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

Catholicity of the Church

415. You claim that your Church is not only one united Church, and holy, but also that it is Catholic.

That is true.

416. Your Church has not been known as Catholic since its foundation; and it has never been universal as the word implies.

The word "Catholic" is derived from the Greek, and it means whole, complete, and universal. The word was first applied to the Church to which we Catholics belong by St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who died in the year 107 A.D. He used the word to describe the universality of the Church founded by Christ and subject to the Bishop of Rome. And that Church was truly universal in character from the very beginning. She was commissioned by Christ to go to the ends of the earth and to teach all He had revealed to all nations. She was, therefore, Catholic in scope, though it naturally required time to spread to all localities and peoples in actual fact. Again the Church which Christ established was Catholic in time, since it was to last, as one and the same Church, all days till the end of the world. And the Church to which we Catholics belong is the only Church which has been in the world since the time of Christ. She alone teaches all that Christ taught; she alone gives all the means of salvation and sanctification instituted by Christ; she alone draws her members from all nations without exception, and is alone adapted to the needs of all men independently of their racial and political differences. In a word, she alone is the one true Catholic Church.

417. Which is the largest individual religion in the world today?

The 400 millions of Catholics subject to the Bishop of Rome, Pope Pius XII., constitute the largest religious body in the world. There are about 350 million Confucians and Taoists; 230 million Mahometans; 220 million Hindus; 200 million Buddhists; 200 million Protestants of all kinds; 130 million belonging to the various Greek Orthodox Churches; 16 million Jews; and many smaller forms of isolated pagan religions.

418. Why do you describe your Church as the "Catholic Church," and not as the "Roman Catholic" Church?

Because "Catholic Church" is a sufficient and correct description of our Church. By that title the Church whose chief shepherd is the Bishop of Rome is sufficiently described and identified as distinct from all Protestant, Greek, Unitarian, Jewish, and other religions. The title "Roman Catholic" is an incorrect expression. I refuse to use it because it could confirm Protestants in the mistaken idea that there are other kinds of Catholics. Also it is a contradiction in terms to have a limiting adjective before a word meaning "universal." One cannot limit the unlimited, or localize the universal. To say "Roman Catholic Church" with any idea of restriction is to say "the not-universal universal Church." And that is absurd.

419. You have not the right to drop the word "Roman."

We do not drop the word "Roman." We have never used that word officially as Protestants now want to use it; i. e., as an adjective qualifying "Catholic." Officially, we may say that our Church is the Catholic and Roman Church--Catholic, because it is universal, encircling the world; Roman, because its center is the Apostolic See of Rome. The universal Church must have a center somewhere. It happens to be at Rome, whose Bishop is the successor of St. Peter. In reality, it is for us to ask Protestants why they now want to call themselves "Catholics," qualifying us as "Roman" in order to suggest that we are not the only Catholics. At one time they absolutely repudiated the idea that they were Catholics. The mere suggestion that they might be Catholics would meet with an indignant denial.

420. The word Catholic means universal.

Therefore, it abstracts from all national considerations.

421. Would it not be more universal if the Pope were not always an Italian?

It would be less universal if national considerations had such weight that each nation in turn wanted to exert its influence. We see in the Pope simply the successor of St. Peter, and the Vicar of Christ.

422. One could not imagine a Protestant Archbishop submitting to any foreign control.

Protestants themselves insist that Christ is the Head of the Church. What would they do did He return to earth in His human nature to assert His rights? For nationally He would be a foreigner to them. In His human nature He was a Palestinian Jew, who had not a drop of British blood in His veins, nor the privilege of belonging to the British Empire. The source of your difficulties is your national outlook. You use the word foreigner as opposed to allegiance to a nation in and of this world. But Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He told His disciples, "You are in, but not of this world." He repudiated the blending of religion and nationalism amongst the Jews, and sent His Church to teach all nations. However diverse by nationality, all were to be one in the Church. As an Australian, I am a foreigner to Italians. Italians are foreigners from an Australian point of view. But as Catholics owing the same spiritual allegiance to Christ, there is no room for the word foreigner amongst members of the universal Church. We Catholics can say with St. Paul, "There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. III., 28. These earthly differences do not count in the true religion of Christ. We are "Catholic."

