The Truth About Catholics
By Peter O’Donnell
Australian Catholic Truth Society No. 846 (1957).
This booklet is addressed to any fair-minded non-Catholic reader who would indeed like to hear a Catholic tell them the plain truth about Catholics. It is especially addressed to my American compatriots whose minds may have been filled with what will turn out to be many erroneous ideas about Catholics.
APPEAL TO FAIR-MINDEDNESS
Before you mislay this booklet, ask yourself the following questions:
AM I RIGHT?
A little over five hundred years ago, say around 1500, all English-speaking people were Catholic. Many of the greatest minds of the age, (this age and so many of past ages) — scientists, philosophers, reformers, poets, critics, etc., have become convinced that the Catholic Church is the Living Representative of The Greatest Mind of all time, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
ARE THEY RIGHT OR AM I?
AM I JUST?
I do not deny even to murderers the hearing I refuse to the Catholic Church – but if you read this book you will not be guilty of this. I condemn her upon the evidence of her enemies only, and in doing so I forget that men once so condemned Jesus Christ Himself.
IS THIS JUST?
AM I PRUDENT?
Jesus founded a Church to teach all nations and to endure to the end of the world.
“Going, therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28: 19-20.)
To her teachers He said, “He that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me.” (Luke 10: 16.)
“He that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16: 16.)
History tells me that she is the only world-wide Church that has preserved her identity, authority, and worship from Apostolic times (see Section VIII), and that she is the only Church founded by the infallible Son of God.
AM I PRUDENT IN FAILING TO INVESTIGATE HER CLAIMS?
St. James tells us that Faith without good works is dead. St. Paul echoes his word when he says: “Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:2)
WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MERIT A HAPPY ETERNITY?
ALL BIBLE QUOTATIONS IN THIS BOOKLET ARE TAKEN FROM THE KING JAMES VERSION
I - CHURCH OR BIBLE
Which was appointed by Christ to teach mankind the true religion?
When Our Divine Saviour sent His Apostles throughout the universe to preach the Gospel to every creature He laid down the conditions of salvation thus: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” Here then our Blessed Lord laid down two conditions — Faith and Baptism. (Mark 16: 16).
What is this Divine Faith which we must have in order to be saved? It is to believe, upon the authority of God, the truths that God has revealed. Now, if a man is at liberty to believe any kind of religion, provided he be a good man, then what use for Christ to send out His Apostles to teach all nations? Are men and nations at liberty to reject the teaching of the Apostles? Therefore, if a man would be saved he must profess the true religion.
Now, if God commands me under pain of damnation to believe what He has taught, He is bound to give me the means to know what He has taught. Has God given us such means? “Yes,” say all Protestants, “He has.” And so say the Catholics. What is the means God has given us whereby we shall learn what He has taught?
“The Bible,” say our Protestant friends, “and nothing but the Bible.”
But we Catholics say, “No; not the Bible, but the Church of God.” For if God had intended that man should learn his religion from the Bible, surely God would have given that book to man. Did He do so? He did not. Christ sent His Apostles throughout the universe and said: “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28: 19).
Christ did not say, sit down and write Bibles and let every man read and judge for himself. That injunction was reserved for the sixteenth century, and we have seen the result of it in the founding of about 500 religions by men, all quarrelling with one another about the interpretation of the Bible.
Jesus never wrote a line of scripture, nor did He command His Apostles to do so, except when He directed St. John to write the Apocalypse (See Revelation 1: 11), but ordered them to “teach all nations.” (Matt. 28: 19.) In Matt. 18: 17, He does not say, “He that will not read the scriptures,” but “he that will not hear the Church” is to be considered a heathen and publican.
The Apostles, going forth, preached everywhere the Lord co-operating with them. (Mark 16: 20). It is true Our Lord said on one occasion: “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and the same are they that give testimony to Me.” This passage is quoted in favour of private interpretation, but proves nothing of the kind. “Search the scriptures” (John 5: 39) is not a command. It is not imperative, but indicative, as reference to the Latin or Greek text shows, “You search the scriptures” is the sense, and Our Lord emphasised the point when He added, “And you will not come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5: 40).
The Church, established by Christ as the teaching authority, does not under-rate the Scriptures. In fact, the Church, selecting the true from the false among a great number of writings, declared the Canon of Scripture, affirming and defining by her authority that these certain books were the inspired Word of God. As such, she preserved them, protected them, had them carefully copied and circulated, so that if it were not for the Catholic Church the books of the Bible would either have been lost altogether, or would have become unrecognisable among a mass of spurious documents. We accept the Bible on the authority of the Church: the Church existed before the New Testament was written.
The Church established by Christ existed about 65 years before St. John wrote the Book of Revelation. During these 65 years how did the people know what they had to do to save their souls?
Before the invention of the printing press and movable metal types in the fifteenth century, books had to be copied laboriously by hand, principally on to parchment. It was therefore impossible for everybody to have a copy of the Bible.
Would Our Divine Lord have left the world for 1500 years without that book if it were necessary to man’s salvation? Most assuredly not.
Now, with regard to the King James edition, learned Protestant preachers and Bishops have written volumes to point out the errors that are in it, and various denominations acknowledge it. Some years ago there was held in the U.S.A. a convention of ministers, to which all denominations were invited, the object being to arrange for a new translation of the Bible. In that convention a very learned Presbyterian stood up, and urging the necessity of a new translation, said that in the present Protestant Bible there were no less than thirty thousand errors.
Protestants say that the man who reads the Bible prayerfully has truth. Let us suppose: here is an Episcopal minister (from the Anglican Church); he reads the Bible in a prayerful spirit, and he says it is clear and evident there must be bishops, for without bishops there can be no priests, without priests there can be no Sacraments, and without Sacraments no Church. The Presbyterian, a sincere and well-meaning man, deduces from the Bible that there should be no bishops, only Presbyters. A number of sects hold that Baptism by immersion is correct, while others approve of Baptism by sprinkling. (The Salvation Army have no Baptism, since they find no warrant for it in these same Scriptures.)
Next comes the Unitarian, who calls them a pack of Idolaters worshipping a man for a God, and he quotes several texts from the Bible to prove it.
I have here brought together a number of denominations understanding the Bible in different ways. What, then, if I brought together 500 denominations all differing? One says there is no hell. Another says there is a hell. One says Christ is God. Another says He is not; etc.
IS ANYONE FOOLISH ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THAT THE CHANGELESS AND ETERNAL HOLY GHOST IS DIRECTING THOSE FIVE HUNDRED SECTS, TELLING ONE YES AND ANOTHER NO; DECLARING A THING TO BE BLACK AND WHITE, FALSE AND TRUE, AT THE SAME TIME?
If the Bible were intended as the guide and teacher of man, would St. Peter have declared that, in the scriptures “are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction”? (2 Peter 3: 16.)
If salvation depends upon believing truths, can we suppose that God would have each individual determine what these truths are? Christ Himself set up that teaching organization called the Church to be His official custodian and interpreter. To that Church alone, and not to any book or private individual, did He say, “Teach ye … I will be with you.” (Matt. 28: 19).
When a nation’s Constitution is drawn up it is not left to the people to interpret as they wish. A Supreme Court is set up for that purpose. And do you think that the all-wise God would be less careful in a matter of so great importance where the salvation of millions of immortal souls is at stake? Most assuredly not; He, too, set up a Supreme Court, saying, “He who will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican.” (Matt. 18: 17.) And the Son of the living God has pledged His word that His Supreme Court is infallible in matters of faith and morals. (John 16: 13.) Therefore, the private interpretation of the scriptures cannot be the guide or teacher of man.
— Rev. Arnold Damen, S.J.
II - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. Don’t you Catholics adore relics and saints?
