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

Cause of sectarian bigotry

1385. Listening to the discussion of these matters in your radio program leaves me very sad at heart.

I can quite understand that. For I am well aware that the very definite stand which the Catholic Church must always take against the breakdown of Christian principles and the growing religious indifference must leave her open to much misunderstanding by well-intentioned people. I really see no way out of that difficulty.

1386. There are many things attractive and appealing in the Catholic religion, but always one comes up against the exclusive claim be the one true Church.

Rightly understood, that very claim is one of the most appealing and attractive things about the Catholic Church. But until one does get the Catholic outlook, it naturally seems intolerant.

1387. Your religion must tend to make people hard and unsympathetic towards others.

You are making the common mistake of thinking that an uncompromising fidelity to principles necessarily means a lack of understanding and sympathy towards those who do not accept those principles. Such is not the case. It is possible to reconcile fidelity to truth with charity towards all men, refusing to compromise the truth, yet refusing equally to be hard and intolerant towards the persons of others.

1388. Even whilst speaking of the necessity of charity, you yourself violate it by condemning all other religions.

It is not a violation of charity to maintain the truth of one religion and that all others differing from it are mistaken. It would be a violation of charity to manifest any hostility or animosity towards the persons of those who belong to religions we hold to be mistaken. With many people toleration seems to mean that there is no religion so certain that it is worth defending or fighting for; as if the only thing that matters is good fellowship all round, no regard being paid at all to what has to be sacrificed. But that is simply an irreligious attitude, not really tolerance.

1389. Sectarianism, the fruit of bigotry, is a hateful thing which deserves all that can be said against it.

That is true. But we must keep clearly in mind what sectarianism means. It is not sectarianism for people to differ in their religious convictions. It is not sectarianism for each man to be faithful to his own religious convictions, as any sincere man is in conscience bound to do. But it sectarianism to give way to feelings of bitterness and hatred towards others merely because their religious convictions are not one's own; or because his conscience will not allow him to do what one would like him to do. And it is sectarianism to yield to the spirit of religious prejudice and to slander people with no regard for honesty and charity. That is the sectarianism which is truly a hateful thing, and one which deserves all the can be said against it.

1390. Your denouncing sectarianism is like Satan rebuking Satan. For the greatest offenders in this matter are the responsible heads of the Roman Communion itself.

That is not true. There would not be any sectarianism, of course, had there never arisen any non-Catholic religious sects to denounce and protest against the Catholic Church. But listen to these words of Mr. C. A. Windlt editor of the American magazine, "Truth and Light." Mr. Windle was a Protestant who voiced his indignation again and again at the campaign of sectarian hatred against Governor Smith's candidacy for President of the United States in 1928, a campaign based solely on the fact that Governor Smith was a Catholic. Here is what he wrote: "In America, the only prejudice that menaces the principles of religious liberty is anti-Catholic prejudice, and I say this as a non-Catholic myself. There is no movement among Catholics to discriminate against Protestants, or to deny them their rights as citizens on account of religion, while there are dozens of organizations of Protestants whose ruling principle, stated or implied, is to abridge the rights of Catholics. Search the Catholic papers as you will, read Catholic books, listen to Catholic priests and lay orators, and you will not find a single attack upon Protestants such as characterize so many Protestant papers, ministers, and zealous orators. Catholics know that some Protestants commit crimes, that some preachers go wrong, but they do not condemn as criminal or immoral all Protestants on this account. But the average non-Catholic has been handed so much misinformation concerning Catholic teachings, dogmas, and practices, that he cannot help being prejudiced. He is looking at Catholicity through the distorted lenses furnished him by anti-Catholic agitators." All that Mr. Windle has said of America is true also here in Australia; so much so that one of our secular daily papers declared that the posters on the newsstands advertising some of our Protestant religious papers may be insulting to Catholics, but must be still more embarrassing to every decent Protestant.

1391. Who have been the bigots historically, Catholics or Protestants?

History reveals bigotry both amongst Catholics and amongst Protestants. But the preponderance of bigotry has undoubtedly been on the Protestant side; and the reasons for that should be obvious. It must be remembered that the Protestant Reformation began as a movement of heated dissent from the Catholic Church. To justify itself it had to denounce the Catholic Church as utterly evil and corrupt; and denunciation of the Catholic Church has remained part of the Protestant tradition. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, has continued to concentrate her attention primarily on her duty of teaching the Christian religion to mankind, only secondarily giving her attention to the refutation of charges leveled against her. Affected by this attitude of their Church, Catholics put the main emphasis upon fidelity to their own religion, not upon the deficiencies they think they perceive in others. As a consequence, there is much less room for bigotry in Catholicism than in Protestantism, from the very nature of things. It would, of course, be altogether too much to say that no individual Catholics have ever manifested the spirit of bigotry. All I maintain is that Catholicism is much less likely to result in bigotry than Protestantism; and that history bears this out in practice. Needless to say, the only weapon against bigotry is not reciprocal bigotry, but Christian charity.

1392. When asked why Catholic priests do not join with clergy of other branches of the Christian Church in joint services, you replied that there is only one branch, the Roman branch; and that other so-called branches are either np branches at all, or are withered and dead branches which have cut themselves off from the only true Church.

