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

Holiness of the Church

414. The Catholic religion may be all right in itself; but I could not join it, because it is not carried out as Christ intended.

If you believe the Catholic religion to be right, the infidelity of some who profess it does not justify your infidelity in refusing to join it and live up to it.

415. Most believing Catholics seem to me as worldly as anyone else.

Were your judgment right, the question of the truth of the Church would not be affected. A right belief does not necessarily mean right behavior in all who possess it. Nor does wrong behavior necessarily mean a wrong belief. If a Catholic did wrong, and the Catholic Church told him that it was right, there would be a case for consideration. But the Catholic Church will never say that what is wrong is right. For the rest, things are not always as they seem; and most Catholics are not so worldly in outlook as you imagine.

416. We have the right to demand fruits. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

You have not the right to demand the fruit of holiness in every single member of the Catholic Church. For, as I have said, such fruit depends on the free cooperation of each soul with the grace of God. But whilst each has the power to check the influence of grace, the Catholic Church herself is holy and sanctifying. However, whilst you have not the right to demand holiness in every Catholic, holiness will, as a matter of fact, be manifest in a large number of Catholics. Not all men are evil and negligent. There will always be great souls of genuine good will; and these will exhibit visible fruits of holiness as a result of living up to their faith. The Catholic Church has always had Saints. In fact, all the great Saints of history have belonged to her, and have never dreamed of leaving her.

417. There was only one Christian, and He was crucified.

If you believe that, it is your duty to be the other. Instead of that, so long as you refuse to fulfill your own obligations, you take your place amongst the crucifiers.

418. Why do you pretend that everything is well with the Catholic Church?

Because everything is well with the Catholic Church. But I do not say that everything is well with all the members of the Church. Repeatedly I have quoted our Lord's words that His Church is like a net holding good and bad fish. It is wrong to have eyes only for the bad fish, and to make that an excuse for remaining a bad fish oneself. It is necessary to see the good fish as well as the bad fish, and to insist on the necessity of turning the bad fish into good ones.

419. You talk about an ideal spiritual Church as it should be. But I face the actual Church as she really is.

You wrongly interpret both my attitude and your own. It is I who sees the actual Church in the world, with all her beauty and all her defects. You see only defects, and concentrate on those as if there were no other aspects to be considered. There is a human element in the Church, and that human element is ever liable to fail. But there is also a Divine element which can never fail. But whilst admitting the human element, I do not intend to admit every single charge evil people choose to make against the members of the Church. There are types of people who cannot see any good in Catholicism. They see any amount of evil where there is none; or if they do see some, they persuade themselves that all are evil, and that no good exists in the Catholic Church.

420. It is a pity that the Catholic Church does not retain only those possessing quality, and not concentrate on quantity as at present.

The Catholic Church has the identical mission of Christ who said, "I come to call, not the just who need not repentance, but sinners." Also He said that He came to save that which was lost. How could the Church cry, "Come to me, all ye holy people of good quality-no sinners need apply?" Then, too, the Church was sent to teach all nations, seeking as many souls as possible. There is a touch of hardness and pride in your very question. Hardness upon the frailties of others almost to the point of denying to them the mercy of Christ is foreign to the spirit of Christ. And it is pride that suggests the notion that you would perhaps become a Catholic if only she would concentrate on souls of quality. Is it that you are a soul of quality? That mere thought could be an obstacle to your salvation. Our Lord knew this, and He insisted upon humility as being absolutely fundamental. He was vehement about it. "Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." "He that will be the greatest, let him be as the least." He condemned the proud Pharisee and praised the Publican who was a sinner. I am sure you will not mind my recommending to you the humility and gentle charity Christ so insisted upon.

421. I always judge an organization, religious or otherwise, by the people who belong to it.

That is unreasonable. For, firstly, unless you meet every single person who belongs to some given Church, you will be judging all by some. In the second place, if you did meet some bad Catholic, he would not be living up to his belief; and the fault would be in himself, not in the Church whose teachings he neglected. Thirdly, we are forbidden to judge people, and, therefore, to base further judgments on our judgement of them. "Judge not, and you shall not be judged" is the law. And again, "Charity thinketh no evil." We must abstract from the faults of individuals, and study a religion in itself and on its own merits. In other words, we take the official teachings of a religion and ask, "Would these teachings of their very nature tend to make one who observed them good or bad?"

