Catholic Church

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I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. ~ Pope Francis
I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here. ~ Pope Francis

The Catholic Church also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. The Catholic Church is among the oldest institutions in the world and has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation. It teaches that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter. Catholic doctrine maintains that the Catholic Church is the original and true Church and is infallible when it dogmatically teaches a doctrine of faith or morals. Catholic worship is centred on the Eucharist, in which the Church teaches that the sacramental bread and wine are supernaturally transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ. The Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary in special regard. Catholic beliefs concerning Mary include her Immaculate Conception and bodily Assumption at the end of her earthly life.

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  • Because religion is such an opinion-based topic, I had better lay my own cards on the table. I was raised a Catholic and was a strong believer until age 21. After searching other religions I became a “None,” and then an agnostic--believing one cannot say at this point whether the universe had a creator, and if so what that creator’s qualities might be (beyond the all-time highest score on the SAT-Math test). I have enough familiarity with religion that I can pass as a scholar among people who know nothing about the subject. Similarly, I know enough of the Bible to seem well informed in a room of people who have never opened the book. I don’t think any of this has affected the answers people have given to my surveys, which is what this chapter is about. But as always, you will be the judge of that.


  • The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.
  • The Christians were the first to make the existence of Satan a dogma of the Church. And once that she had established it, she had to struggle for over 1,700 years for the repression of a mysterious force which it was her policy to make appear of diabolical origin... If modern "spirits" are devils at all, as preached by the clergy, then they can only be those "poor" or "stupid devils" whom Max Muller describes as appearing so often in the German and Norwegian tales.
  • The clergy fear above all to be forced to relinquish this hold on humanity. They are not willing to let us judge of the tree by its fruits, for that might sometimes force them into dangerous dilemmas. They refuse, likewise, to admit, with unprejudiced people, that the phenomena of Spiritualism has unquestionably spiritualized and reclaimed from evil courses many an indomitable atheist and skeptic. But, as they confess themselves, what is the use in a Pope, if there is no Devil?
  • An analysis of religious beliefs in general, this volume is in particular directed against theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to man's faith in his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint.
    We cast our gauntlet at the dogmatic theologians who would enslave both history and science; and especially at the Vatican, whose despotic pretensions have become hateful to the greater portion of enlightened Christendom. The clergy apart, none but the logician, the investigator, the dauntless explorer should meddle with books like this. Such delvers after truth have the courage of their opinions.
  • The Christian clergy are, in like manner, attired in the cast-off garb of the heathen priesthood; acting diametrically in opposition to their God's moral precepts, but nevertheless, sitting in judgment over the whole world.
    When dying on the cross, the martyred Man of Sorrows forgave His enemies. His last words were a prayer in their behalf. He taught his disciples to curse not, but to bless, even their foes. But the heirs of St. Peter, the self-constituted representatives on earth of that same meek Jesus, unhesitatingly curse whoever resists their despotic will.
    Besides, was not the "Son" long since crowded by them into the background? They make their obeisance only to the Dowager Mother, for — according to their teaching — again through "the direct Spirit of God," she alone acts as a mediatrix. The Ecumenical Council of 1870 embodied the teaching into a dogma, to disbelieve which is to be doomed forever to the 'bottomless pit.' The work of Don Pasquale di Franciscis is positive on that point; for he tells us that, as the Queen of Heaven owes to the present Pope "the finest gem in her coronet," since he has conferred on her the unexpected honor of becoming suddenly immaculate, there is nothing she cannot obtain from her Son for "her Church."*
  • This tradition, then, of which we have been speaking, affirms that, when frightened at the accusation of the servant of the high priest, the apostle had thrice denied his master, and the cock had crowed, Jesus, who was then passing through the hall in custody of the soldiers, turned, and, looking at Peter, said: "Verily, I say unto thee, Peter, thou shalt deny me throughout the coming ages, and never stop until thou shalt be old, and shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldst not." The latter part of this sentence, say the Greeks, relates to the Church of Rome, and prophesies her constant apostasy from Christ, under the mask of false religion. Later, it was inserted in the twenty-first chapter of John, but the whole of this chapter had been pronounced a forgery, even before it was found that this Gospel was never written by John the Apostle at all.
  • Now to get back to our given Church: it lives almost entirely for modesty and moneyed piety. It zealously inveighs against the harm done to Joseph and the sheep, but it has made its arrangements with the upper classes and serves as their spiritual defender. It bristles at see-through blouses, but not at slums in which half-naked children starve, and not, above all, at the conditions that keep three quarters of mankind in misery. It condemns desperate girls who abort a foetus, but it consecrates war, which aborts millions. It has nationalized its God, nationalized him into ecclesiastic organization, and has inherited the Roman empire under the mask of the Crucified. It preserves misery and injustice, having first tolerated and then approved the class power that causes them; it prevents any seriousness about deliverance by postponing it to St. Never-Ever's Day or shifting it to the beyond.
    • Ernst Bloch, Man on His Own: Essays in the Philosophy of Religion (1959/1970) p. 144
  • At the heart of church teachings on moral matters is a deep regard for an individual’s conscience. The Catechism states that “a human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.” The church takes conscience so seriously that Richard McBrien, in his essential study Catholicism, explained that even in cases of a conflict with the moral teachings of the church, Catholics “not only may but must follow the dictates of conscience rather than the teachings of the Church.”
    Casual disagreement is not sufficient grounds for ignoring moral teachings. Catholics are obliged to know and consider thoughtfully Catholic teaching. Catholics believe that “the Church…is a major resource of…moral direction and leadership. It is the product of centuries of experience, crossing cultural, national, and continental lines” (Catholicism, HarperOne, 1994). But in the end, a well-formed conscience reigns.
  • Despite what many think, the Vatican may not impose teachings on an unwilling faithful. Through the concept of reception, Catholics have a role to play in the establishment of church law.
    The popular notion that whatever the pope says on a serious topic is infallible is an exaggeration of the principle of infallibility. While some ultra-conservative groups claim that the teaching on abortion is infallible, it does not in fact meet the definition of an infallible teaching. Since the doctrine of papal infallibility was first declared in 1870, only three teachings have been declared infallible: the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Assumption of Mary, and the declaration on infallibility itself.
  • The teaching authority of the church is not based solely on statements of the hierarchy; it also includes the scholarly efforts of theologians and the lived experience of Catholic people. “Since the Church is a living body,” the Vatican declared in the 1971 Communio Et Progressio, “she needs public opinion in order to sustain a giving and taking between her members. Without this, she cannot advance in thought and action.”
  • The monarchic and infallible papacy is, however, I many ways a modern development. To take one example, for most of the history of the church, bishops were either elected by the priests of the local cathedral or appointed by the secular ruler. It was not until 1917 that official church law decreed that all bishops were to be appointed by the pope. Papal infallibility was a disputed issue up until it was officially declared by the first Vatican Council (1869-1870). Prior to that declaration, there was a strong and continuing claim that Church Councils were the supreme authority on matters of policy. The high point of “concilarism” occurred at the crucial Council of Constance (1414-1418), which resolved the scandal of three rival popes. The Council clearly asserted its authority in a famous decree Haec Sancta: The holy synod of Constance, constituting a general council…does hereby ordain, ratify, decree and declare … that any person of whatever rank, or dignity, even a pope who contumaciously refuses to obey the mandate, statutes, ordinances and regulations enacted by this holy synod or any other general council … shall be subject to condign penalty and duly punished.
    From the time of Constance to the first Vatican Council there was a continuing ideological struggle about authority: pope or council. It would seem that Vatican I settled the issue. Pius IX’s comment, Lo sono la tradizione, io sono la Chisea. (“I am the tradition, I am the Church”), seems to sum up the present situation of papal authority.
  • The importance of lay Catholics’ experience in the establishment of church law is recognized through the concept of reception. Leading canon lawyer James Coriden shows how the principle of reception “asserts that for a [church] law or rule to be an effective guide for the believing community it must be accepted by that community.” Through the centuries, church law experts have reaffirmed an understanding that “the obligatory force of church law is affected by its reception by the community.”
    Like the concept of the primacy of conscience, the principle of reception does not mean that Catholic law is to be taken lightly or rejected without thoughtful and prudent consideration. Coriden writes, “Reception is not a demonstration of popular sovereignty or an outcropping of populist democracy. It is a legitimate participation by the people in their own governance.”


