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

Liberty of worship

1042. A lot of people fear that persecution would come if the Church had the power.

I know they do. But such a fear is not justified. As a Protestant I used to entertain similar fears; but now, as a Catholic priest, with a full knowledge of the spirit of the Catholic Church, and of her theology and canon law, I realize that the more Catholic-minded people become, the less any thought of persecution would enter their heads.

1043. Protestants say that the Catholic Church still regards them as heretics.

Some Protestants may say that. Certainly not all do. Multitudes of Protestants are not sufficiently interested in their religion to bother as to whether it is right or wrong; and still less interested as to the views of the Catholic Church concerning it. Consequently they say nothing on the subject, their conversation being dictated by other interests altogether. Those who are sufficiently interested in the subject may say that the Catholic Church regards them as heretics. But such a statement, as it stands, can be misleading. It would be better to say that the Catholic Church regards all forms of Protestantism as heretical. If you say, "But those who profess heretical forms of religion are heretics," the Church replies that only those who know their Protestantism to be wrong are guilty of heresy if they continue to adhere to it. Those who know no better, and are quite in good faith are not guilty of the sin of heresy.

1044. They then say that Catholics teach that heretics should be punished, even by death if necessary.

The Church has never taught, and Catholics do not believe that even willful heretics should be punished by death for the sin of heresy. And if this be so even in the case of one who knowingly and willfully professes heretical doctrine, how much less true it is of those who are in quite good faith and not personally guilty of the sin of heresy! The true attitude of Catholics towards Protestants has been clearly set forth by Pope Pius IX. Writing on August 10, 1863, he said, "There are those who live in error, and who are strangers to the true Faith and Catholic unity through no fault of their own. Far be it from the members of the Catholic Church to exhibit any enmity towards them in any way. Rather let them fulfill all the duties of Christian charity towards them, above all to the poor, the sick, and those afflicted in any way amongst them."

1045. As far as civil law will allow it, is your Church's attitude towards non-Catholics the same now as it was in the Middle Ages?

It is, and it is not. It is insofar as she pities those non-Catholics who have never belonged to her, being brought up in an alien faith through no fault of their own; and insofar as she condemns those who have been Catholics, but who have abandoned her through heresy, schism, or infidelity. On the other hand, the attitude of the Catholic Church towards non-Catholics is not the same as it was in the middle ages, insofar as she would not sanction a procedure with them now which she sanctioned then when the whole civilized world was Catholic.

1046. If not, why has the attitude of your Church changed?

Because world-conditions have changed, completely altering the relationship of non-Catholics toward the Catholic Church. Firstly, the non-Catholics of today have never been her subjects. In the Middle Ages heretics were her own rebellious children. It is surely easy to understand a change of attitude towards those who have never been her subjects from that toward those who have been her subjects.Secondly, in the Middle Ages, Church and state were inseparably linked. It is difficult for us today to conceive the extent of their interpenetration. For example, so closely were they connected that the Moors in Spain, seeking to undermine the nationality of the Spanish people, feigned conversion to the Catholic Church, and even worked their way into bishoprics. The Spanish Inquisition was a mixed Tribunal, holding temporal authority from the King, and ecclesiastical authority from the Church. Such conditions prevail nowhere in the world today. Thirdly, the spirit of the age in these matters at least has changed. There is plenty of barbarism still in the world, and even amongst peoples professing a high standard of civilization. But at least men have grown out of the idea that religious errors are best countered by force. Ideas must be met with ideas. To hit a man who doesn't agree with you may make him see stars, but it doesn't make him see any light. However I have said enough to show that the changed relationship of non-Catholics to the Church; the altered national conditions; and the greater enlightenment of mankind today (in certain directions) are sufficient to account for a different method of dealing with non-Catholics.

1047. On what principle would you exempt "heretics of descent" who labor to propagate their faith from punishment you consider justly merited by heretics of defection?

On the principle that "heretics of descent" have never known nor professed the Catholic religion, and may be not only absolutely sincere in their beliefs but also sincere in their conviction that it is their duty to propagate them.A "heretic by defection" has known the Catholic Faith, but has abandoned it; and even though he comes to a stage of sincerity by self-persuasion in due course, his defection from the Church in the first place was due to a guilty neglect of duty and deliberate insubordination to the divine authority of the Church. But even the "heretic by defection" could not and should not be treated in these days, when the conditions of society are so very different, just as in the ages prevailing prior to the advent of Protestantism, when all Europe was Catholic. The Church could, of course, invoke the spiritual penalty of excommunication from her fold. But no one would say that public repudiation of the Catholic religion today is simultaneously a crime against the state. Consequently secular penalties would be quite out of place and simply an anachronism.

1048. If ours became a Papal State, would all be compelled to accept Catholicism, or suffer death?

No. Catholic theology teaches that if any adult is compelled by force to receive Baptism without any interior intention and desire to receive that Sacrament, such a Baptism is absolutely null and void. On our own principles, where would be the sense in compelling people to be baptized into the Catholic Church? Canon 1351 in the Catholic code of Canon Law is worded as follows: "No one who is unwilling must be forced to embrace the Catholic faith."



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