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

Federal Union or "One World State"

838. You have granted the rights of States to their own temporal administration and political decisions. What would be the attitude of the Catholic Church to "Federal Union or the incorporation of all nations in a "One-World State?"

The idea of "Federal Union" is that all nations and states in the world should be brought under one international government, in much the same way as the 48 American States have combined to form the "United States of America." As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, there has been no official declaration as to the way in which international order is to be secured. The Pope has insisted that some kind of international authority is necessary, although he has not said that it should be by world-federation under one political authority rather than by other conceivable methods. Catholics, therefore, are free to support the idea of world-federation if they wish. But the rights of individual nations must be respected. Even if each did not preserve its own distinct political government and independent sovereignty, each must retain the right to its own national language and culture, its own way of life and standards of living. Certainly the "One Sovereign State" idea would have to be based upon the free consent of nations, and not imposed by force upon smaller nations by a majority group of more powerful nations. Also the international law established would have to be founded in God, the Source of all Justice. If the idea of God were ignored, and men tried to construct a "Federal Union" on a purely materialistic basis, their efforts would be doomed to failure.

839. Could a beginning be made by union between the British Commonwealth, the United States of America, Russia and other democracies?

Russia is not a democracy, despite its efforts to deceive people into thinking that it is. It is a totalitarian State and at best, since the death of Stalin, an oligarchy, or the rule of a small group of men who have managed to get political power into their own hands without the consent of the peoples over whom they tyrannize. But letting that go, there is nothing to prevent Catholics from supporting the union of some nations in the hope that other nations will later agree to join them. But it must be with the free consent of the nations concerned. In the first of his "Five Peace Points," Pope Pius XII insisted on the necessity of a guarantee to all nations of their right to life and independence.

840. Do you personally consider that a cultural, economic and political union would be of any real benefit to the component nations?

If, as advocates say it would, "Federal Union" would eliminate war, give peace to the world, and spare mankind the fearful expense of armaments, all would of course benefit from that. But of all other imagined benefits, whether cultural or economic, I am very doubtful; and still more doubtful as to whether a "One-World State" could be established in practice, or would be permanent if it were. Moreover, most advocates of the plan think only in terms of a secular regime, abstracting from God and religion altogether; and that would doom their hopes to disaster in advance. The idea is at present only in the land of dreams. But whether we view things religiously or politically, the only sensible attitude towards it seems to be one of hesitancy and extreme caution. There are very many technical problems involved, and the quite legitimate national aspirations and patriotism of the various peoples of the world may well prove an insuperable obstacle to their free acceptance of one supreme political authority co-extensive with the surface of this earth.

841. Why does not your Church keep to the purely religious field, instead of seeking to mold the whole world according to its religious liking?

Since religious principles affect ethical and social principles, it is impossible for the Catholic Church not to be concerned, at least indirectly, with certain aspects of economics or politics.

842. In his book, "The Catholic Church against the Twentieth Century" Avro Manhattan writes: "Other religions exercise a more or less great influence on modern society, but their ability to shape the course of events cannot in any way be compared with that of the Catholic Church."

Avro Manhattan's book was written with the hostile intent of showing that the Catholic Church was "Fascist," during the years of World War II, with all its particular obsessions. His book was not only full of distortions, but was out-of-date almost as soon as it was published. Douglas Hyde, in his I book, "I Believed," describes how when on the staff of a Communist paper he was given Manhattan's book to review. And he says: "Instead of gaining ammunition against the Church from Manhattan's book I learned, despite, the tendentious writing, something of the Church's social teaching. It was written to make anti-Catholics. It helped to make me 'pro' instead."

843. Would you agree that the social system which produced the modern proletariat is unchristian by the very fact?

The word proletariat refers to the underprivileged classes in any given country. That there will always be underprivileged people in this world is certain. Christ was not wrong when He said that the poor we shall have always with us. Matt., XXVI, 11. But a social system which results in so uneven a distribution of benefits that an ever smaller minority enjoys the advantages whilst ever increasing numbers suffer disadvantages would undoubtedly be an unchristian system and one opposed to the natural moral law. Still more inexcusable would be any tendency on the part of the rich to treat the proletariat almost as people of a different race and as having no rights at all. It is no wonder that, in countries where such a state of affairs existed, the growing proletariat organized and aimed, not only at the elimination of the evils in such a system, but at the system's complete destruction.

844. For many years I have taken a keen interest in social problems'9 and in the rights and wrongs of our capitalistic system.

Your interest deserves commendation. But whilst it is good to get a sound knowledge of social problems, one must make sure of both one's principles and of one's facts before drawing one's conclusions.

845. As a worker I have been the victim of industrial exploitation which has made me thoroughly class-conscious.

That statement invites the warning that any man with a sense of grievance must be doubly on his guard against disturbance of his judgment. There is always the danger that such a man will not be impartial; and justice, even social justice, demands impartiality. It is very easy to let the catch-cries of "Industrial Exploitation" and "Class-consciousness" become obsessions. You should check the facts and ask whether you have really been a "victim of industrial exploitation," or whether you have only imagined it. Also, what do you mean by saying that you have become "class-conscious"? Do you mean that you feel that you belong to a class of people who are suffering disabilities which you would like to see remedied? Or do you mean that you feel envy and hatred of those you think to constitute the privileged classes? The latter dispositions would certainly be wrong, and would lead to a class-warfare utterly opposed to Christian principles.

846. I have heard you say that the Catholic Church forbids its members to be socialists.

That is true of socialism in the strict sense of that word. Such socialism holds that human beings should be concerned only about their material welfare in this world. Since religion is held to interfere with this by teaching a destiny beyond this world and of much greater importance, such socialism completely ignores religion, where it does not seek to abolish it altogether. Moreover, to secure the material welfare of everybody, socialists say that everybody must own all the means of production, distribution and exchange. In other words, individual private ownership of property must give way to collective ownership. The result in practice would be that all citizens would become wards or even slaves of the totalitarian socialist State. Such socialism no Catholic may support.

847. How would you define socialism?

Socialism is a system of State ownership and administration of property. I give that general definition to cover a bewildering variety of forms taken by socialism according to the many theories of it. For example, agrarian socialism advocates the nationalization of land, allowing all other forms of ownership to remain. Douglas Credit advocates the nationalization of credit, supporting private ownership in other matters. Fabian socialism advocates the nationalization of large industries, leaving small businesses to private owners. All these are mitigated forms of socialism. In the strict sense of the word, socialism is a system of political economy which advocates State ownership of all capital and of all the means of production; and the public administration and distribution of all economic goods. As distinct from Communism, it condemns recourse to physical force and relies on democratic means such as education and legislation by elected representatives of the people to attain its ends.

848. What do you mean by private property?

The right to private property is the right to secure, own, use and dispose of things according to one's own will and without hindrance from others.



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