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

Posted on 06/05/2010 3:27:03 AM PDT by GonzoII


361. What assurance did Christ give that His Church would be preserved from error?

When He said, "I will build my Church," He also said that "the gates of hell would never prevail against it." Mt 16:18. But the forces of evil and of error would have prevailed against the Church had she not been rendered infallible. Again, He commanded men to hear the Church under pain of damnation. He sent the Church to teach in His name, and said, "He who hears you hears me." Lk 10:16. And again, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who believes not, shall be condemned." Mk 16:16. He could not order us to believe the Church, with our very salvation at stake, yet not guarantee His Church against the possibility of leading us into disastrous errors quite opposed to His teachings. Moreover, when He commissioned the Church to go and to teach all nations, He promised to be with her all days till the end of the world (Mt 28:20), and He sent the Holy Spirit to keep her as the "pillar and ground of truth." All this forbids the possibility of a departure from the revealed truth; or, in other words, constitutes a pledge of perpetual infallibility.

362. In Rom 11:22, St. Paul wrote to the Church of Rome, telling her to "abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shall he cut off." That practically says, "You are not infallible. So beware."

St. Paul wrote those words to the ordinary members of the Church at Rome, with no reference to the infallibility of the Apostles and Bishops of the Church. To any and every Christian at Rome he said, "Soul, thou art not impeccable — so beware of pride. Take heed to thyself." Infallibility and impeccability are two very different things. Infallibility means that the Bishops as successors of the Apostles and official teachers of the Church are unable collectively to define erroneous doctrines as dogmas of the faith. Impeccability means that one could not commit sin and fall from grace. Christ was impeccable. But Christians are not impeccable, whether they be members of the laity or of the hierarchy of Bishops. Even the Pope is not impeccable. All can sin; and St. Paul is here particularly warning all against the sin of pride and of boasting against the Jews. He tells them that, as God rejected the Jews, so He will reject Christians also if they are not faithful.

363. In the lifetime of St. John the Lord found it necessary to rebuke the seven Churches in Asia for error. Rev. cc. I-III.

If you study the chapters more closely you will find that there is no hint that the teaching-authority of the Church was guilty of error in doctrine. Infallibility means that the Church cannot officially teach erroneous doctrine. But her officials can err in their conduct, and grow lax and careless in their administration. Infallibility, of course, while belonging to the whole Church collectively, belongs specifically in its particular exercise to the "Church-teaching," consisting of the Bishops. Security belongs to the whole Church, including the "Church-taught." But there is no guarantee that all members of the Church will ever retain the humility and docility of true Christians. Individuals can abandon the truth, and fall into error, and into sin. Then it is the duty of the Bishops to correct the wayward subjects. Now you will notice that each of the seven letters are addressed to the "angels" of the Churches. That is, they are addressed to the Bishops in charge of them. And in not one case does the charge concern erroneous doctrine. Thus St. John writes to the angel of the Church at Ephesus, "I know thou canst not bear them that are evil . . . and thou hatest the Nicolaites, which I also hate." To the angel of the Church of Pergamus, "Thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith." To the angel of the Church of Thyatira, "I know thy works, and thy faith, and thy charity." To the angel at Philadelphia, "Thou hast kept my word, and hast not denied my faith." Nowhere is the orthodoxy of the Bishops denied. Any blame concerns conduct, and carelessness towards others who would introduce wrong doctrine or laxity. As a matter of fact, the letters admit that the Bishops are the custodians of sound doctrine, and should attend to the banishing of error and heresy.

364. Truth only makes me ask you to consider these things.

Since you reject not only the infallibility of the Catholic Church, but also, I presume, your own infallibility as well, what guarantee have you that your own ideas are necessarily the truth? I have not the same problem; for, although I do not claim infallibility, I am subject to a Church which is infallible, and which gives me certainty of the truth. But you cannot claim certainty yourself, nor have you any certain guide. If ever a man had reason to pause, and seriously examine his own position, it is yourself.

