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Radio Replies Second Volume - Attitude to "Free Love"
Celledoor.Com ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 05/24/2011 7:42:20 PM PDT by GonzoII

Attitude to "Free Love"

979. I do not understand all this talk about chastity. Personally, I can see no harm in people seeking outside marriage the pleasures you call sensual and immoral. I am an honest searcher after truth.

In other words, immorality for you is not a vice, and chastity is not a virtue. You see no harm in unbridled lust, and think pleasure the only standard of conduct. No wonder you cannot appreciate the Catholic religion! But tell me, honest searcher after truth as you are, if later you do marry and have children, would you advise one of your own daughters to become a prostitute? Would you assure her that she would thus be entering a quite honorable profession, nobly contributing to the legitimate pleasure and happiness of mankind, and at the same time embracing a profitable career?

980. I can understand that stealing, murder, and such crimes must be avoided because they harm our neighbors, but sexual pleasures harm no one.

You are talking arrant nonsense. You give as a reason for avoiding stealing and murder the fact that they harm our neighbors. Do you deny that they are wrong in themselves? If you steal $100, is the only thing wrong the fact that your victim has lost the $100? Was there no dishonesty and moral depravity in your action considered in itself? And if you say your action was not wrong in itself, will you tell me why it is wrong in itself to harm your neighbor? What precisely is your standard of morality — if you have one? Your assertion that promiscuous sexual pleasures harm no one is, of course, merely stupid. Individually and socially they have caused untold harm. The man who has not learned to control his passions in accordance with the purpose intended by God will end by descending to a level lower than that of the brute beast. And in no passion is this more quickly verified than in the case of sensuality and lust. The man who thinks sensual pleasures an end in themselves to be sought quite lawfully whenever desired will himself end in a corrupt heart, an enfeebled intelligence, and a paralyzed will, his whole character ruined.

981. Of course, if I could get what Catholics call the "gift of faith," I would, become a Catholic tomorrow.

You say you would become a Catholic if you could get the conviction we call "Faith." But the light of Faith is as little likely to shine in a mind which entertains such views as a candle is likely to burn in the depths of a well whose atmosphere is thoroughly foul and corrupt. Christ Himself indicated the relation between morals and faith when He said that they who love the works of darkness come not to the light.

982. No one seems to be able to tell me why it is wrong to have sex relations with a woman before marriage.

I will leave you with little doubt on the subject, I hope, by the time I have finished commenting on your letter.

983. I have often had discussions with other men trying to find out why.

You almost make me despair of humanity when you say that. The very first man you met should have been able to tell you. We are indeed reaping the fruits of secularism and driftage from Christianity! The Victorian rationalists attacked the Christian religion, and Protestantism was not able to resist that attack. Protestant writers compromised, and watered down the Christian Creed. Then the rationalists turned their guns on the Christian Code. There exists today a vast conspiracy of modern intellectuals to destroy the very principles of sexual morality. And your letter is evidence of the extent to which their doctrines have percolated to the masses. You are one of those who have discovered that, having lost the Christian Creed, you cannot keep the Christian Moral Code. As belief in a future life becomes dim, and God, and sin, and punishment for sin, pass into the region of fairy tales, pleasure becomes the rule of conduct. At the foot of the Cross of Christ men found strength to deny themselves, and take up their own cross. But, having lost faith in Christ, well, they are off to amuse themselves. But the state of affairs today is particularly depressing. History records that great wars were followed by loose morals for a period, after which there was a reaction to decent standards. But there are grave reasons to fear that there will be no reaction this time. In former ages the moral law was broken; but its truth was not questioned. But now thousands like yourself have lost the moral sense. You rank the old standards as outworn conventions. And denying virtue to be virtue, you will never want to recover it.