We don’t. If we did we would be idolators. Now, idolatry is worse than murder, for murder is directly against one’s neighbour; idolatry is directly against God. Catholics use relics to remind them of saints, who in turn model Christ to us in their lives.
Q. Are you not narrow to believe that yours is the only true Church of Christ?
We are not. Are you narrow for believing your God to be the only true God? Truth is one and can’t be mixed with untruth. Since Christ set up but one Church we refuse to believe more than one Church to be true.
Q. What about so many bad Catholics.
What about the millions of saintly ones who attend Mass daily? Our Lord told us not to be scandalized when we see “cockle and wheat in His Church.” But why blame the Church for bad Catholics? All the bad Catholics of the world are not Catholic Church. They are bad because they forget their Catholic duties and disgrace their exalted condition, a matter of “fallen angels,” not to be seized with much eagerness; so long as there is life there is hope for them. Is it not more profitable to speak about the unnumbered Catholic martyrs and saints?
Q. Your Church is intolerant.
Yes. She hates untruth, vice, humbug and whatever Christ, her bridegroom, hates. She therefore condemns books that contain false doctrines, or are calculated to injure the morals of peoples, Again, if men make use of politics to suppress or violate her rights or Christian morality, then she exercises her rights from above, to protect her children and herself from evil.
Q. Why can’t Catholics be Masons?
One reason is that Masonry is a man-made religion, with a doctrine and a ritual of its own; hence Catholics cannot belong to it any more than they can belong to Islam.
Q. You don’t deny the oath of the Fourth Degree, Knights of Columbus?
We do emphatically. Since 1922 an oath of this kind has been invented and spread all over the country to poison America against Catholics generally and the knights particularly. Our Courts have proved that oath to be the “invention of an impious and venomous mind.” Numbers of fair-minded 32nd and 33rd Degree Masons, past Grandmasters, such as Motley Hewes Flint, Dana Reid Waller, William Rhodes Hervey, and Samuel E. Burke, of California, have investigated the alleged oath and declared it to be “scurrilous, wicked and libelous.” (Congressional Record, Vol. 52, pp. 3017-3020, 3021.)
Q. What is the use of monks and nuns?
Their lives are lives of prayer, as those of angels in Heaven. Every Order has its own peculiar spirit and work. You find our monks and nuns spending themselves in the services of their neighbour, in schools, hospitals, homes for the aged, refuges of the unfortunate and neglected; the care of prisoners, orphans, lepers; the safeguarding of virtue among the unprotected. No lives are more benevolent to poor suffering humanity.
Q. Can’t you keep your religion to yourselves, leaving the non-Catholics alone?
We can’t. Ours is the Gospel of the Holy One Who said, “Go ye and teach all nations. Ye are all brothers. Love each other as yourselves!”; and not the Gospel of Cain, who said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” We are for truth, virtue, peace, legitimate authority (everybody his due, tax to whom tax is due, honour to whom honour is due; in short, for all the cures needed by society pay what is due).
RATHER THAN OBSTRUCT OUR MISSION, COME AND BE A TORCHBEARER OF TRUTH, A HEALER OF WOUNDED HEARTS, A WORKER FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, A SOLDIER OF CHRIST; IN ONE WORD, A CATHOLIC… . GREAT WILL OUR REWARD BE HEREAFTER.
— REV. A. COPPERSTONE, Malta.
III - THE CHURCH AND SCIENCE
Have Catholics been blind to scientific discovery and literary merit by reason of their Faith?
They have, if you rely on the enormous amount of defamatory literature sent out by the enemies of Christ’s Holy Church. But a glance at a few names here given speaks louder; these are people known alike for their devotion to their Catholic Faith and for their contribution toward untold blessings enjoyed here, there, everywhere.
Astronomy — Algue, Copernicus, deVico, Gassendy, Laplace, Regiomontanus, Secchi, Torricelli.
Biology — Bernard, Carnoy, Fabre, Detussien, O’Dwyer, Windle.
Botany — Cesalpinus, Charles and Louis Tulasne, Mendel.
Chemistry — Becquerel, Chevreul, Despretz, La Voisier, Paracelsus, Van Helmont.
Electricity — Ampere, Carre, Caselli, Conbomb, Faucoult, Gramme, Marconi, Volta.
Geology — Collona, Delauny, Harey, Muller, Spada, Stensen.
Mathematics — Boseorvitch, Charles, Ferari, Planudes, Sestina, Vieta.
Mechanics — Boselli, Burke, Castelli, Charpentier, Jouffrey, Mariotte, Parsons, Pascal.
Music — Beethoven, Bellini, Elgar, Gounod, Haydn, Mascagni, Mozart, Pallestrina, Perosi, Verdi.
Medicine — Avenbrugger, de Columb, De Chaulic, Fabricus, Morgagni, Muller, Murphy, Pasteur, Vesalius.
Navigation — Cabot, Columbus, Cortez, Magellan, Polo, Santa Cruz, Butler, Duren
Painting — Angelico, Giotto, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Reubens, Ferrati.
Physics — Babinet, Blot, Fresnel, Grimaldi, Monet, Plateau, Regnalt, Schwann, Zamboni.
Printing — Gutenberg, Mergenthaler, Horgan.
War — Barry, Castellan, Foch, Joffre, Petain, Sobieski.
We might add innumerable writers, theologians, and philosophers, such as Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, James Harris Rogers, Claudel, etc., etc.
IV - THE VISIBLE CHURCH?
The Church established by Christ is still on earth, “Like a city on the mountain top,” despite the slanders and persecutions of nineteen centuries and more, not changing with the whims of the ages, but teaching doctrines which are, in all respects, identical with those of the first teachers of the gospel. (See Section VII, point 6 further on in this booklet).
Amid the continual changes in human institutions she is the one institution that never changes. She is the greatest kingdom which men have established upon earth; and the only one of the old kingdoms which lives in the same city which saw the rise and fall of the proudest of all earthly kingdoms. To her alone was given the command, “Go, teach all nations.” (Matt. 28: 19.)
Open the New Testament or read profane history and you will learn that Christ was visibly on earth but a very short time; that the term of His public teaching comprised only three years; which was occupied chiefly with the instruction of TWELVE men, who, under a chief, were to constitute His first representative corporate Teaching Body; they would be commissioned by the Son of God to “go forth and teach all nations” in His name. They would have successors in office, since the Kingdom of Christ was not only to be world-wide, but would endure until the end of time; “of His Kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1: 33). And though Jesus would return to Heaven, He would not be dissociated from His visible Teaching Body in the Church: “Behold I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28: 30.)
Well, then, does this Kingdom of God upon earth merit the appellation of St. Paul: “The Church of the living God” (I Tim. 3: 15); and how evident that it must be “the pillar and ground of truth (I Tim. 3: 15)?
How plain that the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16: 18)?
How reasonable: “If he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.” (Matt. 18: 17.)?
How logical: “He that heareth you heareth Me.” (Luke 10: 16.)?
“IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME; TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” (Matt. 15: 9).
How could the “Church of the Living God” with Christ’s identical mission have less authority to teach than Christ himself? Less power to remove sin? “As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21.)
This sublime nature of the Church Christ founded, its divine origin, its supernatural character, preclude all possibility of one Church being as good as another, of there being any more than one church. In fact, any religion but His own, established more than 1950 years ago, is the invention of men and must be severely condemned by God. “He that despises you despises Me.” (Luke 10: 16.) He that is not with Me is against Me.” (Matt. 12: 30.) “And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” (John 10: 16.) “How shall they preach unless they be sent” (Rom. 10: 15); “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you beside that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1: 8.) How could any religious society not founded by God be as good as the one founded by Him? How could 500 contradictory sects founded by Henry VIII., Martin Luther, et al, be “the pillar and ground of truth” (1 Tim. 3, 15)? How can one church be as good as another, if one teaches truth and the other falsehood?
