pened; they wash their hands of it and get on
with their lives. Others embrace it in such a way
that they become its prisoners; they lose their
bearings, project onto institutions their own con-
fusion and dissatisfaction and thus make unity
impossible. But there is also a third way, and it is
the best way to deal with conflict. It is the will-
ingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and
to make it a link in the chain of a new process.
“Blessed are the peacemakers!” (
228. In this way it becomes possible to build
communion amid disagreement, but this can
only be achieved by those great persons who are
willing to go beyond the surface of the conflict
and to see others in their deepest dignity. This
requires acknowledging a principle indispensable
to the building of friendship in society: namely,
that unity is greater than conflict. Solidarity, in
its deepest and most challenging sense, thus be-
comes a way of making history in a life setting
where conflicts, tensions and oppositions can
achieve a diversified and life-giving unity. This
is not to opt for a kind of syncretism, or for the
absorption of one into the other, but rather for a
resolution which takes place on a higher plane and
preserves what is valid and useful on both sides.
229. This principle, drawn from the Gospel,
reminds us that Christ has made all things one
in himself: heaven and earth, God and man, time
and eternity, flesh and spirit, person and society.
The sign of this unity and reconciliation of all
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