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

Posted on 10/25/2010 8:23:10 AM PDT by GonzoII


668. Why do Catholics believe that Mary prays for them and helps them?

Because they believe that she is their spiritual Mother, and that she has not lost her interest in those for whom her Son died, merely because she is in heaven. It is the Christian law, according to St. James, that we should pray for one another. The Saints in heaven pray for us who are on earth and still endeavoring to work out our salvation. And Mary is the greatest of the Saints. It is but an application in practice of our belief in the Communion of Saints, a doctrine we profess every time we say the Apostles' Creed.

669. Why do they pray to her instead of to God, as Protestants do?

We do not pray to Mary instead of to God, but we pray to her as well as to God. And those who retain devotion to Mary are in the habit of offering more prayers directly to God than those who have repudiated devotion to Mary. Moreover, prayers to Mary are prayers to God through her intercession. And you cannot deny that at times it is good to have our Lady praying with us rather than to pray alone to God. Two prayers are better than one, above all when the other whom I have asked to join in my petition is the very Mother of Christ.

670. To my Protestant mind your worship of Mary is little short of idolatry.

That can only be because you have not understood Catholic doctrine on the subject. The Creator alone is God. Mary is as much a creature as any other human being. But while she is as much a creature as we are, we have not been honored by God nearly as much as she.

671. Does not the elevation of Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, to a rank quasi-divine, find an illuminating analogue in the ancient Egyptian cult which gave Isis the divine rank of Mother of Heaven?

Firstly, Mary has not been elevated by the Catholic Church to a rank quasi-divine, or even remotely divine. In Catholic theology she falls as far short of divinity as I do, and that's infinitely. Secondly, there is no true analogue between the historical Mother of Christ and the purely mythological Isis, and still less can any illumination be derived from a comparison of the two.

672. Catholicism says Mary is omnipotent in power and infinite in mercy.

It does not say that Mary is omnipotent in power and infinite in mercy. It says that her prayer and intercession have a special efficacy in winning for us the protection of the Omnipotent power of God and His infinite mercy.

673. "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection." Nowhere in Scripture do we find that by man and woman came the resurrection.

The resurrection was but the complement of the redemptive work. Essentially that work was accomplished on Calvary by the death of Jesus on the Cross. And Mary was there, standing at the foot of the Cross, identifying herself with the offering of her Son. By man and woman came our death. Both sexes co-operated in our downfall, and both sexes co-operated in our redemption. God Himself predicted that this would be so. After the sin of our first parents, God said to Satan, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel, and she shall crush thy head." Gen 3:15. Mary is the second Eve as Christ is the second Adam. And both repaired the evil of our first parents, Christ principally and Mary secondarily and subordinately to Christ.

674. I have even read in a Catholic book that Mary is co-redemptress of mankind !

Mary's work was to be our co-redemptress, and to mediate for us together with Christ, but of course in subordination to Him. He is the one principal Mediator to whom we owe all. Do not be disturbed by this association of Mary with the redemptive work of Christ. If all Christians are members of Christ, and are called upon, as St. Paul says, to fill up what is wanting to the suffering of Christ, then you can be sure that as Mary, His Mother, was more closely associated with Christ than we are, so she is more closely associated with His redemptive work. By a special title, therefore, we call her co-redemptress. We call her "Our life, our sweetness, and our hope." For, in bringing forth Christ she brought us forth to life, she is the model of every virtue, and above all should be the glory of all women; and she is our hope as Eve was our despair. All this tells us what she is for. She is our spiritual Mother in heaven, and she fulfills the duties of a Mother, winning for us by her intercession that grace of Christ which is life to our souls and which, please God, will mean eternal life in the end.

675. What do you mean by her Immaculate Conception?

The Immaculate Conception does not mean that Mary was conceived miraculously, or that there was anything abnormal in her physical origin. It simply means that her soul was preserved from that taint of original sin which all others inherit from our first parents. It was really an anticipated baptism, a redemption of Mary's soul by prevention of sin's contamination and through the merits of Christ. The Eternal Son of God would not enter this world through a defiled doorway.

