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

Catholicity of the Church

230. You constantly speak of Catholics and of the Catholic Church9 but Christ gave no name to His Church.

That is true. Christ said that He would establish His Church; and in explaining the nature of His Church and what it would be like He gave many descriptions of it, both directly and indirectly, in various parables. He called it the "Kingdom of God" or at times the "Kingdom of Heaven" in this world. Again, He likened it to a growing tree, to one sheepfold, to a net holding various kinds of fish, and to a holy city. But He gave no express name to His Church. That came later. Acts XI,26, tells us that at Antioch His disciples were first named "Christians." From then on, people spoke of the "Christian Church." At the end of the first century St. Ignatius of Antioch first used the word "Catholic." In his letter to the Smyrneans he wrote: "Where the Bishop is, there is the Catholic Church." And that has remained the traditional name of the true Church established by Christ.

231. You cannot quote any saying of Christ that His Church was to be the Catholic Church.

Christ said that His Church would be just what the expression "Catholic Church" means. We must consider, not mere words, but the realities those words are intended to describe. If a man said to his wife: "I see from the papers this morning that Jones met with a fatal accident yesterday," it would not be very reasonable for her to ask: "But does it say that he was killed?" Alternative descriptions of the same thing do not argue to different things. The thing described as the "Catholic Church" is the thing Christ intended His Church to be.

232. The word "catholic" means universal. But the Church as Christ founded it was not universal. We must say, therefore, that He founded the Christian Church, but not the Catholic Church.

Catholic means universal, as you say. But the Christian Church Christ founded was universal. For He founded a Church which, remaining one and the same, was to go to all nations by His own command, which was to teach mankind all that He had made known to the Apostles, which all who realized its truth would be obliged to join, and which would last all days till the end of time. The word "Catholic" therefore means universality of doctrine; universality of appeal to all men, regardless of their national differences; universality of time from then till the end of the world; and universality of obligation. That the Christian Church had not yet become universal in extent, from the viewpoint of geographical expansion, in the time of Christ did not make it any the less Catholic. His Church was Catholic in principle, with the right and the duty and the power to expand even geographically over the face of the earth. One cannot expect actual geographical universality to be a fact from the very beginning, any more than one can expect the full grown oak tree to be a fact the day one plants a seedling. But the right, duty and power to expand to all the world made the Church Catholic from the viewpoint of geographical expansion, even as it was Catholic in all the other ways I have mentioned. One cannot rightly divorce the Christian religion from its essential requirement of being Catholic.

233. The term "Catholic Church" cannot of its very nature he identified with one particular Church!

True. For the word "Catholic" means "Universal", and the universal is the opposite of the particular. The Catholic Church, therefore, cannot be the Church of a particular nation. It cannot be the particular Church founded by a Martin Luther, or a John Calvin, or a Henry VIII, or a John Knox, or a John Wesley. It must be that Church which is outside all national and particular considerations; that Church which was founded by Christ Himself and has remained one and the same Church, through all the ages since the Apostles, to whatever nations or localities it has extended its activities. This one, united, universal Church is the Catholic Church to which no particular, independent and separated Churches can claim to belong. To abandon the Catholic Church yet to claim still to belong to it is impossible.

234. The Holy Catholic Church today simply means the Church which belongs to God.

It means what it meant to those who drew up the "Apostles' Creed," which includes the words: "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church." If one intends today anything other than they intended then, then he is not really thinking of the Holy Catholic Church at all. Now those who originally compiled the Apostles' Creed intended one visible Church and one only in this world. The term cannot be made to include a whole collection of different Churches, separated from one another and contradicting one another, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Christian Scientists, Witnesses of Jehovah, Salvation Army, Christadelphians, Plymouth Brethren, and so on almost indefinitely! Those who wrote the Apostles' Creed never dreamed of such a thing.

235. The Catholic Church is a body in Christ9 made up of those who are born of God, not of the will of the flesh, but of the will of the Father.

If the Catholic Church is a body in Christ, of what is it a body? It is a body of visible human beings living in this world. Therefore it is a visible body, one organic body, a definite association to which men can be known to belong. Men are born of God, not of the will of the flesh but of the will of the Father, by the visible external rite of Baptism, the Sacrament instituted by Christ in order to make men members both of Himself by grace and of His one visible Catholic Church. And if we are looking for the Holy Catholic Church in this world we must find that one visible Catholic Church. To omit all reference to the visible unity of the Church is not to talk about the Holy Catholic Church in the ordinary sense of the word.

