|Photo: Morning Mass|
Location: San Juan Capistrano Mission, San Antonio, Texas, 1945
Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt
But why change one's religion? Why reenter the Catholic Church? Isn't one religion as good as another? The plain answer to this important question is an emphatic, No. This saying for the most part is the work of those who in reality are indifferent to all religion, and make this an excuse for their indifference. A little reasoning should suffice to prove that one religion is not as good as another religion. If it were there would have been no need of Christianity in the first place. For there were other religions existing upon earth at the time Christ established His Church. There were Confucianism and Buddhism and Judaism and Paganism. Were one religion as good as another, it would have been sufficient for God to have allowed these religions to function without establishing another. Christ, however, did establish another.
In His dealings with man, God has always been definite and exact. After the fall of Adam, God promised that in due time He would send a Redeemer to satisfy for man's sin. But in order to keep the knowledge of the one, true God among men until that time, God called Abraham to be the father of His chosen people. Hence he established the Jews as the one true and divinely appointed guardian of His law until He should send the promised Messias. The Jewish Church, then, was the one, true religion up to the time of Christ. God Himself then gives the answer to the question, "Is not one religion as good as another?" He Himself established one religion as the true religion up to the coming of Christ. Christ in His turn established but one Church, and He proclaimed that that Church would last to the end of time. "Thou art Peter," He says, "and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16, 18.) Christ said "Church" not "Churches", and He meant church, not churches. And again He says: "And there shall be one Fold and one Shepherd."
It is evident from many other considerations that there can be but one, true religion. As there is only one God, there can be but one, true worship of God. Truth itself is one, and it cannot be contradictory. At one and the same time, two and two cannot be four and six and nine. If it were, what confusion would result in the field of mathematics. In the field of morality, what terrible evils would result if it were equally good and true to murder one's parents and to protect their lives. Likewise were it equally true that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and not the Son of God, if it were equally true that Baptism is a Sacrament and absolutely necessary for salvation and neither a Sacrament nor necessary for salvation, what doubt, uncertainty and confusion would arise in the minds of Christians. The disastrous state of division and disunion that exists in the Christian sects outside the Catholic Church today is partly the result of following the theory that one religion is as good as another. Christ manifestly would not come upon earth to found fifty-seven different churches teaching different doctrines to confuse men's minds. He came upon earth to found the one true Church that would be the one sure and safe path to salvation.