Catholic

Power

Today

 

By

 

AVRO MANHATTAN

 

LYLE STUART—NEW YORK

 

 

 

 

 

CATHOLIC POWER TODAY

 

Copyright © 1967 by Avro Manhattan

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 67-15886

 

Published by Lyle Stuart Inc.

Typography by Toper

Manufactured in the United States of America

 

 

Digital Edition Foreword 2021

Though it is fifty-four years since this book was released, there has been no real reform in the Church of Rome, as revealed by the current Royal Commission investigating the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia. It has uncovered a tragic number of badly damaged victims, callous cover-ups and mere transfers of the perpetrators to new locations.  In this work, Manhattan exposes power-hungry mania and lying wonders of the papacy.

 

Edited and Reset by

Central Highlands Congregation of God

13th July, 2021

 

Published by

Central Highlands Christian Publications

PO Box 236 Creswick Vic 3363  Australia

info@chcpublications.net

chcpublications.net

 

 

 

 

To contemporary man

and his search

for dignity, truth,

and a genuinely peaceful,

truly united,

world of tomorrow.

 

 

By the same author:

The Catholic Church Against The Twentieth Century

The Dollar And The Vatican

Latin America And The Vatican

The Vatican in World Politics

The Vatican In Asia

Religion In Russia

Spain And The Vatican

The Vatican And The U.S.A.

The Vatican In Asia

Vatican Imperialism In The Twentieth Century

 

Later Works:

Religious Terror in Ireland

The Vatican Billions

Vietnam: Why Did We Go?

Vatican’s Holocaust: Religious Massacre in Croatia

 

 

Table of Contents

1—The Catholic Grand Master Plan of Conquest

2—The Catholic Church—a Conquering Army on the March

3—The Global Catholic Octopus

4—Sundry Patterns of Catholic Power in London, Canberra, and Washington

5—The Pattern of Catholic Power in Catholic Countries

6—Patterns of Catholic Power in the Italian Peninsula

7—The Pattern of Catholic Power in Protestant Countries

8—Pattern of Catholic Power in Great Britain and Australia

9—The Pattern of Catholic Promotion of a Catholic America

10—Pattern of the Master Church of the U.S.A.

11—Pattern of the Emerging Catholic Totalitarianism in the U.S.A.

12—The Progress of Fear in the U.S.A.

13—The Pattern of Catholic Power on a Super-Catholic Island: Malta

14—The Pattern of Catholic Power in a Non-Christian Country: South Vietnam

15—The Pattern of Catholic Power in a Super-Catholic Dictatorship: The Independent Catholic State of Croatia

16—Like the Fingerprints of God . . .

 

 

1The Catholic Grand Master Plan of Conquest

One day, sometime in the eighteenth century, the attention of a certain Frenchman, François Marie de Arouet, was directed to a case which first shook a town, then France, and finally Europe: the murder of Jean Calas, a Protestant merchant of Toulouse.

The Catholic Church had accused Calas of hanging one of his sons to prevent his becoming a Catholic, “as it was the common practice amongst Protestants.”  Calas was arrested, and the civil magistrateson ecclesiastical orders—condemned the old man to the rack, to be broken alive upon the wheel and then to be burned to ashes.  This decree was executed on March 9, 1762.

F. M. de Arouet dedicated the best part of three years to proving Calas’s complete innocence, which he did.  Simultaneously he swore to wage relentless war against a church which was capable of such murderous intolerance.  Having coined a slogan, Ecrasez l’infâme, he used it in all his books, articles, letters.  His one-man campaign eventually contributed, perhaps more than any other, to the overthrow of Catholic encroachment upon civil authority in France, and, indeed, in most of Europe in the decades to come.  François Marie de Arouet’s other name: Voltaire.

One day, also in the same century, a certain Roger Williams, while passing through Springfield Green in the North American colonies, saw a youth of fourteen being burned at the stake by the civil magistrates, under orders of the Church of England.  Roger Williams swore to fight to the utmost the Protestant church which had enjoined civil authority to enforce her religious tyranny.

Voltaire in Europe and Roger Williams in America, by openly revolting against Catholic and Protestant intolerance, had personified the will of the old and new worlds to get rid of all ecclesiastical encroachment upon civil authority.

Two hundred years later, almost to the day, the Catholic Church’s Fathers, more than two thousand five hundred of them—Abbots, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, Primates, Patriarchs, and the Pope himself—congregated at the Second Vatican Council where they advocated reunion, unity, and even “religious liberty.”

Shortly before, the Ecclesiastical Head of the Church of England—preceded by Queen Elizabeth II—had visited the Vatican (the first time an Archbishop of Canterbury had done so since 1395) followed by Calvinist, Lutheran, and other Protestant leaders.  Catholics, who up to only a few decades earlier had branded all Protestants and Orthodox “apostates, schismatics and heretics,” now addressed them as “our dear separated brethren”; while the Protestants now called the former “Romanists, Papists and idolatrous image-worshippers,” “our beloved brothers in Christ.”

The most active champion of organized Christianity had radically changed, it was said.  The Catholic Church at last had turned into a vigorous advocate of the basic tenets of freedom of conscience, of thought, of speech, and of the right of the individual to believe, to think, and to say whatever he liked.

It was truly a portent worthy of a cry, for were not these the same churches which, only eight generations before, had tortured and burned at the stake an innocent old gentleman in France and a tender fourteen-year-old youth in North America?

Indeed they were.

Had they, then, transformed themselves so radically as to be practically no longer the same institutions?

Indeed they had not.

The spirit which had animated them one thousand or barely two hundred years earlier was still within them, as alive, as potent, and as aggressive as ever.

The Protestant Reformation, when still a monolith, was as ruthlessly terroristic as its Alma Mater, the Catholic Church, which went on happily burning Protestants until 1781.  Most of the original immigrants to the North American colonies were religious refugees, terrorized by the Churches of Scotland and of England, which never hesitated to persecute, imprison, or hang whenever they had a chance.  Witness Peter Annet, English writer (died 1769), imprisoned for attacking the authenticity of the Pentateuch; or Thomas Aitkenhead, an Edinburgh student, who, having referred to the Old Testament as “Ezia’s Fables,” was hanged for blasphemy in 1696 at the age of eighteen years.

In Europe, torture was still enforced by all the Tribunals of the Holy Inquisition until the last century, the Pope having been forced to abolish it as recently as 1816.1  It was only when established Protestantism fragmented itself into a thousand-and-one conflicting denominations that (its intolerance having weakened) its power was greatly reduced.  Since then, the bulk of its members have not only accepted but advocated contemporary liberties.  Witness the flourishing multifaceted Protestantism of the United States and its evangelical movements.

Because of this, most of the Protestant denominations hailing freedom may be accepted as a genuine contributory factor to the basic democratic principles of modern man.

Their acceptance of the Vatican’s call to unity, however, is a different matter, since it jeopardizes, not so much their present, but their future existence.  Their eagerness to unite is nothing more nor less than the most concrete demonstration of their monumental ignorance of the true aims of the Catholic Church or of a deliberate attempt on their part (following some incurable attack of ecclesiastical amnesia) at collective self-extinction.

They have acted with the same lack of prudence as those rabbits, squirrels, and mice of the field who, having suddenly heard the lion roar “Brethren, let’s unite!” promptly persuaded themselves that the new recruit had miraculously developed a taste for grass.  For the astonishing facts are that the Catholic Church—unlike disintegrating established Protestantism—is expanding in size, prestige, and power.  Above all, she is more than ever resolved to fulfill her magnitudinous ambition for the subjugation of anyone outside herself.

The pursuit of such an ambition is being carried out, not in secret, but in the open.  Five hundred and fifty million beings, cemented by one single faith, organized by one single super-efficient machine, and led by one single leader, are on the march.

The Catholic Church’s numerical strength, intercontinental administration, global diplomatic network, political dominance, and intangible pressure are all being blatantly used to that end.

Whence comes such an inflexible Catholic determination to conquer?

It comes from her unshakable belief that she has been divinely commissioned to destroy error.  And, since truth can be found only within herself, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and other Christian and non-Christian religions can find salvation only within her.  For reunion in her parlance signifies only one thing: the return to the fold of all those who are separated from her.

That is not all.  The societies where such separated religions have flourished must follow suit; since truth must prevail, not only in the religious but in the moral, ethical, sociological, political, and economic fields—contemporary society being the sum of them all.  Which implies that the Catholic Church must see that truth (her truth) prevails simultaneously within and outside herself.  As this has always been, still is, and will always be, her most basic tenet, it follows that she is bound to pursue a policy directed at the ultimate fulfilment of such an aim.

But as society is in a continuous flux, the Catholic Church, while immutable in her basic tenets, cannot remain so in her policies; hence her adoption of a strategy characterized by flexibility of approach, ruthless discarding of antiquated methods, and swift implementation of new ones in harmony with the mood of the novel times.

This has been one of her most fundamental principles throughout her long history.  Thus, after her total paramountcy in the Middle Ages had induced in her a chronic spiritual lassitude, which ignited the Reformation, she fought back with the counter-Reformation, following the pattern described above.  She counter-attacked, not only with the formidable dogmatic and physical coercion of the past, but with an entirely new weapon: a vigorous army of spiritual storm troopers, the Jesuits and cognate Orders, created for the specific purpose of undermining and capturing the theological, cultural, and intellectual citadels of the newly born Protestant Europe.2

But although the new strategy, characterized by colorful diplomatic intrigues and attempted assassinations (e.g., Elizabeth of England), the summoning of maritime might (e.g., the Spanish Armada), reinforced by a relentless intellectual war upon the novel mores of Europe, succeeded in containing the rising Protestant tide, it failed to stop the advance of the new mood, the generator of the two greatest cataclysms of the eighteenth century: in the New World, the North American Revolution, with its heretical principle of separation of Church and State; in the Old, the French Revolution.

The ancient Catholic fabric disintegrated into shreds: in the Western Hemisphere, with the loss of the Spanish Empire of Central and South America; in Europe with the crashing of the ancient clerico-dynastic Establishment.

Since then, having reassembled her forces, the Catholic Church has cleverly modified her basic grand strategy, the better to confront the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the successful adoption of three interdependent principles, summarized as follows:

 

1.  Supporting any military, economic, or political force interested in the retention of the status quo, so as to crush her contemporary paramount religious or ideological opponent.

2.  Mobilizing all her religious, diplomatic, and political might to counter-attack against such an opponent, in the event of failure to crush it.

3.  Forming an alliance with it, characterized by her joining it and, in special circumstances, leading it or even jumping ahead of it, should it hallmark the age with the application of its tenets—the aims of her seeming surrender being to slow down, capture, and paralyze the enemy, in order, by insuring ultimate control from within, to stop its advance and insure her own final advancement.

 

The nineteenth century gave some brilliant demonstrations of the successful application of such strategies.  During its first decade the Catholic Church inspired, blessed, and supported the dynastic, military, and political right-wing forces of Europe to destroy the dangerous ideology of Liberalism; then, upon the collapse of the right-wing forces, she attacked the Liberal heresy with all the religious, diplomatic, and political weapons of her armory.

Liberalism and all that it stood for were anathemized.  The Syllabus of Modern Errors, issued in 1864 by Pope Pius IX, solemnly condemned freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of the press, democracy, and the like.  Catholics were forbidden to sympathize with, join, or support any political party or government advocating or inspired by such anti-Christian Liberal monstrosities under pain of sin, excommunication, and damnation.  When her military and political allies finally tumbled altogether3 and the very Papal States, including Rome, were wrenched from the Holy See,4 the Pope tried to give Liberalism a last mortal blow.
The First Vatican Council was summoned.5  A dogma, meant to strike at the very essence of the Liberal ideology, with its advocacy of reason, free inquiry, and liberty was proclaimed.  The Catholic Church put herself above all human reason, and declared her head infallible.

Notwithstanding that, Liberalism was soon to transform the whole of Europe into a political reality which nothing could stop or, even less, destroy.

Having realized this, the Catholic Church then made a sudden somersault: She set in motion the third stage of her grand master plan, and joined the irresistible Liberal tide.

The super-reactionary Pius IX, writer of the Syllabus of Modern Errors, the inspirer of Infallibility, and the excommunicator of the Liberal revolution and all it stood for, was succeeded by a new Pope: Leo XIII.

Leo not only came to terms with the triumphant ideology: He supported it within the Church herself.  Indeed, he jumped ahead of it by making the Catholic Church the spearhead of embryonic Socialism.  And soon the Catholic and non-Catholic masses were given a magnificent social Magna Carta: Leo’s epoch-making encyclical, Rerum Novarum.6

The world applauded.  The Catholic Church had become the inspirer of all progressive forces.  Long live the Catholic Church, the latest and greatest grand champion of human liberty!

Result?  Within a few decades the Catholic Church was heading a super-conservative Europe, that same Europe which, formed by reactionary Principalities, Kingdoms and Empires, was eventually to plunge mankind into World War I.7  Following its collapse as a result of the first global conflict, the Catholic Church found herself face-to-face with an even more dangerous ideology than the one she had fought in the previous century: Bolshevism.
Once more, her master strategy was set in motion.  The first phase, like that of the second decade of the preceding century, was characterized by her inspiring and supporting all secular reactionary forces who were as afraid of the Red scourge as she was herself.  Instead of the dynasties, landed classes, and super-conservatism characteristic of the nineteenth century, she now supported capitalism, super-nationalism, and their direct offspring, Fascism—the characteristic reactionary forces of the early twentieth century.8

These reactionary forces, after having successfully destroyed Bolshevism at home, ignited World War II and launched their military might against Soviet Russia, but Bolshevism emerged from the holocaust ideologically and territorially stronger than before.  The Catholic Church promptly joined a new, vigorous, anti-Red crusader, the United States of America.  Thereupon while American atomic citadels were being erected around Soviet Russia, the Church accelerated a parallel encirclement via the methodical coordination of all the religious, political, and ideological weapons at her disposal.

The second phase of her grand strategy was thus set in motion.  The result was that, while the United States embarked upon a colossal rearmament program, prompted and imitated by Soviet Russia, the Catholic Church joined the new anti-Red crusade, armed with a resurrected and belligerent political Catholicism.  Within a few years, Christian Democracy (as the latter was renamed) became the paramount political force of Europe, which it soon dominated with undisputed authority.9
But if the Catholic Church had successfully prevented Communism from seizing power, she had not (as with Liberalism in the previous century) managed to destroy its ideology.  Witness Italy, which, although dominated by successive Catholic governments, harbored the largest Communist Party in the West outside Russia.10  Christian Democracy, which had prevented Communism from capturing political power, had failed to uproot it from the heart of the masses.

The Vatican, therefore, came openly to the fore.  Catholics who supported Communism were excommunicated.  Millions were forced to vote as the Vatican dictated, to keep anticommunist (i.e., Catholic) governments in power. (See Footnote 9)

To strengthen its campaign, the Vatican channelled religious emotionalism to its anti-Red crusade.  The sinister cult of Fatima, based upon the destruction and the ultimate conversion of Red Russia, supplanted Lourdes, until then the main religious shrine of Catholicism.

Finally, Pope Pius XII (like Pope Pius IX in the previous century) promulgated another dogma: the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven (1950), followed soon by the launching of more concrete bodies outside our terrestrial globe: i.e., the first artificial satellites by Soviet Russia and the U.S.A.  (1957).  The Space Age had been inaugurated.

But Communism had become a global presence, with two Red monster super-Powers, Soviet Russia and Communist China.  In addition, the world at large was subtly but irresistibly inching towards an undisguised form of Leftism.11
While Europe, and even the United States, had embarked upon a degree of socialization, the Catholic Church herself had been infected with the Red bacilli.  The Workers/Priests movement was ruthlessly suppressed.12  Cardinals suspected of sympathy with it were promptly exiled.13

Simultaneously Asia and Africa had become decolonized.  Self-determination, freedom of the individual, of nations, of races, and of religious beliefs became the hallmark of the mid-twentieth century.

As the sixties approached with World Communism an established colossal presence in Eastern Europe, Russia, and China, democratic theory and practice the accepted basis of world democracy, and the drifting of most Christian churches towards Christian Unity, the policy of the Catholic Church was becoming dangerously outdated.

And so it came to pass that upon the disappearance of the most reactionary of her contemporary architects, Pope Pius XII (in 1958), she embarked with startling suddenness on the third phase of her grand strategy.

As in the previous century, when the super-conservative Pius IX was succeeded by the liberal Leo XIII, so now Pius XII, the supporter of Fascism, an originator of the cold war, the launcher of anathemas against anything Bolshevik, was succeeded by Pope John XXIII, the “Red Pope,” the advocate of understanding with Communism, with Protestantism, and even with the non-Christian religions.14

In 1962 the Second Vatican Council was convened, to forge an image of the Catholic Church more in tune with the times.  Liturgical modifications, ecclesiastical reforms, novel interpretations of dogmas, and a new approach to seemingly intractable problems became the key to her miraculous resurgence.  In the ideological field, her policy turned into one of cooperation with the Red foe; and in the religious area, she advocated Ecumenism, reunion, dialogues, and unity.

The Catholic Church had initiated the deployment of the third phase of her master strategy, with boldness, energy, and the will to succeed.  Once more, having lost a titanic battle against the main ideological forces of the century, she has suddenly jumped ahead of them in a brilliant endeavor to capture them from within.  Her strategy was to slow down their impetus and steer them in her own direction, with the view of employing the very forces she wished to destroy for the final promotion of her own policy.