676. Mary said, "My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior." Lk 1:47. Would Mary have said this if she were already immaculate, and in no need of a Savior?

She owed her preservation from sin to the anticipated merits of Christ. Christ, therefore, was her Savior by prevention as He is ours by subsequent cleansing.

677. Mary also said, "He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaiden." How could she be lowly if she were the highest person ever in existence since Adam before his fall from grace?

Mary was not the highest person in existence since Adam. Christ was infinitely higher than Mary. But sin is not the only motive of lowliness or humility. The purest and most innocent of creatures, by the mere fact of being a creature, is infinitely lowly before the Creator. Adam, before his fall from grace, was the lowly servant of God. Jesus Himself, in virtue of the limitations of His created human nature, said, "Learn of Me, that I am meek and humble of heart." Our Lord was certainly without sin, and if He described Himself as lowly of heart, the use of the same expression by Mary is no argument against her sinlessness.

678. If Mary was free from sin and immaculate, how could she die? Death is the wages of sin.

Death is the wages of sin in a very special sense. Sin or no sin, it is natural to man to die. The human body, just as the bodies of animals, has a natural process of growth to maturity followed by age, decay, and death. Naturally, therefore, even Adam and Eve, had they never sinned, would have encountered a natural physical death if no other provision had been made for them. But God promised them a supernatural exemption from any natural process of death if they remained faithful to Him. They fell, forfeited their supernatural immunity from physical death, and nature was allowed to have its way. Therefore death is the wages of sin not as if death were abnormal, but as a normal conclusion of earthly life from which men had lost their exemption. Since Mary was human, it was not unnatural that she should die. But you will ask, "If she was supernaturally preserved from sin, why was she not supernaturally preserved from death?" That we shall see.

679. No one except Christ could possibly be without original sin, and yet see death, unless he or she were God.

I am afraid your thought is here a little obscure. Christ was without original sin, yet saw death, not because He was God, but because He was man. In His Divine Nature He could not die. In His human nature He could. Keep in mind that death is natural to a human nature, quite apart from original or any other sin. A human nature could not be God, and it could, and normally should die, quite apart from sin. By a special privilege God had exempted man from the normal process of death on the condition that he refrained from sin. Man sinned, and lost the privilege. Mary was preserved from all taint of sin, and by that, at least, deserved to be preserved from the natural process of death. But her life and her vocation were so intimately blended with the life and vocation of Christ, that both she and He endured an undeserved death. As when mankind fell, both sexes were represented in Adam and Eve, so both sexes were represented in our redemption. Mary, the second Eve shared death with Christ, the second Adam. The death of Christ was our redemption, but included in the redemptive work of Christ, though subordinate to it, was the death of Mary. The primitive traditions which tell us of the assumption also tell us of the "falling asleep of the Virgin Mary," an expression used to denote the transitory character of her death.

680. Why does the Catholic Church maintain that Mary was "ever a virgin," when Scripture clearly states that she was a virgin only until the birth of Christ?

The Catholic Church has defined as an article of faith that Mary remained always a virgin. Every Catholic in the world is obliged under pain of serious sin to believe that on the very authority of God's knowledge and veracity. Now cannot you see that the Catholic Church would be very, very foolish to define such a doctrine, if the opposite were clearly stated in Scripture? Anyone can get hold of a copy of Sacred Scripture. If the opposite of the Catholic dogma were clearly stated there, one would only have to quote the passage to refute the defined doctrine, and the whole case for the Catholic Church would collapse. Should you not suspect that if the Catholic Church has defined that Mary remained ever a virgin, then, to say the least, there cannot be anything in Scripture against it? Don't you think the Church would have made sure of that, before defining what otherwise could so easily be proved to be erroneous?

681. If Joseph was not His father why do they trace His descent from David through him?

Because the Jews always kept their genealogies in the male line, and since Mary was of the same tribe as Joseph, his line of ancestry was also hers.

682. You say Jesus was descended from David through Mary, but the Bible says He is descended from David through Joseph.

The Bible does not say that. St. Matthew says, "Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus." That says no more than that Joseph was related by marriage to Mary, who, as a matter of fact, gave birth to Christ. St. Luke says at the beginning of his account, "Jesus, being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph." He knew quite well that Jesus was not the son of Joseph in reality, though Joseph was the legal head of the Holy Family.

