REV. J. A. CONNELLAN
Australian Catholic Truth Society (1951) No. 1124.
"Why are there still separations?
Why are there still schisms?"
Pope Pius XII
* * *
that this Holy Year could welcome also the great return to the one,
true Church, awaited over the centuries of so many who, though
believing in Jesus Christ, are for various reasons separated. . . .
"With good reason, men are anxious
about the effrontery with which the united front of militant atheism
advances. And the old question is now voiced aloud: "Why are there
still separations? Why are there still schisms? When will all the
forces of the spirit and of love be harmoniously united? . . ."
"If on other occasions an invitation
to unity has been sent forth from this Apostolic See, on this occasion
we repeat it more warmly and paternally. We feel that we are urged by
the pleadings and prayers of numerous believers scattered over the
whole earth who, after suffering tragic and painful events, turn their
eyes towards this Apostolic See as toward an anchor of salvation for
the whole world."
-(Pope Pius XII at inauguration of Holy
* * *
Christian Unity in God's
Protestant world conferences on the subject of Christian re-union held
at Stockholm (1925), Lausanne (1927), Edinburgh (1937), and Amsterdam
(1948) have expressed the growing realization amongst non-Catholic
Christians of the urgent need for unity amongst all those who profess
to be followers of Christ. The final statement drafted by the Committee
at Edinburgh declared: "We humbly acknowledge our divisions are
contrary to the will of Christ, and we pray God for unity." And yet,
all the conferences have achieved nothing of lasting value. Warring
sects continue to multiply, all claiming to be Christian, all
vigorously asserting that they teach what Christ taught, but
contradicting one another on doctrines of fundamental importance and
far-reaching consequences. During his recent visit to Australia, one of
the Presidents of the World Council of Churches, Archbishop Fisher,
Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England,
declared his belief that there could not be re-union amongst
Protestants at present.
Catholics believe that there can be no question at all of re-union of
churches. The real Church of Christ has never been divided. Those who
have broken away from union with Christ's Vicar on earth, the Pope,
have established religious organizations contrary to the will of Christ
and ceased to belong to the true Catholic Church. Unity can be secured
only in one way - God's way - by entrance into that Society, the
Catholic Church, which God Himself set up to bring men into union with
Christ, Who was God, expressed very clearly His intention and His will
that there should be but one Church: "Other sheep I have that are not
of this fold; them also I must bring and they shall hear My voice and
there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (John 10: 16). He had come
into the world that men might know the truth: "For this was I born and
for that I came into the world, to give testimony to the truth" (John
18: 37). "I am the way, the truth and the life . . . he that follows
Me, walks not in darkness." . . . "I am the light of the world." . . .
"Come to Me all you that labour and are burdened and I will refresh
you." If He Who is God considered it so important that men should know
the truth that He would become man in order to teach men, suffer and
die an agonizing death for the sake of men and rise from the dead to
convince men of His divine authority, then it must be of the utmost
importance that there should be no confusion and no doubt about what
that teaching is and where it is to be found today.
Did Christ care very much what we believe? The very fact that He became
man in order to teach answers clearly. But listen to His warning: "He
that believes and is baptized shall be saved; he that believes not
shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 16). He suffered the ignominy and agony
of the death of the Cross rather than modify His teaching in the
slightest degree to suit the prejudices of His enemies. He imposed the
obligation on His Apostles of leaving home, of leaving all things, of
exposing themselves to hatred, violence of every kind and certain death
in order to carry on His work: "I send you," He said, "as sheep amongst
wolves." . . "Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every
creature." They were given no liberty to teach one doctrine and reject
another: "teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you" (Matt. 28: 20). He threatened with severest penalties those who
refused to hear their teaching: "And whosoever shall not receive you,
nor hear your words . . . shake off the dust from your feet. Amen, I
say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and
Gomorrah in the day of judgement than for that city" (Matt. 10: 14).
The truths taught by Christ were intended not only for the people of
His own age, but for all men in all ages: "preach the gospel to every
creature . . . go into the whole world." Christ cared not only for the
people of His own day, but for you and for me. In all ages, men would
need to find the way, the truth and the life. Is it likely that, after
going to so much trouble, enduring so many hardships and finally giving
His life for the truth, He would ever again allow His teaching to
become obscured or uncertain? He was God with the power and the wisdom
of God. He wanted His teaching preserved free from error to the very
end of the world. He could and He did provide the means to ensure that
it would be preserved: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word
shall not pass away" (Mark 13, 31).