As in the previous century, the world applauded.  The Catholic Church had become progressive at last.  Long live the Catholic Church, the latest and most energetic champion of human liberties!

Result?  Friends and foes who only a while before had looked upon her with suspicious hostility, now rallied to her side, to carry out her grand master plan.

But verily, the Catholic Church has not changed.  It is the world in which she is operating that has.  And, since she is the one and only true Church, now, perhaps even more than in antiquity, she is as irreformable as ever.

Indeed, the more so tomorrow.  She has determined to catholicize a planet, stultified by the purposelessness of the mounting spiritual poverty of the contemporary teeming multitudes of little pygmies, busy glorifying themselves in their puniness.

 

 

2The Catholic Church—a Conquering Army on the March

About one thousand years before the Christian Era, the assembled battalions of a great army, unable to capture a city after ten years of siege, concluded it could never be stormed by the coordinated might of war.  The most cunning of the besiegers’ commanders suggested that, instead of using arrows, swords, and battering rams, they startle the enemy with a sudden offer of peace.  And as a token of their genuineness, they brought to the gates a larger-than-life image, the visible symbol of the forthcoming cessation of the fratricidal hostilities.

The besieged, delighted by their foes’ sudden change of heart, let the gift in, confident that their salvation at last was sure.  And that night, as they dreamed of their coming reunion with the besiegers, a group of the enemy, hidden inside the peace token, opened the city gates and let their army in.

The citadel was captured, sacked, and destroyed, and its sleepers slaughtered to the last man before they realized what had happened.

Thus ended the famous city of Troy, which courted her own destruction by the gullibility of her inhabitants and the imprudence of her leaders.

The Catholic Church’s offer for reunion to all Christian churches not in communion with her, and of harmonious cooperation with the egalitarian-minded society of our age, is a magnified ecclesiastical Trojan Horse, a means to penetrate their citadels and accomplish their capture and final capitulation.

For, how could an army whose existence is justified solely by its determination to subjugate all outside its ranks suddenly stultify itself by accepting the rights to liberty of all those who are not yet enrolled in its battalions?  Obviously, a wise commander will consider whether the enemy’s apparent change of heart has come about because he has been defeated by the city walls or because he has chosen a subtler form of warfare.

The Trojan Horse against Protestantism is Reunion.  Against contemporary world democracy, it is the unnatural Catholic advocacy of the theory and practice of liberty.

Truth being the “unique prerogative” of the Catholic Church, a Protestant Christianity and a civil society not based upon it are, ipso facto, targets for her activities aimed at rendering whatever is not Catholic, Catholic.

Thus, since the Catholic Church considers herself as the only repository of truth, above both Protestantism and Democracy, it follows that both must conform to her teachings in religious and civil matters.

But, since religious teachings cannot be confined exclusively to religion, and, by trespassing into the moral and ethical fields, are converted into social, economic, and political dicta, it follows that the teaching Church will claim her share in the principles and practice of both the religious and the civil administration of the society in which she is operating.

For example, the Catholic Church, notwithstanding her latest concessions in the field, basically objects still to birth control, mostly on religious principles.  These have created a moral problem which by its very nature is also an ethical one.  And, since the ethics of the individual affect the society of which he is a member, the Church’s religious objection is automatically converted into a social issue.  Social problems are the responsibility of society.  But, since society is controlled by a government, and a government is made or unmade by political factors, the original religious objection to birth control has become a political problem affecting other related problems in practically all strata of contemporary society at a national and international level.

The same is true of divorce, of religious education, and related issues.

Because the Catholic Church is vigorously active in all social strata, from the purely religious to the essentially political, her campaign to influence them with her own tenets is promoted simultaneously everywhere.  In the religious field, against whatever is non-Catholic—e.g., Protestantism and Orthodoxy—in the civil, against whatever is not in tune with her.

Although her grand strategy is never the same (as the historical circumstances are always different) it is consistent, as we have already seen.  At present she has entered into its most subtle phase, characterized by the acceptance of, cooperation with, and penetration of those she is about to destroy.

Her befriending of non-Catholic denominations, her advocacy of democratic principles and even her acceptance of the reality of Communism, therefore, are not signs that she has either slowed down or ceased her warfare.  They simply represent the initiation of the spectacular promotion of the third phase of her grand strategy, epitomized in the simile of the Trojan Horse.

Those whom she intends to subjugate have, therefore, by hailing such change of tactics as a change in the Catholic Church herself, behaved exactly as the Catholic Church expected them to behave.  That is, they have made the capital mistake of interpreting a change in the prosecution of her war as a change in the nature and aims of the Catholic Church herself.  It is a fatal misjudgment which, unless rectified, will result in the further disintegration of the Protestants, with a resultant magnification of Catholic power.

The Catholic Church, being a master technician, knows this.  Hence her novel approach to a Protestantism and a culture imbued with the principles and practice of equalitarianism in all fields beginning with the religious one.  She has adopted this approach not because she has been transformed, but because she is out to transform our times.

It cannot be otherwise.  The Catholic Church of today is the Catholic Church of yesterday.  And the Catholic Church of the past will be the Catholic Church of the future as now she is of the present, because her ultimate aim is everlastingly the same: the subjugation of whatever is non-Catholic.

Why?  Because she claims to have the monopoly of divine truth—a monopoly owing to the fact that she “is a teacher incapable of error” until the end of time, as Pope Pius XI said.1  It is for the Catholic Church alone, therefore, to teach with a divine commission and by divine command that all human actions, whether of individuals or of states, must conform to Canon Law2—not only with regard to religious and moral problems, but with social and even economic ones.  The Catholic Church is more than adamant about it, having the right and the sacred duty “to deal as an authority with social and economic problems,”3 as another no less explicit papal injunction put it.
To those not pertaining to her, who might object to such a claim, the Pope states that society must conform with Catholic tenets, since “the deposit of truth entrusted to us by God and our weighty office of declaring, interpreting and urging, in season and out of season, the entire moral law, demand that both the social order and economic life be brought within our supreme jurisdiction.”4
“Moreover,” said the Pope, “As in all others where moral questions arise, the Church cannot forget or neglect its God-given mandate to watch and to teach.”5  Which includes the right of the Church to control education, since, as the Pope put it, “to watch over the entire education of her children is the Catholic Church’s inalienable right.”6
Therefore, it is the duty of Catholics to see that the dicta of their Church should rule society.  They must influence all strata according to their abilities, calling, and intellectual, social, and economic status.  Catholics must play their part, not only “in the business of municipal administration,”7 but also in national politics.  For “if they hold aloof, men whose principles offer but small guarantee for the welfare of the State will the more readily seize the reins of governments.”8  When that occurs, laws which are not in harmony with those of the Catholic Church may be promulgated.  In such a case, when laws “are manifestly at variance with Divine Law”  (i.e., “when they enact something which is harmful to the Church” or which conflicts with “duties imposed by religion,” or when the law violates “in the person of the Pope, the authority of Jesus Christ”) the Catholic should not hesitate as to which power to obey.  He must consider himself “a subject of the Church”9 first, and a subject of the State second.  For as the Pope clearly states, “to withdraw allegiance from God in order to please man is a high crime . . . it is an act of consummate wickedness . . . to disregard the rights of the Catholic Church, under pretext of observing the law of the State.”10  And, should the State be obdurate and force the Catholics to obey its laws first, then “to resist becomes a positive duty,” says, again, the Pope, “‘and to obey a crime.”11
In short, a Catholic should disregard, boycott, and fight the laws of the State, to obey those of his Church, when the laws of the State are disapproved by the Church.  This is so because, continues the Pope, “duties more numerous and of greater moment devolve on Catholics” than on other citizens.12
For, since Catholics “are subjects of the Church,”13 the Pope says, “it is amongst their duties . . . that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of the Bishops, and above all by the Apostolic See.”14  When, therefore, the interests of the Catholic Church are threatened, “all differences of opinion among Catholics should cease, and, irrespective of party, they must combine to defend religion”15—that is, the Catholic Church.
Whenever the Pope calls upon Catholics to defend the Catholic Church, either directly or indirectly, they must obey, because “belief in the Church will not be kept pure and genuine if it is not supported by belief in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome”  since Christ built His one and only Church on Peter the Rock.16  Catholics must obey the Pope in matters of faith and morals, to be sure.  And, since morals are inseparable from ethics, and ethics from social problems, social problems from political, and political from economic ones, it follows that Catholics cannot in the long run avoid being directed by the Pope via his Hierarchy in social, political, and economic issues.
Furthermore, “their obedience should be perfect,” enjoins the Pope, “because it cannot be given in shreds.”17
Why should not such obedience be given in shreds?  That is, partly?  Why should not Catholics be permitted, if they wish, to refuse obedience?  Because, the Pope explains, “union of minds requires not only a perfect accord in the one Faith, but complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff as to God Himself.18
And, in case Catholics of the future (that is, Catholics of today) should be so ignorant or so naive or so cunning as to think that present or future Popes might stultify the injunctions of their predecessors concerning the unchangeability of this most fundamental of Papal commands, the Pope clarified the matter in no uncertain terms.  Whatever the Popes “have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter teach,” he declared, “must be held with a firm grasp of the mind, and so often as occasion requires must be openly professed.”19
To prove that the Popes of the recent past were right, the Pope of the present confirmed their sayings: “Here everything speaks of authority,” said Pope Paul VI, referring to the Vatican and to himself.  “The Keys of Peter figure everywhere.  The presence of the Pope, the visible head of the Church . . . reminds everyone that there exists in the Church a supreme power which is a personal prerogative, having authority over the entire community united in the name of Christ: a power that is not only purely external, but is capable of creating or annulling internal obligations of conscience, and not indeed something left to the optional choice of the faithful, but necessary to the structure of the Church and not derived from the latter but from Christ and from God.”20

Notice the papal reminder: “. . . and not indeed something left to the optional choice of the faithful.”

Because of their inherent allegiance and obedience to the Pope, therefore, Catholics are not free citizens.  The fact that they cannot make personal decisions when dealing with certain fundamental matters means they are not even free agents and, even less, free individuals.

It cannot be otherwise.  Catholics have a dual allegiance: one to their Church, one to the State.  In that order.  When Church and State are in harmony, well and good.  When they are not, then the Catholic is conscience bound to bring the State to heel.

Catholics, therefore, by the mere fact of being Catholics, are instruments for the promotion of a ceaseless warfare against a non-Catholic society.  An armistice can be agreed upon only when such society submits to Catholic dicta or has been rendered Catholic.

Thanks to this, the average Catholic is the soldier of an army fighting a relentless campaign of subjugation and conquest against anything and anyone not conforming to it.  And this is so because, owing to the blind obedience which he owes his Church, the Catholic is ceaselessly used by her as a willing instrument wherever needed for undermining, weakening, opposing, boycotting, pressuring, and even fighting anyone and anything including the society of which he is otherwise a loyal member.

The intangible and concrete strictures of a never-ending campaign of expansion whether promoted in some obscure hamlet in the wilderness or amid the skyscrapered turbulence of a modern metropolis, whether waged against the humble or conducted against the mighty, for the benefit of Catholic nations or for the discomfort of non-Catholic ones, are there for all to see, to marvel at, and to fear.

For truly, while her opponents are feverishly identifying themselves with the glorification of trivia and the magnification of the inane, stupefied by their own splendiferous self-abasement, the Catholic Church is arraying her forces to go forth, not only as a Church militant, but as a conquering army on the march.

 

 

 

3The Global Catholic Octopus

We have, then, an army five hundred and fifty million strong, held together by a common belief, inspired by the mission of its own uniqueness, led by an infallible leader, cemented by blind obedience, whose sole objective is the total Catholicization of whatever is non-Catholic.

Its battlefield is the locality where any of its members happen to be; its time of operation twenty-four hours of each day and three hundred and sixty-five days of each year; its target anything and anyone outside the Church; its tactics and weapons as varied as human activities can be.  The extent of its front is limitless in time and in space, in depth and extent, while its battles are being waged simultaneously everywhere.

Since its battalions are stationed the world over, with its soldiers and officers in all strata of society, their method of warfare is almost as varied and limitless as their number.

If to this we add the well-disciplined ecclesiastical storm troopers, whose energies are channelled exclusively in the relentless waging of their Church’s battles, these religious and semi-religious cohorts running into hundreds of thousands, buttressed by semi-religious lay organizations, societies, clubs, and agencies humming with diversified and yet coordinated activities and all cemented by one single aim—the expansion of their Church—then we can see the gigantic impact of which they are capable.  Their influence, pressure, and power are realities which cannot be dismissed as irrelevant or exaggerated, just because they often seem tinged by the vagueness of insubstantiality.

Such apparent insubstantiality is tethered to one of the most astounding examples of concreteness in this, our most concrete-minded society.  More than one hundred and ten thousand brick and mortar monasteries, convents, palaces, seminaries, and sundry religious edifices housing over one million two hundred thousand men and women, who have dedicated their whole lives to the Church, are one aspect of it.

Another example, no less concrete, is the thirty-three thousand hospitals, some of them with the most up-to-date buildings and medical appliances, orphanages, homes for the aged, and so on, caring for an estimated sixteen million people.

There are also one hundred and sixty thousand educational establishments, ranging from grammar schools to colleges and universities, busily indoctrinating the Catholic mystique into some twenty-four or twenty-five million young minds a year throughout the world.

The whole is crowned by more than four hundred and twenty thousand cathedrals, churches, chapels, and diverse sacred buildings, wherein the five hundred and fifty million Catholics carry on their dominical rituals and wherein their religious fealty and their spiritual indoctrination are constantly activated by the commands of their Church.

Furthermore in terms of concrete wealth, the sum total of all these edifices, the ground they occupy, and suchlike financial valuations run, not into millions, but into thousands of billions of dollars, thus making the Catholic Church one of the wealthiest corporate bodies on earth.  Perhaps it is the wealthiest.

Such an immense accumulation of wealth would alone render her a body to be reckoned with.  Since money is power and the offspring of both is politics, the resultant reality is that politics in its turn is the producer of money and power at their most corrupt, and this renders the Catholic Church, directly and indirectly, a generator of political might of the first magnitude.

Yet these are the least fearsome of her attributes, since her economic and financial empires, while impressive in themselves, are nothing but the visible results of her spiritual empire from which they have derived.

The real source of her immense strength is the human element.  It is the spiritual belief with which she has energized hundreds of millions of her members.  Their accumulated energy is not a static force.  It is channelled into thousands of activities, all inspired by the Catholic Church and all terminating in her—all directed at expanding her influence in the world.

The teeming Catholic multitudes are officered by devoted and single-minded cohorts who have dedicated their lives to the hard profession of spiritual soldiering, at the end of which there is neither material reward nor repose nor laurels nor worldly acclaim, but anonymity and poverty.

The battles they fight are the battles of the Catholic Church.  The millions of peoples used are the soldiers of the Church.  The spiritual credence by which they are all imbued is the weapon of the Church.  The combined might of hundreds of thousands of these officers—monks, priests, nuns—and the hundreds of millions of Catholics they lead and command, forms the irresistible legions of the Church.  The ecclesiastical machinery by which all are coordinated is the technical weapon of the Church.  The Bishops, Archbishops, and Cardinals are the High Command of the Catholic Church.

When to this are added the intermediary organizations and semi-religious units, half lay, half ecclesiastical, and her spiritual battalions, each specialized in a given field of activity or intent on reaching a certain objective with an aggregate membership of, again, hundreds of thousands, as well as purely lay organs, societies, clubs and the like, then it is not difficult to conclude that the weight of the Catholic Church to influence our culture in practically all strata simultaneously and often overwhelmingly is one of the greatest realities of our times.

When, moreover, we remember that this colossus has not the immobility of a monolith but the flexibility of an organic unit or of an omnipresent natural element, combined with a self-renovating dynamism, inspired by unlimited ambitions, then the Catholic Church will loom upon the horizon, not only as the accumulation of billowing menacing clouds heralding portentous devastation in the fair fields of human liberties, but as a giant composed of almost indestructible forces, hovering to conquer.

She is active in a continuous process of inventing ways and means by which to counteract the equally continuous, novel multiplication of human activities in the modern world.  This she does, well knowing that in order to infiltrate and capture new citadels she will have to forge new instruments consonant with the latest moods and shades of the ever-changing world.

Thus, while continuing (although on a much diminished scale) her activities characterized by direct frontal attack, she has been relying with increasing promotional vigor upon the subtler methods of infiltration, penetration, adaptability, capture from within, the influencing of individuals and groups from behind the scenes, the using of even non-Catholic organizations to magnify her image and expand her influence.

Unquestionably, these tactics are more in tune with the times, when illiberalism is frowned upon, when tolerance of alleged discriminations is not permissive, and when too obvious illicit religious or political gains on the part of naked clericalism would be outdated, anachronistic, and increasingly difficult to maintain.

Owing to this, the Catholic Church now has adopted simultaneously with carrying on the old traditional religious organizations, a strategy of gradualness, directed at the smooth identification of her most advanced weapons of penetration.

These require special organizations formed by special individuals, well attuned to such a society.  Hence the creation of peculiarly suited religious, semi-religious, and even lay bodies whose aim is to infiltrate the various strata of our society to bring the message of the Catholic Church, to spread her influence, and eventually to give her the control of the strata thus penetrated.

The last few decades have seen the multiplication of such movements of penetration, labelled “secular institutes.”  Their members generally are people who, although laymen, have the same fervor and determination to fight for the Church as have the traditional religious orders.  Thus, while taking the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, they do not wear special clothes, have ordinary jobs, and mainly live at home.  They avoid the spotlight and keep their membership a “secret,” not only from their offices or factories, their coworkers and friends, but even from their own families.

