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

Visible organisation

85. Religion is a matter of the spirit, not of any visible organization.

As the spirit of man is enshrined in a visible body, and man is not only an individual but a social being, so the true spirit of religion adapted to man's own nature should be enshrined in a visible and corporate Church. But apart altogether from our own preconceived ideas of what should or should not be, we have to accept what God has seen fit actually to decree. And He thought a visible and organized Church necessary.

86. Christ, speaking spiritually, said: "I in them and Thou in Me; that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me." Jn., XVII, 23.

Even whilst you think to show that the Church is invisible only, you are proving that it was meant to be a visible reality in this world. If the unity is to be "that the world may believe," then the world which does not yet believe must be able to see the unity of the visible Church before its eyes. It is that visible unity which is to be the instrument for the conversion of unbelievers. And that visible unity is apparent in the Catholic Church, made up of over 400 millions of all nations.

87. I understand the Church only as in the souls of men.

If the Church were an invisible quality only in the souls of men no one could say where the true Church is to be found. No. Christ established a visible Church and appointed visible Apostles to rule that Church, those belonging to it accepting their teaching and discipline. In Acts, XX, 28, we read: "Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops to rule the Church of God." How could the bishops rule the Church of God if they did not know who belonged to it?

88. I find in the New Testament that the Church is (1) The Household of God; (2) The Body of Christ; (3) The Temple of the Holy Ghost. Would not that be a fair definition of the true Church?

Those expressions are analogical descriptions, not definitions at all. A definition is an adequate and precise statement which gives the essential elements that make a thing what it is and mark it off specifically from everything other than itself so that there is no difficulty in identifying it. It must cover all yet be limited to the thing defined. For example, if you say: "Man is an animal," you've said what is to a certain extent true. But you have not defined a man, for an animal could equally well be a horse or a dog. But if you say: "Man is a rational animal," then you have defined man, for no animal except man is rational. What, therefore, is the definition of the true Church which is adequate and precise enough to enable a man to recognize it when he comes across it, and to avoid mistaking any other Church for it? It is a visible religious society in this world, founded by Christ and preserved intact through all the centuries, whose members of whatever nationality became such by baptism and who are united in professing the same doctrinal beliefs, in the same essential forms of worship, in the reception of the same Sacraments, and in obedience to the same authority of the lawful successors of the Apostles, the Bishops of the Universal Church, amongst whom the Bishop of Rome as the successor of St. Peter is supreme. That is the Church to which your symbolical expressions apply. In that Catholic Church you will find "The Household of God," "The Body of Christ," and "The Temple of the Holy Ghost."

89. What need is there to belong to a visible Church?

The same need as your foot or your hand or any other living part of your body has to belong to the body. Amputated members are not of much use. Just as your body by means of its members is the instrument by which you accomplish what you want to do, so the Church, with all its various members, is the instrument by which Christ accomplishes His work in this world. It is the Catholic Church which still preaches the message of Christ in all its fulness, sending her missionaries to the ends of the earth; which still offers- the worship to God which Christ offered and prescribed; which unites those who belong to Him and sanctifies them by her Sacraments.



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