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

Rival totalitarianisms, Rome and Moscow

784. In April, 1948, a distinguished American visiting priest, Msgr. Fulton Sheen, declared in St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, according to a report in the "Sydney Morning Herald" that "in the future there will be only two Governments in the world - Rome and Moscow". That undermines all your denials of the political aims of the Roman Catholic Church.

The report you quote was erroneous. I myself was present at the address you mention and twice heard his discourse re-broadcast. Nowhere during it did there occur any reference to "two Governments - Rome and Moscow." Monsignor Sheen (now Bishop) was speaking of the conflict between the forces of Christ and Antichrist. For those of Christ stands Rome—ecclesiastical, not political Rome. For the forces of Antichrist stands Moscow, the headquarters of atheistic Communism. And Communists themselves know that the Catholic religion is the real and final stronghold of the Christianity they hope to destroy.

785. Taking up the same theme, Dr. Burgmann, Anglican Bishop of Goulburn, N.S.W., wrote in the Anglican "Church Standard of Oct. 27, 1950, that "two great totalitarianisms struggle for the soul of the world today."

He had in mind Communism and the Catholic Church. Communism is indeed a "totalitarianism." It is not interested in the soul of the world. It doesn't believe in souls. The total reality in existence, according to it, is material reality. The total good of man is his economic good. And to get it, man should be totally subject to the Communist State. There is nothing totalitarian about the Catholic Church in that sense. The Catholic Church does indeed claim spiritual authority over her members in religious and moral matters, but insists that they are subject to State authority in temporal affairs. She denies, however, that man's total good consists in material things and that man should be totally subject to the State. It is sheer perversity on Bishop Burgmann's part to speak of Catholicism and Communism as equally totalitarian. But then he admits that he has been reading Paul Blanshard's books, making them practically his bible in these matters.

786. "One," he said, "is political and secular, and has its world center in Moscow; the other is political and ecclesiastical, and has its world center in Rome."

The Catholic Church is ecclesiastical and has its world center in Rome; but it is not political.

787. "The myth of Moscow and the myth of Rome," he continued, "are very powerful stimulations of human emotions."

Moscow offers a mythical Utopia which I admit had proved a very powerful stimulant to human emotions, so that it can rightly be called the ' "opium of the proletariat." But what the Bishop calls the "myth of Rome" is a myth of his own making.

788. "Both are dogmatic and know all the truth."

Bishop Burgmann is there playing on words and ought to know it. Communism denies all religious dogmas. The Catholic Church teaches as religious dogmas those truths which Christ taught with a divine authority which even Bishop Burgmann professes to acknowledge. Meantime, the claim of the Catholic Church to infallible authority when she does give official definitions in matters of faith and morals is not a claim to know] everything about everything.

789. "Both claim universal dominion and require absolute obedience from their subjects."

Communism, denying any reality beyond this world, aims at universal dominion over all people on the face of the earth and requires absolute obedience to itself as embodied in a totalitarian State. Catholicism proclaims the right of Christ to universal dominion over the souls of men and His right to their absolute obedience. As the true Church of Christ, the Catholic Church claims that this right of Christ is exercised through her in spiritual matters. She does not claim authority in matters of purely temporal administration where politics and economics are concerned.

790. "Both refuse to he cramped by moral considerations in the pursuit of their objectives," declared the Bishop.

That is true of Communism which expressly repudiates all obligations based on moral principles. It is not true of the Catholic Church, against which the charge is an absolute calumny which could be made only by one who either does not feel bound by the commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," or has completely forgotten it for the time being.

791. "While these two mythologies, Rome and Moscow, are in deadly conflict, they have striking similarities and a similar frame of mind."

Both Catholicism and Communism are actualities. They are radically opposed in outlook. Their similarities exist entirely in the Bishop's imagination. Their frame of mind differs as heaven from earth.

792. "We may respect and even like them personally," concedes Bishop Burgmann, "but not as our rulers. We have tried both the Pope and the Puritans, and liked neither as rulers. I am sure we would like Communists still less."

