Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
No sophistry is likely to deceive all the people all the time. But Catholic Priests do not rely upon sophistry, and your supposition that they are opponents of true science is absurd in view of the fact that they have done as much, if not more than any other body of men in the world to spread science and genuine education. If the Priests are deceiving the people, who are deceiving the thousands of Priests themselves? Or are the Priests not deceived, but an entirely dishonest body of men?
No. Never was scientific study neglected by Catholics before the Reformation. In physical science the invention of instruments—and very many of them by Catholics—has given us much more data than men possessed prior to the Reformation, but this progress would have come in any case, whether the Reformation had occurred or not. It is due to the ordinary development of human thought. The Reformation had no more to do with it than the signing of Magna Charta had to do with the discovery of America. America was discovered after the signing of Magna Charta, not because of it. The invention of a printing press by a Catholic contributed to the more rapid diffusion of other men's findings and promoted study and progress. But even then, a Catholic invented the printing press, not because he was a Catholic, but because he thought of it. Religion is not a factor in such matters. If a Christian became a pagan, and after that invented an excellent remedy for indigestion, you could hardly trace a connection between that and his paranoia.
If some happen to be, it is not because they are scientists of high standing. Hosts of scientists of high standing have been excellent Catholics. Ampere, Fallopio, Galvani, Laennec, Laplace, Magellan, Marconi, Mendel, Pasteur, Lapparent, Volta, and hundreds of others were convinced Catholics.
No. It is because, being perhaps experts in their own line, they consider themselves expert in every line, and condemn the Church on insufficient data. Other scientists, equally expert in their scientific lines, realize that they are not therefore qualified in matters of religion any more than they would be fitted by a knowledge of medicine to speak on economics as an expert. These sensible scientists have studied at least the foundations of their religion, proved its reasonableness, and have never dreamt of abandoning their religion. There is no conflict between science rightly understood and Catholic dogmas rightly understood. Any apparent conflict is due to a misunderstanding either of science or of Catholic dogma.
What is science? It is knowledge proved by strictly logical demonstration from facts or from evident principles. In religion we start from the historical fact of revelation, and from principles guaranteed by God. By strictly logical demonstration we prove exactly what must be believed and what must be done if we desire to fulfill the Will of God. Believe me, there is a most exact science of religion to he found in the Catholic Church.
They no more cramp a man's intelligence than an excellent telescope diminishes his power of sight. They give additional light upon the most important matters. For example, the dogma that there is a hell saves me from the mistake of thinking that there is no hell—surely a vital matter. And the more a man uses his intelligence in the right studies, the more he will find that the credentials of the Catholic Church are quite in order, and that her dogmas contain nothing against reason.
Not where it is a question of the religion revealed by God. To decide what one will believe or not believe for oneself is faith in one's own ability, but not faith in Christ. Christian faith believes what Christ taught and because Christ taught it, without reference to one's own likes or dislikes.
You will not get very far that way. Christ never said, "Blessed is the man who thinks for himself, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." If Christ has done the thinking for you on a given subject, all you have to do is to accept His teaching. How will you find it? He has left an authorized Church. Use your reason in order to discern this Church, and then reasonably be taught by it
She does not dread free inquiry into her truth and authority. At the same time, she knows the great capacity of the human mind for going astray. She dreads, therefore, prejudice, ignorance, and the fantastic conclusions of the illogical and half-educated.
To admit that Christ is God, and then to doubt an exact statement of His teaching is certainly a sin, for that implies a denial either of His knowledge or of His veracity. But we do not need to doubt a thing before we can begin to study it I do not doubt the fact that the earth moves round the sun, yet I am perfectly free to weigh all the evidence for or against that proposition. St. Paul believed in the dogma of the Trinity, yet he could not prove that dogma save by proving that God had revealed it and that it must be accepted on God's authority.
Of course he must judge that Protestantism is false, and Catholicism true. But that judgment is preliminary to faith. Having made that judgment and acted upon it, he becomes a Catholic. From that moment he is guided in what he believes, not by his own human judgment or opinion, but by what Christ has actually revealed as taught to him by the Catholic Church.