"When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of the others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions.
Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them.
From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and that only for a time".
(C.P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, 1872)
This possibility holds true not only for reformation communities but for institutions within Catholicism as well. The Theology department at a university, a religious order, or a coalition of religious orders, takes on a momentum of its own. Editors of a religious publication desperately want to be taken seriously by the secular media. Institutions that would never be granted a Catholic label in their present form, continue now to use that label earned when they were genuinely Catholic.
Even orthodox persons and agencies within the Church, aware of the problems Krauth describes at the institutional level, avoid confronting evil or postpone pulling off an inaccurate “Catholic” label from a now-rogue institution. Krauth’s analysis does not disprove the importance of a “Magisterium” - quite the contrary - but describes processes that also hurt Catholics.