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

Social influence of the Church

1090. Why is it that countries in which Roman Catholicism predominates as a religion are now socially and economically decadent?

That question is far too vague, and takes altogether too much for granted. I must ask you to state precisely which countries you have in mind. It is possible that there is a country in which "Roman Catholicism" predominates, yet which is not socially and economically decadent. It is possible that there are countries which are socially and economically decadent, but in which non-Catholic forms of religion predominate. And it is even possible that there are socially and economically decadent countries which know no other form of Christianity in the main save Roman Catholicism, but in which that religion has ceased to have any predominating influence in their administration. You see how impossible it is to answer a question which gives rise to so many possibilities.But it is only fair to warn you now, before you submit more precise questions, that the line of thought prompting your inquiry will lead you nowhere. For you are associating two ideas which have no necessary bearing one upon the other. Firstly, "if" a Catholic country were decadent, it would not be "because" the people professed the Catholic religion. Secondly, and quite apart from the question of cause and effect, the truth, or otherwise, of a religion is not to be discerned from the alternating material prosperity and adversity of individuals or nations. For these reasons, I say that your line of thought will lead nowhere as an effort to solve any question as to the truth of Catholicism.

1091. Everybody knows that the Roman Catholic countries have steadily deteriorated, whilst Protestant countries have prospered.

No one can know that; for Catholic countries have not really deteriorated. They have, perhaps, been at a standstill from certain points of view, whilst some Protestant countries have forged ahead in those specific directions.The judgment upon which the question is based is erroneous, because too sweeping.Men invariably tend to think their own nation superior to others; and even if they are superior in some things, they are apt to claim superiority in all things. We make our test of comparison the thing in which we happen perhaps to excel. An American will boast that his country possesses the mighty dollar in abundance and undoubtedly leads the world. If Australia produces more wheat and wool we tend to make those the test of greatness. Did we produce more battleships, battleships would be the test. But it is a fallacy to see our good points and overlook the good points others possess and which we do not possess. In Spain, the trains are slower than in England, but national proficiency in music is far higher. In material and industrial progress, apart from its disastrous consequences, England and Germany had the coal and iron. The Southern countries had not. The age of inventions was bound to benefit more the better adapted countries from a geographical and geological point of view. The Reformation, above all, helped in England. The confiscation of Church lands and property enriched the few, and had Capitalists ready to finance the great industrial enterprises. In Catholic countries the wealth was more evenly distributed and no group of individuals was in the position of the wealthy of England.But the swing of the pendulum is altering things under our very eyes. Industrialism and Capitalism are failing. Italy is rising, still remaining Catholic. England is falling. No one could maintain that she holds the dominant place amongst the powers she once held. And her internal miseries are much greater than many suspect, with the poverty of the masses, vast unemployment, and indescribable slums in all her greater cities. I am just facing facts impartially. The material and industrial progress of Northern European Protestant countries was due chiefly to geographical, political, and racial factors. If religion had any influence at all, it was because Protestantism not only made men lose faith in the supernatural claims of the Catholic Church, but tended to unbelief in the supernatural altogether. Protestantism has certainly tended to make men lose sight of spiritual things, diverting their attention to natural and material things as being more important. I confine this to material and industrial progress. In other matters, there has been retrogression and a deterioration not found in Catholic countries, above all in domestic and social ethical standards. I have no time to give you more, but I have indicated something of the vastness of the question.This matter, of course, has no bearing on the truth or otherwise of the Catholic religion. We can't have the Catholic religion true when Spain was dominant in the sixteenth century, and the same religion false when England happened to be dominant in the nineteenth century. I am sure you see that. Catholicism must be judged on its own merits as a religion, not from the material fluctuations of nations in things mutable of their very nature.



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