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

Forbidden Socieities

1049. Does the Catholic Church condemn secret societies?

The Catholic Church clearly distinguishes between lawful secrets and unlawful secrets. And she applies this distinction to societies as well as to individuals. A society may have its lawful secrets. Any family is a secret society in this sense-for many things are lawfully kept secret by its members. They are not obliged to tell their private affairs to everybody. But a society that obliges its members to keep secrets unlawfully in defiance of lawful authority is condemned.

1050. Is Freemasonry condemned as a secret society?

Masonry is condemned as an unlawful secret society. Upon the Continent of Europe, above all, Masons solemnly undertake to keep secret matters which are most dangerous to the public good. And the Church, of course, had Continental Masonry chiefly in mind when she condemned it. In fact Masonry was secretly plotting many schemes aimed at the very destruction of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church could not but forbid Catholics to join such a society. Masonry in English-speaking countries is milder in its attitude towards the Church, but even so, the Masonic oath of secrecy is still unlawful, because the man who takes that oath has no guarantee that he is not binding himself to secrecy in unlawful matters. He may be told that, in taking the oaths, he will be asked to do nothing against his conscience. But any man of normal mentality would ask, "Whose conscience?" He has no guarantee that he is not handing his conscience over, to be adjusted to what others think right. No man may do that. Masonry, is, therefore condemned as an unlawful secret society. I have its ritual, with its asterisks and blanks, and a good deal of literature of Masonic origin, and no man, in my opinion, can take upon himself such obligations. Other good men may persuade themselves otherwise, but Catholics, who act on the principle that the Catholic Church is the true guide as to what is morally right, cannot do so.

1051. What would be the position of a Catholic who joined the Masonic Order?

Such a Catholic rebels against the divine authority of his Church; rejects the Catholic Church as the guide of his moral conduct; commits a grave sin of disobedience; is excommunicated, and deprived of all right to the reception of the Sacraments and to Catholic burial. If he does not want any of his Catholic privileges, and is indifferent to his eternal destiny, he won't worry about these penalties. But if he has any faith left at all, he will worry. And he will be able to escape the penalities, and be restored to the communion of the faithful only provided he repents of his violation of the laws of the Church; resigns altogether from the Masonic Order; and promises to fulfill his ordinary Catholic obligations in the future.

1052. Is the Toc H. a religion?

Toc H. is a Society founded during the war years of 1914-18 to bring the soldiers together into a Christian fellowship of consolation and mutual kindness; and in that way to bring a "touch of heaven" into the hell of their lives. After the War, there was a rebirth of the idea in civilian life, and houses were established where all classes could meet, and lose their sense of loneliness in friendly company with one another. The Society was formed definitely, however, under Protestant auspices; and although it does not claim to be a religion or a new sect, it could not but take upon itself a religious character, and that Protestant, in a vague interdenominational spirit. So we find Protestant clergymen prominent in the movement, and religious elements that practically compel us to regard Toc H. as a Protestant religious organization devoted to humanitarian and philanthropic purposes.

1053. Can a Catholic lawfully he a member of Toc H.?

I know of no express decree of the Church forbidding Catholics to join the movement. The question, therefore, must be solved on general principles. It goes without saying, of course, that a Catholic may cooperate in any non-religious humanitarian work. But it is a different matter when an organization is religious in character, sponsored by Protestant clergymen, blending prayer and devotions with its activities, and exhibiting, even though not an anti-Catholic, at least an un-Catholic atmosphere. A Catholic would not be free in conscience to join such an organization. And as Toc H. is of such a character, I do not see how Catholics could lawfully become members of that society. Were a Catholic to ask me personally whether he might join, I would certainly say no.

1054. Toc H. originated during the early days of the War, providing a place where a man out of the line for a few days might rest in more pleasant conditions.

Correct, and I have nothing but praise for it from that point of view.

1055. Many hundreds of men had cause to bless that Club.

I agree.

1056. Many Catholics availed themselves of a temporary respite at Talbot House, and Catholic padres put no ban on its use.

That also is true. For, although it was an Anglican establishment, its chief concern then was to ameliorate the lot of soldiers at the front, and hospitality was dispensed by all religious organizations to men of all Creeds solely for the sake of social benefits. Whilst Talbot House did provide religiously for Anglicans, that was a purely optional matter. Bishop Neville Talbot, one of its founders, says in his book on the subject, "Talbot House was the ideal Church Institute. Obtruding upon no one, but dominating everything, was the Chapel." But, in those days, the humanitarian aspect of the Institute was the chief thing, its religious character being secondary. Now that circumstances have changed, the religious side is beginning to assert itself more and more.

1057. In the old days the Club was for the benefit of the soldier.

That is as I have said.

1058. Today its aims are no less worthy, and religion in no manner enters into its organization.

When my reply on the subject was published last year, Mr. R. L. Watson, Toc H. padre of Adelaide, answered my remarks by declaring that Toc H. existed for social good, but that its avowed purpose is that "good can triumph over sin under the inspiration and salvation of God"; that it "aims at the reconciliation of man to man, and the reconciliation of man to God," that it wants to show that "the Gospel cannot be divorced from a Church"; that its meetings finish with short family prayers; and that it is "interdenominational" in its scope. So the movement tends more and more to take upon itself a Protestant religious character. A prominent member of the Toc H. Institution, who later became a Catholic, lamented the fact that what was originally intended to be a purely social organization was Protestantized some time after its foundation by Anglican clergymen! But that was to be expected, since it was founded by an Anglican clergyman, and after its war purposes were over, the tendency to emphasize the religious aspect was almost inevitable. In commenting on my previous reply, the Adelaide padre of Toc H., the Rev. R. L. Watson, declared that the late Catholic Archbishop Spence of Adelaide had stated that he saw no reason why Catholics should not join. I wrote to Catholic authorities in Adelaide for information about this, and they replied that on two definite occasions he had declared that no Catholic could join the movement, and that a Catholic who did join could not be admitted to the Sacraments until he had severed membership with Toc H.



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