422. I see nothing in Roman Catholics that I would care to emulate.

Have you ever looked for anything in them that you would care to emulate? In every one of your fellow men you will find good and bad, virtues and faults. But people usually see only what they want to see. Sympathies and antipathies have an extraordinary effect upon one's judgment. We easily blind ourselves to faults in those we happen to like, whilst we refuse to understand those whom we dislike, putting an evil construction upon all that they do. Now you intensely dislike the Catholic Church. You do not know why, but you do. And that dislike affects your outlook upon all who profess the Catholic religion. I do not say that all Catholics are without their faults. But I do say that a good deal of your trouble finds its source within yourself.

423. History cannot lie. And history tells us that certain Popes were immoral, had illegitimate children, and honored them with titles and property as bribes for silence.

Genuine history does not lie. But those who claim the name of historians certainly can falsify their accounts; and they have often done so. It is true, however, that a few Popes have been unworthy of their office, had illegitimate children, and endowed them with titles and property. But there was no question of bribing them to secrecy. Secrecy was not necessary in the ages when these things occurred. Public opinion was at so low a stage that moral laxity was condoned in an extraordinary way. Illegitimate children were not held in less honor than legitimate offspring. The Popes who provided for their children did so through paternal interest, not in order to secure secrecy. The matter was public knowledge. The evils, of course, have been magnified by legend, idle gossip, and calumny; but the historical foundation for charges against these Popes exists. And these internal disorders in the Church were far more dangerous to her welfare than any external forces. But, under the protection of Christ, the Church survived, and has been purified of such abuses in the Papacy.

424. I am surprised that you did not deny the charge, and try to convince me that I was wrong.

Defense of the Church does not demand a denial for everything we do not like. The Church has nothing whatever to fear from the simple truth. If a thing is historical, it is historical. We must, of course, sift what is legendary from what is said to be history. But once a thing is proved to be history, it must be admitted. It does not follow, however, that every interpretation based upon it is necessarily true. I have no desire to convince you that any facts are not facts. But I do say that you would be wrong if you regarded the disgraceful conduct of any individual Pope in his personal life as an argument against the truth of the Catholic Church. Meantime, if you turn your attention to those good Popes who have been canonized by the Catholic Church as Saints, and who really did exhibit an example of all that the Church expects a Pope to be, you will find that there is nothing whatever wrong with the Catholic ideal.

425. You still insist that bad Popes are no argument against the truth of the Catholic Church?

I do. They afford a condemnation, not of the Catholic Church, but of themselves. A criminal who breaks the laws of his country does not brand his country as a land whose legislation makes criminals. If he had observed the laws he would have been a good citizen. In the same way, if a man breaks the laws of God, that is no argument against God. Then why should a man who breaks the laws of the Catholic Church be an argument against the Catholic Church? It is not just, of course, to continue pointing to a small minority of bad Popes, whilst ignoring the majority of good ones. But as regards their official duties the personal wickedness even of bad Popes will not necessarily make them bad administrators. Just as a judge could be guilty of much evil in his personal life, yet give excellent decisions in his official capacity, so a bad Pope in his private life could quite well fulfill his public duties well.

426. They could not but do harm to the Church.

Christ promised to be with His Church all days, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Those forces of evil can be external or internal; that is, there can be persecution of the Church by open enemies, or internal evils by the sinful lives of its very officials. It was in virtue of Christ's promise that not even the personal wickedness of an Alexander VI. could do any lasting harm to the Catholic Church.

427. It is incredible that you should know the facts, as you seem to do, yet that you do not see their significance!

The Catholic Church is not afraid of facts; nor that any facts will ever afford any valid argument against her historical foundation by Christ and His protection of her as a Church, whatever individuals may or may not do. If it be a fact that an Alexander VI. was a wicked man, the Church says, "Well, then, he was wicked; such conduct was reprehensible; I only hope he repented before he died. If not, he is in hell." As you say, I am quite familiar with all these things, and my faith in the Catholic Church, far from being shaken, is but strengthened. A Church which could survive such internal enemies as Alexander VI. has the protection of God. And the teaching of the Catholic Church not only does not bid me imitate the conduct of Alexander VI.; it forbids me absolutely to do so.