984. Sexual relations custom permits only in the married state.

So that is how far you have drifted! Moral obligations are a matter of custom only. There is to be no God to Whom we owe a duty; no Christ Whose law we must acknowledge; not even reason to control our conduct. Morality is merely "custom," and men are as sheep who all follow one another through a break in the fence merely because others are doing it! Your ignorance is simply appalling. For not only are you quite unaware of Christian teaching; you do not realize that, on this matter of sex, Christian moral standards have a majestic philosophy behind them which includes the best thoughts of Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics, and the most enlightened of Jewish thinkers. But more of this later.

985. I think the custom arose out of the necessity of having a family unit to support children.

It is good that you should make some attempt to find out the reasons for the custom, instead of merely declaring the custom to be accepted because it is the custom.

But you are wrong if you imagine that the custom arose merely by human agreement; and that it is a convention made by men, and therefore able to be abolished by them at their own sweet will. It is God Himself who forbids sex-relations outside the married state, and that both by revelation, and by the innate moral law He has stamped upon our very being, a law of which all normal people are aware. Those not aware of it are either mentally deficient, or have distorted and warped their characters by conscious depravity.

986. What other reason could there be for restricting sex-relations to the married state?

In other words, why is deliberate indulgence in sexual pleasure immoral, apart from marriage? Because chastity happens to be a virtue; and the opposite of virtue is vice. God forbids vicious conduct. Christ forbids it, and says, "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God." Mt 8:8. If you advocate impurity as being quite all right in itself, you fall lower than the ancient pagans. They at least were not blind to the beauty of chastity. Chastity is a virtue, which controls in the married, and altogether excludes in the unmarried, all voluntary indulgence in the sensual and passionate pleasures associated with functions ordained by God for the reproduction of the human race. God implanted in us two great bodily appetites, the one for food to preserve the individual life; the other for sex-relations to preserve the life of the race. The pleasure attached to these appetites is to induce people to do what is necessary for God's purpose. To enjoy the pleasure while fulfilling the duty is lawful. But the purpose, and not the pleasure, is the main thing. Take food. The virtuous man eats in order to live. The man given to the vice of gluttony lives in order to eat. He is ruled by his senses instead of controlling them; and that is immoral. Against his health the drunkard makes use of a function which should serve for health. The sex appetite is for social health. To seek indulgence in it without regard to its end or purpose is a crime against nature, and a degradation. And the end or purpose is lawfully sought only in the state appointed by God for that purpose, the state of marriage.

987. Surely our natural inclinations give natural rights to enjoy sexual love.

That is natural to man which is in accordance with his complete nature. Now man consists of both body and soul. He is both animal and spiritual. He has senses, but he has reason also. And his soul, the spiritual in man, should control by reason the lower animal passions, and not be controlled by them. The soul must rule the body. The body must not rule the soul. That which accords only with the blind passions of man's lower animal self, but which is opposed to the dictates of reason and conscience, is not natural, but unnatural to man. A mere animal gratification of the appetites is not the purpose of life. It is puerile because unreasoning; and it is degrading, for, as Cicero says, "Human nobility lies in that quality by which he differs from animals — his mind." The Christian, at least, is bound to fight for virtue; he must struggle to control blind passions. Unregulated self-indulgence is to grow flabby in one's character, and impair one's will. The pleasure lover who talks of "self-expression," and laughs at the idea of "self-repression," ends in utter depravity. Chastity is the only law which has ever lifted life above the tyranny and bondage of the lusts of the flesh. It may be difficult, but to say that it is right to violate chastity because it is difficult is a complete renunciation of human dignity and nobility.

988. If we can avoid having children, why should we deny ourselves the union?

You are progressing! Contraceptives can be so easily obtained now that unfortunate consequences of immorality can be obviated. Therefore the immorality itself ceases to be immoral. Is that what you mean? Do you think it the new ideal that men and women, boys and girls, should be free to secure any pleasure they can give each other without any restrictions at all — because contraceptives are procurable? Can't you see that there is much more against securing sex-pleasures from a girl to whom you are not married than against securing them by solitary vice? Or do you deny that there is any such vice as impurity at all? If one addicted to solitary acts of impurity is corrupt and depraved, is it quite all right for him to corrupt others? Such apologies for sin are simply disgusting, and I can only hope that there are not many who take the outlook you are trying to express.

