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Radio Replies Second Volume - The Sacraments [Baptism]
Celledoor.Com ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 12/05/2010 3:27:08 AM PST by GonzoII

The Sacraments

715. Do you think that a sacramental system is truly useful?

Since Christ chose to establish a sacramental system, it matters little what I think. However, apart from our Lord's obvious will, I do see that a sacramental system is the best possible. The Sacraments are so in keeping with human nature, they so fit in with life, and are so adapted to our tendencies and limitations. Again they offer us a certainty of supernatural grace which others never have, and which gives us such tranquillity of conscience and peace of soul. Socially, also, they express the bond of unity amongst all members of the visible Catholic Church, and strengthen that bond. But no reasons which I can advance in favor of a sacramental system can add weight to the fact that Christ actually established His religion on sacramental principles. For one who accepts the religion of Christ it is enough that He should have given it to us just as it is.


716. Why do you say that when we are baptised we are born again?

Because Christ came to redeem us from the death of sin, and to give us a new life of grace derived from Him. So He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life"; and again, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." As surely as the branches derive their life from the vine, we must derive our life from Christ. Now every life supposes a birth, and as no human being gets the life of grace given by Christ merely by being born of his earthly parents, a new birth is required. And it is by the rebirth of Baptism that we secure the supernatural life of grace which is derived from Christ and incorporates us with Him.

717. We Protestants are taught that when Christ said, "Ye must be born again," He meant a change of heart.

That would be a most inadequate explanation. For a change of heart means conversion from unbelief to belief in Christ, and from morally evil ways to morally good conduct. It therefore means repentance. Now our Lord did insist on repentance or a change of heart in all who sought baptism, but He did not identify it with baptism. He said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Mk 16:16. When speaking of the rite of baptism itself, He said, "Unless one is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." Jn 3:3. You will notice here that, while conversion or change of heart is an interior change in our own dispositions, the new principle of life comes from forces outside us. It is something put into us, and signified by an external rite. The good preparatory dispositions are from us; but the new life is not from us, but from God. The washing with baptismal water signifies the cleansing of the soul from the disease of sin belonging to children of a guilty race; and the Spirit of the Living God is mentioned as infusing into our souls a principle of new life altogether which is rightly said to regenerate us, and give us a new birth to a spiritual life of grace far beyond and above the merely natural life secured by natural birth.

718. What did Christ mean by "being born again"?

The life He gives us is quite distinct from the life we secured at birth, and is derived from another source. Our very nature is changed and lifted to a higher plane, a plane therefore called supernatural. The starting point for Christians is the fact that the Eternal Son of God became man. But He descended to our level and shared our human nature by His human birth that He might lift us to His level and enable us to share His nature by a supernatural birth. In Him, God is given to us that we may become one with God. And as surely as His human life enabled the Son of God to live and experience our life in this world, so by our rebirth into the Christ — life we are to live and experience the life of God through grace in this world and through glory in heaven. It is obvious that such an experience is proper to God and not to man, just as an intellectual life in this world is proper to man and not to a tree. A tree would have to be elevated far above its natural life to be able to converse with man and share in man's activities. The human level would be supernatural in comparison with the level of mere vegetation. Far more is the God-level supernatural in comparison with man's level. For us to live the life of God, to know as He knows, love as He loves, and be happy with His happiness, we certainly will need a new principle of life, and new powers which are beyond those got by natural birth. And Christ communicates that new life to us by a baptismal rebirth which enables us to share in the Divine Nature, and gives a thought, love, action, and destiny in common with God. And we receive the principle of that life by the Sacrament of Baptism in which we are born again of water and the Holy Ghost. That life is in us by grace as the life of the oak tree is in the acorn; and it is that life of grace which will attain its full development and perfection in the glorious life of eternal association with God in heaven itself under conditions infinitely above the natural conditions of life in this world. That is what Christ meant when He said, "Ye must be born again."

719. Would not the general tenor of Paul's teaching suggest that the Gospel of Christ was the power of God unto salvation, to all them that believe?

