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
Socialism
Trade unions
Communism
Protestant Churches and Communism
Capitalism
Social apathy of Churches
Catholic social teaching
Marriage
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
War

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
Anti-semitism
"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

Papal supremacy

102. Your teaching of the Supremacy of the Pope over the whole Church, as the successor of St. Peter, raises many difficulties.

There is not a single doctrine of the Christian religion against which those unwilling to accept it would not be able to urge difficulties. And they will never be at a loss to find further difficulties as fast as those they have already proposed are shown to lack value. One can develop a frame of mind so absorbed in the search for difficulties that one has no attention left for the positive evidence in favor of the doctrine one does not want to accept. But bear in mind that men of the highest intelligence have fully adverted to the difficulties, have considered them closely, and have duly surmounted them, becoming converts to the Catholic Church.

103. Since Christ is its living Head, need the Church have a visible head on earth?

Christ Himself thought so. For He undoubtedly established a visible Church, choosing visible Apostles, and forming them into a visible and authoritative teaching body, with St. Peter as their head. If the Church were not a visible society in this world no one who wanted to join it would be able to identify it. And Christ has not left this society without a visible head representative of Himself and exercising authority in His name. Deny that, and you offer men, not a real Church, but only an abstract and intangible ideal in which no final court of appeal is accessible to anyone. Moreover you deny the kind of Church the New Testament tells us Christ Himself established and commanded us to obey.

104. Anglican Bishops say that regional autonomy in one communion and fellowship is a better safeguard of personal freedom than subjection to one central authority like that of the Pope.

In that case they do not believe in the Holy Catholic Church as founded by Christ, as described in the New Testament, and as proclaimed in the Apostles' Creed. The true Christian says: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church," not "I believe in Regional Autonomous Churches"! "Regional Autonomy" means a series of independent Churches following the political divisions of different nations. The result is not one united Church, but an aggregate of distinct and independent Churches agreeing merely to be in friendly relations with one another. And where in the New Testament is it stated that men may decide for themselves what kind of a Church they prefer? Or that the test of the true Church is whether or not it better safeguards "personal freedom"? Christ commissioned His Church—not "Churches"— to "teach all men to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded them." Matt., XXVIII, 20. His religion is essentially one of duty and obedience. It demands the sacrifice of personal freedom to do what one likes, but offers that higher freedom which comes with submission to the Will of God as manifested by Christ and by the Catholic Church He commissioned to act in His name. Let us remember that there is no such thing as absolute freedom. There is only a choice between different kinds of freedom. One can be free from God and subject to the devil; or free from the devil and subject to God; free from virtue and subject to vice; or free from vice and subject to virtue; free from authority and the victim of anarchy; or free from anarchy and subject to authority; free from Catholicism and subject to all the uncertainty and contradictions of Protestantism; or free from all the uncertainty and contradictions of Protestantism and subject to Catholicism.

105. Ro me builds her tremendous claims only on a few words spoken to St. Peter!

That is not true. Those words are used to support a particular constitutional aspect of the Church. But the actual claim that the Catholic Church is the true Church rests on a wealth of references from the beginning to the end of the New Testament, utterances of Christ and of the Apostles dealing with the foundation of the Church, its nature and prerogatives, conditions of membership, distinguishing characteristics, and much else. When all that the New Testament says about the Church has been carefully noted, it will be found that it finds its fulfillment in one Church only today—in the Catholic Church.

106. How is it that there is only one passage to say that on Peter Christ would build His Church?

You are mistaken in this matter. In his book, "Church Unity," the Presbyterian Professor C. A. Briggs says that, besides the passage in St. Matthew where Peter is named as the rock, there are two others, one in John XXI where Peter is told to be the chief shepherd of the flock, and the other in Luke XXII where he is told to "confirm his brethren." And Dr. Briggs writes, on p. 205: "These three words of Jesus to St. Peter were all uttered on the most solemn and critical occasions in the life of our Lord. They may all be regardejl, therefore, as visions of our Lord, visions of His Kingdom and ideals of the Papacy." But add to these the change of Peter's name from Simon, the position of honor our Lord gave him time after time, the fact that his name always heads the lists of the Apostles as given by the evangelists, and Peter's activities as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. All these evidences leave no room for doubt.

