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

The "Only True Church" claims

1355. Always you seem to come back to the claim that yours is the one and only Church

Not the one and only Church. There are hundreds of Churches. The Catholic Church claims to be the only true Church.

1356. How can your Church be the only true Church, when Christ Himself was a non-Catholic?

As the Founder of the Catholic Church He could not possibly be a non-Catholic. You will admit, surely, that Christ established a Church. He definitely said: "I will build my Church." Matt., XVI, 18. He so identified Himself with that Church that when St. Paul, before his conversion, was persecuting that Church, Christ appeared to him and said: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? Acts, IX, 4; XXII, 7; XXVI, 14. Now comes the question. Which of the Churches today is identical with that Church with which Christ identified Himself then? The only possible answer, whether from Holy Scripture, or from history, or from reason, is the Catholic Church. It cannot be said therefore that Christ was a non-Catholic. Approaching the subject from the opposite angle, we could ask what Christ was if He was a non-Catholic? Any effort to identify Him with any of the present-day non-Catholic Churches would be in vain.

1357. Christ did not tabulate His Church, calling it the Catholic Church.

I am glad that you speak of His Church in the singular, realizing that it must be essentially one united individual organization. Now it is true that Christ Himself did not use the word Catholic. But He clearly declared that His Church would be all that that word means. The word "Catholic" means "universal." And Christ made it quite evident that He meant His Church to remain one and the same Church, persisting as such through all the ages till the end of time, ever aiming at the teaching of all natins in all places, and teaching all that Christ had made known to the Apostles! St. Ignatius of Antioch, writing to the Christians at Smyrna about the year 110 A.D., was the first to use the Greek word "Catholic," meaning "all", "the whole," or "universal," as a description of the Church Christ founded.

1358. In Mark IX, 37, we read that John the Apostle said to Jesus, "Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name and we forbade him because he followeth not with us." Was not John a bigot, forbidding the man to do good in the name of Christ merely because he was not orthodox and did not belong to the true Church?

There is no evidence whatever in the passage that the man was not orthodox and did not belong to the true Church. Christ, who was most insistent on belief in the truth He taught, could not even indirectly sanction a departure from it. He demanded orthodox belief in all things whatsoever He taught. Also there was then no rival Church calling itself Christian to which any professed believers in Christ could belong. There was only one Christian Church, that which our Lord was then establishing. The truth is that St. John, together with the other chosen Apostles, had been expressly commissioned and empowered by Christ to cast out devils. Yet here was a disciple of Christ, not a member of the apostolic twelve even though orthodox in faith and belonging to the Church, exercising a function St. John thought proper to the Apostles only. His concern was lest the laity in the Church should usurp what he thought proper to the hierarchy. He had to learn that, whilst authority in the Church necessarily limited to officials, doing good even miraculously in the name of Christ is not restricted to any particular class in the Church.

1359. Jesus said: "Forbid him not," showing that He was tolerant towards different denominations, but not towards bigotry and bitterness between denominations.

At the time our Lord spoke, there were no different denominations| into which those who professed to be His followers were divided. And far from being tolerant towards denominations, He taught that His Church must be one fold under one shepherd, and prayed that all His followers might be as one and undivided amongst themselves as He and His Father ever enjoyed perfect unity. Different and conflicting denominations, therefore, are opposed to both the teaching and the prayer of Christ. Bigotry and bitterness also, of course, are opposed to the teaching of Christ. But we cannot say that He objected only to ill-feeling, but not to the existence of denominations as such. He did not establish a whole lot of distinct and conflicting Churches, at variance in belief, worship and discipline. He established His one true Church, and the Catholic Church only can be that one true Church.

1360. Christ said: "Other sheep I have who are not of this fold."

Those words occur in Jn., X, 16. But you omit the second half of the text which continues: "Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold under one shepherd." So the Catholic Church, the one true fold, ever appeals to non-Catholics to join her and become members of that fold according to the will of Christ.