"Through the Church," St. Paul tells us, "is made known the manifold
wisdom of God according to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ
Jesus, our Lord" (Ephes. 3: 10). Christ's way of safeguarding His
teaching was to establish His Church, divinely commissioned and
divinely guaranteed. He gathered around Him a small body of men, twelve
apostles. For three years they lived with Him. They heard His teaching,
saw His example, heard His prophecies, saw His miracles. They saw Him
dead; they saw Him risen from the dead. They were to carry on His work:
"As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." They were to be the
foundation members of a living, teaching authority which He called His
Church: In Matthew 16: 18 He says "Upon this rock I will build My
Church." That Church was not a mere aggregation of men who discovered
His teaching as best they could from the Bible - there was no New
Testament then. It was an organized society of persons with a
constitution and authority defined by Christ Himself in order to
preserve and propagate His teaching and to administer special means of
sanctification - a living organism rather than an organization; "the
Body of Christ."
Repeatedly Christ avowed His intention of establishing a kingdom. No
less than 19 of His parables are on the subject of His kingdom on
earth, His Church. This was His dearest work: "Christ loved the
Church," St. Paul tells us, "and delivered Himself up for it" (Ephes.
5: 25). Christ "purchased the Church with His Blood" (Acts 20: 28). He
identified the Church with Himself. To Saul of Tarsus, "breathing out
threatenings and slaughter" against the members of His infant Church,
He said: "Saul, Saul, why persecute you Me?" (Acts 9: 4). It is the
Body of Christ, Christ's way of teaching, directing and sanctifying all
men in all ages: "For as the body is one and has many members," St.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "and all the members of the body,
whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ. For in one
Spirit were we all baptized into one body. . . . Now you are the body
of Christ" (I Cor. 12: 12-27).
He promised that His Church would last to the very end of the world.
Though all the fury of hell might be let loose against His Church, it
would never overthrow it: "the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it" (Matt. 16: 18). He would safeguard it Himself: "I am with you all
days even to the consummation of the world" (Matt. 28: 18). So would
God, the Holy Ghost: "He will teach you all truth and abide with you
forever" (John 14: 16).
Christ established the Church to
carry on His work: "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." That
work was to teach truth: "For this was I born and for this I came into
the world, to give testimony to the truth" (John 18: 37).
So clearly would the Church teach
what He taught that He could say: "He that hears you hears Me; he that
despises you despises Me" (Luke 10: 16).
God the Holy Ghost would
safeguard its teaching: "He will teach you all truth and abide with you
forever" (John 14: 16).
Our Divine Lord bound all men to
accept its teaching and threatened with severest penalties those who
refused. He could not do that if it were capable of teaching error:
"He that believes not shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 16).
"He that will not hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen"
(Matt. 18: 17).
"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words . . . shake
off the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it shall be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement
than for that city" (Matt. 10: 14).
Whatever excuse there might be for the immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah
because of the weakness of human nature, there would be no excuse for
failure to hear those who speak in Christ's name: "he that despises you
Christ promised that His teaching
would always be safeguarded: "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My
word shall not pass away" (Matt. 24: 35). The Church that represents
Him will never misrepresent Him - it must be infallible.
St. Paul explains, as we have
already seen, how the teaching of Christ is safeguarded "through the
Church" (Ephes. 3: 10). "The Church," he says, "is the pillar and the
ground of truth." (I Tim 3: 15)
The apostles themselves were so
convinced of their God-given authority and protection that they could
issue their decree after the first Council of Jerusalem with the words:
"It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us" (Acts 15: 28), and St.
Paul could write to the Galatians: "Even though an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel other than we have preached, let him be
anathema" (Gal. 1: 8). Their teaching was not the teaching of men, nor
even of angels, but the teaching of God Himself. They spoke. he said,
"not in the learned words of human wisdom, but in the doctrine of the
Spirit" (I Cor. 2: 13), for "we have the mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:
16). St. John warns his readers: "Whosoever revolts and continues not
in the doctrine of Christ has not God. . . . If any man come unto you
and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house" (2 John
Repeatedly Christ insisted upon unity amongst His followers, absolute
oneness of faith in one Church.
