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Radio Replies Second Volume - Sin ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 10/14/2010 10:19:02 AM PDT by GonzoII


596. In the Apostles' Creed Christians profess belief "in the forgiveness of sins."

Sin is undoubtedly a fact in this world; and if the true religion be for men, it cannot overlook that fact. Religion cannot abandon the sinner to himself. It is there to do something for him, and chiefly to destroy sin. The word "sin" is from the Latin word "sons" meaning "guilty"; and he who is guilty of moral evil is a sinner. Such moral evil is an offense against God.

597. No man can hurt God; and I am sure that people who do wrong have no thought of offending God.

Inability to do actual harm to God personally does not mean innocence and irresponsibility. As a matter of fact, One whom we cannot hurt because of His greatness and majesty deserves the greater reverence. And one does offend God in His designs by opposing His will of perfection and order. Moral evil introduces discord and abominations into the harmony of God's work. You say that evil-doers do not intend this, and have no thought of offending God. It may be that sinners rarely think of this aspect. Some do. But the majority rather seek to have whatever they desire, and merely ignore God's will. They would prefer to be able to sin without offending God. But that is not the wish to avoid evil. It is merely to wish that evil were good. That, however, cannot be; and they deliberately choose evil, despite God's prohibition.

598. Would you take literally Christ's words, "If thy right eye scandalise thee, pluck it out; for it is better that one of thy members should perish than that thy whole body be cast into hell"?

Those words are certainly not meant to be taken literally, for such mutilation of self would be sinful; and one can avoid sin without having to do that. Christ was driving home the lesson that sin as such, and above all grave sin, is the greatest of all evils. Speaking to the Jews He used a mode of speech with which they were quite familiar. He meant: "The salvation of your soul is your chief work." He chose a metaphor from surgery which, to save the body, has at times to amputate a limb or remove an organ — in those days a most painful business. And He meant, "Be ready to endure any suffering or trial rather than sin. Even had you to pluck out your eye or cut off your limbs — a thing which will never be necessary — deliberate sin would still be the worse alternative."

599. I heard a Catholic speak of two kinds of sin — mortal and venial. I couldn't believe my ears.

There certainly are two kinds of sin, some of a very grave character called mortal sin; others of a less grave character called venial. Mortal sins rob the soul of grace, and forfeit one's union and friendship with God. The man who deliberately disobeys the known law of God in grave and serious matters sets himself up against God, turns away from Him, and renounces His friendship. By doing so he turns his back on his eternal destiny in favor of a futile and transitory pleasure or advantage. Venial sins do not have such a far-reaching effect; but they do render one less pleasing in God's sight. The man who respects God's will in serious matters, but who offends in smaller matters, does not forfeit God's friendship altogether; and, therefore, by retaining His friendship, he maintains the true direction of his life towards God. But he does stray from the direct path of the good; and for that he will need forgiveness, and have to undergo proportionate purification of soul.

600. Evil cannot be a sin more or less; it is either a sin or it is not.

Venial sin is a sin — not "more or less" a sin. But there can be sins of more or less gravity. Sin is a crime insofar as it is a violation of God's laws. Now God is not less just than men. And crimes against human laws are of more or less gravity. Thus, we have capital crimes and penal crimes. Some offenses against civil law are so venial that the highest penalty for them is a small fine. The Judge may not inflict more. Murder, however, is in a different category altogether. It is a capital or mortal sin against the law, and can merit deprivation of life itself. Your own sense of justice will tell you that these distinctions between crimes against state laws are justified. And the same principle must apply to crimes against God's laws.

Mortal sin puts one beyond the pale of God's friendship; venial sin does not do so, but it carries with it its just penalties.

601. I don't agree that there are big sins and little sins before God, as if He did not regard stealing a stamp as being just as much stealing as taking a hundred dollars!

It may be just as much stealing, but it is not stealing just as much — even in God's sight. We do not say that venial sins are little sins as if they were negligible. Though they are not so grave as mortal sins, Catholic doctrine insists that no sins, grave or less grave, are ever justified.