428. I have no desire to defend Martin Luther, but why should his evil character be an argument against the Protestant Church, yet bad Popes be no argument against the Catholic Church?

Because bad Popes did not pretend to be the founders of new religions, as did Luther. The one Founder of the Catholic Church remained, and He was undoubtedly holy, for He was Jesus Christ Himself. But the Protestantism founded by Luther is not holy in its founder. Again, no bad Pope ever pretended that his sins were in accordance with the teachings of Christ and of the Catholic Church; nor did any Pope teach officially that the members of the Church were free to behave in such a way. But Luther corrupted the very doctrines of Christ, and gave permission to others to sin. Finally, the Popes who did not live good private lives did possess Apostolic authority for their official legislation in the name of the Church- legislation which in itself was quite all right. But Luther had no Apostolic authority for his heretical and schismatical innovations.

429. Leaving the question of the Popes, do you believe that the clergy of today are as good as the clergy in the early Christian Church?

There were good and bad priests even then. Some of the present-day priests are as good as the best of them then; some are not.

430. Will you agree that there has been a steady downgrade through the centuries?


431. Do you agree that "as you live, so you shall die"?

If one perseveres in a good life, he will die a good death. If one lives an evil life, it is always possible that he will meet with an evil fate in eternity. I say that it is always possible, because allowance must always be made for the mercy of God.

432. Then would it not be fair to assume that hell is filled with priests as trophies of Satan's collection?

No. It would be absurd to assume that men who believe sufficiently in the necessity of salvation to devote their lives to the eternal welfare of their fellow men would be so foolish as not to live in such a way as to secure their own salvation. I oppose that to your wholesale suggestion. I do not deny the possibility that a priest who began well could end badly, forgetting his ideals and disgracing his vocation. But such a case is exceptional, and would not warrant your generalization.

433. Considering all the charges against priests, you cannot pretend that there is nothing in them.

At times there may be something in some particular charge against some particular priest. But all know that a bad priest is the exception. There are bad doctors, judges, and lawyers. But you have not the same prejudice against others who fail to live up to their ideals. There is a certain dishonesty in the attitude of critics towards priests. Men blame them for being what they ought to be, and blame them for not being what they ought to be. If a priest violates his obligations, some Protestants will praise and defend him; others will blame him merely in order to attack all priests, even good ones. But apart from individual cases, when I consider all the charges against priests, I do deny that there is anything in them. Everywhere charges are made according to popular prejudices, and they perpetually change from age to age. It is because they are false that it is necessary to abandon old charges and find new ones. Present prejudices will provoke smiles in future generations, but they will be replaced by others. The chief value of these charges as a weapon against Catholicism is not their truth, but their novelty.

434. Is not the Vatican stored with riches which could be sold and given to the poor?

It is true that the Vatican, besides containing offices for various departments of ecclesiastical administration, does contain great libraries, museums, and art galleries-these in turn containing a wealth of valuable books, manuscripts, sculptures, paintings, and other treasures, historical and artistic. And the Catholic Church has rendered a distinct service to culture and civilization, and consequently to the welfare and progress of the human race by, thus preserving through centuries such masterpieces. She has gathered them and kept them, where otherwise they would have been dispersed and lost. Christ would no more object to the Vatican Library and Museum than He would object to the public libraries of England and the British Museum. Would you argue that, since the state should exist for the welfare of its people, England is not doing her duty so long as she preserves all those treasures in the British Museum and Art Gallery, instead of selling them and scattering them in order to feed the poor? "Not by bread alone does man live," said Christ. Food is not the only thing which contributes to the welfare of humanity. If the Catholic Church suddenly did sell and dissipate her great library and museum and art gallery at the Vatican, losing all these evidences of progressive culture, the charge would at once come that she was as ever the enemy of learning, history, art, and culture, and opposed to the true welfare of man.