With non-Catholics the whole matter should resolve itself into a question of fact.
Was Jesus Christ God? Yes or no?
If not, there is no use proceeding, as the whole Christian platform falls and all Christianity is an imposition. If he was God, He is divine Truth, and all that He says and His promises are true.
Did He establish a visible Church? Yes or no?
If He did not, there is no use hoping for it! If He did, then it is somewhere in the world today, for He declared it was to last until the end of the world (Luke 1:33.)
Did He guarantee His Church against error? Yes or no?
If not, we never know when it must be believed: it is not a true guide; it cannot represent Him. If He did guarantee it against error, then it never has erred. (John 16: 13.) If men employ every means in their power for the perpetuation of their work, can we imagine that God left His great work to drift along unguided and unprotected? If the Bible teaches anything plainly it is the visibility of Christ’s Church. It is composed of rulers and subjects. (Acts 20: 28.) Its members are admitted by a visible external rite; they must hear, and obey. Christ compares His Church only to things visible; a “flock,” a “house,” a “body,” a “city seated on a mountain,” a “kingdom.” He calls it “My Church,” “THE” Church.
If the Church is not a visible organization, what can St. Luke mean by saying: “There were added (to the Church) 3000 souls?” (Acts 2:41)What does the clause in the Apostles’ Creed mean; “I believe in the holy Catholic Church?” What does St. Paul mean when he speaks of overseers appointed by the Holy Ghost “to rule the Church of God”? (Acts 20: 28.)
All history, pagan, Jewish, and Christian, informs us that Christ founded a Church on Peter some nineteen centuries ago, and that it was the only one having a right to call itself Catholic. Two Churches could not both be Catholic, as both could not have come directly from Christ, and have existed throughout the centuries since Christ, yet we have the “Catholic Episcopal,” “The Reformed Catholic,” etc., all owing their origin to Luther.
The recorded words of Christ in laying the foundation of His Church are: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.” (Matthew 16:18)
That edifice was built to last until the sunset of the ages. (Luke 1: 38.) Christ did not say to Luther: “Thou art Martin, and on you I build My Church.” You shall establish a hierarchy and have your bishops (such as we see in the Evangelical Church in Germany), and be an Episcopalian, notwithstanding the many absurdities in point of doctrine of which you will be guilty. (We shall look at these shortly in ‘Point 6)’ of this section.)
Christ did not say to King Edward VI (son of Henry VIII of England):
“On you, Edward, I build My Church.” You will have an altar whereon to offer sacrifice.
Christ did not say to George Fox, founder of the Quakers:
“On you, George, I build My Church.” You shall have no altar in your Temple.
Christ did not say to John Knox or to John Calvin:
“On you, John, I build My Church.” You shall perpetuate My Last Supper by means of bread and wine, that are mere figures of the figurative expressions about My Body and Blood.
King Henry VIII divorced his first wife groundlessly, killed his second, divorced his fourth, divorced (and killed) his fifth. Is this the man chosen by God to found or ‘reform’ Christ’s Church? Yet he had Parliament declare him Supreme Head of the Church of England, the Episcopal or Anglican Church. His son, or rather his young son’s advisors, led this church down the path of continental Lutheranism.
Martin Luther started German Protestantism, a new religion, just as Mahomet started a new religion. Now, what authority had the one more than the other to do such a thing?
Was Luther, an apostate monk and a breaker of vows, the right person to ‘reform’ Christ’s own Church? Then, again, to deny the Sacraments, to defy legitimate authority, throw parts of the Bible away, etc., etc. Was that a wise Reformation? Yet all this, Luther did.
The sixteenth century Catholic Church did indeed need reform in the morals of its ecclesiastic and secular members. But it did NOT need the breaking away of entire populations for the setting up of brand new church denominations. Rather it needed the successor to him who had been told “Feed My lambs, feed My sheep” to call a council and to institute genuine reform. Late, perhaps, but this was finally done at the Council of Trent.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS FOUNDED A CHURCH TO MISLEAD THE WORLD, AND THEN AFTER 1500 YEARS APPROVED OF 500 CONTRADICTORY SECTS FOUNDED BY SUCH MEN AS THE ABOVE?
But you may say, the Protestant Church is the Church of Christ, purified of error, and only this purified form dates from Luther. I answer that you must choose between Luther and Christ. Jesus said His Church would never teach error (John 16: 13); Luther says it did teach error. If Luther is right, Christ is wrong; if Christ is right, Luther and all his followers are wrong.
Was Luther a man to be depended upon in the great concern of religion? Was he divinely inspired or called in an extra-ordinary manner? What star pointed to his birthplace? On what mountain was he transfigured? Why did God permit him to fall into so many absurdities in point of doctrine, a few of which are given here?
Examples of Luther’s absurdities – from his own writings
#1. “ Moses says: “Thou shalt not covet‟ and this is a commandment which proves us all to be sinners; since it is not in any man’s power not to covet, and the same is the drift of all the commandments, for they are all equally impossible to us.” De Lib. Chris. tom. 4.2.
Here is God represented as a merciless tyrant commanding things which we have it not in our power to perform and punishing the non-performer with eternal torments.
#2. “A person who is baptized cannot, though he would, lose his salvation by any sins how grievous soever, unless he refuses to believe. For no sins can damn him but unbelief alone.” Capt. Bap. [Bob]. tom. 2 fol. 74:1. (For the truth, see James 2: 17-20.)
#3. “Sin boldly but believe more boldly. Let your faith be greater than your sin. It is enough for us, through the riches of the glory of God, to have known the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world. Sin will not destroy in us the reign of the Lamb, although we were to commit fornication or murder a thousand times in one day.” Luther; letter to Melanchthon, Aug. 1, 1521. Quoted in Audin, p. 178.
#4. “The papists teach that faith in Christ justifies, indeed, but that God’s commandments are to be kept. Now this is directly to deny Christ and abolish faith, Ep. Ad. Gal. tom. 5, fol. 311:2.
#5. “A prince may gain heaven by bloodshed better than by prayer.” Weimer Ed. Vol. 18, p. 358.
#6. “It is not in opposition to the holy scriptures for a man to have several wives.” De-Wette. Vol. 2, p. 459.
Such are the teachings of the first so-called reformer of Christ’s Church, as may be verified by calling at any first-class library.
But, you may say, was not the Church in a deplorable condition in the sixteenth century; were not the lives of some of its high clergy scandalous. I reply, yes; it is only too true, but Christ did not guarantee His Church from scandal, but against error (John 16: 13.) There were scandals in the Church even while Jesus was with it. Judas was a thief, a traitor, and a suicide; St Peter, the head, swore to a falsehood; St James and St John quarrelled over supremacy; St. Peter and St. Paul were at one time at variance over circumcision, and St. Paul excommunicated one of the faithful for unspeakable lust.
The Church is made up of men, not angels. The Triumph of the Church is not in being composed of sinless mortals, but in supplying sinful men with means to carry on the struggle against their vicious tendencies. For that reason the Catholic Church has always been the friend of sinners, although hating sin. But Jesus, by His Divine power, granted that His Church, even if composed of weak and sinful men, would never teach error. The Church may have needed house cleaning in the sixteenth century, but the way to clean house is not to dynamite it.
A child may have a very dirty face and yet be absolutely pure and healthy of skin. A doctor may be a bad man but a very good doctor. And the Church may have been scandalous in the lives of some of its higher dignitaries in the sixteenth century, but, nevertheless, it was absolutely free from error.
— Rev. Arnold Damen, S.J.