That Church He always speaks of
as one, not many.
He calls it one family, one fold,
one city, one kingdom.
"Every kingdom divided against
itself shall be made desolate and every city or house divided against
itself shall not stand" (Mat. 12: 25) - but His Kingdom will last to
the very end of time, therefore will not be divided.
"Other sheep I have that are not
of this fold; them also I must bring and they shall hear My voice and
there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (John 10: 16) - notice where
His voice is to be heard -in that one fold under one shepherd.
"He that is not with Me is
against Me" (Matt. 12; 30) -we must be one thing or the other. "He that
gathers not with Me scatters" - gathers, you see, into that one fold
under one shepherd.
Perfect unity of faith amongst
His followers is the subject of Christ's most earnest prayer on the eve
of His passion: "Holy Father, keep them in Your name whom You have
given me; that they may be one as we also are . . . sanctify them in
truth. Your word is truth. . . . And for them do I sanctify myself,
that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I
pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in Me.
That they all may be one, as You Father in Me and I in You; that they
also may be one in us that the world may believe that You have sent Me
and have loved them as You have loved Me" (John 17: 11-23). Notice the
kind of unity they are to have - in truth: "sanctify them in truth";
and the degree of unity - perfect unity like the unity of God Himself:
"that they may be made perfect in one . . . as You Father in Me and I
in You." This unity is to be the distinguishing characteristic by which
men are to know where His teaching is to be found: "that the world may
believe that You have sent Me."
Outside True Church
St. Paul warns the Ephesians to
be "careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One
body and one Spirit as you are called in one hope of your calling. One
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all" (Ephes. 4: 3).
There is only one God; there must be only one religion.
He warns the Romans against those
who would introduce new doctrines: "Now I beseech you, brethren to mark
them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which
you have learned and avoid them, for they that are such serve not
Christ Our Lord" (Rom. 16: 17).
He insists on perfect unity of
mind and heart amongst the Corinthians: "Now I beseech you brethren, by
the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing
and that there be no schisms among you, but that you may be perfect in
the same mind and in the same judgement" (1 Cor. 1: 10).
He explains why God has insisted
on one body, the Church, and one body of teaching: "that henceforth we
be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind
of doctrine, by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness by which
they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephes. 4: 14). Only in that one body have
we perfect security; outside it, we are at the mercy of "every wind of
The Galatians he warns: "if
anyone preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let
him be anathema" (Gal. 1: 9).
in God's Way
It must be clear that the unity intended by God was unity of faith.
There can be no reunion save on that basis. Union with Christ is so
close and so perfect in the Church which He established that St. Paul
compares it to a body of which Christ is the head and we are the
organs. If revelation is true, if God does speak through one Church
only, then it is an insult not to listen; to disregard it is to
disregard Almighty God.
Since Christ established one Church and one Church only, one religion
is not as good as another - falsehood is not as good as truth, man-made
theories are not as good as the infallible certainty of the teaching of
God. There is one way and one way only of knowing the teaching of
Christ - through the Church established by Christ to teach in His name
and with His authority. To minimize or to exaggerate the teaching of
Christ in any way, to compromise on matters of truth for the sake of
convenient unity amongst men, would be treason to God and treachery to
men. Our duty, then, is to find out which is the Church established by
Christ and, having found it, to obey it as we would obey Christ
Himself. Of that Church Christ has said: "He that hears you hears Me;
he that despises you despises Me" (Luke 10: 16) . . . "he that will not
hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen" (Matt. 18: 17).
Four hundred or so years ago, the so-called Reformers split the unity
of Christendom; they tore limbs from the Body of Christ. Christ had
promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church;
the Reformers said, in effect, that it had. He promised to safeguard
His Church to the very end of the world - they implied that He didn't.
He gave an assurance that His teaching would never pass away - they
said it had. Who are we to believe, God or men?
Whatever cause there might have been for a reformation, there was no
justification for a revolution - and that is just what took place. No
one doubts for a moment that there were evils and abuses amongst
members of the Church at the time of the "Reformation." The evils
should have been removed, not other churches established by men. When
you have dirt in your eye, you don't cut the eye out; you remove the
dirt. If there was dirt in the Church, that should have been removed.
