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

Prohibition of Books

1027. You admit that Rome has an index of prohibited books, forbidding Catholics to read certain books.

That is true. The books forbidden are those which are written in order to attack the Christian religion and the Catholic Church, and which are therefore opposed to the faith of a Catholic; and all books which are obscene, filthy, and immoral.

1028. Is that the Catholic contribution to science?

No. But it is a scientific contribution towards the preservation of the faith and morals of Catholics, the two most important of all things to be preserved. The contributions of Catholics to science is another matter altogether. And their contributions are legion. I could give you a staggering list of Catholics who have more than demonstrated that Catholic Faith and the scientific temperament go hand in hand.

1029. Would any truly reasonable person ever dream of imposing an index of forbidden books on others?

Only the unreasonable would refuse to do so. Wise parents regulate the reading of their children. All intelligent men would wish to prevent the diffusion of ideas they consider useless, wrong, and harmful. Even those who object to the idea of the Catholic prohibition of certain books would like to prohibit books advocating such restrictions. There come to my mind some remarkable words of A. C. Benson, a non-Catholic, in his book, "The Thread of Gold."Speaking of Milton's "Paradise Lost," he says that he read it with anger and indignation. Milton, he says, gives a wicked and abominable notion of God, and he declares his conviction that the book has done a great deal of harm. Then he adds: "I would no more allow an intelligent child to read it than I would allow him to read an obscene book. . . . The hateful materialism of the whole thing is patent. I wish that the English Church could have an Index, and put "Paradise Lost" upon it, and allow no one to read it until he had reached years of discretion, and then only with a certificate and for purely literary purposes." Reasonable people therefore certainly agree with the principle of forbidden books.

1030. Are Catholics forbidden to read any literature viewing Catholicism in a different light?

If the literature merely does that, Catholics are not forbidden by their Church to read it. They are forbidden to read all filthy and scurrilous literature opposed to Catholic and Christian standards of morality; and they are also forbidden to read all straight-out or camouflaged attacks on their faith. Moreover, if any particular Catholic finds any particular book a source of serious danger to his own personal faith or morals, he is forbidden to continue reading it. If a man tastes a drink and has good reason to suspect that it contains arsenic, he is certainly forbidden to go on drinking it with the clear possibility of suicide ahead of him. And just as he is bound in conscience to take ordinary precautions to preserve his bodily health and life, so he is bound, and still more seriously, to preserve his spiritual welfare and attend to the interests of his soul.

1031. If you advise Protestants to read Catholic books, why forbid Catholics to read Protestant books?

The cases are not similar. I said that a man who has good reasons for doubting as to whether he has the truth or not should try to find the truth. But Catholics know that they have the truth; and they can never have good reasons for doubting this. Their Church is not a mass of contradictions and divisions, nor in the least uncertain in its teachings. And the unity, holiness, universality, and historical descent from Christ and the Apostles through all the centuries of the Catholic Church, are so obvious that the truth of their Church is clear to them. One who has the truth doesn't have to seek for it; nor does one who knows what is right read hosts of books that he knows to be wrong for the sheer joy of wasting his time. Meantime the Church, conscious of her own truth, forbids the reading of books by her subjects which could endanger their faith not because she fears that the books might be right, but lest her less well-instructed members might fail to see where they are wrong. And Catholics trust the judgment of their Church in which they have a divine and supernatural faith given by God, and gladly obey her wise laws. But I deny that any Protestant can have a similar certainty, whether in kind or degree, that his own religion is right.

1032. Catholics claim that their religion is a divine revelation. But other religious bodies claim that also.

Correct; and therefore all cannot be right. But it does not follow that all are wrong.

1033. Which one are we to accept?

The one that can prove itself right.

1034. This can only be examined scientifically, i. e., by considering the arguments for and against each one.

A scientific solution of the problem does not require that. A man would act quite scientifically if he decided to take first the claims of the largest body of believers in a coherent religion, and study the credentials of the Catholic Church. Granted satisfactory proof of the claims of that Church to be the one true representative of God in this world, he would have no need to study the claims of any others. A man who secures demonstrative proof that the world is round is not obliged in the name of science to suspend his judgment until he has pondered over all the possible arguments men have used to prove it flat!