V - SOME PROBLEMS – FAIR MINDED ANSWERS
A) THE ROSARY EXPLAINED
The Rosary helps Catholics to learn the Sacred Scriptures with the right spirit and enables them to know God better. Prayers in the Rosary, as in the Mass, are taken from the Bible, and are therefore a more perfect expression of our minds to the mind of God.
Rosary beads have been used from the earliest times to count prayers. According to a tradition, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Dominic, in the thirteenth century, and asked him to spread the devotion of the Rosary as an antidote against the heresies of the times.
The Rosary is comprised of fifteen decades, each consisting of one Our Father and ten Hail Marys. During the recitation of each decade, one mystery from the life of Our Lord or His Mother is contemplated upon.
It is customary to divide the Rosary into three parts, each part consisting of five decades or mysteries — namely, the Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious.
The five Joyful Mysteries are: The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary of Christ’s conception; her visit to her cousin, Elizabeth: the birth of Christ; His presentation in the Temple; and His discovery in the Temple by His parents, when, as a youth. He remained to dispute with the priests of the Temple.
The five Sorrowful Mysteries are: Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; His scourging at the pillar; His crowning with thorns; His carrying the Cross; His Crucifixion.
The five Glorious Mysteries are: The Resurrection of Christ; His Ascension into Heaven; the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles; the assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven; and her coronation as the Queen of Saints.
— “Our Sunday Visitor,” Huntington, Ind.
Confession was instituted by Christ on the day of His Resurrection, when He said to the first pastors of His Church: “As the Father hath sent Me I also send you.” (John 20: 21.) And then, as if to clear up all doubt as to His power, He immediately adds “Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins ye shall forgive-they are forgiven them.” (John 20: 23.)
Even in the old law we see that confession was made to man as the restitution of the principal and fifth part must have been made to man. (Num. 5: 6, 7.)
“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” (I John 1: 9.) In other words, God, Who is faithful and just, will keep the promise He made to His first pastors when He said: “Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven.” (John 20: 23.)
Do you consider that a murderer makes a real confession by merely confessing his sins in his own mind to God? No. Almost every execution proves that he does not. From experience we know that it is much easier to tell God our sins in secret, than to go to a fellow man. But it is just this faith and humility that God asks.
In James 5: 16, we are told to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another that we may be saved. This, however, does not mean public or general confession to a friend or neighbour, who has no power to absolve and may destroy one’s character, but it does mean public or private confession to pastors of the Church to whom God has given the power to absolve. (John 20: 23.)
“And many that believed came, confessing their sins and showing their deeds, and many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and burned them before all men and they counted the price at 50,000 pieces of silver.” (Acts 19: 18-19.)
Why should they confess their sins, show their deeds, and burn their books, unless they were compelled to do so? Here we have contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which clearly shows that St. Paul and the converts of Ephesus did exactly as the pastors of the Catholic Church and their people do at the present day.
Catholics believe that the generality of mankind are neither so obstinately wicked as to deserve everlasting punishment, nor so good as to merit being immediately admitted into the society of God and His blessed Spirits; and therefore that God is graciously pleased to allow of a middle state where they may be purified by a certain degree of suffering. Is there anything unreasonable in this?
The following passages of Scriptures should be intensely interesting to sincere non-Catholics.
“Whoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12: 32.) Does this not show that some sins may be forgiven in the world to come? Otherwise, this passage of Scripture would be nonsensical.
“But I say unto you that every idle word that men speak, they shall give an account thereof, in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12: 36.)
This shows there must be a place of temporal punishment hereafter where slighter faults shall be punished. Surely God will not consign men to hell for unrepented idle words.
Would a human judge order a man to be hanged for a slight infraction of law?
“If any man’s works burn he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire.” (I Cor. 3:15.)
“I tell thee thou shalt not depart hence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.” (Luke 12: 59; Matt. 5: 26.)
Could the apostles have expressed more clearly their belief in PURGATORY than they have done here?
The doctrine of praying for the dead is plainly contained in the Old Testament, and piously practised to this day by the Hebrew people and three hundred and fifty million Catholics [the one point one billion Catholics of 2010].
“And making a gathering he sent 12,000 drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.”
“It is, therefore, a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (II Machabees, 12: 43-46.)
Finding they could not, by evasion, weaken the force of this text, the reformers threw overboard the books of Machabees, like a man who assassinates a hostile witness.
— OUR SUNDAY VISITOR.
D) ADORATION OF MARY?
It is false to assert that Catholics give the Supreme honour to Mary which is due to God alone. It is true Catholics retain pictures and statues of the Virgin and saints as a loving mother retains the pictures of her dear departed ones. It is also true that Catholics honour the Blessed Virgin and invoke her intercessions, believing she has the power to hear their prayers and help them. If the angels and saints can hear our prayers, and help us, why not she who is justly styled Queen of Angels and Saints?
(See Gen. 48: 15; Tobit [or Tobias] 12: 12; Luke 15: 10; Zech. 1: 12-13; 1. Cor. 6: 3.)
In 2 Peter 1, 15, we read: “Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” This shows that St. Peter believed in praying for his friends after his death.
St. John saw four and twenty ancients “who fell down before the Lamb and all had harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints.” This proves that the saints in Heaven pray for us.
Mary was in God’s mind from all eternity, when He decreed that His Divine Son should become incarnate through her. She was referred to by God when He cursed the tempter of Eve.
“I shall place enmities between thee and the woman, thy seed and her seed.” (Gen. 3: 15.)
She was referred to by Isaiah: “A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7: 14.)
Thirty-three verses of St. Luke’s Gospel are devoted to her. An angel is sent from God to honour her in the name of God, to pronounce her “blessed among women,” to acquaint her with the lofty dignity to which God had deigned to elevate her.
Mary is not deserving of adoration, despite her dignity, but think you she deserves to be almost despised? Will Jesus count as His friends those who neglect or insult His Mother?
“Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me Blessed.” (Luke 1: 48.) The Catholic is the only Church whose children, generation after generation, have pronounced her blessed. While some ministers of the gospel are loud in their praises of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, etc., they not only ignore Mary’s exalted virtues, but parade her alleged imperfections and sinfulness.
Father Faber answers the objections of those who misconstrue Catholic devotion to Mary, which is by no means an adoration, in these stanzas:
“But scornful men have coldly said,
Thy love was leading me from God;
And yet in this I did but tread
The very path my Saviour trod.”
E) “CATHOLIC COUNTRIES UNPROGRESSIVE”
This is another common charge against Catholics, who say in reply: “Look at poor Lazarus and look at rich Dives.” Were the early Christians, who were flung into the jaws of the lions, doomed to hell, while Nero and his crew were carried up to Heaven? Did Jesus come in purple and fine linen? Did He say to the poor, “Blessed are the rich, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven?” Did He say, “The rich have the gospel preached to them? Did He say, “It is easier for a camel to crush through the eye of the needle than for a poor man to enter the kingdom of Heaven?”
— Rev. Bernard Vaughan, S.J.
F) WHY PRIESTS DO NOT MARRY
Because Christ, the great exemplar of the clergy, Whose ambassadors they are, was not married; St. John the Baptist, the immediate forerunner of Christ, eulogised by Jesus as “the greatest man born of woman,” was not married.
St. John, the Apostle, the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” is known as “the virgin apostle.” The only apostle who was married, as far as can be learned, was St. Peter, and if he had a wife at the time he was called to the ministry, he left her, because he declared: “We have left all things and followed Thee.” (Matt. 19: 27.)
St. Paul distinctly tells us that he was not married (I. Cor. 7: 8), and he gives an excellent reason why the clergy should not marry. He says: “He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided.” (I. Cor. 7: 32-33.)
