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

Religion and education

483. The matters with which you have been dealing raise the whole problem of the impact of dogmatic religion on educational policy.

I am more than willing to deal with any questions concerning that problem.

484. Is not all religion based on creed?

It is. So is everything else. Creed means belief in what one considers to be true. All that a man does depends on what he believes. If a man steps aside to avoid being knocked down by a car, his action is dictated by I a belief in the existence of the car, of its approach, and of the harm that will result from being hit by it. People who attack the association of religion with education are acting according to their own creed, an unproved and unprovable belief that sound education is necessarily irreligious I and materialistic.

485. Education, on the other hand, is based wholly and solely on the development of an inquiring mind.

No one could reasonably accept that. Education requires the formation of the complete human being, in bodily deportment, mental capacity, heart, will and character. All along the line there are basic facts to be imparted, and which must be learned and known, whether the child goes on to think out their implications or not. It is better, of course, if the child is I stimulated to think things out for itself in particular matters; but it is not the whole of education that the child should be stimulated to do so.

486. It follows that religion and education are opposites.

Your ideas of education are at fault. Of course, if a person is a secularist, convinced that only an irreligious education can truly be called education, then he will believe that religion and education are opposites. But he has merely transplanted the opposition between religion and his own irreligion into the field of education. He cannot expect of others an uncritical acceptance of his dogmatic assertion merely on the basis of his own irreligious assumptions. For the rest, if religion has any validity at I all, it is as integral to education as any other subject.

487. Your religious creed is proposed as sacred and cannot be attacked by inquiry.

Firstly, inquiry does not attack. It inquires. Secondly, however sacred the truths of the Catholic creed may be to those who believe in them, anyone is quite free to inquire about them, and inquire into them. The fact that many of the wisest of men have devoted their lives to the intelligent investigation both of the grounds for belief in them, and of the full significance of each of those truths, is enough to refute the foolish statement that religion excludes inquiry. That the teachings of the creed are accepted as definite truths does not prove that religion is opposed to inquiry. If it did, one could argue that the many accepted facts of science which are not to be called into question prove that science is opposed to inquiry.

488. Healthy curiosity and eagerness to understand in terms of its own interest and experience are the basis of a child's education.

Healthy curiosity and eagerness to understand are a condition contributing towards the success of a child's education; but they are not its basis. That is to be found in teaching a child what it does not yet know whether from the viewpoint of knowledge or of behavior. The child must be got beyond its own interest and experience, and be made to realize that they are insufficient as a criterion by which to interpret the vast world of reality beyond them.

489. The true educator does not say: "This is true because I say it is so" but encourages the expression of doubts and difficulties, and seeks to meet them at the child's own level.

The true educator teaches his pupils what he knows quite well to be right, declares it to be right, and insists upon their learning what he has put before them. To help them to understand his teaching more fully, and grasp why it is right, he encourages his pupils to tell him of their difficulties and seeks to solve them in a way they can understand. If their degree of education is not yet sufficient to enable them to comprehend fully what he tells them, he assures them that they will see it later on for themselves, but bids them in the meantime to accept his authority for it and learn it. To encourage children to express their difficulties and to seek to solve them does not exclude authoritative teaching on the part of a master. Both positions are possible.

490. Professor Anderson, in his philosophy class at Sydney University, said that the teaching of religion in a school is liable to prevent a student from thinking for himself.

That is the strangest of all strange delusions. One thinks in order to arrive at the truth. Having got the truth on any particular subject, one has not still to go on thinking in order to get it, but he goes on thinking about it, penetrating more deeply into its significance and working out its applications in practice. Some people speak as if to get the truth were a crime because one still hasn't got to be looking for it! The teaching of definite knowledge on any subject is to save people the trouble of thinking out for themselves what has already been discovered, and to enable them to go on thinking from there. That is equally true of science as it is of religion. It is folly to imagine that every bit of definite knowledge we get leaves us less free to think. It leaves less room for erroneous thinking and gives additional food for correct thinking. It provides an extra bit of territory on which to walk and adds to the fulness of a man's mental world.

491. He said that education was concerned with development, inquiry and investigation.

Education is concerned with development, but not with a lop-sided development. Mere knowledge of the purely natural sciences will not produce good men. The evils rampant in the world are due, not to lack of knowledge, but to a fundamental disorder in the will. Education, unless it embraces moral and religious training, could quite well produce no more than a clever scoundrel. Moreover, it is not true that education is concerned with inquiry and investigation. At school children are taught on the authority of their textbooks and teachers what is already known to be true from the inquiry and investigations of previous generations. Having learned at school the knowledge we inherit from the past, and having developed their own faculties whilst doing so, they can progress by inquiry and investigation in their maturer years to further discoveries. Professor Anderson was not even talking ordinary common-sense.

