Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
Not as regards the effect of their defection upon the Churchthey have left. The value of the evidence for the truth of theCatholic Church remains unaffected by the lapse of individuals fromher fold. And the loss of faith by such individuals cannot possiblyinterfere with the continued existence of the Catholic Church. If Imyself were to renounce the Catholic Faith, and spend the rest ofmy life lecturing against the Catholic Church, my conduct wouldneither prove that Church wrong, nor result in its collapse. Fromthe viewpoint of the Church, therefore, ex-Catholics are not athorn in my side. At the same time, I regret to hear of anyCatholic forsaking his or her religion both because such a soulforfeits immense spiritual blessings and privileges, and becausesuch defections set a bad example to other individuals. You wouldrightly blame me were I indifferent to the spiritual welfare ofothers, whoever they may be.
No. People who have never forfeited their right to an honorableand unblemished reputation in the eyes of their fellow men havedrifted from their faith in the Catholic Church; some because notwell instructed in that religion; others because, althoughintelligent enough in other directions, they have been unable totake an intelligent attitude where religion is concerned; others,again, have abandoned their religion for the sake of worldlyadvantages which do not seem in the least evil to the majority ofworldly-minded people. Not everyone, therefore, who leaves theCatholic Church could be called a scoundrel according to theordinary standards accepted by public estimation. But it remainstrue that no adult Catholic can lose his faith in the CatholicChurch without some degree of moral responsibility before God.
No. Some are very intelligent, but have proved to be out and outscoundrels. Others, very intelligent, have devoted theirintelligence to all subjects save their religion, of which they have known little or nothing; or elsethey have devoted it to the discovery of excuses to leave theirreligion because they found it uncomfortable. Others again, as Ihave already remarked, are psychologically unable to reason clearlywhere religion is concerned. Many people, Catholics andnon-Catholics alike, tend to become quite unreasonable oncereligion is involved, however reasonable they may be in othermatters. For example, a very highly educated woman who professed tobe an agnostic once showed me a photograph of Herbert Spencer, andchallenged me to say that a man with such a kindly face could teachwrong ideas about religion. I might mention that this woman wasvery religiously inclined, and found a relish and a devotion indeclaring herself to be an unbeliever which it would be hard tobetter in the most fervent of revivalist meetings.
Some are as convinced as I am that the Catholic Church is indeedthe true Church. I have met many such people, and have been told bythem that they hope to return to their Church some day. Othersattain to a genuine conviction that the Catholic Church is wrong.But usually this conviction is due to some form of mentalaberration. People can convince themselves, and most intensely, ofalmost anything. If you visit a lunatic asylum you may find aninmate most intensely convinced that he is Napoleon. In the clashof divergent convictions, you must first sort out the sane peoplefrom the insane. Then you must take the convictions of the saneones, and examine carefully the evidence for them. If this is doneimpartially, it will be found that other forms of religion are notbased upon sound foundations, whilst the Catholic position isimpregnable. Were I myself, by some drastic infidelity on my part,to lose my faith and become an atheist, I would still maintain thatif there were anything in the Christian religion, the CatholicChurch could alone justify itself as the true Christian Church inthis world.