Now, if any person should be solicitous for the things of the Lord, the minister of Christ should be. He has taken the Lord as “the portion of his inheritance,” and should know no other love. Again, Paul, writing in Hebrews, tells us; “Every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God.” (Heb 5: 1.) He is ordained for men; his time, his talents, his life, belong to the people committed to his care; he must be a father to all his parishioners, and no family ties may stand in the way of efficient service.
But does not St. Paul authorize the marriage of the clergy when he says: “Have we not power to carry about a woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the Apostles?” The King James edition mistranslates this passage by substituting the word “WIFE” for “woman.” It is evident that St. Paul does not speak here of his wife, since he had none (I. Cor. 7: 8), but he alludes to those pious women who voluntarily waited on the Apostles, and ministered to them in their missionary journeys. (SEE PHILIPPIANS 4, 3.)
It is also objected that the Apostles seem to require that a Bishop be “the husband of one wife” (I. Tim. 3: 2.) The context certainly cannot mean that a Bishop must be a married man, for the reason already given, that St. Paul himself was never married. The sense of the text, as all tradition testifies, is that no candidate should be elected to the office of Bishop who has been married more than once. It was not possible in those days always to select single men for the Episcopal office. Hence, the Church was often compelled to choose married persons, but always with this restriction, that they had never contracted nuptials a second time.
VI - THE BIBLE AN AUTHORITY ONLY IN CATHOLIC HANDS
It is Necessary to Prove Reliability of the Book.
A logical discussion between a Catholic and a Protestant on the thesis: “Which is the true Religion?” could not get beyond the starting point. The Protestant admits his church’s fallibility as well as his own; therefore, what does his interpretation of Scripture amount to? If he admits the infallibility of the Catholic Church, no arguments against her teaching can hold. If he rejects the infallibility of the Catholic Church, he kicks the ground from under his own feet, because without such infallibility he could not prove that the Bible contains God’s revelation at all. Yet he pretends to base his belief on that book.
Let us suppose an oral debate were to take place. To be logical, it would start something like this:
Catholic: Before launching into this discussion, it seems to me that we must first determine what will he the authority mutually recognized whereby we shall each endeavour to prove our claims.
Protestant: Agreed; and it goes without saying that this authority will be the Bible.
Catholic: But the Bible can be reliable authority only for me.
Protestant: What impertinence! Every Protestant recognizes the Bible as authority; in fact, the only authority in religious matters.
Catholic: But most inconsistently; and surely it cannot be so regarded by these judges, who are to decide the merits of our arguments in this debate.
Protestant: Why, I do not understand you; and I doubt whether the judges, or anyone else here present, understands you.
Catholic: Then I will explain: Neither you nor the judges are sure that the Bible contains God’s revelation, pure and unadulterated, whilst I am. If you are not sure of this, how can you appeal to it as decisive authority?
Protestant: But I am sure of it.
Catholic: I would be pleased to hear your proofs. And you surely will concede that the reliability of the Bible as undisputed authority, must be settled before we can presume to prove anything from it.
Protestant: Why, where is there a Protestant Christian who hesitates to accept the Bible as a book containing God’s revelation? And, since the judges are not unbelievers, why try to prove what is accepted as a fact?
Catholic: Our audience will probably comprise some unbelievers; and, even if it did not, since our arguments are to be supported by the Bible, the solidity of this foundation is the first point to prove.
Protestant: It is a recognized fact, both by yourself and me, and that should be sufficient.
Catholic: It is a fact accepted solely on my Church’s word, which you claim may err, and, therefore, might have erred when she declared the Bible’s authenticity and inspiration. Moreover, there are many in this audience, possibly some of our judges, who are not sure that the Holy Bible is what we claim for it.
Protestant: Anyone familiar with the Bible must be convinced that it was written at the instigation of God.
Catholic: Some parts of the Old Testament bear contrary ear-marks. The Mohammedans say about the Koran, and the Mormons about Joe Smith’s Revelations, what you say about the Bible; yet you and I and millions of others fail to see it that way. No book or written document proves its own authenticity. A last will or other important document is accepted as genuine only when proved to be so by credible living witnesses. Moreover, none of the Apostolic writings, unless it be Revelation, whose authenticity many Protestants deny, assert their own inspiration. St. Paul tells us that “all Scripture divinely inspired is profitable,” but he nowhere tells us what portion or books are inspired. The present Bible omits many writings which were long reputed to be inspired.
Protestant: There were such witnesses as you demand.
Catholic: Do you know this from the Bible?
Catholic: Then even your first act of faith is not based on the Bible; is not supported by the Bible; yet you say the Bible is the sole foundation of the faith which you profess. If you cannot prove the first fundamental of your creed by the Bible, how can you say that the Bible is your only rule of faith? More-over, consistency is the first requisite which judges must require of a disputant. If the “Bible and Bible only” theory and the “Private Judgment” theory are the boasts of Protestants, people must needs expect that they are provable.
Protestant: I have said that we have witnesses to prove the genuineness of the Bible, but you do not admit them.
Catholic: Because that is tantamount to an admission of Tradition as a “Rule of Faith,” which you reject. However, tell me who those witnesses are.
Protestant: The early Christian writers.
Catholic: Not very early, because the New Testament writings were not gathered together and declared to be divinely inspired, until the fourth century. Moreover, these witnesses were Catholics, and accepted the Scriptures as divinely inspired, because their Church declared them to be so. Was their Church infallible then?
Protestant: I am not prepared to grant that it was.
Catholic: Then how can you hold as an infallible truth that the writings known as the Sacred Scriptures, for whose reliability you have the Catholic Church’s word alone, are inspired? It is, as I foreknew; you simply take for granted and most in-consistently (because you say you accept nothing in religion unless it is supported by the Bible), that the Bible contains God’s revelation. You take more than this for granted — viz., that followers of the Catholic Church transcribed and translated the original writings without marking any errors, that they never altered a line, that they preserved them until the sixteenth century in their original purity and sameness. Unless you grant all this, while believing that the Catholic Church fell into gross errors otherwise, you cannot appeal to the Scriptures, as they now exist, as divine authority.
Protestant: Prot.: ——————————— (silent).
VII - STEP BY SYEP TO THE TRUTH
1) THE FIRST AND NECESSARY CAUSE
The mind of man cannot help recognizing purpose and finality in nature’s operations. Mere chance, for example, cannot account for the complex arrangement of the countless parts that combine to form the retina of the human eye, or the marvellous makeup of a bird’s wing.
Not only is order everywhere present in nature, but beauty meets us on every side, whether in the sky, upon the earth, or in the ocean’s depth. We see it in the gorgeous colouring of the sunset and in the bright plumage of the humming bird; in the daintiness of the tiniest fern and in the massive strength of the giant redwood; in the grace of the fleet-footed antelope; in the inspired lyric, in the ordered symphony, and in the world’s masterpieces of painting and sculpture.
Does not this order of beauty proclaim, as Lord Kelvin, a great British scientist, stated, “overwhelming proofs of intelligence and benevolent design, establishing the existence of a Supreme Being of incredible wisdom, power, and goodness?”
We can easily show how all living things, men, animals, and plants, are dependent and succeed by generation after generation. The first man that ever thought, he, too, could see all around him, including himself, and was dependent. Dependent on what? Ah, that’s the question. If all Being is dependent, in the name of common sense, what is it dependent on? There is only one answer — there must be a Supreme Being that began all other being, and upon which all other being is dependent. The person who denies independent Being — God — denies, even if he doesn’t realize it — all Being — including his own existence.
From “Use Your Reason,” by Joseph O’Connor,
and “The Question Box,” by Rev. B. L. Conway, C.S.P.
