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

Catholic attitude towards Capitalism

1113. Is it not a fact that the Church even opposes many wise reforms merely from ignorance or unwillingness to accept up-to-date ideas?

That is not a fact. The Church has many of her clergy devoting their lives to sociological study, who are experts in such subjects. They are neither ignorant, nor in the least unwilling to abandon out-of-date ideas. But they insist upon weighing new ideas on their own merits and if they oppose some of them, they but seem to be opposing wise ideas to those who have not sufficiently studied the matter.

1114. Since 75% of the crimes in the world are caused by capitalism, is not capitalism sinful in itself?

The capitalistic system as such is not sinful. In some form or other capital and labor will have to co-operate. The present form of capitalism has developd in certain evil directions, and those evil tendencies must be corrected. The inequalities, poverty and suffering of many today have resulted from lack of due control of the capitalistic system; and these sufferings have certainly been the occasion, though not the cause, of crimes and of violence. Your estimate that 75% of the crimes of the world are occasioned by evils due to a badly regulated capitalism is probably excessive, but it would be very difficult to give any precise estimate.

1115. Is it true that all men have equal rights to the use and enjoyment of the elements provided by nature?

Of some of them—yes. For example, no one has any right to prevent another from breathing the good fresh air that nature has provided for the use of all living creatures. In other cases, it is not true that all men have equal rights to the use and enjoyment of the elements provided by nature. At most, they have equal rights to acquire by a just title such natural goods as their capacity and initiative render possible. Once a man has acquired property, equal rights of others to that property are excluded. At the same time, the use and enjoyment of property by those who possess it are not unconditional. The exercise of the right of private ownership is limited by the duties of justice and charity to one's fellow men, and by the right of the State in certain cases to safeguard the common good.

1116. Is it true that each man has an exclusive right to the use and enjoyment of what is produced by his own labor?

That is not true as it stands. It would be too sweeping an assertion. For a thing could be produced by a man's labor from goods owned by another, and even with the assistance of capital provided by others. In some cases, however, one's own labor could give rise to a just and exclusive title of ownership; in which cases, ownership would be subject to the conditions I have already mentioned as regards the use and enjoyment of the goods in question.

1117. Does not the Catholic Church favor capitalism and the employing class in her social doctrines?

No. The Church was born poor, has ever honored the poor, inspires the love and practice of poverty in hundreds of Religious Houses, and teaches that riches are rather a hindrance than a help to salvation.

1118. Has it not been said that the Catholic Church is the religion of beggars but that she dines in palaces?

Christ Himself was born in poverty, and ever loved the poor. Yet often He dined with the rich. The Church, like her Master, is all things to all men. All have souls to be saved, and the Church appeals to all to fulfill their respective duties.

1119. Would you deny that the Church suspects social reform which favors the lower classes?

I would certainly deny that. She is most anxious for a social reform which will result in the betterment of the poor. But you cannot expect the Church to give her blessing to social theories which preach a false materialistic doctrine of life, and which urge rebellion against the natural rights of man as well as against God and religion. Reform in favor of the workers which restricts itself to social economy within the limits of justice and charity will meet with nothing but encouragement at the hands of the Catholic Church.

1120. Don't you think that, if the working classes believe in a hereafter, they do not struggle to better their own social conditions?

No. They may refrain from unlawful measures. But their Catholic religion and their belief in a future life do not hinder them from lawful prudential measures in this life. In fact, they know that God expects them to use their faculties, and make suitable provision for their earthly necessities as long as they are in this world.

1121. In Catholic countries where workers are taught to view things in the light of an eternal destiny are not their conditions deplorable?

In the modern industrial conditions these countries may be suffering as others are suffering. But prior to the industrialization of the world, the workers of Catholic countries were not in a deplorable condition. For example, the guilds of operative masons were entirely Catholic in origin and were protective measures for those stone workers. These guilds have no connection whatever with speculative masonry as embodied in the Masonic Lodges.Again, with the rise of industrialism, Pope Leo XIII. was one of the first to demand favorable conditions for the workers, and he was regarded as an innovator and attacked right, left and center by the capitalist world of the day. That world is at last beginning to see that he was right. If Catholic principles were put into practice, the lot of the workers would certainly not be deplorable.

1122. If a foreign armed force invaded our country and evicted people from their homes would your Church forbid the people to resist by force, if necessary?


1123. If the police of this country evict workers from their homes on behalf of capitalist owners, does your Church forbid those workers to resist by force?

Yes. In the preceding case you have a foreign nation invading a country not theirs and evicting people from their own homes. In this present case, you have legitimate authority in our country evicting people, not from their own homes, but from houses lawfully owned by others. If you think these cases parallel, you have a strange idea of similarity.Again, your imagination insists on supposing that the landlords are wealthy people. There are many people who have saved just enough to own one other house besides the one they live in. The rent is often their only means of support, and they have a right to that revenue. They cannot be obliged to allow a family to live in their house who will not, or who cannot, pay, when they can let the house to others who can. And the law protects their rights—a law citizens must uphold, not resist.If a thug wanted to sandbag you and rob you of your personal possessions in the street, you would be glad enough to secure the protection of the law and the help of near-by police. Yet the owners of a house have as much right to the rent as you have to your watch and chain, and to your loose cash.I admit that it is the duty of the State to make suitable provision for the families of workers who, through no fault of their own, cannot secure work or sufficient remuneration. The State can do this, either by paying the rent, and leaving the poor in the homes they at present occupy, or by providing them with other accommodation. But private owners of houses have no obligation to make provision for those who wish to occupy homes rent-free; and there is no justification in attacking the police who fulfill their duty, and who are not responsible for the laws they have to apply. To forestall a further difficulty, let us suppose that the landlord is already a wealthy man who does not need the rent. If the tenants cannot pay the rent, is he obliged to allow them to occupy his house? And we can make the case as black as possible by supposing that, if he turns them out, he will be able to get no other tenant, the house will remain unoccupied, and the evicted people will have nowhere to go. Even here, he is not in debt to those people, and is not bound in strict justice to allow them to remain. It is the social duty of the State to provide for them, not the duty of an individual owner. I would say this, however: If the owner knows that the State will make no provision for them, and that the evicted people will actually be left in dire straits, then he would sin, not against justice, but against charity, did he refuse to allow them to continue in a house for which he had no other use himself, or the rent of which he could easily do without for the time being.