435. Meantime the poor in every country cry out for enough to eat!

Were the Vatican to sell all its treasures, and distribute their value to the poor, no appreciable difference of a lasting character would be made to the poor of "every country." After their one meal each, if they got that much, their poverty would still be there-and the Church without its most necessary administrative buildings. And Catholics throughout the world would be called upon to make provision in one generation for headquarters which have grown up gradually with the growth of the Church during 1900 years. What you suggest would be no cure for the poverty of the world. Christ Himself said, "The poor you will always have with you."

436. Christ chose poverty.

And the Pope, too, must be poor in spirit. However vast the Vatican, which has been built during generations and to last for generations, the Pope must live a simple, humble, and Christ-like life within its walls. And he does so. Not for a moment does he regard the Vatican as his own personal property; and he will make no attempt to will it away to people of his choice when he comes to die. When Pope Pius X. died in 1914, he was able to write, "I was born poor; I have lived poor; and I wish to die poor. I ask the Holy See to grant a monthly allowance-not to exceed 300 lire-to my sisters Anna and Mary." He had nothing to leave directly to them himself. One anti-Catholic paper grudgingly admitted, "The sum which Pius X. asked for his sisters is barely sufficient for food and clothing-less than five dollars a week; and even so, is subject to the approval of his successor. He regards all as belonging to the Church, nothing to himself personally."

437. Christ was humble, whilst the Pope sits in majesty and comfort expecting everyone to reverence him.

The humility of Christ did not prevent Him from accepting the tribute of reverence and respect paid Him by the woman who lavished precious ointment upon Him, nor His acceptance of the adoration due to His Divinity and offered by St. Thomas with the words, "My Lord and my God." The Pope is personally a very humble man, and not for a moment does he attribute to himself the reverence and respect the faithful show towards his office as supreme head of the Church. He knows that, were he not Pope, none of it would be his; and that it is a tribute to the authority of Christ vested in the office as such. Would you quarrel with Christ for telling St. John to write to the Bishop of Philadelphia, "Behold I will make them come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee"? You will find that in Rev. III. 9. Meantime, the Pope does not sit in majesty and comfort. His office is majestic, if you wish. But that is not his fault. Would you accuse a lawfully constituted judge of arrogance because, in virtue of his office, he speaks with authority? In person, that judge could be the most unassuming of men. As for comfort, the Pope has the most uncomfortable of positions. I have lived in Rome and I know. I would not be Pope for anything this world could offer me.

438. I was shocked when I recently read in a book a lady traveler's account of her visit to the Vatican and the Pope.

That is merely because you are unfamiliar with the proceedings, and because your outlook does not allow for a ceremonial proper to Catholicism. Unfamiliar things usually astonish us; and if they be not in accordance with our own ideas of what is fitting and proper, they may even jar upon us. Thus an Englishman traveling abroad for the first time is apt to experience a shock when he finds Frenchmen eating frog's legs. Within his limited experience of English ways such a thing is not done. And he probably takes it for granted that, because he does not do it, it ought not to be done. In your own case you must realize that a thing is not necessarily wrong because unfamiliar to you. The meeting with the unfamiliar merely broadens one's education. Nor is a thing necessarily wrong because it does not fit in with our own ideas of what is fitting and proper. We must ask ourselves whether our own ideas be right. In religious matters, if I am a Protestant, I know that my ideas reflect the Protestant outlook. I should not be surprised that things dictated by the Catholic outlook are foreign to me. But before I pass judgment, my duty is to ask myself whether my Protestant outlook can be justified. Only provided I satisfy myself on this point can I condemn Catholic ways on the score that they do not appeal to me.

439. Even the dress she had to wear was prescribed. Why should the Pope mind how one is dressed, so long as it is simple and refined?

There is a regulation dress which ladies are expected to wear when visiting the Pope. It demands a black or dark colored dress of full length, and the wearing of a black lace veil for the covering of the head. The article you send mentions that one woman was turned away because her dress was cut too low at the neck. That was her own fault. On the very invitation cards a sketch is printed indicating the attire to be worn. If she desired the privilege of a Papal audience, she should have had the courtesy to comply with the regulations. You are surprised that the Pope should prescribe the dress to be worn, and suggest that he should be content provided the dress were simple and refined. But ideas of what is simple and refined differ amongst women to an incredible extent; and when women come from every possible nation, things are still more complicated. The only procedure possible is to prescribe a uniform standard of modest attire for such audiences. At least you will appreciate the Pope's anxiety for Christian modesty in the dress of such women as desire to meet him. If he were so evil a being as so many non-Catholics like to believe, he would not be concerned about any traditions of modesty.