683. Did Jesus or Mary ever deny that Joseph was His father?

The whole of the New Testament is the written Word of God, and as Jesus is the Eternal Word, every utterance in the New Testament is His. When St. Luke writes, "Jesus, being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph," Jesus accepts full responsibility for those words. No direct utterance from His own lips while on earth is recorded, though that is not proof that He never spoke of it. Not every word Jesus ever said was written down. Indirectly His words in Jn 8:14,23, certainly indicate an origin differing from that of ordinary men. "I know whence I came," He said, "but you know not whence I come. You are from beneath; I am from above." Mary certainly spoke of the fact that Jesus was not the son of Joseph, for all scholars admit that St. Luke got his account of the birth and infancy of Jesus from Mary. But Mt 1:19,25, shows clearly that Joseph knew that he was not the father of Jesus. Mary being found with child, Joseph being a just man was minded to put her away privately. But the Angel appeared to him and said, "Joseph, son of David, fear not, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Reassured that the child of which he knew he was not the father had been miraculously conceived, Joseph did as the Angel of the Lord commanded him.

684. The Sinaitic Gode, or maybe one of the Neutral Texts, is that "Joseph begat Jesus." How reconcile this with the Catholic concept of a Virgin Birth?

That reading does not occur in what are known as the Neutral Texts, nor in the Codex Sinaiticus. It occurs in a Syrian translation found on Mt. Sinai some few years ago, and which has been called the Sinaitic Syriac. Now as regards the wording you quote, i.e., "Joseph begat Jesus," I reply that whether it is correct or not it would not necessarily affect the Catholic concept of the Virgin Birth. But also I say that, while it would not affect the doctrine whether correct or not, it is not correct. Firstly, even if it were correct, it would not affect our doctrine. For such an expression would be quite normal even when referring to legal paternity as opposed to real and natural paternity. And parallel passages compel the acceptance of legal paternity only. Secondly, however, it is not correct. This isolated Syrian translation must yield to the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus. Vod Soden admitted the reading you quote into his edition of the Greek text, and met with protests from scholars the world over. His action was against all the principles of Biblical textual criticism, and Lagrange did not hesitate to call it a "critical enormity." The reading, therefore, cannot be accepted as correct, and even if it were, it would not affect the Catholic doctrine of the Virgin Birth.

685. From the medical standpoint a virgin birth is impossible.

The medical standpoint is that children normally result from the activities of both a father and a mother. And with that standpoint I am in full agreement. But then, we have never said that the birth of Christ was a normal event. And no medical standpoint demands the admission that God is bound always to observe normal procedure according to the natural laws we usually observe. Once we assert a miraculous birth outside the normal teachings of medical experience, there is no medical standpoint left. There is a philosophical standpoint, as to whether an Infinite Creator could do immediately what He usually does mediately by secondary causes of His own making. And, granted the philosophic possibility of His doing so, there arises the historical standpoint as to whether He did so. And the Virgin Birth is an historical certainty.

686. If Joseph was not the father of Jesus, then Jesus was illegitimate.

That is not so. What is an illegitimate child? An illegitimate child is one born as the result of unlawful relations between two people not married, and who is not legally accepted in the eyes of the state as belonging to a lawfully married couple. But the Child Jesus was not the result of any unlawful relations on Mary's part with any person to whom she was not married. The very Bible which says that St. Joseph was not the natural father of Jesus also makes it clear that no other created human being was the father. St. Joseph was told that God Himself had miraculously caused Mary to be with child; and it is as legitimate for God to dispense with the need of a human father as to allow normal processes of generation. So, from the viewpoint of His conception Christ was certainly not illegitimate. Secondly, Joseph and Mary were lawfully married, and the Child born of Mary was legally accepted by the State as belonging to a lawfully married couple. In the external order, therefore, Jesus was legitimate also in civil law. Both by origin and public acceptance, then, He was quite legitimate.

687. In what category would you place the Gospel of Nicodemus?

The author of that uncanonical Gospel was orthodox in his faith, and in no way intended to discredit that faith.

