Sunday, May 2, 2010

Radio Replies Second Volume - Charity and Tolerance

205. All the Churches aim at teaching Christian principles.

We cannot concentrate on identity of aim only. The Catholic Church will never blame anyone for aiming at teaching Christian principles. But, besides considering the good intention, she also and very wisely considers the principles taught. And she says that, however good the aim or intention of other Churches, that does not alter the fact that they teach many wrong principles.

206. God is Love, and therefore must be tolerant and impartial.

Because God is Love, He must love the good and the true. And that excludes the bad and the false. As a Christian, too, you cannot expect God to be tolerant of insults directed against His only-begotten Son. He must be partial to the doctrine taught by His own Son, and He cannot be indifferent to blasphemous denials of the veracity of Christ. Moreover, God must be partial to the exact and complete doctrine of Christ, and not to incomplete or distorted doctrines proposed by men who, with no right to do so, tampered with the teachings of Christ. If you admit this, you admit that God is partial to the Catholic Church, and that He is not pleased with the other Churches which cannot agree amongst themselves save in their opposition to the greatest Church of all — the Catholic Church.

207. Christ gave broad principles for all to follow.

He wants all to follow His principles. But if you think that His principles were vague and indefinite, allowing people to believe all kinds of contradictory things, and to indulge in a kind of religious go-as-you-please race, you are very much in error. And you really insult Christ's wisdom as a Teacher.

208. He taught us all to love one another.

If you believe it necessary to accept that teaching of Christ, do not forget that He taught much else. And all else that He taught has the same authority.

209. He did not say that if one is not a Roman Catholic he will not enter heaven.

He bade the Apostles teach all nations all things whatsoever He had commanded them. In those words we see that He excepts nothing. He also said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be condemned." Mk 16:16. Therefore once men have had the Gospel of Christ sufficiently put before them, they have to believe it absolutely and completely, under pain of eternal loss. In Mt 18:17, He says, "If a man will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen." There is then a Church to which we must submit if we wish to belong to Christ. Which is that Church? It is the Church you yourself call the Roman Catholic Church. If you do not think so, you have a twofold duty. You must prove that that Church is not the one intended by Christ, and you must find the Church He did intend.

210. So long as we worship Christ, we will be saved in the end.

Why make it necessary to worship Christ? If all are not obliged to adopt the Catholic faith, why should all be obliged to accept Christ? If, in order to escape becoming a Catholic, you argue that one religion is as good as another, you cut the ground from under your feet when it comes to a question of defending the Christian religion against all other forms of religion.

211. Does it make any difference to people's sincerity, if they follow the Master in their own way?

It might, or it might not. If they know that it is merely their own way, and not His way, then they cannot be sincere if they say that they follow Christ as their Master. For then He would not be their Master. They would be their own masters. If, however, they really believed that the way in which they were trying to follow Christ is indeed the exact way Christ Himself has prescribed, then they could be sincere, even though mistaken.

212. If a man is sincere, won't he attain to goodness, no matter what Church he attends?

It is true that people belonging to different Churches can be equally sincere in their efforts to be good. But that cannot alter the fact that the religions they profess are different. And a man who is seeking the truth will say, "Let me reflect, not on the point in which these good people do not differ, but on the points in which they do differ." In other words, we must abstract from the persons professing the religions, and consider the religions they profess. For it is certain that God, the Supreme Truth, could not have revealed contradictory teachings. Take, for example, the infallibility of the Church. I believe that Christ meant His Church to be infallible. You do not. We cannot both be right. And as we both profess to believe in Christ, the burning problem is whether indeed Christ intended His Church to be infallible. That problem must be solved.

213. So long as a man tries to be good and to do good, does it really matter what he believes or what religion he accepts?

Christ said, "Everyone therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will confess him before My Father who is in heaven; but he that shall deny Me before men I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." Mt 10:10. Evidently it does matter as to whether we profess faith in Christ or not. And that rules out the idea that any non-Christian religions are as good as the Christian religion. Again, if Christ wants His followers to be Catholics and not Protestants, then it can not be just as good to be a Protestant as a Catholic.

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