440. Also, as I read on, I thought the Pope would not be bothered with so much pomp and ceremony.

Your choice of the word "bothered" is excellent. There is nothing new and entertaining for the Pope in his daily duty of interviews with the thousands who desire audiences throughout the year. Were he not a man of duty, he would not be bothered with the ever-recurring ceremonial routine his office demands. If he forfeits his own leisure to give happiness to thousands of people according to the time-honored ceremonial of the Vatican, there must be something more in it than any merely personal interest on the part of the Pope. For him it must be most irksome at times. I certainly would not like to be Pope. Happily I need not entertain the least fear that the Cardinals will want to elect me.

441. Our Lord was so poor and simple.

Now we arrive at the crux of the whole problem. Our Lord was poor and simple, although so great in virtue of His Divinity. Yet He loved the beauty of His Father's house, the glorious temple at Jerusalem. He loved ceremony. He constantly made use of ceremony in His personal actions. When men rebuked those who met Him with waving palms, and who cast their garments down as a carpet in His way, Christ defended those celebrating His approach, and said that if they did not do so, the very stones would cry out.Our Lord, then, sanctioned the principle of ceremony as an expression of religion. And the Catholic Church is justified in principle. But, on the principle that nothing is too good for God, the Church says that, if we are going to have ceremony, let it be as dignified and beautiful as possible.If a Protestant tourist in Rome sees only the pomp and ceremony without perceiving the significance and the spirit of these things, then all might seem vain and empty show. And the average non-Catholic tourist does perceive only the external proceedings, not discerning the significance and the spirit. The significance of the wonderful pageantry is that Christ and His religion constitute the most wonderful thing in the world-greater than all earthly courts and kings and politics in existence. It is all very well to say that Christ humbled Himself. But it is not for us to humble Him. God humbled Himself in becoming man, but it is for man to glorify Him as being God. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. We exalt Christ our Lord. If we so honor the Pope, it is not for what he is in himself, but for what he is in his office as head of Christ's Church and representative of Christ. The Pope knows this, and takes none of it to himself personally. There is pomp, if you like, but no pomposity. And the Catholic Church, so rich in expression for the glory of God's house, is poor in spirit where the humility of her members is concerned. The more we magnify God, the less we magnify self. The more a man magnifies himself, the less he magnifies God. Remember that it took the magnificent Catholic Church to inspire the simplicity of a St. Francis of Assisi. There may be less pomp, but there is far more pride in Protestantism than in Catholicism. It is Protestantism which is ever speaking of man's independence and self-sufficiency. Yet even Protestants do not really object to ceremony. They protest against the ceremonies of the Catholic Church not because they are ceremonies, but because they are Catholic. They have invented ceremonies of their own, but ceremonies which are merely not so inspiring. If Catholics violate Christian principles, so do Protestants. If Protestants do not, neither do Catholics. And in this latter case, Catholics exhibit a far greater appreciation of the dignity and majesty of God's worship than do all Protestants put together.

442. The bishops at least seem to have a luxurious time whilst their fellow creatures starve.

The luxurious time is a product of your own imagination. Bishops have a very heavy responsibility, great anxieties, and little rest. It is a full-time occupation to be a bishop of the Catholic Church, and few indeed are anxious to attain to episcopal rank. Our Catholic people certainly wish their bishops to live in a state in keeping with the dignity of their office. But that state does not mean personal luxury. Again, you let your imagination run away with you when you say sweepingly that their "fellow creatures starve," as if all men except bishops had nothing to eat. If that were the case, nothing would be gained by the few bishops starving also. That would not feed the multitudes. Those who are too poor to do so are not asked to contribute towards the support of the bishop; and the bishops of the Catholic Church give far more away in charity than you suspect.

443. Every priest has his own personal revenue.

The temporal needs of priests have to be provided for, as well as their future, should sickness or old age compel their retirement. They are entitled to their support. And certainly, if a man devotes his whole life to the welfare of his parishioners, those parishioners between them should share the burden of keeping him alive, and providing for all his lawful needs.

