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

Creation and evolution

534. Turning to visible things around us, I cannot see what is wrong with eternal evolution.

If you intend, by eternal evolution, to dispense with God, you would find it a bigger problem to see what is right in it. In dealing with the origin of the universe you will find yourself in deep waters whichever way you turn. We know, however, by revelation that all things less than God were created from nothing by God, and that therefore they are not eternal.

535. Creation in time is a great mystery to me, and I cannot see how the world could be created.

To know how the world could be created you would have to comprehend God; and no finite mind can do that. But we do know that God could create by the mere fact of His being God. Creation in time is, I admit, also a mystery. For there was no time before created things came into existence. Creatures began in eternity, and time began with them, and belongs to them because of their successive duration. The universe had a first moment, before which it did not exist. And referring to that moment we say that the world was created at the beginning of time.

536. Was creation an instantaneous act in the beginning, or does God still create?

We do not hold that God gave only one beginning to created things, allowing evolution to account for all subsequent developments. God continues to create, or to give new beginnings to new creatures. For example, we admit a new and distinct creation for each human soul. We maintain that new creative activity was required for new species, and for the production of life. Life did not come from brute matter by simple development; nor did intelligence come merely from lower forms of organic life. New creative activities of God could alone account for these things. For the rest we are free to believe, not in an eternal, but in a temporal evolution of created beings. I might point out to you that many thinkers today demand much more creative activity in the world than any Catholic will admit. Bergson, the French philosopher, says that there are always new beginnings in almost every phase of existence. Ever there are new and unforeseen productions, according to him. And he tries to explain all by what he terms "creative evolution." It is impossible to accept his ideas of evolution; but it is significant that he by no means regards evolution as excluding the notion of creation.

537. You people who believe in the Bible are apparently prepared to repudiate certain scientific facts arrived at by the ceaseless and untiring work of generations of earnest men.

That is not true. We do not reject any scientifically demonstrated facts. Give us any fact that is scientifically demonstrated, and we will accept it at once. But no such fact would, or could, in the least affect our belief in the Bible. We Catholics stand for the principle that truth can never be opposed to truth. God cannot contradict Himself. He is the Author of nature, and He is the Author of the Bible. No truth discoverable from a study of nature will ever be found to contradict a truth set forth in the Bible.

538. One fact you repudiate is that the earth is at least 2000 million years old.

That the earth is at least 2000 million years old is a good conjecture, but not an established fact. Were it an established fact, there would be no difficulty in accepting it, so far as the Bible is concerned. It would not matter were the earth a billion billion years old, taking a billion as a million millions. For the Bible nowhere makes any statement as to the age of the earth at all. We can therefore accept both the truth of the Bible, and any age geology or astronomy can reasonably assign to our planet.

539. You have to repudiate the fact that the earth was not suddenly created out of nothing, but was formed slowly from a mass of molten matter.

The Christian religion does not demand the rejection of that explanation.

540. I refuse to practice any religion until the theory of evolution has been refuted.

There is no such thing as "the" theory of evolution. There are dozens of theories of evolution, whether of the major or of the minor variety. Nor have any of these theories been put forward by any sensible and well-informed men as anything more than a theory, for demonstration is as absent as refutation. And whether any particular theory of evolution be true or not, no one could possibly derive from such considerations any reasonable objection to the practice of religion. There's about as much connection between the theory of evolution, as you term it, and the practice of religion, as there is between the wave theory of light and a pain in one's kidneys.

541. In their book "The Science of Life" Wells and Huxley seem to prove the evolutionary origin of life.

The book in question is not scientific. In it the authors say that "evolution is a fact as well established as the roundness of the earth." Huxley's grandfather, the famous T. H. Huxley, once said that "an assertion which outstrips the evidence is not only a blunder, but a crime." That brands his grandson, together with Wells, as criminal. Sir Ambrose Fleming, President of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain, says, "There are no sufficient reasons for declaring the evolutionary origin of the human race to be a fact." Professor Albert Fleischmann, of Erlangen University, says that "our modern knowledge of animal anatomy is quite incompatible with the leading tenets of the theory of organic evolution." Delage, who accepted the theory of evolution, but who was a real scientist, said frankly that his belief was based less on natural history than on personal opinion. "On facts," he said, "it must be acknowledged that the formation of species one from another has not been demonstrated at all." Popularizers, like Wells and Huxley, are devoid of the scientific temperament. They excel in giving exact descriptions of things which never existed, and for which there is not a shadow of evidence. In the light of the scientists I have quoted what is one to make of the statement in the book you mention that "no denial of the fact of organic evolution except on the part of manifestly ignorant and prejudiced and superstitious minds, exists today"?

542. Do I understand that you believe only in evolution within the species?

Your question concerns what is really merely a scientific matter quite independent of the Catholic religion. It is no more relevant to the religious question than would be my opinion as to the nutrition value of cheese. However, since you think it relevant, I will answer your queries. A Catholic is quite free to hold the evolutionary formation of one species from another, or to deny it and hold that evolution has occurred only within specific types. My personal opinion is that there is not a vestige of proof in favor of the transformation of species, and that the probabilities are against it.

543. Your halting, tame, and tepid faith in the theory of evolution astonishes me. It would have earned for you the martyr's crown in the Middle Ages!

Firstly, even were one put to death for an opinion concerning any natural department of knowledge, one would not earn a martyr's crown. Secondly, I have no faith at all in any theory of evolution. I am of the opinion that minor evolution has occurred within certain limits, an opinion which is based upon such evidence as science has produced. But that opinion is not faith, for I do not hold it solely upon the authority of others who choose to advance the theory. Thirdly, apart from the martyr's crown, and the nature of my opinion, I would not have been put to death for my views on this subject either in the Middle Ages or in any other Age.

544. The whole attitude of your Church has changed on this point.

It has not. It might surprise you to know that St. Augustine, in the fourth century, and St. Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century, expressed more advanced views favorable to evolution than those I hold today. And they have been canonized, not crucified.

545. Your Church says now, "Evolution might be true. We do not know. If it is proved to be true, then we shall believe it." And that is authority speaking in the name of God!

You absurdly say that the Church now says, though the Church has never said anything else. Then you predict that the Church will "believe" it, as if you imagine that this purely natural matter could become part of the Catholic Faith. It could no more become part of the Catholic Faith than the discovery that gasoline can drive cars. Finally the reference to the "authority" of the Church is ridiculous, for the infallible authority of the Catholic Church concerns matters of faith and morals.

546. Organic evolutionists can point to visible proofs of their theory which would appear almost overwhelming.

That is not true. You see, the proofs of organic evolution do not consist in producing isolated and graded fossil remains. What you have to prove is that lower grades evolved into higher grades. You have to prove a process. And to prove that process you need, not what you are able to produce at present, but what you are not able to produce. In other words, you have to produce missing links whose chief characteristic is that they are missing. Professor Berg, in his book "Nomogenesis," speaks as follows: "It is truly remarkable that paleontology in no way displays transitional forms between phyla and classes; and possibly not even between orders. Thus we are ignorant of transitional forms not only between vertebrates and invertebrates, fishes and tetrapods, but even between the cartilaginous (chondrichthyes such as sharks, etc.) and higher fishes (osteichthyes) ; in spite of a wonderful affinity between reptiles and birds, no transitional forms between them are known. Formerly this was accounted for by the imperfection of the geological record; but the deeper our knowledge penetrates into the domain of fossils, the farther back recede genetic inter-relations, which ever elude our grasp." In the face of that, how can you speak of visible proofs advanced by organic evolutionists?



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