This termite-like secret army is a vast International.  The growth of these semi-lay and lay orders, whose members are unrecognizable even to Catholics themselves, in these last few decades has been “phenomenal”—particularly in Protestant England and the United States, where they are now operating with thousands of “secret” members.

Added to these are hundreds of sundry organizations, neither religious orders in the traditional sense nor lay ones, but between the two, whose task is similar but whose members do their promotional work more by secular means than religious ones.  These are supplemented in their turn by hundreds more societies, clubs and the like, catering to all the graduations of the working communities, from plumbers and rodent-exterminating officials to rocket craftsmen and laboratory scientists.  The whole field of human activity in contemporary society is thus covered by Catholics, from the most menial and innocuous to the most responsible.

This type of Catholic termite-like promotional worker has also penetrated the labor movements the world over with the Catholic “cells” within each trade union, guild, and workers’ organization, in addition to creating separate Catholic trade unions wherever possible.

There are Catholic cells or groups or clubs or guilds in the fields of journalism, acting, writing, medicine, law and even boxing, racing, fishing, and other sports.  But, while the guilds of Catholic actors, Catholic scriptwriters, Catholic radio and television operators, Catholic journalists, Catholic cartoonists, Catholic lawyers, Catholic judges, Catholic police forces, Catholic doctors, and the like, can exert a very great influence upon the masses, the Catholic “cells” are most influential in the field of politics—local, national, and international.

Catholics have been advised by modern Popes to take an active part in politics, and they have done so with a vengeance.  It is practically impossible today to find a village, a town, a government, or an international organization, including the United Nations, where there are not active Catholic “cells.”

We shall not deal here with Catholic countries, since it is obvious that there the Church will have seen to it that political power is vested in the right hands, but we will refer to countries with large Protestant populations, such as Holland and Germany, where Catholics have been holding the reins of government for years.  As mentioned elsewhere, ten or fifteen years after the end of World War II, the whole of Europe was dominated by Catholic parties, most of them in power, and to a great extent it is so dominated now.

Such domination is not a peculiarity of the old continent.  The Western Hemisphere is not immune from the same danger.  South and Central America in that respect have been worse than Europe.  But, even there, the old Catholic clericalism is no longer sufficient to guarantee the Church’s dominance, since the Latin American masses are becoming slowly more politically and socially conscious.  Hence the Vatican’s planting of the first dangerous seed of contemporary political Catholicism, with enormous success.  The first to come to fruition was in Chile, where the first Latin American Christian Democratic Party took office in 1964.  The following, year, its Christian Democratic President visited his counterparts in Europe, ending with personal consultations with the Pope.

North America, too, has been attacked by political Catholicism, although this has not come out into the open as an official or even semi-official political party.  The omens, however, are there.  The Catholic vote is already a serious political reality.  The most spectacular result of recent years, of course, was the election of the first Catholic President of the United States.  Without the tremendous open and semi-secret mobilization of the Catholic vote, President John F. Kennedy would never have seen the White House.1  A factor which has profoundly affected American politics is that the Catholic vote can disrupt all the calculations of the two major parties.  For the American Catholic, like any other Catholic, will “jump” the party line to vote for a Catholic candidate, as proved during the Kennedy presidential campaign and since then in local and national elections.

If, then, we cast a panoramic glance at the Catholic penetration of contemporary society, we see that the Catholic Church has at her disposal three immense, belligerent services: the ecclesiastical one, composed of religious and lay orders, monks, nuns, priests; the semi-religious and lay bodies working on the borderline of religious and in sundry lay activities; and the social and political organizations, influencing and using the professions and their social and political power to further the cause of Catholicism.

All the officers and soldiers of these—her three armies—have penetrated and are an integral part of modern society.  They form cells within cells, strata within strata, a class within a class, a political party within a political party, a government within a government, an international organization within an international organization.  In fact, Catholics form the most influential, the most powerful, the most active, and the most dangerous International of the twentieth century.

The only comparable International is the Communist one.  Of the two, the latter is less dangerous.  For, being an International generated by economic problems and supported by an ideology inspiring political principles, it is easily combated and neutralized by economic counter-measures.  Give economic justice to the masses and they will be immunized from Communism.  The Catholic International is a different proposition.  For behind it lurks the Catholic Church, out to destroy society as it stands at present, to implant in its place a Catholic society where she will rule supreme.  Everything and everyone in such a society will have to conform to Catholic tenets, starting with the spiritual ones, or be totally eliminated.  And clerical control can outdo ideological tyrannies and has outdone them many times in the past and in the present.

Thus viewed, it is evident that of the two great Internationals striving to subvert contemporary society, in the long run the more dangerous is the one which, besides aiming at subverting the economic and social fabric of modern man, is also out to sap and destroy his religious and spiritual liberties: that is, the Catholic International.

The simultaneous activities of hundreds of thousands of Catholic individuals, Catholic “cells,” and Catholic organizations, in every city, country, and continent, direct and indirect, seen and unseen, day in and day out, eventually have a cumulative effect which can influence Catholics and non-Catholics alike practically in all walks of life.

This is true particularly in communities based upon the theory and practice of democracy, since it is thanks to the democratic fabric that the Catholic Church at present is engaged in the use, or, rather, abuse, of the democratic machinery for carrying out her strategy of penetration, capture, and domination of that very society which she wishes to destroy.

A Jesuit-trained anti-democratic propagandist who certainly knew the truth of the above had no doubts about it: “It will always remain the best joke of the democratic system,” he said, “that it provides its deadly enemies with the means to destroy it.”

The Catholic Church’s main promotional activities, especially in the fields of opposition, pressure, and boycott, can range from the invisible and intangible to the most overt and direct; from the perfectly legal, the semi-legal, and the altogether illegal, to those bordering on the tyrannical.  They can be inspired by individuals, organizations, the Hierarchy, or the Vatican itself.

Witness the case of a law-abiding Dutch citizen, Dr. Terruwe, a psychiatrist, accused by no other than the Holy office, of “using morally inadmissible methods” in treating her patients, to whom she gave “morally inadmissible advice.”  Thanks to this direct condemnation by the Vatican, the doctor was practically ruined in her professional capacity and overtly boycotted as an individual.  Vatican interference caused such a storm of public indignation throughout Holland that Cardinal Alfrink, Archbishop of Utrecht, himself at last had to intervene at the Vatican.  The result was that the Vatican, to avoid serious damage to the Church’s image in Holland, where half of the population is Protestant, apologized.  Cardinal Alfrink issued a statement on its behalf to the effect that “the Holy Office regretted that Dr. Terruwe’s reputation had suffered as a result of its condemnation.” An understatement, if ever there was one.

Trivial inanity can equally be used by the Catholic Church to chastise individuals with a view to suppressing activities considered damaging to her “image.”  Witness the case of a celebrated film actress, brought before an Italian Court on allegations of indecency during the shooting of a film.  To the disappointment of many of her clerical accusers, it was eventually proved that the actress, far from being naked, was wearing flesh-colored tights.2  The flimsy prosecution, however, had a more solid objective than the flesh-colored tights of the beauteous star.  It was an indirect attempt on the part of the Catholic Church to stop for all time production of the motion picture then in progress, in which the nephew of a Catholic prelate attending the Second Vatican Council, during a visit to Rome, sees his uncle unholily seduced by a most unholy woman in the very heart of that most holy of all cities.3
What had prompted the Church’s action, however, was even far more serious.  It was another of her attempts to use an excuse—in this case the “naked” actress and the bawdy story of the Cardinal’s nephew—to impose Catholic censorship upon the whole of the Italian motion picture industry.  The Catholic Church for years had mobilized her forces to impose a heavy censorship, along the model of the one imposed by Fascism before the war.  To that end she had caused so much trouble in Parliament, using Catholic Deputies, that she brought the government to the brink of resignation on more than one occasion.4
The splendiferous inanity of feminine flesh-colored tights can assume a more serious significance when women near to the rulers of some government decide to defect in order to carry out intelligence activities against their own government on behalf of an enemy, convinced that by so doing they are helping the Catholic Church.  Witness the case of Juanita Castro, elder sister of Dr. Fidel Castro, the Cuban Prime Minister, who defected from her brother’s regime because he was “persecuting churchmen”—also because once she saw a boy carrying a banner of the Virgin beaten up by her brother’s henchmen.  Senorita Castro, too, had been acting.  But, unlike the Italian film star, she had acted for four years, not on a celluloid plot, but as an agent of that super-spy organization, the United States Central Intelligence Agency.5
In Europe, a surgeon was dismissed from his post at a Catholic-controlled hospital, St. Ludgerus, at Billerbeck, for the unpardonable felony of marrying for the second time after obtaining a divorce.  His wife, a doctor and an evangelical, was also dismissed, on the direct instructions of the Bishop of Munster.  This step was taken, although the Catholic authorities knew their action would leave the hospital without any resident doctor and that patients would have to journey ten miles to the nearest hospital.  “Church Laws are well defined,” commented Bishop Hoffner of Munster, “and those who transgress them know the consequences.6
The fact is that thanks to the Church’s “well-defined” laws, thousands of lives are ruined in many countries where such laws prevail over civil legislation or where the Church has the power to obstruct overdue reforms.  Witness super-Catholic Venezuela, plagued by illegitimacy.  There, where the Church rules supreme, forty-nine per cent of Catholic children are illegitimate.  Most of Venezuela’s Catholic mothers are unwed.  Many of them have about eight children, sometimes fathered by eight different men.7  A far cry indeed from the surgeon of Billerbeck, dismissed as an immoral man because he remarried after obtaining a legal divorce from his first wife.

The Catholic Church, however, is always adamant about certain of her laws, be it in Germany, Venezuela, or France.  In France, for instance, divorce is legal because of successive past anti-clerical governments who put the rights of the French citizens before the rights of the Church; but, even so, the Church will continue to deny people their rights in other fields.  To mention one only: that of birth control.

There she tries to impose her laws over those of the State, regardless of the welfare of French citizens, by opposing reasonable legislation which has been adopted by practically all civilized nations.  The wrecking of personal and marital happiness—indeed, the very destruction of human life—is often the direct result of her policies.  To mention only one aspect: the “safe period” method, traditionally permitted by the Catholic Church, which, far from being safe, is the generator of untold suffering.  Thus in France, a nominally Catholic country, the medical profession, instead of helping, is a contributory factor to the problem.  The reason?  French doctors either because of their Catholic convictions or for fear of being ostracized by the authorities or even by their own patients, in obedience to the Catholic Church refuse to help married couples.  The result is that in 1964, out of a total of forty thousand French doctors, only two hundred dared to prescribe contraceptive methods.8
The consequences in human suffering are appalling.  To quote the same authority: “For more than thirty years, unwanted pregnancies have followed unwanted pregnancies and abortions have followed abortions. . . .  At the time contraception was legally introduced, the number of abortions in France was estimated at half the total number of pregnancies.”9
That is not all.  The Catholic Church will try to impose her laws upon non-Catholic and, indeed, non-Christian nations.  In Japan, for example, she has been trying in league with others to change the country’s laws, which permit legal abortion.  One of her main supporters has been none other than a Japanese Ambassador, Seijiro Yoshizawa, Catholic vice-president of the campaign (June, 1964).  In India, the Catholic Church has tried for years, by moral and immoral means, to have her own way.  We have related in another book how the Indian Health Minister, under Nehru, boycotted the Family Planning campaign sponsored by the Indian government to keep down the enormous birth rate.  This the Catholic Church was able to do by using specious devices, owing to the simple fact that the Health Minister was a fervent Catholic and, therefore, obeyed the laws of his Church first and those of the Indian government second.10
The result of enforced Catholic policy can be seen in the overwhelming growth of the population of Catholic countries.  In Catholic Latin America, for instance, the increase in population is at an average rate of 3.2 per cent each year, as compared with 2 per cent in India and Red China.  This means that in Latin American countries, where Catholic policy on birth control is generally enforced, the average annual birth rate is between forty and fifty per thousand, the highest birth rate in the world.  The consequences will be that the present population of 121 million will have doubled by 1986, and that within less than one hundred years an incredible human mass of 3,800 million will be fighting for survival within the borders of the Latin American countries alone.11
The Catholic Church will stop at nothing to see that her laws are enforced upon all and sundry.  Witness the case of Puerto Rico.  In the 1960 elections the popular Governor Muñoz Marin was a candidate for re-election.  He had incurred the enmity of the Roman Catholic Bishops by establishing birth control clinics on the horribly overpopulated island and by refusing to agree to Church control of the schools.  The ruling clerics, Archbishop James P. Davis, Bishop James E. McManus, and Bishop Luis A. Martinez, organized their own Catholic party and used churches as registration centers to sign up members.  They gave voting orders to citizens, instructing them to vote against Muñoz.  Catholics who voted for him were declared to be guilty of “mortal sin” and threatened with the direct penalties of the Church.12
The Catholic Church can go even further, and unseat a President whom she considers too lukewarm in obeying her edicts.  E.g., Juan Bosch, President of the Dominican Republic, was removed from the presidency after a coup inspired and helped by the Catholic priests, on the ground that he “was too soft with the Communists.”13
The Church’s devices to expand her influence are felt simultaneously in other fields.  Thus, while she will plot to unseat the Catholic President of a Catholic country, she will work for the conversion of the Episcopalian daughter of the Protestant President of a Protestant country: witness the conversion of Miss Luci Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States of America.  The conversion was a Catholic social triumph, and an additional “magnification” of the image of the Catholic Church.  The latter, however, while celebrating this little triumph, could not resist slapping the Protestants in the face by having Miss Johnson “re-baptized,” although until then Protestants had been told that their baptism was as valid as the Catholic one.  Thus the Catholic Church refused to recognize, in practice, the validity of any religious observance but her own.14

In a different field, the Catholic Church will get what she wants by means bordering on the illegal, via slick politicians eager to serve her interests.  Witness the following case:

Since 1946 representative John McCormack, Democrat, of Massachusetts, a Roman Catholic, has personally been responsible for so-called sneak-through gifts of Federal funds to the Roman Catholic causes, amounting to $36,390,000.  It is not difficult to understand why the Roman Catholic Church gave to John McCormack an award known as “Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.”  The National Catholic Almanac of 1957 describes the decoration as a civil and military award to a subject of the Papal state.15

The Church’s Hierarchs can do even better by penetrating, influencing, and dominating certain vital sections of American society.  One example is Cardinal E. Mooney, Archbishop of Detroit, who organized Catholic workers to join and take an active part in the work of trade unions, and who tried to influence the C.I.O. itself.  Later on, to have Catholic pressure even better organized, he founded an association of Catholic trade unionists with a very large membership.

The Catholic Church does not hesitate to take a similar attitude towards Communist regimes.  Thus, for instance, after reaching a modus vivendi with Poland, the Cardinal Primate of that country, Cardinal Wyszinsky, came out in the open to condemn . . . what?  He came out to condemn certain Communist laws which, like similar laws in democratic countries, went against those of the Catholic Church: that is, government regulations legalizing family planning.  Then, addressing himself to the Polish doctors—all employed and paid by the State—he asked them “to be men,” telling them in so many words to disobey the law when dealing with family planning and related matters.16
Yet the same Cardinal, so vociferous in demanding freedom for his Church, unhesitatingly sought to destroy the freedom of non-Catholics when he had the chance.  Some years previous to the above, when with the blessing of the Vatican he made a deal with the Communist government concerning Catholic education in schools, he began the persecution of “children of non-Catholics, because they refused to attend Roman Catholic instruction.”17  Jewish and Protestant children, whose parents objected to having their offspring “Catholicized,” were promptly stigmatized as “atheistic” by the Catholic priests, and ostracized as a result.18

The Catholic Church will go into battle with the same arrogance in democratic countries.  Her claims in the United States, for instance, are a constant source of dispute, acrimony, and endless struggle against the principle of separation of Church and State.

In a Catholic country where she is dominant, blackmail very often becomes her weapon.  Witness the case in Italy when she did not hesitate to topple the Coalition Government because of the Socialist refusal to bow to her pressure for the subsidy of her schools.  In this she was wholly scornful of the fact that the Italian Constitution stated categorically that “private individuals and bodies have the right to run schools and institutions of education without any financial burden for the State.”19

At the same time, she tries to influence great philanthropic organizations and, should such organizations refuse to bow to her pressure, she withdraws her financial and moral support.  An example is Oxfam in England, which decided to allocate a small portion of its funds to family planning in overpopulated areas where food was being dispatched.  (See Chapter 8.)

Continuous Catholic pressure is at work with world organizations, such as the World Health Organization, where ceaseless intrigues more often than not result in the adoption of Catholic policies and resistance to policies not in harmony with these.

Simultaneously, the Catholic Church will strike some innocuous individual.  Witness the case of the Marine Commando, brought to Court following a clash with the police after a Catholic priest had told a policeman to stop his wife from strolling peaceably along the main thoroughfare of the city simply because the lady was wearing a sun-top dress.20

The very head of a modern democratic country can be struck with the same ease as the tourist wearing a sun-top, should he be so bold as to endanger the policies of the Catholic Church.  There is the case of President Gronchi of Italy, who decided to pay a State visit to Moscow, to help lessen the Cold War.  No sooner was the visit announced than the Catholic Press and the Vatican mobilized such a campaign against him that eventually the President had to cancel the visit altogether.