1035. The Catholic Index does not permit people even to consider the case.

It would be wise to find out something about the Catholic Index, and to discover what it does forbid, and what it does not forbid, before making sweeping and silly statements about it. If one is desirous of being scientific, he should at least try to secure the available facts about a given subject instead of basing statements on ignorance, guesswork, and prejudice. The study of comparative religion is in no way forbidden by the Index. For a Catholic, of course, the study of comparative religion is one of academic interest only. He is quite certain of the truth of his own position and knows that other religions which conflict with the Catholic religion are erroneous. But he may study other religions without the least intention of adopting them just as one could study the customs of Australian Aboriginals without any notion of adopting those.

1036. So we have no basis for coming to the conclusion that "A" is the Revelation of God and that "B" is not.

If "A" and "B" are contradictory, is not the proof of "A" a sufficient basis for the rejection of "B"? If I were to prove that God has revealed the Catholic Church to be infallible, and I proved it to your own complete satisfaction, would it then be unreasonable for you to accept her condemnation of all other religions? You might say, "But I don't accept the Catholic Church as infallible." That is not the point. You are arguing that there is no reasonable basis for a judgment unless one examines all religions. I maintain that if one which excludes all the others is sufficiently proved to be correct and infallible in its teaching, it affords a reasonable basis for the rejection of all others without further inquiry into their merits. One may consider their peculiar doctrines from curiosity if he wishes. But there is no need of such a study in order to attain the truth.

1037. Let us even assume that God is omniscient, and that we find in Revelation that God said "Censor." Even then the true scientist must go against Him.

No true scientist would talk like that. For no true scientist abandons reason. "If" God is omniscient, and declares that there should be a "Censor," then the true scientist will admit that it must be correct that there should be a "Censor." He may, or may not, submit to the Censor. But that concerns obedience, a totally different matter. One thing the true scientist would never do. He would not admit that God knows all things, and then deny that He knows what He is talking about in some particular thing.

1038. Religion is destructive of liberty and broadmindedness since it imposes ideas upon us from childhood at a time when we find it very difficult to examine those ideas and discard what is false.

In that case, all definite teaching on any subject at all should be withheld from children. You seem to think that, in order to keep people broadminded, it is necessary to keep them emptyminded. Perhaps you argue that, if children are not taught to believe anything, they will be broadminded and unintelligent enough to believe everything, or just to believe nothing! You fear that the child may not be able to detect what is false amongst the ideas put before it. Therefore it must not be taught any true ideas about religion. Would you advocate that?

1039. Only a foolish man would dogmatically assert that he was right and the other fellow wrong unless he had studied both sides.

If a man came along to you with a large volume in which he claimed to prove that the earth was flat, would you be foolish in asserting that you were right in believing it round, despite your not having read his book and studied his arguments? Would it be unreasonable for you to say, "I know for certain that the earth is round, and if your book is to prove it flat I know for certain that its argument is fallacious, and that it would be a sheer waste of time to read it?

1040. Your Church's attitude seems to be that one should maintain he is right and refuse to read or discuss anything that might tend to lessen his faith.

Considering that Catholic Faith is faith in the very knowledge and veracity of God Himself, the Catholic is certainly obliged to maintain that the teachings to be believed by Catholic Faith are right. And he knows with absolute certainty that any doctrine or position opposed to the Catholic Faith is wrong. Meantime, since the Catholic Faith is a most precious gift from God, one who possesses it is also obliged not to endanger it, but to safeguard it in every possible way.

1041. Such an attitude seems narrow and senseless.

Only to one who does not understand the teaching of the Catholic Church as to the very nature of Faith. If you understand what Catholics mean by Faith, you would say, "Well, I have no faith in that sense of the word. But if you Catholics believe that by faith you are accepting what God Himself has declared to be true, I don't blame you for refusing to believe that other and opposed doctrines could possibly be true."



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