They are not. Certain countries, whose inhabitants happen to be mainly Catholics, are characterized by frequent political upheavals, but that is a very different matter. Temperament accounts for this in some degree. Descendants of the Latin races have not the same calm self-possession of the colder and more phlegmatic northern Europeans. Again, economic prosperity in the northern peoples gave less cause for turbulence, though internal disputes are rapidly becoming a feature amongst these people also. But the Catholic religion as such is not involved in this question. Italy is at present advancing, whilst steadily restoring Catholicism after its disfavor since the revolution of 1870, a revolution produced not by Catholic but by anti-Catholic influences. Catholicism and progress are here going hand in hand. Another Catholic country could easily be on the decline. Holland has declined since it became Protestant, but no Catholic dreams of blaming Protestantism for this. We must look to natural factors to explain the natural swing of the pendulum in national and political matters. We can no more connect the rise and fall of nations with religion as such than we can judge an individual’s religion by his material well-being. Catholicism, if accepted, will result even in the temporal well-being both of individuals and of nations. If Catholicism does not seem to do so, it is because it is not being put into practice sincerely by those professing it. But we are not justified in arguing back to religion from all types of temporal well-being and progress.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty