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

Universities and religion

562. Apart from the question of religious schools for children, I would like to raise the problem of university education. Your Church has entered even that field by establishing Catholic Universities.

The Catholic Church established all the older Universities of Europe in the first place. But you have in mind, in your queries, modern neutral or non-religious Universities.

563. I take it that a University exists in order to train its students for the various professional careers they wish to adopt.

If it does not do more than that it is not strictly-speaking a "University." It is no more than a technical college. A University ought to give, not only a particular training for a particular profession, but also a universal outlook on life. Men and women should graduate from a University, not only aware of their purely sectional interests, but aware also of the relation of their work to the life of society as a whole and the needs of human existence in its totality.

564. This means that a University does not exist to teach religion.

Catholics think otherwise. They do not hold a University exists to teach religion only. But they know that religion is integral to a complete human life, and that it should have its due place in a University curriculum. But even if your secular University does not exist to teach religion, it does not exist to teach irreligion. If it teaches a philosophy at all, it should at least be impartial, giving a sound knowledge of all the philosophies with particular reference to the philosophy which has been the greatest force in building up our own civilization. By that I mean the Christian philosophy. Even if a professor did not believe in the Christian philosophy of life, he could at least try to do it justice and point out its significance.. But many professors in our secular Universities are not impartial. They stress the views of secularists, and mention Christian views only to distort them and belittle them. Not all do this, of course. But those with a Christian outlook do not take advantage of their position to propagate their views, whilst the secularists lose no opportunity of airing their contempt for Christianity. The resultant effect upon impressionable students is evident. Many have gone to our secular Universities with the Christian faith and have come away without it. I have yet to hear of any student who has gained the Christian faith by attending them, or had his faith in any way strengthened by doing so.

565. Also no modern secular University can be expected to teach the Christian code of morals.

We can at least expect even the modern secular University not to attack that code. Yet professors have done so; and the students have not been slow to exhibit the results in practice. The fruits of secularism in University education are every bit as harmful as in primary education. The result in the field of behavior, were there no other counter-acting influences, could only be spiritual and moral chaos infecting the whole of society. Secularism is one of the most dangerous weapons to be found in the armory of the devil himself. Out of that Pandora's Box of unbelief have come murders, adulteries, perjury, dishonesties, hatreds, greed, and every other kind of evil thing.

566. Such a University simply has to abstract from morals.

It cannot really do so. Man is a moral being; and his conduct will be moral or immoral according to the principles he holds. Teach him no beliefs, and his moral life will go to pieces. Teach him a wrong theory of life, and his moral conduct will be evil also. A French author, Paul Bourget, wrote a book called "The Disciple." It describes an inoffensive University professor who would not hurt a fly, yet who found himself called as a witness in a murder case involving one of his own pupils who had absorbed his teachings and put them into practice. In that pupil abstract teaching had become actual reality. The same thing is appearing on a gigantic scale in our own times. Secularism may have seemed as harmless and remote as Bourget's professor from tragedy. It merely said that God and religion did not matter and that the only reality was the world of material things. Today secularism is sweeping away the ten commandments of God, making honesty and purity out-of-date, causing contracts, private and public, national and international to be explained away, and destroying civil and religious liberty. Yet we go on with our secular education in schools and universities, de-Christianizing our democracies and fondly persuading ourselves that our civilization will survive whilst being corrupted by ourselves from within. The only remedy is the return of more and more individuals amongst us to the Christian religion in belief and practice.

567. Your attitude on these matters raises the whole question of academic freedom. University professors should not be denied the right of free speech which is accorded to all other citizens.

There must be some limitations on public utterances, no matter by whom they are made. No reasonable person could agree that an absolute right to free speech may be granted to anybody. As the community cannot grant to everyone the right to do as he likes, so it cannot grant to everyone the right to say what he pleases. Or are we to hold that a man's actions may do harm to others, but that his words cannot? Words can easily pervert a man's mind, sow the fatal seeds of evil in his intelligence and heart, ruin his whole life, and lead to great injury to society.

568. It seems to me an extraordinary idea that a man with a status in a University as a professor and an influence over the minds of his students should have his freedom of speech restricted by that status.

A University professor should have the same freedom of speech within reasonable limits as any other citizen to advocate his views on various subjects outside the University. But when fulfilling his duties within the University his position does impose upon him certain additional limitations. He should teach there what he is appointed to teach, impartially and objectively. If a professor says that he is an atheist and that his subject is philosophy which he cannot teach without impressing upon the students his own atheism, then the citizens of a Christian community certainly have the right to demand a more suitable professor of philosophy who can teach the subject without a bias towards atheism. There are plenty of such professors available, and there is no reason why University students who wish to take philosophy as a subject should have to be taught it by an atheist who cannot resist making use of his position to undermine the beliefs of his students. Academic freedom does not require such an unlimited scope for any and every kind of propaganda.

