While this is not the Pilot quiz column, every now and then a query is presented which demands an answer, such as the following. "What do you say to the charge that the Catholic Church is totalitarian as is Communism, which denies the freedom Americans enjoy?"

This query could be dismissed with the declaration that "totalitarianism" is the very opposite of the advocacy of human freedom, within the limit of Divine law, which the Catholic Church has proclaimed throughout the Christian ages. Such freedom stems from the principles of natural rights, unalienable rights, with which the Catholic Church holds man to be endowed by his Creator.  ...

The Catholic Church declares that the State exists primarily to safeguard, and to further the exercise of natural rights. This is the very opposite of "totalitarianism," which is the arrogation of all human rights by a "Politburo" under the domination of a Lenin or a Stalin. It is the regimentation of the people, the denial of the privilege of exercising their domestic, religious, educational, political, and economic rights.

The term "totalitarian" is largely of anti-Soviet Union origin; hence it is found only in dictionaries of recent origin. It is of political rather than religious significance, as noted in Webster's New-1949-Dictionary, viz: "A highly centralized government of a political group which allows no recognition or no representation to other political parties."

It were well to remind Protestant ministers of the Oxnam type [Oxnam was a liberal Protestant clergyman---the Web Master], who liken Catholicism to Communism, that the Catholic Church is, and has long been, the one and the only universal opponent of the Marxian anti-God philosophy which circumscribes the exercise of natural rights, and threatens the peace of the world. The Catholic Church condemned Communism for over a hundred years. This is evidenced by the fact that the Pope is condemned for opposition to Communism in the first paragraph of the Marxian Credo, the "Communist Manifesto," issued in 1848.

The charge that our Church is "totalitarian" is prompted by repudiation of the historic Bible-recorded fact that Christ, Our Lord, delegated the authority to continue His mission, until the end of time, to the Apostles with Peter in chief jurisdictional command, which has been continued by their successors in the Church that is now under the headship of Pope Pius XII.

The answer to the Protestant anti-Catholic "totalitarian"
charge resolves itself into the question whether Christ established a visible, organic, hierarchical Church to which He delegated His authority, such as the Catholic Church. If so, to call such an authoritative Church "totalitarian," in the derogative sense of the term, is a gross offense. It is tantamount to calling its Founder, Jesus Christ, a Stalinist Dictator.
Only by a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of texts in the Bible, the Protestant sole rule of faith, can anyone account for denial that these texts sustain the claim that the Catholic Church is the one and the only Christ-established Church. Christ's Church was to be a visible, organic Church; likened by St. Matthew to "a city (not a number of cities) on a mountain (that) cannot be hid" (5:14). It was to be made up of the Apostles under the headship of Apostle Peter, the first Pope, to whom Christ gave His "keys," which symbolized the delegated authority of ChristGOOD SHEPHERD"to bind on earth what shall be bound in Heaven" (St. Matt. 16:18-19). The granting of this centralized, delegated authority was stressed by Christ, the Good Shepherd, when He commanded Peter to "feed My lambs; feed My sheep" (St. John 21:15-17). That organic, authoritative Church, which began to function on the First Pentecost Day, was to endure "all days even to the consummation of the world (St. Matt. 28:18-20).

What Church, save our Catholic Church, has the historic credentials to prove an existence from the year 33 A.D., when the public work of Christ's Church began, until our present year 1952? To claim that that Church, with which Christ promised to remain "all days," is "totalitarian," like Communism, is a gross offense. Surely to claim the hundreds of discordant Protestant sects, the oldest one of which dates back no further than the 16th century, to be the Church, or part of the Church Christ established is contrary to historic fact and right reasoning. Christ's Church is of first century origin, against which "the gates of hell" were never "to prevail." It was to "glorify God with one mind and with one mouth" (Rom. 15:6), as does the Catholic Church.

To dub the Catholic Church "totalitarian" because she claims to exercise the authority through Pope Pius XII that Christ delegated to Peter; to so insultingly designate her because she insists upon "glorifying God, with one mind and one mouth," "binding" ; her children to the moral law, is a repudiation of Biblical and historical facts, to repeat what is said above.

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