602. The Bible certainly gives no grounds for saying that there are two kinds of sins.

That is not so. Keep in mind that mortal sin cuts one off from God's grace and friendship, while venial sin does not, even though it renders the soul less pleasing in God's sight. Now the Book of Eccleciasticus, in warning us against sin, says, "He that contemneth small things shall fall little by little." Sir 19:1. That is, succeeding sins tend to become greater as the conscience is deadened. Prov 24:16, tells us that even the just man falls often. In other words, while remaining just or justified by grace, he still has his small sins. Christ said that it would be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for Bethsaida, clearly indicating degrees in guilt. Mt 11:21. So, too, in Jn 19:11, Christ said to Pilate, "He that hath delivered me to you hath the greater sin." We cannot say the "sin is sin," and there are no different kinds of gravity.

603. The principle is at fault. All theft is sin, and hideous in God's sight. One sin is as much a sin as another.

No one suggests that lesser sins are not sins; nor that any sin is pleasing to God. All sin is hateful to Him. But some sins are more hateful than others. You say that the principle behind this distinction is at fault. But take the principle that we owe obedience to the laws of the state. One who violates a traffic law violates the principle of obedience to law. So does the gangster who murders a fellow citizen. Will you say that one is just as much a violation of the law as the other, and hang them both? Or if we take simply theft, can you see no difference between the child who steals a cake from the cupboard and the cold-blooded miser who robs a widow of her lifesavings?

604. If there are two kinds of sins, how do you distinguish one kind from another?

By the very nature of the thing forbidden; by the necessity of particular virtues to which particular vices are opposed; and also by the extent of damage done to others where justice is concerned. For example, according to the nature of the thing forbidden, some sins are always mortal, as direct hatred of God, deliberate blasphemy, murder, adultery, etc. When measured by the necessity of virtue, a deliberate denial of one's faith is a mortal sin because it implicitly denies God. Sins against justice are measured by the seriousness of the injury done to others. The more grave the injury the graver the sin. In addition to these factors, circumstances must be taken into account, as the degree of knowledge possessed by the person offending; the degree of advertence to the law before breaking it; the extent of really malicious will entering into the evil conduct.

605. Do all Catholics understand these things?

Yes. In particular cases difficulties can arise, of course. But in all doubts the Catholic knows that he has but to submit his case to the priest who is well trained in moral theology, and the priest will tell him what is lawful or not lawful; and what is a grave violation of the law, or a venial offense. It is because they lack such help and training that non-Catholics are so confused in this matter. Where they would consult a civil lawyer in difficulties of civil law, they consult no one as to whether their conduct is within the law of God or not, and as to the gravity of that law. So they speak of one sin being just as much a sin as another, making no allowance for degrees of guilt. If such ideas were transferred from moral disease to physical disease, one would have to say: "One disease is just as much a disease as another. There are no mortal diseases as cancer and consumption, and lesser diseases as measles and mumps. The principle is the same — all diseases are opposed to the law of physical health just as all sins are opposed to the law of spiritual health." These analogies from civil law with its varying degrees of guilt, and from physical diseases with the variations in intensity, show how inadequate are your ideas of sin.

606. Does a Catholic who commits mortal sin still belong to your Church?

Yes; but as a dead member. He receives no blood from the heart of the Church, which is Divine Love. He does not obey the directing inspiration of the Church, which is the spirit of Christ. He has no right to the Eucharist, which is the bread of life, and which should be nourishing the life he lacks. Though he still associates with living members, and kneels side by side with them in the Church he attends, he is like a paralyzed limb. He has cut himself off from communion with the Church from within. And it is his duty to recover the life of grace by Confession and repentance, and thus become a living member of the Church once more.

607. Besides distinguishing between mortal sin and venial sin, you also make a distinction between original sin and actual sin?

