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

Religion and marriage

1046. Statistics of divorce and of venereal disease do not show our monogamic system of one man and one wife to be a success.

The monogamic system is not to be judged by those who fail to observe its requirements, but by its rightness or wrongness in itself. As Christians we know it to be the revealed will of God. No considerations of mere expediency or of the preferences of men can alter that. If there are abuses, the remedy for those abuses is not the abolition of Christian standards of marriage and morals, but a return to those standards.

1047. Conventional rules are, of course, needed for the preservation of family life.

If no more than conventional rules are to be acknowledged, then all rules will be undermined and family life ruined altogether. For that would mean that the law of God need not be considered at all, and that marriage legislation is a matter of human agreement only. In other words, man becomes his own lawgiver in this matter, subject to no higher authority, not even to that of God. The way is left open for the replacing of Christian standards by pagan standards whenever men so desire.

1048. The sacredness of the marriage union is not in the ceremony, but in the minds of the participants.

It is true that the religious ceremony expresses the sacredness of the union, but does not constitute it. The sacredness of the union lies in the contract itself, for Christians raised by Christ to the dignity of a Sacrament of the Christian religion. The word sacred means holy; and holiness implies a relationship with God the infinitely Holy, and the source of all holiness. If God and religion are excluded, and whatever one intends by sacred is in the minds of the participants only in regard to their attitude towards each other, then the parties would be justified in changing partners as often as they changed their minds! They would have no sacred obligations to each other at all.

1049. With the war-time loss of men, women's chances of marriage are diminished. The community has no right to condemn them to celibacy, or to brand them with shame and contumely if they have children outside marriage.

You advocate the changing of the law from the accepted standard of one man and one wife so as to permit a man having several wives thus making polygamy legal; or, alternatively, that the community should recognize the right of single women to have children by any men they please without shame or contumely. But God made the laws regulating marriage and morality, not the community. And the community has no authority to alter them. It is for human beings to obey the laws of God; and no considerations of expediency can dispense us from them The end does not justify the means.

1050. You associate religion and marriage, but apart from the fact that those who wish it may have a church-wedding, I see no further connection between marriage and religion.

The church-wedding idea as a kind of optional extra makes merely a travesty of the Christian religion. The bride-to-be may think a church wedding prettier or more socially respectable, but if the parties do not take a religious view of marriage itself, they would be more honest if they contented themselves with a civil ceremony only. To have a marriage celebrated in a Christian church is to make a public profession of entering into a Christian marriage; yet thousands enter into marriage church-wedding and all, without the haziest notion of what Christian marriage means.

1051. What can religion add to the civil contract, entered into before a State registrar

Nothing except hypocrisy for those who take only a secular view of marriage and regard a church-wedding as good for their vanity and social pride. The secular view of marriage is that it is but a contract ratified by civil law, granting social respectability to two people of opposite sexes who want to live together—a contract which the State itself can dissolve on certain not very exacting conditions. But the truly Christian outlook is very different. Marriage is not merely a contract, but a Sacrament of the Christian religion, instituted as such by Christ. It is terminable only by the death of one of the parties and imposes duties opposed to the whole trend of public opinion in our modern secularized society. But the Catholic at least knows that, if he prepares for marriage as he should and receives it with reverence as a Sacrament of the Christian religion, he will receive the grace and the power to fulfil its duties and merit the special blessing of God.

1052. Many people who are branded as adulterers because they have gone through no form of marriage at all, have furnished examples of deathless love and touching devotion.

If people are living in adultery, deathless love and touching devotion do not make things any better. For it is not a question as to whether one's love for a paramour is deathless, but as to whether its indulgence is lawful. Are we to say that if a man is living with a woman who is not his wife it is adultery if he loves her only a little for a short time, but that it is not adultery if he loves her a lot for a long time?

1053. Who could deny that such people are more truly married in the sight of God than those who have gone through traditional forms with no real affinity with or understanding of each other?

Anyone who has not abandoned the use of reason. People who make love its own law and just live together because they are passionately fond of each other, ignoring the law of God, enter into a state of concubinage, not of marriage. However much they profess to love each other, they are not huband and wife. Nor is their case made any better however many instances they can quote where those who are husbands and wives are not happily adjusted to each other. Marriage has religious and social implications which demand the protection both of the law of God and the law of the land. And both sets of laws are to be complied with, if the parties want civil respectability and freedom from guilt of sin in the sight of God.



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