WE CATHOLICS ... ARE APT to grow exasperated at the continued existence of other religious bodies, and to ask God why he allows people to go on believing in these half-truths, to the dishonour of the Catholic Church. We forget that God, in his Providence, may permit these other religious bodies to exist, and even to flourish; for the reason, if for no other, that their existence is in some sort of a protection to the Catholic Church, in days when the atheist and the materialist are making such determined attacks upon every form of organized religion. Is it possible that the Protestant Christianity of our country, instead of being a menace to us Catholics, as it was in the centuries gone by, is now a protection to the Church, a breakwater against the flood of infidelity, a gourd whose shadow stands between it and the glare of the world's sun? Are we sure that we want the breakwater destroyed, the gourd withered away, so soon?
We cannot expect to live much longer under the shadow of the other Christianities; as time goes on, we shall have to face, more and more, the glare of the world's hostility. For that reason, we must rally closer than ever round our bishops, our clergy, our churches, our schools; we must be active Catholics, instructed Catholics, if need be combative Catholics, to meet the demands of the new age. And in the meanwhile, let us beg the prayers of our blessed Lady and of the English martyrs, that more and more of our fellow countrymen may receive the gift of faith, and be brought out of images and shadows into that eternal Truth whose guardian on earth is the one Holy Catholic Church of Christ.
- Ronald A. Knox