1361. I do not feel that at judgment a person will be questioned as to whether he was a Catholic or a Protestant.

There is a sense in which that is true, but a sense also in which it is not true. Unfortunately, many people make the sense in which it is true an excuse for not bothering about the sense in which it is not true. They use it as a drug against all further effort or inquiry. In what sense, then, is it true? It is true that a good Protestant who, through no fault of his own, has never suspected the truth of the Catholic Church and has remained a Protestant in quite good faith, will not be blamed by God for having lived as a Protestant instead of as a Catholic. But it is not true that a Protestant will equally escape responsibility if he has had the truth of the Catholic Church brought to his notice, yet has deliberately turned away from it, neglecting to inquire into the matter lest he should find it to be true—a conclusion which for selfish reasons he does not want to reach. Such a man does not love the truth. If he is not a Catholic, it is his own fault, and he will certainly be questioned by God about that fault at his judgment. It is quite evident that there is a difference between Catholic teaching and that of the Protestant Churches. Both sets of teachings cannot be right. One who loves God as the Truth wants to know which is right, and feels a great sense of responsibility in the matter.

1362. If the Catholic Church is the one true Church, why is it that early believers did not join it?

They did. In your own Protestant Authorized Version you will read of the first Christians that "the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved." Acts, II, 47. Again the question arises, therefore: To what Church were they added? It was to a Church which was and remained one and the same everywhere, in whatever places it was established in its rapid growth; that is, it was the Catholic Church of its very nature. The Christians at Jerusalem were one with the Christians at Antioch and with all those to whom St. Paul addressed his epistles contained in the New Testament, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and even those of far off Rome. All had become members of one and the same Church. Adverting to this fact, St. Ignatius of Antioch, in the year 110 A.D., first made use of the word Catholic as a description of the Church. The word did not make the Church Catholic. It was what the Church was that suggested the word. And the true Church of Christ has remained what it was from the very beginning, the Catholic Church, to this present day. As it was the one true Church then, so it is the one true Church now.

1363. Half of Christendom today refuses to accept the claim that yours is the one true Church.

That is not quite true. According to the estimate of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica Year Book" for 1953, there are over 100 millions more Catholics than the combined membership of all the different Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Churches. There are 425 millions of Catholics, 128 millions of Eastern Orthodox Christians, and 196 millions of Protestants. However, without granting it, let us suppose that half Christendom rejects the exclusive claims of the Catholic Church, whilst half accept. From the viewpoint of numbers, it would be six against and half-a-dozen for those claims. We must, therefore, look elsewhere for a solution to the problem. In doing so, we must keep in mind the fact that those who reject the Catholic claims are the descendants of those who broke away from the Catholic Church to establish other Churches far too late on the scene to claim Christ as their Founder, that they are not agreed even as to the very nature of the Church, and that they are uncertain and divided as to what its doctrines should be. In other words, the non-Catholic section consists of hundreds of different denominations as opposed to each other as they are opposed to the Catholic Church. Surely there is no need to stress the significance of this in regard to the matter under discussion.

1364. There is no reason to believe that this other half of Christendom ever will accept the Catholic position.

That is no argument against the truth of the Catholic position. To solve that problem it would be necessary to compare the reasons non- Catholics advance for their rejection of Catholic claims with the reasons Catholics can produce on behalf of them. I maintain that the Catholic position is the only sound one in the light of Scripture, history and reason. For the rest, I agree that there will never be a time when there will not be various sects opposed to the Catholic Church. In one way or another every age will see verified the words of Christ that there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, to deceive if possible even the elect. But as sects come and go, the Catholic Church will continue even till the end of the world, just as she has persisted throughout the past 2,000 years from the time of her foundation by Christ.

1365. By stressing the idea that yours is the one true Church, you imply that all others are wrong!

When inquiries are sent to me concerning the problem of the one true Church, I naturally say that the genuine Church of Christ is the Catholic Church. What else would you expect me to do? If, because such a claim implies that all other Churches are mistaken, I omit all such statement and restrict myself only to harmless generalities to which everyone pays lip-service, what real good would I accomplish? I would but confirm people in the erroneous idea that Christianity is only a form of mild and gentle behavior, and that there is nothing else to it. As a matter of fact, you can not have the genuine religion of Christ without the Church He established and that Church happens to be the Catholic Church. The less people realize that, the more it needs to be said.

1366. You do not seem to understand how little such a claim commends itself to the modern mind.

Surely the problem is not whether the claim commends itself to the modern mind, but whether it is true. If the claim be true and the modern mind all at sea, then the modern mind must adjust itself to the Catholic religion. Or would you have the Catholic Church follow the modern mind into error also? That would be to renounce the infallibility of the Catholic Church for the infallibility of a multitude of muddled thinkers just because they happen to be many, and modern. But a thing is not true merely because a lot of people happen to think it, or because it happens to be a recent phase of thought. Truth is truth, however few the people who hold it and however long ago they held it.

