Choose a topic from Vol 2:


Proof of God's existence
God's nature
Supreme control over all things and the problem of suffering and evil


Destiny of man
Immortality of man's soul
Pre-existence denied
The human free will
Determinism absurd


Necessity of religion
Salvation of the soul
Voice of science
Religious racketeers
Divine revelation
Revealed mysteries
Existence of miracles

The Religion of the Bible

Gospels historical
Missing Books of the Bible
The Bible inspired
Biblical account of creation
New Testament problems
Supposed contradictions in Sacred Scripture

The Christian Faith

Source of Christian teaching
Jewish rejection of Christ
Christianity a new religion
Rational foundation for belief
Causes of unbelief

A Definite Christian Faith

Divisions amongst Christians
Schisms unjustified
Facing the problem
The wrong approach
Is one religion as good as another?
Obligation of inquiry
Charity and tolerance

The Protestant Reformation

Meaning of "Protestant"
Causes of the Reformation
Catholic reaction
Reformers mistaken
The idealization of Protestantism
The Catholic estimate

The Truth of Catholicism

Meaning of the word "Church"
Origin of the Church
The Catholic claim
The Roman hierarchy
The Pope
The Petrine text
St. Peter's supremacy
St. Peter in Rome
Temporal power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolicity of the Church
Indefectibility of the Church
Obligation to be a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic attitude towards the Bible
Is Bible reading forbidden to Catholics?
Protestant Bibles
The Catholic Douay Version
Principle of private interpretation
Need of Tradition
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church

The Dogmas of the Church

Revolt against dogma
Value of a Creed
The divine gift of Faith
Faith and reason
The "Dark Ages"
The claims of science
The Holy Trinity
Creation and evolution
Grace and salvation
The Sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
The Catholic Priesthood
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
The resurrection of the body
The end of the world

The Church and Her Moral Teachings

The Inquisition
Other superstitions
Attendance at Mass
Sex education
Attitude to "Free Love"

The Church in Her Worship

Magnificent edifices
Lavish ritual
Women in Church
Catholics and "Mother's Day"
Liturgical Days
Burial rites
Candles and votive lamps
The rosary
Lourdes water
The Scapular

The Church and Social Welfare

Social influence of the Church
The education question
The Church and world distress
Catholic attitude towards Capitalism
The remedy for social ills
Communism condemned
The Fascist State
Morality of war
May individuals become soldiers?
The Church and peace
Capital punishment
Catholic Action

Comparative Study of Non-Catholic Denominations

Defections from the Catholic Church
Coptic Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Anglican Episcopal Church
The "Free" or "Nonconformist" Churches
Church of Christ
Seventh Day Adventists
Plymouth Brethren
Catholic Apostolic Church or Irvingites
Salvation Army
Christian Science
British Israelism
Liberal Catholics
Witnesses of Jehovah
Buchmanism or the "Oxford Group Movement"
From Protestantism to Catholicism

To and From Rome

Conversion of Cardinal Newman
Why Gladstone refrained
The peculiar case of Lord Halifax
Gibbon the historian
Secession of Father Chiniquy
Father Tyrrell, the modernist
Bishop Garrett's departure
Judgment on lapsed Catholics
Protestant apathy towards conversion of Catholics
Principles for converts to Catholicism
God's will that all should become Catholics

Burial rites

1070. Is the Catholic burial service in any way designed to benefit the soul of the departed?

Most decidedly. In fact, abstracting from the fact that it is essentially a part of our liturgical worship offered to God and a bond of union between living members of the visible Church on earth, the whole of the service is one of prayer for the soul of the departed person, imploring God's mercy for that soul, forgiveness of his sins, an early deliverance from expiations due to past infidelities, and a more generous share in the happiness of heaven insofar as our intercession can secure these things for him according to our fellowship in the Communion of Saints.

1071. What is the meaning of absolution given to the dead?

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as absolution given to the dead. If we take absolution in the sacramental sense, as part of the Sacrament of Penance it is evident that the person to be absolved must still be a living subject of the Church in this world. At times, however, you may hear of the "last absolution" being given at a Requiem Mass, that "absolution" being pronounced over the dead person lying before the Altar. But that "absolution" is not to be taken in the strict sense of the word, as if it had sacramental efficacy. Rather it is a liturgical prayer or the repose of the soul of the departed person—a prayer which would be of no avail to that person, did he die in a state of mortal sin.

1072. I thought absolution could be given only to the living insofar as they are disposed to receive it.

That is correct. Sacramental absolution cannot be given to dead people. If people are unconscious, or have even apparently died but a short time before the arrival of a priest, the priest can give but conditional absolution, which would avail only insofar as the subject is capable of responding to it, in the sight of God. God alone can know whether such a conditional absolution has its effect or not. But in any doubt, the priest gives the benefit of the doubt to the unconscious person, and absolves conditionally in the hope that the Sacrament may be of actual benefit.

1073. What difference is there if a dead person is buried by a layman instead of a priest?

In the actual burial of the dead person, no difference. In the blessings obtained for the soul of the dead person there would be a great difference. In the first place, the layman might, or might not read the official prayers of the Church on behalf of the deceased. If he did not, his own prayers, were he to substitute any, would lack the efficacy of the official liturgical prayers of the Church. On the other land, even were he to offer all the official liturgical prayers of the Church, those prayers would not have the same value as they would were they offered by a priest. For, as distinct from the layman, the priest is, by his very ordination, a consecrated element in the worship of the Church; and through the priesthood officially, independently of the personal merits of individual priests, the Church dispenses liturgical blessings and graces which are not so dispensed through laymen. There is a difference, therefore, between the Church officially praying her own liturgical prayers through the lips of one of her priests, and the reading even of those same prayers by a layman who is unable to act officially in the name of the Church.



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