Reviews Of Books -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 04:2 (May 1942)
Article: Reviews Of Books
Author: Anonymous


Reviews Of Books

John A. Ryan and Francis J. Boland: Catholic Principles of Politics. New York: Macmillan. 1940. viii, 366. $3.00.

This is a text book, designed for general reading, but also as a college text (p. v). To this end the authoritative Roman Catholic doctrine of the relation of the church to the state is presented by two able Roman Catholic professors. The Rev. John A. Ryan is professor of political science at Trinity College, Director of the Department of Social Action of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and the author of other volumes on politics. The Rev. Francis J. Boland is professor of politics at Notre Dame. The book carries the imprimatur of Francis J. Spellman, Archbishop of New York and has been granted the Nihil Obstat by Arthur J. Scanlan, Censor Librorum. It is thus an official treatment of an important subject, and, as such, can undoubtedly be quoted as authoritative in any discussion on Roman Catholic aims in politics. This is what chiefly gives the book great value for the Protestant reader. Let everyone who is complacent towards Romanism and who thinks that the Romish church has receded from its political opinions of the seventeenth century read this book, especially the last half of it, to discover just what the Romanists plan as the future church-state relationship for this country and for the world. The reader will find nothing new, but simply a modern re-statement of the principles which have led to the intolerance of the Roman church over the period of centuries. He will find re-published encyclicals which have been half-forgotten, and will find their utterances reaffirmed and related to modern problems.

The book is not by any means new, but it is a new edition of the book The State and the Church published in 1922. A number of its chapters long antedate 1922, however, and nearly half the book is composed of chapters quoted from earlier writers.

When a Bible-believing Protestant enters this book he is as if in a strange country. He is accustomed to finding books dealing with religious subjects full of quotations from the Scriptures. He is thus surprised to find Scripture quotations almost entirely absent (except as they are contained

in papal encyclicals), and few serious attempts to exegete biblical passages are made. When statements are made, he finds no attempt made to justify them from Scripture, and no hint that the authors regard the Scriptures as authoritative. Indeed when a few attempts at exegesis are made, the Scriptures are grossly misused. For instance, there is a free reference to Matthew 6:9 in these terms, quoted from (then) Cardinal Pacelli, “‘First of all, t...

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