107. In the text: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church99 (Matt., XVI, 18), the word "rock" refers not to Peter but to his faith in Christ.

That idea is quite out of date. Fifty years ago Dr. Gore, Anglican Bishop of Oxford, published his. book, "Roman Catholic Claims," in an effort to prevent Anglicans from becoming Catholics. Yet much as it would have suited his purpose to say what you say, he was too honest to do so. On p. 70 of his book he wrote: "It is difficult, I think, to feel any doubt that our Lord is here pronouncing the person of Peter to be the rock." Thirty years later another Protestant, Professor C. H. Turner, in his book, "Catholic and Apostolic," p. 181, issued the warning: "We of the Church of England and Protestant scholars in general since the Reformation, have failed to give its due weight to the testimony supplied by the New Testament, and in particular by the Gospels, to the unique position there ascribed to St. Peter." Another Protestant scholar, Dr. Trevor Jalland, writes on p. 55 of his book, "The Church and the Papacy," published 1944, "Petra (Kepha) literally denotes the Apostle himself as 'Rock,' and it is on Peter as on rock that the foundations of the new ecclesia are to be laid."

108. As far as the New Testament records go the other apostles seemed unaware of Peter's supremacy.

They were well aware of it and behaved accordingly. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that on Pentecost Sunday it was Peter who first promulgated the Gospel, preaching the first sermon in Jerusalem; it was Peter who wrought the first miracle to confirm that Gospel; it was Peter to whom the revelation was made that Gentiles were to be admitted to the Church. How could the other Apostles, amongst whom St. Peter so naturally took the lead, be unaware of his primacy?

109. In Matt., XVIII, 18, Jesus said to all the Apostles: "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven," giving equally to all the power He had given to Peter.

He gave equally to all the Apostles some of the power He had given to St. Peter; but not the whole of it. In Matt., XVI, 19, He had said to St. Peter individually: "I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." These words, proper to St. Peter, were not said to the other Apostles. St. Peter was given the unique privilege, after Christ Himself, of being the principal foundation stone of the Church, and of possessing the keys symbolizing supreme authority in the Church. The other Apostles were to share as a group in the authority to teach and rule in the Church. But it was not given to them independently of St. Peter as it had been given earlier to St. Peter independently of them. Where they had it as members of the Apostolic body, he had it as head of the Apostolic bodyand where their universal jurisdiction died with them, his continued perpetually in the Church in the persons of his successors.

110. How do you make out that the successors of the other Apostles did not inherit their authority?

They naturally did so to a certain extent; but it was in a limited degree. Where all the Apostles had universal authority in the Church, the Bishops they appointed were given authority only over particular localities, as Titus in Crete and Timothy in Ephesus. Also these successors did not share in the personal and individual infallibility of the Apostles. It was otherwise, however, with the successors of St. Peter, the head of the Church, in Rome. And it is a remarkable fact that St. Irenaeus, writing in the 2nd century, declared that as a test of orthodoxy it was enough to enumerate the succession of the Bishops of Rome and ask whether or not any given Church was in communion with those Bishops. He then gave a list of those Bishops in order, from Linus, the first after Peter, to Eleutherius, the twelfth from the Apostles, who occupied the See of Rome in his own day. The succession from the other Apostles had not the same importance at all for St. Irenaeus; nor, of course, for anyone else in the Church. And the test laid down by St. Irenaeus in 185 A.D. is as valid in 1954 A.D. as it was then. If we want to belong to the true Church we must be in union with the living successor of St. Peter in the Bishopric of Rome in our own day.

111. A Protestant minister told me that if there should be any visible head of the Church on earth he should be at Jerusalem, or at Philadelphia where the model Church was.

If he is not sure whether there should be a visible head of the Church or not, he should make up his mind on that point first. As to where we should look for the visible head, since Christ mentioned no particular place to which such an office would be attached, but constituted a particular person as the visible head, namely, St. Peter, we should seek the visible head in whoever succeeds to the office of St. Peter. As St. Peter died in Rome, the visible head of the Church on earth will be the visible occupant of the Bishopric of Rome.

