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

Catholic Action

752. Would you give me some information about "Catholic Action" so far as you a priest of Rome are prepared to do so?

There is no reason why I should set any limits to the amount of information I am prepared to give you on the subject you mention.

753. When did "Catholic Action" originate?

The thing described in modern terms as "Catholic Action" originated with the Catholic Church itself. The command of Christ: "Go, teach all nations," was for the whole Church, clergy and laity alike, as regards zeal for the cause of Christ. And we know how, in the earliest times, the laity labored side by side with bishops and priests to build up the newlyfounded Church in a pagan world. Today, with the revival of the old paganism, even though without its worship of the ancient gods, under the modern form of sheer secularism and unbelief, there is a new need for the active zeal of the Catholic laity similar to that which prevailed in the early Church. Just before World War I, Pope Pius X began to stress this need. His successor, Pope Benedict XV, insisted still more upon it. And in 1929 Pope Pius XI termed this organized apostolate of the laity "Catholic Action."

754. Is there a special "Catholic Action Society"?

No. There are many Catholic Societies organized for different purposes; as, for example, the St. Vincent de Paul Society for charitable social work; or the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to organize support for the foreign missions. But there is no Catholic Action Society, for what is called "Catholic Action" is simply a general movement to stimulate Catholic activity amongst all Catholics, whether or not they belong to any of the already existent societies. The idea is that Catholics, instead of being merely passive members of the Church, should become really active members, living right up to their Christian principles and seeking to apply them in all their activities. It means that, just as the early Christians were active and zealous apostles for the Christian way of life and greatly influenced the non-Christian environment around them, so Catholics today should be equally zealous and active, doing their best to build up a truly Christian outlook and get truly Christian principles observed by everybody.

755. Is it in any way a political movement?

Certainly not directly, though it should affect politics at least indirectly. For those politicians who are Catholics are expected to apply Christian principles even in their political activities. Instead of following blindly the principles of religionless men, they must try rather to lead religionless men back to Christian principles. The primary duty of the Catholic Action Movement being that of safeguarding Christian interests, it naturally comes under the direction of the Catholic Bishops. And because of this religious character, it cannot directly identify itself with politics or with any political party. Pope Pius XI said expressly that Catholic Action as a movement must be above and beyond all politics, national or international. It is as far above politics as the Ten Commandments, although it should influence politics as well as every other human activity, just as the Ten Commandments themselves should do so.

756. There are two members of the Australian Federal Parliament, Messrs. Mullens and Keon, who are known as "Catholic Action" members of Parliament.

Politically the two men mentioned are members of the Australian Labor Party. There is no "Catholic Action" political Party, and no "Catholic Action" section of the Labor Party. It is true that Messrs. Mullens and Keon are Catholics. It is true that they are practical Catholics who view things in the light of Christian social principles and endeavor to keep the Labor Party within the framework of those principles as far as they possibly can. In these days of tags and labels some hostile political writers have branded them as "Catholic Action Labor" members, trying to create the impression that they belong to some kind of Catholic Action Society of a political nature. No one would be more surprised to hear that than the members themselves whom you have mentioned.

757. If Catholic Labor politicians are committed to the principles of "Catholic Action" are they Labor men first, or Catholics first?

That will depend entirely upon whether any particular political measure conflicts with Christian moral principles or not. To understand this,1 it is necessary to grasp Catholic teaching about the State and the Church. The State is a natural society concerned with the temporal welfare of the whole community. The Church is a supernatural religious society concerned with the spiritual and moral welfare of humanity. Each of these societies is supreme in its own order, and each takes precedence in its own order. In all matters which do not involve moral and spiritual considerations, the Catholic politician bases his conduct on what he believes to be political wisdom. The Catholic Labor man, who thinks Labor Policy to be best for the country, will then acknowledge no higher duty than that of supporting Labor Policy. The Catholic member of the Liberal Party, who thinks Liberal Policy to be best for the country, will then acknowledge no higher duty than that of supporting Liberal Policy. His religion in no way makes a difference between a Catholic and any other member of the Labor or Liberal Parties in all such religiously neutral matters. In all such matters, he is first and foremost a Labor man or a Liberal man, as the case may be. Where moral principles are involved, however, then a Catholic would ave to ask himself whether or not a given measure conflicted with sound V ( | i o r a l and Christian principles. If not, well and good. He supports it r not, as it fits in with or is opposed to the Policy of the Party to which e belongs. If it does conflict with sound moral and Christian principles, lien he has to be a Catholic first, refusing to support it and doing all he Iran to have it modified until it does not conflict with moral and Christian jrinciples. If he is to be branded as a "Catholic Actionist" because of hat, he won't mind. But he will object to distorted interpretations which ry to make it mean more than that.



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