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


In 1840, in his essay on Ranke's "History of the Popes," Lord Macaulay wrote: "There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church." One hundred years later, in 1951, John P. McKnight begins his book, "The Papacy—A New Appraisal," with the statement: "The Catholic Church and her Popes perennially challenge the writer. That is partly because their Church is 'the great fact' that 'dominates the history of modern civilization,' partly because the theme she provides is so vast, so complex. But it is also because few men are able to look upon the Roman Church impassively: partisanship speeds many pens."

In between these two authors, Macaulay's verdict has been justified by a continuous stream of books about the Catholic Church by non-Catholic writers. It would take too long to list them all here, H. C. Lea and C. J. Cadoux, Paul Blanshard and Avro Manhattan, Charles C. Marshall and H. G. Wells, and all the others, men and women, puzzled writers or angry writers, religious or irreligious writers, sympathetic writers or those filled with bitterness and hostility towards all things Catholic. But the one thing on which all agree is that the Catholic Church cannot be ignored. No other Church has the same importance in their eyes. Of no other Church would so many have dreamed of such length from so many different points of view. It is the Catholic Church which gives rise to books without end, as it will continue to impel men to write them till the end of the world itself.

Yet of all the books on this subject which have so far been published by non-Catholic authors, the Catholic cannot but feel how they miss the many-splendored reality of what all men know as the Catholic Church.

It seems impossible for one who lacks the vision of faith inspired by a profound conviction of the truth of the Catholic religion itself to do justice to the Catholic Church.

When the Rationalist Press Association published, in 1950, A. D. Howell Smith's 800-page study of the Catholic religion: "Thou Art Peter," the reviewer in "John O' London's Weekly" said candidly: "He begins with one great disadvantage in trying to understand the Roman Catholic Church — he writes from the rationalist standpoint. It is difficult, if not impossible, for anybody . . . who does not feel, even in a very small degree, the mystic urge, or who does not appreciate the 'beauty of holiness' (the phrase is Archbishop Laud's) to understand any religion worthy of the name. " It must be remembered that if, as Macaulay said, "there is not, and there never was on this earth, a work so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church," Catholics absolutely deny that their Church is to be regarded as merely a work of human policy. Undoubtedly, because it is a visible institution in this world, a certain element of human policy must enter into its administration by men; but because it is not of the world, but of God, there is much more to it than that.

To Catholics, their Church is as much a revealed mystery of their Faith as any other revealed mystery, such as that of the Holy Trinity or of the Incarnation of the Eternal Son of God. In the Apostles' Creed, equally with all else, they profess their faith in the Holy Catholic Church. Secular historians admit the historical reality of Jesus, but have no more faith in the fact that He was God as well as man than had the Scribes and Pharisees-.' So, too, they admit the fact of the Catholic Church. They declare her to be a magnificent institution with a marvelous organization indeed. But they have no faith in her. They no more see the two aspects in her, the divine and the human, than so many of the Jews saw both aspects in Christ as He stood before their very eyes.

Catholics see in their Church no merely human and social organization 'in this world. Enlightened by divine grace, and rising above all merely natural judgments, they see their Church as a mysterious and divine society. St. John wrote: "I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God." Apoc., XXI, 2. So, by faith, Catholics see their Church, not as a visible organization proving itself by historical signs and events, but as proceeding from God, identified with Christ, and filled with the Holy Ghost. They see her spiritual significance, as the very body of Christ our Lord, mother of souls, spotless, immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or any such thing; tending only to produce Saints, forgiving and destroying sin, giving the Bread of Life, and inspiring only the loftiest ideals. Her Origin is heavenly, not earthly; and so is her true character also.

Probably the most sympathetic study of the Catholic Church written in modern times by a non-Catholic is one which I have already mentioned, "The Papacy—A New Appraisal," by John P. McKnight. He frankly admits to an anti-Catholic bias, inherited from his Presbyterian forebears. He declares his unbelief in many basic Catholic doctrines; one of them in particular, the Infallibility of the Pope, which will be discussed later in this book. But he does try to be fair; and if he does not provide a true understanding of the Catholic Church, it is because seeing, he does not yet see; hearing, he does not yet hear. He lacks that great gift of the Catholic Faith.

Almost inevitably, his approach is defective. Speaking of the Church and the Popes he writes: "I propose to examine their political, rather than their religious, aspects and effects, their temporal manifestations rather than the faith qua faith." He admits that the temporal influence of the Church derives from her religious faith, and that it will therefore be impossible to avoid some reference to that faith. But the result is like the impression one gets when looking through the wrong- end of a telescope. It should be the other way about. One should make a religious study of the Catholic Church, of the faith qua faith; and then in the light of that faith, study the temporal influence which unavoidably derives from it because, though not of the world, the Catholic Church, established for the welfare of the souls of men, is necessarily and visibly in the world.

Not a detached and even would-be impartial approach, but a religious approach is necessary for anyone who would wish to gain a true under- Standing of the Catholic Church. For she is above all else the custodian and the dispenser of religious realities. That is her supreme mission, to which all else is secondary; and from which all her activities gain their significance and value.

IV .
This book, therefore, commences with a brief chapter on religion itself, on what the religious spirit means, before going on to a study of the Catholic Church herself from the religious point of view. Only then does it proceed to an examination of her impact upon civil society in this world, and of the inevitable difficulties arising from her having to exist in an environment often religiously non-Catholic, often one of sheer secularism either indifferent to religion of any kind or violently opposed to it.

The questions dealt with have been chosen from those submitted to my radio information session from Radio Station 2 S M, Sydney, Australia, I not from the whole of the 25 years during which it has been on the air, but from the last 13 years, from 1941 till 1954. Were even all the inquiries on topics within the scope of this book during that lesser period published, they would fill five volumes equal to it in size. Only one-fifth of them, therefore, have been included, the amount of space allotted to each subject I being strictly proportionate to the number of questions concerning it. That at least makes the book a guide to the aspects of the Catholic Church which I impress to a lesser or greater degree the minds of those who do not yet belong to her.

Needless to say, a book on the Catholic Church written by a Catholic following his own train of thought, and not that prescribed by the curiosity or the particular interests of non-Catholic inquirers, would probably have omitted much that the present volume contains, and included many other matters not to be found in its pages. But that would mean a book similar, to so many already available, and not the kind of book which has the particular advantages and value which it is hoped readers will find this one to possess.

Radio Station 2SM,
Sydney, Australia


A Radio Analysis"
- Book Title