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Radio Replies Second Volume - The Church and Peace
Celledoor.Com ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 04/17/2012 8:40:54 AM PDT by GonzoII

The Church and Peace

1204. Your Church seems to be "anti" every effort to give peace on earth and good will towards men in practice.

No one could write those words save one who has little or no knowledge of the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the problem of peace.

1205. Your Church is in a wonderful position to bring about peace, if it liked.

The Catholic Church could be in a wonderful position to do so, if only the nations would accept her advice and submit to her rulings. Don't forget that, at the beginning of the last war, the nations realized that the influence of the Catholic Church would be for peace, and that France, Russia, and England agreed with Italy to exclude any overtures for peace to be made by the Vatican, and to exclude the Vatican from any say in the terms of settlement after the war. If the nations won't have peace, they won't. But you cannot blame the Catholic Church to which they refused to listen.

1206. By preaching submission to lawful authority I take it that you mean we must submit to whatever conditions the pig-headed and obstinate few choose to impose upon us.

You are wrong. Civil rulers exceed the limits of their lawful authority when they violate the known law of God by their legislation. And in such cases, obedience is no longer due to them.

Where war is concerned, the Catholic Church says that no government has any right to declare war without just cause; and if a nation does so, those citizens who are aware of the injustice are guilty before God if they volunteer their services.

1207. National authorities make wars and make the common herd do the fighting, and you say that we must submit.

You must not make me say what I do not say. I have just said that if a country is not justified in engaging in war, then citizens are not justified in volunteering their services if they are clearly aware that the cause is not just. If it be just to take up arms, then citizens have a duty to obey lawful authority and assist in the war. For example, if some other nation, without any just cause at all, were to invade our country, the government here would have the right to organize armed resistance. And the duty of defense would fall on all citizens according to their capacity, and in their proper spheres of action. The trouble with you is that you have only half formulated the problem to yourself, and come to conclusions based on inadequate views.

1208. Every obstacle is placed in the way of any anti-war movement, while authorities give the greatest freedom to warmongers. And you say we must submit.

Obstacles are not placed in the way of "any" anti-war movement. Reasonable efforts to prevent war deserve all support. I have said over and over again that war must be absolutely the last resort, and then only when very grave injustice is involved. Unfortunately, many anti-war speakers manifest such ignorance and fanaticism that no reasonable man could support them. They spoil their own case. Often, too, the anti-war demonstrations are blended with Communistic propaganda which vitiates them by their very association with such destructive principles.

You say that, meantime, the authorities give the greatest freedom to warmongers, and that I hold that we must submit. Now, firstly, if the authorities are guilty in allowing munition factories without restriction, then State authorities are to blame for that; and I have not undertaken to defend the legislation of human governments. Nor do I say that we must submit to this particular phase of their policy. Citizens who disapprove such a policy are quite free to vote against such a government and if possible to vote it out of office.

1209. The Church proclaims to the world that we must fight in a just war, such as a war of self-defense.

She does not. If another nation unjustly decides to annex our country, we are free to allow ourselves to be annexed without firing a shot, if we are content to pass under an alien rule. We are not obliged, as a nation, to defend ourselves. But the Church says that it is certainly lawful for an attacked nation to defend itself; and that, if it be the national will to do so, then citizens have the national duty of patriotism to do all in their power to secure the welfare of their country.

1210. But the Church says in a still, small voice that we are not bound to fight in a war prompted by the lust of conquest, or merely for territorial expansion.

The still, small voice was apparently loud enough to reach you, despite the fact that you were not sufficiently interested and attentive to perceive the significance of its utterances. The Church says that no nation is justified in declaring an offensive war prompted by lust of conquest and expansion. If the authorities do declare war, however, then individual citizens are free to volunteer or not according to their individual knowledge of the justice or injustice of the cause.

1211. Or does the Church now, as it always has done, maintain a cowardly silence, and so assist the warmongers in leading the people to the slaughter?

Such a question is born of ignorance and folly. The Church must declare the moral law, and she does so without fear or thought of popular reactions to the law; and that, whether nations, or individuals are concerned. Where other Churches give way on such questions as birth control and divorce, the Catholic Church promulgates the demands of morality whether her decisions are popular or not. So, too, she lays down the principles governing the question of war. But when you come to the order of facts and of actual national disputes, you leave the question of moral principles, and come to the question of their application in a concrete case. Now here the attitude of the Church to nations is much the same as that of a priest to individuals. As a priest I may preach that injustice is wrong. But if a Catholic enters into litigation with a non-Catholic, and neither asks me to judge in actual fact as to who is guilty of injustice, it is not my business to decide the question of fact.

