The Catholic Church must defend the truth, and break sharply with those who deny the faith, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) told his weekly audience on April 5.
The Holy Father remarked that in the New Testament, the first epistle of St. John stands out for its emphasis on the love among Christians. Still, he observed, "the same voice addresses itself with drastic severity to those who were once members of the community, but are no longer."
If necessary, to safeguard the faith the Church must break off ties with those who reject Catholic doctrine, the Pope said. The Church must always defend the true communion of believers, which "arises from the faith inspired by apostolic preaching." To do otherwise, the Pontiff said, would be to risk estrangement from the Holy Spirit.
A lot of speculation in the comments on this post as to whether or not this signifies some sort of impending "crackdown" on dissenters in the Church. Who knows? But it could get interesting.