Yes. But the word "believe" there, is not to be taken in the restrictive sense of a theoretical faith in Christ, but in the universal and practical sense of one accepting the full religion of Christ, which includes the necessity of receiving that Sacrament of Baptism instituted by Christ. Nowhere did St. Paul ever suggest a dispensation from the necessity of baptism.

720. Is not the application of water merely symbolic, testifying an inward regeneration?

No. The sacramental external rite does not merely testify to an inward regeneration. It causes that regeneration. The Sacraments, as instituted by Christ and deriving all their power from Christ, are the very actions of Christ. He uses the Sacraments as instruments in the effecting of His work of grace, just as He used His humanity on earth as a medium of His power. We know that a woman touched but the hem of Christ's garments, and was healed. And Jesus felt virtue go out from Him. That was but an image of the conferring of grace by visible and tangible Sacraments instituted by Christ, of which baptism is one.

721. Is not the inward regeneration the result of believing and receiving the Gospel?

Yes, in the inclusive sense as implying the fulfillment of all the conditions laid down in the Gospel; including, therefore, the reception of baptism.

722. Does Catholic doctrine allow that the soul of an unbaptized heathen can enter heaven?

Not in the case of unbaptized infants who die before coming to the use of reason and the stage of personal responsibility. The heathens who do come to the age of personal responsibility can attain to the supernatural order of grace and inherit that very heaven for which baptism is normally required on certain conditions. For example, a pagan may never have heard of the Gospel, or having heard of it, may have quite failed to grasp its significance. He remains a heathen, knowing no better, and dies without receiving the actual Sacrament of Baptism. In such a case God will not blame him for that for which he is really not responsible. At the same time, God wills all men to be saved, and will certainly give that heathen sufficient grace for his salvation according to the condition in which he is. If that heathen, under the influence of interior promptings of conscience and the actual inspirations of grace given by God, repents sincerely before death of such moral lapses as he has committed during life, he will secure forgiveness, and save his soul in view of the Baptism he would have been willing to receive had he known it to be necessary, and could he have done so. We Catholics say that such a heathen has been saved by Baptism of Desire. The desire, of course, is implicit only.

723. Will the soul of a still-born child go to heaven?

Not unless the doctor or nurse was able to baptize the child before the actual separation of its soul and body. Granted complete lack of baptism, or baptism administered too late, the soul of such a child will be given by God all the natural happiness of which it is capable; but it will lack that fullness of happiness possible only to those who have been made one with Christ by the divine grace He alone can give. Since such a little one, of course, has been guilty of no personal sin, it will never have to endure any positive suffering. It will have all the natural happiness it is able to enjoy, and will not miss an additional happiness which it knows to be beyond the realm of possibility for it. No one ever wastes time or tears hoping for the impossible. Baptism alone makes the very Vision of God as He is in Himself possible for infants, and that Vision of God is the heaven to be shared by Christ our Lord with all who have been incorporated with Him, and die united to Him by sanctifying grace.

724. This miserable teaching is an unscriptural invention.

Even though you regard the teaching as miserable, the infant at least will not be miserable, but as happy as it is possible for it to be. I admit that it will not attain to the full happiness of heaven itself. Now is that teaching unscriptural? Scripture teaches that only by regeneration or by being born again, one becomes a member of Christ. Now an infant who dies without being baptized has been born, but not born again; generated, but not regenerated. And Christ Himself has said, "Unless one is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." Jn 3:3. It is the clear teaching of Scripture that compels the Catholic Church to say that unbaptized infants who die before attaining personal responsibility cannot enter heaven. God will render them happy with natural human happiness, but they cannot share in the supernatural happiness of heaven which is proper to God Himself, and not proper to a created human nature.

725. Such a doctrine strikes at the character of God, His justice, His love, and also at the Gospel of Christ.

The Catholic doctrine is based on the Gospel of Christ, and would never have been dreamed of but for that Gospel. And it safeguards the character of God who, in His justice and love, gives such an infant all the happiness of which it is capable for all enternity. It merely lacks the supernatural happiness of which baptism would have rendered it capable, a baptism it failed to receive.

