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 Church and Education

1331. If Catholicism is the only true religion, it would follow as a matter of course that it would be the one with the greatest benefit to the country and people under it.

You need to define what you mean by "greatest benefit," and you also need to add the condition "provided the people in question accept Catholicism not only in theory but in all its practical consequences." Christ never promised temporal prosperity as a necessary consequence of Christianity, nor did He promise even spiritual benefits to people who do not live up to its teachings.

1332. In Latin countries, where the Roman Catholic Church predominates, as in Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and Italy, the percentage of illiteracy is very high - 40% in some cases.

In none of the countries mentioned has the control of education been in the hands of the Catholic Church authorities for generations. In fact the Church has been consistently hampered in her efforts by unsympathetic governments.

1333. Is not this because the Catholic Church was predominant?

No. But since you introduce this topic, let me ask you to account for the fact that, when the Catholic Church was predominant in Europe, she inspired so marvelous a culture, such masterpieces of architecture in the glorious pre-Reformation Cathedrals, such expressions of genius in music, and painting, and philosophy; why she established the great Universities of Europe; why great minds like that of Newman and hundreds of other outstanding converts have been attracted by her. The suggestion that the Catholic Church is the mother of ignorance has been played out long ago for all thinking men who have any knowledge of the facts. I do not know whether my session sounds very illiterate to any of my listeners. But I do know that when I decided to become a priest, I found myself given a 12 years' course of study here in Australia prior to my ordination, and was then sent to Europe for a further University course of specialized study before commencing my priestly work. If the Catholic Church is the mother of ignorance she has a strange way of manifesting it. The citation of countries in which national and racial characteristics differ from ours, and whose political regime is often enough in the hands of those who are alienated from the Catholic Church, and bent on repressing her activities, is worthless.

1334. Does not the Catholic Church stand for education?

The Catholic Church does stand for education and culture and civilization. But her primary purpose is not to turn illiterate people into literary prodigies, but to teach both literate and illiterate people how to love and serve God according to the precepts of Christ in whatever condition they may be, and thus to save their souls. And you will surely admit that an illiterate person can have a moral worth and a degree of virtue unknown to many a literate genius who can quite well be a cultured scoundrel.

1335. What would you say to Catholics who send their children to public schools on the plea that they get a better education there?

I would say to Catholics who send their children to public schools when there is a Catholic school within reach, that they are violating a grave law of their religion, and that no supposed temporal advantages can be sufficient compensation for that. Secondly, I would challenge their statement that their children will get a better education at state schools. Is it a "better" education to fit a child for this life by reading, writing and arithmetic than to fit it for both this life and the next by a solid formation in religion, reading, writing, and arithmetic? What is the use of bringing forth children to temporal life, if they are brought forth to eternal death? If a parent gives life, let him give life indeed, not only in this world, but in heaven also. Education, to be complete, must embody the formation of the whole being, intellectual and moral, body, mind, and soul. The spiritual atmosphere is entirely absent from the state school. My own education as a Protestant was entirely in state schools, and I know by experience the irreligious atmosphere that prevails. They are no place for Catholic children. Conversing with me recently, an Anglican clergyman deplored the fact that only about 10 per cent of Anglicans practiced their religion. He blamed state school secular education. "We Anglicans," he said, "played the part of Judas when we handed our children over to the tender mercies of the state, and accepted the policy of free, compulsory, and secular education." And a Catholic parent who sends his children to a state school without absolute necessity is also playing the part of Judas.Finally, if a Catholic means by "better education" merely a "better secular education," then facts are against him in the form of actual results; and also the judgment of many Protestants who send their children to Catholic schools, precisely for their secular education, stipulating that they are not to receive religious instruction. However, the arguments of those Catholics who prefer to send their children to state schools are not reasons, but excuses. The real reason is their own lack 0f faith, human respect, worldly ambitions, and ignorance of their religious obligations towards God, as well as of their parental obligations towards their children.

1336. If it is a sin to send Catholic children to state schools, it must be a sin for Catholic adults to accept employment as teachers in the state schools.

The fact that Catholic teachers are employed in state schools has nothing to do with the case. We do not say that the subjects taught are evil in themselves. We merely say that the omission of religion from the curriculum renders the system unsuitable for Catholic children. Catholic teachers are quite free in conscience to teach such subjects as are taught; and if non-Catholic parents are content with such subjects only, which are good as far as they go, Catholics are free to teach such subjects. The teachers are not responsible for the omission of religion. Again, since the teaching of secular subjects is not evil, and since Catholics are compelled to pay practically a quarter of the taxes necessary to keep the state schools going, it is only right that Catholics should share in the employment their own taxes help to provide.Meantime, it is not enough from the child's point of view that secular education only should be given. And Catholic parents sin gravely if they deprive their children of a sound Catholic education. Consequently, Catholic parents are not free in conscience to send their children to state schools for the inadequate education given there.