492. He declared that religion's chief aim was the limitation of inquiry.

Addressing the "British Association for the Advancement of Science," the distinguished physicist, Lord Rayleigh, said: "That the lifelong beliefs of Newton, of Faraday, and of Maxwell, are inconsistent with the scientific habit of mind is surely a proposition which I need not pause to refute." As a matter of fact, the vast majority of those whose spirit of inquiry and scientific research provided the world with the wonderful discoveries of modern science have been profoundly religious men. In every branch of learning one will find an almost unending list of men who combined religion and science, and who would regard as puerile the statement that religion is concerned with the limitation of inquiry.

493. "Religion puts up a notice" he explained, "saying 'Here Inquiry Must Stop. This Is Not To Be Examined!' "

The Professor has imagined a world of make-believe all for himself! The Catholic religion declares that God has revealed certain truths about Himself and about man which man could not discover merely from a study of this universe. And it declares that those truths, though in no way against reason, are above reason in the sense that we will only partially understand them in this life. Now far from saying: "Here Inquiry Must Stop. This Is Not To Be Examined," the Catholic Church says: "Inquire, examine, employ your reason by studying the motives of credibility. Sift the evidence. Make sure that God has indeed spoken. Having made sure of that, believe what God has said because He has said it. Yet even then do not stop your inquiry and examination. Without denying what God has said, try to penetrate more and more deeply into its significance, grasping ever more profoundly its meaning and its practical application to your own lives." The trouble with men like Professor Anderson is that their own inquiries have stopped before they have acquired sufficient knowledge to discuss the subject intelligently.

494. "Dogmatic religion" he complains, "sets up certain things as sacred, not to he called into question, and therefore not open to observation."

The Catholic Church certainly declares religious truths revealed by God to be sacred. But there is an immense difference between a truth "not to be called in question," and "asking questions about it." We can make all the inquiries we like about any revealed religious truth, however sacred it may be. Even in natural science there are dozens of facts not to be called in question, but that does not prove that science is opposed to inquiry. As for sacred truths not being open to observation, what does the Professor mean? Does he mean that they cannot be seen with our bodily eyes, or touched and weighed and measured like material objects? If so, his own theories of education are not open to "observation" in that sense. But if he means "intelligent investigation" the fact that the wisest of men have devoted their lives to the intelligent investigation of the sacred truths of religion is enough to refute him.

495. "People laugh," he says, "at a child's question: 'Who made God?' But the child is asking a sensible question."

The child is behaving quite sensibly on the inadequate supposition, quite intelligible in a little child, that because all else around it has beerl explained as having been made, God, too, must have been made. The ignorant Papuan also is behaving quite sensibly when, on hearing a voice! from a gramaphone for the first time, he asks how a human being can be locked up in so small a box. The better-informed white man laughs uproariously at the Papuan's simplicity as people laugh at the little child's simplicity. But what of that?

496. "When, however, the child is told that no one made God" the Professor triumphantly declares, "he is simply being told to stop, thinking !"

Not at all. He is being told to think again; and to think far more profoundly than before. He is encouraged to think his way past the limits; of inquiry these secularist Professors would impose upon him; to think his way past all merely visible things which cannot explain themselves*.; past all secondary causes which are themselves effects of other causes, and lift his mind to the Supreme Cause who is not an effect, but who is selfexistent and the source of all other reality, of all truth and beauty and goodness. And the truth about God provides him with a further field of inexhaustible inquiry. Far from being told to stop thinking, the one danger is that he will do so, shirking the mental effort and contenting himself with a much smaller field for his rational activities than he should.

497. Even if dogmatic religion does not cripple the intelligence, it is bound to prove morally degrading. Two possible courses only are open to the child. Either he can pretend cynically to believe what he does not really believe, or credulously accept it merely because he is told it.

A Catholic child certainly has not got to choose either of those alternatives. The Catholic child, duly instructed in his religion, really believes the doctrines he has been taught. There is no cynical pretense about it at all. Those doctrines are a living vital reality in the child's life. On the other hand, the child does not credulously accept those doctrines merely because told them. It will, of course, be useless to tell unbelievers that the grace of God enlightens the mind of a Catholic child to recognize for itself the truth of the teachings of Christ, a perception which of its very nature excludes am/ charge of mere credulity. Unbelievers will reject such an appeal to the supernatural. They will accuse the child of credulity unless natural and purely rational motives can be produced for its acceptance of the religious teachings put before it. Very well. The Catholic child at least has a sound rational motive in its realization of the fact that in teaching the Catholic Faith the teacher is not merely explaining his own individual opinions, or the doctrine of a particular man-made sect, but the official teachings of that vast Church which is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, to which innumerable Saints and Doctors and Martyrs in every age have belonged. Those who have never been Catholics and have never had this experience may deny that it is possible for a small child to apprehend such a motive. But Catholic children do apprehend it, not indeed with the clarity of an adult who has deeply studied the subject, but sufficiently for the purposes of a true moral certainty which eliminates mere credulity.