688. He mentions that the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus chided Him with being of illegitimate birth.

It is not improbable that the Jews thus slandered Christ. And the author mentions it as a slander. If the Gospel of Nicodemus has any value for you, you can get nothing more out of it than that the enemies of Christ made a charge against Him and that the charge was false. But you, apparently, wish to accept the record of a false charge as sufficient evidence that the charge was true.

689. Is not such a matter supported by a second century writer, Celsus, who enlarges this into the charge that Joseph divorced Mary for adultery because she had borne a child to a certain soldier named Pantheras?

The matter is not supported by Celsus. Celsus, the pagan, and the bitter enemy of the Christian Church, repeated and amplified whatever slanders he could find. And the fact that Celsus slandered Christ in the second century no more militates against the historical character of the Gospels than the fact that you approve of those slanders in the twentieth century. Origen refuted Celsus centuries ago, showing the obviously fictitious nature of his calumnies. No reputable scholar attaches any weight to the utterances of that bitter pagan.

690. Further, was not this charge also carried into Jewish writings, from quite an early date, which state that Jesus was actually the son of a Greek officer in the Roman Army named Pantheras?

It was. And such was to be expected. Bitter enemies of the Church in those days no more hesitated to indulge in the propaganda of lies and calumnies than they do in these days. But, as Origen points out, the enemies of the Church had no sources of information against Jesus save the Gospels themselves. The very name of your Greek officer, Pantheras, was probably no more than a corruption of the Greek word for Virgin, "Parthenos." The attacks of these early opponents of the Christian religion have but one real value only. In their own perverted way they furnish important evidence of how essential to the Christian Faith was the doctrine of the Virgin Birth in the estimate of all the early Christians. But you repeat very old charges when you fall back on the objections of early Jewish and pagan enemies of Christianity. Do you really think that, after surviving those for nearly two thousand years, the authenticity of the Gospels is going to collapse under them now?

691. What is there that is essential in a belief in the Virgin Birth?

For a Christian it is essential to believe all that God has revealed. To deny the truth of what God reveals is to accuse God of not knowing what He is talking about, or of being a deliberate liar, surely not a very Christian attitude towards God! In the Apostles' Creed Christians for centuries have professed their faith that Jesus Christ was "conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary." The Gospels very clearly state God's promise to Mary that her Child would be due to the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost and the Divine Omnipotence without the necessity of any relations with the opposite sex. They also show that St. Joseph knew quite well that he was not the father of Jesus, and that he was told that the Child to be born of Mary was "of the Holy Ghost." To repudiate the fact that Jesus was born of a Virgin Mother is, therefore, to repudiate the direct teaching of Sacred Scripture.

692. Is it possible that the holding of such a belief can strengthen one's character?

It would not matter in the least if it could not! What is true does not cease to be true, merely because it does not prove useful for every purpose. The truth that there are other planets besides this earth does not serve to strengthen one's character. But men do not deny the truth because of that. However, belief in the Virgin Birth of Christ does strengthen one's character, for it is due to one's faith in God, and the man of deep faith in God is strong where others are weak. To deny what God has revealed to be true is the rebellion of pride, and pride is the beginning of all sin and corruption of human character.

693. Can the belief encourage one to stronger Christian living?

Most decidedly. For if indeed Christ be God coming to seek us, instead of our merely seeking God, then an impetus is given to our love of God which cannot rest content without reciprocal generosity. It may be said that the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ could be independent of that concerning the Virgin Birth. But not so. Is it not significant that attacks on the Virgin Birth come from those who reject all the supernatural and miraculous aspects of Christ? True Christians have ever held fast to the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, not only as a fact revealed by God, but as a guarantee of the real humanity of Christ because born of a human mother, yet not less decisively as a guarantee of His super-human dignity because born without the agency of a human father. The conviction that Jesus is my God is the greatest possible encouragement to Christian living. And His supernatural Virgin Birth, having for its end the founding of a new and regenerated humanity, and the introduction of a Redeemer with the divine forces needed for the world's salvation, is the normal corollary of the doctrine of Christ's Divinity. Natural generation has never resulted in a truly human, yet at the same time, a super-human being. Therefore those who have lost faith in the super-human character of Christ attack the Virgin Birth, and insist that His was a merely natural generation by an ordinary father and mother in the ordinary way. But their rejection of the Virgin Birth is a mutilation of Scripture, a contradiction of the Christian Faith from Apostolic times, and a surrender of Christian teaching into the hands of advocates of a non-miraculous, purely humanitarian Christ who may be ranked only with Buddha, or Confucius, or Mahomet, as each may wish.

