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The Both/And of the Ultimate Value

Within a properly Christian context, the ultimate value, which positions and determines any other value is neither tolerance, nor diversity, nor inclusivity, but rather love.


To love is to will the good of the other as other. It is to break out of the black hole of one’s own self-regard and truly desire what is best for another. Therefore, to be sure, love is inclusive in the measure that it recognizes the essential dignity of each individual; love is tolerant, inasmuch as it respects the goodness of even those who hold errant points of view; and love encourages diversity, to the degree that it eschews the imperialistic imposition of one’s own ego upon another. However, sometimes love is exclusive, intolerant, and unaccepting of diversity—precisely because it wills the good of the other.

To illustrate this counter-intuitive proposition, let me begin with a rather ordinary example. (Continue reading here.)


A song that has been widely played in Catholic circles these past twenty years or so includes the line, “All are welcome in this place.” Cardinal Francis George once archly remarked, “Yes, all are welcome in the Church, but on Christ’s terms, not their own.” Real love both includes and excludes; real love is both tolerant and intolerant.

—from the blog post Love Is Both Tolerant and Intolerant by Bishop Robert Barron


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