Yes. Original sin is the inherited guilt by which we participate in the first sin committed by Adam as representative of the whole human race. Actual sins are all sins subsequent to that first sin, whether in itself or in its derivation.

608. Was the original sin a mortal sin?

Yes; that is evident from the drastic consequences.

609. You maintain that the doctrine of the fall and that of the atonement are interdependent?

That is so.

610. Since the sin of Adam was necessary to produce the atonement, why did God blame Adam?

The sin of our first parents did not produce the atonement. God produced the atonement in order to repair the sin of our parents and of all subsequent generations. And as the sin of our first parents was not necessary, but was their own morally evil choice, God rightly blamed them.

611. Were not our first parents somewhat harshly treated, to say nothing of subsequent generations?

No one would deny the severity of the treatment. And that should at least impress upon us how grave an evil in God's sight must be the moral disease called sin. But, while not called upon to deny the severity of the treatment, I do deny that God has treated the human race unjustly. It has deserved far more suffering than it has received, and has not deserved the great blessings God has deigned to bestow upon it.

612. In making man, why did not God make a better job of it, if He did not want man to fall into sin?

A better job could not be made of it, in view of what God wanted man to be. God's will, of course, is the ultimate criterion of the qualities and perfections to be bestowed upon His various creatures. A cabbage has not the right to complain that it is not a horse; a dog has no right to complain that it is not a man. We cannot say that God would have made a better job of a cabbage had He made it a cat instead. Since He wanted to make a cabbage, it must be content to be a cabbage. Had God wanted to make a cat, and only a cabbage resulted from His work, there might be some room to complain that a better job might have been made of it. So, in the case of a human being, endowed with intelligence and free will.

Man was as perfect as possible in accordance with God's plan for him. But the gift of free will, of course, left man's destiny in his own keeping; and that included the possibility of an evil moral choice. Had that possibility not been present, man would not have had the honor and dignity of a free being; and no better job would have been made of man by depriving him of this honor and dignity.

613. If God wanted man to attain heaven, could He not have placed man there in the first place?

That would not have been in keeping with God's plan that man's destiny should be in his own hands. By his nature, man is made for earth rather than for heaven, and could have no natural right to be in heaven. God gave him all that his nature could rightly demand. In addition, God offered freely to man the prospect of an eternal supernatural happiness in heaven, provided man made a correct use of his mind and will by obedience to God's law. And He offered the help of Divine Grace for this purpose. Far from complaining that God did not do more for them, men should be grateful that He should have done so much in their favor.

614. The whole idea of the Catholic dogma concerning the fall of man and its patching up by the redemption implies folly in God, and merciless injustice.

If you think so, you cannot have a right apprehension of Catholic dogma.

615. God gave man a very weak will and provided a very strong devil to test it.

That is not true. If you wish to attack a teaching of any religion, you must first correctly state that teaching. That man's will was "very weak" and the devil "very strong" is your own invention. Again, it is opposed to Catholic teaching that God provided any devil at all. The devil, as evil, was not the work of God. An objection based on a wrong statement of Christian doctrine requires no answer save an indication that it is an effort to refute what the Christian religion does not teach.

616. Before creating Adam, God knew that he would fall.

That is true. But that was not the only thing that God knew. He knew that Adam would not be compelled to fall; and He knew also that, granted sin, side by side with His justice, His mercy would so provide for mankind that good would result from the evil; so much so that it would be infinitely better for mankind to have been created, and to fall from grace, than not to have been created at all.

617. Then God drove Adam out of the comparative safety of the Garden of Eden into a world abounding in pitfalls and dangers.

That is not a correct presentation of the case. Adam forfeited graces and privileges which were above the normal requirements of human nature, and never really due to man at all. He went from a privileged state to an unprivileged state.