The Reformers substituted a glass eye for the living eye provided by
Christ Himself in order that men might be able to discern the truth.
Has Protestantism given men that sense of security and certainty that
Christ meant them to have? Has it succeeded in securing that unity
amongst Christ's followers upon which He and His apostles insisted so
much? Has the "Reformation" really reformed anything, or has it led to
that diversity of which St. Paul speaks where men will be "tossed to
and fro by every wind of doctrine"? Look around and see the result.
Compare the perfect unity of belief, worship and government of the
Catholic Church with the utter lack of unity elsewhere. Hundreds of
Protestant sects have now arisen and continue to multiply. Appealing to
the Bible, one sect will claim that there is only one Person in God;
others appeal to the same sacred text to prove that there are three.
One will prove from the Bible that Christ was not God; others appeal to
the same source to show that He is. One appeals to the authority of the
Scripture to assert that Baptism of infants is not justified; others
hold that it is. Four simple words: "This is My Body," have been
interpreted in over one hundred different ways. Even the authority of
the Bible itself is doubted or denied by the descendants of those
people who once regarded it as the only source of all revealed truth.
As time goes on, Protestantism continues to disintegrate and decompose
until there is no particle of the original faith that is not denied.
Each new day finds the Catholic Church growing in numbers, strengthened
in unity and solidity, determined as ever to sacrifice all things
rather than swerve from the duty she owes to her Divine Master of
preaching the Gospel to every creature, of teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever He has commanded. Which system looks like the one God
would have established? Which looks like the work of men? Which looks
like the system protected by God: "I am with you all days"? Where is
the house founded on a rock? Which is built on shifting sand? Against
which have the gates of hell not prevailed? Who have wrested the
Scriptures to their own destruction?
That Christ has kept His promise to safeguard His Church is abundantly
clear from the long, triumphant history of the one clearly defined and
divinely instituted Church that has existed from apostolic times - the
Catholic Church. From the time of its establishment, this Church has
met violence, hatred and opposition from every power, both civil and
religious, on earth. It asked the Jews to abandon age-long hopes. The
Scribes and Pharisees amongst them had been called a "brood of vipers"
and "whited sepulchres" and accused of pride, hypocrisy, cruelty and
injustice. Would they be likely to let Christianity flourish if they
could stifle it? Yet 3000 people were baptized in Jerusalem itself, the
very city in which Christ had been crucified as a malefactor only fifty
days earlier. In a few years, a former Jew could write: "Verily their
sound has gone forth into all the earth and their words unto the ends
of the whole world" (Rom. 10: 18). Saul, the zealous Pharisee who hated
Christianity and tried to suppress it, was himself converted and became
Paul the ardent apostle who soon could say: "I have suffered the loss
of all things and count them as nothing that I may gain Christ."
This Church was in deadly conflict with the paganism of the time. It
demanded that the proud Romans sacrifice their pride, their vices and
their gods and bow down in adoration before a member of the despised
and conquered Jewish race who had died like a criminal on a cross. The
greatest power in the world, the mighty Roman Empire, tried to crush
it. Its first leaders, the apostles, were cruelly tortured and done to
death. Under ten savage persecutions, thousands of Christians suffered
every year at Rome alone. Some of them were crucified like Christ
Himself. Groups of them were slaughtered by the sword, many were thrown
to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre to be mangled and torn to pieces
to provide sport for the pagans of the city of Rome. Some of them were
smeared with pitch and set on fire at night in the arena to provide a
spectacle for the crowd. Eyes were burnt out, tongues cut out, limbs
broken on the rack. Mothers were forced to watch their children
tortured and cut to pieces. They suffered and died gladly rather than
renounce by one word or gesture their faith in Christ, Who meant so
much to them. . . . The blood of martyrs became the seed of Christians
and in 300 years the Roman Empire itself was won to Christianity. How
could it have succeeded - an infant Church against a giant empire -
unless it had been divine? . . . unless Christ had kept His promise: "I
am with you all days even to the consummation of the world"? All the
fury of hell seemed to be let loose against them, but Christ had
promised: "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
For a thousand years, the might of that militant Islam known as
Mahommedanism was thrust against the Church in an attempt to crush her,
but finally subsided to leave the Church unconquered and unconquerable.