498. By its dogmatism and its attacks on common-sense your religion drives a child in the direction of phantasy and deceitfulness, and makes it afraid of experience.

That is a dogmatic opinion which is itself opposed to common-sense, and which merely panders to those who are afraid of religious experience and who themselves seek refuge in phantasy and self-deception. Pascal made a truly profound remark when he said that in the end there are two classes of men, those who fear to lose God and those who fear to find God.

499. The furtive mentality of the bullied child is characteristic of all those on whom any religious belief has been imposed.

If to have had any religious beliefs taught one as a child, one could look for this "furtive mentality of the bullied child" in a statesman like William Gladstone, a scientist like Pasteur, a clergyman like Pastor Niemoller, a writer like G. K. Chesterton, in military leaders like Field Marshal Montgomery or General MacArthur, or even in the present President of the United States, General Eisenhower!

500. Religion tells a child that certain lines of conduct are good and to be followed simply because God commands them.

And quite rightly. What is the virtue of obedience? It is that virtue by which we submit to the authority of one acting within the limits of his lawful jurisdiction. All human authority is within a limited sphere. But the authority of God is absolute. And we are obliged to obey His commands because they are His commands, and not merely because we happen to approve of what He commands. If obedience depended on our approval, we would be justified in rebelling against God's Law as often as we disapproved of it - and that would be the end of obedience altogether. Not God's will, but our own will would be the norm of our conduct, and God's authority as such would count for nothing in our lives.

501. It would not be so bad if teachers explained to children that God, being good, necessarily wills what is good; and that they themselves therefore must decide which actions are good ones and which are bad ones, and do the good ones.

That again involves the blasphemy that God has authority only provided we approve of what He commands. It is true that God, being good, can will only what is good. But the practical conclusion for us is that what God wills must be good. And once we know God's will, there is no room for human speculation as to whether it is good or not. For us, the manifestation of God's will at once imposes on us the duty of obedience to it and the acknowledgment of His authority. It is useful to train children to form right estimates of good and bad actions; but it would be fatal to leave them with the idea that their approval or disapproval is the deciding factor as to what is good or bad, and that they can suspend obedience to God's known laws until they decide whether what He commands meets with their approval or not. Once God's law is known we owe it obedience because it is His law.

502. As it is, the child becomes conscious of God as a policeman he cannot dodge.

That is a prejudiced and fanciful way of saying that religion makes children conscientious, and that wherever they may be they will not be able to escape a sense of responsibility to God. Is it such a dreadful thing that, if a person does evil, even when no fellow human being observes it, he should experience a sense of guilt? And what can become of a society which has lost the most solid of its guarantees, a sense of the moral law of God? Listen to this candid admission. Marique Schterenstedt, a Swedisbi author, writing in the "Veko Journalen," in 1935, records the verdict oil a Soviet directress of a godless elementary school. This directress said: "As a child I received a religious education, but I emancipated myself from the trammels of a religious faith. Now, when I see perverse, cruel, coarse, insolent children, most of whom are little thieves, I do not know what to do with them, or how to control them. We have renounced the ten commandments of God, and have entirely repudiated the doctrine of charity. But how can I bring home to the children that stealing is wrong, and that one ought not to be insolent? The children give intelligent answers to ordinary questions, but is the present system fashioning men better and more thoroughly? No, a thousand times no." No civilization can last wjthout moral forces influencing souls and consciences; and these moral forces cannot be separated from religion. The love of God is the greatest driving force for producing the love of our fellow men; and to close heaven from which it radiates will throw the world back to brutality and barbarism.

503. Religion only breeds intolerance. Christian dogmatists themselves, even whilst saying that Christian ethics teach charity and sympathy, are never tired of denouncing those who advocate secular education only.

You overlook the distinction between sin and the sinner; between error and the person who holds it. Christian ethics nowhere commend tolerance of irreligion or sympathy for the blatant unbelief of those who mock God and Christianity. Towards the persons of unbelievers we are bidden to be tolerant, sympathizing with them in the mental state for which possibly their upbringing has been responsible. But whilst we are obliged to do our best to find an excuse for them which will mitigate their moral responsibility, we are certainly not obliged to be tolerant towards their contempt for religion, and to have so little understanding as to allow them to control the education of our children in favor of secularism and irreligion.

504. Paul Blanshard shows in his book, "Communism, Democracy and Catholic Power," that the imposition of any creed (whether it be Communism or Catholicism) is very useful to the ruling order in any society.