365. Should not every individual have the right at a reasonable age to reject what does not appeal to him?

Certainly not. On that same principle one would have the right to reject what even Christ taught, if it did not happen to suit one's own ideas. How could any Christian consider himself free to challenge the knowledge or the veracity of Christ, or His right to exact obedience to His magisterial authority? The infallibility of Christ is just as much an obstacle to your principle as the infallibility of the Catholic Church. If, however, one never has the right to reject the teaching of Christ and of His Church, a Catholic may and should verify for himself the credentials of the Catholic Church to teach mankind in the name of, and with the authority of God. I would that every Catholic did so.

366. The Roman Church seems like a schoolmaster who fears to admit that he is wrong lest he lose prestige.

The Catholic Church is conscious of an infallibility guaranteed by God — an infallibility of which no schoolmaster can be conscious. Christ taught as one having authority, saying, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me." Jn 7:16. And the Catholic Church speaks in the same way. Where your schoolmaster knows that he is wrong and fears to admit it, the Catholic Church knows that she is not wrong. There is a world of difference between the two positions. Nor does the Church fear that she will lose her prestige. She dreads only lest any of her subjects should lose their souls.

367. Has not the Church of Rome sometimes digressed from spiritual matters to matters which did not concern her, as in the Galileo case?

You have not chosen a good example. The Galileo affair, though directly a matter of science, did indirectly concern the Church and spiritual interests, owing both to the circumstances of the time, and Galileo's own indulgence in theological speculations. The political arena would have provided better examples. But even there the Church as a Church did not digress from spiritual matters. No accepted temporal powers of the Popes in past ages have ever affected the official teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals.

368. Did not an infallible Pope pronounce Galileo's theory of the revolution of the earth round the sun to be a damnable heresy?

No. Your question implies more than can rightly be said. The Committee of Cardinals and theologians appointed by the Pope to inquire into the theories of Galileo gave the verdict that they were false and contrary to Holy Scripture, and that Galileo himself was "gravely suspect of heresy." After the decision was given the Pope sanctioned it. And the decision, of course, was wrong. But the conditions required for infallibility were not present in this case.

369. Was the infallible Church right then — or now?

There are no grounds for that question, for the decree against the teaching of Galileo was never issued as an infallible decree. All who understand the conditions required for an infallible decision by the Catholic Church have long since given up the Galileo case as having any bearing on the question at all. Procter, a Protestant astronomer, says this: "It is absolutely certain that the decision in regard to Galileo's teaching, shown now to have been unsound, does not in the slightest degree affect the Catholic doctrine of infallibility whether of the Pope or of the Church." The Protestant historian Karl von Gebler writes, "The two Congregations of the Index, and the Inquisition, and the two Popes who sanctioned their decrees were in error. But no one has ever held that such decisions were infallible even when approved by the Pope, unless specially set forth according to all the conditions of an infallible utterance." Nor was the condemnation of Galileo unintelligible. Although his theory was right, no scientist today will admit that he advanced a single valid proof of the fact. So far as the evidence available was concerned, the old view was just as likely as the new one. Many scientists of the time were opposed to his teachings. And as a matter of fact, ten years before Galileo's condemnation, Kepler, a Protestant scientist, had been condemned for saying the same thing as Galileo by the Protestant theological faculty of Tubingen. The application of the theory to Sacred Scripture was also calculated to have a most disturbing religious effect upon people not prepared for the new knowledge, and from that point of view, efforts to prevent the popular diffusion of the theory were not imprudent. Apart from this judgment in the light of the times, however, the Galileo case has absolutely no bearing on the question of infallibility.

370. Besides being condemned, was not Galileo brutally tortured by the Inquisition?

No. Refusal to obey the authorities who forbade him to propagate his doctrines brought on Galileo a sentence of imprisonment, a sentence which was commuted into detention on parole in the Palace of the Grand Duke of Tuscany near Rome. From there he was allowed before long to retire to Siena, where he became the honored guest of the Archbishop. We Catholics do not deny any of the facts in the Galileo case merely because we would prefer that they were not true. But, admitting all the facts of history, we are quite able to show that none of them really militates against the truth of the Catholic Church. If a man says that Galileo was condemned and imprisoned without making any exaggerated statements about his punishment or any allusion to infallibility, we are quite prepared to admit his accuracy.

371. Does infallibility change to conform to times and circumstances?

No. Once an infallible decision has been given, it stands for all time. The Catholic Church is committed to that decision, and all Catholics are obliged to accept it as true.

