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

Religious persecution

1494. Is it true that, when the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" was drawn up by a Committee appointed by the United Nations Organization, the Roman Catholic delegates did not want the attitude of their Church to religious freedom to become known?

No. The Committee did not want a full explanation of the Catholic position put before it. AH the deliberations of the United Nations Organization were conducted on a purely secular and non-religious basis. This was on a much lower level than that on which the Catholic Church would have liked to have them conducted. You must remember that the one proposed reference to God was excluded after the protest of the Soviet delegates that such a reference would introduce a "very controversial matter." Catholic delegates had to do the best they could on the inadequate secular level adopted, trying to get as many good principles as possible incorporated in the Declaration of Human Rights, resigning themselves to inadequacies, tolerating some less acceptable propositions of other delegates, and then voting for the Declaration as a whole on the score that in general its merits outweighed its imperfections.

1495. I admit that Protestants have persecuted; so please don't bring that up. But I want to know the Catholic attitude towards persecution.

I can give you that in three words—it is wrong. But the lawful execution of enemies of the State, authorized by competent authorities after due trial, is not to be ranked as persecution. We may quarrel with the methods of execution which prevailed in past ages because they do not fit in with our present ideas. But to condemn past methods on present standards is to lose one's sense of historical perspective. A right judgment demands that we try to see things from the viewpoint of people who lived then, not from the viewpoint of ourselves, who live in later stages of progressive civilization. One further point. Whilst the lawful execution of enemies of the State is not to be ranked as persecution, no one will deny that there have been many miscarriages of justice through the ages, whether through error or malice. These miscarriages of justice, however, afford no grounds for sweeping condemnations of the whole system, whether civil or ecclesiastical, in which they occurred.

1496. I am under the impression that persecution for heresy has been, and still is, an established principle with the Papacy; in other words, it is not just a mere relic of the dark ages.

You are under a wrong impression. What is persecution? It is ill-treatment of a person on religious grounds without just cause and legitimate authority. The imposition of penalties for just reasons by lawful authority upon persons subject to that authority cannot be called percution. For example, a judge who sentences criminals to imprisonment or to death when they have been proved guilty is not a "persecutor" of the criminal classes. Now in the Middle Ages all Europe was Catholic, the interests of both Church and State were so linked with one another that heretics invariably included subversive activities against the State with their opposition to the Church. I am speaking of heretics who were apostate Catholics, not of Protestants as in our own day who have never known nor professed the Catholic religion. The Church condemned these apostate Catholics for their denial of the Catholic Faith, as she was obliged to do; and she declared that it was quite lawful for the State to punish militant heretics who insisted on propagating doctrines which of their very nature were subversive of civil authority as well. That was not persecution. It was the legitimate exercise of constitutional authority. Conditions which prevailed then, however, do not prevail now; and the Catholic Church does not hold that those who differ from her religiously are necessarily opposed to the State as at present constituted. Not only does she not advocate temporal penalties for unorthodox religious beliefs; she would positively condemn them. Moreover, again and again she has condemned the persecution of minorities whether through racial or religious antipathies. Whether in theory or in practice, therefore, it is not true to say that "persecution for heresy" is an established principle with the Papacy.

1497. What are the laws of the Catholic Church governing the treatment of so-called heretics?

By so-called heretics I presume you mean people of our own times who have been brought up to profess to be Christians, but not to believe in the Catholic Church. I usually refer to them simply as non-Catholics. Now the laws in regard to these may be reduced to four. (1) All Catholics are obliged to treat them with kindness and charity in thought, word and deed. (2) All non-Catholics must be granted full freedom to practice their religion according to the dictates of their conscience. (3) Never may any pressure be brought to bear upon them to compel them to become Catholics against their will. (4) Catholics are obliged to do their utmost to explain the Catholic religion to those willing to listen, and to try to win them by good example and prayer to a voluntary acceptance of the Catholic Faith.

1498. You have frequently condemned Rome's authoritarian competitor, the Kremlin, for its ruthless suppression of religious liberty and freedom of worship.

I have declared the ruthless suppression of religious freedom by Communists to be opposed both to the law of God and to Catholic principles. Since the Catholic Church does not aim at the same ends as the Kremlin, I deny that they can be regarded as competitors. The Catholic Church says with Christ: "My kingdom is not of this world." She may be in this world, but she is ever mindful of Our Lord's command to be in the world, yet not of the world. John, XVII, 16. The Kremlin, on the other hand, thinks only of a kingdom very much of this world, and positively denies that there is any kingdom at all which is not of this world.



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