618. When our first parents fell victims to an enemy far stronger than themselves, true mercy would have forgiven them.

Firstly, Adam did not fall a victim to an enemy far stronger than himself. We are dealing with sin, and sin is an evil choice of a free will. Now, even as God Himself would not coerce the will of Adam in favor of fidelity, so the devil could not coerce the will of Adam in favor of sin. He might tempt, suggest, allure; but he could not touch the will of Adam or Eve. Our first parents remained in control of their own destinies, and they were fully responsible for their choice. Secondly, mercy did grant ultimate forgiveness to them, for Scripture tells us that God drew them from their sin. (Wis 10:2.) But mercy itself demanded that this should be only after they had learned humility from consequent miseries. Physical sufferings are secondary when compared with wreckage of character. And if such sufferings contribute to the restoration of character they are not an unmitigated evil. Emotional pity and sentiment often lead human beings to mistake weakness for mercy. Parents who say they are too merciful to punish wrongdoing in their children are not really merciful to their children at all. They are too weak to do their duty; and how cruel they have really been is evident from the miserable and spoiled characters of those children throughout all their later years. There is something in being "cruel in order to be kind"; and God knows what is best for the welfare of human souls, whatever their circumstances.

619. True justice would have weakened the enemy to prevent further occurrence of such a catastrophe.

Your notion of weakening the enemy is based on the wrong idea that the devil had or has some compelling power over the human will, or that the human will is fully guilty where there may be present a diminished responsibility. In reality, justice does not demand the removal of the sources of temptation. Man's destiny is in his own keeping, and he must attain that destiny by the service of God and the practice of virtue. But there could be no just reward for a service of God which costs us nothing; and virtue is exercised in the midst of temptation. There is no particular virtue in being good when there is no inducement to be otherwise. It was quite just to leave us the opportunity of practicing true virtue in the midst of temptation; and it was merciful that forgiveness should be available for failures of which we repent.

620. Do you mean that we are all born in a guilty state before God?

We all commence our earthly existence without that life of Grace which would have been ours had Adam not sinned. Spiritual death is the state of every soul as individuals are born into this world. For we are all born children of wrath, as St. Paul says in Eph 2:3. In other words, we are all born in a state of original or inherited sin.

621. Why did God give men their freedom, when He knew beforehand that so many would misuse it and be lost for eternity?

Because He knew that men need not sin; and that His knowledge of what would eventuate did not cause them to sin. Also, included in His knowledge of the fall of man was His knowledge of the Incarnation of His own Son by whose redemptive merits every single sinner from the time of Adam would have a true opportunity of salvation from eternal loss. Finally, God knew that, however many people do lose their souls, viewing creation as a whole and relatively to human beings, the sum total of good will far outweigh the sum total of evil. It is a mistake to concentrate on the thought of individuals who are lost. God had not to choose between creating only those who are lost, and not creating at all. He had to choose between not creating, and creating a whole human race, not one of whom need go to hell, and of which, if some do lose their souls, multitudes do not. Why should those who save their souls be deprived of eternal happiness because others, who need not do so, choose to sin and to die without repenting?

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TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues
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Preface To Volume One of "Radio Replies"



Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics "adore statues"; because they "put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God"; because they say "indulgence is a permission to commit sin"; because the Pope "is a Fascist"; because the "Church is the defender of Capitalism." If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved. Therefore the Church is Divine.

If then, the hatred of the Church is founded on erroneous beliefs, it follows that basic need of the day is instruction. Love depends on knowledge for we cannot aspire nor desire the unknown. Our great country is filled with what might be called marginal Christians, i.e., those who live on the fringe of religion and who are descendants of Christian living parents, but who now are Christians only in name. They retain a few of its ideals out of indolence and force of habit; they knew the glorious history of Christianity only through certain emasculated forms of it, which have married the spirit of the age and are now dying with it. Of Catholicism and its sacraments, its pardon, its grace, its certitude and its peace, they know nothing except a few inherited prejudices. And yet they are good people who want to do the right thing, but who have no definite philosophy concerning it. They educate their children without religion, and yet they resent the compromising morals of their children. They would be angry if you told them they were not Christian, and yet they do not believe that Christ is God. They resent being called pagans and yet they never take a practical cognizance of the existence of God. There is only one thing of which they are certain and that is that things are not right as they are. It is just that single certitude which makes them what might be called the great "potentials," for they are ready to be pulled in either of two directions. Within a short time they must take sides; they must either gather with Christ or they must scatter; they must either be with Him or against Him; they must either be on the cross as other Christs, or under it as other executioners. Which way will these marginal Christians tend? The answer depends upon those who have the faith. Like the multitudes who followed Our Lord into the desert, they are as sheep without a shepherd. They are waiting to be shepherded either with the sheep or goats. Only this much is certain. Being human and having hearts they want more than class struggle and economics; they want Life, they want Truth, and they want Love. In a word, they want Christ.

