Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
In general, Christ terms His Church a kingdom, which supposes some organized authority. However the explicit steps in the establishing of an authoritative hierarchy are clear. Christ chose certain special men. "You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you." Jn. XV., 16. He gave them His own mission. "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you." Jn. XX., 21. This commission included His teaching authority: "Teach all nations . . . whatsoever I have commanded you." Matt. XXVTII., 19; His power to sanctify—"Baptising them," Matt. XXVIIL, 19—forgiving sin, "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven," Jn. XX., 23—offering sacrifice, "Do this for a commemoration of me," I. Cor. XL, 24; His legislative or disciplinary p0wer—"He who hears you, hears me, and he who despises you despises me," Lk. X., 16; "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven," Matt. XVIII., 18. "If a man will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen," Matt. XVIIL, 17. The Apostles certainly exercised these powers from the beginning. Thus we read in the Acts of the Apostles, "They were all persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles," II., 42. St. Paul himself did not hesitate to excommunicate the incestuous Corinthian. I. Cor. V., 4. And he wrote to the Hebrewg, "Obey your prelates, and be subject to them," Heb. XIIL, 17.
There is no evidence of independent local churches in Scripture, nor in primitive documents. There is evidence that there were distinct groups of Christians in various places, just as there are Catholics in London under one Bishop, and Catholics in New York under another. All true Christians certainly formed a universal spiritual brotherhood, as Catholics do to-day; but local autonomy existed only in the sense that there were Bishops in charge of various localities, the Bishops themselves being subject to St. Peter, and after his death, to the successor of St. Peter.
No one wants you to be loyal to any supposed representatives on earth. But loyalty to Christ demands loyalty to those commissioned by Him to teach and guide in His name. Test the claims before you reject them on prejudice only.
You may say that you believe it unnecessary. But pay attention to the words of Christ I have just quoted. He thought it necessary, and He has the right to map out the kind of religion we are to accept. If Christians had to accept such disciplinary authority in the time of the Apostles, they must accept it now. Christianity is Christianity. It does not change with the ages. If it did, it would lose its character, and not remain the religion of Christ, to which religion alone He attached His promises. And remember His prediction that His flock would be one fold with one shepherd. Jn. X., 14. You would have sheep, not gathered into one fold, but straying anywhere and everywhere, having no shepherd with any real authority over them.
The Catholic method is not a method of human policy. We accept it because Christ imposed it. Yet the mere fact that Christ chose such a method is a guarantee of its wisdom. And the scepticism and irreligion which are the fruits of non-Catholic systems are but a further tribute to the wisdom of Christ.
Nowhere did Christ ever commission women to teach in His name and with His authority. St. Paul explicity forbids women to attempt to exercise such functions. I. Tim. II., 11-12; I. Cor. XIV., 34. People who would ordain women in the Church seem to believe that they know more about Christianity than St Paul.
The searchlight of science is doing good work in destroying superstition, and showing the fallacies of false religions which are due to the natural instinct of religion in all men, and the ignorance of the true religion revealed by God. But sound science is doing a great work for the Catholic Church and helping many towards her. What is called modern science and thought keep3 men away from the Catholic Church only when what is modern but not scientific is falsely supposed to be scientific, or when men, in their attempts at thinking mistake sophisms and fallacies for legitimate conclusions.
That idea may arise in the minds of those who do not personally ask their services. But you cannot argue that, because they do nothing according to your specifications, they do nothing at all. Earth worms might similarly argue that men do nothing because they don't burrow in the mud as they. Priests are regularly occupied in their own duties and studies. They would have less hours of employment in a worldly career. And if the Church allowed them to engage in secular business, our Catholic people would be uncared for, and religion would become a mockery. The man who slaves at some mechanical trade or in a commercial office, with little opportunity for regular prayer or continuous study, is not the man to teach religion to others and devote himself to the sanctification of their souls.
Society has no say in the matter. For two thousand years society—the world— has hated the Catholic Church and her Priests. But society has not made much progress against the Catholic Church. Nor have economics anything to do with it. The omnipotent power of God guarantees that the Church will last till the end of time, and as long as the Church lasts, the Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered, which means that there will be Priests to offer that Sacrifice.