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

Catholic intolerance

1441. Are not all lovers of freedom tolerant of other honest men who, seeking the same goal, merely see a different road towards it?

We should be tolerant towards all other honest men. But that does not mean that we must approve the different roads they think will lead to the same goal. In religious matters, one who knows that Christ is God, and that He has revealed a definite road to be followed, cannot treat with equal respect roads differing from it which men have thought out for themselves. Tolerant of the persons of others, he cannot be tolerant of their mistaken notions. The Catholic, knowing the Catholic religion to be the one true religion, must respect freedom of conscience in others. And so long as others do not see for themselves the truth of the Catholic religion, those others must in no way be compelled to conform to the Catholic religion, but must be granted freedom to worship God according to their own religious convictions.

1442. You talk of tolerance, but your Church has ever bred intolerance instead of love.

The Catholic Church, loving the truth, is intolerant of error; loving virtue, it is intolerant of vice. But loving all humanity, the Catholic Church is tolerant towards the persons of mistaken people subject to error; and of weak and sinful people subject to vice. They are viewed by the Catholic Church with nothing but compassion and charity.

1443. Historical records show quite clearly that the Church of Rome through the ages has consistently denounced liberty of thought, of conscience and of worship.

The Catholic Church has consistently condemned the doctrine that human thought, conscience and worship are subject to no limitations whatever. She has ever taught that man is not morally free to deny what he knows God has revealed to be true, or to hold to be right what he knows God forbids, or to despise those forms of worship which he knows the Christian religion prescribes. But she has also held and taught always that if a man is unaware of the truth, or does not realize his genuine moral obligations, then he is obliged to do what his own conscience tells him he ought to do, and that he must be granted liberty to do so. If he wants to be free, not only in his personal conduct, but to inflict his views upon other people, then other considerations naturally arise. But it cannot be said without qualification that the Catholic Church objects to liberty of thought, conscience and worship on the part of the individual. There is a little axiom that a half-truth is often more dangerous than a straight-out lie; and in loose talk about liberty that axiom is verified as in few things else.

1444. Do Protestants have the freedom in Catholic countries like Catholics have in our country?

Before answering that, I must remind you that this country is neither Catholic nor Protestant. Its attitude towards religion is based on official indifference to any kind of religion. For any freedom Catholics possess in our country, therefore, they are indebted, not to Protestantism,- but to secular indifference to religion. In Catholic countries where Catholic principles affect State legislation Protestants are granted full freedom of worship, but not freedom to engage in positive efforts to undermine the faith of the Catholics in whose midst they live. Certainly no Protestant country, were it run on Protestant principles, would grant to Catholics anything like the liberty Protestants are granted in Catholic countries. In England, so long as strictly Protestant principles regulated the Government, intolerance towards both Catholics and Nonconformists was the order of the day. It was a crime not to conform to the established National Church of England. Catholic recusants and Nonconformist Protestants had their property confiscated, and were thrown into prison. To escape that intolerance, shiploads of migrants fled to Amercia, amongst whom were both Catholics and Nonconformist Protestants. But acting on their own Protestant principles, even there the Nonconformist Protestants granted no tolerance to Catholics. Liberty was granted to Catholics, both in England and America, only as specifically Protestant principles were abandoned as guidance in political legislation. Only Maryland was opened by Lord Calvert to all alike.

1445. Louis Veuillot, a French Catholic writer of great authority, said: "When we are in a minority, we ask for religious liberty in the name of your Protestant principles. When we are in a majority, we refuse it in the name of ours." That sums up the Catholic attitude towards religious liberty

Louis Veuillot did not mention the word Protestant. Early in the 19th century, French anti-clericals, rationalists and unbelievers, who called themselves "Freethinkers," were in political control of France. And these declared enemies of the Christian religion attacked the one form of Christianity in France which was of any importance, the Catholic Church. Louis Veuillot denounced their refusal of liberty to the Catholic Church, and to show how illogical they were, he told them that since they called themselves freethinkers and professed to believe in freedom to think as one pleases, Catholics demanded in the name of those very principles to be left free to think as they pleased. He explained that, as Catholics did not hold such freethinking principles, the argument did not logically apply to them. But he rightly argued that it did logically apply to professed freethinkers, if their principles were as they boasted them to be. It is flagrant distortion to regard that logical retort to irreligious freethinkers as a declaration of the attitude of Catholics towards Protestants. When Catholics are in a majority, according to their own Catholic principles they are not entitled to refuse religious liberty to a Protestant minority within just limits. It is only when a Protestant minority, not content to practise its own religion, wants to interfere with the religion of Catholics that it will find its activities curtailed.

1446. The Catholic author, Hilaire Belloc, in his book, "Survivals and New Arrivalsdenounced the idea of toleration, and looked forward hopefully to the return of persecution.

You do Hilaire Belloc a very great injustice. For he was speaking, not of the persecution of others by Catholics, but of the persecution of the Catholic Church by the forces of irreligion! In his book he pointed out that the spirit of tolerance is due only too often, not to an increase of Christian charity, but to a decrease of religious conviction; people becoming so indifferent to religion that they simply cannot be bothered with it. His thesis is that the Catholic Church, the one live religion, will have to re-convert nations which have drifted to religious indifference and modern paganism. He declares that if the Catholic Church shows signs of making progress those who prefer comfortable unbelief will become alarmed. The old opposition of paganism versus Catholicism will reappear, as in the early centuries of Christianity. And it may even be that, if the Catholic religion seems to be making too much progress, modern paganism will resort to direct persecution of Catholics. And he bids Catholics regard such renewed persecution as a sign that the Catholic religion is advancing, not that it is dying out under the contagion of unbelief. How on earth can you regard that thesis as an argument that the Catholic Church longs to persecute Protestants!

1447. In his book, "The Belief of Catholics" Monsignor Ronald Knox stated: "A Catholic State will not shrink from repressive measures in order to secure domination of Catholic principles".

In later editions of his book, Monsignor Knox added a special preface protesting against isolating such a sentence, and giving it a meaning never intended and which it could not have in its proper context. He explains that he was speaking of a country in which all people are Catholics. If other religious bodies, not yet established in such a country, wish to introduce their conflicting sects, with the danger of destroying the prevailing religious unity, then the Catholic State will not shrink from legislative measures to prevent such efforts, and to preserve the religion of the entirely Catholic population. No one can declare such an attitude unreasonable. Nor can anyone reasonably regard it as advocating the repression of such forms of Protestantism as already exist in the country.

1448. Cardinal Villeneuve, of Canada, declared publicly on one occasion that "the Catholic Church does not believe in democracy".

People associate the word democracy with the idea of freedom. Unscrupulous writers, therefore, think that if they can create the impression that the Catholic Church is opposed to democracy they can create the impression that the Catholic Church is opposed to freedom. But Cardinal Villeneuve did not say that the Catholic Church is opposed to democracy. He pointed out that it is not part of the Catholic Faith that one must believe in any particular form of civil government. A Catholic, as a Catholic, is not obliged to believe in democracy any more than he has to believe in monarchy. The Church declares that the two extremes of tyranny and anarchy are wrong. In the one case you have despotism, no matter by whom it is employed, whether by an absolute monarch, or a dictator, or by a political group such as the Communist Party. On the other hand, anarchy means the denial of all legitimate authority, with consequent chaos and disorder, to the great injury of the State. Apart from these extremes, a Catholic may believe in absolute monarchy or limited monarchy; in pure democracy or mixed democracy. And it cannot, therefore, be said that the Catholic Church imposes upon her members belief in democracy as a political form of government. But how different is that statement from what you wish to imply!



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