It is to these millions who believe wrong things about the Church and to these marginal Christians, that this little book is sent. It is not to prove that they are "wrong"; it is not to prove that we are "right"; it is merely to present the truth in order that the truth may conquer through the grace of God. When men are starving, one need not go to them and tell them to avoid poison; nor to eat bread because there are vitamins in bread. One need only go to them and tell them that they are starving and here is bread, and the laws of nature will do the rest. This book of "Radio Replies" with 1,588 questions and answers goes out on a similar mission. Its primary task is not to humble the erroneous; not to glorify the Catholic Church as intellectual and self-righteous, but to present the truth in a calm, clear manner in order that with the grace of God souls may come to the blessed embrace of Christ.

It is not only the point of "Radio Replies" to prove that the Church is the only completely soul-satisfying Church in existence at the present day; it is also to suggest that the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many minds miss its obviousness. When therefore you, the readers of "Radio Replies" in the twentieth century, wish to know about Christ and about His early Church, and about His mysteries, we ask you to go not only to the written records but to the living Church which began with Christ Himself. That Church or that Mystical Person which has been living all these centuries is the basis of our faith and to us Catholics it speaks this way: "I live with Christ. I saw His Mother and I know her to be a Virgin and the loveliest and purest of all women in heaven or on earth; I saw Christ at Caesarea-Philippi, when, after changing Simon's name to Rock, He told him he was the rock upon which the Church would be built and that it would endure unto the consummation of the world. I saw Christ hanging on a cross and I saw Him rise from His tomb; I saw Magdalene rush to His feet; I saw the angels clad in white beside the great stone; I was in the Cenacle room when doubting Thomas put fingers into His hands; I was on Olivet when He ascended into heaven and promised to send His Spirit to the apostles to make them the foundation of His new Mystical Body on earth. I was at the stoning of Stephen, saw Saul hold the garments of those who slew him, and later I heard Saul, as Paul, preach Christ and Him crucified; I witnessed the beheading of Peter and Paul in Rome, and with my very eyes saw tens of thousands of martyrs crimson the sands with their blood, rather than deny the faith Peter and Paul had preached unto them; I was living when Boniface was sent to Germany, when Augustine when to England, Cyril and Methodius to the Poles, and Patrick to Ireland; at the beginning of the ninth century I recall seeing Charlemagne crowned as king in matters temporal as Peter's vicar was recognized as supreme in matters spiritual; in the thirteenth century I saw the great stones cry out in tribute to me, and burst into Gothic Cathedrals; in the shadows of those same walls I saw great Cathedrals of thought arise in the prose of Aquinas and Bonaventure, and in the poetry of Dante; in the sixteenth century I saw my children softened by the spirit of the world leave the Father's house and reform the faith instead of reforming discipline which would have brought them back again into my embrace; in the last century and at the beginning of this I heard the world say it could not accept me because I was behind the times. I am not behind the times, I am only behind the scenes. I have adapted myself to every form of government the world has ever known; I have lived with Caesars and kings, tyrants and dictators, parliaments and presidents, monarchies and republics. I have welcomed every advance of science, and were it not for me the great records of the pagan world would not have been preserved. It is true I have not changed my doctrine, but that is because the ‘doctrine is not mine but His who sent Me.’ I change my garments which belong to time, but not my Spirit which belongs to eternity. In the course of my long life I have seen so many modern ideas become unmodern, that I know I shall live to chant a requiem over the modern ideas of this day, as I chanted it over the modern ideas of the last century. I celebrated the nineteen-hundredth anniversary of the death of my Redeemer and yet I am no older now than then, for my Spirit is Eternal, and the Eternal never ages. I am the abiding Personage of the centuries. I am the contemporary of all civilizations. I am never out of date, because the dateless; never out of time, because the timeless. I have four great marks: I am One, because I have the same Soul I had in the beginning; I am Holy, because that Soul is the Spirit of Holiness; I am Catholic, because that Spirit pervades every living cell of my Body; I am Apostolic, because my origin is identical with Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem. I shall grow weak when my members become rich and cease to pray, but I shall never die. I shall be persecuted as I am persecuted now in Mexico and Russia; I shall be crucified as I was on Calvary, but I shall rise again, and finally when time shall be no more, and I shall have grown to my full stature, then shall I be taken into heaven as the bride of my Head, Christ, where the celestial nuptials shall be celebrated, and God shall be all in all, because His Spirit is Love and Love is Heaven."



