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

Protestants and the principles of religious liberty

1449. The "Catholic Encyclopaedia" says: "The Church has been, and still remains, intolerant of all other religions. She regards dogmatic intolerance not alone as her incontestable right, but also as a sacred duty."

True. And if that scandalizes you, I would be scandalized if such were not the attitude of the Catholic Church, and I would abandon it. But note the sense of the words. The Church remains intolerant of "all other religions"ónot of people who profess those religions mistakenly, but quite sincerely. All that the sentence means is that the Catholic Church, convinced of the truth of the religion she is commissioned to safeguard and teach, cannot admit that any other religions are equally right. She is as bound to declare them mistaken as you would refuse to admit tolerantly that 2 and 2 make 5, instead of 4. "Dogmatic intolerance" merely means that one who is certain of a given truth is not free to admit tolerantly that doctrines opposed to it are also true. And granted that the Catholic conviction is true, that Christ is God, that He taught the doctrines upheld by the Catholic Church, and that He commanded that Church to teach them to mankind, and to defend them, how could the Catholic Church do otherwise than declare it to be her right and duty to carry out Christ's command? If she did not, she would be false to her charge, and I myself would, as I have said, abandon her. There is not a word in all this to imply that the Catholic Church would want to treat intolerantly the persons of those who mistakenly hold doctrines differing from those she is commissioned to teach.

1450. Is it not to Martin Luther, after his conversion from Romanism, that the world owes religious liberty?

No. True, he liberated his followers from the Catholic Church, and from the restraints of the law of Christ. But to those who followed him out of the Church he did not grant liberty. He substituted his own authority and that of the German Lutheran princes for that of the Catholic Church. He urged the German princes to use force to suppress anyone who taught otherwise than Dr. Martin Luther, telling them to hand such a one over to "his proper master, the master executioner." The German historian, P. Wappler, declares that "Luther approved of the death penalty, inflicted for the exclusive reason of heresy."

1451. Luther was the very champion of freedom of thought.

That is a legend. Hallam, in his "Introduction to the History of Literature," writes as follows: "The adherents of the Church of Rome have never failed to cast two reproaches on those who left them; one, that the Reform was brought about by the tyranny of princes; the other, that after stimulating the most ignorant to reject the authority of the Church, it instantly withdrew this liberty of judgment and devoted all who presumed to swerve from the line drawn by law to violent obloquy, and sometimes to bonds and to death. These reproaches, it may be a shame to us to own, can be uttered, and cannot be refuted." Vol. I, p. 200.

1452. Luther was the first to advocate complete separation of Church and State.

His doctrine applied only to those rulers opposed to his teachings. Then he would bid temporal rulers not to meddle with spiritual things, and declare the State to be "of the devil," whose laws Christians had no moral obligation to obey. But he taught the very opposite where German princes were favorable to Lutheranism. Then the ruler was "the agent of God," rightly using the sword to enforce religion.

1453. It is to him that we owe democracy.

His principles tend of their very nature to totalitarianism. Catholics believe in a religious authority distinct from and higher than any earthly authority. That may have led to conflict with civil rulers when those rulers have wished to exceed their rights, but it certainly does not favor totalitarianism. Luther, however, simply gave temporal rulers political despotism over the consciences of men when he delivered religion into the hands of the State. Scherr, in "German Culture," p. 260, writes: "Luther was the originator of the doctrine of unconditional surrender to civil power." Nowhere is this clearer than in the history of the Peasants' War. In 1524 the peasants in German Lutheran territories revolted against the princes, demanding the abolition of serfdom. Luther was preaching about the liberty of Christian men, so they begged him to take up their cause. But Luther needed the help of the German princes to establish his religion, and he urged them to slay the peasants mercilessly. The scandal was enormous, and it will and it will ever remain in the pages of history as an indictment of Martin Luther.



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