Down through the centuries, the world the flesh and the devil have
combined in an attempt to overthrow the Church of God. A human
institution, if it had ever begun to develop against such tremendous
odds, would soon have perished. Century after century she has met new
attacks, but each new blow has only served to purify and strengthen
her. Peter, her first leader, was crucified on the Vatican Hill in
Rome. Today, Peter's successor, from that same Vatican Hill, receives
the willing obedience of hundreds of millions of devoted subjects from
all parts of the world.
Physical violence failed to stop her progress. Intellectual attack
failed, too, as Gnostics, Manicheans, Donatists, Arians and Pelagians
tried to supplant God's scheme with a better scheme of their own. We
have lived to see the disintegration and decomposition of the greatest
of modern heresies - Protestantism. As new foes prepare to meet her -
Rationalism, Modernism, Communism - the Church of God stands secure;
the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. Almost alone, she
raises her voice as men attempt to render to Caesar the things that are
God's and strike at the very root of Christian life by defiling the
sanctity of marriage and the sacredness of human life.
More and more clearly she stands out as "the pillar and the ground of
truth," the "house built on a rock," "the city set on a hill," the "one
fold under one shepherd," the tiny mustard seed grown to an immense
She alone in the face of every foe fearlessly safeguards the teaching
of Christ. She alone numbers amongst her subjects children of every age
and race, colour and custom, language and political creed. Her members
differ amongst themselves on all things except the one thing that, on
the authority of God matters most, the knowledge, love and service of
God. She alone possesses that unity of belief, worship and government
that distinguishes her from all man-made institutions. She alone traces
her history, her teaching and her worship in proud, unbroken line to
She alone numbers amongst her children those who leave home, friends
and worldly possessions to follow Christ; to consecrate themselves body
and soul by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the service of
God and their fellow-men. She alone welcomes to her fold year after
year hundreds of thousands of men and women whose conversion often
means misunderstanding, loss of friends and sometimes the loss of
everything. They have found the pearl of great price; they give all
they possess to secure it.
Each year sees an increase in the number of conversions to the Catholic
Church in almost every land. In the U.S.A. more than 100,000 adult
non-Catholics have been received into the Catholic Church on each of
the past three years. In England, some 11,000 converts are baptized
each year. In Australia, converts are instructed and received into the
Church each year in almost every parish throughout the Commonwealth.
Are the converts to the Catholic Church only simple, uneducated people
who have been fooled by sly priests, as is sometimes suggested? They
include many ministers of non-Catholic denominations, university
professors, prominent men and women from the world of science and
literature, people of every walk of life. Why did they become
Catholics? Only because, after studying the claims of the Catholic
Church and praying earnestly to God for light, they have realized that
they could not be anything else. Cardinal Newman, when charged with being a
traitor to the Church of England, or trying to do something sensational
replied: "I have a good name with many; I am deliberately sacrificing
it. I have a bad name with more; I am fulfilling all their worst wishes
and giving them their most coveted triumph. I am distressing all I
love, unsettling all I have instructed or aided. I am going to those
whom I do not know, and of whom I expect very little. I am making
myself an outcast, and that at my age - Oh! what can it be but stern
necessity which causes this." (Letter to his sister, 15th March, 1845.)
What else but stern necessity could have brought into the Catholic
Church Robert Hugh Benson, son of the primate of the Church of England,
the Archbishop of Canterbury, or Ronald Knox, son of an Anglican
Bishop, or those hundreds of ministers who have lost their only means
of living and their oldest and best friends who could not understand?
What kind of Catholics do they become? Often they put to shame those
who have had the faith from the cradle. An American convert, Dorothy
Fremont Grant, has written in her book: "What Other Answer?": "After almost
eight years, I still see many Catholics whom I would like to shake
until their teeth rattle - because they are so careless with the
precious gift of faith." Of the day of her conversion, she wrote: "What
I did today is just as final as committing suicide. If I fail the fault
will be mine, for God is never wrong." She knew she had found God in
the Catholic Church, Augustine Roth, a former Baptist minister and
author of "Out of the Wilderness,"
wrote: "There are no more doubts, no more fears, no more empty,
meaningless sects; I have found the Father's house."
What have they found in the Catholic Church? This is what John L.
