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Radio Replies Second Volume - Hell
Celledoor.Com ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 03/12/2011 3:30:13 AM PST by GonzoII


834. What is hell?

According to Christ, it is a state of eternal misery and suffering, the pain of which is best likened to that caused by fire. As there is both good and evil in this world, so do their counterparts exist in eternity. And as evil is the opposite of good, so hell is the opposite of heaven. If heaven is light and happiness, liberty and peace, hell is darkness and misery, servitude and torment. As a man sows, so shall he reap. If a man dies identified with the good, he will save his soul and attain heaven. If he dies identifying himself with evil, he will lose his soul. By God's mercy, however, there is no need for any man to do that. However greatly one has sinned, by sincere repentance he can obtain forgiveness and salvation through the merits of Jesus Christ and by fulfilling the conditions prescribed by Christ. When we speak of Jesus as Our Savior we mean that He saves us from the eternal ruin of the hell we have deserved. Those who deny the existence of hell can find no real significance in the title of Savior which belongs to Jesus Christ.

835. I find hell an awful proposition.

So do I, as well as all thinking men. The best thing we can do is to make sure that hell never becomes anything more than an awful proposition. If a man fell into the awful reality of hell, he would see at once that no proposition formulated by men could possibly do justice to the grim actuality.

836. If there is a hell, God can't be there; and if He is not there, He is not everywhere. Therefore God is limited, and not infinite.

That argument begins with the false premise that God is not present in hell. For not even hell can escape God's presence. But while God is so present everywhere that even hell cannot be exempted, He is not so present in hell that He could be affected by hell. His very mode of presence is proper to Himself, and different from any notion we can form of it adequately by ideas drawn from created relationships. He will certainly be present there by His being, and knowledge, and power. But it will be a physical presence only, affording no consolation to those enduring the sufferings of hell. We can form a faint idea of what this means by our own present experience. Two persons can be physically present to each other in the same room. But there can be a chasm between them from another point of view. They have nothing in common; feel not sympathy but antipathy for one another; and are, in fact, said to behave distantly to one another. In other words, in the moral order, there is a distance between them which physical presence can but accentuate. In hell, of course, the misery will be on one side only, that of the soul estranged from God. At any rate, God is everywhere, even in hell, however our limited ideas may fail to explain the nature of His presence. And human souls must cry with David, "Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy face? If I ascend into heaven Thou art there; if I descend into hell Thou art present." Ps 138:8.

837. God, who is all-merciful, would not wish to torture anything for all eternity.

Correct. Therefore He warns us that there is an eternal hell, and forbids us to do the things that could take us there. If He wanted us to go to hell, He would not do that. If I want a man to fall into a trap, I don't carefully explain its presence and tell him how to avoid it. Also that God does not want us to go to hell is evident from the fact that He sent His only-begotten Son to die for our very salvation from so dreadful a fate. But, in appealing to God's mercy, there is one point you overlook. What if a soul rejects God's mercy, won't appeal to it, doesn't want it? It can't refuse God's mercy and have it. Such a soul will encounter God's justice, and Scripture tells us that it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. And Jesus tells us that the sentence of the wicked will be, "Depart from Me ye cursed into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels." There is no hint in Scripture that lost souls will ever cease to exist.

838. Boundless mercy seems to contradict eternal misery, don't you think?

I don't. Boundless mercy supposes the possibility of eternal misery. There is no room for mercy unless there be misery, and no room for boundless mercy unless we suppose boundless misery. Boundless mercy is a mercy which forgives that which does deserve boundless misery. But mercy is not forced upon people. It must be asked for and accepted. It cannot be rejected and at the same time be enjoyed. And if a person is in a state of sin deserving boundless or eternal misery, yet rejects the offer of boundless mercy, what is there left but hell? If you assert that because God is boundless in His mercy, as He is, no one could go to eternal misery, will you say that there is no hell? Or that God has made a hell knowing that it was quite unnecessary as it is to be eternally untenanted? And what will you do with Satan? Is he not in that everlasting suffering prepared for him and his angels? He who proves too much, proves nothing. There is something wrong with an argument which ends in the denial of known facts. God is a God of boundless mercy. He has revealed that there is a hell of eternal misery. There is no contradiction. People can escape the boundless misery by a sincere appeal to God's boundless mercy.

