The nature of the Church…


“It is in the nature of the Church to provoke the anger and attack of the world.”

Hilaire Belloc, who made this remark, pointed out that it is not heresy to reject Christianity. Heresies, he correctly observed, leave many or most of Christianity’s doctrines in place while declaring this or that putatively non-essential principle a relic of an age less sophisticated or magnanimous than the contemporary one.

“Wherefore, it is said of heresies that ‘they survive by the truths they retain.’ … The reason that men combat heresy is … a perception that the heresy, insofar as it gains ground, will produce a way of living and a social character at issue with, irritating, and perhaps mortal to, the way of living and the social character produced by the old orthodox scheme.”

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