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

Posted on 05/28/2011 10:12:30 PM PDT by GonzoII


1000. Wide publicity has been given to the case of a doctor who was acquitted on a charge involving an illegal operation.

That is true.

1001. What is the law or teaching of the Catholic Church on the right or otherwise of a doctor to perform an operation such as he admitted he carried out?

The Catholic Church teaches, and ever will teach, that no doctor has any right before God and in conscience to perform such an operation. The deliberate and direct destruction of innocent human life is forbidden by the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." Another principle insisted upon by the Catholic Church is that the end does not justify any morally evil means. And the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," forbids the direct killing of an innocent human being before birth as well as after birth.

1002. Does the law or teaching differ from accepted medical ethics?

No. But if it did, accepted medical ethics would be wrong. However no medical man who observes the ethical principles generally acknowledged by the profession would perform such an operation. Doctors exist to save life, not to destroy it. And there are thousands of doctors, men of honor and integrity, who will have nothing to do with an operation to secure the deliberate abortion of a living child at any stage prior to viability. Even if the choice seems to be between the life of the mother or of the child, they will not deliberately destroy the life of the one in order to save the other. Admitting the equal rights of both to existence, they do their utmost to save both, leaving the issue to God's providence. And very often they do save both, finding their earlier opinion most happily mistaken.

1003. The public may construe the jury's verdict in the case as a change in a principle of criminal law.

It was not. The doctor believed that the law forbade what he did, and argued that he wanted the law changed. But when the case actually came to court, his legal advisers really dodged the issue, and pleaded that his action was really remotely in accordance with the law. And the jury accepted the plea, and gave a verdict of not guilty. But, whatever the attitude of civil law on this matter, in the light of God's law, "Thou shalt not kill," operations similar to that performed rank as the sin of murder. No human legislation can change the law of God, nor can human reasons of expediency justify its violation. The Catholic Church, therefore, will always insist that such operations are morally wrong and unjustified before God.

1004. At what stage of its development does a child receive its individual soul?

The soul is present the moment the active and passive principles of germination coalesce to form a definite entity. We therefore say that from the moment of conception, the soul is present. Our very doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary implies that doctrine. For we say that, from the moment of her conception, her soul was preserved immaculate, or free from any taint of original or inherited sin. Her soul, therefore, was created by God at the moment of her conception, and long before human activity in the sense of discernible physical movement. In St. Luke we read that, when Our Blessed Lady visited Elizabeth, the latter cried, "Behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." Lk 1:44. Even before his birth, St. John the Baptist was able to know by revelation of the presence of the also yet-unborn Christ. And the souls of others are also created at the moment of their conception. The unborn child possesses an "earthly existence" every bit as much as the child lying in a cradle or romping in the streets. It is a living human being from the moment of conception.

1005. You condemn abortion even when strongly recommended by a doctor?

Correct. No doctor has a moral right to recommend unjustifiable homicide. And the killing of a living unborn child is that.

1006. Apparently it is unjustified because (1) to take the child's life in order to save the mother is opposed to moral principles, since the end does not justify the means; (2) because the taking of the child's life violates the commandment: "Thou shalt not kill"; (3) because the doctor can never be certain that the mother's life will be lost by allowing normal processes to continue.

You last point is not quite correctly put. Normal processes may be accelerated where necessary, provided the prematurely born child is able to live. That would be after the twenty-eighth week. Also while uncertainty on the part of the doctor would make it still more unjustified to take the life of the child, that factor is not really material to the case. For even were he certain that the mother would die unless he destroyed the child, he would not be morally free to take that living child's life. He must simply do all that he can for both within the moral law, and hope for the best. But that last point does not affect your argument. The two vital factors are the commandment: "Thou shalt not kill," and the moral principle that the end does not justify the means.

1007. Let us now consider that form of "self-defense" where one man kills another to save his own life.

Very well.

1008. The taking of this other life is a violation of the commandment: "Thou shalt not kill."

That is not so, if there be no other way out. If an unjust aggressor seriously threatens to wound or even kill another man, that other has the right of self-defense. If less than death, such as wounding or disabling, is sufficient, to do more is sinful and against justice. But the right to defend one's own life is valid always against an unjust aggressor; and by his criminal conduct he encompasses his own death if he goes so far as to render so violent a defense necessary.

1009. One can never be certain that the other person would have taken one's life. The facts, reasonably interpreted, pointed to it.

No more than that is wanted in the case of self-defense against an unjust aggressor.

1010. Now I submit that, if the extreme form of self-defense is justified, then abortion is justified.

That does not follow, for the child is not an unjust aggressor, is guilty of no crime in being in its natural place, and is actuated by no malevolence towards the mother. The cases are not parallel, and the transition from one to the other is illogical.