989. Married people perhaps cultivate the idea that sex-relations are not lawful except for them, because they are jealous that their rights should be infringed.

In other words, you imagine that the moral law in this matter is due to a kind of "dog-in-the-manger" attitude on the part of married people! But the law is not due to that at all. All single people, with a natural sense of morality, maintain the same thing. God Himself has said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," forbidding any indulgence outside marriage. Christ said that if a man looks after a woman in the street to lust after her, he has already committed adultery in his heart. The natural moral law itself tells us that sex is for reproductive purposes, and that its exercise is lawful only in the state nature itself ordains for those purposes. Sex is essentially a function of the family. There is a whole world of meaning and value in the family. The relation of husband and wife is the highest form of personal union. This union is sacred, not only in itself, but also in its character as the creative source of life for both individuals and society. The family is the vital foundation by which life is handed on from generation to generation; it is the nursery of all social virtues; the only safeguard of the deeper values of human life against the vulgarities of license. If your licentious theories are adopted, women will find love stripped of all romance, all decency, all reserve, and all fidelity. In declaring all indulgence outside marriage to be gravely immoral and wrong, in forbidding irregular unions because they separate sex from its proper social function, Christianity adopts standards which are based on a true conception of human nature, and in full accordance with the genuine discoveries of biology and sociology.

990. If our actions have no harmful effects on ourselves or on others how can they be wrong?

Do you mean to say that the only harmful effect you can see in what you propose is the possibility of a girl becoming an unmarried mother; and that therefore all is well provided she be preserved from that external consequence by the use of contraceptives? But take yourself first. Is not the loss of your own virtue a harmful effect? Once commence such conduct, and how far will you go? Until you become a debauched rake, and utterly depraved? You may say no, but that you confine your suggestions only to relations before marriage with the particular girl you intend to marry. Then is it no harm to her to rob her of her greatest treasure — her virtue? An indescribably pure and clear atmosphere surrounds the chaste. If a girl has other faults, yet preserves her purity, all honor seems to remain to her. If she loses that, she joins the ranks of all other "fallen women." Would you do that in the name of love? Love seeks the good of the one loved even at the expense of self. A good man who sees the girl he loves in danger of her life will risk his to save her. But you are not talking "love," you are talking "lust" — a lust which seeks personal gratification at the expense of a deceived victim. It is lust which lays waste all the nobler instincts of manhood, and all the special beauty and charm of womanhood. And should you not marry the particular girl after all, will you seek to ruin others, leaving her with a life-long consciousness of pre-marital infidelity, the more torturing the better the man she does marry in the end — if she does so at all? Your suggestion is that of a man who has no moral standards, and does not even see the need of them. You express the standards of those who want merely a thoroughly selfish gratification at the price of a good woman's virtue. God help all good women, if your views ever become prevalent amongst men. The only way to protect the higher interests of all human beings, both individually and socially is to cling to or return to Christian standards. Sex has duties as well as privileges. It is an opportunity of self-sacrifice, and the serving of God as well as the best interests of the human race. The procreation of children is the explanation and justification of sex indulgence. That is lawful only in the married state. Outside marriage, therefore, all indulgence in sex pleasure deliberately sought is a perversion, immoral, and sinful before God.

991. If the Catholic Church condemns free love, what can you do to stop it?

I can but explain the moral law, and urge people to keep it. But instruction of itself does not convert people. The grace of God and their own good will are also required. Still I agree with you that the growing tide of immorality is an anxious problem. And loose ideas on the whole subject of petting, flirtation, and love-making are growing more and more widespread as moral restraints are abandoned. And these loose ideas have led to the wholesale breaking of God's commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Morally, of course, free love can never be justified. By free love I mean free indulgence in love-making between a man and a woman for its own sake, without any honorable purpose of marriage in view, and with no sense of further obligations to one another. Many people understand by free love straight-out adultery. But I go further back than that. For just as honorable love leads to marriage, so dishonorable love is the road that leads to adultery. And dishonorable love-making is already sinful, and immoral in itself.