That Paul Blanshard can see any parallel between Catholicism and Communism shows how little he knows of Catholicism. Communism denies; God and acknowledges no authority or law above that of the State. Catholicism declares that all men, rulers and ruled alike, societies as well as individuals, are subject to the law of God. Rulers have duties and obligations to God and to their subjects the violation of which can take them to hell as well as anybody else. As for the ruling order finding Catholicism so useful, or any form of Christianity for that matter, why are Communists, in their efforts to gain supreme and despotic control, determined to stamp it out? Why, in Russia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, are Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic churchmen flung into prison or shot as traitors; i.e., as not being useful to the ruling order?

505. Religious discipline is commonly allied with patriotic discipline.

Surely you will not deny that there is a true patriotic discipline. The citizen who, through love of his country and devotedness to its welfare, is moved voluntarily to observe its just laws, has a genuine spirit of patriotic discipline. But for your consolation I can assure you that patriotic discipline does not require subservience to unjust laws imposed by tyrannical rulers who manifestly exceed the due limits of legitimate authority.

506. The enforcing of discipline is, therefore, the function of the Catholic religion in education.

That is not true. A spirit of discipline is the outcome of a spirit of obedience, and obedience is but one of the moral virtues, annexed to the cardinal virtue of justice, the observance of which is one of the byproducts of Catholic religious training. To pretend that the function of religion is limited to the production of only one of its by-products is absurd. Again, even where obedience is concerned, the Catholic religion is essentially interested in an observance of law and order which is voluntary. It does not inculcate an obedience which is due only to physical compulsion. If people do not yield to the influence of their religion, if they will not voluntarily fulfill their duties, then the Catholic Church as such has no means of enforcing discipline. That becomes a matter for parents, teachers or State authorities. Yet more. The Catholic religion insists that obedience is due primarily to the law of God and that any human legislation which conflicts with the law of God must be resisted. No value attaches to statements which ignore these necessary distinctions as if they did not exist.

507. Your religion of dogma accordingly spreads the habit of submission, which induces people to accept authority without questioning.

You could launch the same attack on the obedience of children to their parents, of pupils to their teachers, of soldiers to their officers, of citizens to the laws of their country. All forms of discipline could fall under the same extravagant condemnation. But let us take the subject of the Catholic religion. That religion does not spread the habit of submission always, everywhere, to everybody, in everything. It demands submission to the law of God and refusal of submission to everybody and everything opposed to the law of God. It obliges obedience to parental and civil authority within their lawful limits-. And it insists that those possessing authority must not abuse it. Religion does not exist to help those in office to establish themselves permanently in a position of authority which they may use for their own profit and advantage. It insists that authority must be exercised for the benefit of the governed, directing society for the common good. If all authority is to be condemned, then the logical result would be anarchy and the destruction of all law and order.

508. This is why religious training in religious schools can easily result in political exploitation.

Such a notion is false both in theory and in fact. Theoretically, religion insists on the absolute authority of God as superior to that of all men on this earth. If rulers or politicians bring in any law, or try to impose any measures, opposed to the law of God, then religion demands that God must be obeyed rather than man. But deny God's absolute authority, grant absolute authority to the State, or to any group of individuals which gets control of the machinery of government, and then indeed the way is open to political exploitation. That your statement is false in fact history itself proves. I will give you only one instance. Anyone who knows English history knows that it was Archbishop Stephen Langton of Canterbury! in England's Catholic days, who resisted the tyranny of King John and forced him to sign the "Magna Charta," safeguarding the people against that tyrant's political exploitation. It was to religion that the English people owed that great vindication of their liberties.

509. The teaching of religion must have an important politico character because it promotes an extension of credulity, which is a very desirable thing from the point of view of the ruling order.

I wish you had been able to go to Russia and convince Stalin of that. Far from finding the teaching of religion a very desirable thing, he knew that he could not succeed completely in his political exploitation of the people so long as they acknowledged any authority superior to his. So he suppressed all religious schools and banished the teaching of religion in any schools. He ridiculed, mocked, vilified and persecuted those who adhered to religion, boasting that he would stamp it out of existence. You yourself could not have dictated a more ardent campaign for the destruction of religion than that undertaken by Stalin precisely because it was not a desirable thing "from the point of view of the ruling order."

510. Have you ever thought of how great an evil it is for you to have your separate religious schools in this country, where we are all Americans, in order to keep people religiously divided?

Catholic schools do not exist in order to keep people religiously divided. Their purpose is to see that Catholics are thoroughly instructed in their religion as well as in other necessary matters. The fact that we are] all Americans does not mean that we must all have one and the same religion whether we like it or not. And if it is lawful for a Catholic to be a Catholic in this country, it is better for him to be a thoroughly well-instructed and good Catholic than to be an ignorant and bad one.