To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions they demand, is to fall into superstition. ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • The Catholic knows that he or she may not dissent from teaching proposed as infallible. With regard to such teaching one may seek only to understand, to appreciate, to deepen one’s insights.
    In the presence of other authoritative teaching, exercised either by the Holy Father or by the collectivity of the bishops one must listen with respect, with openness and with the firm conviction that a personal opinion, or even the opinion of a number of theologians, ranks very much below the level of such teaching. The attitude must be one of desire to assent, a respectful acceptance of truth which bears the seal of God’s Church.
  • The Church is competent to hand on the truth contained in the revealed word of God and to interpret its meaning. But its role is not limited to this function. In his pilgrimage to salvation, man achieves final happiness by all his human conduct and his whole moral life. Since the Church is man's guide in this pilgrimage, she is called upon to exercise her role as teacher, even in those matters which do not demand the absolute assent of faith.
  • Of this sort of teaching Vatican II wrote: "This religious submission of will and of mind must be shown in a special way to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra. That is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme teaching service is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will".
  • To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions they demand, is to fall into superstition.
  • The financial demands made on Catholics are atrocious. Churches are extremely wealthy institutions. I see what Churches have because I work in a bank. I work hard for what I have, and I need what I have for myself. I can't afford to support a priest. Let the priest support me once in a while. The Pope sits over there and makes all the rules and shakes his head, "Yes, no, yes, no.' He's got all those jewels. Who does he think he is? Did he ever sit down and talk to a woman who got into a jam? I'd like to say to him, "If I had this child, would you take care of it? Pull a few of those rocks off that habit and take care of it for me? Give up your jewels ...'"
    • Catholics for a Free Choice, "My Conscience Speaks: Catholic Women Discuss Their Abortions."
  • The Catholic Faith, which always preserves the unfashionable virtue, is at this moment alone sustaining the independent intellect of man.
  • If the Catholic Church hadn't so consistently and virulently condemned the Jews for killing Jesus, there would have been no Holocaust. There would have been no reason for anyone to think about picking on Jews. And that means today there might be no Jewish state, and no Middle East conflict. That's quite a lot to have on your conscience, isn't it? How fortunate for the Catholic Church that it doesn't possess a conscience, but at least it gives ordinary Catholics an opportunity to feel guilty about something real for a change, if they feel so inclined, and to reflect on the reality that the Jews didn't kill Jesus at all. The Catholic Church killed Jesus, and has spent the last two thousand years dragging his entrails through the dirt. And if he came back tomorrow, he'd be the first to say so. You know it's true. We all do.
  • Doubtless there are many to whom the dogmatic attitude of the Catholic Church appears to be supreme arrogance, and the docile attitude of Catholics supreme gullibility. But would it not be the reasonable thing for such persons to examine sincerely the claims of the Catholic Church and the grounds on which they are based? Certainly an organization which for almost two thousand years has unswervingly maintained a consistent and uniform standard of morality in an ever-changing world is entitled to receive from intelligent persons an impartial investigation of its claim to be the one true church of the living God.
  • How could so many reputable and responsible churchmen have lent their support, even if only passively, to the perpetration of such crimes as genocide? What fever seized so many millions of German Christians, both Evangelical [Lutheran] and Catholic, in those few short years of Nazi tyranny?
    • John S. Conway, in his book The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933-1945 (1968)
  • For the majority of English people there are only two religions, Roman Catholic, which is wrong, and the rest, which don't matter.


