Fishers of Men

\”Come, follow me,\” Jesus said, \”and I will make you fishers of men.\”

Our Non-Catholic Neighbors

Source:  OUR FAITH & THE FACTS, compiled by Rev. C. F. Donovan, M.A., published by Patrick L. Baine of Chicago, 1927 – Chapter 11, pages 217-228. 

In thus presenting a summary of the main articles of belief in the different denominations into which our non-Catholic neighbors are grouped, it will be understood that it is impossible to particularly describe each one because of the many changes which have taken place since the days of the first Protestant. In the short space of a few years after Luther’s time more than one hundred different sects were known. Others have developed since that time, of course. Only the better known denominations are listed here. And it is possible that some one of our friends does not subscribe to all that teachings outlined for his particular body. Allowance must be made for changes in locality and other changes sure to follow such freedom or opinion. Statistics are given elsewhere. No attempt is made at refutation. The doctrine of the Catholic Church on any point may also be located elsewhere in this volume.


Lutheranism, the oldest of the Protestant sects, was founded in Wittenberg by Martin Luther (described elsewhere). His followers accept the authority of the Scriptures as modified, and the Nicene, Apostles and Athanasian creeds. The Scriptures are the sole Rule of Faith. Justification by Faith alone, with a denial of Purgatory and confession, consubstantiation, meaning the Real Presence in a union, not hypostatic but transcendent and mysterious, form the substantial doctrines. Different shades of belief are found, the orthodox who hold to confession, and the semi-infidel theologians who deny the authority of the Scriptures. There are many different Evangelical churches, secession having been numerous and frequent since Luther’s time.


Methodism, the outgrowth of teachings by John Wesley, 1739, was presented to the world in 1743 in twenty-five articles adapted from the thirty-nine articles of the church or England. Twenty-four were adapted for the Methodists in America at Baltimore 1784. Inspired scriptures are the sole and sufficient Rule of Faith and practice. The Trinity and the Divinity of Christ are upheld. Man’s co-operation with the Divine Gift of Grace is necessary for Salvation. Grace is a remedy for Original Sin and the tendency to sin in man. Justification by Faith is taught, and the performance of good works is commended. The doctrine of works supererogation is condemned. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are admitted, baptism, strengthening Faith, but does not produce sanctifying grace in the soul. Eucharist is a memorial of the Passion and Death of our Lord, who is not really present, but is received in a spiritual manner. Christians may react a state of holiness which excludes all voluntary offence against God. The Methodists are strict observers of the Lord’s Day, and are especially strict in abstinence from intoxicants. They believe in plain, inexpensive apparel and discourage worldly amusements. They are aggressive in their work of spreading their teachings. Theirs is an abridgement of the church service found in the Book of Common Prayer. Their bishops are for administrative purposes only, there being  no superiority in ordination. Deacons and Elders are active in church management.

Methodist  Branches

The Free Methodists are a branch protesting against the abandonment of early Methodist ideals. They have no bishops, exclude the members of secret societies from membership in the church, forbid use of tobacco and the wearing of rich apparel.

The Colored Methodists organized for themselves in America in 1796. They have many bodies, separate and independent, yet differ in no essential detail from the parent body.

Some branches are the Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, Congregational Methodists, Independent Methodists, most of which originated in America in recent years.


The Protestant Episcopal Church, known as the Episcopalian Church, is a branch of the English Church, established in America. This church originated with the Reformation in England. They claim to be baptised members of the Church of Christ. They accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, holding them in their own translation, as the sole and supreme rule of faith. The Book of Common Prayer is the practical rule of belief and worship, using in it the three Creeds, the Apostles, the Nicene and the Athanasian. They have two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which they hold as generally necessary. They claim Apostolic Succession and a validly ordained ministry, believing that theirs is a reformed part of the church established by Christ. The King is the head of the church. The clergy assent to the Thirty-nine Articles before ordination. The laity are not bound to accept them, being asked to assent to the Apostles’ Creed only. Latitude is permitted in belief as to the nature of the Bible’s inspiration.