1337. Why do Catholics demand state aid for the teaching of religion in their Catholic schools?

All that Catholics ask is that the normal secular education prescribed by the government and given in Catholic schools be provided for out of public educational funds collected by taxation from all citizens alike, whether Catholic or non-Catholic. If both Catholics and non-Catholics provide the funds, the children of both Catholics and non-Catholics have a right to benefit by them.The government has not done its duty unless it provides for the secular education of all taxpayers' children alike. And, whilst the state has the right to exact a given standard of secular education, it has not the right to dictate the nature of education as such. And education as such includes more than merely secular subjects. The state has not the right to dictate the kind of education to be given, because parental rights come before state rights where the upbringing of children is concerned. Families make the state; the state does not make the families.Again, the state cannot say to Catholics, "The schools are there." For the schools are not there. If the Catholics of the United States took advantage of the state system tomorrow, and-sent their 3,000,000 children now in Catholic schools to them, the State could not possibly provide accommodation for them, or teachers. And it would cost the States millions of dollars yearly to undertake their education. The Catholic schools are run at a third of that cost, owing to the unselfish dedication of their lives to the work by brothers and nuns. If the state's choice lies between educating Catholic children in its own schools or paying for the secular education given in Catholic schools, the latter would be by far the better business proposition, And all it would mean is that the taxes paid by Catholic parents would be used for Catholic children instead of being diverted to the education of other people's children.

1338. How can you infer that the public school system is intended for non-Catholics only?

I do not. Those who brought in the state school system intended it for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. But this intention of the legislators was nullified by the legislators themselves when they mapped out a program of education which not all could accept in conscience. Supposing that I had two friends, one of whom was a very good Jew, and who had told me repeatedly that he would never eat ham. Supposing, further, that I invited these two friends to dinner, and to make the case more exact, made them pay for their share of the dinner in advance. Yet notwithstanding my knowledge of the Jew's principles, I provide only ham as food. Would it be much consolation for the Jew were I to tell him that I intended the meal for him also? And would he be unreasonable in refusing to eat, or would I be unreasonable in having provided a fare which I knew quite well he could not eat? And again, would he be unreasonable in asking for his share of the expenses, that he might procure suitable food for himself?

1339. But does it not seem reasonable that, if non-Catholics are contented with the state system whilst Roman Catholics wish to have their own schools, they should pay for the education of their own children in them?

Catholics are more than willing to pay for the education of their own children in their own schools. They merely object to paying for the education of your children in state schools. If Catholics receive the share of the education tax which they pay, they are still paying for the education of their own children.

1340. Why should the government subsidize the schools of a section of the people?

There is no reason at all why the government should subsidize any schools independently erected by any section of the public. In that I agree with you. Catholic schools ought not to be subsidized. But Catholics are not asking for any subsidy. The voting of a subsidy to any given work of public benefit is not an act of justice; it is rather one of benevolence. Catholics ask for strict justice; that the taxes they pay towards the education of America's children will be devoted to their children.

1341. Does not "state aid" imply a sort of "free gift" to Catholics?

No, unless it be quite misunderstood. Catholics want to educate their own children at their own expense. And they will be doing that, if the taxes they themselves pay are allotted to the education of their own children. Catholics merely ask relief from the confiscation of their contributions and the giving of their taxes as a "free gift" to non-Catholics in non-Catholic schools. In reality, non-Catholics are drawing "state aid," in the bad sense of that word, from Catholics for the support of state schools which Catholics do not and cannot use.

1342. Because I am a Protestant I am naturally opposed to state aid to Catholic schools.

Does Protestantism demand that taxes paid by Catholic parents may not be used for the education of the children of those parents?

1343. I admit the right of parents to provide for the moral and religious training of their children.

I am glad that you do admit that right. Otherwise you would deprive parents of their own children and make them the property of the state. But the very basis of society is the family. The family comes before the state. For the state is but the mutual association of many domestic groups, and it exists for the welfare of those groups. But granting your admission that parents have the radical right to make complete provision for their children's bodily, moral, and religious welfare, you admit the right of Catholics to have a system of education they can in conscience approve. And, as a matter of fact, the legal standing of Catholic schools is accepted in our midst. But, if the government recognizes the right of our schools to exist, it should recognize the justice of the claim upon public funds for the public service those schools render to the country.

1344. But this does not mean that I am opposed to a sound religious training.

Where will the children get that training? If you want a child trained as a lawyer, you send him to a law school; if as a doctor, to a medical school. And if every child should receive a sound religious training it should go to a religious school. In a recent address Prof. G. V. Portus, who lectures in history at the Adelaide University, said that he could see no logical argument in favor of secular education, if one believed in religion. "If religion is a force in life," he said, "why should it be barred from the schools, except as a special extra in charge of visiting clergymen."

1345. I regret as much as anyone the widespread driftage from religion.

You regret the effect, yet take no steps to abolish the cause. If children are sent to schools where religion is not taught how can they be otherwise than ignorant of religion? And ignorance of religion does not fill churches. If Protestant clergymen complain of empty churches, they have not far to go for the cause. They and their people have accepted a secular system of education, and the product is an irreligious generation with merely a secular outlook on life. Their very complaints justify the wisdom of Catholics in keeping their Catholic schools, even though it has been at the cost of such great self-sacrifice. And the more they see that Catholics were justified, the less they should oppose the Catholic demand that the burden should be removed from them.

1346. But surely Sunday School, the weekly visit to the state school by the clergyman, and the religious training given by parents at home is enough.

If so, why have you to regret the widespread driftage from religion amongst non-Catholics? As a matter of fact, religious indifference has grown to such an extent that most non-Catholic parents have no religious practices themselves, and cannot be bothered either to send their children to Sunday School or to give them any religious instruction at home. And the weekly visit of a clergyman to the state schools is much more often omitted than fulfilled. The only sane system for people who do believe in religion is to have schools in which the subject of religion and its practice are inculcated side by side with other subjects, and daily as a regular feature of the curriculum. And Catholics should not have their share of the taxes confiscated and spent upon other people's children merely because they have seen the wisdom of this.



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