Choose a topic from Vol 3:


Reason proves God's existence
Primitive monotheism
Mystery of God's inner nature
Personality of God
Providence of God and the problem of evil


Immortal destiny of man
Can earth give true happiness?
Do human souls evolve?
Is transmigration possible?
Animal souls
Freedom of will
Free will and faith


Religion and God
The duty of prayer
The mysteries of religion
Can we believe in miracles?

The Religion of the Bible

Historical character of the Gospels
Canonical Books of the Bible
Original Manuscripts
Copyists' errors
Truth of the Bible
New Testament "contradictions"

The Christian Religion

Christianity alone true
Not the product of religious experience
Compared with Buddhism, Confucianism, Mahometanism, Bahaism, etc.,
Rejected by modern Jews
The demand for miracles
The necessity of faith
Difficulties not doubts
Proofs available
Dispositions of unbelievers

A Definite Christian Faith

One religion not as good as another
Changing one's religion
Catholic convictions and zeal
Religious controversy
The curse of bigotry
Towards a solution

The Problem of Reunion

Efforts at the reunion of the Churches
The Church of England as a "Bridge-Church"
Anglicans and the Greek Orthodox Church
The "Old Catholics" of Holland
Reunion Conferences
Catholic Unity
The Papacy as reunion center
Protestant hostility to Catholicism
The demands of charity

The Truth of Catholicism

Necessity of the Church
The true Church
Catholic claim absolute
A clerical hierarchy
Papal Supremacy
Temporal Power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Catholic attitude to converts
Indefectible Apostolicity
Necessity of becoming a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic belief in the Bible
Bible-reading and private interpretation
Value of Tradition and the "Fathers"
Guidance of the Church necessary

The Dogmas of the Catholic Church

Dogmatic certainty
Credal statements
Faith and reason
The voice of science
Fate of rationalists
The dogma of the Trinity
Creation and evolution
The existence of angels
Evil spirits or devils
Man's eternal destiny
The fact of sin
Nature and work of Christ
Mary, the mother of God
Grace and salvation
The sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
Man's death and judgment
Resurrection of the body
End of the World

Moral Teachings of the Catholic Church

Catholic intolerance
The Spanish Inquisition
Prohibition of Books
Liberty of worship
Forbidden Socieities
Church attendance
The New Psychology
Deterministic philosophy
Marriage Legislation
Birth Prevention
Monastic Life
Convent Life
Legal defense of murderers
Laywers and divorce proceedings
Judges in Divorce
Professional secrecy

The Church in Her Worship

Why build churches?
Glamor of ritual
The "Lord's Prayer"
Pagan derivations
Liturgical symbolism
Use of Latin
Intercession of Mary and the Saints

The Church and Social Welfare

The Church and Education
The Social Problem
Social Duty of the Church
Catholicism and Capitalism

Animal souls

48. Speaking of animals, do you deny that animal souls exist?

No. It is impossible to doubt the existence of animal souls. The only point open to discussion is as to whether animal souls survive after the death of their bodies.

49. What is the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the question of their survival?

Catholic philosophers reject belief in the immortality of animal souls, chiefly on the score of their nonspiritual operations. A study of animal psychology reveals nothing that transcends the sensitive and material order, and there can be no reasonable doubt but that death terminates the existence of animals both as regards body and soul. Revelation gives no indication that animals will have a future life; in fact, the general trend of God's revelation seems to exclude it.

50. Each animal seems to have its own distinctive personality.

Personality supposes intelligence, and a moral responsibility following upon free will, which no one would attribute to mere animals. Each animal may have distinctive characteristics; but we are not justified in attributing personality to them in the strict sense of the word.

51. Does not the Catholic Church defend the rights of dumb beasts?

When you speak of dumb beasts you admit that they are on a lower plane than human beings. Not being persons, they have not personal rights. Still, the Church teaches that cruelty to animals is sinful. Now sin means the violation of rights. But whose rights are being violated by wanton cruelty to animals? Certainly not the rights of animals themselves. Wanton cruelty is a sin because no man has a right to brutalize his own humanity. Man has an obligation to develop what is best in his own nature, and not to indulge in vicious tendencies. And by wanton cruelty he sins against this obligation. Again, God has the right that His creatures should be used in accordance with His will, and that means reasonably and kindly. Cruelty, therefore, is a sin against God's rights. But that cruelty is a sin does not imply that there are any moral rights vested in animals themselves. It is a violation of rights belonging to God Himself, and of the responsibility vested in the dignity of our own rational nature.

52. If animals are not immortal, God's treatment of them is unjust.

That is not true. All justice is in the moral order, and supposes the violation of rights possessed by morally responsible subjects. Animals do not possess reason, and cannot refer their actions to moral standards which they know to be imposed upon them by their Creator. And if animals have no personal rights to be violated, there can be no question of injustice towards them.

53. Think of noble animal traits often exceeding those of men.

The good instincts of animals, for which they are not morally responsible, may be preferable to the vices of men as such. But the very moral degradation of a man who chooses vice rather than virtue indicates a nobler type of being than any mere animal which is incapable of truly moral conduct.

54. If we deserve to survive, don't animals by their virtues deserve the same?

Strictly speaking, we cannot attribute virtues to animals. They may have good habits, but virtue and merit suppose moral freedom, and the deliberate choice of things which are not a matter of physical necessity.

55. Are there no compensations for animal sufferings?

Only rights imply compensation and animals as such have no rights.

56. Many people abandon religion because the interests of animals are not made a special part of its teaching.

The interests of animals can never be a special part of reasonable religion. It is a religious duty to God and to man's own dignity to practice restraint and kindness in the use of animals. But that will result from the really important duty of worshipping and loving God, and attending to the salvation and sanctification of our own souls by the practice of Christian virtue.There is a great danger of excess in this matter. As Christian ideals fade, human beings forget their own dignity, reduce themselves to the animal level, and grow hard towards one another. And by a strange kind of distortion, the human sympathies which they cannot suppress entirely tend to go out to the animal world. Many women marry, refuse to have children, and lavish their starved instincts upon pet animals as a substitute. So we have beauty parlors for pet dogs, where ladies can take their little Pomeranians to have them "bathed, shampooed, groomed and manicured" at a price which would provide a week's food for a starving child. I do not suggest that you would approve of such extremes, but you echo ideas which have led to them. Meantime, if people will not practice religion to attend to the interests of their own souls, it will be quite useless for them to do so in order to attend to the interests of animals. You may think me hard, but I cannot win sympathy for religion by sympathizing with ideas utterly opposed to it by their extravagance. We must love God, and let our love for God extend to all His creatures reasonably and proportionately. It is a distortion to love animals, and then be prepared to love God provided we can let our love of animals extend to Him also! It is essential that we have a correct knowledge of the order of things established by God, that we obtain a genuine notion of religion and of its duties, and that we fulfill those duties. Sentiment cannot be exalted to the dominant element in religion.



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