Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tony Blair: "It is a privilege to address the famous Rimini Meeting".

Tony Blair is the former Prime Minister of Britain

MEETING OF RIMINI/ The full text of the speech by Rt Hon Tony Blair

It is a privilege to address the famous Rimini Meeting. It is an honour to be associated with “Comunione e Liberazione.” It is a pleasure always to be in Italy. It is here in this country that I have spent many happy times; and where 30 years ago, almost to the day, I proposed to my wife and three decades and four children later, I at least am still pleased to recall the memory.

I am also, as you know, a very new entrant to the Catholic Church. I am therefore humble about addressing such an august gathering of so many eminent people. But I thank you for making me so welcome. Ever since I began preparations to become a Catholic I felt I was coming home; and this is now where my heart is, where I know I belong...

[read the rest here]

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."