372. How could a wrong infallible decision be converted into a right one?

A wrong infallible decision could not occur. It would be absolutely impossible for one Pope to define a given doctrine and for a subsequent Pope to define a contradictory doctrine.

373. You hold that not only the Catholic Church as a Church is infallible but that the Pope himself is personally so?

The Pope in his capacity as head of the Church is infallible.

374. Is the Pope blasphemous enough to call himself infallible?

He has faith enough to know that the Holy Ghost, the infallible Spirit of Truth, will preserve him from error when defining truths of faith or morals for the guidance of the whole Church.

375. Then he is bold enough to challenge the very Holy Spirit of God.

That is not true. He has humility enough to admit that his infallibility when he does exercise his supreme office as teacher of all the faithful is due, not to himself, but to that very Holy Spirit. You yourself are as sure of your own judgment as if you were infallible. Do you claim that the Holy Spirit is surely guiding you to the truth? If so, you are claiming just what the Pope claims, though the Pope claims it under much more limited conditions, and with much greater interests at stake.

376. I admit that if one could swallow "holus bolus" the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope, an infallible man elected by fallible men, the rest would be easy.

We are not asked to swallow anything, as if it did not matter whether it were reasonable or not. We are asked to believe the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope in matters of faith and morals. And then, indeed, as you say, the rest follows. For if the Pope is infallible, then there is no doubt that men are obliged to join the Catholic Church to which alone the infallible Pope belongs. But that your difficulty against infallibility is based upon a wrong notion of the Catholic doctrine is evident from your words, "an infallible man elected by fallible men." Your idea is that fallible men cannot give what they themselves do not possess. But no Catholic suggests that they do. If a business manager said, ''I shall create the position of overseer, and grant the occupant special privileges, yet I will allow the men to elect their own choice," the man elected would derive his authority from the manager, not from those who elected him. Thus Christ instituted the office of head of the Church, and granted the prerogative of infallibility to the occupant of the position when acting in his official capacity in certain matters. The Pope may owe his election to his fellow men; but he owes his infallibility to the Holy Spirit in virtue of the promise of Christ.

377. On what grounds do you hold that the Pope is infallible?

Because he is the lawful successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, inherits that privilege of St. Peter according to the will of Christ who declared that the Church would last till the end of the world with the constitutional powers He gave it.

378. Where do the Gospels say that even St. Peter was to be infallible?

The doctrine of St. Peter's infallibility is implicitly included in the Petrine texts, given earlier under No. 316. Also, since the whole Catholic Church is infallible, the Pope, as head of the Church, and the last court of appeal, must himself be infallible.

379. No one could accept the decision of any human being as infallible.

The infallibility of the Pope does not mean that we must accept as infallible the decision of a human being. You are leaving out the most important factor of all. If a criminal, after being sentenced to jail, cried out, "Why should I be sentenced by a mere fellow man?", the judge could reply, "For the purposes of this judgment I am not a mere fellow man. I am a man endowed with authority and jurisdiction by the State. In omitting reference to my official capacity, you are leaving out the most important factor of all." So with the Pope. We do not accept the decision of a human being as infallible; we accept the decision of a human being who has received authority from God to teach in His name, and whom God has promised to preserve from error when he teaches in his official capacity doctrines concerning faith or morals. Your question is due to an imperfect knowledge of what infallibility means, and the conditions governing its exercise.

380. The issue narrows down to this, that the Pope is enabled by his infallibility to interpret exactly the Word of God.

The doctrine is better stated negatively. Infallibility means that God will not permit the Pope to define ex Cathedra, or officially, a doctrine not in accordance with the genuine teaching of Christ. Therefore, if the Pope does define a doctrine, that doctrine cannot be against the true intention of Holy Scripture.

381. What does "Ex Cathedra" mean?

It means that the Pope must speak, where it is a question of exercising his infallibility, not as a private theologian, but in virtue of his office as supreme head of the whole Church on earth giving a decision for all the members of the Church on a matter of faith or morals.

382. Does not the prerogative of infallibility suggest that impurity of morals should never have existed amongst the Popes?