839. Would a man be good if he built a bridge knowing that many would fall through it and get drowned?

If he built a bridge knowing that many would have to fall through it, he would scarcely be good. But if he built a bridge through which no one need fall, and warned people not to fling themselves over, he would be good in providing a bridge. But people who say they do not believe in hell because God is good are talking thoughtlessly. They believe in a good God. Now that God through Christ His Son has taught us that there is a hell. He would not be good if He taught us a deliberate lie. A good God tells the truth. And if there is a hell it is good of Him to tell us. If there is a hell, it is well to know that there is one.

840. I prefer to believe in a good God.

No one can believe in a good God and logically refuse to believe in hell. If love of the good be infinite, it demands an equally intense hatred of evil, the negation of good. Good and evil exist in this world and both have their counterparts in eternity, heaven or hell. To accept heaven because we like it, and reject hell because we don't like it, is going by feeling and sentiment, not by reason.

841. Would it not be better not to create than to punish some souls forever in hell?

Even did that seem better to us, our petty ideas are not the measure of all that is truly wise. Creation is a fact. Hell is a fact. That souls can be lost is a fact if we find it hard to reconcile these facts with our human ideas we can only conclude that our ideas must be limited and inadequate, and that God's infinite wisdom must perceive more aspects than those to which we advert. God has, in fact, revealed this truth in the words, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways." We are too prone to concentrate on individual details and lose sight of the whole scheme. God had not to choose between creating this or that individual, but a race of beings propagating its kind. And He saw that the general good far outweighed individual losses. After all, if my great-grandfather lost his soul, that would be his own fault. There was no need for him to do so. But if he had not been allowed to exist, my grandfather, my father and myself would not have had the opportunity of saving our souls. There is no reason why I should be deprived of eternal happiness (if I attain it) because my great-grandfather chose to throw away his eternal happiness (if he did).

842. Do you think that all serious sins deserve hell?

Undoubtedly they deserve it. But that is not to say that they will necessarily get it. God's mercy is such that sin can always be forgiven. Only unrepented sin can keep a soul out of heaven. Paradox as it may seem, there are mortal sins permitted by God for a man's very salvation. Christ has said, "He who humbles himself shall be exalted." Mt 23:12. Ever He insists on humility. "Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Mt 18:3. Children believe without question, and instinctively obey. We must have child-like faith in Christ, and child-like obedience to His will. Yet where Christ says, "He who humbles himself shall be exalted," He also says, "He who exalts himself shall be humbled." If men exalt themselves, whether by pride of intelligence or independence of will, then God will break them by humiliation after humiliation, if He loves them. Again and again He has ground the intellectually proud down to the very dust, permitting them to fall into the most humiliating sins, whether through drink or sensuality, sins smashing up their self-esteem, and, as I have said, meant for their salvation, not for their damnation. St. Augustine, with all his great intellectual gifts, was thus brought low. Had God not permitted his early sins, he would never have shed his later and saving tears of humility. So I say that all serious sins deserve hell, but through God's mercy, not all serious sins are thus punished.

843. A small boy commits his first mortal sin and dies unrepenting next day. He goes to hell. An old man after a lifetime of sin repents at the last and goes to heaven. Why is this not an injustice on God's part?

Because God's granting of salvation to one who does fulfill the necessary conditions cannot possibly oblige Him in justice to grant salvation to one who does not fulfill those conditions. Apart from your hypothetical description of the differences in ages and the quantity of iniquity, you say in substance that one human being dies in grave sin, and another does not. Keep in mind all the conditions necessary for a mortal sin, clear knowledge, serious matter, deliberate choice, and full moral responsibility. No human being at any stage in his life has any right to be in such a state of mortal sin, and if anyone is in that state when death comes, his blood is on his own head. But in such theoretical cases there is danger of a false idea of God. We must not reason as if God were a God of vengeance only, and not a vigilant and good Providence. He is present at the decisive hour and human beings are under His influence even when they are to give their eternal yes or no. He does not wait to catch small boys in a state of mortal sin. And mortal sin does not create in God the will to damn forever in hell, but to convert. He says Himself, "I will not the death of the sinner, but that He be converted and live." To everyone therefore He offers graces of conversion, and those graces must be refused in a decisive manner, if a soul is to be lost. Your small boy is pure hypothesis. Of its nature one only mortal sin deserves hell. But that God would not give the boy a chance to repent, or that the boy would not correspond with last graces, is pure supposition. However, if any soul does go from this world in a state of unrepented personal mortal sin, that soul goes to hell.