511. Protestants do not attack the right of Catholics to be Catholics. They object only to Catholic schools because they further divide the people.

So long as Catholics remain Catholics and Protestants remain Protestants religious divisions among the people "will be exactly the same whether there are Catholic schools or not. The better instructions of Catholics in their religion would make no difference to that. The only way in which religious differences in this country can be abolished is by everyone of us adopting the same religion, whatever religion that might be, or by everyone of us abandoning religion of any kind and being of no religion.

512. Recently Protestant leaders in Australia said that they were content with the purely secular system of government schools there; yet that Roman Catholics insisted on maintaining their own separate religious schools there. Why could not Roman Catholics be equally content?

The Protestant leaders you have mentioned are not content with the present secular system of education in Australia. Repeatedly and publicly they have blamed it for the immense driftage of people from their own Churches into religious indifference. The Anglican "Church Times" recently quoted an episcopal pronouncement that "the Anglican laity are the most poorly instructed in Christendom"; whilst Canon Bryan Green, a recent visitor to Australia, said that "the average student substituted confusionism for religion," having no more than "little bits of ideas about little bits of religion." Whilst they do not like the secular system of education, however, they object to the Catholic school system which Catholics have the generosity to maintain, a generosity they cannot get their own people to imitate.

513. Is it because you are afraid Catholics will grow out of their Romish superstitions if they are not being constantly told about them?

Catholics regard it as not less important that succeeding generations of Catholics should be well-instructed in the Christian religion than that they should be adequately taught other and secular subjects. Your description of the Catholic religion as "Romish" and as "superstitious" is due to your lack of knowledge concerning it.

514. You have repeatedly said that secularism is the great danger to this country from within.

That is true. What are known as the democracies have unfortunately I largely become pagan countries. I do not mean that they are adopting religious paganism, substituting a pagan religion for the Christian religion. If Nor are they positively anti-Christian. They are simply throwing Christianity away and ignoring religion altogether. And Australia, just as the other democracies, is rapidly becoming a godless country, even though it does not proclaim open warfare against God.

515. You attribute that to our system of secular education.

Secular education has undoubtedly been a major factor in producing religionless Australians. Let me quote for you two very prominent men, one in England and the other in America, both of them non-Catholics. In a broadcast address from the B.B.C., shortly before his death, Archbishop Temple of Canterbury said: "Modern English culture regards faith in God as a dispensable indulgence. This reaches its climax in our educational system. We have supposed that it is possible to provide education which is religiously neutral, to which religion can then be added in greater or less measure. But, in fact, an education which is not religious is atheistic; there is no middle way. If you give to children an account of the world from which God is left out, you are teaching them to understand the world without reference to God." According to Archbishop Temple, therefore, the fruit of secular education is a generation of godless atheists in the end. Let us now turn to Walter Lippman, the noted American author. Not long ago, in an address at Philadelphia, he spoke as follows: "Modern man, as turned out by our secular schools and as he is shaped by the prevailing popular culture, is a being who lives not according to reason but only to get more and more satisfaction. The secular man, who obeys his impulses, knows no reason that transcends his wishes, and has as his chief article of faith an ideal of secular progress, is now dominant in the world. Men cannot remain civilized when they have rejected the culture of their civilization; when they no longer discipline themselves and their children in the tradition which comes to them from the Prophets and the Saints, and the Teachers and the Philosophers, and the Discoverers, who raised Western Man out of barbarism." The fruits of secular education, which Archbishop Temple has perceived in England, and Walter Lippman in America, are clearly evident, to all who have eyes to see in Australia and in America.

516. Why have people who were Christians turned to secularism?

That is explained to a very great extent as a logical result of the Protestant Reformation, with the uncertainty in religion, the endless divisions of the Protestant denominations, and the loss of faith on the part of multitudes of their adherents. But whilst the adoption of secularism! is largely explained by this, it is not excused by it. The sight of the trouble to which the Reformation led should have inspired men, not to abandon religion altogether, but to return to the Catholic Church our forefather should never have left.

517. At a recent Methodist Rally in the Sydney Town Hall the Rev A. E. Vogt said that hundreds of thousands of Australians have "walked out on God."

He was deploring the ever-growing neglect of religion amongst members of the non-Catholic Churches. But I do not think it fair to say to these people that they have "walked out on God." The truth is that the Churches are reaping the fruit of their acceptance of a merely secular educational system, and of their neglect of the due religious instruction and training of their children.

518. He said that many would oppose Communism, not on religious grounds in which they are not interested, but only on economic and political grounds.

That could not apply to Catholics who oppose Communism far more on religious grounds than on economic and political grounds; though oil course they make full allowance for the latter also. And although what! Mr. Vogt said is largely true, there are many good Protestants who share the Catholic viewpoint in this matter.