726. Do you maintain that there is a kind of intermediate heaven of endless happiness for unbaptised children?

I have never used the word heaven in this connection, for the term heaven is reserved for the state of those who attain to the beatific Vision of God. I do maintain, however, that there is a state of endless natural happiness in store for the souls of infants who have never attained to personal responsibility, and who have died without baptism.

727. Are Purgatory and Limbo one and the same place?

Limbo is a general term which can mean any intermediate state between heaven and hell. The word Limbo comes from the Latin word Limbus, which means border. The term, therefore, means a state bordering on some other state. In other words, it means an intermediate state between heaven and hell, being neither the one nor the other. We could speak, therefore, of the Limbo of the Fathers, when dealing with the souls of those who died before Christ and were awaiting the opening of heaven to mankind by the redemption. So, too, we could speak of the Limbo of Unbaptized Children, when referring to the souls of infants who have never committed personal sins yet have lacked Baptism. Purgatory is but a Limbo of Purification. By common usage, however, people intend by Limbo the state of natural happiness reserved for unbaptized children, and in this sense Limbo is not to be identified with Purgatory. In Catholic usage, where Purgatory means an intermediate state of painful purification, Limbo means an intermediate state without any positive suffering.

728. Where is Limbo?

I can no more answer that question than you can say where is heaven, or where is hell. If you do not reject heaven because you cannot say where it is, you cannot reject Limbo for that reason. Geographical terms based on calculations of material locality cannot do justice to the mysterious realities of the next life. Yet if we are not to be silent about them altogether, we must speak of them in terms of what we know already from this world. All we have to realize is that our speech is inadequate to convey a full idea of such things, and that they give only some idea. But some idea is better than no idea.

729. What is the state of an unbaptized infant in Limbo?

It is a state of such happiness as is demanded by a human being who has been guilty of no personal sin, yet who has not received the supernatural destiny which comes only with incorporation in Christ by divine grace. In other words, it attains a happiness which is proportionate to a purely natural condition, not that which is proper to one who has been elevated to the loftier supernatural level given by Christ. And the deprivation of the higher happiness fills it with no more regret than a man experiences because he cannot have a week-end cottage on the moon. However nice a thing may be, if we know that it is beyond our capacity, was never due to us, and is quite impossible of attainment, we do not worry in the least about it. So will it be with the unbaptized child in its state of natural happiness.

730. What evidence have you that such souls are in Limbo?

The evidence that such souls did exist; that they are immortal; that, according to the Gospels they can't be in heaven; and that, according to God's justice they can't be in hell. Where will you declare them to be? In heaven? If so, have they attained heaven without the grace of Christ? If not, how did they get the grace of Christ? What authority have you from Scripture to endow them with this grace without baptismal rebirth by water and the Holy Ghost? If you dispute our reasons for believing them to be in Limbo, you have much less reason for believing them to be anywhere else.

731. Which is the correct way, to be immersed entirely under water, or to have water poured on the head?

Either way is correct. In both cases the significance of washing or cleansing is retained. There is nothing in the New Testament to show that baptism must be conferred exclusively by immersion. In fact the baptism in one day of the three thousand converts in Jerusalem on the occasion of St. Peter's first sermon would have been impossible had it been by immersion. Research has shown that there was no sufficient water supply available in the city at that time for the purpose. Again, when St. Paul baptized his jailor in prison it could only have been by pouring. Bedridden invalids, and the dying, who desired baptism could not be immersed; yet they could not be denied so important a Sacrament. Water poured on their foreheads retained the significance of grace washing their souls as the water washed their bodies. Ablution is possible without taking a plunge bath. From the very times of the Apostles, therefore, baptism has been administered either by immersion, or by pouring water on the person to be baptized. If I were away out in the center of Australia far from any stream of water, and a dying companion begged me to baptize him, a cup of water would certainly be sufficient for the purpose.

732. Can infants fulfill the conditions of baptism?

Yes, at least passively, insofar as they are quite capable of receiving baptism. Actively, they can fulfill the promises made in their name at baptism, when they come to the age of personal responsibility.

733. I argued with a friend that infants should be baptized because original sin must be destroyed in order to enter the life of grace. Was I right?