112. There is no Biblical evidence that Peter ever visited Rome.

It would not matter if there were not. More than enough evidence would still exist elsewhere. However, the First Epistle of St. Peter clearly indicates that it was written by him, and from Rome. More and more Protestant scholars are following Dr. Hort, an Anglican Scripture authority of the first rank, that this Epistle was certainly written by St. Peter, and from Rome. Even those who stop short of absolute conviction modestly declare the matter doubtful.

113. In 1929, in their book, "One God and Father of All," the authors, Eric Milner-White and Wilfrid Knox, say that, as regards Peter ever being in Rome, "the evidence, one way or the other, is too indefinite. All that can be said is that it is an interesting historical problem."

They were deliberately avoiding the verdict of their own outstanding fellow-Anglican scholars. Bishop Lightfoot of Durham said that conclusive reasons to show that St. Peter visited and died in Rome yield "a body of proof which it is difficult to resist." I have already quoted Dr. Hort. Hasting's "Dictionary of the Bible" says that the evidences "form a solid body of proof which is practically irresistible." Dr. Kirsopp Lake declared the evidence "probably sufficient." Dr. B. J. Kidd, at the Malines Conferences, said on behalf of Anglicans that the evidence has been so much increased and so generally accepted that it was now a matter of "universal agreement."

114. Is there enough evidence from the first three centuries to make it a certainly?

The tradition of St. Peter's presence and martyrdom in Rome was unquestioned by any of the early Christians. All writers treated of it as an established and generally acknowledged fact. The first denial of it came in the 16th century from the Protestant reformers. Modern historians, working on strictly scientific lines, have said that the actual historical evidence available from the first three centuries was enough to justify acceptance of the early Christian tradition as being most probable, but that there was not yet enough evidence to give absolute certainty from the viewpoint of purely scientific history.

115. Does the recent discovery of the tomb of St. Peter in Rome alter the position in any material way?

Most decidedly. It must be noted, however, that not the actual grave, but the Shrine or Memorial built by 2nd century Christians in honor of St. Peter has been discovered by archaeological research under the Basilica in Rome. That this marks the actual site of his grave is most likely. But in itself it is enough to lift the presence of St. Peter in Rome from the level of a high degree of historical probability to that of an established fact.

116. Why is Rome called the "Eternal City"?

Because the office of the supreme head on earth of the Catholic Church is inseparably linked with Rome. As Christ has promised that the Catholic Church will endure till the end of time, and that He Himself will be with her till the consummation of the world, it follows that the diocese of Rome, as the episcopal city of the successors of St. Peter, will also last as long as the world continues to exist.

117. Can you produce any positive command of Christ that authority over His Church must forever be centered at Rome?

There is no need to do so. It is enough that He made St. Peter head of His Church on earth. He made no conditions as to where St. Peter should reside, but left that choice to him.

118. Since St. Peter ivas the first Bishop of Antioch, why should not the Primacy belong to that See?

It did belong to that See whilst St. Peter was there. And it would have continued to belong to the See of Antioch had St. Peter died still as Bishop of Antioch. But St. Peter transferred to Rome and the Primacy went with him, remaining with his successors in the Bishopric of Rome after his death in that city. It is worthy of note that St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch from 69 A.D. to 107 A.D., far from claiming the Primacy for his own See which St. Peter had held, definitely ascribed the Primacy to that of Rome because it was occupied by St. Peter at the time of his death.

119. Even if Peter did go to Rome that would not prove that he was Bishop of Rome.

The language of the writers of the first two centuries can admit of no other interpretaation. In their lists of the Bishops of Rome they number them from St. Peter, as when Eusebius says: "First after Peter, Linus obtained the episcopate of the Church of the Romans"; or as Hippolytus writes: "Victor was thirteenth Bishop of Rome from Peter." If I said: "Henry V was the thirteenth King of England after William the Conqueror," there could be no doubt that I was ranking William the Conqueror also as a King of England.