  • To see in Catholicism one religion among others, one system among others, even if it be added that it is the only true religion, the only system that works, is to mistake its very nature, or at least to stop at the threshold. Catholicism is religion itself.
    • Henri de Lubac, Catholicism (Catholicisme, 1938), trans. from the 4th French edition (1947) by Lancelot C. Sheppard (London: Universe Books, 1962), p. 157
  • There are two methods by which Catholics may know that a teaching of the Church is infallible and therefore must be obeyed by all Catholics in order to remain Catholic.
    The first of these, of course, is an ex cathedra pronouncement. Popes use this mechanism very infrequently, and then only to address the very fundamentals of Catholic faith. Only once since 1870 has the Pope spoken ex cathedra; on November 1, 1950, when Pope Pius XII declared the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    Many pro-life theologians have debated the wisdom of having the Church's teachings on birth control and abortion be formally declared infallible, and have decided that this would not be wise in the larger scheme of things. The reason is that such a pronouncement in an area of morals (as opposed to fundamental beliefs) would give the impression that all other moral teachings of the Church were optional. This might lead to a situation where disbelief would run rampant in the areas not specifically addressed ex cathedra, and would lead to more and more demands for such pronouncements in almost every area of Church teaching.
    • Donovan, Colin B, [ "Abortion - Exocommunication"], “On the Infallibility of Humanae Vitae.”, Eternal Word Television Network, Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  • The second means by which Catholics may know that a Church teaching is infallible is by examining the ordinary magisterium. This is the usual, day to day expression of the Church's infallibility.
    The Canon of St. Vincent of Lorenz declares that any doctrine that has been taught semper ubique obomnibus always, everywhere, and by everyone makes it part of the ordinary and universal Magisterial teaching.
    • Donovan, Colin B, [ "Abortion - Exocommunication"], “On the Infallibilityof Humanae Vitae.”, Eternal Word Television Network, Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  • Every Catholic is bound to follow the Magisterium (teaching authority) of the Catholic Church, which originates in Rome. The opinions of renegade Catholics and publicity-seeking 'theologians' are utterly meaningless and carry no weight whatever.
    • Donovan, Colin B, [ "Abortion - Exocommunication"], “Declarations of Recent Popes”, Eternal Word Television Network, Retrieved 2007-06-24.
  • Catholicism, for example, can be such a different religion in different places […] it is theologically the same, working on the same premises, but in each case it is subtly modified to suit the spirit of place. People have little to do with the matter except inasmuch as they themselves are reflections of their landscape.


  • After his victory at the Milvian Bridge, faithful to his promise, Constantine favors the church from which he has received support. Catholic Christianity becomes the state religion and an exchange takes place: the church is invested with political power, and it invests the emperor with religious power. We have here the same perversion, for how can Jesus manifest himself in the power of domination and constraint? We have to say here very forcefully that we see here the perversion of revelation by participation in politics, by the seeking of power. The church lets itself be seduced, invaded, dominated by the ease with which it can now spread the gospel by force (another force than that of God) and use its influence to make the state, too, Christian. It is great acquiescence to the temptation Jesus himself resisted, for when Satan offers to give him all the kingdoms of the earth, Jesus refuses, but the church accepts.
    • Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity (1982), G. Bromiley, trans. (1986), p. 124
  • It seems to me that Catholicism is not a solo, but a symphony. It fits, of course, man's sinless side, but unless a religion can find a place for man's sinful side in the ensemble, it is a false religion. If I have trust in Catholicism, it is because I find in it much more possibility than in any other religion for presenting the full symphony of humanity. The other religions have almost no fullness; they have but solo parts. Only Catholicism can present the full symphony. And unless there is in that symphony a part that corresponds to Japan's mudswamp, it cannot be a true religion. What exactly this part is—that is what I want to find out.
    • Shusaku Endo, quoted in Francis Mathy, "Shusaku Endo: Japanese Catholic Novelist", Thought, Vol. 42, issue 4 (Winter 1967), p. 609
  • Every Catholic is raised to be devout and love the Gospels, but I was spoiled by the Old Testament. I was very young when I started reading, and the Old Testament sucked me in. I was at the age of magical thinking and believed sticks could change to serpents, a voice might speak from a burning bush, angels wrestled with people. After I went to school and started catechism I realized that religion was about rules. I remember staring at a neighbor’s bridal-wreath bush. It bloomed every year but was voiceless. No angels, no parting of the Red River. It all seemed so dull once I realized that nothing spectacular was going to happen.


The Pope could decide that all this power, all this wealth, this hierarchy of princes and bishops and archbishops and priests and monks and nuns could be sent out in the world with money and art treasures, to put them back in the countries that they once raped and violated, they could give that money away, and they could concentrate on the apparent essence of their belief, and then, I would stand here and say the Catholic Church may well be a force for good in the world, but until that day, it is not. ~ Stephen Fry
  • Much has been written about the dramatic shift that took place in Catholic education after the Second Vatican Council. The Baltimore Catechism was out and Buddy Christ was in. The memorization of basic foundational formulations of our faith such as the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Corporal Works of Mercy took a backseat to a new style of catechesis fueled by construction paper, paste, and pictures that were assembled into a collage about how Jesus made us feel. Sin was a topic we never heard much about, unless sin meant disobeying mom and dad. God was nice and we should be, too. Jesus had long hair, wore sandals, and ate organic food. The whole experience of Catholic education in the early 1980s can best be summed up by the title of the hymnal filled with songs by Carey Landry and his fellow St. Louis Jesuits (who gave us the hit “Great Things Happen When God Mixes with Us”): Hi God!
  • It has been said that Catholic education before the council lacked heart and after the council it lacked head. I hope we are well on our way to striking a balance in the catechesis of our young people today. Colleen Carroll Campbell’s critically acclaimed book The New Faithful offers hope and direction to those interested in striking this balance by examining the differences between Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers in terms of Catholic education and formation. Campbell argues that in order to find this balance, it is imperative to stay rooted in the deposit of faith handed on by the apostles, while at the same time allowing that faith tradition to remain relevant and be salt and light in the modern world. This is at the heart of orthodoxy. But if we are not careful, the salt may lose its flavor and the lamp may make its way under a bushel basket.
  • I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres. All my predecessors have said the same thing, for many years at least, albeit with different accents. I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here.
  • If, for example, tomorrow an expedition of Martians came to us here and one said ‘I want to be baptised!’, what would happen? Martians, right? Green, with long noses and big ears, like in children’s drawings? When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let's do it this way’. Who are we to close doors?”
  • I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.
    • Pope Francis, interviewed in "How the Church will change" by Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica (1 October 2013), as translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace
  • Just imagine in this square mile how many people were burned for reading the Bible in English. And one of the principle burners and torturers of those who tried to read the Bible in English, here in London, was Thomas More. Now, that’s a long time ago, it’s not relevant, except that it was only last century that Thomas More was made a saint, and it was only in the year 2000, that the last pope, the Pole, he made Thomas More the Patron Saint of Politicians. This is a man who put people on the wrack for daring to own a Bible in English: he tortured them for owning a Bible in their own language. The idea that the Catholic Church exists to disseminate the word of the Lord is nonsense.


