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

The "Dark Ages"

512. You know quite well that in the dark agesimmediately preceding the Reformation theology tried to sanctifysuperstition.

Catholic theology has always classed superstition as sinful, andhas labored to stamp it out. That ignorant people are apt to minglesuperstition with religion is quite true. But superstition is notnecessarily associated with religion. It is a strange tendency inhuman beings, due to the limitations of the human mind, which isapt to break out at any time. The man who advertises lucky charmstoday is as sure of a harvest as ever. As regards your estimate ofthe "dark ages," it is necessary to make a distinction.Intellectually, the thirteenth and fourteenth and fifteenthcenturies do not constitute the "dark ages." The real"dark ages" are to be found between the sixth and theeleventh centuries. From the moral point of view I am willing toadmit that the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries could rightly bethus called. Side by side with the revival of art and literaturedue to intense study of the classics there was a revival also ofpagan morality in place of Christian virtue. Intellectual interestin a sensual philosophy very easily ends in a greater interest in sensuality. Men, interested in the beautiful style ofthe pagan classics, absorbed the immoral poison of what theycontained and they fell into vices quite at variance with Christianstandards. Men began to write filth beautifully only to rendertheir beautiful souls filthy. The Renaissance had very ill effectsupon the religious lives of both clergy and laity, and rendered thetimes very dark indeed from a moral point of view.

513. Did not the Schoolmen spend their time debatingsuch questions as the number of angels that could sit on the pointof a needle?

That is a travesty of Scholasticism. Scholasticism, or thephilosophy of the Schoolmen of the Middle Ages, can be divided intofour periods. It arose between the ninth and the eleventhcenturies; developed rapidly during the twelfth century; attainedperfection during the thirteenth century with the great St. Thomasof Aquin; and then fell into decline in the fourteenth andfifteenth centuries. In this last period the best traditions ofScholasticism were forgotten, and would-be philosophers were nolonger creative thinkers, but rather fought amongst themselves forthe honor of the systems they had adopted rather than for thetruth. This led to a lot of hair-splitting debates, and when theRenaissance came, men judged Scholasticism by the type they foundprevailing, making no distinction between the later and the earlierSchoolmen. It was a superficial judgment; and superficial writerstoday still repeat the foolish statement that the Schoolmen wastedtime debating about the number of angels who could sit on the pointof a needle. That is simply a caricature. Men who really knowsomething of history have realized that the Scholastic philosophymust be judged by its uncorrupted form in the golden age of thethirteenth century, and not by those who, in the period of decline,were forsaking its true principles. So Professor Whitehead, Fellowof Trinity College, Cambridge, writes in his book, "Scienceand the Modern World," that "the greatest contribution ofmediaevalism to the formation of the scientific movement was theinexpugnable belief that every detailed occurrence can becorrelated in a perfectly definite manner, exemplifying generalprinciples." And he adds that to the Schoolmen is due"faith in the very possibility of science." Those wordsof Professor Whitehead are more valuable than the verdict ofnonentities. It may be that modern materialists wish to live onlyby their senses which they have in common with animals, and refuseto accept as facts all that is not subject to sense-experience. Butthe Schoolmen preferred reason, and felt obliged to account forfacts made known by a revelation from God which reason justified.Knowing thus of the existence of purely spiritual beings calledangels, they quite reasonably discussed their relation to space,just as much a problem as the fact that one can get more and moreideas into his head without having to enlarge his head to providespace-accommodation for them. But the verdict that angels, likeideas, do not occupy space to the exclusion of others is aperfectly rational conclusion which irrational people too easilydismiss with a contemptuous reference to angels sitting on thepoint of a needle. No Schoolman was such a fool as to think thatany bodily posture was proper to an angel. A childish want ofthought is the chief characteristic of many modern supposedly wisemen when they begin to discuss a Scholastic philosophy of whichthey know practically nothing.



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