rest", occurred during the International Conference on "Population and Development" in Cairo (1994). The Atlanticist block, in place of their earlier concept of "population control", pushed "free choice" there instead, for women regarding pregnancy going to term or removing the fetus, arguing that most women - if you leave them a choice - decide instead on fewer offspring, and that high fertility is the enemy of growth and prosperity. The position of the Western bloc led by the United States was a blending of the demands of the Bucharest conference (prosperity through depopulation) and the Mexican (liberalization of markets and freedom of the individual in place pro-family policy).
These solutions unsuccessfully tried to block, the consciously working together delegations of the Holy See and the Latin America (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina) and Catholic (Philippines, Malta) and Muslim (Libya, Algeria, Morocco , Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Djibouti, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Brunei) coutries. The Holy See also maintained the contacts with those Muslim countries that had decided to boycott the conference (Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq).
The coincidence of the positions of the Catholic Church and the Islamic countries and the Latin American countries was also visible at the conference "Environment and Development" (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), Conference on Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995), Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), conferences on human settlements (Istanbul, 1996), the World Food Summit (Rome, 1996) and the conference "Cairo + 5" (New York, 1999).
Ideological arguments, particularly sharply appearing at conferences in Beijing and Rome, were used as a pretext by the American feminist, humanist, atheist and Catholic supporters of abortion (Catholics for a Free Choice) organizations to register their opposition to the Holy See having observer status at the United Nations, and instead downgrade its position to the status of an NGO. In response, an unprecedented joint declaration of eight hundred Catholic, Protestant and Muslim organizations to defend the current status of the Holy See was presented . The ecumenical anti-liberal bloc thus became the fact (1).
In relations between Christians and followers of other religions can and therefore it is advisable to conduct religious dialogue, which would aim to develop a common anti-liberal strategy. Muslim countries here are a natural ally of the Holy See and Christian gogernments. Joint efforts to combat aggressive Western bloc, its effort to impose the world Malthusian and neo-liberal policies, may be a starting point for dialogue on ethics and anthropology. The result of this dialogue should be to formulate and to force commonly by Christians and Muslims the concept of a polycentric world and non-liberal alternative to Americanization, globalization and neoliberalism.
Ecumenism in the name of death
There are also opportunities to develop interreligious dialogue on the basis of the metaphysical concept of the existence of Sophia Perennis. Among the supporters of this trend can be found both Catholic authors like Father. Rama P. Coomaraswamy (1929-2006) and Jean Borella (b. 1930), a Muslim like Sayed Hossein Nasr (b. 1933) and Martin Lings (1909-2005), and even the Methodist Huston Smith (b. 1919). The value of perennialist metaphysics should certainly be the subject of discussion, including inter-religious dialogue. Achievements of this trend are in fact very promising and could rise the religious dialogue to a new level, strengthening the orthodox and at the same time anti-liberal orientation of the participants.
We should finally mention the ecumenical opportunities offered by today's political situation. They are especially evident in Africa. In the Central African Republic Christians and animists affiliated with the militia known as anti-Balaka have been operating since mid-2013. They are fighting against the Muslim militia Selek, originating from the north-eastern part of country. In neighboring Uganda since 1987, the Lord's Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony (b. 1962) leads the fight for the establishment of a theocratic state in which the primary source of law would be the Decalogue and traditional beliefs of the Achola people. In the years 1983-2005 in today's Southern Sudan, Christians and believers of traditional African religions were conducting a struggle for the independence of that country in 2011 in a war against the Muslim rulers in Khartoum. Under the pressure of Islamist aggression, Christians and representatives of other religions in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria politically and militarily became close to each other. At the hands of Muslims, Christians suffer persecution in Egypt and Kosovo (2).
In all these cases (with the exception of Uganda) on the side of the aggressors there is a variety of Sunni Islam close to Salafism, and on the side of the attacked ones are adherents of the religious syncretism of Christianity, magic and traditional beliefs. The precursor of such traditional orientation among Christian politicians was François Duvalier (1907-1971) who ruled Haiti from 1957 until his death. The traditionalist and anti-communist leader of Haiti was the forerunner of today's Christian traditionalist-revolutionary movements in Africa.
