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

Value of Tradition and the "Fathers"

518. Tell me this. Are all Roman Catholic doctrines founded upon the Scriptures?

Not all Catholic doctrines are to be found in the Bible. But none of them is opposed to any teaching of Scripture. Some Catholic doctrines are found directly recorded in Scripture; others are logically derived from teachings recorded there; others are founded upon divine tradition. Scripture itself guarantees divine tradition to be a sound source of doctrine. Thus St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "Brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle." 2 Thess. II., 14. The traditions which the early Christians learned by word, and which were not included in the New Testament writings, have been preserved in the Catholic Church.

519. It seems to me that Catholics are guided by their Church, and not by the Bible.

You cannot separate the two like that. It is true that Catholics are guided by what their Church teaches. It would not be true to say or imagine that they are not guided by the Bible; for all that is taught in the Bible is included in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Any notion that there is opposition between the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Bible is due to either a wrong idea of Catholic teaching, or of the meaning of Sacred Scripture.

520. To my mind the Bible is a sufficient guide, without the need of anything else.

You would not have the Bible save for the Catholic Church. Also, not all that God has revealed is contained in the Bible. And yet more, the Bible cannot be a sufficient guide when it requires another guide to explain its meaning. Remember that the first Christians owed their faith, not to the Gospels, but to the Church. The divine authority of the Church was the first fact as far as men were concerned in the order of proof. Before a line of the New Testament was written it was the Church that preached Christ to the first converts. Jesus commanded no writings, but told the Apostles to preach the truth, saying, "Teach all nations." And He promised them, "He who hears you, hears Me." The Apostles had to win belief in themselves and in their mission before they could win belief in their Master. It was on their testimony that the first converts believed in Christ. Had you lived then, and had you gone to one of the Apostles demanding proof from the written Word, he would have been quite unable to provide proof from Gospels which had not yet been written! He would have said to you, "Such is the unanimous teaching of the Apostles as we have received it from Christ." And either you would have accepted the teaching authority of the Church represented by the Apostles, or you would have been without the Christian faith.

521. But we do possess the Gospels now, and we cannot go against them.

Of course, granted our possession now of the New Testament, we must accept all that is written there in the sense intended by God, and nothing which contradicts that sense. But the New Testament contains only part of the Christian message to the world. There are doctrines over and above those contained in the written fragmentary Books of the New Testament. And for such doctrines we must rely upon the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church - traditions preserved from the very beginning.

522. Are words of Christ extant other than found in the New Testament?

No. We have no other records of the exact words of Christ save those contained in the New Testament.

523. Does the Catholic Church recognize any instruments not found within its Bible, with the degree of solemnity as if they were?

Besides the Bible, the Catholic Church recognizes the divinely safeguarded tradition which has been preserved and transmitted in the Church. You must remember that Christ Himself established tradition as the main vehicle by which His teachings would be preserved in the Church and communicated to men. He did not expressly order any Gospels to be written. He demanded faith in His doctrines as they were preached by word of mouth. Before the New Testament was written, the only rule of faith was the oral teaching of the Apostles. Later on, part of the knowledge possessed by the Apostles was committed to writing, but part only. Not all revealed truth was written down. The divine teaching has been preserved and handed down completely in the Catholic Church, both by that section written in the New Testament, and by that section of revealed truth which was not committed to writing, but which is declared by the living voice of the Church. For example, which Books of Scripture are canonical, the very inspiration of those Books, the teachings on infant baptism, or on the matter and form of the Sacraments, and many other things, are known to us by the traditional and living voice of the Church only. But, asI have pointed out, Christ intended that, for He did not order anything to be written, but established His Church and sent it to teach all nations what He had revealed, and its applications in practice.

524. Why do you rely so much on the testimony of those whom you call the "Early Fathers"?

Because they were men of undoubted learning and holiness, and lived in times much nearer to the days of the Apostles than ourselves. Being men of learning, they knew the truly Christian outlook prevailing during the years immediately prior to their own age, and throughout the whole Church during their own lifetime. Being men of great holiness, their integrity in setting down the truth is above suspicion. And being in close proximity to the days of the Apostles themselves, they were ever so much better fitted than ourselves to judge the nature of Christianity as first given to humanity. Above all are the early Fathers worthy of credence when their independent writings are unanimous in declaring the teachings and practices of early Christianity. Any later teachings which will not harmonize with their verdict would obviously be a corruption of the Christian religion.

525. If the New Testament is not the supreme authority for Catholics, why do you use it alone on many occasions to prove your contentions?

When I say that the New Testament is not the supreme authority, I am referring to it, not in itself, but as a source of doctrine to various individuals. As the Word of God, it possesses supreme authority in its right sense. But as individual readers are quite liable to get the wrong sense, they must be guided by the authority of the teaching Church if they desire certainty as to what the New Testament means. The authority of the Church is not; above that of Scripture; but it is above that of the individual judgment as to what Scripture means. Since the New Testament is of supreme authority in itself and in its right sense, I am justified in using it as proof. Then, too, when I am talking to people who profess to accept Scripture only, I am quite justified in showing that what they think to be in Scripture is not there; and also in showing them that many things are there to which they have never adverted. There is a difference between admitting that Scripture is the only authority; and making use of the only authority other people will accept.



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