Sunday, October 11, 2009

Radio Replies First Volume: Charity

028. You speak of charity, yet are not Catholic children taught to hate Protestants?

No. They are forbidden to do so, and are taught to pray for them.

1029. Do Catholics take an oath never to buy from a Protestant what they can purchase from a fellow Catholic?

No. If a Catholic takes an oath injurious to an enemy because he is an enemy he commits a serious sin. Catholics are quite free to deal with whom they please in business. The ordinary Catechism puts the question, "Are we obliged to love our enemies?" and gives the reply, "We are obliged to love our enemies. Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you; bless them that curse you; and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you."

1030. How do you reconcile the conduct of bitter Catholics with the teachings of Christ?

It is impossible to do so. But if some individuals seem to lack charity you will find that such conduct is opposed to the teachings of their Church. Such bitterness is not justifiable, and arises from human weakness and lack of self-control. But bitterness is not common amongst Catholics, though they suffer much from anti-Catholic prejudice.

1031. Is a Catholic employer obliged to show special favor to Catholic employees?

No. He certainly may do so, provided his motive be positive charity towards them, and not in the least dictated by dislike of his non-Catholic employees; and also provided it involves no injustice towards those employees. Thus St. Paul says, "Let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith." Gal 4:10.

1032. Would not such apparent preference of Catholic employees justify Protestants in boycotting Catholic labor?

No. No evil has been done. And even had it been done, you are not justified in rendering evil for evil.

1033. Is it a sin for a Catholic to employ a Mason?

No. The Freemason may have no personal antipathy towards Catholics at all, and even if he had, the law is, "Do good to those who hate you." If a competent Catholic applies for a position together with a Mason, a Catholic may employ his fellow Catholic by preference because he wants to do a good turn to a fellow Catholic from a motive of fraternal charity. But he must not consider as a reason for this the doing of a bad turn to the Mason. That would be quite un-Christian and un-Catholic.

1034. If a Catholic employs a Mason, what should other Catholics do?

They should behave just as they would otherwise. If a Catholic did do a bad thing by employing a Mason, who are his fellow Catholics to judge him and inflict a penalty? They must leave that to God. But, as I have said, a Catholic does not do any evil by employing a Mason. In purely business matters we Catholics object to being asked our religion, or to losing a position solely because we are Catholics. And we must do to others as we would have them do to us, even if they themselves offend in this matter.

1035. Your charity does not make you bless the work of our good Protestant missionaries.

The Catholic Church cannot bless a false religion. We do admire the good dispositions and the zeal of those who do not realize that Protestantism is false. We have to love those who are mistaken, but not their mistakes. To ask the Catholic Church to bless the efforts of Protestant missionaries is just the same as asking her to bless Muslim propaganda because there are some who sincerely believe in that form of religion.

1036. Scripture says, "Let brethren dwell together in unity."

As citizens we are brothers and should dwell together in civic unity. But those of our national brethren who have broken unity with the Catholic Church are not our brethren in religion. The Catholic Church did not break with them; they, or their ancestors, broke with the Catholic Church; and their duty is to return to Catholic unity. But meantime, let us maintain national fraternal unity as fellow citizens, and let not differences of religion affect our civic relations. By being a Protestant you do not offend me personally, and I have no reason to get upset about it. Likewise by being a Catholic I have not done you any injury, and you have no reason to feel personally offended.

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