992. Too many are losing themselves in love for one another.

If people lose themselves, it is not from love for one another, but from selfish indulgence of their own passions regardless of the welfare of the one they pretend to love. Such conduct does not deserve the name of love at all. The only love-making which is morally justified is that of lawful courtship, with possible marriage in view, and with all the restraints of respect and modesty. Courtship begins by a man singling out a girl for special attention, and by the manifestation of affection for her. And this is justified only provided the man and the girl are free to marry, and have at least a remote intention of possible marriage. So parents have the right to ask any man who seeks to bestow his attentions upon their daughter whether he intends possible marriage. And if two young people have genuine love for one another, there is not much danger of their losing themselves. For true love is not dominated by sensuality. It is something deeper than mere emotion and flesh, passion and lust. It is a firm mutual affection based on mutual respect for each other's character. It is unselfish, thinking of the good of the other, and would rather endure any self-restraint than harm the other in any way. Certainly if love-making does not rise above the mere thrill of bodily sensations, it can be no more than indulgence in passion. And a woman makes herself very cheap who is ready to give herself to anyone, or even various and different men who happen to reach out for her. It is, of course, flattering to a girl to be singled out for special attention and demonstrations of affection. Her natural inclination may be to grasp at the joy of being loved. But she should ask herself a few questions. Is the man free to marry her? If not, he is merely one of those men who can't keep his hands off women. If he is free to marry, does he merely want her to be his plaything for the moment? If so, he does not love her at all, but wants her merely to pander to his passions, a thing any good girl will indignantly reject. Already his very attempt to break through her reserve and bestow his ardent attentions upon her is immoral; and if she accepts them, and allows them to continue, she will find that they are but a prelude to graver sins threatening complete moral wreckage.

993. Do you mean that the only love-making which is morally justified is that of lawful courtship with possible marriage in view?

Correct. The instinct of love between male and female is implanted by God primarily for the production of children. The mutual attraction of the sexes towards one another, and its expression by love-making, kissing, and embracing gravitate of their very nature towards that complete bodily union which terminates in the child. There is no love between persons of opposite sex which does not spontaneously and consistently aim at this design of nature, however ignorant of the fact young people may be. Any couple indulging in flirting, love-making, kissing, petting, and cuddling, is already inviting the prospective child, however remotely. And since parenthood is unlawful outside marriage, indulgence in free love for its own sake outside marriage and apart from all intentions of marriage, is unlawful and sinful. Whoever is not in a position to meet nature's purposes in lawful wedlock is not morally free to indulge in exchanges of love primarily intended for the procreation of children and the conservation of the human race.

994. If this is the Catholic teaching, how can many young Catholic boys and girls of 15, 16, 17 years of age engage in boy and girl friendships with passionate love-making of the cinema or magazine type, with or without their parents' knowledge?

Such passionate love-making in mere boys and girls, who cannot be seriously thinking of marriage, is in itself gravely sinful conduct. Such young people are neither able to appreciate nor to fulfill the heavy responsibilities of fatherhood or motherhood. If any such young boys and girls do indulge in such love-making, it is either because they lack instruction, or because they lack any real character formation. They seem to think that as soon as they experience the love urge towards the opposite sex, as soon as those first dawning inclinations come to them, it must be right to indulge them merely because experienced. So they yield to their impulses, and wallow in fervent endearments and caresses which are merely the indulgence of blind sex instinct. The end is only too often both moral and social disaster. Such boys and girls have never been taught that blind inclinations and passions must be controlled in accordance with reason and conscience; or, if they have been told that, they have not been trained in self-control even in other departments of life. I need scarcely say that if boys and girls indulge in passionate love-making with their parents' consent, then such parents are either criminals or lunatics. If without their parents' knowledge, then the parents have never been true parents to those children at all. They have neither exercised proper supervision, nor have they instilled into their children the right principles of obedience and confidence.

