Choose a topic from Vol 4:

Religion - Yes or No

Necessity of Religion
Reality of Religious Experience
Religion and life
Religious statistics
Nature of religion
Necessity of worship
Neglect of religion
Religion and history
Conversion of mankind

The Christian Church

Nature of the Church
Necessity of the Church
Visible organisation
Hierarchical constitution
Papal supremacy
Perpetuity of the Church

"This Shall Be the Sign"

Notes of identification
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolic succession
"Roman" but not "Roman Catholic"

Dogmatic Authority of the Church

Authority in religion
Catholic Church infallible
The Pope infallible
Papal definitions
Dogmatic spirit of the Catholic Church
"Religion of the spirit"
Individual freedom
Re-stating Christianity
Athanasian Creed
Meaning of faith
Faith and reason
Faith and science
Religion and education
Religion and morals
Catholic countries backward
Universities and religion
Natural Moral Law
Christian principles of morality
Catholicism versus the world

The Power-Complex Illusion

Legislative power of the Catholic Church
Coercive power of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church and political ambitions
Divided allegiance of Catholics
Rome and totalitarianism
Aim of the Catholic Church in America
Catholic Action
Political freedom of Catholics
Catholic infiltration of civic life
Catholicism anti-democatic
Rival totalitarianisms, Rome and Moscow
Catholic attitude to Protestants
Spanish Inquisition
Church and State
Federal Union or "One World State"

Life-Or-Death Social Problems

Social reform necessary
Trade unions
Protestant Churches and Communism
Social apathy of Churches
Catholic social teaching
Family life
Primary purpose of marriage
Religion and marriage
Form of marriage
Mixed marriages
Birth control
"Catholic birth control"
Divorce and re-marriage
Catholics and civil divorce
Nullity decrees
Therapeutic abortion
Euthansia or mercy-killing

Those Exclusive Claims

Divided Christendom
Do divisions matter?
The "Only True Church" claims
Cause of sectarian bigotry
Reunion Movement
Catholic non-cooperation

Religious Liberty

Religious freedom
Catholic intolerance
Protestants and the principles of religious liberty
Rome and the "Four Freedoms"
Heresy and heretics
Religious rights of Protestants
Religious persecution
"Rome's historical record"
Protestant missionaries in Spain
In Italy
In South America
Conditions in Colombia

Are Only Catholics Saved

"Outside the Catholic Church no salvation"
Beliefs of Catholics
Salvation of Pagans
Salvation of Protestants
Why become a Catholic?
Duty of inquiry
Salvation of apostate Catholics
Test at the Last Judgment
Obstacles to conversion
Truth of Catholicism

Why become a Catholic?

1623. If one can save his soul as a non-Catholic, why become a Catholic?

One can save his soul as a non-Catholic only provided he is unaware of the truth of the Catholic Church through no fault of his own. If a man has any doubts about his position as a non-Catholic, it is his own fault if he does not try to solve those doubts. If, after due thought and prayer, he becomes convinced of the truth of the Catholic Church, then it is his own fault if he refuses to join that Church. A man neglecting that serious obligation could not expect to save his soul.

1624. What advantages would there be in becoming a Catholic?

For a man aware of the truth of the Catholic Church, the advantage of fulfilling an obligation necessary for his very salvation; for one is certainly obliged, under pain of serious sin, to follow his conscience in so grave a matter. But in addition to this, there are the advantages of attaining to a certainty of the full Christian truth not to be obtained elsewhere, and of having at one's disposal many additional spiritual helps which, if used with proper dispositions, will contribute immeasurably towards a life of greater virtue and holiness. After all, we should desire, not only to save our souls, but to sanctify them, aiming at the perfection possible to us, even as God is perfect in the degree proper to Himself. There are immense advantages in embracing that religion best fitted to help us in these things, apart from the sheer duty of joining the Catholic Church once we advert to its truth.

1625. So it comes to this. Whilst people can save their souls as non- Catholics, they would be better off as Catholics.

That does not do justice to the position. For if a man is convinced of the truth of the Catholic Church, he is obliged to become a Catholic if he wishes to save his soul. For him there is no other choice. There is no room for your comparison in such a case, as if he would be able to save his soul in some other religion, but better able to do so in the Catholic religion. The man who has never suspected the Catholic religion to be the true religion and who adheres to some other religion in good faith will receive at least sufficient grace for his salvation. Yet still the Catholic would be in the better position and could more surely attain to heaven. For it is better to be well-informed than ill-informed about the route one must travel; and it is better to have the sacramental means of grace at one's disposal as a Catholic, than to have the interior graces only upon which others have to depend.

1626. Do you believe in the Bible?

Yes. It is an article of the Catholic Faith that God Himself is the Principal Author of both the Old and the New Testaments. No one could become a Catholic who was not prepared to acknowledge the Bible to be the Word of God. The Catholic Church denies that the Bible alone is an adequate source of Christian teaching, but she firmly believes in the truth of all that the Bible does contain.

1627. Do you believe that we are saved by faith in Christ?

Yes. But faith in Christ must be regarded as including not only faith in the Person of Christ, but faith also in all that He taught. That requires faith in the Church He established. Thus from the earliest times Christians have said, in the Apostles' Creed, "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church."

1628. Do you believe in the. necessity of personal conversion?

Yes, as including not only an interior change from bad dispositions to good dispositions, but also to all else that the Christian religion requires. Certainly the Catholic Church does not hold that the merely formal and mechanical fulfillment of the external practices of religion will save anybody. But some people say that they believe in personal spiritual religion to the exclusion of external institutional religion. They seem to think that institutional religion leaves no room for personal interior response. In that they are quite mistaken. Personal spiritual religion cannot dispense one from the duties of external institutional religion; and external institutional religion cannot dispense one from personal spiritual religion. Both are necessary, external religious practices as prescribed by the Church, with interior and personal dispositions of faith, devotion and love corresponding to those practices.

1629. If you believe in the Bible, that we are saved by faith in Christ, and in personal conversion, why do you say that it is necessary to belong to the Roman Catholic Church?

Why not? Not one of the things you have mentioned renders it unnecessary to be a Catholic. Rather the opposite. Belief in the Bible and belief in Christ both lead to and include belief in the Catholic Church. If one does not think so, then he has not fully understood the message of the Bible and the teaching of Christ. Again, personal conversion includes conversion to the Catholic religion in all its fullness if such personal conversion is not to be incomplete.



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