In America, the Episcopalians are better known in divisions called the “High Church” and the “Low Church.” The High Church followers desire Apostolic Succession, and are intellectual rather than emotional, laying stress upon their outward church organization, and are known for their desire to keep up all Catholic Church practices, introducing confession, the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and of the Saints and other features long ago discarded by their ancestors. The Low Church people desire more to fraternize with the other progeny of the reformation period, and utterly refuse the innovations of their more advanced friends. They claim that Apostolic succession is not at all necessary for their belief and refuse to further the evident desire of the High Church faction for reunion with the original church. The claims of certain Anglicans to apostolic succession are considered elsewhere under “Wyclif and the Lollards,” and “Anglican Orders.”


Presbyterianism means a system of church government by representatives of the congregations, and was thus called by Calvin, the founder. Their standard is set by the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechism of 1647, with the contents modified. Government by presbyteries is the chief feature, added to Calvin’s strict ideas of theology and the absence of prescribed forms of worship. It holds all clergymen as equals, but authority rests with the presbyteries, having four grades of administration, the Sessions, governing one congregation;  the Synod, governing a larger group of churches, and the General Assembly, which is the highest court. There are ruling elders and deacons selected by the congregation. The pastors are called to different places. Their theology gives precedence to predestination, teaches the total depravity of fallen man and the exclusion of the non-elect from the benefits of Christ’s atonement. This last has been recently disavowed, although still held by old-time Presbyterians. Baptism is necessary, not as a means of salvation, but because it has been commanded. Christ is present in the Last Supper, effectively only for believers. There are no invariable forms of worship, and although some are advised, their use is optional. Their services are very simple. Instrumental music is not allowed in some places. Communion is administered at certain intervals, the days being prescribed by the officers of the church.

The Reformed Presbyterians are a development of the Old Covenanters, Church of Scotland, sometimes called the Cameronians, The Seceders, also a branch of the Scottish Church are in America. The Welsh people settled in this country. Then there are the New School and the Old School Presbyterians, Regular Presbyterians and Associated Presbyterians.


The Baptists, so-called because of their adherence to this form of entry into the church, follow the Philadelphia Confession of 1742, and adaptation from the Presbyterians. Members make profession of faith at introduction to the church, which includes baptism by immersion, (see article on Baptism by Immersion). They consider the Scriptures as the sole rule of faith and practice, although individuals enjoy unrestricted freedom in interpretation. They reject infant baptism, yet insist upon Baptism for adults, which with the Eucharist, forms the sum of their sacraments. These are mere symbols not producing grace at all. The Lord’s Supper, merely sets forth the death of Christ as the sustaining power of the believer’s life. Only church members are admitted to it, called close communion, which is being, modified, however. Church officers are elected. Ministers are ordained by councils of ministers from neighboring churches. Each church is in control of its own affairs.

The Free Will Baptists are American in origin but differ little from the old country Baptists. The Hard Shell Baptists are opposed to Missions, Sunday Schools and in general to human religious institutions. The Seventh-Day Baptists, Six Principle Baptists, Old – Two – Seed – in – the – Spirit -Predestinarian Baptists, Winnebrennarians and Campbellites, known as Disciples of Christ, are branches.


The Congregationalists are an outgrowth of the Anglican State Church, becoming known as “Disenters” under Cromwell. Robert Brown was a pioneer leader. They are known, too, as the “Independents,” and then, among the Puritans when under Brewster and Carver, they came in the Mayflower to New England, their present name developed. The Savoy Declaration of 1658 forms the groundwork of their belief. The elect are called individually by the Lord, and commanded to walk in particular societies or churches. Each church is to conduct its own affairs, with officers elected and solemnly set apart for their duties by a ceremony of fasting and prayer. There is also imposition of hands by the elders. Consent of the church  is required for all new members, and power is held to excommunicate all disorderly members. Dissatisfied members can transfer to another church at will. Members of other denominations are received into occasional  communion upon recommendation. At first distinctly Calvinistic the Congregationalists have drifted more and more towards rationalism of the Unitarian type. They differ with the Baptists in conceding to parents the right of having children baptised in infancy.


