Attacks on the Church on the score of evil-doing, persecution, and lack of zeal could be argued indefinitely, and hopelessly confuse the issue. An element of truth may underlie some charges, and thus add complication to confusion. To satisfy the hostile critic on these and all other minor points of dispute is completely impossible, even if great erudition is enlisted in the task. The course to be taken by the legionary must be that of persistently reducing the discussion to its very simplest elements: that of insisting that God must have left to the world a message – what men call a religion: that such religion, being God’s voice, absolutely must be one, clear, consistent, unerring, and must claim divine authority.
These characteristics are to be found only in the Catholic Church. There is no other body or system which even claims to possess them. Outside the Church, there is only contradiction and confusion, so that, as Cardinal Newman crushingly puts it: “Either the Catholic religion is verily the coming of the unseen world into this, or that there is nothing positive, noting dogmatic whither we are going.”
There must be a true Church. There can only be one true Church. Where is it, if it is not the Catholic Church? Like blows, ever directed to one spot, this simple line of approach to the Truth has overwhelming effect. Its force is manifest to the simplest, is unanswerable in the hearts of the more learned, though he may continue to talk of the sins of the Church. Remind such a one briefly but gently that he proves too much. His objections tell at least as much against any other religious system as they do against the Church. If he proves the Church to be false by proving that Churchmen did wrong, then he has only succeeded in proving that there is no true religion in the world.
The day has gone when a Protestant would claim that his own particular sect had a monopoly of the truth. Nowadays he would more modestly content that all Churches possess a portion or facet of the truth. But a portion is not enough. That claim is equivalent to an assertion that there is no known truth and no way of finding it. For if a Church has certain doctrines that are true and therefore others that are untrue, what means are there for recognizing which is which; when we pick, we may take the ones that are untrue! Therefore the Church which says of its doctrines: “Some of
these are true”, is no help, no guide for the way. It has left you exactly where you were without it.
So let it be repeated until the logic penetrates: There can be but one true Church; which must not contradict itself, which must possess the whole truth; and which must be able to tell the difference between what is true and what is false.
hat tip to Anita at V-For Victory