The Warrant for the Children of Israel
Becoming Adopted Children of Christ in His Church

Views of Pearl Buck, G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy Thompson

The Journey from Jerusalem to Damascus; from Manichaeism to Christianity, such as St. Paul and St. Augustine made, has been repeated in varying degrees year after year ever since the birthday of the Catholic Church. Among such converts are numbered thousands of leading personages in the world of science, art, literature, education, government, etc. PEARL BUCKMany of them have suffered mentally, materially and socially for courageously making the journey from error to truth due to their judgment and sincerity being questioned.
The judgment of such converts was questioned not long ago by Pearl Buck, author and Nobel prize winner (1938), in an article that appeared in "Commentary," a Jewish monthly. She said:

"The human being is frantically trying to discover where he can belong. The phenomenal increase in church membership, especially in the Catholic Church, shows that he rushes to hide his head under the religious sands. He is often happier in the Catholic Church than the Protestant, because he needs individual strength to be a Protestant.

"The Protestants believe that a man must make his own direct relationship with God. But it takes a certain amount of courage first to believe in God and then to face Him and make communication with Him. The Catholic Church is more merciful. It provides an intermediary between timid being and God. The human being looks on the face of the priest, who is only a little lower than the Angels, and finds not so much divinity there as can terrify him. Moreover the priest speaks his language in words he can understand, and God speaks in some mysterious ways. Still better, the responsibility for understanding God is on the priest, and not on the human being. If the priest makes mistakes, it is not the human beings fault. The sands of the Catholic Church are warm and comforting to the shelterless human head."

"Happier" converts certainly are in the Catholic Church. This is due in part to having passed from theological confusion worse confounded, that is Protestantism, to theological certitude; from intellectual chaos to order, which is God's law. Their "happiness" stems from having found the straight intellectual and moral path that Christ the Lord marked out for man to follow in his journey from the cradle to the grave, on to happiness eternal. The mercifulness such converts contact is the mercifulness of Christ Who, during His sojourn on earth, established the Church in which converts become one with Him.

It is simply absurd to assume that the relationship of Catholics with God is marred by "hearing the Church," the teaching and shriving body of bishops and priests, who have the Christ-given power to "bind on earth" as is "bound in Heaven" (St. Matt. 18:17-18). Such relationship is aided, instead of hindered, by giving ear to the priests, who are "ambassadors of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20); priests whom Christ delegated to teach all nations, during all time (St. Matt. 28:18-20). It is simply absurd to assume that Catholics do not go to God directly, because they also go to Him through His "ambassadors" when, after examining their conscience and praying God to forgive them for their transgressions, they confess to priests, and obtain the absolution Christ empowered them to bestow, when He said "whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them" (St. John 20:23).

The "responsibility of understanding God" is great, as Pearl Buck said, but that responsibility is not limited to priests. It is a personal responsibility of every "human being;" and it is more fully insisted upon in the Catholic Church than in Protestant churches.

This is realized by prospective converts, whom the Catholic Church obligates to take a course of instruction in the "understanding of God" before being admitted to membership. This is not required of persons joining Protestant churches.
The rush from Protestantism to the Catholic Church, noted by the lady author in her article, is not to "hide under religious sands," as she assumes, but to stand upon the unshakable rock foundation of Christian truth. Indeed the state of such converts is "warm and comforting." This is due to their being incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ; and thus partaking of the Sacraments Christ instituted, that give warmth and comfort to their souls.
Pearl Buck's dissertation merely echoes the general Protestant assumption of intellectual and spiritual superiority. When G. K. Chesterton, the English literary genius, became a Catholic, a writer with a Pearl Buck slant, said: "A man becoming a Catholic leaves his responsibility at the threshold of the church and is converted to save the trouble of thinking."

 Replying, G. K. said: "Euclid does not save geometricians the trouble of thinking when he insists upon absolute definitions and unalterable axioms. On the contrary, he gives them the trouble of thinking logically ... The dogmas of the Church limit thought about as much as the dogma of the solar system limits physical science. It is not the arrest of thought, but a fertile basis and constant provocation of thought."
Dorothy Thompson attributed "the increasing number of influential Americans who have joined or are taking instructions in preparation to joining the Catholic Church" to it being supranational and supereconomic, a unity with diversity, a house of many mansions, open to rich and poor, worker and employer, Saint and sinner, carrying authority of survival over two millenia, confessor of the wayward, admonisher of dictators and kings, speaking all languages, conscious of human frailty and human glory, offerer of refuge for body, soul and senses, demanding and receiving discipline without any police or concentration camp, welcoming Jew and Gentile, bond and free, in the name of and in service to the Prince of Peace ... before the spirit and symbol of Whom the Pope himself must kneel."