Thursday, February 2, 2012

Which Comes First: Dialog or Colloquy?

I use the term "dialog" to refer to the kind of conversation between two or more people/parties who have clearly recognizable difference (at least prior to discussion) over the subject matter of their conversation. Whereas the kind of conversation between two or more people who are like-minded with respect to the subject matter of their conversation I want to label as "colloquy". So, taken in this sense, which should come first: dialog or colloquy? The question is still vague. Let me try to make it clearer.

Let's say there is one issue and there are two major groups who have their stake in it, each of which comprises a number of subgroups. If that single same issue is to be discussed amongst these groups and subgroups, what kind of procedure should be established such that the conversations amongst them become effective? Should a dialog amongst the major groups be held first and then a colloquy amongst the subgroups of each major groups? Or, should the like-minded subgroups discuss first and have clear position with respect to the issue, so that when the major group conducts dialog with another major group it can genuinely and legitimately represent the position of its subgroups? 

Earlier this month, we heard the news of Addis Ababa hosting a 9th International Meeting of a Joint Commission between Roman Catholic Church and the so-called "Oriental" Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. However, did members of the "Oriental" Orthodox Tewahedo Churches meet to discuss over the issues that were to be discussed in the Joint Commission? What is going on? We should raise this question because at stake is here nothing less than OUR FAITH!