694. How do you know the Virgin Mary is in heaven yet?

I will reply to that question as Christ replied to His adversaries on another matter. Do you remember how the chief priests said to Him one day, "Tell us by what authority Thou dost these things?" and He replied, "Answer Me one question, and then I will tell you. The baptism of John, whence was it, from heaven or from earth?" They would not answer. Now let me ask you a question. If the Virgin Mary is not in heaven yet, where is she? Will you suggest that our Savior did not save His own Mother, and that she is in hell? Or, if you won't admit that, will you suggest that she is not in heaven yet because she is still in purgatory?

695. Please explain fully the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The doctrine merely says that, after the Blessed Virgin Mary died, her body was not allowed by God to corrupt as is the case with others. This was prevented by the resurrection of her body before corruption could set in. Reunited with her soul, her body was spiritualized and glorified; at once being assumed into heaven. In other words, God anticipated for the Blessed Virgin Mary what is going to happen to all the saved on the last day.

696. What reasons are there for her bodily assumption?

Death and corruption are penalties of original sin. But Mary, by her Immaculate Conception, was preserved free from all taint of original sin. You may ask, "Why, then, did she die?" Though innocent, she died in union with her innocent Son. She shared in the whole work of redemption, identifying herself with Jesus in all His sorrows and sufferings. And she accepted death as He accepted death. But, as she shared in His redemptive work, so also she shared in the privilege of His resurrection and glory. After all, it was just as easy for God to take her glorified body to heaven at once as it will be to take the glorified bodies of all the saved at the last day.

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

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: communionofsaints; ourlady; radiorepliesvoltwo; virginmary

Preface To Volume One of "Radio Replies"



Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty




Historical Context of "Radio Replies"

By markomalley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 posted on 10/25/2010 8:23:20 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...

Radio Replies Ping

FReep-mail me to get on or off

“The Radio Replies Ping-List”


2 posted on 10/25/2010 8:25:01 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

So Mary has an in with “The Big Guy” and will “intercede” for us... and I getting it right?

Sort of like cousin lenny who can get it for you wholesale from the shop?

3 posted on 10/25/2010 8:25:33 AM PDT by Mr. K (MORE COWBELL)
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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

4 posted on 10/25/2010 8:26:07 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: Mr. K
"and I getting it right?"

If you're sincere you will always get something.

5 posted on 10/25/2010 8:29:04 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
Just a drive-by comment . . .

673. "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection." Nowhere in Scripture do we find that by man and woman came the resurrection.

This ignores both the Greek and the meaning of the 17th c. English translation. The Greek in 1st Corinthians 15:21 is "anthropos" which does not mean a human being of the male sex, but ALL human beings ("anir" is the Greek for a man as distinct from a woman). And in the 17th c. (and more recently) "man" was analogous to "anthropos" although English is a bit confusing because it doesn't make the distinction made in Greek.

6 posted on 10/25/2010 8:56:20 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
"Just a drive-by comment . . ."

Thanks for the input.

7 posted on 10/25/2010 11:52:16 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII
I understand where Fr. Rumble is coming from, though.

These are quick answers for Everyman, who probably doesn't want to hear about Greek translations. And it's a good answer.

8 posted on 10/25/2010 2:35:56 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
although English is a bit confusing because it doesn't make the distinction made in Greek.

Actually, Old English did -- unfortunately, the distinction depended only on vowel length: man with a short vowel was "adult male"; man(n) with a long vowel was "human being."

9 posted on 10/25/2010 2:56:20 PM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz
And, sadly, hardly anybody speaks Old English nowadays . . .


10 posted on 10/25/2010 3:54:44 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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