2) THE REASON FOR A PERSONAL GOD
The world everywhere gives evidence of design. Just as a watch must have a designer, so also the universe.
Any being who can design is a person. A person who designs must first think about it, then wish it, and finally accomplish it. No one but a person can design anything, and as the universe had a designer, that designer must, therefore, be a Person, Whom we call God.
The designer of the universe is a Person for the additional reason that He has created man, and man is a person. Since God has produced man, God cannot be a mere impersonal being, or a blind form.
No effect can be greater than its cause, and as man is a person his Creator must be a Person.
The existence of a Personal God is certain, even though we cannot discover God by any physical means. The telescope cannot find God in the heavens, just as the microscope cannot find the Soul in man on earth.
We see only the house, as it were, and not the tenant within, and yet the existence of each is most certain.
Since God is a Person, He must have a free will — that is, He is a free force, since no merely natural force is free. Natural forces are fixed, chained, unalterable, since they always and everywhere act according to the same rigid and inflexible laws.
(From “INSIDE FACTS ABOUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH,” by Thomas J. Coakley, D.D.)
3) MAN IS MORE THAN MATTER
Man thinks. Mere matter cannot, so man is more than matter. Man commands and controls matter, so he is superior to it. Man invents and composes, something neither matter nor animals can do. Man looks into the future and plans for what may happen; he calculates possibilities and probabilities, foresees contingencies and makes conditional or absolute arrangements. After making plans he may change them or discard them. Animals do everything by fixed laws, called instinct. Plants follow the laws of vegetable life. Except by man’s interference, animals and plants are dominated by nature’s fixed laws.
But man dominates himself, he is superior to environment, the lure of the senses, and his own inclinations. And, above all, it is in the realm of the immaterial that he shows he is more than matter.
Man has ideas of things which the senses do not reach, as, for instance, eternity, infinitude, futurity, honour, etc., etc. There is, therefore, in man something more than sense-perception such as animals have. Animals act by instinct, which never varies, whereas man acts as he wills. Of his own accord he may do what pains him and cease doing what pleases him. There is, therefore, in man a power superior to matter, which thinks, invents, and also dominates matter. Hence man is more than matter.
(From “Christ or Chaos,” by Martin J. Scott, S.J.)
4) WHERE DOES MAN COME FROM?
From reason itself, if we use it aright, we know that man is composed of body and soul, that he is made up of body and spirit.
Sound metaphysical psychology teaches us that, while we have a body that is in many ways like to the bodies of brute animals around us, we have a soul that is not matter, but is spiritual, Reason itself teaches us that this soul, being spiritual, could not by any means, under any circumstances, have come from an animal soul, and that, therefore, the evolution of a human soul from an animal soul is sheer impossibility. To speak of “the mind in the making” is to talk nonsense.
Reason further teaches us that this soul, being spiritual, is, therefore, immortal. When a tree or animal dies, its principle of life — i.e., its soul — just ceases to be. Like the light of a lamp, it does not go anywhere; it just goes out. When a man dies it is the separation of his soul from his body, and the soul persists in “existence”.
Moreover we hold, as reasonable men that, since the soul is spiritual, it cannot come from matter, cannot come from the parents, but is, in each and every individual case, created by God.
(From “What is a Catholic Attitude?” by Francis B. LeBuffe, S.J.)
5) DOES MAN NEED RELIGION?
Religion is not and cannot be ruled out of man’s concern. Man by nature turns to religion. No race or tribe known to mankind is without religion of some sort. Whatever is part of man, wherever man exists is natural to him. And what is natural to man cannot be in itself false, since it is attributable to the author of human nature. A particular form of religion may be false, but not religion as such, which is a relationship between man and his Maker. A particular religion may or may not be true, but religion in itself is as true as God.
Religion presupposes an intelligent superior power and an intelligent dependent being, man, between whom there can be rational communication. Man’s power of choice and his ability to deal with intangibles prove that he is an intelligent being. We have, therefore, the intelligent power above and the intelligent power below. It is only rational that communication should exist between these two intelligences, just as a child may hold communication with person of mature intellect.
(From “Religious Certainty,” by Martin J. Scott, S.J.)
6) WHAT RELIGION DOES MAN NEED?
Does man need one or all of the contradictory religions founded by men during the past 400 years (or the last 2,000 years, or the last X thousand years) … or does he need the Visible Church founded by Christ, which is still on earth like a city on the mountain top in every part of the world, despite the persecutions, slanders, and armed attacks from all nations for more than 1900 years?
Many people are of opinion that it makes no difference what one believes; but only that one lives a sober and upright life.
Now, some religions teach polygamy; some encourage concubinage; some have indecent acts among their so-called sacred rites and some worship false gods. Of the 500 religions founded during the past 400 years there are no two that agree in teaching and practice; what one holds as true the other rejects as false; what one reckons as holy, the other condemns as insulting to God.
As a matter of fact, since all those 500 sects teach contradictory doctrines, it is evident that some teach falsehood. Well, then, if we hold that these Churches are all equally good, do we not say implicitly that falsehood is as good as truth?
It is an historical fact that Jesus Christ established a Church, not merely for those who lived in His day, but for all mankind to the end of the world, to be His living Voice and to administer the Sacraments of His ordaining.
Unless, therefore, there is a Church in the world from the days of Our Lord, which declares unmistakably what Christ was, and what He taught, Christ might just as well have revealed nothing, for, without a means of infallible interpretation of His Doctrine, it would have perished and become distorted.
In these words Our Lord gave the Apostles their commission to teach His Doctrine, and promised His abiding presence with them.
“All power is given to me in Heaven and on earth, going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28: 18-20.)
By these words it is clear that Our Lord was speaking to His apostles in their official capacity, for as individuals they would pass away in a few years.
This propagation of His Doctrine Christ committed to His apostles as an official body, which He declared to be His teaching Church, and which the Apostles declared (in “The Apostles’ Creed”) to be “The Holy Catholic Church,” which is functioning from that moment to the present, and is still Catholic (universal) in every part of the world.
Our Lord gives pre-eminence to St. Peter over the other Apostles in these words:
“I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 16: 19.)
“Confirm thy brethren.” (Luke 22: 32.)
“Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.” (John 21: 15-17.)
Copied from Catholic authors.
7) THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST
For 4000 years a chain of prophets came one after another with constancy and without variation, predicting the coming of Christ and His Divinity, regarding both time and manner. (An example of this prophecy is this: 2,000 years before his coming Jacob prophesied that the Saviour would be a descendant of Judah and a member of his tribe.)
Perhaps the most convincing proof that Christ claimed to be God was when He was put on His solemn oath to testify truly. The High Priest said: “I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us if Thou be the Christ, the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the Power of God, and coming in the clouds of Heaven.” (Matt. 26: 63-64; Mark 14: 62.)
The High Priest and people understood Jesus to mean that He was God in the true sense, for immediately they adjudged Him guilty of blasphemy and deserving of death.
For gain or to escape calamity, a man may swear to what is false; but no man will lie if it is going to condemn him to a painful death.
Our Lord also says: “I and My Father are one.” (John 10: 30.)
“Before Abraham was I am;”
“All power is given Me in Heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28: 18.)
The gospels, which have never been successfully refuted, tell us of the miracles wrought by Christ, such as the sudden cures of the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the lepers, the interruption of storms, changing water into wine, His walking on the waves, etc.
He foretold His denial by Peter, His betrayal by Judas, and every circumstance of His Passion and death, the mocking, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the crucifixion: The trials, persecution, and martyrdom which would come to His Apostles and the survival of His Church through the centuries.
But the sign that Christ Himself offered as absolute proof of His Divinity was the crowning miracle of His resurrection from the dead.