Introduction To The American Edition Of "Radio Replies" Vol One


"Radio Replies" by Rev. Dr. Rumble, M.S.C., is the result of five years of answering questions during a one-hour Question Box Program over Radio Station 2SM Sydney, N.S.W. The revision of "Radio Replies" for American readers was prompted by the widespread interest the Australian edition created among Protestants and Catholics during the summer of 1937, when I was carrying on as a Catholic Campaigner for Christ, the Apostolate to the man in the street through the medium of my trailer and loud-speaking system. In the distribution of pamphlets and books on Catholicism "Radio Replies" proved the most talked of book carried in my trailer display of Catholic literature. The clergy and laymen engaged in Street Preaching agree that it is not so much what you say over the microphone in answer to questions from open air listeners but what you GET INTO THEIR HANDS TO READ.

My many converts of the highways and parks throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul have embraced the faith as a result of studying this book. Whole families have come into the Church through reading the book by this renowned convert from Anglicanism. The delay in getting copies from Sydney and the prohibitive cost of the book on this side of the universe led me to petition the author to have published a CHEAP AMERICAN EDITION in order to get this Encyclopaedia of Catholic Doctrine into the hands of fellow citizens. Because of the author's genius for brevity, preciseness, fearlessness and keen logic that avoids the usually long Scriptural and Traditional arguments of the average question and answer book, which is beyond the capacity of the man in the street, this manual of 1,588 questions and replies has already attracted readers throughout Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, England, Ireland, Canada and now the United States.

The questions he answers are the questions I had to answer before friendly and hostile audiences throughout my summer campaign. The piquant and provocative subject matter of this book makes it a fascinating assembly of 300 or more worth-while pamphlet tracts, a dictionary of doctrine for the desk of the FAMILY, the STUDENT, the SHOP HAND, the OFFICE WORKER, the ATTORNEY, the DOCTOR, the TEACHER, and the PREACHER. It is a handy standard reference book of excellence for popular questions which are more than ever being asked by restless and bewildered multitudes. It is a textbook for the Confraternities of Christian Doctrine Classes and Study Clubs.

A non-Catholic Professor after reading the book stated that, "If the Catholic Church could defend herself so logically as 'Radio Replies' demonstrates, then I do not see why you don't get more converts." Members of the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Societies and numerous women's societies have written in that they no longer have to apologetically say, "I can't answer that one." Catholic students in non-sectarian colleges and universities write in that they now walk the campus with this book under their arms, ready for all challenges and that this manual of ready reference has cured their INFERIORITY COMPLEX ON EXPOSITION OF CATHOLIC CLAIMS. Lapsed Catholics have come into my trailer-office to confess that the reading of "Radio Replies" has brought them back to the Church.