1011. Both involve the taking of life to preserve life, and are opposed to the fifth commandment.

That is not true. In abortion the doctor directly intends the killing of an innocent child as a means to the end he desires to attain. He does not merely permit the child to die. He definitely kills it. The child is not responsible for its own death, unjustifiably exposing its life to danger. But in self-defense against an unjust aggressor, the attacked person intends directly his own protection, opposing violence to violence. The aggressor unjustifiably exposes his own life to danger if he walks into the zone of protection his sinister intentions have forced the attacked person to set up. The attacked person does not intend his aggressor to be an aggressor, nor to be killed. He intends his own safety and permits the aggressor to kill himself should he be so evil as to render his death necessary and put himself in the way of it. If the aggressor chooses to throw his own life away, it is he who breaks the fifth commandment. But the unborn child is not an unjust aggressor; is not choosing to throw its own life away; and, in abortion, is killed deliberately as a means to an end.

1012. As to the uncertainty, the doctor performs abortion because he has both inductively and deductively reached the conclusion that if this course is not adopted, the mother's life will be lost; but in self-defense the decision to take another's life, though formed in much the same way, is usually taken in a disturbed and emotional state vastly different from the impersonal, disinterested and scientific attitude of the legally qualified medical practitioner.

In self-defense the decision is to defend one's own life even by extreme measures, permitting the aggressor to encompass his own death if he persists in his murderous intentions. In the case of abortion, it is the doctor who is the unjust aggressor. It is he who is attacking an innocent life, and you are not making his case any better by saying that he is not doing it in the heat of the moment and in a disturbed state of mind, but with cool, calculating deliberation. As a matter of fact the human being he is going to kill has the right of self-defense. And if only that living child were big enough, and able to do it, the right would be there to defend itself by violence if necessary, even though the doctor met his death by persisting in his decision to kill the child. And surely you will not say that the defenselessness of the child makes the case of the would-be killer any better!

1013. If it be agreed that "Thou shalt not kill" is not categorical, but means, "Thou shalt not kill except in certain circumstances," or, "Thou shalt not unlawfully kill" surely we could interpret the other commandments in the same way.

I do not argue that the commandment "Thou shalt not kill," is not categorical. It categorically forbids man, on his own responsibility, to take his own life or that of anybody else. Therefore I have pointed out that an unjust aggressor has no right either to indulge in his criminal aggression, or to risk encompassing his own death by encountering the means of self-protection adopted by his intended victim.

1014. For example, why not say, "Thou shalt not commit adultery except in certain circumstances"?

Just as a man is categorically forbidden to kill, so he is categorically forbidden to commit adultery. Apart from that, there is no parity between the two cases. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" vindicates the individual's right to life and to self-defense which others ignore to their cost. But it would be impossible to vindicate the law "Thou shalt not commit adultery" by committing or permitting adultery.

1015. If the fifth commandment does not mean what it seems clearly and explicitly to state, why should the other commandments?

The fifth commandment means what it clearly and explicitly states.

1016. The extreme form of self-defense is, I know, sanctioned by the law of the land; but so also is divorce which is granted on many grounds which you maintain are opposed to the law of God.

The State officially acknowledges neither God nor the laws of God. Nor would it for a moment claim that its own legislation is a necessary indication of the right interpretation to be imposed upon God's ordinances. It's no use quoting the decrees of human legislative bodies composed of men professing any religion or no religion.

1017. As a lawyer I would be very interested if you would analyse my remarks.

I have complied with your request. Your questions certainly bring out the need of an authentic interpreter of God's laws just as the State appoints courts for the authentic interpretation of civil law. You know what difficulties arise in civil life where the sense and application of civil laws are concerned. A civilian will consult a lawyer. Lawyers themselves will differ. Appeals will be carried from court to court until perhaps the final authoritative decision of the State will be given in a judgment in which the sense of the law is crystallized, and which is quoted henceforth as a precedent. Where the Divine Law is concerned the Catholic Church is the authentic organ of interpretation. You may consult me as a kind of "ecclesiastical attorney." And I have been explaining to you the sense and interpretation of God's law, "Thou shalt not kill" in reference to abortion. Actually the Catholic Church has officially passed judgment on the matter — a judgment which anticipates any appeal from this "fallible attorney" to an official tribunal. For the Catholic Code of Canon Law declares that where abortion is concerned excommunication is incurred by the very fact by any Catholic who cooperates in bringing about an abortion or the killing of an unborn living child at any stage of its development. The excommunication falls upon those who persuade or advise another to have it done, who commission an abortionist to do it, and upon the abortionist who performs the operation. No Catholic priest could ever sanction such an operation, and if he actually advised one who sought his advice to have an abortion performed, Canon Law declares that he is to be deposed from office. That legislation, so strict and so far-reaching, settles the question for Catholics. Abortion is murder, forbidden by the commandment: "Thou shalt not kill." And no amount of human speculation about the pros and cons of the case can avail against this authentic decision of the Catholic Church. If one disputes the authority of the Catholic Church to adjudicate in such matters, then the discussion moves on to another topic altogether, namely, the credentials of the Catholic Church as the divinely appointed guardian of faith and morals in this world.

