Feb 24, 2011

St. Augustine says in his commentaries on the psalms, psalm 31: Tolerantia quae dicitur ... non est nisi in malis. Which means: “tolerance pertains only to things that are bad”. We tolerate things that are adverse, things we cannot avoid without incurring some greater adversity.

Further, cardinal Ottaviani in his Institutiones Juris Publici Ecclesiastici, vol. II, n. 272 writes: “Neque quis dicitur tolerare aliquid si illud protegat, foveat atque tueatur.” Which means: “no one is said to tolerate something which they wish to protect, favor, or preserve.”

The word “tolerance” is being tossed around much these days and it is being twisted to mean something other than true tolerance. It is used to mean something opposed to injustice and prejudice. “Tolerance” in popular lingo is now a positive virtue: something to strive for. We are witnessing the transformation of our language.

Thank the Lord for the clarity of Latin. The definition of “tolerare” is “patienter ferre” which means “to patiently bear”. No one wants to patiently bear something unless it is forced upon him.

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