The President had to obey the Church’s dicta since he had to submit (a) as a Catholic individual, (b) as the leader of the Catholic Party, and (c) as the head of a government dominated by Catholics.  And, since disobedience to the Vatican would have meant political suicide, President Gronchi had no alternative but to comply.

The Italian President’s case was neither the first nor the last; since the Catholic Church can mobilize hundreds of thousands—indeed, millions—of her members any time she wishes.  She can do this not only in Catholic or Protestant countries, but even in Communist lands.  Witness the campaign she initiated in Poland, when millions of Poles were asked to vow to “Protect the Holy Church.”21
Parallel to this, she will put pressure upon contemporary mass media: e.g. the motion picture, radio, and television industries.  The Papal letter on the subject, Miranda Prorsus, is her official charter.  In it, the Pope instructs the Catholic clergy throughout the world to set up national offices in all countries for the supervision, censoring, and boycotting of films, and radio and television programs everywhere.  The Catholic clergy must give “clear and appropriate guidance,” so that “the public [will] be protected from,” for instance, “evil television shows” or films disapproved by her.22

Shows of collective Catholic absurdities, however, carried out under the eyes of a bemused world, far from being censored, are promoted by her as masterpieces of up-to-date piety.  Witness the display of Catholic pilgrims descending from flying aircraft on a visit to the shrine of a startled saint.  It happened in 1965, while an American spacecraft, the Mariner IV, hurtling towards the planet Mars, had enormously enhanced human knowledge about the universe by enabling man to see the surface of that planet at close quarters for the first time in human history, sending photographs from a distance of 150 million miles.  In that very summer, the Catholic Church’s efforts were otherwise diverted, when it promoted on the Iberian Peninsula a massive display of superstitious infantilism worthy of the best traditions of the Middle Ages.

Devout pilgrims descended upon a famous Catholic shrine, Santiago of Compostella, by parachute.  Yes, by parachute.  Their intention?  To join in the big Spanish military pilgrimage led by none other than the Vice-President of the Spanish government, for collective homage at the shrine of Saint James.

To their surprise, however, our airborne pilgrims found themselves inexplicably neglected by their nonplussed saintly host.  For they had no sooner started to jump from their flying aircraft than, lo and behold, an extremely strong wind blew suddenly over Santiago, and they were all blown off the shrine.  Dozens of them were bruised as they descended on the hard cement runway of the airport; others were ignominiously stuck on trees like stuffed birds and could not get down without help; while one solitary devotee landed on a high tension cable.  No doubt it was punishment for his forgetting to offer an additional prayer to the Archangel Gabriel, whom Pope Pius XII decreed to be the official protector of all telephones, telegraphs, radio, television, and, therefore, of all the low and high tension cables of the world.23
Simultaneously on the other side of the Atlantic a Jesuit was blueprinting a somewhat more ambitious pilgrimage.  “When the astronauts land on the moon,” he said, “there will be a Jesuit scientist among the entourage that follows.”  His was no mere bravado.  Dozens of Jesuits were earning doctorates in space sciences or were cooperating with laymen in space research centers in many parts of the United States.24  The Jesuit’s prophecy, in all probability, will be fulfilled, thus proving (if proof there need be) that no field of human activity, from the sly promotion of asinine superstitions to the latest and most advanced space exploits, is neglected by the ceaseless vigilance of the Catholic Church.  Everything on earth—even outside the earth—is her rightful target in the continuous aggrandizement of her dominion.

To be sure, her methods will undergo weird adaptations and curious metabolic processes skilfully attuned to the ever-changing religious, racial, and political environment of the times.  But one thing is certain: She will never miss an opportunity to intervene in any new or old department of human industry to advance her cause by persuasion, by slyness, or even by force.

It is upon such perennial flexibility that her peculiar inflexibility lies.

Her simultaneous identification with the past and the present and the oncoming future is the secret behind the irresistible acceleration of her domination over our culture.

Who can stop her advance: the advance of a giant spanning the millennia?

Certainly not a culture inching with the inevitability of alluvial sediment towards a society already saturated with the soullessness of billions of ever more insipid Lilliputians, with their myopic conception of existence, their apotheosis of the sub-mediocre, their scorn of the heroic, and their fear of greatness.

For, truly, only those who are moved by the irresistibility of magnitudinous spiritual visions shall be made invincible, and shall conquer.

 

 

4Sundry Patterns of Catholic Power in London, Canberra, and Washington

It must be remembered that Catholic interference, pressure, boycott, and even the frequent exercise of fear are anything but uniform.  Being immensely flexible, they condition themselves to the type of environment in which they operate.

Thus, in a society where democracy is paramount, the free exercise of her pressure is generally carried out unobtrusively, quietly, and almost intangibly.  She works so subtly few are aware of her “presence,” although experiencing the results of her strictures.

And it is this type of silent white terror that is at work everywhere, not only in Catholic countries but in nominally Protestant ones, such as England and the United States.

Contemporary society, for example, takes the freedom of the press for granted.  Although much abused, it is by and large practiced within a reasonable margin of flexibility, notwithstanding sundry economic, political, and religious pressure groups.  One of the most powerful and insidiously efficient of these pressure groups is undoubtedly the Catholic Church.

A typical case was experienced by the author of this book when he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Mothers’ Clinic, London, the first birth control clinic in the world.1

One of the major realities which the Committee constantly had to face was that the British press was anything but free.  Advertisements offering help to poor women were increasingly “non-inserted.” And whenever reasons for such non-insertions were sought, Catholics connected either directly or indirectly with the newspapers concerned were invariably found to be at the bottom of the trouble.  And even when Catholics were not present, the papers confessed that they did not care to risk Catholic strictures.

This fear was not confined to local or provincial newspapers.  It applied also to national ones.2  Even one of the world’s greatest organs, The Times of London, eventually fell into line with the rest.
The proprietor of The Times wrote several very personal letters to the clinic’s founder, Dr. Marie Slopes, “explaining.”  When finally the latter published a document proving the ceaseless Catholic pressure against her clinic, The Evidence of Dr. Marie Stopes to the Royal Commission on the Press, the proprietor of The Times refused to allow his letters to be inserted in the Evidence.3
Until that period (1921-1950), The Times now and then had had lapses.  But by the fifties, although birth control had become a household issue, The Times became even more obdurate and bluntly rejected advertisements for Dr. Stopes’ clinic.  The explanation?  Years later it was given by that paper itself.  In March, 1965, Mr. Matthew, its manager, died.  “He had five sons and six daughters,” wrote The Times of him.  “Matthew was all of a piece.  Religion—he belonged to a well-known Irish Roman Catholic family—was at the roots of his conduct.”4  And since religion—that is, the Catholic Church—was at the roots of his conduct, the good Mr. Matthew saw to it that Dr. Stopes’ work, abominated by his Church, was boycotted.5
There were occasions when Catholic pressure operated more directly.  For instance, a nondenominational, nonpolitical magazine was told by none other than the Cardinal of England not to accept advertisements from the Mothers’ Clinic, lest Catholic subscribers withdraw their support.  The magazine complied.6

The above are samples of indirect, direct, and silent interference which are everyday demonstrations everywhere that Catholics are in a position to sabotage, boycott, and suppress any news item or advertisement not approved by their Church.  But there are a thousand-and-one more ways, from the most imperceptible to the most blatantly obvious, in which democratic liberties can be stultified without anybody being aware of it but the parties concerned.

During World War II, immediately after the downfall of Mussolini, the author of this work wrote a book dealing with newly emerging democratic forces of Italy.  Since, for obvious reasons, the Vatican had to be discussed, the author, to be fair, asked the cooperation of a distinguished Rome correspondent of The Times.  The correspondent agreed to write two chapters.  Upon reading the almost complete manuscript, however, he became morose.  Did the author really mean to criticize the Vatican?  He would not be happy unless such criticism were omitted—or, at least, were dealt with passively.  Yes, the criticisms were fair.  However, he insisted it was unwise to say so in public, and, even worse, in print.  The consequences to him, professionally speaking, might be serious.  Result?  He withdrew.7
That was a journalist.  Publishers are no less aware of the invisible Catholic pressure.  At approximately the same period, one of the last books ever written by H. G. Wells, Crux Ansata, was a panoramic view of history with special reference to the part played in it by the Roman Catholic Church.  After finishing it, H. G. Wells handed the manuscript to the present author, for his comments and asked him to place it with a publisher.  The first publisher visited, on seeing an H. G. Wells manuscript placed on his desk, was exhilarated.  A few days later, he handed back the script.  He could not publish it.  Not even with that magic name.  He could not antagonize certain sections of book buyers, although he personally did not object to H. G. Wells’ criticism of the Catholic Church.  The manuscript was taken to at least half a dozen big publishers, who first reacted with enthusiasm but, after reading it, refused it in spite of its world-renowned author.  It was finally published by a new firm.8
The author of this work went through an even more grueling time.  Upon being advised by H. G. Wells to write a book dealing with Vatican diplomatic and political activities during the Fascist era, his first big hurdle was the problem of who should publish it.  The script was sent to one major publisher, who promptly rejected it.  It was redirected to a second, who did the same.  Sixteen more in the United States followed suit.  In England, no fewer than thirty-nine.  Eventually a small firm dared to challenge Catholic pressure.  Whether the book was good or bad is not for the author to say.  But the fact that it was chosen book-of-the-month twice in the United States and eventually became one of the world’s best sellers, having reached forty-seven editions, should prove that it must have had some merit.  As in the case of H. G. Wells, what made most of the British and American publishers shy of the manuscript was the threatening “presence” of the Catholic Church.9

The work was praised and attacked, which is what a controversial book should expect.  It got publicity, and many, including Catholics, became interested.  Catholic pressure, therefore, changed tactics.  Upon the publication of another book by the same author, The Dollar and the Vatican, the Church slapped down an iron curtain of silence.  Not only did the Catholic press ignore the book, but the national press followed suit, for example, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, The Observer, not to mention The Times and The Times Literary Supplement, all of which have large sections devoted to the review of cretinous trivia.  The Dollar and the Vatican nevertheless sold three editions within a year and a half, with hardly a line of publicity.

How is it that Catholics can intimidate what seems to be a free press?  Catholic pressure is carried out (a) via Catholic penetration of the lay press, and (b) the systematic organization of fear.

The British and American press is influenced directly and indirectly by the Catholic “presence” and by the Catholic pressure group, and also by fear.  In Great Britain, all the great national papers have Catholics in strategic positions, either as owners, editors, managers, reporters, or shareholders.  In the United States the same thing is rapidly taking place.  And, since Catholic editors, reporters, managers, and the like are prompted by the interests of their Church first and those of their paper or of their public second, they see to it that literature or personalities hostile to their Church are given minimal coverage or ignored altogether.

In addition, Catholics are efficient boycotters of news and books critical of their Church.  Instances of books sent for review which are never seen by literary editors employing a Catholic staff are more frequent than editors themselves care to admit.  The present author, having had experience of this, made a point of taking one of his newly published books personally to the desk of the editor of one of the top weeklies of Great Britain.  Since the editor-in-chief was absent, he handed the book to the sub-editor.  The editor never got it.  Upon inquiry, it was discovered that the sub-editor was a fervent Catholic.  The copy was never found.

Newspapers which are willing to break this curtain of silence and boycott have, at times, difficulties with the reviewers themselves.  In the case of one of the present author’s major books, the editor of a national magazine promised to review it himself.  While the author was in his office, the editor was asked by telephone to fly to Kenya to assess the situation of the Mau-Mau secret society then terrorizing that country.  Thereupon he handed the book to his most prominent reviewer, a political personality and member of the House of Commons.  A few weeks later, the editor-in-chief wrote in his own handwriting a confidential letter to the author, saying that to his regret the reviewer had refused to review the book: He did not dare antagonize more than a dozen of his party’s members of Parliament who were Catholics, as well as the Catholic voters in his and their constituencies.  The reviewer, a few years later, became a top minister of the British Government.10

The more effective method, however, is inculcation of actual fear.  Catholic displeasure is feared because it can, and actually does, affect circulation figures.  Liberal and even “pink” papers bow to it and, whenever confronted by a potential Catholic boycott, they shrink like spineless annelida.  This is the case not only with newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, but also with humble bookstalls and bookshops.  Very often purely commercial concerns will “censure” books critical of the Catholic Church for fear of Catholics.  The book department of a big store in London, for instance, charged one of its intellectual Teddy Boys to censure one of the author’s books, which was anathematized as “impossible,” and they refused to sell it, although at least half a dozen people had asked for it within a few days of its publication.

Many bookshops rejected the same book upon reading the title.  Others, after briefly perusing it.  Several, although sympathetic towards it, admitted that they did not dare to stock it “for fear of losing their Catholic customers.”  A bookseller, member of the Church of England, confessed that he was scared of the inevitable boycott that his Catholic customers would organize against all his other books.  “I cannot afford to take the risk.  A sorry state of affairs, but that’s what the situation is today.”11
Readers have written to the author time and again complaining that many bookshops seemed to have placed a ban on his works.  For example: “I should have had this book [The Dollar and the Vatican] a month ago, as I have tried numerous bookshops in Glasgow, without result, and some of the salesmen in these bookshops were barely civil, as though one were asking for something immodest—all of which proves that there is a HEAVY BAN on Mr. Manhattan’s books—in Glasgow, at least.”12
In public libraries, copies were suddenly “missing from stock”  or “misfiled.”  Witness the letter of P. E. J. Jordan to a British journal, beginning: “Readers may be interested in a mystery story concerning The Dollar and the Vatican in Bristol Public Library . . .”  which goes on to describe how he had found it impossible to get the book, for one reason or another, although it was officially in the library.13

Again in public libraries, there were instances of the author’s books being willfully damaged or almost totally destroyed.  Several such cases occurred in Scotland and in the Midlands of England—in public libraries supported almost exclusively by Protestant taxpayers.

Similar occurrences were repeated in other countries, including the United States, beginning with the Boston Public Library, where at one time all sorts of tricks were played against the author’s books.

Catholic ire, however, is not confined to individual Catholic readers.  Catholics can use—or, rather, misuse—the machinery of government to prevent literature critical of their Church from circulating freely in a non-Catholic population.  A typical case is the organized boycott of the author’s works by certain official bodies in the United States.

One of his books, published in England and exported to the U.S.A. soon ran into trouble.  Single copies sent to individual American buyers never reached their destination or arrived after unaccountable delays.  When this was brought to the notice of the authorities, the situation worsened and an effective, though invisible, extra-legal obstructionism was quietly promoted against the book by certain authorities, inspired, of course, by Catholics in their midst.  The result was soon to be seen.  The United States Post Office Department, purportedly acting under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, forbade the mailing of the author’s book to the United States.  However, when Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State (P.O.A.U.) took up the challenge by publicly analyzing the doubtful constitutionality of the Post Office’s action, the ban was abruptly lifted.14
The attempt at suppression was repeated with the author’s next book.  This time the directorate of the invisible Catholic censorship of the U.S.A., bypassing the Post Office, tried to prevent the American public from reading the book by using a potentially more efficient government machinery, the U.S. Customs.  A large consignment of copies was seized and held in a kind of incommunicado by the Customs, which refused to let them reach the distributors who had ordered them.  The distributors, thereupon, moved to do battle in Court for the right of the book to enter the country.  Customs backed down and released the book—after having held it for six weeks.15

These oblique examples of Catholic censorship via the misuse of government agencies are repeated even more obliquely in the press.  Because of its intangibility, more often than not it is impossible to pin down the press with concrete evidence, since publishers, editors, managers, and printers are shy of admitting Catholic influence, or the mere suspicion of the Catholic “presence” watching and taking note.  We shall confine ourselves to a case illustrating the latter attitude.

The New Republic, which prides itself on its advocacy of freedom and civil liberties in the United States one day received and accepted an advertisement for some thirty books from a New York book distributor.  Among the books advertised was the latest one by the present author.  To the distributor’s surprise, the New Republic suddenly objected.

It did not like one particular book.  It did not wish to advertise it.  It did not want its readers to read that most infernal of books.  The title of the monster?  The Dollar and the Vatican, by Avro Manhattan.  Result?  The book had to be plucked from among the thirty before the advertisement was acceptable.

The distributor attempted to get an explanation of the curious behavior of the New Republic, since other papers had accepted the advertisement in its entirety.  We shall quote the distributor himself:

 

Mr. Gilbert Harrison, editor and publisher of the New Republic, who called me from Washington about the matter, had not seen the book, but was rejecting it on the strength of title alone, because he said that although his readers might not mind, it was personally offensive to him.

 

Church and State magazine reported this, continuing: “Lichtenstein [Research Director of Protestants and Other Americans United] wrote to Harrison, inviting him to comment on the statement by Lyle Stuart [distributor of The Dollar and the Vatican], but Harrison, replying by telephone, declined on the ground that the matter was a private one between him and the advertiser and no one else’s business.  Quite apart from the merits or demerits of Manhattan’s writings,” commented the magazine, “Church and State is reporting these incidents in the interest of all Americans who wish to do their own evaluating without benefit of government or private censorship.”16

The American adventure of The Dollar and the Vatican was followed by one on the other side of the world, in Australia.  There, the invisible Catholic censorship which, since the book’s publication, had been working only with individual cases now decided to ban the book throughout Australia with one single blow.  How?  By using the democratic machinery of the Australian government.  Like their Catholic counterparts in the United States, they attempted to manipulate the Customs to impose the writ of the Catholic Church.