236. There are many flocks, but one fold; many congregations, but one Church; many sheep, but one shepherd.

That happens to be true of the Catholic Church. There are many flocks, each under the care of a Catholic Bishop; but there is only one fold, that of the one Catholic Church throughout the world. There are many congregations, the Catholics of each parish under the care of their Parish Priest; but all these parishes belong to one and the same Church. There are many sheep; but all are under one shepherd, the Pope, acting in the name of the Good and Supreme Shepherd, Christ Our Lord. To interpret flocks and congregations and sheep in such a way as to include today all those Churches whose founders abandoned the Catholic-Church at the time of the Protestant reformation will not do.

237. No Church can be at once Catholic yet intolerant and exclusive.

If so there could be no Catholic Church at all. For what is a Church? A Church is essentially an association of human beings united in their religious convictions and practices. If people are united in other things, but not in their religious beliefs and practices, they will create other forms of society, whether national, or civic, or for any purposes based on common interest. But their social group will not constitute a Church. If, then, to form a Church, people must be united in religious convictions and practices, the Church as a Church must exclude from its membership those who do not share in its religious convictions and practices. If it does not do so it will not keep going as a Church but will just dissolve. Also if a Church believes in the truth of its religious convictions it cannot tolerantly admit that other people's opinions opposed to those convictions are equally true. It must be doctrinally intolerant, however tolerant its members may be towards the persons of others who do not belong to it. Truth is necessarily intolerant and exclusive of error. A Church is Catholic which has the full truth, wants all men to have it, welcomes all whatever their nationality who are willing to accept it, yet which defends that full truth by refusing to tolerate any attempts to alter or corrupt it, and excludes from her membership those who reject it. There is one Church which answers to that description; and it is the Catholic Church in the sense that comes to the mind of every normal person before he has time to start thinking how he can juggle with words to make them mean something else.

238. We object to any part of the divided Church today claiming for itself alone the title Catholic.

If one really believes in "One Holy Catholic Church" he cannot speak of "the divided Church." Unity is opposed to division. A genuine Catholic necessarily believes that his Church is one and undivided. The non-Catholic Churches are divided from Rome. They are independent of Rome. They differ from Rome in teaching, in worship and in discipline. They cannot, therefore, be part of the same Church with Rome. Nor, when it comes to practice, do non-Catholics really believe their Churches to be part of the same Church. I myself was brought up as a Protestant. I submitted to Rome. No Protestant has ever suggested that I merely went from one part of the same Church to another. I was told that I ought not to "change my religion," and I was regarded as having gone to another and distinct Church altogether.

239. On the last day Jesus Christ will not single out one particular Church, hut those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

One cannot judge the nature of the Church Christ established in this world from His procedure at the last judgment. On the last day some good Mahometan, because he sincerely lived up to what he wrongly thought was right, will find his mistakes overlooked and himself acknowledged by Christ because of his sincerity. Are we to say that it therefore .does not matter whether a man is a Mahometan or a Christian in this world? Everyone who believes Christianity to be true would regard it as a duty to convert Mahometans to Christ even now. And as we cannot justify I^ahometanism against Christianity by the fact that on the last day there will be among the saved many good Mahometans who did not know any better, so we cannot justify Protestant Churches as opposed to the Catholic Church on the score that there will be many good Protestants who did not know any better numbered among the saved. In discussing the Church we must confine ourselves to that subject, and not jump to another subject altogether—that of the last judgment.

240. The Church, to be Catholic, must be above the nations, and welcome all races with their treasures of faith, truth and beauty.

It must welcome all peoples without distinction, not with what as non-Catholics they have hitherto believed to be their treasures of faith, truth and beauty, but to the real treasures of faith and truth and beauty contained in the religion of Christ. And of course to be Catholic it must not be a national Church, but one above all merely national considerations. There is one Church which complies with these requirements, the Catholic Church over which presides that Bishop who is successor of St. Peter the Apostle, the present Bishop of Rome, Pope Pius XII. To believe anything else is to contradict Scripture, to ignore history, and to violate reason. In the end, it is the Catholic Church in this sense of the word, or nothing.



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