I am grateful to His Excellency Archbishop John G. Murray, D.D. for his approval of this compendium of dogmatic and moral theology for readers of the American Commonwealth and I am deeply appreciative to Rt. Rev. Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, D.D. for writing the Preface to this American edition.

From my experience on the Catholic Radio Hour, on the lecture platform, and in the pulpit, I do not hesitate to say that HERE AT LAST is the book that has something for everybody, the book for the UNINFORMED CATHOLIC, THE UNEDUCATED AND EDUCATED LAPSED CATHOLIC, and the PROSPECTIVE CONVERT.

Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty




Historical Context of "Radio Replies"

By markomalley

If one recalls the time frame from which Radio Replies emerged, it can explain some of the frankness and lack of tact in the nature of the responses provided.

It was during this timeframe that a considerable amount of anti-Catholic rhetoric came to the forefront, particularly in this country. Much of this developed during the Presidential campaign of Al Smith in 1928, but had its roots in the publication of Alexander Hislop's The Two Babylons, originally published in book form in 1919 and also published in pamphlet form in 1853.

While in Britain (and consequently Australia), the other fellow would surely have experienced the effects of the Popery Act, the Act of Settlement, the Disenfranchising Act, the Ecclesiastical Titles Act, and many others since the reformation (that basically boiled down to saying, "We won't kill you if you just be good, quiet little Catholics"). Even the so-called Catholic Relief Acts (1778, 1791, 1829, 1851, 1871) still had huge barriers placed in the way.

And of course, they'd both remember the American Protective Association, "Guy Fawkes Days" (which included burning the Pontiff in effigy), the positions of the Whigs and Ultra-Torries, and so on.

A strong degree of "in your face" from people in the position of authoritativeness was required back in the 1930s, as there was a large contingent of the populations of both the US and the British Empire who were not at all shy about being "in your face" toward Catholics in the first place (in other words, a particularly contentious day on Free Republic would be considered a mild day in some circles back then). Sure, in polite, educated circles, contention was avoided (thus the little ditty about it not being polite to discuss religion in public, along with sex and politics), but it would be naive to assume that we all got along, or anything resembling that, back in the day.

Having said all of the above, reading the articles from the modern mindset and without the historical context that I tried to briefly summarize above, they make challenging reading, due to their bluntness.

The reader should also keep in mind that the official teaching of the Church takes a completely different tone, best summed up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

269 UR 3 § 1.
270 Cf. CIC, can. 751.
271 Origen, Hom. in Ezech. 9,1:PG 13,732.
272 UR 3 § 1.
273 LG 8 § 2.
274 UR 3 § 2; cf. LG 15.
275 Cf. UR 3.
276 Cf. LG 8.
322 LG 15.
323 UR 3.
324 Paul VI, Discourse, December 14, 1975; cf. UR 13-18.

1 posted on 10/14/2010 10:19:04 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...

Radio Replies Ping

FReep-mail me to get on or off

“The Radio Replies Ping-List”


2 posted on 10/14/2010 10:20:24 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: All

The Radio Replies Series: Volume One

The Radio Replies Series: Volume Two

Chapter One: God

Radio Replies Volume Two: Proof of God's Existence
Radio Replies Volume Two: God's Nature
Radio Replies Volume Two: Supreme Control Over All Things and the Problem of Suffering and Evil

Chapter Two: Man

Radio Replies Volume Two: Destiny of Man/Death
Radio Replies Volume Two: Immortality of Man's Soul & Pre-existence Denied
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Human Free Will
Radio Replies Volume Two: Determinism Absurd

Chapter Three: Religion

Radio Replies Volume Two: Necessity of Religion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Salvation of the Soul
Radio Replies Volume Two: Voice of Science
Radio Replies Volume Two: Religious Racketeers
Radio Replies Volume Two: Divine Revelation

Radio Replies Volume Two: Revealed Mysteries
Radio Replies Volume Two: Existence of Miracles