The Unitarians are an association of those who reject belief in the  Blessed Trinity. They originated among the Congregationalists in New England, although their ideas are traced to an earlier date in Europe. No standard of belief is recognized, and no doctrinal tests are made as a condition of membership. Each member enjoys complete freedom in  his individual religious opinions, hence no set of doctrines can be framed. Authority of the Bible is retained in varying degree, according  as reason accepts or rejects its teachings. Jesus is a teacher to be followed, not a God to be worshipped. The Sacraments are suppressed, two of them only being tolerated but declared unnecessary. It is a natural religion with a tendency towards Pantheism.

Disciples  of  Christ

The Disciples of Christ, “Cambellites,” date from the early part of the nineteenth century. They hold to the Bible alone without creeds of any kind. The Campbells, father and son, were originators.

Ethical  Culture

The Society of Ethical Culture, founded by Felix Adler, in New York, 1876, urges the “improvement of the moral life of its members and of the community, without regard to theological or philosophical opinions.” They believe this can be done without religion; in fact many members are openly antagonistic to religion. They would do away with all religion in education. True Christians know that without Divine Grace, without frequent reception of the Sacraments and prayer, a morally good life for any considerable length of time is impossible.


The Universalists are a product of this country, their teachings developed from Relly of England, by John Murray, 1870. They believe in the final salvation of all souls, adapting their tenets from the General Covenant at Winchester, N. H., in 1803. They believe also that the Scriptures reveal the character of God, and the duty, interests and destiny of man. They hold that there is on God whose nature is “Love,” revealed in Jesus Christ, and that holiness and happiness are inseparably connected. Although there is much variation in viewpoint amongst them, generally they hold that all men will be saved. They do not believe in hell. Punishment in the other world, if any, will be only temporary.



The Adventists are a sect begun by William Miller, in 1833, with six bodies existing today, holding a common belief in the near return of Christ in person. After much study of the prophecies, Miller decreed this return for the year 1843, with assurance of the end of the world at that time. Again the  next year his followers prepared for the end of the world, and after that came the break in the ranks. The Adventists are congregational in church government; they hold to a belief that the dead remain unconscious until Judgment, when the wicked will be destroyed. The Seventh Day Adventists hold the old Sabbath day as the Day of Rest.


The Society of Friends, called Quakers, is an English-American sect founded by George Fox, in Leicester, England, in 1624. It is the outgrowth of imaginings at variance with all churches, creeds and denominations. Fox’s entire dogma was that of the “inner light,” communicated directly to man by Christ. The sole supreme duty of man is to obey the voice of Christ speaking within the soul. Rites, sacraments and observances are discarded; interpretation of the Scriptures is made through this “light.” Oaths are Illicit; titles of honor to a superior are wrong; war, even if defensive, is unlawful. The drama, field sports, music and art are rejected as unbecoming a Christian. Simplicity of dress is required with a total absence of ornament. Their meeting-houses are bare and without decoration, despising what they call “steeplehouses.” They worship in silence until the “spirit” moves some one to “give testimony.” Their belief is expounded in the Creed, and their church government modeled on the Presbyterian system. The Quakers figure prominently in American history, especially in Pennsylvania, where one of their leaders, William Penn, gave his name to that state. There are now the Orthodox, the Hicksite, Wilburite and the Primitive Quakers, which are called dissenting sects.


The Dunkards are a sect of German Baptists, who admit regular baptist teachings, only in addition, the candidate is required to kneel in the water for the ceremony of Baptism, and is dipped forward three separate times in recognition of the Trinity. Communion is administered in the evening with the love-feast of agape, followed by the kiss of charity. Foot-washing takes place on special occasions. They refuse to take oath, to bear arms and to engage in law-suits.