844. You think the offense suffered by God merits such a terrible sentence. But why?

The fact that there is a hell we know by revelation. But it is a mystery just as the revealed doctrine of the Trinity, or of heaven itself. However, we know at least that hell is misery and for eternity. Now why does a grave and deliberate offense against God merit such a terrible sentence? In the abstract it does, because it is the insulting of an infinite goodness and of an infinite majesty. The justice of hell depends on the injustice of sin. And here we must be content not to comprehend. For our ideas of justice are associated with relations of man to man. There is an infinite lack of proportion between human justice, and the justice between an infinite Creator and the finite creature. But all that is a matter of abstract principles. In the concrete, hell is a terribly logical consequence of actual realities. There is but one God, one Savior, one source of eternal life and one salvation. If a man forfeits this, hell alone can be the result. He who dies rejecting an infinite good deserves to experience the loss of that infinite good. In other words, if a man rejects God, he should experience rejection by God. And hell is eternal, not so much because sin is infinite, but because it is without remedy. The lost cannot escape hell because they do not repent. They do not repent because they are out of that state in which change is possible. They are out of time, out of probation, and beyond the reach of grace. They are always punished because always evil.

845. Would not one hundred years reckoned by earthly standards of time be quite sufficient?

Ideas of successive moments according to our experience of time in this world cannot possibly give us an adequate standard of comparison. Hell is a mystery outside our time and space notions. And we must realize that we are talking like children on our own little level and in our own little way. It is as if a child were to go into a shop and ask for eight ounces of misery. Time and eternity are in two different orders of being. But taking your analogy for what it is worth, I would say that the only thing which can destroy sin is repentance with the help of God's grace. For by that one makes his own the expiation of sin offered by Christ on the Cross. And that is the only possible expiation of sin. Without that, sin can never be expiated. Therefore a soul in hell, unable to repent and deprived of grace, never can succeed in expiating his sins, whether in one hundred years or a million. But as I have said, our reckoning by time and years is inadequate. Eternity is a mystery to us, and we can but say that the soul which goes from this world in mortal sin never attains happiness.

846. If a man were born a lunatic, was never baptised, committed murder, and would murder again, yet dies without repenting, would he go to hell?

Such a man could not go to hell. If he has been a lunatic from birth owing to defective brain-formation, he has never really attained the normal use of reason, and therefore has never been responsible for his conduct. Murder would be a crime for one in possession of his faculties. But a lunatic is not responsible for, and guilty of, what would constitute a crime for others. Lunatics from birth, who have never been baptized, meet with a fate similar to that of unbaptized infants, who are debarred from entering heaven because they lack Baptism, yet who cannot be sent to hell, because they lack responsibility. They attain to a state of eternal natural happiness. I have said that the brain cells do not make a man good or evil, although they do condition the activities of the soul. An imperfect brain lessens both the capacity of the soul for good operations, but also the responsibility of the soul before God. A completely disordered brain which involves straight-out lunacy, does not make a man morally good or morally evil. It leaves him without any moral responsibility at all. And such a lunatic ranks as an infant which has never come to the use of reason.

847. Why base our religion on fear?

There is no need to do so, and it would be wrong to do so. Our religion is based upon faith, hope and charity. But these very virtues make you believe in hell, hope to escape it, and do all you can to help others escape it. In other words, the mere fact that we are not obliged to be thinking day and night of hell does not give us the right to deny it. Hell is not the sum total of the religion, taught to Catholics, at least. Out of three hundred and fifty-seven questions in the ordinary Catechism, three deal directly with the doctrine of hell. Hell is one doctrine of the Christian religion; a doctrine not to be viewed in isolation, but in the light and perspective of the whole Christian economy. There is no need for any soul to go to hell, but one of the surest inspirations to make use of the means to avoid hell arises from the thought of its existence.

