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

Catholicism and Capitalism

1359. Does not the Catholic Church defend the right of private property because she owns about one-third of it?

The Church does not own about one-third, or anything like it. In any case what is the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church is composed of Catholics, and if Catholics like to show some devotion to God and their religion and set apart portions of their earnings for the purposes of religion instead of reserving all they have for themselves, who can justly complain? Certainly one who does not know what such unselfish generosity means should have the grace to be silent. Nor does the Church support the principle of private ownership because the Catholic community has devoted its savings to Church buildings. If every single building were confiscated, the Church would still proclaim the natural moral law, and God's commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," a commandment which obviously supposes the unjust taking of property to which other individuals have a strict right.

1360. Why not teach as a duty to the country that all who do not serve the community by personal service and real work should be despised as criminals?

The Catholic Church teaches that duty to one's country is a Christian obligation, for patriotism comes under the Christian virtue of piety, a virtue dictating due regard not only for one's father but also for one's fatherland or nation. But when you restrict duty to one's country to the matter of civic service, you introduce merely a special aspect of the question. Let us see. Should those who do not benefit the community by personal service and real work be despised as criminals? That of course depends upon the question as to whether it is a crime not to give such service. We must examine the law. Now firstly, since a man is obliged to preserve the life God gives him, he is obliged to take the means to do so, and if work is necessary for that, he is obliged to work. And the majority of men will find personal work an obligation dictated by necessity. But if an individual is already provided for by other lawful means, as by the foresight and providence of his parents, he is not obliged to engage in lucrative or productive labor. For his own individual good, of course, he should avoid mere idleness which is a source of many evils, and find some occupation. Now what about social good? Undoubtedly personal service and productive work are of great importance to the social good, but that obligation is general, and does not fall necessarily upon this or that particular individual. Such service by a given individual is to be highly commended, but he is not obliged to render it. It would be an act of charity towards his fellow citizens, but not a duty in strict justice.

1361. We see rich men who do not work, but get an income which others have to provide. Do you support these capitalists?

I hold no brief for the defense of rich men. But we must talk common sense. The fact that some rich men do not work in the way that you would interpret work does not render them criminals. If they are sufficiently provided for, they are not obliged to toil for their personal existence. As far as their income is concerned, that income may be derived from honest sources or from dishonest sources. If from dishonest sources, it is to be denounced and the Catholic Church does denounce it, ordering restitution to those from whom it is dishonestly derived. But a wealthy man's income may be derived from perfectly honest sources, and in that case you have no right to say that others have to provide it, as if it were wrung from them against their will and their just rights. Would you say that a grocer lives on an income which others have to provide? You get your tin of salmon, and he gets his two bits. Supposing that his business thrives? As long as each individual transaction is honest, his income is honestly come by. If he becomes wealthy and retires from active work, you still cannot argue that others have to provide his income. And if he leaves his wealth to his son, that son honestly inherits his father's wealth, and you cannot say that others have to provide that son's income, as if the original wealth had never been acquired by rendering due service to others. Meantime, even as regards present social good, the owner of the wealth is obliged to render personal service to the community by paying proportionate income taxes for the upkeep of public services, and does so in addition by merely living in the country and circulating the money he spends for personal requirements and in giving employment, etc. You are so sweeping in your ideas that you would be in great difficulty in hundreds of practical cases. If a man starts an honest business and it prospers, at what stage will his income become dishonest merely because it is increasing? Think the matter over.

1362. Your Church would bless their gifts.

You have a most peculiar outlook. You were blaming wealthy men who render no personal service to the community. Now you want to blame the Church for blessing them when they do. If a wealthy man donates a portion of his income to religious or charitable institutions, he is rendering service to the community. Money does not evaporate when given to such institutions of great social benefit. It is promptly spent, and upon necessities. At least try to be consistent.

1363. Would you bless gifts from a criminal which have been stolen?

No. But gifts from a man possessing honestly acquired wealth are not the gifts of a criminal which have been stolen. When principle forbids the acceptance of money, the Catholic Church is not impressed by any considerations of expediency.

1364. Why not take literally Christ's words that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven? And that means impossibility.

Normally the rich man experiences greater difficulty than the poor man, for the rich man has much upon which to set his heart, even to the forgetting of God. That Christ did not intend to say that it is impossible for a rich man to enter heaven is evident from the preceding verse where He says, "It is hard for a rich man to enter heaven." To express this difficulty more strongly He merely fell back on a proverbial expression, and once we know that He is using a proverb we know that we must not take the literal but the proverbial sense of the words. Now the camel and the needle formed a common proverb among the Jews at the time to express any improbability. If a Jew said "Caesar himself is coming to Jerusalem," another would express his doubts by replying "yes - and a camel will walk through the eye of a needle." The Jews had many similar proverbs to express unlikelihood - such as "You'll tell me next that a tortoise can race a hare," or "Why don't you tell me you have an elephant in your purse" - or again, "I'd rather believe that a woman was at a loss for words." But the proverb chosen by Christ was particularly suitable. It symbolized a rich man, his back burdened with goods as the back of a camel with a hump trying to pass through the narrow gate in the walls of Jerusalem known as the Needle, or to limit his desires to the narrow restrictions of virtue imposed by the law of God. Our Lord's words, therefore, are to be taken proverbially, not literally; and His expression in the previous verse shows without doubt that he meant to say riches are an obstacle in the way of salvation, not that riches render such salvation absolutely impossible.



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