Radio Replies is more than a gem; it’s an apologetic gold mine. Father Charles Rumble was the original Catholic radio apologist in the 1920s and 30s. His answers to a whopping 4,374 questions were originally published as a three volume set. Todd Aglialoro (editor of Catholic Answers Press) has now produced a one-volume abridgment consisting of 836 answers to the most important questions facing today's apologist.
I was thrilled that Catholic Answers retained Abp. Fulton J. Sheen's Introduction to the First Edition. (Sheen was but a “lowly” Monsignor at the time). You are no doubt familiar with his quote, “There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church...” Well, this is the source! By themselves, Sheen’s nine pages are worth the price of the book: “If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world…Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned.” The Introduction is a masterpiece and yet, only an appetizer to the feast that follows.
Father Rumble used his immense knowledge, keen reason, and razor-sharp wit to succinctly answer questions as relevant today as they were almost a century ago. He tackled questions of faith and science, God’s triune nature, the Incarnation, sacraments, authority of the Church, and Blessed Mother. He answered the same questions of morality – contraception, euthanasia, overpopulation, abortion, suicide – that we face on a daily basis, even addressing matters of social justice. I found myself amazed, time and again, at the way Rumbles’ answers became part of our modern apologetic patrimony. Like Catholic Answers-Live today, no topic was off limits.