  • In truth, however, U.S. Catholics may already be less Catholic than they used to be. Fifty years ago, about half of all Catholic children in the U.S. were educated in Catholic schools, according to CARA data. Now, it's barely 20 percent.
  • Marriage in Roman Catholicism is a sacrament, a covenant meant to be perpetual and designed to produce a family with children. It does not end with divorce. A failed marriage must be invalidated by the church. If Catholics remarry without that annulment, the new marriage is not recognized by the church, and they should not receive communion.
    As with the birth control ban, however, the strictness of the marriage doctrine means many Catholics find themselves violating it. Marriage is hard. It doesn't always last, and family life can be challenging.
  • Sorcery was at the time extensively practised by some of the highest dignitaries of the church, and five or six popes in succession were notorious for these sacrilegious practices. About the same period the papal chair was at its lowest state of degradation; this dignity was repeatedly exposed for sale; and the reign of Gerbert, a man of consummate abilities and attainment, is almost the only redeeming feature in the century in which he lived. At length the tiara became the purchase of an ambitious family, which had already furnished two popes, in behalf of a boy of twelve years of age, who reigned by the name of Benedict the Ninth.


  • As a Roman Catholic, I am aware that for centuries Catholics regarded the word “fraternity” with suspicion. It was part of the motto of the French Revolution, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” and was also used in Soviet Russia. Both the French revolutionaries and the Soviets killed thousands, including Christians and priests, while proclaiming “fraternity.”
    It was an ideological “fraternity” that excluded dissidents and opponents.
    However, Pope Francis reminds us that “fraternity” is originally a Christian concept, which should not be discarded because of its later ideological corruption.
    For believers of religions where God is personal, we are all brothers and sisters because we have the same father, God.


  • And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    • Jesus, Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verses 18–19, quoted in The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament (2010), p. 36


  • The most important thing about me is that I am a Catholic. It's a superstructure within which you can work, like a sonnet.
  • When I went to Methodist youth fellowship, we were taught that the Catholics were all going to go to hell because they worship idols. So right there, I'm saying to myself, "Catholics are going to go to hell, but my aunt Molly married a Catholic and she converted and she's got 11 kids and they're all pretty nice and one of them's my good friend – they're all going to go to hell?" I'm thinking to myself, "This is bullshit." And if that's bullshit, how much of the rest of it is bullshit?
  • That tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church.
The very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.
  • If you cannot see that divinity includes male and female characteristics and at the same time transcends them, you have bad consequences. Rome and Cardinal O'Connor base the exclusion of women priests on the idea that God is the Father and Jesus is His Son, there were only male disciples, etc. They are defending a patriarchal Church with a patriarchal God. We must fight the patriarchal misunderstanding of God.
  • Everyone agrees the celibacy rule is just a Church law dating from the 11th century, not a divine command.
  • The Pope would have an easier job than the President of the United States in adopting a change of course. He has no Congress alongside him as a legislative body nor a Supreme Court as a judiciary. He is absolute head of government, legislator and supreme judge in the church. If he wanted to, he could authorize contraception over night, permit the marriage of priests, make possible the ordination of women and allow eucharistic fellowship with this Protestant churches. What would a Pope do who acted in the spirit of Obama?


