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

Capital punishment

1231. You insist that the State has the right to inflict capital punishment?

The State possesses the right on the same principle as an individual who may kill an unjust aggressor, if there be no other efficacious way in which to preserve his own life. Those whose crimes gravely threaten the well-being of society may be put to death by social authority when lesser penalties prove inefficacious as a control upon them. God Himself sanctioned this law in Hebrew society, and it is entirely reasonable. If the extreme penalty could not be lawfully inflicted by the State upon enemies of the common good, much greater and more widespread evils would ensue.

1232. Is not the executioner guilty of murder? He kills an individual person whom he knows by name, and intends to do so.

He knows he is hanging an individual person, and the name of the person. But he is not guilty of murder. Firstly, he acts not as a private person, but as the agent of the State exercising lawful authority. Secondly, his intention is not one of personal revenge but of doing a lawful act for the common good. His fulfillment of duty, far from being evil, could be quite meritorious. Motive makes morality.

1233. I cannot admit your version of the commandment "Thou shalt kill," except by lawful authority.

The very Bible which gives you the commandment also records God's authorization of death as a penalty when inflicted by lawful authority.

1234. Very often the voice of the government is not that of the people.

Even were that so, the question of capital punishment is not affected. The State right to inflict the penalty of death is an inherent right of society as such, independently of those who are in actual authority. The government gets its mandate of ordinary temporal administration from the people. But the social right to self-protection does not come from the people. It is from God, and, therefore, is an inherent and natural right. The people can vote governments in and out of office, but this merely means that they decide who shall be the agents of social authority. The inherent rights of social authority remain unaffected.

1235. A Nationalist Government applies the death penalty, whilst a Labor Government refuses to do so. It is a terrible thing that a man's life depends merely on a change of government.

You are viewing only one aspect of the case. The normal law of the land—and it is just a law—is that the penalty for a capital crime is death.That is, a man's life normally depends upon his avoiding those crimes which are classified as capital, and it depends, therefore, upon himself. If a government applies the law and inflicts the penalty—that is normal procedure. If a government commutes the sentence of death, that is abnormal—and we may say that those whose sentences are commuted are fortunate; though they may not be—and may endure far more bodily and mental anguish over a long period than one who suffers the extreme penalty.But whilst we may congratulate those whose sentences are commuted, we cannot regard one whose sentence is not commuted as having been deprived of any just right.The accidental change of government is external to the question. A man does not commit a crime relying on an accidental retention of a favorable government in power. I suppose had I gone to Napier, in New Zealand, just prior to the accidental earthquake and been killed, my friend who did not go, could worry that an accident alone made such a difference between our fates. But if I knew that an accident was more than possible, and I deliberately courted the danger, he would rather speak of my folly.

1236. Is it a crime to sympathize with the criminal going to his doom?

Not at all. Nor is anyone expected to be inhuman. But in this, as in many other cases, there are two sides to the question. It is quite possible to have great sympathy for an individual who encounters disaster, yet to experience a reasonable relief that other good ends have been attained; and that a sufficient sanction and deterrent has been upheld for the good of the community.



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