Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
It is the name of a system accepted by illogical people who wish to imply by the self-chosen title that they are really guided by reason.
It has not made havoc of Christianity. It is making havoc of Protestantism. But Protestantism is not really Christianity. The Catholic Church alone is the true representative of Christianity, and she is not affected by rationalism. The Bible is as authentic as ever, and humanitarianism has not affected the fires of hell, even as it had nothing to do with their creation. As has been well said, the only way to abolish hell is to abolish one's own by leading a good life, and serving God.
Outside the Catholic Church, yes. The Protestant principle, "Do not be toI3 by the Catholic Church what to think on religion, but be free to think for yourself," is proving fatal to Protestantism. Men have simply asserted their freedom to think Protestantism itself, and indeed all religion, useless. Catholics, who do not accept the principles of free thought are not affected to any great extent
We do not fear rationalism. We do fear lest some individual Catholics be takes in by its sophistries, thinking that, because they themselves do not see the solution of difficulties proposed, there is no solution. Rationalistic writings constitute a danger for shallow and untrained minds, and rather a waste of time for educated men.
But rational men can do so. If you are not a Catholic, it is not sound reasoning that keeps you outside the Church. Defective information, mere want of thought, prejudice, moral cowardice, heredity, environment, and a hundred other factors may conspire to keep men outside the Catholic Church. But sound reason never does. Sound reason is the greatest ally of the Catholic Church in the natural order.
Because he was a man like Joseph McCabe. The Catholic Church keeps no man against his will. McCabe lost the faith as any man can do, and departed from the Church just as the Jews from Christ, saying, "This is a hard saying: who can hear it!" Intellectual pride blended with obstinacy of will could take any man out of the Church.
Yes. McCabe has sought to make money and court popularity by reviling the Church he quitted. He claims to know history, yet quotes as facts things he must know to be untrue—calumnies which Ernest Renan, as good a rationalist as McCabe, had refuted twenty years before McCabe rehashed them. Though he claims to be an unbeliever in Christianity, regarding that religion as a complete fraud, the whole of his distorted book, "Twelve Years in a Monastery" panders to Protestant sentiment!
It is not strange. Intellectual attainments have really little to do with it, in the ultimate analysis. Brains alone cannot bring a man to Christian truth, and brains alone will not keep him in it. Christ did not say, "Come to Me, all ye intellectual people, and I will refresh you." If knowledge of religious truth and faith in it depended upon brains, heaven would be filled with the intellectual, and hell with the dull-witted. Goodness and brains do not always go together. You can have intellectual and cultured scoundrels. Christ appealed to men of good will. He demanded humility of all the human children who wished to be children of God. "God resists the proud and gives His grace to the humble." Where is human wisdom before God's infinite knowledge? Where is old age before His eternity? Or human strength before His omnipotence? God rightly demands that we acknowledge our true position. McCabe forgot it. He forfeited God's grace, left the Church, and in doing so left the Christ who established it Meantime, McCabe left the Church after twelve years in a monastery; I joined the Church, and have been twenty years in a monastery. I became a Catholic with nothing to gain from this world's point of view, entered Religious Life, and took the same three vows which McCabe renounced. The odds are against insincerity when a step is costly to human nature. But not when a man leaves the Church for an obviously lower standard of living.
The fact that McCabe and myself disagree means simply that you must not reject the Catholic Church because McCabe rejects it, nor accept it because I accept it McCabe's rejection of it does not make it false; my acceptance of it does not make it true. It is either false or true independently of McCabe and myself. A man with ordinary elementary education can arrive at as sound a judgment as any other, provided he has a sincere desire to know the truth, to love and serve God, and prays earnestly for God's guidance. Any ordinary man can easily ask a Priest to explain Catholic doctrine to him. If he be sincere in his inquiry, he will notice how it rings true of its very nature. God's grace will enlighten him, and he will experience a distinct interior sense of obligation to accept the doctrine of Christ as taught by the Catholic Church. In other words, God will offer him the gift of faith—to be accepted or rejected. If he accepts, he becomes a Catholic, and all later reading of history, philosophy, and Scripture will but confirm the choice he made under the influence of God's grace. A Cardinal Newman and a bricklayer can equally become Catholic—a Joseph McCabe and a chimney sweep can equally lose the gift of faith. Thus the Catholic Church, in her various phases, can appeal equally to the highest intelligence and to the simplest of men—which is as it should be with a Church established by Christ for the salvation of all men. And all men remain free to accept or reject the Church even as they were free to accept or reject Christ in the days of His life upon earth. Each man has the responsibility of saving his own soul.