Chapter Four: The Religion of the Bible

Radio Replies Volume Two: Gospels Historical
Radio Replies Volume Two: Missing Books of the Bible
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Bible Inspired
Radio Replies Volume Two: Biblical Account of Creation
Radio Replies Volume Two: New Testament Problems

Radio Replies Volume Two: Supposed Contradictions in Sacred Scripture

Chapter Five: The Christian Faith

Radio Replies Volume Two: Source of Christian Teaching
Radio Replies Volume Two: Jewish Rejecton of Christ
Radio Replies Volume Two: Christianity a New Religion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Rational Foundation for Belief
Radio Replies Volume Two: Causes of Unbelief

Chapter Six: A Definite Christian Faith

Radio Replies Volume Two: Divisions Amongst Christians
Radio Replies Volume Two: Schisms Unjustified
Radio Replies Volume Two: Facing the Problem
Radio Replies Volume Two: Wrong Approach
Radio Replies Volume Two: Is One Religion as Good as Another?

Radio Replies Volume Two: Obligation of Inquiry
Radio Replies Volume Two: Charity and Tolerance

Chapter Seven: The Protestant Reformation

Radio Replies Volume Two: Meaning of "Protestant"
Radio Replies Volume Two: Causes of the Reformation
Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholic Reaction
Radio Replies Volume Two: Reformers Mistaken
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Idealization of Protestantism
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Catholic Estimate

Chapter Eight: The Truth of Catholicism

Radio Replies Volume Two: Meaning of the Word "Church"
Radio Replies Volume Two: Origin of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Catholic Claim
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Roman Hierarchy
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Pope

Radio Replies Volume Two: The Petrine Text
Radio Replies Volume Two: St. Peter's Supremacy
Radio Replies Volume Two: St. Peter in Rome
Radio Replies Volume Two: Temporal Power
Radio Replies Volume Two: Infallibility

Radio Replies Volume Two: Unity of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Holiness of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholicity of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Apostolicity of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Indefectibility of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Obligation to be a Catholic

Chapter Nine: The Church and the Bible

Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholic Attitude Towards the Bible
Radio Replies Volume Two: Is Bible Reading Forbidden to Catholics?
Radio Replies Volume Two: Protestant Bibles
Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholic Douay Version
Radio Replies Volume Two: Principle of Private Interpretation

Radio Replies Volume Two: Need of Tradition
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Teaching Authority of the Catholic Church

Chapter Ten: The Dogmas of the Church

Radio Replies Volume Two: Revolt Against Dogma
Radio Replies Volume Two: Value of a Creed
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Divine Gift of Faith
Radio Replies Volume Two: Faith and Reason
Radio Replies Volume Two: The "Dark Ages"

Radio Replies Volume Two: The Claims of Science
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Holy Trinity
Radio Replies Volume Two: Creation and Evolution
Radio Replies Volume Two: Angels
Radio Replies Volume Two: Devils

Radio Replies Volume Two: Man
Radio Replies Volume Two: Reincarnation
Radio Replies Volume Two: Sin

3 posted on 10/14/2010 10:21:18 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

I dissagree with the premise that no man can hurt God because of his greatness.

Where there is great love, there can be great hurt.
I believe that being able to feel pain and hurt are part of being made in God’s image.

There is every reason to believe that Christ’s pain when he wept over Jerusalem, and in the garden when he sweat drops of blood, and on the road to Golgotha, and on the cross were all real.

4 posted on 10/14/2010 10:28:59 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN
"There is every reason to believe that Christ’s pain"

That is true the God-Man Jesus Christ could feel pain.

5 posted on 10/14/2010 10:38:54 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
I think God the Father also feels that same pain when Man rejects him or does evil.

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

6 posted on 10/14/2010 10:48:51 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: GonzoII
Since He wanted to make a cabbage, it must be content to be a cabbage. Had God wanted to make a cat, and only a cabbage resulted from His work, there might be some room to complain that a better job might have been made of it


7 posted on 10/14/2010 5:15:09 PM PDT by annalex (
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