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

Dogmatic spirit of the Catholic Church

315. It is the thing itself you are discussing which is the scandal today. We object to dogmas of any kind.

The objection is quite unreasonable.

316. In her dogmatic intolerance the Roman Catholic Church thinks everyone out of step except herself.

She declares everyone to be religiously out of step who contradicts the teaching of Christ. If she claims that she alone is the infallible exponent of the teaching of Christ, she proves that it is also the teaching of Christ that she herself was meant to be that infallible exponent throughout all the ages.

317. She accepts no compromise.

That is true where it is a question of the truth revealed by God. There she has no right to compromise. She is the guardian of that truth, not the author of it. Once God has declared something to be true, she denies that she herself, or anybody else, has the right to tamper with it, or distort it, or contradict it.

318. This dogmatic attitude results in a religious training which leads to all the evils of sheer sectarianism.

That is not true. It is quite possible to give a religious training which in no way results in any spirit of sectarianism. But it is not possible to give a religious training which is not dogmatic. For one simply cannot train a child to live religiously without any definite teaching of religious truth in the light of which the child must live! The moment you tell a child that there is a God whom we must love and serve, you are being dogmatic. If you refuse to be that dogmatic, you cannot give a child a religious training at all.

319. It is far better to have a wholesome hatred of that sectarian spirit which paralyzes thought and dries up the springs of charity in the human heart.

Any sectarian spirit which paralyzes thought and dries up the springs of charity in the human heart should undoubtedly be rejected. But that does not mean that one must reject a dogmatic religion and refuse to have any definite religious convictions at all. Let us have charity by all means. But the Christian religion is not an utterly vague and indefinite thing. It stands for something, and you cannot state that something without stating a dogmatic teaching.

320. That's all very well. But the dogmas of Rome are merely the traditions of men offered to the world instead of the Bible.

The divine and Apostolic traditions handed down in the Catholic Church are not merely the traditions of men, nor are they offered as a substitute for Holy Scripture. It is simply a fact of history that God never gave Scripture apart from tradition. Scripture merely recorded a part of the original Apostolic teachings. I am speaking here, of course, of the New Testament. And it is a false scripturalism which would stake all on the Bible alone. The Bible, interpreted officially by the living voice of the Catholic Church in accordance with Apostolic tradition, is the only way to understand the Bible itself, for only in that way was the Bible first given to us.

321. Rome has been adding its dogmas all through the ages.

Not in the seme of adding new teachings out of harmony with the traditional doctrines received from Christ and the Apostles. You must remember that men have intelligence and that by the sheer progress of thought the meaning of the original teachings has been more clearly seen and stated. This may appear to have resulted in an enlarged body of doctrine, but it has not meant any alteration of basic teachings. Whenever the development of ideas has got on to wrong lines, with the consequent danger of corrupting basic doctrines, then the Catholic Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has stepped in and defined as a dogma, or a definite truth and an Article of Faith, the correct sense of Christian teaching. So the great definitions of the Faith given by the Catholic Church have neither added to nor altered the original Christian revelation, but have preserved and safeguarded it against corruption.

322. Let men read the Bible sincerely and of itself it will speak to them of God.

That is just what it will not do. No book can speak, or correct those who are reading wrong meanings into it. The authors of the New Testament, who wrote down part of God's revelation, were members of the Church Christ established; and it is in the teachings of that Church—the Catholic Church-that we find the real meaning of what they wrote. The living Church can speak to us. A dead and silent book cannot.

323. It all seems so dreadfully complex. Twelve poor uneducated men formed the true Church in the first place. Why the need of so much study and learning today?

Not all twelve Apostles could be called uneducated men. Some of them were simple fishermen. But St. Matthew had sufficient education to be an official in the Roman taxation department, and to write the first Gospel in Hebrew and also, later on, in Greek. St. John also had sufficient education to write the fourth Gospel in Greek, and in addition to that the Book of Revelation. You must remember, too, that the twelve Apostles were given three years training by Christ Himself and had additional and most profound doctrines of the Christian religion miraculously revealed to them afterwards by the Holy Spirit, sent upon them by Christ after His ascension to teach them all truth. We, who have not been taught miraculously, must study and learn the religion which has been handed down through the ages from the Apostles.



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