1367. Not one of the Protestant Churches is so arrogant as to claim that it is the one true Church.

What you are really saying is that not one of them is absolutely certain that it is the right Church. But if a Church is not even sure of its own position, why belong to it? The Catholic Church claims to be the one true Church. She speaks with a certainty and definiteness which contrasts remarkably with the hesitancy of others. And to complain of her being so dogmatic is like complaining to a doctor that he seems to know his business. We do not say to a doctor: "I don't like your air of assurance. If you were hazy about things, if you were not too sure whether this treatment would kill or cure me, I should gladly follow your advice to the letter. But since you are sure, you are too dogmatic, arrogant and intolerant of other possibilities to warrant my confidence in you. I shall try another doctor who does not profess to know for certain that he is right."

1367. If the truth of the Catholic claim is so clear, why do so many intelligent non-Catholics fail to become converts to your Church.

Since so many intelligent non-Catholics do become converts to the Catholic Church, those who do not cannot be accounted for by their intelligence. What, then, does account for their refusal? There are several reasons. Many otherwise intelligent non-Catholics employ their intelligence in almost every other field except that of religion. As a result, despite their intelligence, they have not an intelligent grasp of the religious problem. Again, even the most intelligent of men may be affected by inherited and subconscious prejudices where religion is concerned. Yet again, many of them are so religiously indifferent that they never bother about prayer; and prayer for the grace of God is absolutely necessary if one is to arrive at the apprehension of spiritual, supernatural and revealed truth. Finally, man is not intelligence only, and the Catholic religion is not a matter of doctrine only. Man has a will, and the Catholic religion includes a code of conduct which he may regard as too exacting. However much the Catholic religion may appeal to the intelligence of such a man, he may experience an insuperable interior reaction against embracing it in practice because of the demands it would make upon him in his way of living.

1369. Why should Catholics be privileged to possess the one true religion whilst so many others are left without it?

When we are dealing with God's providence it is not to be expected that our demands for an explanation of why God does this or permits that will always be fully satisfied, even had we the right to bring God to the bar of human judgment. Nor does our not understanding the reasons for them alter facts or justify our denying them. And the fact is that the Catholic religion is the one true religion, and that those who belong to it are indeed highly privileged. But let us remember that the Catholic religion is not a kind of "closed shop." It is not meant to be the exclusive preserve of a few. It is meant for all, and all can have it. But if people will not look into it, will not pray for the light of truth, and will not have the Catholic religion at any price, they exclude themselves from it. God cannot be said to have excluded them.

1370. We Protestants believe that it is an insult to God to say that He is partial to one particular religion.

Since God is Truth itself, He must be partial to the one true religion. Any love of truth demands rejection of the false. As a Protestant you could not admit that Christianity and Shintoism are equally pleasing to God. God must be partial to the religion taught by His only-begotten Son. And He must be partial to the full and complete doctrine of Christ as opposed to, an incomplete presentation of it, blended with various errors. This being so, God must be partial to the Catholic religion, for other Churches claiming to be Christian are built upon such fragments of Christian doctrine as appealed to their different human founders, blended with various peculiar personal opinions at variance with the Gospel. God could not sanction any Churches separated from the Catholic Church, however pleasing their sincere but mistaken adherents may be to Him personally. And He wills that all men, as soon as they advert to its truth, should join that Church which alone is really His—the Catholic Church.

1371. How do you account for so many good people being content with one or other of the different forms of Protestantism?

It cannot be accounted for by the truth of the particular form of Protestantism they accept. For why should the form they accept be true rather than any of the other forms they do not accept? For example, some good people are content with Methodism, others are content with Anglicanism. Yet if Methodism is the true form of the Christian religion Anglicanism cannot be. We must look for thfe reason, then, not in the forms of Protestantism they profess, but in themselves. Firstly, the average Protestant takes for granted what he has been taught, and does not think of looking more deeply into the subject. Secondly, the elements of good which his form of Protestantism has retained so absorb his attention that he does not advert to its deficiencies from other points of view, and to its positive errors. Thirdly, most Protestants have the idea that they would be disloyal to their parents if they forsook the religion of their birth for any other. It is strange how those who do not feel guilty of any disloyalty to their parents when they drop their religion in practice, would feel guilty if they changed to another religion. Again, there are the factors of inherited antipathies and social conventions. All these factors discourage inquiry, or render impartial inquiry difficult and rare. It is so much easier to take for granted and be content with the form of Protestantism into which one happened to be born, ignoring the problem as to where the full and complete Christian truth is to be found. Those who do face that problem, however, and have the courage of their convictions, end by becoming Catholics.