A large consignment of The Dollar and the Vatican, ordered by a well-known bookseller, upon arrival on Australian soil inexplicably vanished.  Since it consisted of about five hundred copies, the standard excuse that it was lost in transit was not plausible.  Thereupon, the distributor, having explored the wares in Sydney Harbor discovered that the books were resting in peace, unsold and unread, in the secret wharfs of that port.

Upon inquiries to the Customs authorities the latter astonished the bookseller with a sudden, not to say unusual, display of zeal concerning certain obscure or recent or unknown or intricate regulations dealing specifically with the advocacy of the destruction of property, the overthrow of legal government, and the banning of indecent books.

Since the bookseller happened to have read the book and could not remember one single spicy sexy scene or any incitement to the prompt assassination of the Australian Prime Minister, or even a single recipe for cooking Catholics in boiling olive oil, he asked to see the Controller, in case that gentleman had found such interesting passages.  The Controller, however, was “not available” for weeks—indeed, for months.

Meanwhile, rearguard censorship fortifications were being erected from the seat of the government itself.  What were these, and how could they affect the anarchical and sexy book called The Dollar and the Vatican?  The explanation was given by no less than The Times of London, which one misty November day wrote:

 

Banning of Books in Australia—No Political Ground  The Minister of Customs, Senator Henty, who announced last month that there would be a less arbitrary enforcement of regulations prohibiting the distribution of indecent books [italics ours], told a Labor Member of Parliament today that the Customs Department had not banned a book for fifteen years on political grounds.  The grounds were: Advocating the overthrow by force, etc., etc.  In the past five years, four films had been banned on political or similar grounds.  Distribution of a book called The Dollar and the Vatican, by Avro Manhattan, had been temporarily held up in September to see whether it came within the scope of prohibited literature.17

 

The Dollar and the Vatican was put under the nose of Senator Henty for perusal.  Members of the government and of the House of Representatives read it.  The Leader of the Opposition, Mr. H. V. Evatt, made a specific point of studying it.18  In far away England, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords, who knew the book well, asked the stalling Australian authorities to point out any passage advocating assassination, debauchery, arson of special Nature Reserves of Kangaroos, or the like, in The Dollar and the Vatican.  Senator Henty, having been unable to detect such interesting items, wrote the author, saying that the book could be read by his fellow countrymen after all.  Result: The book was finally reluctantly released, after having been held up in the salutary wharfs of the Customs at Sydney from July 30th to October 16th.

The episode is instructive, not so much because of the holding up of the book as such, but because of the systematic attempt of the invisible hand of the Catholic Church to impose her censorship above and against the very laws of the State, from England to the United States of America, from Australia to other countries—in short, wherever there are Catholics.  It sheds an even more sinister light, in that these Catholics can paralyze and put fear into a whole section of the community, Protestant or otherwise, so long as the writ of their Church is imposed upon all.

It is simple for them to do so.  Catholic velvet terror can be made effective via the mere unwritten or unspoken threats of Catholics, disguised as officials of a government, putting up obstacles and delays, invoking obscure laws, caviling with intricacies, and the like.

A member of the House of Representatives of Australia, after saying in the House that the Customs Department was censoring books and films on religious grounds, reiterated that Customs had “no right under the Constitution to censor books or films on religious grounds,” and asked the government to make sure this form of censorship was not exercised in the future.  Unless the Australian government was firm about it, continued the Representative, “the Customs Department could exercise a form of religious censorship by NUISANCE ACTION.”  The Department had already proved it could exert such illegal censorship, he said, since it had “held up a book called The Dollar and the Vatican.”  When the importer had asked about the delay, he had been told the book had been referred to the Comptroller General of Customs because it was thought it might be objectionable to Roman Catholics.  “Booksellers will no longer import books,” he warned, “If they know the books are going to strike Customs trouble.  This means,” the speaker concluded, “that censorship by nuisance tactics can be created by the Customs Department.”19
One of the largest booksellers and importers of Australia could confirm, in practical terms, what had been said in the Australian Parliament.  “Unfortunately, one does not get any help from booksellers in this matter,” he said, “as they are all afraid to buck the Customs Department.  As one senior officer of the Australian Booksellers Association said to me: ‘Surely you realize that the Customs Department could make it possible for not one of us to carry on business.  They could ruin us if they refused to clear our books before every entry had been made and copies of all books produced.  Therefore, we don’t fight them.”20
How can such a state of affairs be tolerated in countries priding themselves on being democratic and, indeed, Protestant?  The answer can be given by again quoting the Australian importer of The Dollar and the Vatican: “Every officer to whom I went in turn about the matter [the holding up of the book in Sydney Harbour] was an acknowledged member of the Roman Catholic Church and took no effort to hide the fact.  Two of them wore Holy Name Society badges.”21

The same explanation can be applied to many officers of the Post Office and Customs Departments in other countries.  Because most of them work secretly and without visibly breaking the rules of their departments or the laws of their governments, it is extremely difficult to fix culpability on any particular individual.  That is why Catholic censorship is so efficient, and that is why Catholic censors dare to be so bold.  They move on the borderline of illegality, without formally infringing the law, and yet acting de facto illegally.

This is the specific line of conduct counseled by Catholic Action and cognate semi-secret organizations for members in key positions in democratic and Protestant countries.  It is a subtle, insidious, and therefore doubly dangerous strategy, the more perilous because it often passes undetected and undermines the very foundations upon which the fabric of contemporary society rests.

To believe that Catholics in key positions can act only towards books and suchlike impersonally, anonymously, and in the abstract, would be to make a serious mistake.  They can attack individuals with characteristic efficiency by the same methods and with unscrupulous ruthlessness, so long as the interests of their Church are safeguarded.

During World War II, the author of this book was commissioned by a branch of the British Foreign Office specializing in political warfare to carry out radio propaganda directed at Nazi-occupied Europe and specifically at Fascist Italy.  He had ample liberty of method, material, and subject and, except for a weekly meeting at which the general lines of political directive were discussed, he was free to tackle any item he liked, so long as this helped disrupt the Nazi-Fascist political machinery within Italy.

One day he noticed a short report that the populace of Naples had drawn a bad omen because the blood of their Patron Saint, Januarius, which was supposed to liquefy at a given date, that year had not done so.  Hence their gloom.  That gave him some ideas, which he eventually developed into daily and nightly broadcasts, concerning the responsibility of the Nazis for the failure of Saint Januarius to perform, owing to the negligence of certain ecclesiastical authorities in Naples.  The ecclesiastical authorities of Naples thereupon were scolded by the Vatican.  The Vatican received angry inquiries from the Nazis, who protested to the Fascist Foreign Office.  Sections of the Neapolitan populace became restive, with the result that the purpose of the story—the creation of dissent between the Nazis then occupying Fascist Italy and the Italian Fascists themselves—was achieved.

Some popular newspapers in England made headlines of the story.  “Nazis Steal Blood of Saint” screamed the four-million-circulation Daily Mirror.  Certain British Catholics, however, were not amused.  Representations were made to the British Foreign Office.  It was shameful that anyone should use Catholicism for war purposes.

Hugh Dalton, then Minister of Economic Warfare in the British government, had to look into the matter.  The author of this book was promptly dismissed.  Catholics did not believe that certain aspects of their religion should be used to disrupt the monstrous Nazi-Fascist occupation of Europe.  It was forgotten that Catholic clergy and bishops, both in Italy and Germany—and in Allied countries, for that matter—were daily invoking the blessing of their Church upon the bombers nightly massacring thousands of innocent women and children in England, Germany, Italy, and throughout Europe.

The author was eventually reinstated, owing chiefly to Mr. Dalton’s reporting the matter to Winston Churchill, who, on hearing about the boiling blood, burst into a roar of laughter.  “Good idea to enlist Saint Januarius in the British Intelligence,” was his typical comment.  “May he continue to bring the Nazis’ and Fascists’ blood to boiling point.”22
Years afterward, the author, owing to the success of one of his books,23 was invited to deliver lectures in the United States and applied to the American Embassy in London, where he was told that a visa would be ready within a few days.  Shortly before his planned departure, having bought tickets and arranged for his first lecture at Constitution Hall in Washington, he made ready to depart when, lo and behold, the visa was suddenly refused.  The explanation?  An order from Washington.  He requested details; he received none.  Months later, following sundry letters to the London Embassy and to Washington, he had a curt missive, filled with numbers and asterisks and a hint of these having been fathered by some Congressional session or other in the middle of the nineteenth century.  As a clear cybernetic explanation, it could not have been more obscure.  The paragraphs they referred to were read with the awe due genuine antiquities.  They spoke of anarchists . . . explosives . . . potential attempts to blow up the Capitol . . . .
From then on, any request was met with granitic silence.  Curious persons, however, discovered one or two significant features.  The original inspirers of the ban24 were devout Catholics.  In London it also came to light that another instigator had been an official of the American Embassy there, a devotee of Saint Januarius, since he was of southern Italian origin, whose chief regret apparently was that the Holy Inquisition was not an integral part of the American Constitution.

During a brief interview with him, the author was told with all solemnity that English sparrows, flying foxes, European rabbits, and anarchists were all on the list of prohibited immigrants.  When the author inquired how it was that Indian wild dogs, pink starlings, and rosy pastors were not under such restrictions, our zealous official replied that they were allowed in bona fide, since St. Francis once upon a time had preached to them and they had duly been converted to the true faith.

It was as conclusive as that.

The author then remembered a most unvegetarian Brazilian friend.  “A man-eating piranha fish is equally not on the list of prohibited immigrants,” he said.

“Of course not,” replied the just United States official, “a man-eating piranha fish would never dream of criticizing the Catholic Church.”  Thereupon, after three Hail Mary’s, he left his office.

It was a verdict soon to be echoed in Moscow.  For not long afterwards the author asked for a visa to enter the Soviet Union.  To do what?  To organize a subtle plot against the self-esteem of the Daughters of the American Revolution?  Alas, no!  He wanted royalties, since the Russians had published the same book which had been so successful in the U.S.A.,25 and they refused to pay on the grounds that they were not signatories to the Berne Convention.  Also, they would not send precious rubles outside Russia.  Writers in the same predicament had solved the problem by spending the ex gratia money which the publishers gave them by touring Russia.  The present author decided to do likewise, since it would give him an opportunity to gather additional firsthand material for a book he was then writing concerning the true state of religion in Communist countries.  As a preliminary, he had already published a work on the subject.26

He duly applied for a visa.  After four months of silence, he received as curt a missive as the one from the U.S.A. Embassy.  It might have been a carbon copy of it, except for the asterisks.  Visa refused.  On what grounds?  The author was a “capitalist writer who did not understand Marxist-Leninist dialectics.”  Worse still, he was “unwilling to adopt a materialist interpretation of history.”  Also, he had interpreted recent events with “a bourgeois eye, having been brought up in a capitalist country.”

The Capitol in Washington and the Kremlin in Moscow were safe.  The two great enemy super powers had agreed at least on one thing: Avro Manhattan was a danger to both.  Why?  Because, while he was a Communist for the U.S.A., he was simultaneously a capitalist for the U.S.S.R.  The truth of the matter, of course, being that he criticized both, without fear or prejudice, in speech and writings.

The personal experiences of a single author or journalist or professional man, per se, have little or no significance.  It is when such experiences are multiplied by the hundred, indeed, by the thousand, day in and day out, in all countries, wherever there are Catholics, that Catholic pressure, boycott, and fear assume their sinister significance.

For then the Catholic “presence” will be felt upon issues raising the deepest and gravest problems, involving the happiness or the lives of individuals and groups, Catholics and non-Catholics.

The episode of Elisabeth Irr in France was a case in point.  Elisabeth Irr, the child of divorced parents, was placed in the custody of her mother.  Soon afterwards, the mother was sent to a mental hospital, and the child, now classified as “abandoned,” was put in the care of Public Assistance, a Department of the Ministry of Health.

The Department promptly put the little girl in the care of nuns.  Mr. Irr thereupon demanded that she be returned to him.  Although a Court gave him the legal custody of his children his request was refused.  As he made attempts to see his daughter, the girl was moved to another Catholic home, under an assumed name.  Mr. Irr appealed to a Paris Tribunal, but his requests to have his daughter back or even to see her were refused, on the ground that “the child’s interests alone must be taken into consideration.”

What was behind this official and semi-official reluctance to return the child to her father?  A very simple fact.  The Catholic Church, in this case represented by the nuns, had indoctrinated the young girl against her father on the grounds that he, having gone against the Church, was a sinner.  A divorced Catholic is ipso facto outside the pale of the Church.

The French press took strong objection to the whole affair, since the case brought to light the sinister hold that nuns can form over a young child’s mind.27

If it is remembered that nuns are educating thousands, indeed millions, of young minds throughout the world, it can be easily imagined to what subtle distortions children are subjected while in their care.

While stubbornly keeping the young in their hands by defying or abusing the laws of the land, the Catholic Church will equally defy the laws of the state in her attempts to recapture those who have the initiative to accept other creeds.

Witness the case of Maura Lyons, a fifteen-year-old girl, daughter of a Northern Irish Catholic family, who became a Presbyterian.  Her family, with the connivance of Catholic Priests, after vain efforts to change her mind, planned to carry her off to a convent, so that she would be made to return to the true religion.  To avoid being persecuted—indeed, abducted—the girl escaped to England.

Eventually the Lord Chief Justice of the Ulster High Court, making Maura Lyons a Ward of Court and appointing her father as her guardian, permitted the girl to reside in her parental home “subject to the condition that her father undertakes not to send her out of the jurisdiction of the Court [that is, into the hands of nuns or priests] and NOT to allow any pressure to be brought upon her to change her religion, and not to send her to a convent.”  The girl’s father was asked by the Lord Chief Justice “to go into the witness box and give an undertaking that he would not interfere with the girl’s religious beliefs.”28

The Church’s dictation is ever present in other, no less serious, fields—those of marriage and divorce, for instance.  Catholics at times claim quite openly that the laws of the Church are equal to or above those of the State.

There was the case of the wife who, although a citizen of Scotland, claimed that because in Italy judgments by the Rota were recognized for all purposes by the civil authorities, in accordance with the Lateran Treaty, they should equally be recognized in Scotland.  Lord Guthrie, at the Court Sessions in Edinburgh, however, held that a decree of the Appeal Court of the Vatican nullifying a marriage contracted in Edinburgh was not recognized in Scotland, since “there are not in Scotland two judicial systems administering different laws of marriage.”29
Very often, the laws of the Church will interfere with the physical well-being and health of individuals.  This is frequently experienced in hospitals and homes where there are practicing Catholic doctors, nurses, or nuns.  In serious circumstances the laws of the Church can interfere with the future of individuals, as in cases of sterilization or of pregnancy.  Non-Catholic patients have been advised repeatedly to consider very carefully what is involved in putting themselves in the hands of Catholic doctors.  “I suggest,” wrote a Protestant clergyman to his parishioners in England, “that where there is likely to be a difficult pregnancy and where the husband and wife are not prepared to risk the life of the wife, they should insist upon their own doctor making arrangements for the wife to become the patient of a non-Roman Catholic consultant.”30
That the power of the Catholic Church to interfere with the lives of millions of individuals is a real one is proved by the continual appeals of individuals and authoritative bodies to the Vatican to relax some of its laws in certain specific fields.  An example was the appeal to the Pope by two groups of Nobel Prize winners that the Catholic Church reconsider her position on birth control.31
At the same time, nuns are permitted to sell their prayers for money.  Not in the Middle Ages, but now.  Thus the Benedictine Adorers of the Sacred Heart launched their prayer fund to build a shrine in London on the traditional site of the old Tyburn gallows, where Catholics were martyred during the Reformation.32
The money-for-prayers campaign produced the steady rate of over 2,000 pounds a week.  A donor was prayed for specifically by name, collectively, or anonymously according to the size of the donation.  We quote: “The nuns are using the simple and infallible fund-raising method that has been their means of livelihood for years—they pray, the faithful pay.  The most costly means of buying their prayers is a 105 guinea subscription.  This confers on the giver the status of Tyburn Shrine Founder and he is commemorated by a brass plaque in the convent chapel.  The nuns pray for him by name every day.  For a donation of £50 a year the nuns will pray for you in the convent chapel.  But there is no plaque.  A £10 donation entitles you to have your name put on the lists of donors for whom the nuns pray collectively several times a day.  Smaller donations, or the purchase of candles to burn at the altar, bring donors a mention in the convent’s daily devotions.”33
The question of finance can be used also to put pressure upon large sections of the community who do not comply with the wishes of the Catholic Church.  Hundreds of thousands of Catholics, after marching in the Belgian capital to protest the government’s proposal to reduce subsidies to Catholic schools, were ordered by the Church to drain the government’s treasury.  They were asked to withdraw their money from National Savings and Post Office accounts, and to attempt to wreck all government loans or those backed by the government, with the result that the administration ran into serious difficulty, having sustained a loss of about $10,000,000 during one single month as a result of the withdrawal by Catholics of their money.34  This form of blackmail was repeated on political grounds on more than one occasion.
To assume that the above instances are rare is not correct, to say the least.  It is the spirit behind them, more than the occurrences themselves, that is significant.  For such a spirit is as active now as it used to be when, in Rome, crosses and even inscriptions suggesting eternal bliss on the graves of Protestants or non-Christians were strictly forbidden, since they might give the impression that Protestants had the possibility of a share in Paradise.35

Such a spirit is alive today behind all the liberalization moves of the Church.  To be sure, the Church is no longer appareled in the crude vestments of old.  It has mantled itself in the vestments of ecumenism, democracy, liberty, freedom, equality, and such slogans.  The Catholic Church is speaking in the language of the contemporary world, and has come to the fore as the champion of the liberties of other credos, religions, social systems, and ideologies.  She has transformed herself within and without to such an extent as to make many Catholics apprehensive lest she should identify herself too much with modern times.