569. The authority of a University professor comes from his having made a more careful and critical study of his subject, and of related subjects, than most other people.

Sooner or later those who are so ready to denounce the dogmatic teaching-authority of the Catholic Church in religious and moral matters end by falling back on authority themselves. But is it true that students are impressed by the authority of a professor because he has made a more careful and critical study of his subject and of related subjects?. Is it not rather true that they merely think he must have done so? They are not in a position to judge whether he has done so or not. They just take that for granted and concede him authority because he is a University professor. And he decides what are the related subjects upon which he expects his authority to be accepted as well as on his own proper subject. Again and again we have had examples of utterances on religion by professors of philosophy in secular Universities which give no sign of a careful and critical study of religion, but which have obviously been dictated by anti-religious prejudice.

570. Of course it may be claimed for a particular religion that it is infallibly true and that nothing is to be gained by a critical examination of it. But such a claim could not be made good for any existent religion.

There is no religion which will not benefit by a legitimate, dignified and reverent critical study on the part of competent scholars; and the Catholic Church has ever encouraged such study. Nor is there any need to have extravagant ideas of the extent of infallibility claimed by the Catholic Church. The Catholic religion undoubtedly imposes upon its adherents a body of doctrines to be accepted as infallibly true, and to be believed on the authority of God who revealed them. These doctrines or dogmas are not open to criticism in the sense of doubting them until our investigations have proved them to our own satisfaction, though one may study them as deeply as he wishes, trying to penetrate ever more profoundly into their significance. The Catholic religion, however, contains more than its defined dogmas. The Catholic Church is a human as well as a divine institution. She has her human traditions, and she does not hold that all her members, even her greatest scholars, are infallible in their thinking and writing. From this aspect there is room for critical study. Some human traditions may be proved ill-founded. Eminent Catholic scholars may be shown to have misunderstood the sense of what God has revealed and to have fallen into error. But whilst there is ample scope within the Catholic religion for constant critical study, the defined dogmas of the Catholic Faith are not open to doubt of any kind, and they have to be believed with unwavering faith in God's knowledge and veracity. The claim of the Catholic Church to be infallible in declaring these dogmas can be made good for anyone accepting the New Testament and believing in the Divinity of Christ.

571. The dogmatic authority of your Church not only dictates what people are to believe; it claims the right to prescribe how people are to behave even in their private and personal lives!

We Catholics certainly believe that obedience to the Laws of God includes obedience to the laws of the Church Christ established to guide us in the name of God.

572. I do not see how this differs from any other form of authoritarian or totalitarian government,

There is all the difference in the world between the position of the Catholic Church and that of a totalitarian government in the sense you have in mind. Every government is of course authoritarian, for if it had: no authority it would not be a government. But the totalitarian rule of the Absolute State ignores the moral law altogether, regiments citizens as it pleases, and deprives o! physical liberty those who do not obey orders, whatever they may be, like slaves. The Catholic Church, however, upholds the moral law and does not rely upon physical force to secure its observance. The only obedience she can expect is the voluntary obedience of those who have faith in the Catholic religion. The Catholic who feels that he ought to obey the directions of his Church in religious and moral matters knows that he is physically free to disobey without any deprivation of his civic liberty. Inability to see a difference between that and the political despotism of a totalitarian State can only be due to want of sufficient thought.

573. It is the unbending conservatism of the Catholic Church to which people object.

Where basic moral principles are concerned God has not changed, nor will the Catholic Church, She Still calls sin what it really is—sin. At one time, moral laws wire broken, but riot denied. Nowadays more and more widely the very laws are denied. Vice is becoming not only respectable, but even regarded aS virtue! What was called immorality is now to be morality, But all who are on the side of genuine morality must surely regard it as a credit to the Catholic Church that she refuses to conform to the growing modern laxity.

574. At the University there is a Chair of Moral Philosophy. How would you define Moral Philosophy?

Moral philosophy is the science which investigates our judgments of right and wrong, good or bad, in the field of conduct, whether personal Or social, in order to discover what ought or ought not to be done, if we ire to live reasonably and well.

575. What qualifications would be required for the occupant of such a position in a University?

Requirements would differ in different Universities. All Universities would require that an applicant for such a position should himself have received a University training, and that he had specialized in moral philosophy either during or after his course of studies. A Catholic University would require its professor to hold and teach Christian ethical principles as true, explaining other systems of morality from an historical point of view for purposes of general knowledge and of mental training in comparative philosophies. A secular or non-religious University would not concern itself with the personal views of its professors, but would expect them to give a good general survey of the main systems of moral philosophy, leaving it to themselves to impress upon the students the opinions they believed to be more probably correct.



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