1372. From your own point of view, would you rather see a person an atheist than a Protestant?

Far from it. A Protestant acknowledges God, whilst the atheist denies Him. How could I wish to see anyone who believes in God abandon that belief? If a Protestant cannot see his way to move forwards to Catholicism, I do not want him to move backwards towards complete unbelief. So long as a Protestant is sincere in his religion, such truth as it does contain will be a help to him; whilst its mistakes, accepted in good faith, do not render him culpable before God. If he is sincere, of course, he would abandon those mistakes the moment he discovered them to be mistakes.

1373. In one of your radio answers, you advised a Protestant young man who wanted to marry a Catholic girl to receive instruction in the Catholic religion and see whether or not he could acquire a sincere belief in it.

I have often given such advice.

1374. That seemed to me very one-sided advice.

From your point of view it could not have seemed anything except one-sided.

1375. The difficulty would have been equally well solved if you had told the girl to receive instruction in the Protestant religion and see whether she could not believe in that.

It is true that if she did, there would no longer be a difference of religion between the two parties. But from the Catholic point of view such advice could neither be lawfully given nor lawfully acted upon. I am not speaking of civil law, but of the moral law binding upon one's conscience before God. On his own principles, a Protestant may consider the possibility of becoming a Catholic. He holds that one Church is as good as another, and neither holds nor believes that any particular Protestant Church is the one true Church. But one who has the Catholic Faith does believe that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, and is not free in conscience to entertain the thought of leaving it.

1376. Would it not have been fairer to suggest both alternatives?

No. For I was not suggesting that the Protestant should violate his conscience. But if I suggested to a Catholic to consider the possibility of becoming a Protestant, I would be advising a violation of conscience. For I would be advising such a Catholic to entertain doubts about the truth of the Church she knows quite well to have been founded and guaranteed by Christ Himself. That would be disloyalty to Christ personally. In giving advice, a Catholic must do so from the viewpoint of one who does believe in the truth of the Catholic religion, not from the viewpoint of one who does not believe in it. One may advise a person with the wrong religion to consider the possibility of changing to the right religion. But one may not advise a person with the right religion to consider the possibility of changing to the wrong religion. That is bound to seem strange to you, and the only way in which you will be able to make sense )of it is to try to see it from the Catholic viewpoint, saying to yourself that if Catholics believe their Church to be the one true Church on earth, then they could not consistently adopt any other attitude.

1377. Did not the early Fathers, such as Jerome, Augustine and Clement of Alexandria, see so much good even in the pagan philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, that they said they regarded them as Christians?

They did not regard them as Christians in the strict sense of the word. Their thought was that, as God had planned from the very beginning to send Christ to give mankind the true religion, all who contributed in any way towards the realization of the designs of Providence were to that extent "Christians," even though they did not know it. The Greek philosophers, by promoting the search for truth, inspiring a desire of virtue, and purifying the crude religious notions that then prevailed, undoubtedly helped to prepare the Gentile world for conversion to Christianity. But no tributes to the work of the pagan Greek philosophers made St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Clement of Alexandria less conscious of the need of converting people to the Catholic Church. For that they worked and prayed, despite their recognition of goodness in so many outside the Church.

1378. Why, then, cannot you recognize people who are good Christians today, even though not Roman Catholics, as belonging to the true Church?

Because it is impossible to recognize the Church of any non-Catholic as the true Church, however good he may be and however sincere in trying to live a good life. The Catholic Church, as a Church, is quite different from all other Churches as Churches. For the Catholic Church is not an institution planned and founded by men, as were other Churches, but it was planned and founded by Christ Himself, with all His divine authority. That is why Catholics are not free to recognize other Churches as being "just as good" as the Catholic Church, even though they may be put to shame at times by the personal goodness of individuals belonging to those other Churches.

1379. Although a Protestant, I say that by my baptism I became member of the one true Church. Rome has no exclusive claim to be that one true Church.