“Destroy this Temple and in three days I shall raise it up again,” and “No other sign shall he given this evil and adulterous generation than the sign of Jonas, the prophet.” … He did arise from the dead as only God could do, and hence it is that the Church says, with St. Paul, “If Christ be not risen from the dead, then is your faith in vain.”
— FROM OUR SUNDAY VISITOR AND CATHOLIC AUTHORS.
VIII - CATHOLIC CHURCH ABSTRACT OF TITLE FROM ST. PETER TO PRESENT POPE
As recorded in history and in the registers of the Catholic Church.
Every believer in the Divinity of Christ confesses that He was the TRUTH; therefore, any departure from His doctrine must have been away from the TRUTH, and any reformation of His Church or moral standard would change the TRUTH into a falsehood.
“The word of the Lord endureth for ever.” (I Peter 1:25.) Therefore, in the matter of which Church there should be no room for opinion. What the Son of God taught is all fact.
HERE IS THE ABSTRACT OF TITLE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
without a single break, brought down from ST. PETER to the present Pontiff.
ABSTRACTS — SUPREME PONTIFFS
St. Peter 33 to 65 or-67
St. Linus 65 or 67 79
St. Cletus 79 91
St. Clement I 91 100
St. Evaristus 100 109
St. Alexander 109 119
St. Sixtus 119 126
St. Telesphorus 128 137
St. Hyginus 138 142
St. Pius I 142 156
St. Anicentus 157 167
St. Soter 168 176
St. Eleutherus 177 189
St. Victor I 190 202
St. Zephyrinus 202 217
St. Calixtus I. 218 222
St. Urban I. 222 230
St. Pontianus 230 235
St. Anterus 235 236
St. Fabian 236 250
St. Cornelius 251 253
St. Lucius 253 254
St. Stephen I 254 257
St. Sixtus II 257 258
St. Dionysius 259 268
St. Felix 269 274
St. Eutychianus 275 283
St. Gaius 283 296
St. Marcellinus 296 304
St. Marcellus 307 309
St. Eusebius 309 309
St. Meichiades 310 314
St. Slyvester 314 335
St. Mark 336 336
St. Julius 337 352
St. Liberus 352 366
St. Damasus 366 384
St. Siricus 384 398
St. Anastasius I 398 401-2
St. Innocent I. 402 417
St. Zosimus 417 418
St. Boniface I 418 422
St. Celestine I 422 432
St. Sixtus III 432 440
St. Leo I 440 461
St. Hilary 461 468
St. Simplicius 468 483
St. Felix III. 483 492
St. Gelasius 492 496
St. Anastasius II 496 498
St. Symmachus 498 514
St. Hormisdas 514 523
St. John I 523 526
St. Felix IV 526 530
Boniface 530 532
John II. 532 535
St. Agapetus I 535 536
St. Silverius 536 537
Vigilius 537 555
Pelagius I 555 560
John III 560 573
Benedict I 574 578
Pelagius II 579 590
St. Gregory I 590 604
Sabinianus 604 606
Boniface III 607 607
St. Boniface IV. 608 615
St. Deusdedit 615 618
Boniface V 619 625
Honorius 625 638
Severinus 640 640
John IV 640 642
Theodore I 642 649
St. Martin 649 655
St. Eugenius I. 655 657
St. Vitalianus 657 672
Adeodatus 672 676
Donus 676 678
St. Agatho 678 681
St. Leo II. 682 683
St. Benedict II 684 685
John V 685 686
Conon 686 687
St. Sergius I 687 701
John VI. 701 705
John VII 705 707
Sisinnius 708 708
Constantine I 708 715
St. Gregory II. 715 731
St. Gregory III. 731 741
St. Zacharias 741 752
Stephen II 752 752
Stephen III 752 757
St. Paul I 757 767
Stephen IV 768 772
Hadrian I 772 795
St. Leo III 795 816
Stephen V 816 817
St. Paschal I 817 824
Eugenius II 824 827
Valentinus 827 827
Gregory IV. 827 844
Sergius II 844 847
St. Leo IV 847 855
Benedict III 855 858
St. Nicholas I 858 867
Hadrian II 867 872
John VIII 872 882
Marinus I 882 884
Hadrian III 884 885
Stephen VI 885 891
Formosus 891 896
Boniface VI 896 896
Stephen VII. 896 897
Romanus 897 897
Theodore II 897 897
John IX 898 900
Benedict IV 900 903
Leo V 903 903
Christopher 903 904
Sergius III 904 911
Anastasius 911 913
Lando 913 914
John X 914 929
Leo VI. 928 929
Stephen VIII. 929 931
John XI 931 936
Leo VII 936— 939
Stephen IX 939—942
Martin III or Marinus II 942—946
Agapitus 11 946—955
John XII 955—964
Benedict V 964- 964
Leo VIII 964—965
John XIII 965— 972
Benedict VI 973—974
Benedict VII 974-983
John XIV 983— 984
John XV 985— 996
Gregory V 996— 999
Sylvester II 999—1003
John XVII 1003-1003
John XVIII 1003—1009
Sergius IV 1009—1012
Benedict VIII 1012—1024
John XIX 1024—1032
Benedict IX 1033—1044
Sylvester III 1044-1044
Damasus II 1045-1045
Gregory VI 1045—1046
Clement II 1046—1047
St Leo IX 1049—1054
Victor 11 1055—1057
Stephen X 1057—1058
Nicholas II 1059—1061
Alexander II 1061—1073
St Gregory VII 1073—1085
Blessed Victor III. 1086—1087
Blessed Urban II 1088—1099
Paschal II 1099—1118
Gelasius II 1118—1119
Calixtus II 1119—1124
Honorius II 1124—1130
Innocent II 1130—1143
Celestine II 1143—1144
Lucius II 1144—1145
Blessed Eugenius III 1145—1153
Anastasius IV 1153—1154
Adrian IV 1154—1159)
Alexander III 1159—1181
Lucius III 1181— 1185)
Urban III 1185—1187
Gregory VIII 1187-1187
Clement III 1187 1191
Celestine III 1191 1198
Innocent III 1198 1216
Honorius III 1216 1227
Gregory IX 1227 1241
Celestine IV. 1241 1241
Innocent IV. 1243 1254
Alexander IV. 1254 1261
Urban IV 1261 1264
Clement IV. 1265 1268
Gregory X 1271 1276
Innocent V 1276 1276
Hadrian V 1276 1276
John XXI 1276 1277
Nicholas III 1277 1280
Martin IV 1281 1285
Honorius IV 1285 1287
Nicholas IV 1288 1292
St. Celestine V 1294 1294
Boniface VIII 1294 1303
Benedict XI 1303 1304
Clement V 1305 1314
John XXII 1316 1334
Benedict XII 1334 1342
Clement VI 1342 1352
Innocent VI 1352 1362
Urban V 1362 1370
Gregory XI 1370 1378
Urban VI 1378 1379
Boniface IX 1389 1404
Innocent VII 1404 1406
Gregory XII 1406 1417
Martin V 1417 1431
Eugenius IV 1431 1447
Nicholas V 1447 1455
Calixtus III 1455 1458
Pius II 1458 1464
Paul II 1464 1471
Sixtus IV 1471 1484
Innocent VIII 1484 1492
Alexander VI 1492 1503
Pius III. 1503 1503
Julius II. 1503 1513
Leo X 1513 1521
Hadrian VI, 1522 1523
Clement VII 1523 1534
Paul III 1534 1549
Julius III 1550 1555
Marcellus II 1555 1555
Paul IV 1555 1559
Pius IV 1559 1565
St. Pius V 1566 1572
Gregory XIII 1572 1585
Sixtus V 1585 1590
Urban VII 1590 1590
Gregory XIV 1590 1591
Innocent IX 1591 1591
Clement VIII 1592 1605
Leo XI 1605 1605
Paul V 1605 1621
Gregory XV 1621 1623
Urban VIII 1623 1644
Innocent X 1644 1655
Alexander VII 1655 1667
Clement IX 1667 1669
Clement X 1670 1676
Innocent XI 1676 1689
Alexander VIII 1689 1691
Innocent XII 1691 1700
Clement XI 1700 1721
Innocent XIII 1721 1724
Benedict XIII 1724 1730
Clement XII 1730 1740
Benedict XIV 1740 1758
Clement XIII 1758 1769
Clement XIV 1769 1774
Pius VI 1775 1799
Pius VII 1800 1823
Leo XII 1823 1829
Pius VIII. 1829 1830
Gregory XVI. 1831 1346
Blessed Pius IX 1846 1877
Leo XIII 1877 1903
St Pius X. 1903 1914
Benedict XV. 1914 1922
Pius XI 1922 1939
Venerable Pius XII. 1939
Pius XII was succeeded in 1958 by Blessed John XXIII 1958-1963
Servant of God Paul VI 1963-1978
Servant of God John Paul I 1978-1978
Venerable John Paul II 1978-2005
Benedict XVI 2005-
IX - FURTHER NOTES FOR THE FAIR MINDED
1) IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THE CHURCH OF THE IGNORANT?
