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 history

49. The history of religion, gives little support to your contentions.

It is rather to the history of irreligion that you should look for confirmation of all that I maintain. Consider briefly the main outlines of Christian civilization. During the first 300 years Christianity met, fought and conquered the paganism of the Roman Empire. Then it set to work to Christianize Europe. It was supernatural and spiritual. It taught the authority of a God beyond this world and persuaded rulers and subjects alike to acknowledge His laws. There was but one Faith in Europeó the Catholic Faith. Europe was not free from troubles. The world never will be. But at least there was a recognized international law; and the machinery was there to insist upon its observance. The Catholic Church was the arbiter of Christendom. In the 16th century, however, the Protestant reformers preached revolt against the Catholic Church. Temporal kings and princes supported them, seeking independence of the one acknowledged international authority. Both politically and religiously Europe went to pieces. But having abandoned the religious authority of the Catholic Church Protestants found themselves without any religious authority themselves. They said that the Bible was sufficient authority. But men made the Bible mean what they liked, putting an extraordinary variety of interpretations upon it and setting up every kind of independent Church. An era of religious wars and persecutions followed. Eventually many Protestants, tired/of dissensions, drifted from religion altogether. In the 18th century a wave of rationalism swept Europe, denying the Christian religion altogether and insisting that man should go by reason alone. With the loss of faith in God and any future destiny for man, the rush for this world's goods began. It was a question of the survival of the fittest. Untrammeled by religious or moral scruples, the few lucky ones enriched themselves, leaving the mass of the laboring classes in appalling poverty and insecurity. National rivalries reached a culminating point in the First World War. That was followed by the efforts of Fascists and Communists to build up their Totalitarian States, but with no return to God and to religion. The result was almost the complete enslavement of their subjects. The road to freedom promised by rationalism and irreligion was a fiasco. Have you noted the sequence? The Catholic religion had built up our civilization. With Protestantism its disintegration began. Rationalism, secularism and godlessness quickly followed, with rampant injustice, discontent and catastrophe. The only real hope for the future is a return to the Catholic religion in both belief and practice. No other remedy will go deep enough to provide any lasting benefit.

50. In his book, "Selected PrejudicesH. L. Mencken says that the rapid decay of religion in the world "since the Reformation is evidence of a very genuine progress."

That one of the results of the Protestant Reformation has been a widespread driftage from religion among non-Catholics I am willing to admit. That a lapse into irreligion and paganism is progress I deny, however much it may appeal to Mr. Mencken. Mr. Mencken's prejudice is due to his own immediate intellectual environment. He seems scarcely aware of the existence of the Catholic Church, and generalizes from the segment of human culture with which he is familiar. No real value can be attached to his judgment in this matter.

51. As time marches on it will be more and more difficult to justify religion at all.

That's the wrong way round. As time marches on, people will find it more and more difficult to justify their irreligion. The problem of the meaning of life will ever confrontsthem and they cannot be forever content to leave it unanswered. They'll find themselves asking: "If so soon I was to be done for, what on earth was I begun for?" Then, too, the growing fruits of irreligion will shock many of them back to sanity. I say sanity, because really the victims of irreligion are the victims of an arrested development. It is the religious man who is the most natural, matured and truly adult. Meantime, however many people may have drifted from it, religion as such remains unaffected. It retains its sound and reasonable basis; and there will always be those with sufficient intelligence to maintain religious ideals both in theory and practice.



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