Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
We cannot use the word dictatorship of the Pope in the ordinary sense of the word. The Pope has supreme authority according to the laws dictated by Christ in the constitution He gave to the Church. The authority of the Pope extends to both spiritual matters and to temporal matters in so far as they have connection with spiritual things. The Catholic Church is not a society of angelic beings, but of human beings who are composed of a spiritual soul and a material body. As a visible society of semi-spiritual beings it demands a spiritual religion expressed and regulated with the help of material means. This is in conformity with man's twofold nature. The Pope therefore has authority both in spiritual matters, and in temporal matters which are bound up with spiritual interests.
It is quite lawful to inflict pain as a punishment, or no school-master could punish a rebellious child. I am grateful now for many a punishment inflicted upon me by my parents in my childhood. In principle, the infliction of pain is lawful. The question rather concerns the degree of pain to be inflicted. Excessive pain is undoubtedly wrong, unjust, inhuman, and un-Christian.
You have read garbled accounts. No one denies the existence of cruelty and persecution in the history of the ages. But they have been exaggerated. Nor were they due to the Catholic point of view. They were in spite of the Catholic viewpoint, and due to the imperfect notions of the times, times in which Protestants were not less cruel than Catholics. My own course of reading as a Protestant bred in me the same repugnance for the Catholic Church as you now experience. I dreaded and hated the Church as a monstrous thing. Yet to-day I accept her as my mother, realizing that she has been caricatured by misunderstanding and misinformed writers. And over twenty years of association with the Catholic Church have only served to deepen my appreciation of her rational foundations, principles, and spirit.
I do. I say that such a doctrine is a monstrous fable. History shows that human beings, whether Catholics, Protestants, Mahometans or Pagans, have been guilty of great cruelties to one another. Even ecclesiastics, if you wish, through their own fault and not through any teaching of their Church, have been guilty of excessive cruelty. Such excesses cannot be justified, but it was their own personal conduct. It was not inspired by their Catholicity, but by their own mistaken, or even evil dispositions.
He had in mind such men as had been Catholics, and who labored to destroy the faith of other Catholics after their own lapse from the Church. And even then he puts the question speculatively. And he was quite logical. He argued that one who unjustly takes his neighbor's life by murder deserves death at the hands of the state. But he who destroys the faith of another robs him, not of his temporal life, but of his eternal life, which is far worse. The state, therefore, which is bound to safeguard the complete well-being of its citizens, would be justified in putting such a man to death, removing him permanently from among men to whom he can do so much damage. Speculatively, then, St. Thomas says that such a penalty would not be excessive. In practice he does not say that it should be done. Andeven if it were done, he writes that the Church whose mission is one of mercy must do all she can to win such a man from his sinful dispositions and destructive campaign, in order to save both his temporal and spiritual life if possible.
No. Present-day Protestants are not ex-Catholics in bad faith, and even if they were I would not wish to burn them. Some of them might deserve it. Some Catholics certainly do deserve it, for if a traitor to his country deserves death, so too does a traitor to God who has a far greater claim to our loyalty than any country could possibly possess. However, thank God that neither non-Catholic people who might deserve it, nor bad Catholics who do deserve it, are likely to be burned to-day by their fellow men in this country. Your feelings are nearly as sensitive as my own on this point.