  • A knowledge of the hidden side of life by no means teaches us to forget our dead, but it makes us exceedingly careful as to how we think of them...The clairvoyant sees exactly in what manner such wishes affect them, and at once perceives the truth which underlies the teaching of the Catholic Church with regard to the advisability of prayers for the dead. By these both the living and the dead are helped; for the former, instead of being thrown back upon his grief with a hopeless feeling that now he can do nothing, since there is a great gulf between himself and his loved one, is encouraged to turn his affectionate thought into definite action which promotes the happiness and advancement of him who has passed from his sight in the physical world. Of all this and much more I have written fully in the book called The Other Side of Death... p. 340
  • My attention was first called to this by watching the effect produced by the celebration of the Mass in a Roman Catholic church in a little village in Sicily.... At the moment of consecration the Host glowed with the most dazzling brightness it became in fact a veritable sun to the eye of the clairvoyant, and as the priest lifted it above the heads of the people I noticed that two distinct varieties of spiritual force poured forth from it, which might perhaps be taken as roughly corresponding to the light of the sun and the streamers of his corona. The first rayed out impartially in all directions upon all the people in the church; indeed, it penetrated the walls of the church as though they were not there... I then proceeded to make further investigations... I may sum up briefly the results... which will no doubt at first sight seem surprising to many of my readers... Only those priests who have been lawfully ordained, and have the apostolic succession, can produce this effect at all. Other men, not being part of this definite organisation, cannot perform this feat, no matter how devoted or good or saintly they may be. Secondly, neither the character of the priest, nor his knowledge, nor ignorance as to what he is really doing, affects the result in any way whatever. Ch. 8
  • Clearly one of the great objects, perhaps the principal object, of the daily celebration of the Mass is that everyone within reach of it shall receive at least once each day one of these electric shocks which are so well calculated to promote any growth of which he is capable. Such an outpouring of force brings to each person whatever he has made himself capable of receiving; but even the quite undeveloped and ignorant cannot but be somewhat the better for the passing touch of a noble emotion, while for the few more advanced it means a spiritual uplifting the value of which it would be difficult to exaggerate.
  • We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist ... personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.
    • Martin Luther (Aug. 18, 1520) The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom
  • I despise and attack it, as impious, false... It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein... I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.
  • I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt. Because of this we can see what kind of people they become in the universities and what they are like now. Nobody is to blame for this except the pope, the bishops, and the prelates, who are all charged with training young people. The universities only ought to turn out men who are experts in the Holy Scriptures, men who can become bishops and priests, and stand in the front line against heretics, the devil, and all the world. But where do you find that? I greatly fear that the universities, unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to hell.
    • Martin Luther To the Christian Nobility of the German States (1520), translated by Charles M. Jacobs, reported in rev. James Atkinson, The Christian in Society, I (Luther’s Works, ed. James Atkinson, vol. 44), p. 207 (1966).
  • Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.
    • Martin Luther Statement in defense of his writings at the Diet of Worms (19 April 1521), quoted in Martin Luther by Martin Brecht
  • I know that a Christian should be humble, but against the Pope I am going to be proud and say to him: “You, Pope, I will not have you for my boss, for I am sure that my doctrine is divine.”
    • Martin Luther Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (1535) Chapter 2, Verse 6
  • I am entirely of the opinion that the papacy is the Antichrist. But if anyone wants to add the Turk, then the Pope is the spirit of the Antichrist, and the Turk is the flesh of the Antichrist. They help each other in their murderous work. The latter slaughters bodily and by the sword, the former spiritually and by doctrine.
  • And I myself, in Rome, heard it said openly in the streets, “If there is a hell, then Rome is built on it.” That is, “After the devil himself, there is no worse folk than the pope and his followers.”
    • Martin Luther Against the Roman Papacy, An Institution of the Devil ( Wider das Papstum zu Rom vom Teuffel Gestifft, A. D. 1545)[1] in Luther’s Works, Church and Ministry III, American Ed., Helmut T. Lehman, Eric W. Gritsch, eds., Augsburg Fortress Press, 1966, Vol. 41:279. ISBN 0800603419 ISBN 9780800603410.
  • I am disturbed about Roman Catholicism. This church stands before the world with its pomp and power, insisting that it possesses the only truth. It incorporates an arrogance that becomes a dangerous spiritual arrogance. It stands with its noble Pope who somehow rises to the miraculous heights of infallibility when he speaks ex cathedra. But I am disturbed about a person or an institution that claims infallibility in this world. I am disturbed about any church that refuses to cooperate with other churches under the pretense that it is the only true church. I must emphasize the fact that God is not a Roman Catholic, and that the boundless sweep of his revelation cannot be limited to the Vatican. Roman Catholicism must do a great deal to mend its ways.


  • I've always known that Catholicism is a completely sexist, repressed, sin- and punishment-based religion.
    • Madonna, quoted in US Magazine, June 13, 1991, and in "Madonna Blasts Catholics." American Family Association Journal, September 1991, page 3.
  • Although they may perhaps doubt it, churches opposing the universal Church subsist only by virtue of its existence, being similar to those parasitic plants, those sterile mistletoes that live only from the substance of the tree which supports them and which they impoverish.
  • The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.
    • Cotton Mather The Fall of Babylon in The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 113
  • People talk about how horrible it is to be brought up Catholic, and it's all true. The main thing was that there was no sense of proportion. I would chew a piece of gum at school, and the nun would say, 'Jesus is very angry with you about that,' and on the wall behind her would be a dying, bleeding guy on a cross. That's a horrifying image to throw at a little kid. You really could almost think that your talking in line, say, was on a par with killing Jesus.
    • George Meyer David Owen (2000-03-13). "Taking Humour Seriously". The New Yorker.
  • I became a Catholic when I was very young. My reason for joining the Church is my reason for remaining in it—its administration of morals. Other Christian churches or sects (I except the "Orthodox," Greek and Russian) have the legislation of Christian morality but they do not enforce that law. The Catholic Church administers it by means of her sacraments, that of the Confessional especially.
    • Alice Meynell in an unpublished letter to Anne Kimball Tuell, quoted in Viola Meynell, Alice Meynell: A Memoir (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929), p. 42.
  • It is impossible to enumerate how thoroughly Catholicism today is saturated by middle-class reasonableness; one need only recall how even baptism—once the most powerful expression of the church’s opposition to the state, a symbol of entry into a spiritual countercommunity, a mystical adoption, less the bearing of a name than being led by means of a name on the first steps of one’s inner way—is today bound up with middle-class record-keeping: with the identity card, the need for an enduring characterization resting on the firm distinctions of compelling reason; which means that being a person is made impossible by the “individual,” that incalculable spiritual and intellectual destiny that tears away the protective covering of the soul’s anonymity and drives it to mindlessly repetitious, merely defensive expenditures of energy and renders inaccessible to it everything it might do if it did not always first have to look after a person.
    • Robert Musil, “The Religious Spirit, Modernism, and Metaphysics” (1913), B. Pike and D. Luft, trans., Precision and Soul (1978), pp. 21-22.
  • "The Catholic Church has long since been a primary global carrier of the toxic virus of misogyny,.... Its leadership has never sought a cure for that virus, though the cure is freely available. Its name is equality."
    • Mary McAleese Former Irish President [1]


  • There is a tendency among some historians to make the identification, to say that the Catholic Church taught this or did that, when all that one can be certain of is that particular men, baptized Christians, occupying a particular role in the ecclesiastical system, did this or taught that. The Church, of course, to teach at all, must teach not only by the extraordinary pronouncements of ecumenical councils or Popes but also by its ordinary organs, the bishops, who will rely on the common opinions of the theologians. Yet no great original theologian, not even an Augustine or a Thomas, has been able to write extensively on theology without writing what later has been determined to be heresy. Only the Church is free from error. What is the teaching of the Church becomes itself a theological question.
  • As I do not look at doctrinal development as an automatic unfolding of the divine will, neither do I approach it as a process determined by forces capable of quantification. “Tension” and “reaction” are physical terms which may carry unintended implications of mechanical response. There was tension within the Catholic doctrine arising from the value placed on procreation and the conflicting value placed on education. In using the term “tension” I do not imply that one value had to give way. The catholic teaching on marriage was a reaction to the organized gnostic opposition to all procreation. By saying “reaction” I do not mean that the formation of the counter doctrine was inevitable, but that such doctrine had to be asserted if certain values prized by some Christians were to be preserved. “Tension” and “reaction” are ways of signaling the existence of human choices which had to be made at the cost of suppressing some possible alternatives.