1018. As a woman listener, I object to your assertion that abortion is murder.

The deliberate destruction of a living child prior to its birth is as much murder in the sight of God as its deliberate destruction after its birth.

1019. So if a woman will lose her life if she has to bear a child you say it is a sin to relieve her?

I never said that it would be a sin to relieve her. We are discussing the means to be taken in order to give her relief. I simply say that it would be sinful to destroy deliberately the life of her child as a means to the end desired. What you must face is the question as to whether it is a sin or not to kill an innocent living child. Will you answer that with a yes or no? Or will you say, "Of course that would be murder unless we had good reasons for it." Would you then say that murder ceases to be murder as soon as it happens to be expedient?

1020. A woman may not have known until too late that she cannot safely give birth to a child.

She may have certain fears, and they may be fostered by an accommodating doctor. But neither the woman nor the doctor has absolute certainty that both mother and child will not survive. Yet even if they had, will you admit the principle that the end justifies the means, and that it is lawful to do evil that good may result? The child is living, and it is a perfectly innocent human being so far as personal conduct is concerned. On what score has it forfeited its right to life? On what grounds do you think that the commandment no longer obliges — "Thou shalt not kill"?

1021. I am told that, if a Roman Catholic husband is informed by a doctor that it is a case of losing either the mother or the child, he "must" say that the mother is to be sacrificed no matter how many other little ones need her care.

You have been wrongly advised. No Catholic man, nor any other man, has any more right to say that the mother "is to be sacrificed" than to say that the child has "to be sacrificed." He must ask the doctor to do his utmost to save both lives without resorting to the direct killing of the child. In hundreds of cases, despite fears and conjectures, both lives have been saved. Should one life, or even both be lost, despite all morally lawful precautions, then death is due to unavoidable causes. No human being can be accused of having sacrificed either life. But if the living and innocent child is deliberately killed as a means towards saving the mother, then indeed one without any right to do so has chosen to sacrifice an innocent human life.

1022. Truly you are a ruthless Church.

You do not know what you are saying. The Catholic Church forbids the direct killing of either mother or child. You advocate the deliberate murder of the child. Who is ruthless?

1023. I know of a splendid Roman Catholic mother who lost her life, and her child was lost, too; and she left another little one of about 3 years to the care of a careless heartless father. I am rather inclined to think that was breaking the fifth commandment.

I would be glad if you would say who, in that case, broke the fifth commandment. If that Catholic mother gave her life rather than allow her child to be killed, she was indeed a splendid Catholic — as splendid as the early martyrs of the Christian religion who also died rather than violate other laws of God. The sad consequences you mention do not affect the point at issue. Fidelity to what is right often has uncomfortable consequences. But the appeal to convenience or expediency is ethically invalid where an action is evil and immoral in itself. We cannot do evil that good may come. The deliberate murder of the child cannot be justified in that way.

1024. What would be your remedy for a wife who knows that another child will mean danger of death?

I can but explain the sound moral principles affecting the case. If the wife's fears are indeed well founded, and it is certain her life will be gravely endangered, then the husband should refrain from asking those privileges ordained to the procreation of children. If he does not, the wife would be justified in refusing his requests, though she may, if she chooses, discount the risk, and face the possible dangers, trusting in God to preserve her, should it be His Holy Will.

1025. If she refused, would your Church make that a reason for granting the husband a divorce, permitting him to marry again?

Most certainly not.

1026. Good, loving, tolerant, God-fearing women who have to suffer the pangs of childbirth should make these laws, not men who have shirked the responsibilities of fatherhood and know nothing of what they are talking about, save in theory.

Neither women nor men may make any laws concerning this matter. It is for God to make the laws. You speak of "good, tolerant, God-fearing women." If they are God-fearing, they will respect His laws, and certainly will not tolerate the abortion you advocate, involving the murder of an innocent child as a means to some other end. As for priests not knowing what they are talking about, one does not have to be married in order to know the implications of the law, "Thou shalt not kill." If you think that priests do not understand the difficulties which the observance of God's law will cost in certain individual cases, you are very much mistaken. And if you think the priest devoid of sympathy you are still more mistaken. But the priest knows that, even as he did not make the law, so he cannot abrogate it. He knows that it is useless for him to give a permission he has no authority to give and which God will not ratify. God has given the law. The priest must declare that law. Men may not do evil that good may come. It is morally evil in itself to destroy an innocent child's life. One may not do it, therefore, even to save the life of another. Abortion is murder, forbidden by the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

1027. Who are you, may I inquire, who dares to make such a statement?

I am a Catholic priest giving the only statement possible so long as the law of God stands. "Thou shalt not kill"

1028. You are a priest of a Church whose very foundation is bathed in the blood of so-called "heretics" whom the Church ruthlessly put to death.

