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


1204. Does not the Catholic Church condemn euthanasia?

Yes. Deliberately to terminate life either because of sickness or of old age is murder, and a violation of the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," by whatever high-sounding names the process may be called.

1205. Is not Sir Thomas More a canonized Saint in the Catholic Church?

He is.

1206. Then why did he advocate euthanasia in his book Utopia?

He did not do so. Sir Thomas More did not believe in Utopia, nor for a moment did he intend it as an expression of his own ideals. To think that is to misjudge him, and to misapprehend the purpose of his work. The book was a rebuke to his own age. In it he describes an imaginary country which had no knowledge of the Christian religion. He sets down just what he thinks non-Christians would do at their very best. And he agrees that, if his Utopians could achieve such a peaceful and progressive society without the help of the Christian religion, what might not be achieved if people with the Catholic Faith would but seek first the kingdom of God and His justice! Naturally, in describing how a people not yet Christian would behave in this direction or that, Sir Thomas More introduced many manners and customs, including the idea of euthanasia, which were calculated to give a sense of reality to his non-Christian Utopia. It is altogether unjust to quote Sir Thomas More himself as favoring a custom he attributes to a society precisely because it is unchristian. In fact, his words are a condemnation of the un-Christian ideals of those modern people who seek to introduce euthanasia. For they are doing the very thing Sir Thomas More predicted that an un-Christian people would do.

1207. Why cannot a fellow human being, or the state, put a man out of his agony if he meets with a most painful accident, and has no chance of living more than a few hours?

Because God the Creator, Author of life and death, has refused permission to human beings in this matter. God has said, "Thou shalt not kill." He did not add, "Except when people are suffering and have no hope of recovery." Men may do their best to relieve human suffering and to deaden pain, but they may not take life where God has given them no authority to do so. Apart from this, we must remember that human judgment is often astray in its predictions of death, and the most unlikely recoveries are a commonplace. Many a man is alive today, and glad to be alive, who would have been put to death by mistake, if the law allowed men to destroy those they thought unable to recover. Also, despite all sufferings, the last few hours of which you would deprive an afflicted man could easily be the most precious in his life. Medical men exist to save life, not to destroy it, and they must do their utmost in all lawful ways to save life as long as it exists in the patient.

1208. In commenting upon the killing of an imbecile child by its mother, a Sydney Protestant clergyman said that the only law she broke was the law of the land, and that he hoped to see the taking of life under such circumstances rendered legal. What is your version?

The doctrine advocated is dreadful. To kill an imbecile child, or any other innocent child, violates not only the law of the land, but also the direct law of God. And if civil law allowed it, civil law would be opposed to God's law.In Exodus XXIII., 7, God says, "The innocent and the just thou shalt not kill." Of what crime has an imbecile child been guilty? God alone is the Author of life and death, and no one has the right to deprive another of life unless by a power delegated by God. God does delegate His power to civil authorities in the case of malefactors. But never has He left it to the discretion of private individuals.The mother in question violated the law of God. How far she was excused from guilt by her lack of knowledge, or by mental strain and temporary insanity, I do not know. But, in itself, the deliberate killing of an imbecile child is murder, even according to the law of God. The parson's hope to see the taking of life under such circumstances rendered legal is one which must never be realized. He has spoken foolishly. Who is to decide when circumstances are favorable? What degree of imbecility is required? Is the murder of unwanted children to go by with impunity on the plea that the murderer thought that perhaps the child would have grown up an imbecile?When God forbade the taking of innocent human life, He foresaw all possible contingencies. Yet He made His law absolute. He never added "Unless one be an imbecile," or "Unless you think it expedient." He reserves to Himself the right over life and death; and private individuals who, for any reason whatever, take innocent human life, usurp an authority and jurisdiction proper to God, and belonging to no one else. And it is gravely sinful to do that.

1209. The "Telegraph" recently gave the opinions of several Protestant clergymen on suicide in order to escape pain.

One justified it straight out. Another hesitantly gave it as his personal opinion that it would be lawful. A third said he could not make up his mind. A fourth thought it irrational. The fifth said that it seems to be against God's law. It is all typical of the very indefinite guidance offered by Protestant Churches where moral problems are concerned. Every Catholic priest would tell you quite clearly that such suicide is definitely forbidden by God. It is a violation of God's supreme dominion over human life. Man is not independent of God, to do with himself, or to do away with himself, as he pleases.

1210. Reverend Macaulay said that his personal opinion was that he would have the right to take his own life in severe suffering.

