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 curse of bigotry

220. Do you think intolerance and bigotry will gradually disappear as the denominations get to know one another better?

There is, of course, far too much sectarianism and bigotry in existence, and no one could condemn it too strongly. But the remedy for it goes beyond a merely closer knowledge of others. The essential thing is an immense increase in charity, or love for all others, whatever be their beliefs. In the meantime, all should work to eliminate the basic cause of sectarianism, that almost unintelligible division of the sects from one another, and from the Catholic Church.

221. The very claim that yours is the only true Church indicates your bias against others.

If you mean that I am unreasonably prejudiced against them,I must deny the charge. If you mean that I accept the Catholic religion to the exclusion of the claims of other religions, I must plead guilty. But in that case every person who refuses to believe what others want him to believe must be regarded as biased.

222. Such claims cannot but meet with the charge of bigotry.

Anyone who has set convictions on almost any subject, but above all on religious matters, is liable to that accusation from two types of people-from those who have set convictions of an opposite character, and from those who have no set convictions and think that nobody else should have set convictions. But when I say that anyone with set convictions is liable to the accusation of bigotry, I do not mean that the accusation is always justified. In some cases it is; in other cases it is not.

223. How far should tolerance go?

We should be tolerant towards our fellow men, whatever be their mistakes, provided their mistakes be not injurious to the common good, or to the peace of society. But such tolerance does not oblige us to admit that their mistakes are not mistakes. Truth excludes error. And he who wants the truth will not get it by tolerating error. Tolerance does not mean that one must agree that the ideas of others are right when he believes them to be wrong.

224. The Catholic Church wants all to submit to her; but only bigots expect to be able to impose their views on others.

Not bigots, but only fools could expect to be able to impose their views on others. But a Catholic, knowing his religion to be the true religion, can at least ask others to study it; and then, if convinced, to become Catholics for the sake of truth and for the love of God. If not convinced, of course, others cannot become Catholics.The Catholic Church absolutely forbids any attempt to compel acceptance of the Catholic religion by unwilling people.

225. I have heard Catholics say that one must he a bigot where truth is concerned.

By such expressions the case is not well put. In the strict sense of the word, bigotry is a blind and obstinate attachment to a particular creed, together with excessive zeal and a refusal to make allowances for other people's sincerity. No one should adopt such an attitude, even in the cause of truth. In a loose sense of the word, bigotry is a term used to denote a firm and reasonable adherence to what is true, despite the fact that others do not think it true. In that sense, one sometimes hears the expression that one has to be a bigot where truth is concerned.

226. It is a known fact that the Roman Catholic Church is intensely intolerant and bigoted towards what she terms the so-called Christian Churches.

That is not a just estimate of the Catholic attitude. Truth must exclude error; but Catholics who have the truth are forbidden to behave intolerantly towards the persons of those who differ from them. Bigotry is a narrow and unreasonable dislike of others, with a readiness to think and speak evil of them. That is forbidden to Catholics. Yet we must retain a reasonable consistency. We cannot believe that our own Church is the one true Christian Church, and then inconsistently admit that other and opposed Churches are equally true and equally reliable representatives of the Christian religion. Yet the Catholic conviction is not a blind conviction. This book should be evidence of that. But the Catholic Church teaches her subjects that their conviction must inspire no dislike of others; that it must not prevent them from making full allowances for the sincerity and goodness of others, despite their mistakes; and that it never dispenses them from charity.

227. Truly religious people humbly bow in respect to every other creed, so long as people are sincere.

By humility one may depreciate self; but one does not practice humility by depreciating Christ. Humility does not demand that we respect creeds opposed to the teachings of Christ, and declare them to be permissible. St. Paul wrote to Titus. "A man that is a heretic avoid, knowing that such a one is subverted, and sinneth." St. John said, "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him: God speed you." It is impossible to visualize St. Paul or St. John "humbly bowing in respect to every other creed." If people are sincere in a wrong creed, we may respect their sincerity, but that certainly does not mean that we must respect their creed. I believe that you are a truly religious person. Now, we Catholics hold as part of our creed that the Pope is the infallible and supreme head of Christ's only true Church on earth, and that all Christians should be subject to him. Here you may test yourself by your own principle. Do you humbly bow in respect to that creed?