848. I have heard Roman Catholic talks and sermons several times, and each time they essentially pertained to hell fires and how to avoid them.

I do not think you could have heard many sermons by Catholic priests. For sermons on hell are certainly rare. Indirectly, of course, priests will stress the necessity of saving one's soul and the inevitability of each human being's judgment by God with the twofold possibility of either heaven or hell for eternity. But, while the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, there is no need to remain in that fear without rising to the wisdom and the love of God which is so much more positive and precious. The Christian life does not consist only in avoiding sin. It requires also the practice of virtue. Not only salvation, but sanctification of one's soul is important. Still we must never lose sight of the bedrock necessity of saving our souls. When the rich young man said to Christ, "Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?" Lk 10:25. Our Lord replied, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." He did not warn the young man about any overanxiety as to the saving of his soul. In fact, again and again He Himself stressed the necessity of retaining very serious views on the subject.

849. This factor naturally makes me, an outsider, think that priests attempt to instill fear into their parishioners.

Catholic priests must preach the Gospel of Christ, and all of it. And I certainly do not think they preach the severer truths of the Gospel out of proportion to their place in the preaching of Christ Himself. Again and again our Lord, who said that He came to save that which was lost, dwelt on the dread fate of those who continued in their sins. To the Pharisees He said, "Ye fools, ye blind guides, ye whited sepulchres, ye serpents and generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" He spoke of the worm of remorse that dieth not, of weeping and gnashing of teeth, of the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and declared that it would be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for those who rejected Him. And to all of us His question stands as a challenge, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Better go blind and lame to heaven than seeing and whole to hell. Fear not those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. But I will tell you whom to fear. Fear ye Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Yea, fear ye Him."

850. By this means priests force their people to go to Church.

That is not true. You must not judge Catholics to be so devoid of the love of God that they do not personally want to go to Church for the positive spiritual blessings He gives them, and the consolation of His special presence. If, however, some individual Catholic had not enough personal love of God to induce him to attend Mass, and did so chiefly from the fear of losing his soul, that would certainly be better than not going at all. Nor could you say that the priest forced him to go by preaching the severe doctrine of hell. It is the faith of that individual man in the doctrine preached by the priest that takes him to Mass. As a matter of fact, the priest no more forces a Catholic to be faithful by preaching the doctrine of hell than Christ can be said to have forced His disciples to be true to Him by so insisting upon that doctrine in the first place.

Encoding copyright 2009 by Frederick Manligas Nacino. Some rights reserved.
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TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: hell; radiorepliesvoltwo

Preface To Volume One of "Radio Replies"



Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty




Historical Context of "Radio Replies"

By markomalley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 posted on 03/12/2011 3:30:16 AM PST by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...

Radio Replies Ping


FReep-mail me to get on or off

“The Radio Replies Ping-List”


2 posted on 03/12/2011 3:33:37 AM PST by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: All

The Radio Replies Series: Volume One

The Radio Replies Series: Volume Two

Chapter One: God

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

Chapter Two: Man

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

Chapter Three: Religion

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

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

Chapter Four: The Religion of the Bible

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

Radio Replies Volume Two: Supposed Contradictions in Sacred Scripture

Chapter Five: The Christian Faith

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

Chapter Six: A Definite Christian Faith

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

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

Chapter Seven: The Protestant Reformation

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

Chapter Eight: The Truth of Catholicism

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

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

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

Chapter Nine: The Church and the Bible

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

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

Chapter Ten: The Dogmas of the Church

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

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

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

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

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

Radio Replies Volume Two: Hell

3 posted on 03/12/2011 3:36:53 AM PST by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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To: GonzoII

Interesting food for thought: I prefer to think of God as Holy
and that there is no room for evil and good coexisting in His presence....Therefore the evil are burned up as fat on the flame.gone in an instant. If Hell exists for an eternity -for the evil... IMO it exists in the eternal separation from God
but I choose Grace—and if it be Gods will — I will not see Hells fire.And the goal is to hear at journeys end “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

4 posted on 03/12/2011 3:53:16 AM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
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