The Shakers, an outgrowth of the Quakers, live in communities. They are followers of Mother Ann Lee, the “elect lady,” who came from England in 1774. The name is an indication of the activity of the body under religious excitement. They hold all property in common, take meals together, arise at the same hour and go through the various activities of the day in common. They have uniform modes of dress, plain and severe in appearance. They live a strict rule, discouraging the use of tobacco and alcohol, with no attempt at police surveillance, no law courts or judges. They practice celibacy and endeavor to avoid “all worldly usages, manners, customs and affections.” Membership comes from revival attendance, and from homeless children cared for by the settlement. They have existed at Mr. Lebanon, N. Y., for  more than one hundred years with many signs of successful effort. A colony in Kentucky, with property valued at one million dollars, recently reverted to the state.


The Mennonites are a Swiss Protestant sect, taking its  name from its leader in Holland, Menno Simmonis. They forbid shaving, the use of buttons on clothing, repudiate infant baptism, refuse to take oaths, to bear arms, and abhore law courts and civil office holding. Non-resistance to violence is an important principle with them. Baptism of adults is retained, and the Lord’s Supper, in which Jesus Christ is not believed to be really present. All of these views are not held by all of the twelve branches known in America. The government is by deacons, elders and bishops. They favor regular revivals in camp meetings in which exhortations take place. Impenitent sinners who refuse the exhortation are excommunicated.


The Mormons, “The Latter-Day Saints,” were founded early in the nineteenth century by Joseph Smith, 1823. Induced by a religious revival, according to his own statement, there came to him the revelation of an ancient record containing the fullness of the Gospel of Christ. His messenger of inspiration was called Moroni, who in life had been a prophet, the son of Mormon, the compiler of the record, which was to be found near Manchester, N. H. Joseph Smith received the record in 1827, he says, which proved to be a book of gold plates about six by eight inches and six inches thick. The outcome was the publishing of the Book of Mormon, by Smith in 1830, in which eleven witnesses claim to have seen the original plates. Three of these later declared their testimony to have been false, one of them being Cowdery who was especially active in the early days of Mormonism. Smith and Cowdery were declared ordained with power to preach faith and repentance, to baptise by immersion, to administer the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, to lay on hands and to bestow the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon shared place with the Bible as the Word of God. Active in missionary work, and beginning in New York State, they proceeded westward, working among the settlers, who became bitterly antagonistic to them, and among the Indians. Attempts at “Communal” settlements failed until the Salt Lake region was reached in 1847. Hostility towards the Mormons was provoked because of their teachings on the question of polygamy, or plural marriage. Congress prohibited this practice, and later Utah was received into the Union. Mormonism is claimed to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord, awaiting Him in the new Jerusalem. Officers in the church are elected, women voting with the men. There are twelve “apostles” in charge, a committee assisting. A presiding patriarch blesses the people, whose members in later years have been augmented by recruits made in England through a vigorous propaganda being carried on there. Mormons dream of a happy Millenium when the Savior will dwell and reign on earth in peace and happiness for one thousand years. They claim to believe in the Blessed Trinity, that Christ is the Son of God and that all men may be saved through the atonement of Christ, yet there is absolutely no spirituality among them.


The Dowieties, a sect founded by John Alexander Dowie in 1896, are settled in a form of community life at Zion City, Illinois. This was a thriving little city in the last years of the founder’s life, and is a tribute to his wonderful personality, having been built and planned by himself almost unaided. Dowie professed to represent a second coming to earth of the prophet, Elias. He claimed the power of “divine healing,” conducting services in an enormous temple which he filled regularly. His teachings embraced the simple life. He forbade the use of tobacco and alcoholic liquors and encouraged some forms of community life. The different large buildings, the “hospice,” and the factories erected by him, the homes made on land to which he surrendered only a restricted title are indications of the influence he exercised over his followers. He died while planning further developments in the South. His work was continued, under great difficulty by a lieutenant, Voliva, but the influence of the leader being gone, dissensions arose which have caused the steady decline of prosperity in the settlement. Secret societies were never tolerated in Zion, theaters were prohibited, the keeping of pigs and the use of swine flesh was forbidden. Dowieites believe in the Blessed Trinity, adore Jesus Christ and revere the Bible. Some refuse to acknowledge Voliva as General Overseer.


