Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
No one can honestly accuse the Catholic Church of not endeavoring to do her part in this matter.
No. Catholics have been urged over and over again by their Church to do their utmost towards the rehabilitation of the world. They do believe in God and in God's providence. They believe that all the miseries of this world have been permitted by God, or they would not exist. But they are due to man's own political and economic maladministration. Catholics also believe that, if men lead evil lives, they forfeit the right to God's blessings, both spiritual and temporal. They know that sin and corruption and irreligion are very wide-spread evils, and that there will be room for hope that God will spare men many of the afflictions they deserve if men will but remedy their lives and begin to serve God earnestly, loving their neighbors for the love of God.
No. In his Encyclical Letter, Quadragesimo Anno, of May, 1931, Pope Pius XI. says that "all candidates for the sacred priesthood must be adequately prepared by an intense study of social matters. It is particularly necessary that those specially devoted to this work should show themselves to be endowed with a keen sense of justice, ready to oppose with manly courage unjust claims and unjust actions, avoiding every extreme with consummate prudence and discretion." The Pope adds that "no stone must be left unturned to avert grave misfortunes from the human race"; that "much has been done in the social and economic field by various Catholics," but that now "let all strive to play their part in the Christian renewal of society." Far from being forbidden, then, Catholic Priests are urged to the study of economics and of social science.
The Church must preach that each individual soul will answer personally to God for its conduct during life, and also for its influence by good or bad conduct upon others. And each soul must answer to God for itself. No one else can answer for it. At the same time, any scheme of individual salvation which excludes all interest in the salvation of others is certainly wrong, and is forbidden by the Catholic Church. That Church is the greatest social institution in the world to-day, serving society both in temporal and spiritual needs.
Christ never intended this world to be Heaven. He said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." The Church is His Kingdom on earth, but it is not a Kingdom of earth. And I esteem this Kingdom of Christ above all else. This does not forbid me to dress respectably. It does forbid me to rejoice in so far as humanity is in despair and shackles. But I do not rejoice in the sufferings of humanity. The miseries of men affect few people as they affect Catholic Priests, who, without telling you all about it, do their utmost to relieve the poor and their miseries.
I will not comment upon other Churches in this matter. But as regards the Catholic Church I must make some remarks. She certainly has the principles and teachings necessary to better the lot of men. But she cannot influence men much so long as they refuse to accept her principles. The only solution possible, and the solution which the Catholic Church proposes, is that all men, employers and workers, should become genuine Christians, and not allow their selfishness to interfere with strict justice and mutual charity. But the last thing the majority of employers and workers are prepared to renounce is just that selfishness which is the ultimate cause of most troubles. If all men were Catholics, and all lived up to the teachings of the Catholic Church, obeying the laws she has given for social affairs, it would be the end of strikes and friction with their consequent poverty and misery. The fact that these troubles exist, then, is not an indictment of the Catholic Church, but of men who cannot see the wood for the trees. For with the peace-giving Church in their midst, they either refuse to accept it, or refuse to live up to its teachings.