I am not obliged to say to all-comers that the Catholic is right, and the non-Catholic guilty of injustice. Nor am I obliged to say that the non-Catholic is right, and the Catholic guilty of injustice. At most I can say, "If one is right, the other is wrong." But I have not the duty to judge which is right, and which wrong. If they come to me, and submit the facts to my decision, then it will be time to pass judgment. But to scatter denunciations of this one or that without having even been asked to decide the case would be absurd. Now transfer this to the Catholic Church, Italy, and Abyssinia. Call Italy the Catholic Nation, and Abyssinia the non-Catholic Nation. The Catholic Church said that the nation which unjustly commences a war is guilty of injustice. That is the principle. Italy accused Abyssinia of injustice sufficient to warrant war; Abyssinia accused Italy of similar injustice. Here was a question, not of principles, but of fact. Neither nation offered to submit the case for adjudication to the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church was not called upon to decide it, and apportion the blame. You must seek a judgment in each actual case from that court to which the case has been submitted, and which has been provided with the evidence by the parties concerned.

1212. If you can justify the attitude of the Church towards wars between men, you will do a lot towards enabling me to take up religion.

Religion is a virtue which impels us to offer God due acknowledgment in religious worship for what God is. Now God is God independently of your opinion as to whether war between men can ever be justified or not. Even if you condemn all war, the fact that you thought men were not behaving well towards each other would not justify your refusal to behave well towards God yourself. You owe to God the debt of religious acknowledgment. Pay that debt, and then give your attention to the problem of war, trying to understand the ethics of the question.

1213. I presume you believe the Pope to be the one authority who could give a sound judgment on international moral issues.

Correct. And he would do so, were he consulted and did he have the facts submitted to him by the contending parties.

1214. Then why do not Catholic nations consult him?

Where is the nation today which would answer to the description of a Catholic nation? There are nations the bulk of whose members profess the Catholic Faith. But that does not mean that the State as such professes the Catholic religion as an integral part of national administration. Even in the countries where Catholicism is not only granted liberty but also State protection and privileges, government policy abstracts from religion in its own deliberations concerning internal and foreign affairs. But were there a State today not infected by indifferentism towards religion, its failure to practice the principles it accepted would be accounted for just as one would account for the moral lapse of any individual — through weakness, or through malice on the part of those in charge of the nation's destinies.

1215. If unity under the authority of the Pope is a fact why did Catholics fight against each other in the war?

They did not fight against each other as Catholics. There happened to be Catholics amongst the various nations at war. But as members of their respective nations, they had the duty as citizens to defend the interests of their respective countries. But the political leaders of the countries themselves were not religiously united under the authority of the Pope. Protestants had the power in Germany. France was under an irreligious and Masonic government. Those in control of England's destinies were entirely Protestant in their outlook. The Czar of Russia owed no spiritual allegiance to the Pope. The Italian government of the day simply ignored the Pope. In the face of this, the religious unity of such members of these nations as were Catholics could not prevent their being drawn into war as citizens.

1216. Where is the authority the Pope is supposed to be exercising, if he does not exercise it over Catholic nations?

The authority of the Pope remains, whether men submit to it or not. Millions of Catholics throughout the world, of course, both acknowledge the authority of the Pope and submit to it. When we turn from individuals to nations, there are no Catholic nations in the full sense of the word. They do not, therefore, submit their policies involving moral issues to the guidance of the Church as they should.

1217. Why does not the Pope do something about it?

Because men who are not sensitive to their moral obligations will be moved only by physical compulsion. And it is not part of the Pope's commission to rule by physical force. After all, though God Himself has given the ten commandments, men still break them. You might just as well ask why God does not do something about it. But even God will not compel men by physical violence to observe His law. He will, of course, "do something about it" in due course. Men already endure many penalties at least as a consequence of their lapses; and they will endure more later on when they meet God in judgment. And we can certainly say that the nations which ignore the Pope as supreme moral arbiter are not a very happy lot. Their independence of him is their punishment.

1218. Not one word came from the Pope to say that such conduct violated the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," or that war was opposed to the law, "Love thine enemy," and that no sincere Christian could take part in it.

The Popes protested again and again against the European war of 1914-18 as a violation of fraternal charity. Before the war commenced, Pope Pius X circularized the heads of the nations, imploring them to avoid such a war, and foretelling all the miseries it would bring in its train. The nations would not listen. When Benedict XV acceded to the Holy See, his first act was to try to bring about a cessation of hostilities. And again the national leaders would not listen. Yet the Pope continued his efforts until the Armistice in 1918.

At the same time the Pope could not say that no sincere individual Christian was not justified in defending the cause of his country, nor that such a Christian would be violating the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." For neither of such statements would be right. A sincere Christian may take up his country's cause when it is in danger. And the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" does not forbid one's undertaking the duties of a soldier.

1219. The presence of any priest in the army as chaplain only serves to sanctify war, and the cause they are fighting for, no matter how bad.