Communistic Settlements, made by communistic religious societies of Europe came first to America in 1848, when Etienne Cabet settled at Icaria, Texas, moving later to Nauvoo, Ill., and to Cheltenham, near St. Louis, and to southern Iowa. The Ephrata Community of Pennsylvania was founded in 1732 by Beissel, but never exceeded three hundred in membership. The Shakers of Mt. Lebanon, N. Y., are described elsewhere. The Harmonists (Penn. 1805), and the Separatist (Ohio, 1818), the New Harmonists (Indians, 1825), the Oneida colony (N. Y., 1848) and about thirty or forty others were founded throughout the country with indifferent success for brief periods of time. The Amana Community (Iowa, 1855), is the largest community in existence for any great length of time, numbering about eighteen hundred members, and living in apparent successful effort in their ideals.

These societies were mostly religious in conviction and practices. Many of their founders were regarded as prophets. The bond of religion alone held them together, and the ascetic methods of living which they practiced helped very materially in their concord. Nearly all of them enjoined celibacy, or at least preferred it. They were selected men and women, who being filled with religious enthusiasm, were ready for the sacrifices demanded of them. Their aims and ideals were high. Their leaders were able men, magnetic and eloquent, all of which accounted for their varying and temporary success. (See article on Communism).


The Moravians (Bohemian Brethren) were founded in Bohemia 1457, but disbanded later, to be reorganized about 1722. They place life before creeds, seeking to “exemplify the living church of Christ, consisting of regenerated men and women, while they afford a common meeting place for Christians who apprehend dogmas differently.” Personal faith in the crucified Savior is the only rule of Faith, but “nothing is positive as to mode of inspiration.” Trinity, the Fall, Original Sin and Total Depravity are admitted, but “discussion about them is shunned.” Love-feasts are held, feet-washing is part of their service. Couples are selected for marriage by lot, and a general confession of sin is encouraged.

They believe in Justification by Faith alone, prayer, sanctifying grace, Judgment, the Resurrection, Hell and Heaven, and the order of the ministry, — tenets which all Moravians must accept. It is an outgrowth of the Hussites and the Lollards, which came to  America in 1734. They are active and progressive, conducting Sunday schools intwo separate provinces, and especially active in foreign missions.


The Waldenses take their name from Waldes, who lived about 1176, and sought a return to “primitive Christianity.” Their claims to origin in the days of the Apostles have been disproved. They profess poverty, and endeavored to react against what they called “outward display and the splendor of churches.” In time they grew to deny the doctrine of Purgatory, Indulgences, Prayers for the dead and other teachings of the Church. They refused to take oaths, considered the shedding of blood unlawful and denounced lying as one of their principal tenets. Drifting farther and farther, they  now are known as a distinctly protestant sect of the Calvinistic type. They recognize only two sacraments. Their government is congregational in character, being known in three distinct settlements in America.