Yet, the Catholic Church has not changed.

To a pious Catholic expressing deep concern at the startling modernization of the Church, the Papal Envoy of a certain country smiled reassuringly: “Do not fear,” he said, “the Church really has not changed and never shall.”36

The Papal Envoy had spoken the truth.  Nothing but the truth.

 

 

5The Pattern of Catholic Power in Catholic Countries

Very often the Catholic Church can and does use the machinery of the State to strike at the citizen who has willingly or unwillingly incurred her displeasure.  That is, the Catholic Church is permitted a free hand in putting pressure on, boycotting, and using fear against anyone or anything not conforming to her dicta.  Not excluding the State itself.

This is true particularly of nominally Catholic countries where political Catholicism, acting behind the screen of Christian Democracy, is dominant, where it can control the government, and where, very often it is the government.  Such a state of affairs is by no means exceptional.  In Europe it has become the rule.

Even countries where the population is largely Protestant are anything but immune to political Catholicism.  Holland and Germany are two cases in point.  Since the end of World War II, Holland has had various Catholic governments, while West Germany has been dominated by political Catholicism, the chief champion of which was Chancellor Adenauer, a Catholic who went to Mass regularly, took Holy Communion daily, confessed weekly, and, in short, was under the thumb of his Church.

Of course where there are large non-Catholic sections of the population, the Church will act with caution, lest she do herself more harm than good.  Even then in certain instances she will not hesitate to show her hand by condemning, dismissing, and persecuting citizens who transgress her laws.

For the sake of simplification, however, we shall now examine a country where Catholicism is the paramount religious, social, and political force: namely, Italy—a land imbued with Catholicism, historically dominated and still greatly influenced by it in all fields of activity.

Italy, like many other Catholic countries, today prides herself in a Constitution attuned to the most basic principles of liberty and democracy.  A Martian reading it would conclude that the Italian citizen has nothing to fear, that he can believe in any god he likes, and think what he likes—that no power, not even the State itself, can infringe his right with impunity.

The proper working of such a Constitution, however, is an impossibility.  For, behind and above it there exists another power forcing implementation of a Constitution of her own—which very often does not harmonize with that of the State but opposes its most fundamental tenets.  Thus it follows that our free Italian citizen is buffeted between the claims of the two.

And since the State, when controlled or dominated by a political party composed of members of the Catholic Church will see to it that the dicta of the Church are implemented first and those of the State second, it is evident that the liberties guaranteed to the Italian citizen by the Italian Constitution will be thrown overboard to implement the will of the Church, should his rights not harmonize with hers.  Which means the partial or even total stultification of the liberties of the Italian citizen as guaranteed to him by his wonderfully worded civic charter.

To be sure, such stultification of his rights will be effected with the minimum of friction whenever possible: Very often it can be done without breaking any law or even infringing the smallest statutory regulation, thus giving the impression that no Constitution has been violated and that the Church has not transgressed against anyone.  Yet, genuine liberties of the individual or even of the community as a whole can be violated simply by a tacit subservience to certain archaic traditions, the hoary results of the anti-libertarian ecclesiastical dictatorship of the past.

Thus during certain periods of the year the priests habitually visit every house in a community, particularly in rural areas, in order to “bless it” with special prayers and abundant sprinkling of “holy water.”  In exchange for such spiritual service, they expect eggs, cheese, money, and similar tangible gifts.

No law compels an Italian to have his house blessed or forces him to give presents to the emissary of the Church who happens to bless him, his wife, or the geese.  A Martian would be unable to read any hint of it anywhere in the Italian Constitution.  But let the good peasant rebel against this annual tribute.  Let him refuse holy water and keep the eggs or hens to himself.  The devil will see to it that he will roast like a suckling pig in the flames of Hell for ever and ever; meanwhile, here on earth—at least, in his village—he will be stigmatized and persecuted.  Witness the case of a small farmer in a little town near Rome, who prevented the priest from blessing his stable.  He was promptly cited for outrage to the Public Prosecutor.

It is taken for granted that parents are at liberty to name their offspring with any name they fancy.  Any modern Constitution, including the Italian, will see to it that this is so.  In practice, however, it is not the case in Catholic Italy.  For there parents must choose their children’s names . . . from what?  From the calendar.  Why?  Because the Church has officially dedicated each day of the year to one or more of her saints.  Tiny Italian Catholics, therefore, must be named after one of half-a-dozen saints,1 with a similar number of medals, sacred images, and the like.  All sure protection, no doubt, against both the devil and the Communists.

To be sure, this “must” does not appear in the civil code.  But let the average Italian transgress the unwritten Catholic rule, and he will come face to face with the Church.  How?  Transgression will cause difficulties with his newly born’s baptism.  And since, for the child’s future welfare, baptism is also a “must,” not only with the Church but also with Italian society and with a government infiltrated by active Catholics, parents have to conform.  Rebellion would bring untold trouble to the future unbaptized citizen, as, prior to being accepted into any school or even university controlled by the Church or into any government department controlled by the Christian Democrats (that is, active Catholics), an applicant must give evidence of proper baptism.

The Civil Service in Italy—perhaps the most cumbersome, antiquated, and inefficient of any Western country—has the additional disadvantage of being paralyzed by a double chronic disease, strictly relevant to the above: It is controlled mainly by southern Italians; hence it is dominated by the most asinine superstitious religiosity of Europe, with the possible exception of southern Ireland.

The Phoenician, Greek, Arab, Moorish, and Spanish blood running in their veins in all probability is the cause of their virtues; but it is also, no doubt, the cause of their failings.  Apart from a growing brilliant and efficient minority, they are, by and large, a mixture of narrow-mindedness, fanaticism, intolerance, and love of authority and cheap display.  The world-renowned trinity of murderous jealousy, vendetta, and Mafia is typically their own.  Religious intolerance is another of their characteristics.  All these unenviable traits they carry with them wherever they go.  Since the government departments, the police, the army, the Civil Service which offer “honorable careers” where there is little work to do but ample opportunity to exercise authority, are dominated and controlled by them, it follows that they are ipso facto the silent instruments of the Catholic Church.  And, even when the Church is inactive, they will take it upon themselves, prior to kissing rosaries and sprinkling themselves with Holy Water, to see that the Church is not mocked.  An official employed at a Labor Exchange, for instance, upon noticing that an applicant has not been married in church, will insure that his name will be at the bottom of the list; or that, should an applicant be a member of a political party opposed to the Church, his pension or insurance or other social benefit will be delayed or minimized—and so on ad infinitum.

This state of affairs permeates the whole Italian fabric.  Its over-all effect, therefore, is the greatest imponderable of the nation.  Hence the credibility of the examples of Catholic boycott, persecution, and terror which we shall presently see.

This anomaly is the more curious since the power of the Catholic Church is opposed by a large section of Italian society, led by powerful political parties, beginning with the Communist.  Italy, ironically enough, has the largest Communist Party in the Western world outside Russia, but even the members of that party have not escaped the all-pervading Catholicism.  For—shades of Lenin and Stalin—one can in Italy see Communists who are dedicated to the total annihilation of any Pope, anti-Pope, or Peter’s Pence, [yet] attend religious functions; wear holy medals, scapulars, and rosaries; use holy water; and so on.2
The professions, middle classes, and even the conventional and officious intelligentsia are not immune to such schizophrenic anomalies.  Technicians and others responsible for truly brilliant blueprinting and execution of magnificent engineering projects are no less prone to them.  Witness the wonderful suspension bridge planned to span the Straits of Messina—the channel separating Italy from Sicily.  On the eve of the initiation of this remarkable modern engineering feat, one was shown “‘in the shrine of Saint Francis of Paola on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, the cloak on which the Saint sailed across those difficult waters,” as the sober correspondent of The Times put it.3  That is, the mantle which, centuries ago, Saint Francis used as a kind of hovercraft to get across.  This, at least, showed any doubting Thomas that there was a mantle . . . whether used by Saint Francis or not, whether on the Italian mainland or on Sicilian soil, being immaterial.

When, however, we come to Saint Philomena, then miracles become events of such an extraordinary nature that they defy the most inexplicable laws by which they are said to occur.

One hot day of August, 1805, a small box containing the remains of a saint was brought to Mugnano del Cardinale, near Avellino.  The relics were those of Saint Philomena.  A Sanctuary was erected upon her mortal remains.  Pilgrimages were organized, and soon the faithful began to flock to her Shrine, from Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, the Indies, China, and the U.S.A.4  Miracles occurred.  Not only at the Shrine, but also in the countries named above, where novenas and special prayers were dedicated to Saint Philomena.  Learned Catholic intellectuals and historians, noted for their unassailable documentation, wrote articles, biographies, and books about the life, deeds, and times of Saint Philomena.  A few years ago the Vatican charged the Congregation of Rites to make an “accurate investigation” into the heroic virtues of this Saint.  The startling result?  Philomena had never existed.5

Whether it is more gratifying to work miracles although one has never existed or to work them although one has no head, it is not for any miscreant to say.  But the fact that top Italian politicians, including leaders of Italian Catholic Action, of the Christian Democratic Party and even of the Italian Catholic government itself are pious devotees of Saint Denis is impressive, not to say alarming.  For Saint Denis, it must never be forgotten, when his head was cut off, calmly picked it up and nonchalantly put it under his arm.  After which he went about his business as usual.  Owing to his exceptional ability to function without the benefit of a head, Saint Denis is hereby proclaimed by the present author as the official Saint Protector of all politicians, big and small, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

If we consider that people leading parties and governments take such absurdities with the utmost seriousness, we can see how portentous the results can be.  Since top Catholic politicians can be motivated by such low religiosity, whatever their brilliance in other fields, it is child’s play for the Church to translate their spiritual infantilism to her own advantage: that is, to use them as docile instruments for imposing her dicta without altering one single comma of the written Constitution.

The above illustrations are not meant as derogatory to the parties concerned, but are mentioned because they are relevant to the religious-political climate of a typical Catholic country.  The same remarks—with due modification, of course—can be applied to France, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, and even to Catholics in England and the United States, as we shall presently see.  For the peculiar mentality created by Catholicism is not a regional or even a racial by-product.  It is the result of a unique mixture of religion, superstition, belief in the irrational, credence of the miraculous, acceptance of a supreme authority above all, with its ensuing spiritual and ecclesiastical exclusiveness, and so on.  An Eskimo and a Central African, once Catholic, notwithstanding their fundamental dissimilarities, will share something in common: their Catholicism.  And, as a result, they will react in a similar manner to certain problems affecting their religion.

A colorful instance of this was the American Catholic gangster of Polish descent, who stipulated in his Will, read after he had been shot dead, that Masses be said for the repose of his soul and legacies be left to certain Nuns, all to be paid from “his” money, the proceeds of repeated bank robberies and half-a-dozen murders.  Or the Italian thief who, after having robbed several saints and Virgin Mary’s of their jewels and gold to the tune of three million liras, before leaving the Church in a small town near Rome, “lit a candle in front of the statue of Saint Anthony.”6

The behavior of the Catholic Church in Italy, while consonant with peculiarly Italian problems, is a sure guide to her behavior in every typically Catholic nation, and should, therefore, be scrutinized as such.

We shall not here deal with those employed by Italian government agencies, since it is obvious that they must conform, both with the State, mainly controlled by Catholics, and with the Church, mainly controlling the State.  Rebellion on their part would mean professional stagnation, demotion, or dismissal.  Liberal professions, being more independent, are frequent targets of the Church’s vengeance.  Thus, a writer, a film director, or a theater manager, while constitutionally allowed practically unlimited liberty, cannot in reality use it to his satisfaction since he must first consider the Catholic Establishment.  Disparagement of the Catholic Church in Italy is as taboo as disparagement of the Royal house in England.

Witness the case of the writer and film director sentenced to a suspended four months’ imprisonment by a Rome Court for “contempt of the Roman Catholic religion,” on the grounds that he had “deliberately mocked the Catholic religion twenty-three times at least in one of his films.”7
Following the showing of another film, L’Osservatore Romano came to the fore with official cannonades and issued “peremptory demands to the Italian authorities to have the film withdrawn.”8  L’Osservatore Romano, it should be noted, is the official organ of another State, the Vatican City.  That is, it is the mouthpiece of the Catholic Church.

An equivalent would be if Pravda, the official organ of the Communist Party, ordered Italian Communists or their American comrades to prevent the showing in their countries of a film not approved by Moscow.

Result?  The huge Catholic promotion pressure machinery which is always behind the Italian government—particularly when the latter is dominated by the Catholic Party (the Christian Democrats)—was set in motion.  The Vatican’s blatant intervention in the affairs of Italy this time was resented to such an extent that even Catholic Deputies objected on the grounds that it was too obvious and that it would too openly undermine the authority of the Italian State.  The man in the street also became vexed at such interference and, instead of boycotting the film, he patronized it as a protest against the Vatican.  The Vatican then struck the cinema goer with the weapon of religious sanction, aiming at the Italian Catholic’s most vulnerable point.  It declared the film “forbidden to all Catholics.”

The subservient Catholic government followed suit.  A new bill was put before Parliament with “unaccustomed rapidity,” to implement L’Osservatore Romano’s order to the letter.

This was only one of the Vatican’s many regular intrusions into the affairs of democratic Italy.  The intervention was but one of the many episodes of a long Catholic campaign directed at the reintroduction of censorship on the whole of the Italian film industry.

Notwithstanding valiant opposition from the film industry itself and from the anti-Catholic parties, the Church once more had her way.  In 1964 and 1965 she intensified her campaign of pressure—a pressure which finally culminated in the Catholic Church commanding the Italian government (that is, the Catholic Party, then in a coalition government) to hamstring the industry officially, by law, since the unofficial censorship so far imposed by both the Church and the State had not been to her satisfaction.

To carry out the Vatican’s orders, Catholic members of Parliament were briefed; the parliamentary machinery was mobilized; the Catholic Party, Catholic Action, and the Church herself initiated such a campaign that the Coalition Government had to act.  The Prime Minister—the leader of the Catholic Party and a former head of Catholic Action (a genuine creature of the Catholic Church)—aided and abetted by his Catholic Parliamentary colleagues, passed an amendment thanks to which “moral judgment” (i.e., the moral judgment of the Catholic Church and no other) would have to be invoked before it was decided which films should be given “obligatory showing” and thus be entitled to financial grants.

This amounted to the imposition, with one single blow, of indirect Catholic moral censorship by ECONOMIC MEANS upon the entire Italian film industry.

The lengths to which Catholic politicians went to have the bill passed are shown by the fact that the amendment was put forward by the Catholic Prime Minister with such “slick timing” as to border on dishonesty.  How was it done?  The bill was introduced when the majority of Deputies who, the Prime Minister knew, would have voted against the amendment were absent.  Having made sure that two hundred of them were anywhere except in the vicinity of the Chamber, he asked those present to vote.  The result was 219 in favor.  These were all Catholics and neo-Fascists.  Against: a mere 195, instead of the almost 400 there would have been had the amendment been put, as it should have been, before a full House.

In this manner, film censorship, advocated for so many years by the Catholic Church, was forced upon Italy, as L’Osservatore Romano had demanded.9

Such pressure by the Catholic Church is coated with a veneer of legality, so that, although it is frequently applied with the most immodest political chicanery, it can nevertheless be given the semblance of legality.

But the Catholic Church will not hesitate, when pressed, to use her direct and indirect influence over the machinery of the State, and come out in the open to demand that her will be done—Italian laws or no Italian laws.  This was the case in her attempt to suppress a theatrical show which she considered offensive.  A small theatrical company asked the local Roman authorities for a license to produce a play.10  Two months later they had had no reply.  Upon making inquiries they were told that no permit would be forthcoming.  The authorities who were so slow in dealing with the application had meanwhile informed Catholic quarters of the request.  These began to agitate, asking that the production be prevented and advising the authorities to use “any means” to stop the performance.

Thereupon, the company, to bypass the boycott, formed a private cultural club, having duly notified the police to this effect.  Being thus legally entitled to produce the play as originally intended, they invited about fifty selected people, including theatrical critics, newsmen, writers, and others to the dress rehearsal.

The critics had already begun to arrive when the police attempted to prevent them from entering the theater.  After about half of the invited audience had reached their seats, the police refused permission for the rest to enter.  When, in spite of this, the company began the dress rehearsal, uniformed and plain clothes police entered the theatre and ordered the suspension of the performance.  Members of the audience were removed, some of them forcibly.  Physical violence occurred and some of the critics were charged.

This was in that same Rome where the Catholic Church was proclaiming to the world, via the Second Vatican Council, that she believed in political and religious liberty.

The enforcement of the ban was carried out by sundry means, within and outside legality, under the very nose of the authorities: indeed, with their direct co-operation.  It might be illuminating to cast a glance at the methodical stepping-up of the Catholic pressure.

 

First Stage

An intangible Catholic boycott.  The authorities (either Catholic or Catholic-inspired) use delaying tactics to deny a license for the performance of the play (note the similarity to the Sydney authorities’ actions regarding the author’s book, The Dollar and the Vatican, mentioned in a preceding chapter).

 

Second Stage

The theatrical company then form themselves into a legal private club.  Thereupon, the police use another semi-legal subterfuge and declare that the club “had not been correctly licensed.”