It does not. The chaplain's presence serves to secure the spiritual welfare of such unfortunate men as are wounded or dying, whether the souls appealing to him for help are friends or enemies from the military point of view.

1220. The army is a body of men sworn to fight and obey their superiors, and their actions are not controlled by their own reason or conscience.

Soldiers are subject to the demands of military obedience, but that very obedience is their reasonable choice, and their actions are very much subject to the control of their own conscience. Many soldiers are the most conscientious of men in the fulfillment of duties allotted to them by their military superiors.

1221. The chaplain gives sanctity to such a body of men, becomes one of them, and commits himself to all future situations that may arise during his term of chaplaincy, because he could hardly be expected to induce the men to disobey.

The chaplain would violate his own duties if he advised the men to neglect their obligations of obedience to lawful commands. But his presence is not for the purpose of securing military discipline. The officers attend to that. Granted that the country is at war, the least the country can do is to provide chaplains for the spiritual needs of those men who lay down their lives for their country's welfare. And the fact that chaplains are provided for this purpose does not identify them with the decisions of military authorities in the conducting of the war, nor does it commit them to all situations which arise. The effort to transfer the responsibility to chaplains is as foolish as it would be to blame the Ambulance Association for all the street accidents that occur. The chaplain goes on a spiritual mission of mercy to men in grave danger just as the Ambulance Officer goes on a temporal mission of mercy to any people injured, however they may be injured. And the chaplain is no more cause of the war necessitating his services than the Ambulance Officer is cause of the accident demanding his attendance.

1222. How can you leaders bless war instruments, ships, submarines, planes and guns, which will be used to destroy men, women and children, even fellow Catholics?

There is not a single thing which can be of use to man in the cause of justice and right which cannot be the object of a blessing. The blessing on military weapons is for the good use to be made of them insofar as they serve in the protection of one's country or in vindicating a just cause. The sad consequence to enemy countries with resultant loss of life is not the purpose of the blessing. If a man saw his mother being throttled by a murderer he could certainly ask the blessing of God on his aim as he fired a revolver that he might save his mother's life. That such a blessing would mean the death of the murderer would be an inevitable consequence, but not the primary motive of the blessing.

You may say, "But there the bullet will hit the actual and guilty murderer. What of innocent men, women and children in an enemy country?" To that I must reply that, when two nations are at war, they are to be taken as collective units. Non-combatant members of these collective units must be spared as far as possible, but where that is impossible, harm to them is an unintended and inevitable consequence. The weapons were not blessed for the purpose of these unintended and inevitable consequences. Another point to notice is this: The weapons could not be intended for the killing of fellow Catholics, or those using them would have each enemy whether he was a Catholic or not before killing him, slaughtering was a Catholic, sparing him if not. It may happen that amongst the enemies some are Catholics. But it is not the Catholic Faith, but the national welfare contending parties which is at stake. All along the line you are transferring atention to aspects of the matter which are outside the real case to be considered.

1223. Can you see any sense in preaching, "Thou shalt not kill", and blessing those who shoot each other down in war time?

Of course I can. "Thou shalt not kill" is a commandment of God forbidding all unjustified taking of another's life on one's own individual authority. And that commandment must be preached. But that does not forbid our asking God's blessing on our soldiers who fight for their country's welfare from motives of duty. They do not take life, then, on their own individual authority, but act as units of a nation engaged in self-defense. If the cause of a nation is just, its soldiers are also justified.

1224. Is there any sense in claiming it to be the will of a just God?

There can be sense in claiming that. If another nation treats us unjustly, it cannot be the will of a just God that such injustice continue. And it can be His will that we ourselves repress this injustice. What would you suggest doing, if a man entered your home and began to carve up your wife and children? Can see any sense in claiming it to be the will of a just God that you should defend family, and carve up the aggressor, if there were no other way to stop him?

1225. In the last war, ministers of religion told the unfortunates who were dying in most degrading circumstances that a just God was with them.

Whether on the side of the Allies, or on the side of our enemies in the last war, no individual soldier who believed his cause to be just and gave his life for his people's welfare, died a degrading death. There are ideals more precious than earthly existence. And granting their good faith, and their repentance of their sins, these dying soldiers were rightly told that a just God was with them. What would you have told them? That the just God had abandoned them, despite their fidelity to what they believed to be right?

1226. Ministers of every nation claimed that God was on the side of the misguided men who shot each other down because of a quarrel between the blustering brass hats.

