Steve Hays had a great insight in responding to Frank Beckwith’s offense at the term “Roman Catholic” (which, ironically, seems odd being posted on a blog with the title “Return to Rome”):
I can’t help noticing that the church of Rome only discovered the virtues of courtesy and charity rather late in the day. If, for example, you read the text of Exsurge Domine (available online), the language and countermeasures proposed by Pope Leo X to describe and suppress the nascent Protestant movement doesn’t strike me as overly charitable or courteous.
I also can’t help but notice that this discovery seems to time with the church of Rome’s loss of temporal power. And therein lies a moral: the true test of charity is not to be charitable when you have to be, but to be charitable when you don’t have to be.
Once his denomination no longer had state sponsorship to back its brass knuckle policies, then it suddenly discovered the virtues of tolerance. Funny how those in power are quick to advocate tolerance the moment they fall from power. But I’m sure that’s purely coincidental.