Thomas Beckett Defended This Principle With his Life.

“.. why not simply turn things over to the secular court system, as has now been done, and as seems popular with so many, in the spirit of “let the secular courts clean the rot out of the church”? First, because the secular authorities will use that power to strangle the church, as is already happening.

“There are good reasons Thomas Beckett defended with his life the principle that clerics should be tried in ecclesiastical courts. People who love the great martyr forget why he was martyred. He understood—and it is something we too often forget—that secular authorities have their own agendas, and they too often use their power to crush, control, or merely silence those who oppose them.” — Dr. Randall B. Smith is a full professor of Theology

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