Personal attacks have “infected the Church”

Personal attacks

Personal attacks seem to have replaced conversation these days, Cardinal Wilton Gregory says.

The top US cardinal (pictured) says meaningful dialogue is stifled because so many people enter conversations with their minds already made up.

“One of the things that would foster better listening skills among young people – among all of us – is don’t enter a conversation with a conclusion” he says.

He passed on that sentiment to those at his Arlington, Virginia presentation “A Listening Church in a Divided Nation”.

“If you come with a conclusion, you’re not going to be open to what people have to say” Gregory told his audience. “Before I condemn you, let me try to understand you.”

Personal attacks

Conversation often morphed into what Gregory describes as “personal attacks”.

“We have to learn how to focus on the issue and not the person. It seems to me that one of the reasons that we’re in such a divisive stance is that we’ve shifted our focus in many cases from questions of opinion etc. etc. to personal attack.”

He calls his own Archdiocese of Washington “the epicentre of division”.

“Now, with social media, whatever was suggested Monday morning at ten o’clock is broadcast everyplace including insulting things about families or their lives” he told his audience.

“It’s infected our Church.”

Synod on Synodality different

Gregory says there was no such level of attack last year at the Synod on Synodality assembly in Rome.

“We sat at those tables and we got to know each other and speak to each other and talk about the issues that were important to us as Catholics” Gregory says.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington is the first African American cardinal in the United States.

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