444. Why should they amass thousands of dollars, as one often notices when their wills appear in the press?

Such wills do not often appear. The vast majority of those devoted to the cause of the Church leave so little that the press finds no interest in their wills. For the rest, priests should not amass thousands of dollars accumulated during their work for the cause of religion. And if a few do so, they themselves are to blame for so dishonoring their obligations in this matter.

445. What is your opinion of avarice?

It is a contemptible vice, and one of the most dangerous of sins. Men given up to this vice insult God by practically making a god of the money they possess or hope to get. They are led into many other sins against their fellow men, often violating not only charity but justice also. And they ruin their own characters, which become hard and dry, strangers to generosity, mercy, and remorse. If we take Judas as an example, we see how avarice undermines even fidelity to one's best friends. And that this sin as few others will endanger a man's salvation is evident from our Lord's words, "Woe to you rich"; and, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." That is why Christ advised those who do possess wealth to use it in charity towards the poor for the sake of their own very salvation. Thus you have my opinion of avarice. But it is another question altogether as to who are or who are not avaricious. Of that I am not the judge.

446. Why should priests have big rectories?

Rectories are built in proportion to the needs of the respective parishes. And priests don't have them. Apart from the fact that many rectories are small, even the larger rectories in big city parishes do not belong to the priests. They are parochial property. If the priest is removed elsewhere, he cannot sell the buildings to whom he pleases. If he dies, he cannot will them away. Priests come and go, but the parochial buildings remain. Both buildings and priests are the provision made by the parishioners for their own religious needs.

447. It is the poor working man who has to pay for these huge rectories.

Imagination, of course, could make the rectories bigger and bigger, and the working men poorer and poorer. Not all rectories are large. In densely populated parishes, where several priests are required, they are larger than in small parishes where but one priest suffices. But in the densely populated parishes, the expense is more widely distributed. Nor are "poor working people" the only people in the world. Not all the parishioners are working men, nor are all working men poor. Those of the parishioners who are "poor working men" may or may not contribute their modest offerings towards parochial buildings; but that does not mean that they pay for them. The debt is distributed, and falls proportionately on all classes. And those who give, do not mind giving. They are happy to do what they can for their religion.

448. Priests have no care for any save the rich, however evil they may be.

There are multitudes of the poor who will deny that on my behalf. But if you regard the rich as evil and in danger of eternal damnation, you ought to blame the priest if he neglected to do his utmost for such unfortunate people. If you say that the rich support the priest well, I can but say that that is news to me. But even were it true, you should be glad that the priest who serves both rich and poor should be supported mainly by the rich.

449. Why do priests take so little interest in the common people?

I deny the distinction between the rich and poor as if money means nobility, and poverty creates the common herd. But if you love the poor, why do you do so? You will say that you have a heart. But have not priests hearts as well as you? And are they not children of the people as well as you? And does not religion give them a greater obligation to love the people than you possess? Priests do not stifle their natural sympathies. They fulfill their religious obligations towards the poor.

450. I am a Wesleyan, but I realize the hollowness of preachings which are not practiced by the teachers thereof.

You allot the blame in the wrong place, and it is a mistake. If some given preacher does not practice what he preaches, you should conclude, not to the hollowness of what is taught, but to the hollowness of the individual who is teaching it. For example, Christ certainly practiced what He taught. And if some man preaches exactly what Christ taught, he is preaching a good doctrine however badly he personally behaves. His bad behavior makes him bad, but it does not make the doctrine of Christ bad. If that doctrine was good when preached by Jesus Himself, it is still good, no matter by whom it is preached.

451. You insist, on that principle, that the Catholic Church should not bear the odium connected with individuals who err.

I say that it is no argument against the truth of the Catholic religion that Catholics, and even officials at times, have failed to observe its precepts. Judas was no argument against the truth preached by the Apostles.

452. I cannot accept the analogy of Judas. He did not continue preaching, and his fellow Apostles did not condone his act.