You are working on a half-truth, not on the full truth. Christ founded one Church, and one Church only. He instituted baptism as the Sacrament by which people could become members of the one Church He founded. That Church is the Catholic Church. If, then, baptism is validly administered, it makes the recipient a member of the Catholic Church Christ founded, and of no other. Thus far, what I have said seems to support your contention. But there is more to it than that. Christ founded a visible Church, for the organization of which He chose the twelve Apostles. And He promised that that Church would last all days till the end of the world. After 16 centuries, as we know, certain groups abandoned the visible Catholic Church and set up other independent and different Churches known as the various Protestant denominations. Those Churches are not part of the Catholic Church, for people cannot leave the Catholic Church and still belong to it. Now granted that you were validly baptized, your baptism made you a member of the Catholic Church, not of any other. However, through no fault of your own, you were brought up in a mistaken form of religion separated from the one genuine and visible Catholic Church in this world. To say that you are a "Protestant" is to say that you are a "non-Catholic," to whatever denomination you belong. So long as people in such a position do not realize their mistake, God does not hold them responsible for it. But an intelligent man, seeing the external divisions of so many conflicting Churches, is certainly obliged to ask himself which of them is the true Church; and if he discovers that it is the Church which is in communion with the Bishop of Rome, he is obliged to become a member of that Church in the external order, as he was meant to be by his baptism in the first place.

1380. Whatever we say, you are evidently prepared to make no concessions of any kind in regard to the exclusive claim of your Church to be the one true Church.

A sincere regard for the truth, and loyalty to Christ Himself, forbid the making of any such concessions

1381. We can only conclude that Roman Catholics insist on Christians being regimented into one single organization throughout the world.

The term regimented does not meet the situation. It almost suggests drafting people into an organization by conscription. What the Catholic Church does insist upon is the truth that Christ willed His Church to be one Church, and that all His followers should preserve amongst themselves that unity of belief, worship and discipline which one and the same religion requires. No one can be forced to join the Catholic Church, but those who realize its truth have the moral obligation to join it.

1382. The Protestant reformers gave us freedom by breaking with the idea that we should all be tied to a single organization.

That was not the freedom Christ intended us to possess. He established one Church, gave that Church spiritual authority to act in His name, and insisted that we should be subject to that authority. It is by accepting the teaching-authority of the Catholic Church that we attain to the fullness of the truth, of which Christ said: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Jn., VIII, 32. For it is by the teaching-authority of the Catholic Church that we are set free from a thousand uncertainties, and from the danger of falling into serious errors. And it is by means of the Sacraments which she puts at our disposal that we are set free from our sins and frailties; free in the end from that greatest of disasters, the loss of our souls—for which, according to Christ Himself, not the gaining of the whole world would be sufficient compensation. Matt., XVI, 26.

1383. From time to time we hear of Catholics themselves leaving your exclusively true Church and joining some Protestant Church, to benefit by the freedom gained for us by the reformers.

A person may, of course, lose his faith in his Catholic religion. In most cases where this happens, he abandons religion altogether. One thing is certain. If an ex-Catholic did join some Protestant Church, he would not have a faith in that Church similar to the faith he once had in the Catholic Church and so disastrously lost. For the faith of a Catholic in the Catholic Church as the one true Church of Christ is a divine and supernatural faith, on the same level as his faith in every other article in the Apostles' Creed. As he believes in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ our Lord, and in the Holy Ghost, so he believes in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; and knows that the Church to which he belongs is that Church. Never can he have the same supernatural conviction of the truth of any other Church.

1384. Why would a Catholic abandon what he knew to be the true Church in order to join a Protestant Church he knew to be wrong?

Men do not always live up to their convictions and their conscience; and even God will not compel them to do so. After all, Judas sold Christ for thirty pieces of silver. Not infrequently, an ill-instructed Catholic man, weak in his faith, will agree to adopt her own particular form of Protestantism in order to marry a Protestant girl. If she were a Methodist, he would be willing to become a Methodist; but with equal facility he would be prepared to become an Episcopalian, or a Presbyterian, or a Seventh Day Adventist or anything else, if it happened to be her particular religion. Where marriage is not the motive, business, social or other reasons at times account for them. But that unalloyed and sincere religious convictions account for them I utterly deny. I am speaking, of course, of people who are otherwise sane, not of those who are the unhappy victims of some form of mental aberration. People with a religious mania can be sincerely convinced that they are pursuing a right course, though all normal people realize that they are subject to an obsession for which they are not responsible.



A Radio Analysis"
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