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

Apostolic succession

241. You frequently speak of Roman Catholic Bishops being successors of the Apostles, but is there any real reason at all to believe that the apostolic powers were to continue in their successors?

Yes. We know that Christ established His Church and called the Apostles, devoting three years to their training. These Apostles He appointed as constitutional officials in His Church, giving them the threefold power to teach, rule and sanctify others in His name. But it is to be noted that He commissioned them, as the appointed officials of His Church, to "teach all nations" and promised to be with them "all days till the end of the world." Now it is clear that the Apostles themselves could not "teach all nations;" nor could they personally live "all days till the end of the world." Yet the Church had to continue, and with the constitution Christ had given it. It follows that the power and the authority of the Apostles must have been transmitted to their official successors. For evidence that this did happen we can scarcely look to the New Testament itself, which was written whilst the Apostles were still alive; but documents from the earliest days of the Church record the fact. Thus St. Clement of Rome, writing before the end of the 1st century, tells us that the Apostles appointed others to succeed them St. Clement knew the Apostles personally, and is himself mentioned by name in the New Testament, Philip, IV, 3. In the 2nd century St Irenaeus in his controversy with the Gnostics who claimed to possess secret doctrines derived from the Apostles, pointed out the publicly known succession of the Bishops in the Church from the Apostles, enumerating particularly the Bishops of Rome as successors of St. Peter, and declaring that no authority could belong to the teachings of those not in union with these official successors of the Apostles.

241. When Pope Marcellinus died in 304 A.D. the Chair of Peter was vacant for over three years. Where is your unbroken line of Popes from Peter to Pius XII?

Catholics do not maintain an unbroken line in the sense you have in mind. We do not hold that, after the death of one Pope, there cannot be any intervening period before the election of another. Constitutionally the Papal Office remains, whilst an unbroken continuity of Apostolic orders and jurisdiction is ever maintained in the Catholic Church.

242. You claim that there has never been a break in the continuity of the line of Popes from Peter to the present day.

We do not claim that. We claim that there has never been a break in the continuous transmission of valid priestly and episcopal orders in the Catholic Church from the Apostles themselves, a subject with which I have dealt in the previous chapter, nos. 94-101. There is bound to be a break of some kind between the death of one Pope and the election of another.

243. If a thread is broken even in one place it must be considered a broken thread.

True. Therefore the Apostolic Succession of valid priestly and episcopal orders has continued in the Catholic Church. Also, as an office, the primatial episcopal See of Rome has continued. Naturally that See is vacant between the death of one Pope and the election of another; but the office itself does not go out of existence. It continues with all its prerogatives and authority according to the constitution of the Church. Canon Law itself provides that, on the death of a Pope, some two weeks must be allowed to elapse before the election of another so that the Cardinals even from the most distant places may arrive in Rome in time for the Conclave. That break of two weeks—and it would not matter if it were two months or two years—does not mean a break in the continuity of the Papal Office.

245. A Protestant paper of Toronto, Canada, said once that a new list of Popes was published in the (iAnnuario Pontificio," official Vatican annual, in 1947.

A revised list of the names of the various Popes from the very beginning was then published by the Vatican. This new list is the fruit of many years of critical historical research. At various stages during the past twenty centuries different writers have compiled lists of the Popes until their day, relying on such authorities as were accessible to them. But there were differences between the catalogs on which they relied, sometimes due to copyists' errors, at other times due to lack of historical precision. Some were obviously content with giving an approximate list only, preferring to include rather than omit names of which they were doubtful. In 1947 Vatican scholars published the results of a comprehensive study of all ancient lists, eliminating inaccuracies whereever they had crept in.

246. This paper, "The Evangelical Christian", said that the present Pope was not even sure whether he is number 256, 257, 258, 259, or 260 in your unbroken chain.

There is no need for him to be sure of that. Protestant papers are hard put to it when they have to fall back on such supposed arguments against the Catholic Church! The fact that the Vatican itself published its own correction of previous lists of the Popes should have made the editor of "The Evangelical Christian" realize that the matter was merely one of historical research, with no bearing on the question of the truth of the Catholic Church and its claim to an unbroken succession of Papal authority from St. Peter himself. Catholics have never been required to believe in the infallibility of historians and copyists in recording or transcribing previous records of names and dates belonging to different periods of history! No intelligent scholar or theologian would dream of basing an argument against the Catholic Church on such considerations.

247. When you yourself became a Catholic, what impressed you most as evidence of the truth of the Catholic Church?

The historical argument. The more I thought over the whole matter the more convinced I became of the truth of Cardinal Newman's statement that "to be deeply read in history is to cease to be a Protestant." Christ had promised to be with His Church all days till the end of the world. The true Church, therefore, must have been in this world all days since His time and must still be here even as it will continue till the end of the world. The Catholic Church is the only Christian Church which can comply with the first of these conditions. She alone has been in this world since the time of Christ and of the Apostles; and if she is not the Church established by Christ, there never was a Church established by Him at all. Believing in the absolute truth of the Christian religion I had no option but to join the Catholic Church.

248. Is it right to call your Church the Catholic Church as you constantly do?

Yes.

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