995. Ostensibly these boys and girls are regular at their religious duties, but apparently priests do not stop a boy from having his "girlfriend."

You must remember that a priest can give advice only according to such facts as are submitted to him for the purpose. It is quite possible that boys and girls indulging in love-making as a pastime drown their uneasiness of conscience, persuade themselves that it is not so wrong, and fail to mention the matter in confession. They have a false conscience on the subject, to which many things contribute. Finding the topic delicate, teachers at school avoid it, and give little instruction on the matter. Parents at home are careless in the general upbringing of such children. And at the pictures the children sit with an obviously approving audience while the sweetness and delights of women in men's arms are graphically depicted. It is not surprising that so many children should deceive themselves into thinking that it is not so wrong for them also to indulge their artificially stimulated instincts.

996. It seems to be one thing in theory, but another in practice.

There is no difference between theory and practice, so far as the Catholic Church is concerned. The moral theology of the Catholic Church is clear on the subject, and the priest will apply it in practice by rightly assessing the guilt of conduct about which he is interrogated, and by forbidding in the name of God what is to be forbidden. Catholic theology teaches that conventional demonstrations of love by kissing and embracing between parents and children, relatives and friends, which abstract altogether from sex interest are not sins. Such behavior between persons of opposite sex for the mere sake of the sensual thrill is venially sinful at least, provided there be no honorable intentions of courtship and possible marriage. Ardent and prolonged embracing between detached persons of the opposite sex who have no intention of marriage is ranked as mortal sin by Catholic theology almost invariably. But, while a priest applies these principles in practice and advises people accordingly, he has no means of making everybody live up to them any more than he can ensure the observance of any of the commandments by merely stating them. But I do admit that adolescent boys and girls should have these principles put more clearly before them than is commonly done; and that parents should exercise much more control and take much more interest in their sons and daughters during the earlier years of their development than most parents do.

997. What are the duties of husband and wife as regards free love?

That should be obvious. I have already said that free love-making is morally wrong even for single people. It is still more gravely wrong for married people. For Christian people marriage is a state in which a man and woman, who are free in conscience to do so, give themselves to each other permanently for the sake of children, and mutual love and companionship. They vow absolute fidelity to each other, and each obtains exclusive rights to the other's love and affection. Any alienation of affection is a great sin. Any third party who would seek to bestow his attentions on a person vowed to another in an existent marriage commits grave sin. So would any married person who would either bestow his or her attentions elsewhere, or accept such attentions. Injustice is measured by the reasonable resentment of the owner. And how greatly a good man would resent the injustice did he find his wife in the arms of another man can be imagined without any great effort. The intruding party would not long be left in doubt, nor the wife. Unfaithfullness of heart is already a sin, and it is most frequently followed by straight-out adultery, and not seldom by the divorce court.

998. You absolutely forbid to married people indulgence in free love?

The very terms are contradictory. For by the mere fact of being married, people are no longer free to accept love from others or bestow their love upon others. No wife can exchange affection, or yield to the embraces of men other than her husband without sin. Nor can a husband exchange affection with other women, or reach out to embrace them without sin. Husband and wife must reserve themselves for each other. And that reserve cannot be broken through without sin. Their persons are sacred to each other, even as every person is sacred according to civil law. If a business man places his hand affectionately on the shoulder of a typist, she can sue him at law, and get damages, if she resents the liberty he has presumed to take. Quite recently a Judge stated in a court case that every intentional touch by one person of another against that person's will is an assault according to law, however trivial and technical it may be. And I say that if civil law justly safeguards each individual from assault, then married people, since they have given themselves to each other, have the right to demand that each will reject and resist every intentional liberty attempted by any third party. Certainly no man has the right to lay his hand upon the wife of another man; and no woman upon the husband of another woman. The moral sense may be so dead in some people that they will persuade themselves that there is nothing wrong with such conduct. But that does not make such conduct right. And Catholic theology definitely teaches that such liberties are sinful. Free love is immoral in itself; where people are concerned who are vowed to one another, it involves the additional sin of injustice.