120. As both St. Peter and St. Paul are regarded as founders of the Church in Rome, what proof is there that St. Paul was not Bishop of the Church there rather than St. Peter?

The Anglican Bishop Lightfoot answered that difficulty by pointing to the differences of life and, vocation in the case of St. Paul from those of St. Peter. He says that St. Paul was essentially a wandering missioner, always traveling from city to city, founding Churches wherever he went and appointing Bishops to rule them while he himself moved on. Never did any of the Churches he established, as at Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus and elsewhere, claim him as its first Bishop. When he went to Rome it was as a prisoner; and he wrote, both to the Philippians and to Philemon, that he intended to leave Rome as soon as he could. In his Epistle to the Romans he said that in coming there he had no .intention of building upon "another man's foundation." As soon as he was free from his first imprisonment there he set off on other missionary journeys, until arrested once more and sent back to Rome for his trial-this time to his death in Rome together with St. Peter. There is no room for doubt that it was St. Peter, the head of the Church, who was Bishop of Rome in the full and adequate sense of the word.

121. At least you have to admit that the modern claims of the Bishop of Rome to absolute supremacy were unknown in the early Church.

I am quite willing to admit that much was not so clear in earlier aees as it has since become. It would be surprising indeed if centuries of thought had not made many things clear which were implicitly contained in the original Christian revelation but which were not from the first explicitly realized. There is a legitimate evolution or development in the knowledge and understanding of the Christian religion which is not refuted by the mere assertion that, historically, things were not so clear in earlier ages as they have since become. What our opponents have to show is not the fact that the later claims of the Bishop of Rome are the result of doctrinal development, but that the development itself has been, not in harmony with but opposed to the implicit principles of Christianity as originally revealed' That the opponents of the supremacy of the Pope will never succeed in accomplishing.

122. One Roman Catholic authority, Msgr. Duchesne, writing of the Fourth Century, said that there was then no central authority recognized to be in Rome| and that the Papacy such as the West knew it later on was still to be born.

No one holds that, before the end of the first three centuries of the pagan persecutions, the primacy of the Pope was everywhere understood and acknowledged as a public fact in its full significance. But Duchesne himself admitted that the principle giving rise to such a public and historical acknowledgment always existed. Commenting on the famous 2nd century passage from St. Irenaeus concerning the supremacy of Rome, Duchesne wrote, in his book, "The Separated Churches," p. 119, "It is difficult to find an expression more precise, firstly, of the doctrinal unity of the universal Church; secondly, of the supreme and unique importance of the Roman Church as witness, guardian and organ of the Apostolic tradition; and, thirdly, of its pre-eminent superiority over the whole community of Christians." Those words show that Duchesne was concerned merely with the degree in which the principles affecting Papal supremacy had attained to an external manifestation in the 4th century, not with the principles themselves. Those he never denied.

123. Columbanus, who died in 615 A.D., reflected the bold, independent attitude of the Celtic Church towards the authority of Rome, both before and after his time.

The Celtic Church was founded by St. Patrick whose mission was authorized by Rome and who ever inculcated loyalty to Rome. Though local customs developed among the Celts to which they were very much attached and reluctant to abandon, these variations, as Professor James has pointed out in his "History of Christianity in England," were devoid of any doctrinal significance, unlike the innovations of the Protestant reformers in the 16th century. The Celtic Church ever remained one with the Church throughout the rest of Christendom. St. Columbanus himself wrote to the Pope: "We Irish, though dwelling at the far ends of the earth, are all disciples of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Catholic Faith, just as it was first delivered to us by yourselves, the successors of the Apostles, is held by us unchanged. We are bound to the Chair of Peter."

124. Pope Gregory the Great repudiated what he termed the "diabolical usurpation99 of the title of universal Pastor or Bishop.

John IV, Patriarch of Constantinople, had claimed to be the only Bishop in the full sense of that word. Pope Gregory denounced that claim, declaring that even St. Peter, though chief of the Apostles, was not the only Apostle; and that the Bishops of the Catholic Church as successors of the Apostles are all truly Bishops. But that Pope Gregory the Great did not thereby repudiate the doctrine of Papal supremacy is evident both from his action in correcting the Patriarch of Constantinople, and from his words expressly^ declaring: "All Bishops are subject to the Apostolic See."