A gruesome legend grew both around Tonton Macoutes and today's anti-Balak and the Lord's Resistance Army, which is reminiscent of the legend that accompanied the "crazy" and "bloody" Baron Roman von Ungern-Šternberk (1885-1921). As White Khan of Mongolia, he made a synthesis of Lamaism, magic, and Protestant Christianity, so today's fighters of the South Sudan, Uganda, Syria and Central Afica include in the sphere of the Christian religion traditional beliefs of their countries. As von Ungern and Duvalier were accused of fascination with death and even of cannibalism, rightly while noting that the Christian concept of the Eucharist contains content which can be named "cannibalistic", and fascination with suffering and death can be seen in the whole tradition of Christian literature and the arts (von Ungern-Sternberg had tamed death and the infliction of suffering with a view towards ornaments of the cathedral in his hometown).
Let us ask ourselves, who are the enemies of the Christian traditionalist-revolutionary movement? We see among them together Westerners and Islamists. What they have in common is the anti-traditional orientation. Western liberals destroy every sacred and religious culture, trying to uniformise the world according to the liberal-democratic pattern. Islamists in recent years became famous for blowing up the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan (2001), devastating mausoleums of Sufi saints in Timbuktu, and attempting to burn the local library (2013), the blowing up of the two thousand years old temple in Palmyra (2015) and many similar acts of barbarism. We have, in their case to deal with the not so rare phenomenon of religion, which is turned against Tradition.
The fundamental dividing line here is therefore a conflict between Tradition and anti-Tradition. On the one side are (supporting moreover one another in practice) anti-traditional Islamic movements and the international democratic liberalism, on the other hand, supporters of the sacred order, the Christian state and culture down through the care of heritage ancestors. Liberal democrats and Islamists are enemies of Tradition, and because of that they depict Christian traditionally-revolutionary movements, or as superstitious (Sudan People's Liberation Army) or as archaic and barbaric (anti-Balaka). They attack them with items or open atheism (liberalism) or denier sacred and divinized nature of the reality of religious doctrinaire (Islamism).
The second of the indicated positions, denying the coexistence of the transcendental world and the material, at the same time preparing the ground for practical atheism. The replacement of mythic worldview by the rationalist worldview is the first step towards atheism. Islamism is not the opposite to liberalism, but is preparing the ground for him.
In the Abrahamic religions, the phenomenon of antitraditional religion is a function of the desert Semitic influence, because it is on the basis of Judaism and Islam that developed the metaphysical concepts, in which monotheism was stricken down to the denial of any spiritual beings other than God Himself. In Semitic spirituality, the human individual stands alone before God on the spiritual desert. The stronger of the "religion of the Book" is influenced by the mentality of the desert, the world perceived it as metaphysically poorer and simpler. In Christianity, the symbolic expression of that duality was known already in the original Christian community divided between "Jewish" Judeo-Christians and "Greek" Pagan-Christians.
This second variant corresponds to the understanding of Christianity by traditionalist-revolutionary ideal of ecumenism, expressed in words of Nicolás Gómez Davila (1913-1994), who stated that he is "a pagan who believed in Christ." The most deeply understood interreligious dialogue should in fact refer to the original revelation, the Sophia Perennis, it's ideal should therefore be anti-liberal, anti-humanist, religious and eschatological. The reality should be seen as a deified and sacred, death as an integral part of the cosmic order, progress toward God as growth through organic layering handed down from generation to generation of knowledge, the material achievements, experiences, traditions and culture.
1. Zob. J. Balicki, E. Frątczak, Ch. B. Nam, Przemiany Ludnościowe. Fakty-Interpretacje-Opinie T. 1, Warszawa 2003, s. 335-463.
2. Zob. J. Agnew, Deus Vult: The Geopolitics of the Catholic Church,http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/geog/downloads/856/391.pdf (15.01.2016).