 

Third Stage

The Roman Prefect issues a decree to legalize his dictatorial action by referring to the first article of the Concordat and to the seventh article of the Italian Constitution, which makes the Concordat and other agreements with the Vatican an integral part of the Italian Constitution.  Which Concordat was the Roman Prefect invoking?  That very Concordat signed by the dictatorial powers of pre-war Fascist Italy: the Vatican and none other than Benito Mussolini, the Father of Fascism.  Simultaneously with the local pressure in Rome, the Catholic press conditions its readers against the play; Catholic Members of Parliament agitate in the Chamber and even have the impudence to ask the government (while the play is being performed in Paris) that the work should never be allowed to be seen by the Italians.

L’Osservatore Romano strengthens the demand by stating that the attempt to put on the play in Rome is “a deliberate and calculated insult” to the feelings of Italian Catholics.  The Vatican itself intervenes unofficially to have the play banned.

 

Fourth Stage The police use force to prevent the dress rehearsal from being staged.

 

The sum of all this was (a) the stultification of Italian law; (b) the prevention of Italian citizens’ enjoyment of liberty; (c) the use of State authorities to stultify basic democratic tenets; and (d) last but not least, the use of brute force to implement the veto of the Catholic Church.

That was not all.  The government then in power, being a coalition government, was composed of Catholics and Socialists—the latter, ironically enough, being in charge of the Ministry dealing with the theater.  Yet, the very Socialist Deputy Prime Minister, a life-long champion of political and religious liberty, acknowledged that he was unable to intervene in the matter since the pressure of the Catholic Church was too great to withstand.11

The Italian Socialists, who had joined the Catholic Party in a Catholic government in the belief that they would insure the implementation of the civil liberties guaranteed by an elaborate Constitution, had been as hamstrung by the viscosity of the Catholic anti-libertarian web as they had been in their much-heralded efforts at liberalizing the anachronistic Italian divorce laws, family-planning regulations, and the like.

The pink defenders of liberty had been paralyzed as efficiently as mayflies caught in invisible threads spun with cunning laboriousness inside the silent walls of the Vatican.

 

 

 

6Patterns of Catholic Power in the Italian Peninsula

Countless episodes of this kind are happening all the time.

They range from the most trivial to the most inanely petulant: for example, the case of L’Osservatore Romano asking the authorities to take action against the Rome paper L’Unita because it published a series of short poems “offensive to the Holy Father.”  How?  The paper had had the temerity to ridicule a couple of papal nephews: Giulio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII’s nephew, and S. Pecci, nephew of Pope Leo XIII.  These two Italian gentlemen, claimed L’Unita, were exempt from paying taxes on the Ruritarian pretext that whereas the former was created Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Vatican, the latter was Minister of the Knights of Malta to the Holy See.

A typical episode occurred when Rome police seized a weekly magazine, L’Expresso, containing a selection of photographs taken at a highly publicized party given at a Rome restaurant by an American, to mark the birthday of a Countess.  The Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano asked the Italian government to remember its obligations under the Concordat (signed, as we have already noted, with Mussolini) to preserve “the sacred character of Rome.”  The restaurant was closed “indefinitely” by the police, on the grounds of “disturbances in a public place.”1  The “sacred character of Rome” remains miraculously intact and, indeed, unnoticed by the thousands of call girls and brothels prospering undisturbed within the spiraling circles of the Eternal City.
The clergy, knowing they will be backed by the police, at times dare to defy the civil authorities.  Witness the case of the Archbishop of Bari, who forbade the Mayor of that city and all the non-Catholic members of the Council to participate in a procession, although the ceremony was a centuries-old local civic tradition.  The Leader of the Catholic Party, more than once Prime Minister of Italy, had to hurry to the South, to confer with the Archbishop, while Members of Parliament tabled a motion, expressing the feelings of millions of Italians, asking what the government intended to do “to preserve the Italian citizens’ freedom of thought and of opinion and the prestige of those who represent the power and the organs of the State?”2

Or the refusal by the Catholic authorities of Palermo of permission for the transfer of the remains of an Italian patriot who had fought during the Risorgimento to unify Italy, thus depriving the Pope of his temporal domain.  This refusal in the face of the unanimous vote of the Municipal Council of Palermo occurred—not a century ago when the man was fighting against the Papal State—but in 1960, during Pope John XXIII’s reign.

In 1964 the Patriarch of Venice, for reasons known only to himself, issued a ban prohibiting clergy and nuns from visiting the Thirty-second Biennial Exhibition in Venice, thus casting a slur on a world-renowned art exhibition.

At the same time the Vatican will interfere with the freedom of the Italian press, in reverse.  That is, it will attempt to silence or reduce it when it reports unsavory deeds committed by priests, nuns, or monks.  In the summer of 1965, it was learned the monks of a monastery not far from the summer residence of Pope Paul VI were involved in a vast tobacco smuggling racket, discovered after a dead man and $64,000 worth of contraband cigarettes had been found in the monastery itself.  A monk was charged with complicity in manslaughter and with hiding the body.  Truck-loads of cigarettes from Switzerland and Germany had been driven to the monastery, to be hidden until they could be moved to the market.  Tobacco is a government monopoly in Italy, and the monks and their accomplices were depriving the government, led by Catholics, of large revenues.  Since Pope Paul VI himself “was very irritated” by the publicity the case received throughout Italy, the Vatican’s official organ, L’Osservatore Romano, complained that the press was giving the affair “too much attention.”  Catholic action and Catholic influence in the press did its utmost to minimize the issue by direct and indirect pressure on all papers except those of the Left.

But where the Catholic Church can and does exert true tyranny is in the field of marriage and divorce.  There she is a veritable persecutor, and Italian citizens are almost at her mercy.

A typical example was that of a woman prevented by her parish priest from attending a funeral.  When she asked the reason for the ban, the priest publicly insulted her, using abusive terms about her marital status.  As she refused to leave the funeral, the priest ordered a constable to remove her.  The woman swore at him, whereupon the priest asked the constable to arrest her.  The order was carried out, and she spent forty days in prison, awaiting trial.  When she appeared before the Assizes Court of Syracuse, she was sentenced to forty days in jail; having already served this time, she was released.  An appeal was lodged at a higher Court.  The higher Court quashed the prison sentence passed on her by the lower Court, and held that she “had not committed any offense punishable by Law.”3

This case could be multiplied by the hundred.  The parish priest, particularly in rural areas, commands the direct and indirect “fealty” of the local police, authorities, and potentates, who (unless of the extreme Left) do his bidding and band together to persecute, boycott, and harm any individual bold enough to challenge the writ of the Church.  These petty clerical tyrannies are not due to the personal idiosyncrasies of local clergy: they are part and parcel of the Catholic community dominated by the Church.

In the field of morality, to which the laws of marriage belong, the claims of the Catholic Church and of the State are not peculiar to Italy.  The issue is a burning one in every country in which the Catholic Church is established, and wherever there are Catholics, be the State Catholic, Protestant, or even non-Christian.

The case of the woman imprisoned for forty days is a case in point.  The local priest took the law into his own hands by forbidding her to attend a funeral on the grounds that “she was living with a man not her husband.”4

The Catholic Church reserves the right to insult, boycott, and condemn law-abiding citizens even when they are legally married, if these citizens refuse to be married by the Church.  Thus, the parish priest of Roccastrada took it upon himself to insult, boycott, and condemn a group of innocent citizens by publicly announcing that the houses of persons in that particular town who were married out of Church (that is, in a Registry Office) would be excluded from the customary Easter blessing, because these people were considered “public sinners” living in “scandalous concubinage.”

Yet in Italy, marriage at a Registry Office is perfectly valid and wholly legalized by the State.  Twelve inhabitants, claiming the protection of the State against the defamatory allegations of the Church, thereupon filed a suit against the parish priest for publishing a defamatory statement.5
The extent to which the Catholic Church claims the validity of her laws as against those of the State was illustrated by yet another typical case.  After having lived for a number of years with a woman without being married, a man on his death bed wished to marry her with a religious ceremony.  The priest who was called on was not available.  Therefore, according to canon law, the man made a declaration in the presence of four witnesses of his intention to marry the woman.  He died, and the four witnesses reported his intention to the priest, who recognized the marriage and registered it in the Church Register.  Thereupon, the woman applied to the government for a widow’s pension.  The civil authorities refused, since the State did not recognize the marriage.  The Catholics brought the case to Court.  The Court of Appeal of Cagliari upheld the nonrecognition of the marriage.  The Church thereupon launched a crusade against the State, saying in so many words that the State (to which, incidentally, the couple had not cared to go, preferring the Church) should recognize a marriage which had been recognized by the Church.6

Yet, whenever the reverse case occurs, the Church refuses to recognize a marriage considered legal and valid by the State.  One of the most famous instances was when the Bishop of Prato had to go before an Italian Court to answer charges of defamation of character brought by a couple whom the Bishop had repeatedly and publicly accused of living in a state of “scandalous concubinage” simply because they had not been married by the Catholic Church but had been satisfied with a civil ceremony.  The Bishop tried many times to make the wife (a Catholic) change her mind; but without avail.  Thereupon, he wrote a letter to her parish priest, instructing him to deny the sacraments to the couple.  The episcopal letter, which referred to the couple by name, was circulated in the parish bulletin and was read at every Mass on the couple’s wedding day, having meanwhile been widely publicized by the clergy and the Catholic boycott machinery.

Why did a Bishop insult, boycott, and condemn a respectable law-abiding couple, one of whom was still a practising Catholic?  Because a civil ceremony had made them enter into what the Bishop called “public concubinage.”  In short, the State could not marry them unless the Church had married them first.

When the Bishop was eventually summoned to court to answer a charge which in English or American law could best be described as “criminal slander,” the Bishop, supported by the Vatican, added insult to injury by refusing to recognize the jurisdiction of the court by failing to attend in person.  Why?  On what grounds?  Because “in matters regarding the spiritual government of the faithful” (including marriage) he was “responsible only to his conscience, to the Pope and to God.”  And he went so far as to state that “once a person is baptized, he is subject to the law of the Catholic Church for the rest of his days.”7

This last claim, incidentally, was not a personal idiosyncrasy of the Bishop’s.  It is one of the basic claims of the Catholic Church.  Although relegated to the background since the Second Vatican Council, it is still as valid as it was in the darkest days of the Middle Ages.

While this was taking place, the husband became the target of a mounting Catholic velvet terror, organized by the ecclesiastical authorities and by Catholic Action.  Catholic neighbors and friends began to ostracize him and his wife.  The social boycott was reinforced by the economic.  The daring couple’s business started to suffer, Catholics boycotting the husband’s shop with increasing effect until he courted bankruptcy.  When he asked for credit, credit was denied him by the competent bodies.  He became a pariah, and, as a result of the nervous strain, was finally struck by paralysis.  Even then, the Church struck with unabated cruelty and the faithful were told that the illness was a sign of divine intervention against an individual who had dared to challenge the Church’s authority.  The Rome newspapers announced the news of the husband’s sudden paralysis with a four-column headline.

That was not all.  Following the Bishop’s public insults against the couple and the couple’s going to Court, the Court rejected their action on the grounds that there was no case to answer.  The couple then went to the Florence Court of Appeal, which ruled that the Bishop and the parish priest must answer the charges.

Naked terror was set in action, and the husband was assaulted in the street and beaten up by Catholics.  This brutality was perpetrated although he had an unblemished war record, fought with the Partisans during World War II, spent a year in Buchenwald concentration camp, was put before a firing squad by the Germans, and escaped with his life only because an Allied air raid occurred minutes before the planned execution.

The Bishop eventually received a suspended sentence, the first sentence that the Italian State had passed upon a Catholic Bishop since Mussolini and the Vatican became partners by signing the Concordat of 1929.

At this verdict, the Pope promptly canceled the celebration of his anniversary in St. Peter’s because of “the bitterness, grief, and outrage to the Church.”  Cardinal Lercaro, the Archbishop of Bologna, ordered all churches within his Archdiocese to go into mourning until Palm Sunday.  L’Osservatore Romano suggested darkly that “all involved in the matter may have incurred the penalty of excommunication.”8
Yet the Italian Prime Minister, a leader of the Catholic Party, when asked for his reaction, said that, although sorry as a Catholic about the verdict, nevertheless, as Prime Minister, he felt that “justice must take its course in the case of the Prato Bishop.”9

What else could the Prime Minister say, as the chief official of the Italian State?  But did other Catholic government officials think and act like him?  The answer was to be seen months later.  For the Bishop, prompted by the Vatican, gave notice of appeal against his conviction for slander.  The Bishop did not himself appeal.  His counsel did.  Because, under Italian Law, a counsel can appeal without his client’s authorization, provided that his client does not object.  Why did the Bishop use this Jesuitical trick?  Simply because, once more, he did not recognize the jurisdiction of a lay court.

After the Prato Bishop had lodged the notice of appeal, although he insulted the Italian State by saying he did not recognize a lay court, the Catholic Gestapo set to work.  It began quietly exerting its influence upon the Italian State itself (it must be remembered that the government then was entirely Catholic, being formed of Christian Democrats), and changes among certain judicial officials of Florence took place quietly but efficiently.  Result?  Once the changes had been made, the new Court acquitted the Bishop.  Not only that.  It ordered the couple to pay the costs of both the original trial and the appeal.  This, to a poor shopkeeper like the husband, meant financial ruin.

The Bishop of Prato, with the millions of the Vatican behind him, plus a Catholic government at the helm of the State, had won his case.  The Catholic Church had proved once more that she put herself above the State, any State, and that she can still act with a ruthlessness, cunning, and unscrupulousness worthy of her past.

The couple of Prato were not exceptions.  Thousands of Italians, men and women, have tried for years to bring legislation affecting their daily lives in line with the rest of the civilized world.  They have fought again and again, by every means at their disposal, but in vain.  What elsewhere—in fact, in most nations of the world—is taken for granted as a basic right for all citizens, in Italy is considered crime and high treason.  We refer particularly to the question of divorce.

Italy is still one of the few countries of the world where there is no divorce.  The alternative is annulment and legal separation.  Attempts to enact divorce legislation have been defeated again and again by the Catholic Church, which has mobilized all her forces, ranging from the local parish priest to the press and the Deputy in the Chamber, to oppose it.

In 1958, during the Prato case, a new political movement called the “Italian Movement for Divorce” was formed in northern Italy, the situation having reached a stage when millions of people were becoming visibly restless.  Hence the Catholic Church’s determination to win the Prato case at all costs, as a warning to such forces.  Since then, the Church has redoubled her campaign to force the Italians to conform to her laws.  Her chief weapon: the parish priest.  His main target: the Italian woman, a traditional, supine object of Catholic policies.  At the other extreme, and the most effective of the Church’s weapons: the Christian Democratic Party (the Catholic Party).

In the past, whenever divorce was mentioned in Parliament, the Catholic government, with an automatic majority, quashed the very word out of the Chamber in no time.  By the time of the Second Vatican Council, the demand for reform was so persistent that the Socialists became fearful of losing votes as a result of the ineffectiveness of their efforts to introduce new legislation.

But by this time the Church had set in motion her Trojan horse policy.  She permitted the Catholic government to form a Coalition Government with the Socialists.  As soon as the Socialists began to share power with the Catholics, they discovered that they could no longer press for divorce, unless they wished to destroy the Coalition.  And, since that was the last thing they wanted, they hardly dared to press for reform.  The Catholic tactic of joining an enemy when unable to stop him, so as to weaken him from within, had once more been successful.

In spite of this, by 1964 the demands for divorce had increased to such an extent that the Socialists eventually had to mention it in Parliament.  Popular demand, instead of diminishing, was rapidly growing.  And this meant votes were at stake.  One of the most popular of the ninety-six women’s magazines, in reply to its inquiry of what readers expected from the Second Vatican Council then in session, received 38,000 letters, of which three-quarters dealt with marriage.  Although the question was put by a panel of Catholic priests and all of the 38,000 readers said they were practising Roman Catholics, 75 per cent of them were plainly in favor of divorce.10

An over-all survey throughout Italy in 1966 disclosed that 60 per cent were against divorce, 38 per cent were opposed to abortion, and 35 per cent were against religious marriages—figures which mean that there exists a minority of millions whose wishes are wholly disregarded by the Catholic Church.

At this stage, Parliament dared to mention divorce again.  “It is something which must be talked about,” said one Minister, “without hypocritical self-censorship, because it is of such importance, even if politicians try to ignore it.”

“Each year, 12,000 couples go to the Court for legal separation, which is granted to only 7,000 of them,” he revealed.11  Taking into account those who separated in fact, if not legally, the figure, the Minister disclosed, was between 25,000 and 50,000.  Furthermore, he added, it could be safely stated that between three million and four million people were breaking the matrimonial laws.12  This state of affairs was due mainly, ironically enough, to the Catholic Church preventing divorce from being legalized by the State.
The human tragedies caused by this situation are numberless.  The lives of millions of men and women are ruined because the Church prevents them from legalizing their relationship with a new marriage and a new partner.13  That is not all.  Thousands of future citizens are compelled to begin their lives under a tremendous handicap because, as soon as they are born, they are labeled “illegitimate” by that Church which is the primary cause of their misfortune.

The same Minister disclosed in Parliament that over 30,000 children were born each year of adulterous relationships.  And in a country dominated by the heavy hand of the Catholic Church, where every child must be baptized as a passport to employment and the professions, the “illegitimate” have to be doubly careful, once adult, not to displease the Church.