You correctly interpreted the mind of Christ. The significance of the Christian religion is much more profound than many non-Catholics think. For most Protestants baptism is merely an external act associating the subject with their Church, and implying a profession of the Christian faith. They do not think of it as actually giving a new principle of life interiorly and within the soul of the recipient. Yet that is the Catholic idea, and the real doctrine of Christ, and it is essential. Christ was God who descended to our level, shared our human nature, and did so in order to lift us to His level, give us a share in the Divine Nature, and render a heavenly destiny possible to us. As He took our life, He gives His life. He gives His by our baptismal regeneration. It means a new and spiritual vital principle within us which our natural birth could not give us. And children who have had no more than their merely natural birth are without it. They could never, therefore, experience the happiness of heaven should they die in their unbaptized state. Astronomers say that human beings as at present constituted could not possibly live on the planet Mars, They would have to be given altogether new capabilities adapted to Martian conditions before they could do so. Much more will man's soul have to be reconstituted in order to live the life of God in conditions which are infinitely above natural capabilities. The additional and new principle of life given by baptismal rebirth means just such a regeneration or reconstitution of the soul.

734. But infants are quite unaware of this.

They are just as unaware of their acquisition of a merely natural life principle. But that does not prevent them getting it.

735. How, then, can they accept the Christian Faith? That requires belief, and they are incapable of believing.

The belief of the parents is sufficient here just as it is sufficient for so much in the natural life. The parents believe on their child's behalf that food is necessary, and give it food. They believe that instruction is necessary, and give it. They believe that sound morals are necessary, and teach the good principles they know. They don't wait for the child to make up its own mind on all these things. Later the child will know and accept for itself the wisdom of these things. In the same way, parents who know that Christ is the way, the truth and the life, choose Christ on their child's behalf. They set their child, who is a continuation of their own life, and in whom they live over again, upon the right way; they teach their child the truth of Christ; and at the earliest possible moment secure the implantation of the life of Christ in the child's soul by baptism. Later on, the child gladly accepts and ratifies this gift of itself to Christ as it grows into an understanding of its faith and begins to live consciously according to its precepts. And it is a real tragedy that, owing to mistaken notions, the Baptists and others allow so many little children to die without baptismal regeneration, lacking the life Christ alone can give, and which no earthly birth can confer, with the result that such children are forever incapable of attaining the supernatural destiny reserved for those to whom a share in the divine nature has been communicated by water and the Holy Ghost. Professing Christian parents who neglect to have their children baptized do an injury both to Christ and to the children they deprive of the life He desires to give them.

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

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: baptism; 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 12/05/2010 3:27:12 AM PST by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...

Radio Replies Ping

FReep-mail me to get on or off

“The Radio Replies Ping-List”


2 posted on 12/05/2010 3:28:07 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: All

The Radio Replies Series: Volume One

The Radio Replies Series: Volume Two

Chapter One: God

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

Chapter Two: Man

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

Chapter Three: Religion

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

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

Chapter Four: The Religion of the Bible

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

Radio Replies Volume Two: Supposed Contradictions in Sacred Scripture

Chapter Five: The Christian Faith

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

Chapter Six: A Definite Christian Faith

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

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

Chapter Seven: The Protestant Reformation

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

Chapter Eight: The Truth of Catholicism

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

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

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

Chapter Nine: The Church and the Bible

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

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

Chapter Ten: The Dogmas of the Church

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

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

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

Radio Replies Volume Two: Grace and Salvation
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Sacraments [Baptism]

3 posted on 12/05/2010 3:30:00 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

722. Does Catholic doctrine allow that the soul of an unbaptized heathen can enter heaven?

It is clear that the traditional teaching on this topic has concentrated on the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium, even if that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis. However, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), the theory of limbo is not mentioned. Rather, the Catechism teaches that infants who die without baptism are entrusted by the Church to the mercy of God, as is shown in the specific funeral rite for such children. The principle that God desires the salvation of all people gives rise to the hope that there is a path to salvation for infants who die without baptism (cf. CCC, 1261).


4 posted on 12/05/2010 3:56:14 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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