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

Necessity of worship

29. You have spoken of collective worship, but I don't need that. I can worship God in the open air, or anywhere.

You can, though not adequately. But do you? Most people who speak like that—popularly known as the "Blue-Domers" - worship God not at all.

30. Long ago I became interested in astronomy and have been a starworshipper ever since.

You mean that your study of the stars has filled you with wonder and admiration, not that you actually worship the stars as gods. But admiration and appreciation of stellar order and beauty is a reason for worshipping the Creator of all things, not an excuse for not doing so.

31. Contemplation of the stars fills me with a new force for good.

You mean that you find the quiet contemplation of them a help towards the attaining of tranquillity of spirit and self-control. So do most people who allow themselves to relax and engage in that same restful pursuit. But that affords not the slightest excuse for dispensing oneself from the due worship of God in the ways God has prescribed.

32. Would it not be enough to read one\'s Bible at home?

Not for a Christian rightly instructed in his religion. Firstly, we owe God fitting worship, not only as individual beings, but as social beings; and that demands both personal and collective worship. Secondly, God has always demanded public worship in the name of the community, insisting that His people should associate together for that purpose. Thirdly, Christ Himself established His Church, insisted upon our becoming members of that Church, and laid upon us the obligation of obeying, its laws regulating religious observances. Fourthly, the very central act of worship prescribed by Christ is the celebration of the Eucharist by duly ordained priests, a form of worship infinitely greater than anything an ordinary individual can accomplish by his own efforts. And to assist at the Eucharist one must attend church. We must remember that since it is God who has to be worshipped and we who have to do the worshipping it is for God to prescribe how we shall do so, not for us to decide for ourselves what we will offer. You can search the New Testament from cover to cover and nowhere will you find that, in order to fulfil his religious duties, a Christian need do no more than read his Bible at home.

33. As a Protestant I point out to Catholics who have to attend church under pain of sin that we Protestants are much better off than they are because we are free to go or not.

To be unaware of any duty in this matter is not to be better off. To be a Christian, yet to be ignorant of Christian obligations and indifferent to them is not a thing on which one should congratulate oneself. The Anglican Dean Inge pointed out that Protestant Churches, having rejected the authority of the Catholic Church, can no longer insist on the duty of attendance at public worship. But what is the result? "The practice of church-going," he wrote, "is likely to decline more and more within the Protestant bodies which cannot, consistently with their principles, inculcate it as a matter of life and death." All around us we see the truth of his prediction more and more evident.

34. The idea of obligation repels me.

Why? You profess to be a Christian. Does the idea of obligation repel you when you hear the other commandments: "Thou shalt not kill;" "Thou shalt not commit adultery;" "Thou shalt not steal;" and "Thou shalt not bear false witness?"

35. To my mind such a law defeats itself.

The fidelity of Catholics to the practice of their religion in contrast to the widespread indifference among Protestants is sufficient answer to that. Listen to these words of the English actress, Dame Sybil Thorndike. Writing in 1938 of her stage experiences she spoke of Catholic actors she had known. And she said, among other things, "Early Mass seems an outrageously difficult thing on Sunday morning after Saturday matinees and night performances. It is only the knowledge of the absolute duty to go to Mass which Catholics are taught that keeps the young actor steady in his religion. The Catholic takes the Mass as part of the necessity of life; and he would no more miss it in his religion, than in his working life he Would miss his train at the station." She had nothing but praise for the Catholic sense of obligation in this matter.

36. Would you say I live any the worse kind of life for not bothering about attending church?

From the viewpoint of religion I say that it is quite unchristian to refuse to associate with fellow Christians in the worship of God. On the basis of sheer individualism which you maintain, the Gospel would never have been preached to the world, the world would never have been converted, God could not be worshipped adequately, the Christian Sacraments would not have been administered, and the Christian Faith itself would not have been preserved. Your principle of its very nature leads to indifference to the Church, to Christian teachings and to Christian moral standards, ending logically in irreligion and secularism.

37. It is sheer formality to teach that Sunday is sanctified by a perfunctory attendance at Mass, and nothing more.

The Catholic Church does not teach that. Assistance at Mass must not be perfunctory, but fervent. Nor is that all. Addressing 300,000, Catholics assembled in the Square of St. Peter's in Rome, Pope Pius XII said: "Sunday must again become the Day of the Lord, the day of worship, of glorification of God, of the Holy Sacrifice, of prayer, of rest, of recollection and reflection, the day of happy reunion in the intimate circle of the family. With all your strength make sure that in your own lives crass materialism, an excess of profane pleasure, does not monopolize the Sunday and thereby efface its divine character, drawing souls to sin and irreligion. The struggle between faith and unbelief will depend to a great extent on the use made of Sunday." From those words of the Pope himself it should be clear that if the Catholic Church rejects a puritanical idea of Sunday observance to the exclusion of all innocent recreation, she does not go to the other extreme of condoning a desecration of Sunday. She insists that it is a Holy Day, and that its primary purpose is one of worship, prayer and devotion to the things of God and of the soul.

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