1124. If you forbid violent resistance against eviction, you confirm the growing belief that the Church exists to protect landlords and capitalists.

Not everyone who owns a house is a capitalist by any means. The Church asserts the principle of justice to all, and insists most strongly upon justice to the workers who have less means of defense than those with wealth at their disposal. Your talk of the growing belief among the workers is a general assumption on your part. If it be the growing belief amongst some workers, that belief receives no reasonable confirmation from the doctrine I have given.

1125. If not, why does the Church command the workers to protect their own oppressors against foreigners, but sternly forbid them to protect themselves?

You are begging the question in your every utterance. The Church does not command workers to defend their oppressors against an invading foreigner. If a people desire to be incorporated in the invading nation, they may submit without resistance and be thus incorporated. But the Church says that they are not obliged to do so, and may as a nation defend their right to independent existence. In this case, workers do not defend their oppressors against the invader. They defend themselves in union with all others also contributing to national defense.Again, you wrongly assert that the Church forbids workers to protect themselves in time of peace against their capitalist oppressors. She does not. She urges them to unite, and make use of all lawful means to better their lot. She has ever been in favor of unions and combined action. She does forbid the use of any unjust and morally wrong means, but that is a totally different thing.

1126. The Church has declared many times that "human authority represents that of God," and that it is therefore sinful to rebel against it.

The Church certainly says that human authority is of God, for St. Paul tells us very clearly, "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God." Rom. XIII., 1. But this applies only in the case of the just exercise of authority. To all the just laws of a de facto government, whether it be monarchial or republican, we owe obedience in conscience.But does the Church say that it is sinful to rebel against a constituted government? The Church says that it is certainly lawful to resist any unjust and tyrannical exercise of authority. Even rebellion is lawful as a last resort. But this is such an extreme measure and productive of so much evil, that it is lawful only on the following conditions:(1) If the government is habitually and continuously tyrannical, pursuing a selfish object to the manifest detriment of the people.(2) When all legal and peaceful measures have been tried in vain, by published criticism, meetings of protest, and deputations to the authorities.(3) When there is a reasonable hope of success and the rebellion will not cause greater evils than those to be remedied.(4) When the judgment of the government's injustice is not merely a private or party judgment, but that of the majority of the citizens.Granted these conditions, rebellion would be lawful.

1127. How are the workers to know when the authority of their oppressors comes from the Lord, and when it does not?

If a law is manifestly opposed to the law of God, citizens do not owe obedience to that individual law. But if a law passed by a government for the common good entails some hardship upon a section of the community—that section may take all just means to secure some amelioration. They would not be justified, however, in organizing a rebellion. Not all workers agree that they are oppressed. Many are quite comfortable. Those who are in unfortunate circumstances should take all lawful means to awaken the public conscience, and secure some amelioration of their conditions. But the conditions I have outlined as being necessary to justify armed rebellion are certainly not verified in our country. Workers are obliged to submit to the just legislation of the present government, and organize to pull their full weight for the abolition of such legislation as they feel to be unjust. But they must proceed by constitutional means.

1128. The Church says that State authority is of God, but Karl Marx denies State authority, calling the State merely a machine to oppress the worker.

Karl Marx does not deny State authority by any means. He says that the Capitalist State is a machine for the oppression of the worker. He advocates class struggle, the overthrow of the Capitalist State, of religion, family and school as at present constituted. The proletarian State, with collective ownership, is to follow, with its own rigid discipline and authority.

1129. Which explanation will the worker find most reasonable, after coming into collision with the gun, the baton, and the boot, wielded by State authority?

The most reasonable explanation for the workingman as for every other man, is the Catholic explanation. If workingmen unite and work by constitutional means to better their conditions, they won't come into collision with authority. They will mould its legislation. But if they refuse to pull together, and small groups break out into spasmodic rebellions they will accomplish nothing, and force the government to take all necessary measures for the preservation of public order. Meantime, whilst some impulsive workers may overstep the bounds of lawful procedure here and come into conflict with State authority, in Russia the workers are in an infinitely worse plight. The Soviet's own official figures admit over a million and a half executions during the past ten years, chiefly of starving workers who have taken collectively-owned food to keep their bodies and souls together. The gun, the baton, and the boot prevail in Russia as in no other country in the world.Conditions generally under our present form of government do not warrant the Russian experiment here.

1130. Why does not your Church teach honesty and equality, instead of deference to the rich, calling it loyalty and religion?

The Catholic Church teaches honesty, insisting that dishonesty is always sinful. She does not teach equality in this world, though she does teach that Christ died equally for all men.Yet she does not teach deference to the rich calling it loyalty and religion. Wealth as such is no title to deference. True virtue is, and also lawful authority. Loyalty dictates the duty of respect for authority, and it is dishonest to refuse. Religion dictates respect for virtue. I have immense respect for the poor man who is a good man; none whatever for the wealthy man who is unjust and depraved. But not all poor people are good, and not all wealthy people are evil. Anyway, wealth as such is not a title to any particular deference.



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