The prerogative of infallibility, rightly understood, has no bearing on this matter at all. The exalted office of supreme head of the Church, quite apart from infallibility, certainly suggests that impurity of morals ought not to have existed amongst the Popes. Hence, the distress of good Catholics when they learn that a few of the Popes led unworthy lives. But not for a moment does infallibility suggest that a Pope could not sin did he choose to do so. Catholics do not maintain that the Pope is necessarily impeccable, or simply unable to sin. We must not confuse impeccability and infallibility. They are two totally different things.

383. Surely a leader who failed in morals would forfeit his right to be the teacher of others!

That depends entirely upon the will of the one who appoints him to be the teacher. A bad man can give quite good advice to others. But your judgment is ruled out by our Lord Himself. Christ blamed the Pharisees for not living up to the moral principles appointed by God. He accused them of pride, vanity, injustice, and intolerance — worse sins than the less malicious frailties of the flesh. Yet He denied that they had forfeited the right to be teachers of others in the name of God. In Mt 23:2-3, He said to the people, "The Scribes and Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things, therefore, they shall say to you, observe and do; but according to their works do ye not; for they say and do not." The few bad Popes said, and did not. And the Catholic Church absolutely forbids all Catholics to imitate in any way the wrong personal conduct of any bad Pope. But no bad Pope has ever defined a wrong doctrine, or pretended that his own wrong conduct was in accordance with Catholic moral principles.

384. If the Pope is infallible, why doesn't he give some straight-out rulings on modern problems?

What do you intend by modern problems? If they are outside the sphere of faith and moral principles, you have gone beyond the scope of infallibility. And you cannot expect infallibility to operate in a way that the Catholic doctrine does not demand that it should operate. Meantime, the Pope has given many straight-out rulings on modern problems within his competence — as on social justice, marriage, education, birth control, and other aspects of morality.

385. Is Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical on "Labor" an ex Cathedra utterance, and binding on Catholics under pain of sin should they doubt its teachings?

The Encyclical you mention is not an ex Cathedra utterance. But still Catholics are obliged in conscience to accept its teachings. For the authority of the Church is not limited to infallible definitions only. And quite apart from infallibility, Pope Leo XIII certainly intended to give an authoritative statement of the moral principles of justice and charity in relation to the workers. Therefore, though we have not to make an act of divine faith in the truth of the Encyclical, we are obliged to accept it in a spirit of reverent obedience. Substantially, at least, we are obliged to take it for granted that the Pope's teaching in that Encyclical is not only not opposed to the doctrines of Christ, but is quite in harmony with them. If doubts come to us in this or that point of his teaching, we must make sure, firstly, that we have indeed understood its proper sense. If we are sure that we have not misunderstood his doctrine, then before allowing ourselves to doubt it, we should make a profound study of the whole subject so that we become competent to form a sound decision. If that study does not confirm our conviction that the Pope is right, then we can submit our difficulties to lawful ecclesiastical authorities, and ask a solution of them. To doubt, or rashly to deny the doctrine of the Encyclical on some given point, without taking these precautions, could become sin in any Catholic who is well instructed enough to know the significance of his conduct.

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

Preface To Volume One of "Radio Replies"



Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

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

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

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

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

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



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


Radio Replies TAN BOOKS

"Radio Replies" TAN Books

"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 06/05/2010 3:27:04 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...
 Radio Replies

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2 posted on 06/05/2010 3:28:43 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: All

The Radio Replies Series: Volume One

The Radio Replies Series: Volume Two

Chapter One: God

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

Chapter Two: Man

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

Chapter Three: Religion

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

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

Chapter Four: The Religion of the Bible

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

Radio Replies Volume Two: Supposed Contradictions in Sacred Scripture

Chapter Five: The Christian Faith

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

Chapter Six: A Definite Christian Faith

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

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

Chapter Seven: The Protestant Reformation

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

Chapter Eight: The Truth of Catholicism

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

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

3 posted on 06/05/2010 3:29:42 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Thanks for post -I have become a fan of radio replies.

4 posted on 06/05/2010 6:10:38 AM PDT by johngrace (Where The Holy God dwelled for Nine Months -No sinful man entered! Praise Jesus & Hail Mary Indeed!)
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To: johngrace
"Thanks for post -I have become a fan of radio replies."

You're welcome.

5 posted on 06/05/2010 6:12:13 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

A very thorough one, thanks.

6 posted on 06/05/2010 9:30:35 AM PDT by annalex
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