Never have I said that there is only one branch, the Roman branch. I have said that there is only one true Church, the Catholic Church. Branches of that Church must be living branches, still retaining their union with the parent tree. The Catholic Church in Australia, or America, or Africa, or India, or in the various countries of Europe, fits in with the idea of living branches. But those who left the Catholic Church at the time of the Protestant Reformation cannot expect their different Protestant sects to be regarded as branches of that Catholic Church. They are divisions from the Church, not coordinated parts within the Church, making up one complete body. And Catholic priests are not free in conscience to take part in the worship of those who left the Catholic Church, as if they had never left it at all! To give that explanation to one who asks for it, and to do so withoui any trace of bitterness, ill-feeling, prejudice or hatred, is not to be guilt a of sectarianism. It is to render a service to an enquirer who professes to be seeking information.

1393. Why is the Roman Catholic Church afraid to let its adherents worship in the Churches of other Christian denominations differing from it?

Your very question contains the answer. A Catholic must worship God according to the religion in which he believes, not according to the religious rites of Churches which differ from his own and in which he does not believe. It is a matter of consistent fidelity to principles. If a man has no principles on this subject and thinks that one religion is as good as another, he will attend all types of Churches without scruple. But no Catholic accepts the idea that one religion is as good as another. He believes that the Catholic religion is the one true religion, and that all other Churches existing independently of, or in opposition to the Catholic Church, are mistaken and opposed to the will of Christ. From this you can see why the Catholic Church is afraid to let her members participate in the religious services of non-Catholic Churches She is afraid of disloyalty to Christ by attendance at Churches not established by Himself. She is afraid lest the presence of Catholics at various Protestant Churches might confirm Protestants in the erroneous notion that one religion is as good as another, and that they are quite all right as they are. She is afraid lest the presence of some Catholics should give bad example to other Catholics. Edification is the first law of Christian conduct, and it is not edifying to see a Catholic publicly violating his convictions in so serious a matter as one's duties to God.

1394. When will you understand that good people who differ from you religiously also profess to be Christians?

We Catholics are well aware of that. But that would not justify pretending that the religion itself which Catholics profess, and the religions various good non-Catholics profess are so alike that there is no real difference between them or that the differences are of no importance.

1395. Paul wrote: "Let all your things be done with charityI Cor.9 XVI, 14.

St. Paul wrote as you say. But in the verse preceding the one you quote, he said: "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, do manfully and be strengthened." I Cor., XVI, 13. What is the faith in which we are to stand fast? The faith St. Paul had in mind was the Catholic Faith, and no other. Charity extends all sympathy and kindness to mistaken people; but it does not compromise with error, watering down the truth through false sentiment. To do that would only deprive others of the chance of getting the truth, an injury to them which charity itself forbids.

1396. The Roman Church, in her isolation of ideas, seems to think that she is just it and a bit, but not bigoted.

Your expression "in her isolation of ideas" is a strange reference to the fact that her teachings differ from the opinions of non-Catholics. It implies even a reproach that the Catholic Church cannot manage to teach just what everybody else already thinks, although that would be manifestly impossible, since everybody else doesn't happen to think alike. Definite convictions of any kind carry with them the necessity of believing opposed ideas to be mistaken. Your charge that the Catholic Church seems to believe itself "just it and a bit" includes two ideas—that the Catholic Church behaves as if conscious of being right; and that such behavior is arrogant, to say the least. But I deny the arrogance, for hers is not a self-assumed infallibility. She has definite evidence that any reliability she possesses is due to the One who acts through her, Christ, who founded her in the first place. And her fidelity to her principles is not bigotry, unless all fidelity to principle is to be branded as bigotry.

1397. In the Lord's Prayer we are told to pray: "Thy Kingdom come".

We are. But we must at all costs get right ideas of the Kingdom for the coming of which we are to pray. That Kingdom requires the reign of Truth over men's minds; of Righteousness over their wills; and of Divine Love over their hearts. You seem to overlook entirely the need of unity in the Truth.

1398. If there were more charity between the different Churches, that would help the Kingdom of God the world over.

Charity is necessary. But it is not all. If charity has its duties, Truth has its rights. And the Kingdom of God demands that its members be one in Truth and in Goodness and in Love. We cannot say that the Kingdom of God requires of its members that they should try to be good, and to love one another, and that what each one believes does not matter at all!

1399. Up to date, the chaotic disorder in the world does not suggest that We have got very far along those lines.

The conditions prevailing in this world on an earthly plane are not really the test. Christ said: "My kingdom is not of this world." John, XVIII, 36. Speaking of this world, He said that there will be wars and rumors of war until the end of time. We must look, not at the world, but at His Church. If you say that the Church itself is riddled with divisions and in a state of chaotic disorder, you are confusing all the different and conflicting non-Catholic denominations with the Church itself. They are separated from the Church, and not part of it. In the Catholic Church there is no chaotic disorder. All Catholics are one in faith, worship and discipline. And the prayer: "Thy Kingdom come" is a prayer for the growth and progress of the Catholic Church on earth as the preparation for the coming of our Lord's eternal and heavenly Kingdom. It might seem that it would be comfortable all round if the Catholic Church ceased to "stand fast in the faith" and were to follow the general inclination towards indifference in matters of doctrine. But if she did this, religion would be weakened everywhere. Taking the long range view, the day will come when all who profess to be Christians will be grateful that one Church stood fast against the forces of disintegration. Apart from advantages or disadvantages, however, the Catholic Church would be false to her trust if she did not stand four-square for the very fullness of the Christian religion, as she has preserved it from the very beginning. She can but continue on her divinely-appointed way, reactions to her claini being left to people themselves and to the grace of God.

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"THAT CATHOLIC CHURCH
A Radio Analysis"
- Book Title