The  Salvation  Army

Under this name has come to be known a religious organization founded in England in 1865 by Wm. Booth, known then as the Christian Mission. Booth was a Methodist clergyman who gave up a parish for the new effort. It was an attempt to bring religion into a shelter started in the slum district of a large city for the benefit of the poor. When it developed, in 1878, in other places, it became known as Salvation Army, and its leader as “General” Booth. Its design was to reach the poor and neglected classes by going into the districts where they lived, attracting attention by means of bands, processions, singing and shouting of prayers. Then, having drawn a crowd, they proceeded to the meeting-house, or “barracks,” where their ideas of repentance, forgiveness and redemption were preached. The congregation is called a “corps,” the preachers “officers,” the prayers, “knee-drills.” Nothing further in religious teaching was advocated and these were made easy. Only to believe Jesus was sufficient. The Sacraments were unnecessary. Various philanthropic labors were started by Booth in England, which spread to this country, under the leadership of his sons and daughters. Men and women are equally eligible for membership in an organization which was semi-military in its ideas. They wore a distinctive uniform always, lived among the poor they set out to help and in many places set up houses for the relief to the poor and needy. Since the death of the old “General” the organization dwindled, although it recovered somewhat in popular esteem through war services. Dissensions of leaders brought about a branch in this country, called the “Volunteers of America,” organized by one of the younger Booths.

The  World  and Its  Religion,  Numerically

The population of the entire world is computed at 1,730,000,000. Of this vast number there are about 400,000,000 Roman and Greek Catholics, 170,00,000 Protestants, 300,000,000 who practice Confucianism and Taoism, 222,000,000 Mohammedans, 211,000,000 Hindus, 158,000,000 believers in Animism, 138,000,000 Buddhists, 25,000,000 Shintoists and 13,000,000 Judaists. Other religions are listed with about 16,000,000 believers. These are approximate figures, of course.

The destiny of the population of the world may be gathered from the figures showing comparatively the residents of various continents. Asia is listed as containing 830,000,000 people;  Africa, 142,000,000;  North America, 145,000,000;  South America, 63,000,000;  Oceania, 64,00,000;  Europe, 484,000,000. There are 120 people to the square mile in Europe;  2.31 in Oceania. There are 840,000,000 whites,  171,000,000 colored and 25,000,000 Indians and half-breeds.

These figures were obtained from research by Our Sunday Visitor, from which weekly paper we also take the following facts concerning the  mission activities conducted among the different nations:

In the Catholic missions of the world there are at work (1922) 5,837 native missioners,  7,933 foreign missioners,  5,270 lay brothers,  21,320 nuns,  24,524 Catechists,  17,450 teachers — a total of 82,334 persons. There are nearly 2,000,000 pagans now under instruction in the Catholic faith.

The  Growth  of  Churches  in  America

There is a Federal Council of Churches in this country which annually compiles figures on the progress of the churches. In the year 1915 it seems that the churches did not gain members in the same proportion as figures of the year previous might indicate (782,000). In 1915 only 653,000 were added to the membership list of the churches. But if they seem disappointing, recall that the increase from 1890 to 1915 represents an increase of 91 per cent. It is a larger rate increase than the population shows in the same length of time.

Seven religious denominations increased at a rate greater than the average. Roman Catholics increased 125 per cent. Lutherans (Lutheran Synodical Conference) increased 130 per cent. The Lutheran General Synod increased 113 per cent. In these three cases immigration is set as a reason.

The Southern Presbyterian (white) and the Southern Baptist (white) show an increase of from 111 to 113 per cent. And the Episcopalians increased 96 per cent. All others showed increase, if any, less than 90 per cent.

It is noteworthy that the Latter-Day Saints of Utah, seldom heard of, increased 77 per cent from 1890 to 1915. This list is as follows:

Roman Catholic, 14,079,000;  Methodist (16 bodies put together) 7,472,000;  Baptists (15 bodies) 6,307,000;  Lutherans (21 bodies) 2,434,000;  Presbyterians (12 bodies) 2,104,000;  Disciples of Christ (2 bodies) 1,522,000; Episcopalians, 1,051,000.

Disproportion  of  Members  and  Influence

Checking up the above list one is astonished to see that the Disciples of Christ outnumber the Episcopalians. From their readiness in advertising, the frequent newspaper notices and from other sources one might judge that they were a ruling  body in America. The Christian Scientists also get enormous amount of attention from the world, yet they number only 85,000. The Unitarians appear in the limelight so often, perhaps because of Billy Sunday and his advertising methods, yet they number only 70,542. The Quakers are very well known, yet they number only 120,000. And another strange conclusion is that Schwenkfeld, a German preacher, who disagreed with Luther as to the teachings about the same time in which Luther lived, and who has been forgotten in his own country for  many years, having no followers there, has, 1,043 in the United States.