The Catholic Church has never put anyone to death for being a heretic. She has declared certain of her renegade subjects to be heretics or deniers of the faith; and in ages which differed from our own in social structure, the State put militant heretics to death as enemies to the general civic welfare. But what has all that to do with my declaration now that the killing of an innocent child is murder? Your vehement denunciation of what you regard as murder in the Middle Ages should make you grateful for our milder views now, and a staunch supporter of our doctrine that innocent children must not be killed.

1029. Yet you said it is a sin to take the life of an unborn child to save the life of the mother.

Will you say that it is not a sin to destroy the life of an innocent unborn child? If to that question just as it stands you reply, "Yes, it would be a sin to kill such an unborn child," will you hold that it is lawful to do a morally wicked thing provided you can foresee some apparent good to be got by doing so? If you say, "No, I don't believe you may do a sinful thing as a means to a good end — I do not believe that the end justifies evil means," then you may not plead the safety of a mother as justification for the murder of her child.

1030. Now be consistent. Why is this wrong, when the wholesale slaughter of heretics was right?

The wholesale slaughter of heretics can never be right. But even if it were, it would not affect the case of an innocent unborn child who has not been guilty of heresy.

1031. Has the priesthood killed all the human feeling you once possessed that you wouldn't say, "Save the mother"?

Not at all. I would beg the doctors to move heaven and earth to save both mother and child. But the law of God compels me to say that they may not resort to the deliberate murder of either in order to save the other.

1032. Are you a mere dispenser of doctrine, a cog in the ruthless machinery of the Catholic Church, devoid of all human feelings, that you say, "Let the mother take her chance"?

You do not abolish the grave law of Almighty God, "Thou shalt not kill" by calling the man who repeats it a "mere dispenser of doctrine." Nor is this law, which the Catholic Church did not make, nor can unmake, an indication of her "ruthless character." God made the law, and God forbids ruthless murder. My human feelings do not really affect the matter; but still I am not devoid of them. And they do protest against the deliberate murder even of an unborn child. Will you tell me why your human feelings are indifferent to that? Also why the child should have certain death inflicted upon it rather than that the mother should "take her chance," facing only a possibility? Time and again doctors have expressed their opinion that a mother will not survive, yet care and skill have saved both lives.

1033. Perhaps in the future you may be man enough to have the courage of your real convictions and say, "Save the mother."

I go further. I say, "Save both." You say, "Murder the child." Think the whole matter over again. And don't imagine for a moment that I am simply refusing to understand your position. You mean well, but you have let your heart run away with your head. Concentrating on one aspect of the case you have lost sight of other aspects, and sentiment has obscured your vision of all the principles at stake. Owing to the limitations of the human mind absorption by one idea can blot out all advertence to others, as in the case of the man who laughed uproariously while being flogged, and gave as the reason for it, "You're flogging the wrong man." Concentration on the ludicrous aspect made him oblivious of physical pain. In your case thoughts only of pity for the mother (quite noble in themselves) have excluded from your mind all thoughts of the life of the child and its inalienable right to existence. And it is to that right I call your attention — a right vindicated by God's commandment: "Thou shalt not kill."

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

TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholic; moralabsolutes; prolife; 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 05/28/2011 10:12:33 PM PDT by GonzoII
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To: fidelis; MI; Sir_Humphrey; dsc; annalex; Citizen Soldier; bdeaner; CatQuilt; Graing; bboop; ...

Radio Replies Ping


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2 posted on 05/28/2011 10:15:52 PM PDT 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
Radio Replies Volume Two: Purgatory
Radio Replies Volume Two: Indulgences
Radio Replies Volume Two: Heaven
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Resurrection of the Body

Radio Replies Volume Two: The End of the World

Chapter Eleven: The Church and Her Moral Teachings

Radio Replies Volume Two: Conscience
Radio Replies Volume Two: Truth
Radio Replies Volume Two: Scandal
Radio Replies Volume Two: Tolerance
Radio Replies Volume Two: Censorship

Radio Replies Volume Two: The Inquisition
Radio Replies Volume Two: Astrology
Radio Replies Volume Two: Other Superstitions
Radio Replies Volume Two: Attendance at Mass
Radio Replies Volume Two: Sex Education

Radio Replies Volume Two: Attitude to "Free Love"
Radio Replies Volume Two: Abortion

3 posted on 05/28/2011 10:17:43 PM PDT by GonzoII (Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea...Quare tristis es anima mea?)
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