I am glad he is sure of that last point. For the rest, he can be certain that neither Papists nor Puritans liked the tyranny of his own Anglican Church in years gone by any more than he says Anglicans liked theirs. Catholics and Nonconformists alike were yoke - fellows in the penal days of England. They were beaten with the same thongs and thrown into the same prisons. They emigrated together to America to escape the fetters which the State-established Anglican Church fastened on the bodies and on the consciences of every child of the soil. Bishop Burgmann's I appeal to history is a very much two-edged sword which he would be well advised to leave alone.

793. "The true Anglican," he declared, "cannot assist Rome against Moscow in any way at all."

Nobody wants any Anglican, or anyone at all, to assist Rome against Moscow. The Bishop seems to be living in a dream-world of his own. He interprets the warnings of the Catholic Church against Communist doctrines and propaganda as a military and political declaration of war! Nothing Could be further from reality. The Catholic Church declares that the principles underlying Communism, based as they are on atheistic materialism, are of their very nature destructive of the Christian religion. She warns her Catholic subjects that they may not adopt such principles and that they may not be Communists. She has a perfect right to do that. If others, as well as Catholics, like to pay attention to such warnings, well and good. But the Catholic Church issues no call to anybody to take up arms against Moscow. And in his imagination that such is the case, the Bishop is like a Don Quixote charging at windmills, save for the difference that Don Quixote was actuated by chivalry, whilst Bishop Burgmann is the victim of a fear-complex born of prejudice and of what he has been reading in Paul Blanshard's books.

794. You speak slightingly of Mr. Paul Blanshard, but his book, "Freedom and Catholic Power," in which he examines the political aims and methods of the Roman Catholic Church, has been widely and protractedly attacked without one of his facts being refuted.

That is not true. Paul Blanshard is an American. He was born in 1892. When the first World War broke out he was a socialist, opposed Protestant minister, and as ministers were exempt from active service he naturally secured exemption. Two years later, the war being over, he abandoned the Protestant ministry and became a union organizer. In 1932, as a good socialist, he was advocating the overthrow of the American Constitution, by violence if necessary, and the establishing of a totalitarian socialist State. The book against the Catholic Church which yoti mention has been amply refuted by Dr. James O'Neill, a layman, Professor of Rhetoric at Brooklyn University, and President of the "American Civil Liberties Union." A Presbyterian clergyman, the Rev. D. A. Poling, editor of the "Christian Herald," reviewed and commended Blanshard's book: "Freedom and Catholic Power." But then he read Dr. James O'Neill's book in reply: "Catholicism and American Freedom." And here is what he said of it in the "Christian Herald": "This volume is just a 'must' reading for every literate American, Jew, Protestant and Catholic. As a Protestant who knows why he is a Protestant, who is the sixth generation in an unbroken line of Protestant clergymen, I am bound to write that, on material submitted, supported and defended in the two volumes, James O'Neill answers Paul Blanshard."

795. Paul Blanshard confirmed his first book by later publication of another entitled: "Communism, Democracy and Catholic Power," which is a study of two great systems of authoritarian control over men's minds . . . a study of two institutions, the Kremlin and the Vatican.

That book did not confirm the first. In its review of the second book, "Time" magazine, May 21, 1951, treated it with obvious contempt. "Paul Blanshard," it said, "has two bogeymen of almost equal fearsomeness: one dwells in the Kremlin, the other in the Vatican. It is hard to say which makes his hackles rise higher, but each time he claws at Stalin he manages to scratch the Pope. . . Blanshard spends a good deal of his book methodically proving that Communism is an evil thing. . . It is an exercise carried out to prove that Roman Catholicism is just as bad or worse. . . He is not likely to convince anybody not already convinced. . . Blanshard's book will strike many Americans as an irrelevance." So speaks "Time" magazine which is really neutral on religion. In London, the Anglican "Church Times," June 13, 1952, said of it that Mr. Blanshard does not "appreciate that there is a sense in which every Church is totalitarian. Unless it is to fail in its duty, it must assert the paramountcy of God as surely as the believing Communist asserts the paramountcy of his dismal creed. To this extent the parallel is close enough. The differences begin to appear when paramountcy is defined and the ways in which each body tries to exercise its claim are examined." I need only add that the Kremlin, with which he tries to bracket the Vatican, would laugh at his one-man crusade against the Catholic Church as if it were a rival political power, echoing the amusement of Stalin at Yalta when he ridiculed the Pope's lack of means to enforce any of his decisions. Blanshard's two books are not worth the paper on which they are printed.

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