125. Papal supremacy was built up on the False Decretals which all scholars today know to have been forgeries.

What are known as the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals was a collection of documents, some genuine, some false, which was compiled in France, not to support Papal claims, but the rights of local Bishops in France. Pope Nicholas I, who knew of their existence, never made use of them, though he claimed all on other grounds that the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals maintained on his behalf. The Anglican scholar, Dr. Trevor Jalland, in his book, "The Church and the Papacy," makes it quite clear that the Papal claims are in no way dependent on the so-called "False Decretals." If any of the later Popes after Nicholas I quoted the "False Decretals" without bothering about a critical discrimination between the genuine and the false documents the collection contained, that would have no bearing on the fact of Papal supremacy and the reasons for it.

126. Arnold Toynbee, the historian, says that the Popes frustrated the Conciliar Movement, which was a constructive effort to neutralize the irresponsible and often notoriously misused authority of the self-styled Vicar of Christ by the introduction of ecclesiastical parliamentarianism.

Arnold Toynbee is, of course, a Protestant. But as an historian he should rise above his Protestant prejudices and keep them out of hisi "history." To declare the Pope merely the "self-styled" Vicar of Christ is merely to deny the divine origin and prerogatives of his office. That theological denial was not necessary for the historical point he wanted to make. Again, it is not history to declare the Papal authority "irresponsible." Various Popes may even notoriously have misused it at times. They could have done that with a sense of responsibility even if mistaken in their judgment as to the needs of the temporal order and general welfare. But far more often than Toynbee suggests, their authority was exercised with wisdom and a supreme sense of duty. He could have said simply that the Conciliar Movement was an effort to make the authority of a General Council superior to that of the Pope, putting aside value-judgments based on his own religious outlook. It is only from a non-Catholic religious outlook that such an effort could be called "constructive." From the Catholic religious viewpoint it would be destructive of the very constitution of the Church as appointed by Christ Himself. The very idea of "ecclesiastical parliamentarianism" is a Presbyterian notion, and it arises from thinking of the Church as a natural and not as a supernatural institution at all. To write in such a way is not to write history, but to continue the Protestant tradition in the writing of history.

127. According to Brewer, one of the titles assumed by the Bishop of Rome is "Our Lord God the Pope."

Never has any Pope claimed such a title. The nearest expression to such a title in the whole of history is the utterance of Pope Innocent III who said: "The Roman Pontiff acts on earth, not with a merely human authority, but in the name of the true God." Many Protestant writers have distorted those words into a claim to be the true God. How absurd such a charge is ought to be evident. Amongst the millions of Catholics through the centuries no one will deny that there have been many exceptionally intelligent and holy men. One has but to think of a St. Thomas Aquinas or a St. Thomas More. Could these men be guilty of such folly or blasphemy as to acknowledge the Pope as God? Conscious of his Apostolic authority, the Pope may say, as did the Apostles: "It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us," (Acts, XV, 28), but he no more claims to be God than did the Apostles.

128. You cannot deny that the Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ.

do not wish to deny it. I firmly believe it. But notice that the claim to be Vicar of Christ is not a claim to be Christ Himself. The very term supposes someone less than Christ, but commissioned by Christ to act in His name. The Governor General of Australia is not the King. He acts vicariously on behalf of the King in Australia. In the same way, if you wish, Christ is the one true Head of the Church, of which on earth the Pope is the Governor General appointed to act in His name.

129. It is the height of presumption for anyone to arrogate to himself the title of Vicar of God.

The Pope does not arrogate any such title to himself. One is said to arrogate a title to himself when he assumes it without any right to possess it. But, as the rightful head of the Catholic Church in this world, the Pope succeeds to an office whose occupant is rightfully regarded as the "Vicar" or "Agent General" of Christ Our Lord on earth. But I am afraid you do not understand what the word "Vicar" means. It means one who has authority as the delegate of another, not one who has authority over the superior who appoints him. Thus, in writing of the King of England, Carlyle says: "The authority of the King is that of law or of right, not that of wrong. The King, therefore, should use the authority of law or right as being the vicar and servant of God on earth." But if the King, who holds supreme authority in the State, may rightly be termed the vicar of God—as he may—surely the term is still more justified when we speak of the one who holds supreme spiritual authority in the Church.