519. Did not Mr. Sanders, the elected member for Willoughby, denounce you some time ago in the Parliament of N.S.W., declaring that your statements on the State educational system cast a reflection on the morals of all the scholars who had attended them?

He did. But why did he not denounce the various Protestant ministers ! who have made statements of the same nature as my own, and equally as strong? To make such a protest only when a Catholic priest says what they also have said makes it difficult to avoid the conclusion that it was a question, not of what was said, but of the religion of the one who said it, Needless to say, he had no right to distort my criticism of State education into a condemnation of the morals of all who have attended State schools. It is one thing to trace a high percentage of failures back to a faulty system of secular education; quite another to conclude that therefore all who have received that education are corrupt. Many will be good in spite of the faulty system of education in State schools, whether by sheer force of natural character, or the corrective influence of a good home. But that does not justify our defective system of secular education.

520. You said that the increase in juvenile delinquency was not to be wondered at, as no moral code was taught in the State schools.

In discussing that matter, I said that the first place to seek the cause ! of juvenile delinquency will be in the training of the children; and II declared our religionless and secular educational system to be the cause j to a great extent. In support of that I quoted a letter written to me by a Protestant lawyer who deplored the prevalence of juvenile delinquency* insisted that the State school child has simply not been taught the moral law as a definite part of his education, and declared that he would like to see a text-book explaining the ten commandments made compulsory in every school throughout Australia.

521. What right have you to say such things?

The right of any citizen to point out what is to the harm of his country and what will be to its good. But if you are going to blame me for this, at least be impartial and blame all others who say the same thing. In a recent book, Mr. Sidney Dark, former editor of the "Church i Times," an Anglican periodical, said: "In the Church today there is a '] widespread interest in efforts to secure the teaching of religion in all the j schools. There is a new and also widespread feeling outside the Church of England that the nation has suffered morally from the common abandon- > ment of definite religious teaching. Nonconformists, who before the last war were bitterly opposed to the Church on this matter of education, are - now largely in agreement." At the recent Methodist Conference in Sydney the Rev. Alan Walker said that because religion and education had been separated, Australia was rapidly becoming pagan. And he added these strong words: "The Christian faith should be taught as a regular subject in the curriculum. The Sunday School and denominational schools are no longer a sufficient answer to the need of the day. To redesign the educational system on a Christian basis will mean a revolution, but a revolution in this field has long been overdue."

522. Why was a secular system of education adopted at all?

When the Government decided to make the education of all Australian children a State responsibility, it thought that, since the people of Australia professed so many different religions, the best way to avoid giving offense to anybody was to teach no religion. At the time when the Government began to appropriate revenue for the building of State schools, all the major religious bodies had their own religious schools. Protestants grasped at the free education offered by the State, thus sparing themselves the expense of maintaining their own religious schools; but Catholics, more deeply convinced of the necessity of religion, continued to maintain, develop and expand their own religious schools, despite their having to do so at their own expense and without any financial assistance from the Government.

523. Since secularism is so disastrous, ought not the teaching of religion to be introduced into the State schools?

That is a very difficult problem. Religion cannot be taught under the auspices of a Government which constitutionally declares that it does not officially recognize any religion. Nor can any definite religion be taught by State school teachers of any religion or none. The only feasible plan is for Churches interested enough in the religious welfare of their people to establish their own religious schools, to exist side by side with the State schools. The people would thus have a choice between sending their children to religious schools or to secular schools. Of course this would call for self-sacrifice on the part of those who believe in religious education; but if they believed in their religion enough they would not grudge that. Catholics at least have shown the strength of their convictions in this matter.

524. Surely people should wake up to the fact that the teaching of religion is a matter of ordinary prudence.

If the motive were no more than one of prudence or expediency, such, an idea would have to be rejected. The breakdown of social life and1 morality in almost every field may fill people with alarm. But we must not think of God merely as a means towards bolstering up a social fabric threatening to collapse. There is an old saying that honesty is the best policy, but that once it becomes mere policy it ceases to be honesty. For then it is not love of what is right for its own sake; it is doing what is right so long as it pays! Religion is not like that. It must be taught first and foremost because it is right that it should be. To overlook that and to dwell on the temporal advantages of religion to the community is to promote religion on a false basis. We would be religious utilitarians, and encourage others in similar folly.

525. Is not the character of the citizens in any country of supreme importance?

It is very important, but not the supremely important thing in itself, A sound religious training has, as one of its results, the formation of a good character. But religion must not be valued merely as an ingredient for producing good citizens. The main purpose of religion is to inspire men to love, worship and glorify God, to avoid all that cOuld displease God, and to attain to an eternal destiny of happiness with God. If men conscientiously serve God, then as a result they will be found to be! devoted to all lesser duties in social and domestic life. The religious motive, therefore, must be the fact that God is God, and that we exist to serve Him; not that He exists to serve us.