228. Why cannot there be a spirit of unity between all Christian bodies? How do you account for the lack of it?

There should always be a spirit of unity in charity and respect for each other's persons. There cannot be doctrinal unity, of course, until we all accept the same doctrines. I must confess, however, that much antipathy does exist, and this is greatly to be deplored. The cause of it is chiefly to be found in social influences. Catholics and Protestants, for example, have false and unkind feelings about each other because they have inherited them. They have been handed on from generation to generation. We have got them from books we thought to be reliable, or from our parents and religious teachers, and have taken for granted that they must be right. But nothing that destroys charity and leads to bitter ill-feeling can be right. We must try to emancipate ourselves from the legacy of prejudices, sentiment, and bitter sectarianism. Either a given doctrine is wrong, or the dispositions of those who resent that doctrine are wrong. The first problem for every one of us is to check our dispositions, making sure of our love for all our fellow men, and also of our love of the truth for its own sake. I do not say that it will be easy to rectify these things. But I do say that it is essential.

229. Would you grant a Protestant the right to take just as firm a stand as you do without accusing him of intolerance?

If a Protestant were absolutely convinced that his religion is the one true religion in this world, I would not accuse him of bigotry and intolerance did he say that he believed all other religions wrong. A convinced Protestant in such a case would be no more intolerant in firmly asserting his belief than an equally convinced Catholic in supporting the Catholic position. To stand to one's principles, such as they may be, is not intolerance. It is evidence of sincere conviction. But no one is dispensed from charity in his treatment of others from whom he is compelled to dissent religiously.

230. It is the Catholic claim to infallibility that is the trouble. That makes her hard on others as non-infallible Churches need never be.

The Catholic Church is not hard on others. She is uncompromising. With this reservation, I admit that her exclusiveness is due to her infallibility. She denies that men have the right to dispute any truth revealed by Christ. That necessarily follows from her doctrine that Christ is God. Sabatier, a French Protestant, admitted straight out that an indisputable religious truth supposes an infallible Church. He proved that no Church could maintain any definite doctrines unless it were infallible, and accepted as infallible. And he showed that psychologically, socially, and in actual fact, doctrinal chaos and unbelief must result without the safeguard of a final living authority. He himself refused to accept any infallible Church, so gave up believing that any indisputable truth can be known. In other words, he gave up Protestantism for Modernism, denying all real value to statements of belief issued by any Church, whether Catholic or Protestant.

231. A Catholic, taught Catholicism only, is ignorant of other religions. Anglicanism could be true for all he knows. I speak as an Anglican, with knowledge Catholics do not possess.

I, at least, speak as one who was an Anglican, and who only in later years became a Catholic. But let us take your point on its own merits. It suggests several reflections. Firstly, a Buddhist monk could have urged the same argument with St. Thomas, the Apostle, whose apostolate carried him to India. "Thomas," the monk could say, "You have been taught in the school of Jesus Christ, but you are ignorant of our Buddhistic religion; and our Buddhism could be true, for all you know." What would Thomas reply? Would you advise him to suspend his faith in Christ, and throw himself into an intense study of Buddhism so that, after some years of it, he could return repentantly to Christ and say, "Lord, by trying what you said was wrong I have found out that you were right after all"? Secondly, because a Catholic is ignorant of every other religion save his own, it does not follow that, therefore, the Anglican Church might be the true one for all he knows. Because one always travels home from work by the right train, can he never know that other trains traveling in other directions are wrong trains until he has tried traveling by them also? A Catholic has been taught the truth, and knows that the Catholic Church is true. He knows also that the Anglican Church is not the Catholic Church. Thirdly, you have been brought up as an Anglican. You have not studied Catholicism. Catholicism could be true for all you know. Will you act on your own principle, commence attending a Catholic Church, and receive instruction in the Catholic Faith from a priest? We Catholics do not admit your principle. But you do. And it is not unreasonable to ask you to act upon it.

232. Catholics should at least try the Church of England.

Why the Church of England in particular? If one cannot be sure that Catholicism is true till he has tried Anglicanism, he cannot be sure that Anglicanism is true until he has tried Mahometanism, and every other form of religion in this world. Catholicism and Anglicanism are not the only two possible religious positions. Will you set to work to try every religion in the world? If not, why should a Catholic act on a principle upon which you yourself will not act?



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