The figures given as to the Roman Catholic population do not of course agree with those compiled by the Catholic Directory which are given elsewhere in this volume.

Religious  Argument

Under no circumstances is argument about religion advised. There are too many sins of anger and hatred entailed. By all means avoid argument on religion.

A Catholic, however, should be prepared always to give reasons for the Faith that is in him, that is when asked to do so. Frequently, well-disposed non-Catholics request explanation of some point of doctrine or practice. By all means should the information be forthcoming. It is well, however, to go no farther, lest the conversation develop into futile argument and its consequences.

Answer  Defamers

The Catholic layman, however, can render service to the Church by allowing no charge against her to pass unchallenged. Sometimes we permit a firebrand to show its wares, confident that the intelligent non-Catholic can see the vileness and worthlessness. We know, also, that most non-Catholics are convinced that these speakers and writers treat Catholics “with shameful ignorance and unfairness.” But when we endure insult silently and with patience, some outside the fold may have a suspicion that we are unable to give a satisfactory answer. Due to environment and education, to repetition of calumny, some non-Catholics may and do heed that type of preacher who recognizes neither truth nor justice when treating of things Catholic. His only aim seems to be to arouse animosity and to perpetuate prejudices. And his confidence in the credulity of his auditors may be seen from his utterances, refuted a thousand times, and now only to be heard among the lowest grade of anti-Catholic polemics. Perhaps this kind of preacher craves notoriety, but when he makes a specific charge or assails unjustly and falsely our organizations he should be taught as effectively as possible, that, though patient, we are not idiots. The law has no compassion on the libeller, and we should, when necessary, bring it into play to stop the turbid eloquence that seeks to discredit and to bemire us for the delectation of some fanatics.

Religion  and  the  Radio

The question is sometimes asked whether it be wrong for a Catholic to listen in on the radio to a non-Catholic religious service that is being broadcasted. We think it hardly necessary to answer this at length. Those who take part in any religious service are persons who signify by their presence their belief in the service. People who, because of religious convictions, will take part only in the services of their own church will hardly be consistent in listening on the radio to exposition of doctrine in which they do not believe.

Religions cannot be put into the home by the radio. Sermons and church music may be accepted as pleasant pastime but they do not constitute religion, which is a conviction, the result of belief in God’s truths and of practice in the every day obligations that such belief imposes.

The best consideration of this subject we have found in “America,” from whose columns we quote the following:

Real religion welcomes every true advance of science. The rapid development of radio activity is a good thing, for it belongs to the true advance of science. It must not, however, be mixed up with another thing and a better thing, and that is religion. It may help and serve; it cannot substitute. One of the weaknesses of the modern mind is the delusion that one good thing can substitute for another. The modern mind loves science, and then with unscientific inaccuracy it would substitute science for anything and every thing. This cannot be done. As well substitute air for water or sunlight for darkness. And, least of all, can radio or any other scientific medium substitute for the medium that links the heart of man to the Heart of God.


  • Parson’s Church History

  • Alzog’s Church History

  • The Reformation, Smyth

  • Catholic Belief, Searle

  • Dr. Meyrick Booth in Hibbert Journal 

  • End of Controversy, Milner

  • Modernism, Mercier

  • Hundred Years of Irish History, O’Brien

  • Irish Sketches, Donovan

  • Is Schism Lawful, McGuire

  • Misrepresentations of History, a Sunday Visitor Pamphlet

  • Luther, Von Hartman Grisar

  • Luther, Denifle

  • English History By a Catholic Teacher: Papal Decree 1915, and comment by America, N. Y.

  • Christian Denominations, Krull


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