130. I have read in a book for Catholics that the will of the Pope is the will of Christ.

Rightly understood, that is true. For, although the Pope is not Christ, he speaks with the authority of Christ. Once, when Queen Victoria disapproved of a measure Gladstone was determined to put through Parliament, she said to him angrily: "Sir, I am the Queen of England." Gladstone replied: "And I, Madam, am the people of England." Gladstone merely meant that he was commissioned by the people of England to express their will.

131. If Christ personally appointed the Pope it would be different. But wh$n one Pope dies another is chosen by ballot and thus he is a man-made Pope.

The election of a Pope does not confer any authority upon him. The authority is attached to the office and is conferred by Christ Himself in virtue of His having established the office in the first place. As for the fact that the Pope is chosen by ballot, you will read in Acts, I, 26, Matthias was chosen by ballot to succeed to apostolic authority in place of Judas who had forfeited the privilege. Our Lord ratified that choice, and the authority conferred upon Matthias was conferred by Him.

132. Why is the Pope called "Holy Father"? Christ never gave Peter that title.

Christ conferred upon St. Peter an office that was holy by its very nature. For He appointed him as head of the Church which the New Testament describes as the "household of the faith." The Church is likened to one great family of the spiritual children of God. §t. Peter, as father of that household, the members of which are called in the New Testament "saints" or officially God's "holy people" whatever they might be like personally, was indeed the "holy father." And we Catholics rightly give to the Pope as his successor that title.

133. Why must the Pope always be an Italian?

There is no law in the Catholic Church to that effect. Before the Greek schism in the 11th century and the Protestant reformation in the 16th century there were many non-Italian Popes. Since the break-up of the unity of Christendom the Popes have all been Italians by force of various circumstances which it would take too long to explain in detail here. But the nationality of the Pope is not of vital importance to the Church.

134. Why not have an American or an Australian Pope?

On the death of this present Pope (Pius XII), should the Cardinals decide to vote for an Australian or an American Pope there would be nothing whatever to prevent their doing so.

135. An Italian Pope would not represent the majority of Roman Catholics now living.

No Pope, of whatever nationality he might be, would be representative of the majority of living Catholics. For Catholics belonging to all the nations other than the one to which he belonged would far outnumber those of his own nation. But you are working on the wrong idea that the Pope is elected as representative of the members of the Church. He is not. He is elected as Vicar of Christ to rule the Church in the name of Christ. His authority is not from "below" but from "above," even as the authority of Christ Himself was a divine authority, and not derived from the disciples who were subject to it.

136. It is inconceivable that an Italian Government would permit a non-Italian to be enthroned in the Vatican.

That is nonsense. The Popes have never acknowledged themselves subject to the jurisdiction of the Italian Government. Before the Concordat of 1929, by which the Italian Government formally acknowledged that Vatican City was not Italian territory, the Popes voluntarily remained prisoners in the Vatican, refusing to acknowledge the temporal rule of the Italian Government by so much as leaving the premises. At no time, had the Cardinals chosen to elect a non-Italian, could the Italian Government have done anything about it, even had it wished. But all this is much ado about nothing. There would be no particular advantage in the election of a non-Italian Pope from the viewpoint of the administration of the Church. A new Pope, once elected, would lose his nationality from that moment. And a non-Italian Pope could not behave differently from one who was Italian by birth. He could not favor the nation to which he had formerly belonged at the expense of other nations. He would have to be the common spiritual father of all without exception. These difficulties result from thinking only in terms of narrow national limitations. Religiously, to the Catholic, there are no national distinctions, no foreigners, no strangers. In the Catholic Church you will find realized St. Paul's words to the Galatians: "There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal., Ill, 28. Spiritually, every Catholic is equally a member of Christ. All are one in Him. And national differences disappear in the presence of the unity of the universal Church.

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