999. Why not permit companionate marriage for a time, instead of binding people to a mistaken union for life?

Firstly I quarrel with the very expression "Companionate Marriage." Since the parties to such cohabitation are not married, why call it marriage? The expression is merely an effort to give a respectable name to a disreputable union. It is not a marriage, and the parties will soon be looking round for other companions. Secondly, such unions could not possibly prevent unhappy marriages. They might prevent any marriage, but they cannot guarantee freedom from unhappiness, should a marriage really take place. Marriage is not a momentary thing, but a durable state. And things can go wrong despite a long companionate experiment just as they can go wrong despite an equally long and quite honorable courtship. Thirdly, Christ declared marriage to be a permanent sacramental contract binding people until death. That is the only kind of marriage possible for Christians. If you want to substitute illicit and immoral temporary relationships, at least have the honesty not to call them marriages, or Christian, or progress. Finally, the Church does not bind people to a mistaken union for life. The Church merely declares the Christian character of marriage as a permanent state in life. They are those who enter this state who bind themselves one to the other. And to avoid making a mistake they should give due thought and consideration to the matter. If they do contract marriage, future difficulties and trials do not mean that the marriage was a mistake. They are incidental to life in this world, and provide scope for the exercise of Christian virtue. Of course this is the crux of the whole question. People who are not really Christians, and have no will to practice virtue, desire to abolish Christian standards. They would prefer a series of immoral companionships, hypocritically tacking on to them the title of marriage to preserve some outward appearance of respectability. It is to the credit of the Catholic Church that she condemns absolutely such retrogressive and pagan ideas of morality.

Encoding copyright 2009 by Frederick Manligas Nacino. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Moral Issues; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; radiorepliesvoltwo

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 05/24/2011 7:42:24 PM PDT by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...

Radio Replies Ping

Attitude to "Free Love"

FReep-mail me to get on or off

“The Radio Replies Ping-List”


2 posted on 05/24/2011 7:43:56 PM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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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
Radio Replies Volume Two: Christ
Radio Replies Volume Two: Mary

Radio Replies Volume Two: Grace and Salvation
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Sacraments [Baptism]
Radio Replies Volume Two: Confession
Radio Replies Volume Two: Holy Eucharist
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Sacrifice of the Mass

Radio Replies Volume Two: Holy Communion
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Catholic Priesthood
Radio Replies Volume Two: Marriage and Divorce
Radio Replies Volume Two: Extreme Unction
Radio Replies Volume Two: Judgment

Radio Replies Volume Two: Hell
Radio Replies Volume Two: Purgatory
Radio Replies Volume Two: Indulgences
Radio Replies Volume Two: Heaven
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Resurrection of the Body

Radio Replies Volume Two: The End of the World

Chapter Eleven: The Church and Her Moral Teachings

Radio Replies Volume Two: Conscience
Radio Replies Volume Two: Truth
Radio Replies Volume Two: Scandal
Radio Replies Volume Two: Tolerance
Radio Replies Volume Two: Censorship

Radio Replies Volume Two: The Inquisition
Radio Replies Volume Two: Astrology
Radio Replies Volume Two: Other Superstitions
Radio Replies Volume Two: Attendance at Mass
Radio Replies Volume Two: Sex Education

Radio Replies Volume Two: Attitude to "Free Love"

3 posted on 05/24/2011 7:45:19 PM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: GonzoII; it_ürür; Bockscar; Mary Kochan; Bed_Zeppelin; YellowRoseofTx; Rashputin; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

4 posted on 05/24/2011 7:47:48 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
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To: GonzoII
I wish I had 26 or 30 hours in a day, and no need for sleep.

(Sighs heavily).


5 posted on 05/25/2011 4:01:29 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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