  • The Church's spiritual motherhood is only achieved-the Church knows this too-through the pangs and "the labour" of childbirth (cf. Rev 12:2), that is to say, in constant tension with the forces of evil which still roam the world and affect human hearts, offering resistance to Christ: "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (Jn 1:4-5).
  • To evoke conversion and penance in man's heart and to offer him the gift of reconciliation is the specific mission of the Church (...). It is not a mission which consists merely of a few theoretical statements and the presentation of an ethical ideal unaccompanied by the energy with which to carry it out. Rather it seeks to express itself in precise ministerial functions directed toward a concrete practice of penance and reconciliation.
    • John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, n.23 (Dec 2, 1984)
  • Our words would not be an adequate expression of the thought and solicitude of the Church, Mother and Teacher of all peoples, if, after having recalled men to the observance and respect of the divine law regarding matrimony, they did not also support mankind in the honest regulation of birth amid the difficult conditions which today afflict families and peoples. The Church, in fact, cannot act differently toward men than did the Redeemer. She knows their weaknesses, she has compassion on the multitude, she welcomes sinners. But at the same time she cannot do otherwise than teach the law. For it is in fact the law of human life restored to its native truth and guided by the Spirit of God.
  • Catholics are divided on the question of whether their Catholic identity is more a matter of religion or ancestry/culture. While 45% say that for them personally, being Catholic is mainly a matter of religion (or of religion and ancestry/culture), 49% say that their Catholic identity is mainly a matter of ancestry or culture (or both). And among those in the “cultural Catholics” category, fully six-in-ten (62%) say that for them, being Catholic is mainly a matter of ancestry and/or culture.
  • The inclinations of the will, if they are bad, must be repressed from childhood, but such as are good must be fostered, and the mind, particularly of children, should be imbued with doctrines which begin with God, while the heart should be strengthened with the aids of divine grace, in the absence of which, no one can curb evil desires, nor can his discipline and formation be brought to complete perfection by the Church. For Christ has provided her with heavenly doctrines and divine sacraments, that He might make her an effectual teacher of men.
    • Pius XI, Encyclical "Divini Illius Magistri," 31 December 1929
  • Catholics continued to ascend the socioeconomic ladder. The Americanization of older European ethnics proceeded as their neighborhoods disappeared from the cities, churches in which their language was used were closed (often converted into houses of worship for black Protestants), and the residents moved to suburbia (Alba 1995, 3-18).
    The Church became more Hispanic as a result of immigration In contrast to the system of separate national parishes established to serve immigrant groups in earlier times, Hispanics were generally integrated into existing territorial congregations that were multiethnic in character.
    In the 1980s a notable realignment of Catholic voters took place. The proportion of Catholics of democratic affiliation and voting habits shrank; the ranks of Catholic Republicans and Independents increased; and the activist cadres in the Republican Party were diversified by an infusion of catholic in party and public office.
  • Catholic voters in the mid-nineties displayed their independence. In their party preference they were almost equally divided, but perhaps as many were unattached to either party as could be classified as Republican or Democrat. In their voting behavior in elections after 1968 they no longer behaved as reliable Democrats. On the other hand, after strongly backing Reagan in the election of 1984 and dividing evenly between Bush and Dukakis in 1988, they deserted Republican presidential candidates in the nineties.
    As the twentieth century closes, Catholics have, beyond a doubt, become the largest swing vote in American politics.