526. Protestants could not face the alternative you have suggested. Catholics already have their religious schools, with the cost spread over preceding generations. It would be too costly now for Protestants to establish religious schools in sufficient numbers for their needs. Their children must continue going to the public schools and they want religion taught there.

Religion could not be taught successfully in the public schools, even were the Government ever to permit it.

527. Could it not be taught as a subject just like other subjects?

Whilst religion is just as much a subject as other subjects, it retains its difference in nature from other subjects, just as they in turn differ among themselves. For example, geography, theory of music, history and literature may all be equally subjects, but they are not like each other in character or in method of approach.

528. It would not be necessary for teachers who taught religion to believe in it themselves.

No public school teachers, of course, could be compelled to believe in religion.. But if they did not believe in it they should not be permitted to teach it. Children are influenced by the beliefs and convictions of those who teach them much more than by mere words. No religious teaching will influence the lives of the children as it should unless inspired by sincere belief. The children will be quick to detect the cynical attitude of an unbelieving teacher; and that teacher would really be teaching, not religion, but irreligion.

529. A University professor of philosophy said recently that if Protestant agitation to get religion taught in our public schools were successful, then religion should be taught in a secular manner, divorced from all notions of sacred authority.

That is to suggest, not the teaching of religion, but teaching about religion. The idea of teaching it in a secular manner is to prevent children from developing any spirit of reverence for it, and from experiencing any sense of duty towards God. But the true idea of teaching religion is precisely to give children a religious outlook, making them conscious of a personal relationship with God, aware that He is their Father, that they are destined for eternal life with Him, and that they should love and serve Him even now. Religion is not a secular thing and it cannot be divorced from the notion of God's authority. To try to teach it in the way the professor suggests would not be to teach religion at all.

530. He said that the idea of "Sacred Books" would have to be rejected, and a general view of all religions would have to be given.

He has jumped from the question of teaching of religion to the comparative study of religions, a very different matter. Christians, who demand the Christian education of their children, do not ask for a comparative study of all religions. The Christian education of a child demands that the Christian religion be made a part of that child's training, not that it should be taught about other and false religions. And far from being rejected, the idea that the Bible is a "Sacred Book" would have to be insisted upon.

531. He granted that if the Bible were treated as literature, and subjected to criticism as regards literary form and the matter it contains, it could be useful.

The professor in question subscribes to the secular dogma that the one great evil in the world is religious dogma. Were the children given the impression he desires, namely, that the Bible has no greater value than its literary value, they would receive a quite erroneous impression. And it is not the purpose of education to give erroneous impressions. The Bible contains a divine revelation dealing with the relationships between God and man, and explaining man's condition, duties and eternal destiny. It is this divine message of the Bible which must be taught, and which your professor does not want to be taught.

532. He said the Gospels should be put before the children as a series of stories of a folk-lore character.

Since they are not that, they should not be put before the children as that. Atheists may have adopted such a view. But whence did they derive it? Certainly not from anything resembling reliable evidence. As a matter of fact, the rationalist criticism of the Gospels was never really scientific, and has never advanced any but specious arguments. It was never scientific, for it was poisoned by presuppositions with which science had nothing to do. It was prejudiced against the supernatural and in favor of a theory of religious development quite against historical facts. Rationalist critics calmly gave out to the world as certain what was merely their own guesswork based upon the most unscientific assumptions. And the idea that the Gospels are but a series of stories of a folk-lore character has no better foundation than that.

533. He said that a child would get some understanding of ethics by seeing the weakness of Christian morality; of religion by seeing the failure to reconcile the natural and the supernatural; and of science by realizing the absurdity of miracle and prophecy.

Were the Christian religion taught as it should be, the child would get a right idea of ethics by being taught its principles and by being shown the weakness of depraved theories opposed to those principles. Far from seeing any failure to reconcile the natural and the supernatural, the child would see that the supernatural is not opposed to the natural but presupposes and perfects it. And the study of miracle and prophecy would help towards an understanding of the limits Of the field within which our natural sciences can operate.

534. He added that he felt sure Christian educationalists did not want the kind of religious teaching he advocated, because they wanted instruction rather than education; that is, the child's acceptance of a particular religious creed.

Christian educationalists are not interested in instruction rather than in education. They want Christian children educated as Christians, with a knowledge and understanding of their Christian faith, a love for it, and the will to practice it in their daily lives.

535. They wish Christianity, and it alone, not other religions, to be presented as something beyond question, not as a subject of critical study upon which the child can exercise its own intelligence.