Your last two points do not affect the value of the analogy. The whole point of the analogy lies in the fact that the bad behavior of Judas was a violation of the teachings of Christ, and, therefore, no indication that those teachings were evil. Had Judas gone on preaching Christ's doctrine, that would have been no argument against Christ's doctrine. Truth is not less truth because preached by a bad man who makes no effort to live up to it. Nor would it be an argument against Christ's doctrine had the other Apostles condoned the treachery of Judas in betraying Christ. For Christ's doctrine would not have bidden them to sanction evil. It would be they who would also have failed to be true to the principles of Christ. So, too, the Catholic religion is true. Nothing in its teachings can be used to sanction evil. If those professing the Catholic religion do wrong, they are to be blamed.

453. If the Church is not to share the odium, why were not erring individuals disciplined by higher authorities? And above all in the middle ages, when the Church had full power.

In the middle ages means of communication were not nearly so advanced as nowadays. Many abuses remained undenounced to Rome. On the other hand, when abuses were denounced, many of the individuals were disciplined. If abuses were known and higher officials took no notice, it was either because those higher officials wished to avoid still greater evils which their interference would provoke, or because they too were guilty of a neglect of duty. But whatever the possibilities, the blame must rest with unfaithful officials of the Church, not with the religion they served so badly.

454. I have followed your discussion of the holiness of the Church with great interest; and I would like to ask you some personal questions.

I will be only too happy to express my own mind on the subject.

455. When you joined the Roman Church you knew nothing of the scandals in her history. Catholicism was put before you in its brightest colors, and only the highest spiritual ideals.

The priest who instructed me in the Catholic religion instructed me in the Catholic religion. And scandals are not part of the Catholic religion. They are the result of infidelity to its teachings. A priest must explain what the Catholic Church does teach, not what bad Catholics do not do. The bright colors were the true colors; and the high spiritual ideals were the only ones sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

456. Your course of study to become a priest made you familiar with the scandals of history. Considering your idealization of Catholicism, did they not shock you?

They did. The ideals put before me filled me with reverence for all things Catholic; and I too easily took it for granted that what all Catholics ought to be could be taken as a sure indication of what all Catholics were in reality. I overlooked the fact that God will compel no man to be good, and I had not the knowledge of human frailty later experience gave.

457. Do you think all scandals amongst Catholics are a thing of the past; that there are none today; and likely to be none in the future?

I certainly do not think that. There are individual Catholics today giving scandal in various parts of the world; and probably this will always be the case. Christ Himself said: "It must needs be that scandals will come." He knew the lack of good will in men, and their capacity for evil if they neglect vigilance and prayer. But He added: "Nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh." And He very much meant those words, for He knew that, not the Church, but such people themselves would be responsible for their own evil conduct.

458. Did you not know of good and holy Protestant people before you joined Rome?

I did. But their goodness is due to the elements of truth contained in their religion-elements of truth drawn from the Catholic Church, and retained side by side with the errors of the various Protestant reformers. But, instead of the partial truth, the full truth is to be found in the Catholic Church.

459. Did you ever compare these good Protestants with bad Catholics?

No. Nor would it be logical to do so. One can compare the good with the good, or the bad with the bad. But it is wrong to select good Protestants as if there were no bad Protestants; and bad Catholics as if there were no good Catholics. In reality, however, we must take the Catholic system of religion, and the Protestant systems as our terms of comparison, and see which is the better religion in itself. But if you do compare Protestants with Catholics you must do so en masse. And if you do this, you will find at least that irreligion is far more prevalent amongst Protestants than amongst Catholics. It is quite a normal thing for Protestant clergymen to urge the fidelity of Catholics to their religion as an example to Protestants, whose empty churches are a byword.

460. In a word, have you ever felt insincere in advising other people to become Catholics?

Never. I know absolutely that it is for their good, provided they do their best to live up to their new-found faith. Granted generous good will, the convert to the Catholic Church will find himself better, holier, and happier from every possible point of view in the spiritual order. Cardinal Newman wrote, "From the time I became a Catholic, I have been at perfect peace and contentment. It was like coming into port after a rough sea." Robert Hugh Benson, the convert son of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote, "The Church promises a great deal, but my experience is that she gives ten times more. The Catholic Church is supremely what she promises to be. She is the priceless pearl for which the greatest sacrifice is not too great." Those two quotations express exactly my own frame of mind; and I leave it to you to ponder over them. And at least you will credit me with the determination to give candid replies to all inquirers.



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