  • Today, we experience a dreadful spiritual crisis, a terrible, all-corrupting atheism, which results from narrow, lifeless sectarianism and from choking dogmatism, as well as from the fall of morality among the representatives of churches. We have never spoken, nor will we speak against any religion or church, as it is better to have some religion or church than none at all. But we will always protest against lack of tolerance, morality and knowledge. Priests are necessary, but they should be real spiritual leaders and should be progressive and not continue to exist in the chains of the dark ignorance of the Middle Ages. The spirit of the Inquisition is still very strong. Do you think that if Christ came again on earth now He could avoid crucifixion? At best, would He escape lynching, or imprisonment for life, with the title of Antichrist?
    • Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich Volume I: 1929-1935, (2 June 1934)
  • The Inquisition was established not just for the persecution of pitiful witches and sorcerers (mostly mediums), but for the annihilation of all the differently minded people, and all personal enemies of the representatives of the church, the latter having decided to obtain absolute power. First of all, among the so-called enemies of the church were the most enlightened minds, those who were working for the General Welfare, and the true followers of the Testaments of Christ. Indeed, the easiest way to destroy the enemy was by accusing him of being in league with the devil. This devilish psychology the so-called "Guardians of the purity of Christian Principles" attempted to instill into the consciousness of the masses in every possible way.
  • What lack of comprehension in the prayer "I, undeserving priest, by the power given to me by God, now forgive thy sins"! Yes, the forgiveness granted to the repentant sinner in exchange for his money is the greatest crime. The bribery of Divinity with gold — is it not worse than the worst forms of fetishism? This dreadful question must be discussed from every angle. Verily, this hideous ulcer is spread all over the world, in all religions.
  • Recently, the Catholic Church renewed the ancient practice of granting indulgences. And now Catholics need not even bother to make pilgrimage to Rome or elsewhere to do penance for their sins! All that is necessary is to send a certain sum for an indulgence, and thus the remittance of a fee will permit entrance into Heaven. Undoubtedly there must be a scale of prices for these indulgences, as sins vary so much. Verily, through correct estimating, a fortune might be made! Alas, can nothing put a stop to this? Are we not returning speedily to the darkness of medievalism?
  • It is essential to point out one of the chief evils of modern religious instruction, i.e., the instilling into the human consciousness a sense of irresponsibility. Precisely, a degenerating church, during the centuries, instilled into the consciousness of its flock an animal sense of irresponsibility. From childhood, people are allowed to believe that they may commit most terrible crimes because the priest, by the power given to him, can free the person of sin through confession and remission. Then, after this liberation, what is there to prevent the erring one from again committing the same sins and once more receiving remission, for perhaps a yet higher fee?
  • Indeed, by instilling into the minds of children the idea that the church, as a powerful intercessor, can for a tear of repentance and a fee give passage to the erring through the Gates of Paradise, the church commits the greatest sin. By removing from man the sense of responsibility, the church shuts him off from his Divine Origin. The church has discredited the great concept of Divine Justice. Losing the understanding of responsibility and justice, man will inevitably begin his involution, for those who fail to follow the cosmic laws are destined to deterioration.
  • Just think! Only in the sixth century A.D. was the dogma of Reincarnation rejected by the Second Council of Constantinople! Thus the contrivances of greedy and petty minds were stratified and become dogma for the following generations which did not yet dare to think independently... And there are so many affirmations in the Gospel about Reincarnation, actually in the words of Christ himself. The Fathers of the Church committed great sin by eliminating this law of the Highest Justice from the consciousness of the flocks entrusted to them.
    • Helena Roerich in Letters of Helena Roerich II, Agni Yoga (7 October 1935)
  • By propagating the dogma of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, the Church contradicts the very sense of the prayer given to us by Jesus Christ himself, "Our Father which art in heaven." And also the words of the Scriptures, "So God created man in his own image." (Genesis 1:27)
  • Franco’s Spain] and Salazar’s Portugal, both of which guided their religious life in terms of concordats with the Vatican, were never as Christian as 20th century Saudi Arabia was Mohammedan. However, Roman Catholithism had a special place in both. See, for example, the following study of Salazar’ Portugal, which praises his Catholithism. Michael Derrick, The Portugal of Salazar (New York: Campion Books, 1939). To have a sense of the way in which proper church-state relations were understood from the perspective of Roman Catholicism in the early part of the 20th century, consider the following:
    All that is essentially comprised in the union of Church and State can be thus formulated. The State should officially recognize the Catholic religion as the religion of the commonwealth; accordingly it should invite the blessing and the ceremonial participation of the Church for certain important public functions, as the opening of legislative sessions, the erection of public buildings, etc., and delegate its officials to attend certain of the more important festival celebrations of the Church; it should recognize and sanction the laws of the Church; and it should protect the rights of the Church, and the religious as well as the other rights of the Church’s members.
    • John A. Ryan and Francis J. Boland, Catholic Principles of Politics (New York: Macmillan, 1940), p 316


  • The church has ever opposed the progress of woman on the ground that her freedom would lead to immorality. We ask the church to have more confidence in women. We ask the opponents of this movement to reverse the methods of the church, which aims to keep women moral by keeping them in fear and in ignorance, and to inculcate into them a higher and truer morality based upon knowledge. And ours is the morality of knowledge. If we cannot trust woman with the knowledge of her own body, then I claim that two thousand years of Christian teaching has proved to be a failure.
  • It is evident that thought is also necessary for action. But the Church has for centuries ... focused on orthodoxy and left orthopraxis in the hands of nonmembers and nonbelievers.
  • One of the hallmarks of the Catholic tradition with certain conspicuous exceptions, has been to be in dialogue with the philosophy and science of its day and to use such insights in articulating the vision of Catholicism. Such efforts have been done better and worse. Many have taken time to evaluate the correctness or usefulness of particular articulation. But in almost all cases, because of new discoveries in science, changes in scientific theory, and the use of new philosophical frameworks, the insights and articulation of the faith of one generation have differed from those of another. Sometimes such differences have led to severe conflict. One remembers the Copernican revolution, the case of Galileo in the seventeenth century, and the tensions introduced by the rediscovery of Aristotelian science in the thirteen century. Nor can historians of medieval theology forget that that certain philosophical views of Aquinas himself were regarded as theologically dangerous by two successive archbishops of Canterbury and condemned by the bishop of Paris in 1277 on the advice of the prestigious university theological faculty, a condemnation that was lifted insofar as it applied to St. Thomas only two years after the saint’s canonization in the fourteenth century.
  • It is almost a truism to say that only the Catholic really knows the case against Catholicism, but he is handicapped by also knowing the answer to it.
    • Robert Speaight, Ronald Knox the Writer (1966). London: Sheed and Ward, p. 91


  • [W]ith his ascension to the papacy in 1978, Jon Paul II promoted a gendered theology with the dual aim of preserving the male celibate priesthood and the Church’s embattled marital morality. Increasingly, the symbolic representation of the Church as the Bride of Christ eclipsed other representations of the Church (e.g., the Church as the people of God and the sheepfold) in papal pronouncements. As discussed in Chapter 1 and 2, it also served to justify a male celibate priesthood and to support the papal call for a new Catholic feminism-one that emphasized sexual difference, glorified women’s essential role as mothers, and championed papal loyalty. Although this new feminism found few adherents among the disenchanted, it rallied members of the conservative core, such as the German theologian Simone Twents. In her 2002 book, Frau sein ist mehr: Die Wurde der Frau nach Johannes Paul II (To be woman is more: The dignity of woman according to John Paul II), she called on women to employ their “own particular genius and orientation to love” in order to help heal humankind and “not adopt male characteristics.” Archbishop Joachim Meisner of Cologne wrote the foreword to the book, offering effusive praise for Twents’s appreciation of the “fundamental anthropological dimensions of femininity” and for her delineation of a “feminine theology” that rested on the “Catholic image of woman.” The feminized Catholic Church of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, documented by numerous historians, had given way to a Church in which a gendered ideology provided the conservative core with a rallying cry against attacks from within and without. The ideology itself was not new, but in the late twentieth century it acquired a new emphasis and function, as the battle over the future direction of the Church reached feverish heights and neoconservatives worked out new political strategies for promoting official Church teachings in the secular sphere.
  • Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it seems certain that during a three hundred year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the “Holy Inquisition,“ an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy. This sure ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough for a woman to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witch, then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely disappeared from human experience. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, also suppressed the female dimension, although in a less violent way. Women's status was reduced to being child bearers and men's property. Males who denied the feminine even within themselves were now running the world, a world that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity... The female form is less rigidly encapsulated than the male, has greater openness and sensitivity toward other lifeforms, and is more attuned to the natural world... If the balance between male and female energies had not been destroyed on our planet, the ego's growth would have been greatly curtailed. We would not have declared war on nature, and we would not be so completely alienated from our Being.
  • Being a proper Catholic means being a repressed Catholic, so the kinds of images that Catholicism deals with and the kinds of native mythology create the most horrific monsters. You know when you're a kid and you're told of these stories of decapitation and mutilation and blood, but on top of this, all of these stories have a spiritual content, which is really weird, like spiritual mutilation.