They wish Christianity to be taught to Christian children. Believing in Christ's divine authority, they naturally do not want His religion to be taught as merely on the same level as man-made substitute religions. The fact that children are taught that their Christian religion is alone the true religion does not prevent them from making it the object of sound critical study without any trace of skepticism nor from using their own intelligence to secure a greater understanding of it. It is a glaring fallacy to imagine that a critical study and intelligent consideration Of things already known to be true are impossible.

536. It would be difficult to present the Christian religion to school children as the true religion to be accepted by them in any other way than an authoritarian one.

Naturally. But what is wrong with that? I do not remember a single subject in the curriculum, during my school days, that was not presented in an authoritarian way. In a very authoritarian way the master in the State schools I attended told us what we had to know and believe in history and geography, how we were to write English, the methods we were to employ in arithmetic, and so on with all else; and implicitly we accepted and tried to apply all that the teacher authoritatively demanded of us. It is absurd to make a bogey of pedagogical authority the moment religion is mentioned, as though there can be no certainty of the truth of any religion, even of Christianity. Irreligious people may think in such a way, but Christians do not; and they have the right to bring up their children in the Christian religion they know to be true. As this cannot be done in the public schools, Catholics have exercised their undeniable parental rights by establishing their own religious schools wherever possible.

537. It is the Roman Catholic dogmatic attitude to which we object. We do not mind the teaching of religion; but it should be taught as an open question.

Granted that a religious doctrine has been revealed by God, it is no longer an open question as to whether it is true or not.

538. The ideal is for children to wander freely through the garden of the world's religions, feasting on the beauty and gathering blooms to adorn their minds.

If Christian parents want their children to have a religious training as Christians, the ideal is that those children should be taught thoroughly all the essential things a Christian is expected to know and to do; and that they should be induced, both by good example and earnest persuasion, to believe and to behave as Christians should. All talk of children wandering through the garden of the world's religions, feasting on beauty and gathering blooms, far from being an ideal of any kind, is rubbish.

539. Given such freedom, whatever religion they get - and it will be deep and strong - will be their own and not that of their elders.

Christians want their children to have the religion of Christ, not a religion selected by the children themselves after wandering through the world's religions which their child-intelligence could not hope to understand. It is incredible that anyone could suggest that the art of training the child of Christian parents in religion is to free the child from any training by its elders, let it study the world's religions for itself, and accept the conclusions - if any - that happen to float into its bewildered little brain! The religion children would get from that would not be deep and strong; it would not be their own; it would not be that of its elders; it would be non-existent.

540. Surely children should be trained to have open minds, and not self-satisfied minds.

They should be taught not to remain self-satisfied with an inadequate knowledge of what they ought to know. Their minds should be open to receive further worth-while knowledge they have not yet got. But they should not have minds open to everything and never certain of anything. Surely the purpose of the mind is to know the truth; and every truth known with certainty at once closes it to doubts and uncertainty on that point. What we have to do is to lessen the area of guess-work, and close open questions, not leave them open. The blank or open mind means confusion and weakness. A man thinks the more effectively the more definite knowledge he possesses, not the less he possesses.

541. An atheist told me that in Roman Catholic schools children are bribed by prizes to learn their religion.

An atheist, or anybody else, who cannot see the difference between prizes and bribes, needs to go back to school himself. A bribe is a gift to influence others unduly in order to persuade them to do something wrong. A prize is a reward in recognition of merit. The honor of winning the Davis Cup is a prize, not a bribe, offered as an incentive to tennis players. At school, prizes as an incentive to application to the study of religion are as appropriate as prizes for similar application in the study of literature, geography, history or any other subject.

542. He said that children should be left to grow to manhood and then to please themselves.

Firstly, he would not support that principle in any other subject except that of religion. Why should religion be left untaught, but no other subject? Secondly, where is the advantage in discovering only in one's manhood—if one does—the religious truth which should have been influencing one's earlier years? Many a convert to the Catholic Church has said to me: "I wish to God I had known in my younger days what I know now. Catholics do not always realize how fortunate they are in having been taught their Catholic religion from childhood." Thirdly, when God reveals the true religion through Christ our Lord, He no longer leaves men morally free to please themselves as to whether they will accept it or not. Since such moral freedom does not exist, children ought not to be left to grow to manhood and then to please themselves.

543. He said that Catholic children, left to themselves, might prefer to choose some other religion rather than the Catholic religion.

An atheist, who has no idea of what the Catholic religion really is, may talk like that. And as an atheist, of course, his hope is* that such children would choose no religion. But we Catholics know better. We know that the truth has been revealed by God through Christ, who in turn commissioned the Catholic Church to teach it to all nations. It is for us to accept that truth. And the Catholic child, as he is taught his « religion, recognizes its truth by the very principles of faith and grace that were given him in his baptism. And his life-long decision to be true to that religion does not leave him in the position of one still needing to decide what religion he will adopt, if any. It is for the atheist to go on searching.

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