If the men were misguided, and thought they were doing their duty, they were personally right with God as far as the war was concerned. If a minister were personally convinced that the cause of his nation were just, he would be just in giving it as his opinion that God was on the side of his nation. The minister might be mistaken in his judgment, and lack sufficient information; but his good faith would save him from personal guilt. Meantime, if you say that blustering brass hats were to blame, you must confine the guilt to the blustering brass hats. And you would do a service to the world if you could tell us which of the blustering brass hats were in the right, and which in the wrong. No one has succeeded yet in apportioning the guilt in the case of the last war. War is a curse on humanity. We all know that. No one wants to advocate or defend war in itself. But that does not say that all who take part in a war for what they believe to be grave and necessary rights are guilty.

1227. If God was interested in the great Mass Murder of 1914-18, He was certainly most impartial.

God is intensely interested in all the doings of humanity. But He has given man's management and destiny into man's own keeping, whether individually or socially. There is no more reason why God should step in miraculously to prevent one nation from attacking another nation in Europe, than that He should step in miraculously to prevent a gangster in Chicago from murdering a single victim. Both the murderer and the man he murders will be judged justly by God; and so, too, will each individual engaged in the war. And each will be judged according to his personal knowledge and responsibility. Meantime, while nations suffered from their own national folly, God permitted the calamity to fall on the participating nations impartially, for individual and national sins quite apart from the war were pretty evenly distributed. Which of the nations participating had been faithful to God's laws, and was without guilt before Him? Men ignore God, and mock God by their legislation; and then blame God for the just retribution which comes upon them. Let mankind succeed — great is the progress and the ability of man! God doesn't come into it then. Let mankind make a costly mistake, then comes the cry, "God is to blame for this."

1228. Do you imagine that God has a sense of humor?

I am not so foolish as to take anthropomorphic views of God, as though attributes proper to a human mind are equally proper to Him. But, in any case, there is nothing really humorous in opposed parties simultaneously asking the help of God. The superficial man might possibly confine his attention to the opposition between the objects for which they pray. But the wise man will view the convictions and the dispositions of those who offer the prayer. There is nothing humorous in opposed parties praying for what they think to be a just cause. One, or both of the parties may be mistaken. But there is nothing humorous in that.

So, too, as either side wins a victory, there is nothing humorous in thanksgiving to God that His Providence did not permit a defeat instead.

1229. The Cardinal Archbishop of Berlin brought God on to the Altar in Germany, and got a word in for the Germans. Simultaneously, Cardinal Bourne did the same thing in London, and got in a word for the British Empire. Is not this a mockery of religion?

The Mass is but a supreme form of prayer, and your difficulty is in no way affected by bringing in the Mass where before you mentioned prayer. The same solution avails. That two Cardinals prayed for their respective countries which were at opposition one with another was not a mockery of religion. If it were, I do not think that that would distress you greatly. For you are deliberately guilty of a mockery into which you think others to have fallen unconsciously; a thought which is erroneous, of course.

1230. "Using such great swelling words," says Judge Rutherford, "in support of their claims brings reproach on the name of the very God they claim to serve."

If ever a man's teachings brought reproach on the name of God, they are the teachings of Judge Rutherford. And your own thoughtless utterances also dishonor Him, when you deny His blessing and any prospect of heaven to soldiers fighting and dying in perfectly good faith for what they believe to be right. And after denying God's interest in mankind even during the great sufferings it brought on itself, you have no further right to accuse others of bringing reproach on the God they claim to serve. If you don't believe in God, you're a hypocrite while you plead tearfully on God's behalf. If you do believe in God, you are guilty of offering Him a greater insult than any of which you have pretended to complain, and speak of Him without a trace of reverence or respect.

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

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture
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 04/17/2012 8:41:01 AM PDT by GonzoII
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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"
Radio Replies Volume Two: Abortion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Suicide

Chapter Twelve: The Church in Her Worship

Radio Replies Volume Two: Magnificent Edifices
Radio Replies Volume Two: Lavish Ritual
Radio Replies Volume Two: Women in Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholics and "Mother's Day
Radio Replies Volume Two: Liturgical Days

Radio Replies Volume Two: Burial Rites
Radio Replies Volume Two: Candles and Votive Lamps
Radio Replies Volume Two: Rosary
Radio Replies Volume Two: Lourdes Water
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Scapular

Chapter Thirteen: The Church and Social Welfare

Radio Replies Volume Two: Social Influence of the Church
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Education Question
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Church and World Distress
Radio Replies Volume Two: Catholic Attitude Towards Capitalism
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Remedy for Social Ills

Radio Replies Volume Two: Communism Condemned
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Fascist State
Radio Replies Volume Two: Morality of War
Radio Replies Volume Two: May Individuals Become Soldiers?
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Church and Peace

2 posted on 04/17/2012 8:43:18 AM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: ColdOne; fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; ...

Radio Replies Ping

"The Church and Peace"

FReep-mail me to get on or off

“The Radio Replies Ping-List”


3 posted on 04/17/2012 8:44:25 AM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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