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Sunday, August 25, 2013

'Error has no rights'

Michael Egnor: "Error has no rights"
... Cardinal Ottaviani's aphorism-- "Error has no rights"-- is either true or pernicious, depending on who it is who is granting the "rights". Certainly error has no rights in theology and in church doctrine and governance. The Lord's Church, and the many churches in His Body, should confer no rights on error. Orthodoxy is simply the truth, and with that there can be no compromise.

But "Error has no rights" is, in a different sense-- a secular sense-- true. Only persons have rights. Error-- ideas-- cannot have rights. Both theses assertions are true: error should not be permitted within the Church, and prohibition against error should not be imposed by the state. Persons have rights, vis-a-vi the state, to hold religious beliefs and to live in accordance to those beliefs, regardless of whether secular rulers regard those beliefs and practices as truths or as errors.

Ironically, as Weigel points out, "Error has no rights" was not enforced by the Church, as it should have been, and that has clearly led to doctrinal collapse and manifest sin. On the other hand, the secular state has taken up the doctrine of "Error has no rights" with a vengeance, and is in the process of crushing Christians who live by their faith.

Many Christian churches lack all conviction, while secular Torquemadas ferret out Christian belief and praxis with passionate intensity.

Irony abounds.


Bedarz Iliaci said...

But why should it be surprising?
It is inevitable that s secular state would wage war upon the Church.
The State would be informed by something necessarily, and if it is not the Church that is informing the State, there would be a struggle and a persecution.

No State could tolerate all possible errors--no more than a Church. Absolute freedom of expression is a (conservative) delusion.

Ilíon said...

Why would you think I'm surprised?