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

The New Psychology

1083. Do you regard psychology as a science?

Yes, within its proper sphere. Its duty is to observe, arrange, and classify facts, making allowance for all the facts of human personality, including free will. But psychology does not mean determinism. Determinism is a mere theory, and a very dangerous one as well as being false. It is unscientific to deny free will, and philosophical nonsense.

1084. As a science, what has psychology to do with the Church?

The facts of psychology as such have no more to do with the Church than physics or chemistry. But insofar as those facts of psychology have intimate relationship to human souls, they indirectly concern the Church; and when people wrongly interpret those facts to the moral and spiritual ruin of souls, then the matter becomes of direct importance to the Church. Many psychologists use language in the name of their science which can lead only to scepticism and atheism in their most unblushing forms. They go beyond the sphere of their science, and the Church rightly condemns them.

1085. What is the Catholic view concerning practical psychology?

All depends upon what you mean by "practical psychology." By whom, and by what methods it is to be applied. There is no Catholic view concerning "practical psychology" in itself, and as a merely natural means of improvement. But there are very strong Catholic views concerning what many people understand by "practical psychology." Psychology can be divided into two great divisions - that of rational psychology, and that of practical or experimental psychology. One subdivision of experimental psychology is called medical psychology, and its method is called psycho-therapy, or the healing of the mind of the patient by the mind of the practitioner. No one can doubt the connection between mental states and certain physical and moral disorders. And it is a fact that psycho-therapy has wrought many cures. These cures are not due to magic or any superstitious elements. They are due to the use of his own mind and will by the patient, under the direction of one capable of inducing in him a completely changed mental outlook. No Catholic, therefore, could condemn the practice of psycho-therapy in itself. We would have to condemn, however, any abuses in the name of psycho-therapy. And abuses are certainly present in that form of psycho-therapy which is known as Freudian psycho-analysis.

1086. To what extent may Catholics make use of "practical psychology"?

They may make the fullest possible use of it, provided it remains practical psychology, and does not, through misinterpretation and misdirection, trespass on the province of religion and morals. Unfortunately it often tends to do this; and above all is this the case with psycho-analysis. Though psycho-analysts are gradually improving their system, their principles and methods are not yet sound by any means. And Catholics should avoid psycho-analysis at least for the time being, unless absolutely sure of the Christian and moral principles of their analyst.

1087. I have heard a lot recently about practical psychology, and have attended two lectures on the subject.

I would have to know what form of practical psychology you mean, and the character of the lectures before I could comment upon the wisdom or otherwise of your attendance.

1088. My husband and I think it might help us in the management of our young children.

It is impossible to deny the value of a knowledge of sound practical psychology for such a purpose. And there are many excellent Catholic books on the practical training of children. But whether the lectures you have been attending are sound in principle and practice I do not know. Yet from remarks in your letter, I doubt it.

1089. The psychologist maintained that no child is born rebellious or vicious in any way. How does that fit in with the fact of sin?

All depends upon what the psychologist meant. If he wishes to deny that original sin has left us all subject to moral weakness, and that heredity intensifies this liability in many, then he is wrong. If, however, he admits this liability, but merely denies that it is necessary to yield to it, then he is right. Some children are more liable to be rebellious and vicious than others by inherited temperament; but certainly this can be counteracted by suitable education, and careful formation.

1090. He said that, in nine cases out of ten, it is due to wrong handling and upbringing that the hospitals, asylums, and prisons are so crowded.

Heredity is responsible for many mentally and morally weak characters, even though it does not always result in deficiency. This is due to the fact that it has not been countered by a sound environment and a formation directly adapted to children according to their individual needs. It is not possible in any given case to say how much in one's character is inherited, and how much is due to environment. But it is a fact that environment is very important. For people are really but pre-disposed in one way or another by heredity. It is domestic and social environment which is the greatest moulding force, apart from the influence of divine grace and the self-training of each one's personal free will.

1091. Don't you think that, in many cases, so-called sinners are not entirely responsible for their actions?

I do. And I agree with your well-chosen words, limiting your statement to many cases, and diminishing rather than destroying moral responsibility. For in many cases sinners are entirely responsible for their evil conduct. But Catholic theology acknowledges that heredity and environment can diminish moral guilt.



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