  • The church shall be catholic, chaste and free: catholic in faith and the communion of saints, chaste from all contagion of evil, and free from all secular power.
    • Pope Urban II, Decree, quoted in Colin Morris, The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (1991), p. 125


  • His life as a pope was so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it.
    • Pope Victor III on Pope Benedict IX Victor III, Pope (1934), Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libelli de lite p. 141


  • He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers... He it is...that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped...claiming the highest power, and highest honour...claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone."
  • But further, and especially important: it may be, as has been claimed, that the greater participation of Protestants in the positions of ownership and management in modern economic life may today be understood, in part at least, simply as a result of the greater material wealth they have inherited. But there are certain other phenomena which cannot be explained in the same way. Thus, to mention only a few facts: there is a great difference discoverable in Baden, in Bavaria, in Hungary, in the type of higher education which Catholic parents, as opposed to Protestant, give their children. That the percentage of Catholics among the students and graduates of higher educational institutions in general lags behind their proportion of the total population, may, to be sure, be largely explicable in terms of inherited differences of wealth. But among the Catholic graduates themselves the percentage of those graduating from the institutions preparing, in particular, for technical studies and industrial and commercial occupations, but in general from those preparing for middle-class business life, lags still farther behind the percentage of Protestants. On the other hand, Catholics prefer the sort of training which the humanistic Gymnasium affords. That is a circumstance to which the above explanation does not apply, but which, on the contrary, is one reason why so few Catholics are engaged in capitalistic enterprise.
  • The smaller participation of Catholics in the modern business life of Germany is all the more striking because it runs counter to a tendency which has been observed at all times including the present. National or religious minorities which are in a position of subordination to a group of rulers are likely, through their voluntary or involuntary exclusion from positions of political influence, to be driven with peculiar force into economic activity. Their ablest members seek to satisfy the desire for recognition of their abilities in this field, since there is no opportunity in the service of the State. This has undoubtedly been true of the Poles in Russia and Eastern Prussia, who have without question been undergoing a more rapid economic advance than in Galicia, where they have been in the ascendant. It has in earlier times been true of the Huguenots in France under Louis XIV, the Nonconformists and Quakers in England, and, last but not least, the Jew for two thousand years. But the Catholics in Germany have shown no striking evidence of such a result of their position. In the past they have, unlike the Protestants, undergone no particularly prominent economic development in the times when they were persecuted or only tolerated, either in Holland or in England. On the other hand, it is a fact that the Protestants (especially certain branches of the movement to be fully discussed later) both as ruling classes and as ruled, both as majority and as minority, have shown a special tendency to develop economic rationalism which cannot be observed to the same extent among Catholics either in the one situation or in the other. Thus the principal explanation of this difference must be sought in the permanent intrinsic character of their religious beliefs, and not only in their temporary external historico-political situations. It will be our task to investigate these religions with a view to finding out what peculiarities they have or have had which might have resulted in the behavior we have described. On superficial analysis, and on the basis of certain current impressions, one might be tempted to express the difference by saying that the greater other-worldliness of Catholicism, the ascetic character of its highest ideals, must have brought up its adherents to a greater indifference toward the good things of this world. Such an explanation fits the popular tendency in the judgment of both religions. On the Protestant side it is used as a basis of criticism of those (real or imagined) ascetic ideals of the Catholic way of life, while the Catholics answer with the accusation that materialism results from the secularization of all ideals through Protestantism. One recent writer has attempted to formulate the difference of their attitudes toward economic life in the following manner: “The Catholic is quieter, having less of the acquisitive impulse; he prefers a life of the greatest possible security, even with a smaller income, to a life of risk and excitement, even though it may bring the chance of gaining honor and riches. The proverb says jokingly, ‘either eat well or sleep well’. In the present case the Protestant prefers to eat well, the Catholic to sleep undisturbed.”
  • This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of "the man of sin" foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan's power--a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.
  • How is one to explain that neither Hitler nor Himmler was ever excommunicated by the church? That Pius XII never thought it necessary, not to say indispensable, to condemn Auschwitz and Treblinka? That among the S.S. a large proportion were believers who remained faithful to their Christian ties to the end? That there were killers who went to confession between massacres? And that they all came from Christian families and had received a Christian education?
  • The pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself ... speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).
Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 77-79.
  • The discussion which was made by Luther, Melancthon, and the other persons who preceded the Reformation, opened the eyes or the public; and they got rid of the delusions which had been spread by the Pope of Rome, and emancipated mankind from the spiritual tyranny they were under, and brought about the establishment of that religion which we now enjoy in this country.
  • The popish religion is now unknown to the law of this country.
    • Lord Kenyon, Du Barre v. Livette (1791), Peake's N. P. Cases, 79.
  • Rokeby, J.: I do not think but a Popish doctor may be a good doctor to a Protestant patient; but I do not think that a Popish governor can be a good governor for a Protestant subject.
    Holt, C.J.: Aye, but a Popish censor is not so proper to supervise and inspect all the Protestant physicians.
    • King against Dr. Burrel (1699), 5 Mod. 432.
  • Englishmen have no greater enemies than the French and the Papists.
    • Pollexfen, C.J., Case of Sir Richard Grahme and others (1691), 12 How. St. Tr. 741.

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