Stoddard wrote in "Rebuilding a Lost
Faith": "This one, holy, apostolic Church has given me certainty
for doubt, order for confusion, sunlight for darkness and substance for
shadow. . . . Favoured are those who from their childhood up are
nurtured in the Catholic Church and to whom all her comforts, aids and
sacraments come no less freely than the air and sunshine. Yet I have
sometimes wondered whether such favoured Catholics ever know the
rapture of the homeless waif to whom the splendours of his Father's
house are suddenly revealed; the consolation of the mariner whose
storm-tossed vessel finally attains the sheltered port; the gratitude
of the lonely wanderer, long lost in cold and darkness, who shares at
last, however undeservedly, the warmth and light of God's great
Spiritual Home." A Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of
Washington, Dr. Herbert E. Cory, like so many others, has only one
regret - why did he delay so long: "As I look backward over the years,
I am often amazed and annoyed at the obstinacy with which in the face
of innumerable and unusual opportunities, I resisted the truth. . . .
It was not until the day of my first Holy Communion that I found I had
attained, for the first time, to what in the strictest sense of the
word may be termed happiness in contrast with mere pleasure" ("The Emancipation of a Freethinker").
Are they satisfied with what they have found? Listen to what Penrose
Fry, a former Anglican Minister, wrote in "The Church Surprising": "I ask of
God no other grace than this, that I may spend the days on earth that
are mine as her devout and loving son, as devout and loving to her as
she, the one, holy, Catholic, apostolic and Roman Church is a sweet and
loving mother to me; and that when I come to die, I may do so with her
tender arms around me, her prayers about me, her Sacraments within me
and that faith and hope mid security in my heart which she alone
possesses and she alone can teach."
Maurice Baring wrote in 1922:
"I was received into the Church on the Eve of Candlemas, 1909, and it
is perhaps the only act in my life which I am quite certain I have
never regretted. Every day I live, the Church seems to me more and more
solemn and sustaining; the voice of the Church, her liturgy, her rules
and her discipline, her ritual, her decisions in matters of Faith and
Morals more and more excellent and profoundly wise and true and right,
and her children stamped with something that those outside her are
without. There I have found truth and reality and everything outside
her is to me compared with her as dust and shadow."
John Henry Newman, who as an
Anglican minister in perplexity and doubt wrote the beautiful "Lead
Kindly Light," could write after being a Catholic for more than thirty
years: "I have been in perfect peace and contentment; I have never had
one doubt. . . . It was like coming into port after a rough sea. and my
happiness on that score remains to this day without interruption." In
1862, he wrote to the "Globe"
newspaper in answer to those who continued to say that he was not that
happy as a Catholic: "I have not had one moment's
wavering of trust in the Catholic Church ever since I was received into
her fold. I hold, and ever have held, that her Sovereign Pontiff is the
centre of unity and the Vicar of Christ; and I have ever had, and have
still, an unclouded faith in her creed in all its articles; a supreme
satisfaction in her worship, discipline and teaching; and an eager
longing, and a hope against hope that the many dear friends whom I have
left in Protestantism may be partakers of my happiness."
Of his conversion, Chesterton
wrote: "I have sometimes put it to myself, as something between a
melancholy meditation and a joke: 'Where should I go now if I did leave
the Catholic Church?' . . . I could no more go back than a man who has
regained his sanity could go back to the padded cell." Dom Bede Camm
wrote in "Anglican Memories";
"Every succeeding year has brought increasing gladness and growing
thankfulness to Him Who thus wondrously led us out of the City of
Confusion into the City of Peace."
To become a Catholic does not mean entering some strange religious
organization; the convert to the Catholic Church comes to that
spiritual home where he would have been all along had it not been for
the Protestant Reformation. We all belong to one Heavenly Father; why
should we be different? We all long for unity; God Himself wills it.
May men's anxiety "about the effrontery with which the united front of
militant atheism advances" strengthen the resolution of all, Catholic
and non-Catholic alike, to strive unceasingly towards a realization of
Our Lord's own prayer: "that they all may be one, as You Father in Me
and I in You, that they all may be one in us and the world may believe
that You have sent Me." Let all pray earnestly and perseveringly that
the will of God may be done: "Other sheep I have that are not of this
fold; them also I must bring and they shall hear My voice and there
shall be one fold and one shepherd,"
* * * * *
Nihil obstat: W. M. COLLINS, Censor Dioc.
Imprimatur: D. MANNIX, Archiepiscopus Melbournensis.