He would find it very difficult to give any foundation for that opinion. He admits that he has not the right normally. Does the advent of pain transfer to him rights which are proper to God? When and where did God say so? And what kind of pain, and what degree of pain is required for this sudden acquisition of dominative rights over the gift of life?

1211. He said that it seems criminal for a man to be allowed to suffer pain when there is absolutely no hope of recovery.

To be a criminal, one must be guilty of a crime; and to be guilty of crime, one must break a law. What law does one break by not committing suicide, or by not killing fellow human beings in pain? Again, Almighty God, who could end the life of sufferers by an act of His Will, permits them to live on. Is God to be branded as a criminal? And again I ask, what kind of pain justifies suicide? Physical pain only? Why arbitrarily exclude pain arising from anxiety, worry, disappointment, poverty, starvation - in fact, from any of the ills of life. Where will he draw the line, and why? And does he, a Christian minister, see no benefit in pain as an expiation of sin; as a lesson in detachment from the wealth, and pleasure, and glory of this world; as a special resemblance with a crucified Master; as a source of merit and eternal happiness - for if "we suffer with Christ, so also shall we be glorified with Him." Pain and suffering have made the characters of thousands. When Job was ruined and bankrupt and covered with ulcers, did he take refuge in suicide? The Reverend Macaulay's judgment is reminiscent of Greek pagan philosophy, not of Sacred Scripture and of Christianity.

1212. Whilst men of standing are very hesitant to express an opinion on this subject, they are not so squeamish about capital punishment.

The Catholic Church is the only teaching body in this world with any standing where interpretations of God's law are concerned; and she is not in the least hesitant. Suicide to escape pain is absolutely forbidden by God, and is gravely sinful. Do you want to inflict "capital punishment" on innocent sufferers? Is affliction a crime? Cannot you see a difference between a criminal and a cripple? Ought we "not" to be squeamish about treating a cripple as we would a criminal?

1213. Whilst I regard life as sacred, I cannot understand why raving lunatics and sufferers from painful and incurable diseases are kept alive deliberately.

If you understood why you regard life as sacred, you would understand why we may not deprive innocent people of life. When you speak of their being "kept alive deliberately," you go further than merely saying that it is lawful to kill them. You suggest that it is sinful and criminal not to kill them. In that case you would be guilty of sin before God every time you meet an incurable sufferer, and neglect to strangle him!

1214. When we think of what a tremendous cost to the state these people are, we cannot but advocate that they be humanely relieved of further suffering.

In other words, they should be gently but firmly murdered, though guilty of no crime. The reference to the "tremendous cost to the State" is a pity. It spoils the thought that the sufferings of the poor lunatics are to be our only consideration. We are not asking the lunatics whether they want to die. We are asking other citizens whether they ought to be killed. And our lofty unselfishness seems to be called into question when, with the one breath, we suggest that the mentally afflicted be relieved of their sufferings, and that we be relieved of the taxation necessary to keep them. But enough. Suicide, and the killing off of those whose only fault is that they are afflicted, are both directly opposed to the law of God. And the Catholic Church will never hesitate to say so.

1215. It is interesting to compare with this the opinion of a standard Roman Catholic authority. In their "Handbook of Moral Theology," Antony Koch and Arthur Preuss express their judgment as follows: "To hasten death artificially by t

That isolated quotation does not do justice to the authorities quoted. Immediately prior to those words, the authors say that it is never lawful directly to cause death. To relieve severe pain, it is lawful to use anesthetics, even though indirectly they may result in the hastening of death. But the intention is to relieve pain. There is no intention to hasten death. This is the famous question as to the morality of an action from which we foresee two results, one good, and one evil. In certain cases such an action is lawful provided we intend only the good result, and that the permitted yet unintended evil result does not exceed in gravity the good to be obtained.The authors quoted are dealing with the permitted, yet unintended, hastening of death as a secondary result of anesthetics intended to relieve pain. And they declare that the gravity of the evil would outweigh the good to be obtained, if the drugs entirely deprived the sufferer of consciousness.Now this passage has nothing to do with euthanasia, and cannot be quoted in support of euthanasia. Euthanasia directly intends to kill a patient as a means towards the relief from pain. It intends an evil means towards the securing of a temporal good. In other words, it adopts the evil axiom that the end justifies the means, even though those means be murder. But where euthanasia intends to kill the patient, the Catholic intends only to relieve pain, does not intend to kill the patient, and restricts even the diminution of vitality by saying that, whilst sensitiveness to pain is deadened to some extent, the patient must not be entirely deprived of consciousness and the power of acquiring merit; or, if necessary, of interior conversion by a responsible act of contrition for sin.



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