423. Is it not because the Catholic Church thinks it her mission to convert the world that she undertakes so many foreign missions?

That is so.

424. A government officer of Papua recently said that unless the missionaries there could give the natives work as well as civilization, it would be better to leave them alone to work out their own destiny.

The question of work and civilization does not really concern the missionaries. If political administrators and commercial exploiters wish to impose their own civic customs and modes of living upon the natives, then these people must see to it that the natives are provided with means of a livelihood in exchange for that abandoned by the natives. The primary duty of the missionaries is to wean the natives from paganism, and substitute the Christian faith, with its worship of the true God, and its loftier moral standards. And the Catholic missionaries are doing their part well. In his book, "Papua Today," Sir Hubert Murray, the Lieutenant-Governor of Papua, says, "The old so-called religion of the Papuan must inevitably go. It is mere self-deception to suppose that it can be kept alive, even if such a thing were desirable. Secondly, something must be put in its place, otherwise the religious development of the Papuan comes to an end. Thirdly, the only thing we have to put in its place is Christianity." Sir Hubert Murray adds that hostility to the missions is possibly merely the expression of an attitude of the "superior person" with a proper contempt of revealed religion, and that it rarely has relation to their considered opinion.

425. He added that if we stop these people in their social progress, we will take away the whole of their life interest.

That does not concern the missionaries who certainly will not interfere with the social progress of the natives. The missionaries will give them the true religion of Christ, merely lifting them to an eternal life-interest without changing their life-interest so far as this world is concerned. Sir Hubert Murray writes on this subject: "It must be remembered that many native customs are cruel and revolting in the extreme, and certainly should not be preserved for a day. But, even taking the best of them, those which are deserving of encouragement, and which one would like to see maintained, it is quite certain that most of them, too, must go, as the result of European influence. It is quite useless to try to bolster them up." And he adds: "Unprejudiced opinions must admit the great benefits bestowed upon the natives of Papua by missions operating in the Territory. Both boys and girls are cleaner, healthier, better fed and better mannered at the Mission Stations than anywhere else in Papua."

426. Christianity is not a sufficient exchange. If we are not going to disillusion those people we should leave them alone.

We have an obligation to free people from the illusions of paganism, giving them a knowledge of the true God, of their Savior Jesus Christ, and of their real destiny. This can be done whilst respecting most of their native customs, and is done by the Catholic Missions, as Sir Hubert Murray has repeatedly insisted. In any case, Christianity is more than sufficient compensation for any temporal disadvantages. The early Christian martyrs thought it sufficient compensation for loss of life itself. It may be that we should not impose our ideas of civic life and commerce upon the natives; but this would not exclude the hope of their exchanging paganism for Christianity.

427. The white residents are not very favorable to the missions.

Sir William McGregor, the Administrator prior to the present Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Hubert Murray, wrote as follows: "The two finest and best institutions I left in New Guinea were the constabulary and native police, and the missions. To encourage mission work in every possible way was considered a sacred duty of the Government." Captain C. A. W. Moncton, in his book, "Some Experiences of a New Guinea Magistrate," writes, "I am a Churchman (i. e., Episcopalian) and a Churchman I'll die; but if all Roman Catholics were like the members of the Sacred Heart Mission, there soon wouldn't be any other Church in the world." Sir Hubert Murray, in his book, "Papua, or British New Guinea," says, "So far as one may judge from the ordinary conversation that one hears in Papua, the feeling of the general community is not favorable to missions, and I wish to say that I do not share this feeling. I think that the missions not only do good, but that they are absolutely necessary to the development of backward races. An uncivilized people who come into contact with Europeans will inevitably be led sooner or later to abandon their old beliefs; and when these are gone the native is lost, unless someone is there to put some form of religious teaching in their place. The Government cannot do this, and it is not likely that the majority of the settlers will." He adds that his opinion quite abstracts from the question as to whether Christianity is true or not. But he says, "Personally, I believe that it is; but I cannot help thinking that even if I did not believe it as I do, I should from a purely administrative point of view entertain exactly the same opinion as regards the necessity of some form of missionary teaching at the present stage of Papuan evolution."



Prefer a PRINT version?