Well, maybe. All ignorant people are welcome in the Catholic Church, but so are the educated and intelligent! But note this only partial list of the many brilliant minds in the literary field alone who, in recent memory, have come into the Catholic Church in adult life, with eyes wide open:
A partial list of 20th century literary figures who became Catholics.
Sheila Keye-Smith, Sigrid Undset, Paul Claudel, G. K. Chesterton, Compton Mackenzie, Alfred Noyes, Joyce Kilmer, F. Marion Crawford, Giovanni Papini, Johannes Jorgensen, Maurice Baring, Theodore Maynard, Ronald Knox, Sir Bertram C. A. Windle, Shane Leslie, “Richard Dehan,” Max Pemberton, John L. Stoddard, Aubrey de Vere, Robert Hugh Benson, Coventry Patmore, “Artemus Ward,” Joel Chandler Harris, Michael Williams, Rose Hawthorne, “John Ayscough,” Henry Harland, C. C. Martindale, Richard Lynn Edsal, Robert H. Lord, Lucas Malet, Mary Angela Dickens, Cecil Chesterton, Frank H. Spearman, Selden P. Delany, Charles Warren Stoddard, Isabel Clarke, Mrs. Hugh Fraser, Wilfred Meynell, Enid Dinnis, George Parsons Lathrop, Katherine E. Conway, C. Kegan Paul, “Guy Thorne.” John William Conybear, Anita Bartle, Edwin Harrison Barker, Olive Constance, Dom Bede Camm, John Swinnerton, Norman Wise, John Moody (founder, Moody’s Magazine), etc., etc.
Of 3000 American converts surveyed by a Catholic magazine, 372 were Protestant clergymen, 115 doctors, 126 lawyers, 45 former members of Congress, 12 governors of States, 180 Army and Navy officers, and 206 authors, musicians and persons of cultural prominence. These figures were gleaned from a recent issue of “OUR SUNDAY VISITOR.”
“LORD, THAT I MAY SEE.” SUCH WAS THE CRY OF THE MAN OF THE GOSPEL. SUCH IS THE CRY OF MANY TODAY EARNESTLY SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH. IT HAS BEEN THE PURPOSE OF THIS LITTLE BOOKLET TO DISPEL ALL DOUBT AND CONFUSION. IT IS ATTENDED WITH THE PRAYER THAT YOU, DEAR READER, MAY EXPERIENCE THE HAPPINESS THAT COMES FROM A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.
3) PRAYER FOR TRUTH
If I am right Thy grace impart.
Still in that right to stay;
If I am wrong, then guide my heart
To find a better way.
“A GOOD STEWARD OF THE MANIFOLD GRACE OF GOD “—I Peter, 4:10
Peter O’Donnell was a man of one book. This book. He never wrote another. In truth, he did not write this. But twenty years ago God put it into the heart of this retired Chicago policeman to grow wrathful at the calumnies he heard against the Catholic Church from ranters on the Long Beach pier, and God guided him in compiling and copying from authentic sources the truths you have read herein. More, God answered Peter’s prayers, through His Blessed Mother, for means to carry this message into the strongholds of the enemy.
Peter died as his pamphlet was entering its third million in circulation. The Archbishop of Los Angeles preached at the funeral. The Missionary Cathechists made up a fourth of the congregation, for Peter had been their co-founder and patron. Priests and prelates whose missions he had builded prayed God’s mercy on his soul. But the invisible supplicants were not to be numbered by man, for only the judgment scroll will reveal how far the lamp of the “Catholic Literature Society” has shone, or how many, led by the brave beacon of the policeman of God, have stumbled out of the dark into the Light that is Life.
We know only that Peter’s book has been translated into Chinese, by “The Catholic Truth Society” of Hong Kong; into Bengali, by the Missionary Library of St. Joseph’s, Dindigul, India; and into Spanish, by the Revista Catolica, at El Paso, Texas. We know that missionaries count upon it in increasing quantities in their struggles with ignorance and indifference, with Rutherford and ruthlessness. And we know from the dog-eared letters that Peter bore about with him of those scores of souls whose gratitude at having at last discovered and dropped anchor in the harbour of truth found expression in words addressed to the “Catholic Literature Society: Dear Sirs.” Only in heaven will they come to know this other Peter who let down his nets by the sea.
Of your charity, remember his soul. And may we to whom he has thrown the torch continue to be inspired by his example, and carry on, God guiding, as courageous and humble children of Holy Mother Church.
CATHOLIC LITERATURE SOCIETY.
A POST SCRIPT
CATHOLICS DO NOT BELIEVE:
That the Pope has temporal rights in the United States.
That the Pope is God and can do no wrong.
That the Pope can claim political allegiance.
That the Pope can nullify laws, oaths, or contracts.
That Protestant husbands and wives are living in sin.
That marriages of Protestants are invalid.
That the children of Protestants are illegitimate.
That contracts with Protestants may be broken.
That Protestants may be hated or persecuted.
That Protestants will all be damned.
That public schools are an evil.
That they ought to be abolished or destroyed.
That education ought not to be universal and free.
That they can buy forgiveness of sin.
That they can purchase freedom from Purgatory.
That they can get indulgence to commit sin.
That sin can be forgiven without repentance.
That images can be worshipped.
That any body or thing may be worshipped or adored but the One True God.
That the Blessed Virgin Mary is equal to God.
That divorce should be countenanced or allowed.
That Baptism is not necessary to salvation.
CATHOLICS DO BELIEVE
That truth is one; therefore, there can be but one true religion.
That unity of doctrine is essential; and only one religion has this unity of doctrine.
Clothes do not make the man.
That trust in God and His mercy without faith and good works is presumption.
That philanthropy is not God-like charity.
That mysteries and doctrines of the Church are not against reason, but may be above reason.
That Baptism is necessary for salvation.
That there must be an infallible authority to interpret the Bible; man’s reason is not infallible.
— OUR SUNDAY VISITOR, Huntington, Ind.
WHAT PROTESTANT HISTORIANS SAY:
DEAN STANLEY — “Life and Letters of Dean Stanley,” Vol. I, p. 151: “I am convinced that Protestantism in general treats Catholics with shameful ignorance and unfairness.”
DR. SCHAFF—”Pout. Excl. Cond. Z. S.,” p. 239: “The Roman Catholic Church is bemired from day to day with all possible calumnies.”