ICBioethics Blog 

A Quick Word on Tolerance

Written by: Dr. Kathy Gennuso

I recently read an article published by the late Bishop Fulton J Sheen on tolerance. The article was very helpful, as the concept of tolerance is confusing to many. So I hope this can help you.

Tolerance is considered as being desirable because it is taken to be synonymous with broadmindedness; where intolerance is considered to be undesirable, because it is taken to be synonymous with narrow-mindedness.

This is where the confusion begins – tolerance applies only to individuals but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.

As Bishop Sheen points out we must be tolerant to persons because they are human; we must be intolerant about principles because they are foundation of our beliefs. We must be tolerant to the erring, because ignorance may lead one astray; but we must be intolerant to the error, because truth is not our making.

If you’re interested in exploring Bishop Sheen’s words some more, take a look at the book:  Moods and Truth by: Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1932) or online here.

Mitch GennusoComment