The Socialists then appealed to their friends, the Roman Catholic Christian Democrats, to accept the principle of a distinction between an ordinary citizen, subject of the State, and a Roman Catholic believer, subject of the Church, as any truly democratic society demands.

What was the unanimous reply of the dominant Catholic forces of the government?  It was that their Party was “based on certain unshakable principles,” one of which was “the indissolubility of marriage.”14  The Catholic Church had spoken.

The undemocratic totalitarian spirit behind such Catholic attitudes becomes even more incredible when one is reminded that the Catholic Church and her political sycophants, the Italian Christian Democrats, permit and legalize and bless the “indissoluble marriage” of children of twelve years of age.  We quote:

 

“A recent case of a Sicilian child aged twelve who married, with ecclesiastical consent, has shocked opinion sufficiently for demands to have appeared in the press for radical changes.  The present legal position is a combination of Fascist thinking . . . and the precepts of Canon Law.15

 

Which proves that the laws of democratic Italy are not issued by Parliament, representing the people, but by the Vatican, regardless of the will of the people and notwithstanding the fact that the nation’s Constitution solemnly declares that “all citizens . . . and all religious denominations are equally free before the Law.”  (Articles 3 and 8 of the Italian Constitution.)

One beautiful morning of 1965, the Italians who until then had believed that they were safeguarded by their Constitution in matters concerning equality of religions were told that a provision in their Penal Code, demanding up to one year’s imprisonment for public contempt of the State (Catholic) religion, had been confirmed by the country’s highest legal tribunal, the Constitutional Court.  On what grounds?  On the grounds that “the special provision in favor of the Catholic Church was justified owing to the fact that the Catholic religion is the religion of the majority of Italians.”16

Just as simple as that.

Yet, let the Protestants in, say, the United States of America, claim the same privilege—rather, the same right to abuse the Constitution—by putting themselves above the Catholic minority; and heaven would be deafened by Catholic lamentations and their hypocritical invocations to that same Constitution which at heart they despise and hate.

For the Catholic Church has always acted on the following maxim: “When we Catholics are in a minority, we demand freedom in the name of YOUR principles; when we Catholics are in a majority, we deny freedom in the name of OUR principles.”17

 

 

7The Pattern of Catholic Power in Protestant Countries

Not so long ago, in Protestant England, an ordinary Englishman celebrated the conversion to the Catholic Church of himself, his wife, and his four children by devising a plan to buy and demolish an unwanted Church of England building and to rebuild it as a Catholic chapel.1
Simultaneously, in foggy London, a committee were cogitating on ways and means by which to sell some three hundred unwanted and empty Anglican churches in which nobody worshipped.2
“Roman Catholics faced with a costly building program are willing to take all Anglican edifices going . . .”  announced a popular newspaper shortly afterwards.3  This was an understatement.  Roman Catholicism ever since World War II, although erecting more and more sacred and educational buildings, had been faced with mounting difficulties in accommodating its rapidly increasing congregations, while the Church of England’s difficulties had been in dealing with her shrinking congregations.

But if the progress of the former and the rapid deterioration of the latter were striking in themselves, the visible contrast between the advances of the Catholic Church as a vigorous minority and the decay of the Anglican establishment as a shrinking majority was even more so in the spiritual field.

While a section of the Anglican clergy—perhaps the most religiously anaemic clergy in the world—addressed their listless parishioners with open advocacy of a Utopian Communist Paradise,4 Catholic teachers were making pleas to local authorities to hand over derelict schools to Catholic parishes in need.  While Anglican Bishops were undermining the already corroded Christian belief of their Anglican members who still bothered to read about their Church with the infantile sub-theology of pretentious little books,5 the English Jesuits were erecting the first Catholic faculties of theology and philosophy of England and Wales, with a library holding half a million volumes.6  While the top Anglican hierarchy were spending their time concocting slick devices to create “a better image of the Church of England as a land owner”  (the Church of England being the largest landowner after the English Crown Estate), or were selling penthouses at £50,000 each,7 a group of anonymous businessmen were offering to finance a new Catholic Cathedral in Bristol costing one million pounds sterling.8  While minor Anglican parsons were pontificating on why “a dog cannot be a Christian, unless it is baptized,”9 the Catholic hierarchy were petitioning the Vatican for the canonization of forty English ‘martyrs’, and Pope Paul VI was creating a new diocese under the very Anglican nose of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was proudly careering around in ritualistic encounters with officials of the government or consorting with members of the Royal entourage or bowing before the English Queen, “the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.”10

The outward evidence of this Anglican decadence was to be seen in the fact that one had simply to enter a Church of England to find the greatest number of empty pews in any major church, while to discover the reverse one simply had to enter a Catholic church.

The result of this state of affairs is that the Catholic Church, officially a minority church with four million or so members, has an estimated active membership equal to the active membership of the Church of England, in spite of the latter having more than half the total population of the British Isles, fifty-two million, and being supported by the Monarchy, by the government, and by a large amount of the taxpayers’ money.11

The factors mainly responsible for the vigor of the Catholic Church and the decline of the Church of England are there for all to see.

Whereas the Catholic Church is moved by short and long-range goals inspired by a vision of universality, directed by a central power second to none, and moved by the genuine religious beliefs of her members, the Church of England is moved by narrow-minded, parochial, outdated, jingoistic aims directed by a central power lacking in organizational and theological backbone and composed of a membership mostly as void of any genuine spiritual foundation as the pipe-smoking, gin-drinking, slipper-wearing clergy by which it is vaguely addressed once a week, in gloomy, deserted churches.

The Church of England has lost her pristine integrity and spiritual vigor.  More than that, she has lost faith in herself and, therefore, in her original mission.  She has come to be regarded as an object of pity and of tacit derision by the semi-pagan British lower middle class proletariat.

Some of her advocates, whose infantile cowboy-like sub-theology is the laughing stock even of Evangelical denominations, have ascribed the contemporary religious indifference of the British masses to the Church of England’s spectacular decomposition.

Yet they cannot, or will not, explain the spectacular expansion of the Catholic Church, working in precisely the same type of society as they are.

The truth of the matter is that the Catholic Church is belligerently expanding because she is animated by a vigorous ‘spirituality’ and inspired by a single goal: the total Catholicization of England.  Nothing more, nothing less.

To be sure, such a goal will not be achieved overnight.  And no one knows that better than the Catholic Church herself.  For the hard fact is that, although a large minority and notwithstanding her present great influence, she is still a comparatively small denomination.  Indeed, when compared to the official status of the Church of England in, let us say, the political halls of official power, hers is a very humble one.

This is borne out by concrete figures.  Catholics, although representing about 10 per cent of the total population, have a mere 3 or 4 per cent of their representatives in the House of Commons and House of Lords.  Compare this with the battalions of members of the Church of England in both Chambers or in the government, where, for instance, another minority, the Jewish population of only half a million, is proportionately better represented than any other in the land.

Yet, to assume that Catholic influence is proportional to the numbers of Catholic representatives in official positions would be to make a grave mistake.  Her influence is expanded by her members in key positions, whose power is disproportionate to their numbers because they have captured the social, cultural, and administrative citadels of society, from which they can promote the interests of their Church perhaps more effectively than in any other country because of that peculiarity of English society: snobbery.  Although this trait is to be found elsewhere, it is nevertheless paramount in England.  To the uninitiated, such a social scourge is hardly tangible.  To believe that it can and does further the interests of a church, at first sight, therefore, seems ridiculous.  Yet snobbery is there: concrete, real, and at work.  It permeates the whole structure of English society and is widely practiced (although officially it does not even exist).

This kind of subtle invisible snobbery is of tremendous help in enabling the Catholic Church to move in high places.  It is not a coincidence that major writers are Catholics or converted Catholics; that certain celebrated motion picture and stage actors, directors, and the like have joined the Catholic Church; that certain upper class ladies with real or imaginary emotional problems and too much time or too much money at their disposal are fashionable regular visitors to the conversion classes held by the Jesuits in Mayfair’s Farm Street; and that even more influential circles, such as those of the press, trade unions, radio, television, the foreign office, the higher echelon of the Civil Service, diplomatic corps, the judiciary, and the professions12 are all fully represented by Catholics.  The very exclusive citadels of the Royal circle have their individual Catholics well entrenched around the Monarchy.13
These inroads have been extended by an almost total absence of opposition from Protestantism at large and from the Church of England in particular—excluding the Evangelical bodies.  Typical of this attitude were the confessionals, confessions, and suchlike in Canterbury Cathedral; the sight of a white-robed Catholic Benedictine monk leading a prayer service in Westminster Abbey for the first time since the Reformation;14 official and unofficial encounters between high Anglican prelates and the Vatican; the passing of legislation legalizing the adoption of Catholic practices in the Anglican liturgy—this to such an extent that a staunch Protestant, Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the House of Lords, finally hurled against the Archbishop of Canterbury, in plain session of the House of Lords, the challenging and humiliating cry, “Are you a Protestant?”15

Notwithstanding his religious obtuseness or indifference, the average Englishman has sensed the inadequacy of the Church of England and cognate bodies in contrast to the activity of the Catholic Church.  Thus, although inactivated by collectivized entertainment, gambling fever, and the infantile antics of sub-moronic radio and television programs, he cannot help noticing that whereas (unlike his public house where at least he can drink his beer twice a day) the Anglican churches are closed except for brief spells on Sundays, the Catholic churches are open daily from morning till evening for anyone to enter, to pray, to find spiritual solace and comfort.  And, whereas the Catholic Church is active mainly on spiritual and religious issues, even when dealing with financial ones, the Church of England seems to be active only when her million-pound gilt-edged stocks are vibrating on the Stock Exchange, or when she buys land—not to build more churches or more schools as the Catholics do—but to build blocks of flats or offices for speculative purposes.

The Catholic Hierarchies, organizations, priests, and members take their religion seriously and practice it in their daily routine.  Journalists, lawyers, doctors, nurses, political writers, and others dealing with the public are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to advance the prestige of their Church.  In consequence, the image of the Catholic Church has advanced by leaps and bounds in all fields.

Since the call for Christian unity, reunion, and so on, the pace has accelerated, thanks also to the support of the Church of England and other Protestant bodies which have joined the campaign with masochistic eagerness.

Anglican Archbishops, Bishops, Canons, and minor clergy have become the enthusiastic advocates of this latest move of the Vatican’s.  We have seen the spectacle of the Head of the Church of England telling Protestants to listen to and to follow the call from Rome—a spectacle, this, which would have delighted the very confessor of Queen Mary who in the sixteenth century boasted that he had caused thirty thousand heretics to submit, to be burned, or to go into exile.

Unity week drives have been launched, with inter-faith prayers, discussions, lectures, and meals in common.  The Catholics have celebrated special Unity Masses to which Protestants have been invited and many, led by Protestant clergymen, have attended.16  The Catholic Hierarchy have come out to meet and help their Protestant brethren to understand and join the Catholic Church by relaxing certain regulations which have been a perennial irritant between Catholics and Protestants.
The result has been that selected representatives and public officials who in the past were forbidden to attend Protestant services, now can enter non-Catholic churches in the course of their civic duties.  Thus, Catholic Councillors can now attend services on Mayor’s Sunday in non-Catholic churches and chapels, while a Catholic Mayor, having celebrated Mayor’s Sunday in his own parish church, was permitted to join services in other churches in his official capacity.  The new regulation equally affected judges, town clerks, and other public officials.  Moreover, suitably qualified priests and laymen “with the approval of their Bishops, were permitted to speak in non-Catholic Churches.”17
The untheologically minded Protestants have been delighted.  In answer to the doubts of some of the more intelligent, Catholic spokesmen have asserted that Anglican-Roman Unity would not be a case of “the Church of England being taken over by the other.”  It would be simply “a coming together.”18
And yet, simultaneously, the Catholic Hierarchies have given orders to English Catholics to continue to obey the laws of their Church first and those of the State second.  While permitting this or that, they still forbid Catholics to attend indiscriminately in joint worship, which “is not generally permitted.”19  They decree also that “there can be no sharing in a non-Catholic Eucharist and Catholics cannot take an official part in a non-Catholic service.”20
The Catholic Church has made advances to other non-Catholic bodies.  For instance, Cardinal Heenan, the head of the Catholic Hierarchy, accepted the Joint Presidency of the Council of Christians and Jews,21 in spite of the fact that in 1954 the Vatican had ordered English Catholics to withdraw from the Council.  The move was a clever one, since the Jews are the most powerful group in British life and politics, having, in proportion to their half a million community, the largest representation in Parliament, the press, television, and other influential bodies.
Owing to this favorable climate, prominent public figures have begun to move with ease in the shadow of the Vatican, British Prime Ministers taking it for granted that they should visit the Vatican and have an interview with the Pope22—visits which, as we have already seen, were preceded and followed by those of the English Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
One of the visible results of all this has been that the process of whitewashing past and present difficulties with the Catholics has grown by leaps and bounds.  Thus whereas a national newspaper in 1956 described the cause and martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer in three long columns without mentioning the word Catholic once, although Cranmer, the founder of the English Liturgy, was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church four hundred years earlier, by 1966 the Catholic Church was flooding England with books, leaflets, and tracts glorifying the deeds of Catholics who had plotted against the Reformation.”23  Moreover, the Hierarchy went so far as to petition for the canonization of dozens of members of the Catholic Church who a few centuries before had been executed as criminals by Protestant England.

Behind all this, the Catholic Church began to organize herself unobtrusively but efficiently, matching the tactics of the Communist Party itself.  The Irish Archbishop who said that “a lesson can be learned from the Communists, who are adept at forming cells and infiltrating into various centres for the dissemination of their pernicious doctrines,” knew well how applicable this comparison was to the Catholic Church in England, with well over one hundred Secular Societies alone, not counting the religious and semi-religious orders, organizations, and brotherhoods.

Catholics are not only disproportionately represented in major influential fields; they are also well organized into Catholic unions or guilds to reach the lower echelons and the masses at large.

Thus, while a Catholic Accommodation Bureau and Catholic Introduction Bureau foster Catholic marriages, the Bellarmine Society is there “to assist in answering Press attacks on the Faith”—as if that were necessary.  Half the journalistic profession consists of Catholics, as the Guild of St. Francis of Sales, for journalists, publishers, and advertising men can well testify.  In addition, there are the Catholic Musicians Guild, the Catenian Association for professional and business men, the Federation of Catholic Trade Unionists; and the mass bombardment machinery; the Catholic Radio and Television Guild.

John Knox’s famous “Four blasts of trumpets against the monstrous regiments of women” had done nothing to induce fear into the hearts of the National Board of Catholic Women, comprising, among other bodies, the Women’s Advisory Council, the Guild of St. Luke, the Association of Convent Schools, the Young Christian Workers, the Young Christian Students, the Legion of Mary, the Grail, the Social Workers Association, the Union of Catholic Mothers, the Catholic Women’s League, and the Catholic Leagues Association.

Such organizations are by no means idle.  The campaigns they promote, in conjunction with Protestants and others, are very often inspired by the Catholic Church.  For example: a campaign to clean up radio, television, and the screen; organized pressure on the British Broadcasting Corporation by Catholic women wanting to answer advocates of family planning; boycott of bookshops and newsstands selling “pornography” (but, in fact, selling literature objectionable to the Catholic Church in particular);24 collective resistance to local authorities in such matters as adoption.  In regard to this last-named problem, although thousands of children of all denominations are living in children’s homes and are awaiting adoption, Catholics insist on the strictest rules concerning Catholic children being adopted only by Catholic families.  Indeed they go so far as to advise Catholic families to adopt non-Catholic children, so as to implant “the Faith in them.”  This scheme is being promoted by about twenty Catholic societies scattered throughout Britain.
No wonder Catholic penetration, which in the recent past has been circumspect, has, since the launching of the campaign for Christian Unity, taken an alarming turn.  In England, for instance, while she does not dare launch a frontal attack upon the traditional acceptance of divorce, she uses her intangible power to undermine its tenets and legislation.  Individuals and institutions at times echo unknowingly some of her typical objections or put forward proposals directed at restricting its use as a first step to its abolition.  For instance, a Law Reform proposal is advocated by a British High Court Judge which would forbid divorce of couples with children up to sixteen or seventeen years of age.25

The implanting of disruptive tactics can be carried out by placing a Catholic at the head of an otherwise praiseworthy body, acceptable to and sponsored by unsuspecting non-Catholic citizens, as in Great Britain by the appointment of an active Catholic as a new Secretary to the Public Morality Council.  This occurred (March, 1965) although the Council, formed in 1899, had been mainly Protestant-inspired and administered.

Following the capture of a citadel from within, the tactics of “Look-Listen” groups are no less dangerous.  For these groups, whose task is to “assess critically what they hear and see,” will set themselves up as censors outside the machinery of the State.

Catholics will go further by advocating similar “Look-Listen” groups in “senior classes” and “all secondary schools,”26 thus setting up a kind of children’s Gestapo.
Catholic Bishops will come to the fore.  E.g., the Bishop of Lancaster asked in a Lenten pastoral that “‘all the sane forces of public and private life should be mobilized.”27  The Bishop, like the rest of the Catholic Hierarchy at the time, was referring to “objectionable” shows in the theater, cinema, or on television.

Once her plan is accepted and forces are organized, the Catholic Church will use censorship to her own ends, regardless of whether freedom of expression and thought is stultified or whether Protestants are deprived of seeing what the State permits them to see.

Thus, when the play, “The Representative,” was shown in England, the Catholics became so difficult that the Lord Chamberlain, the Head of British Censorship, admitted that “the single play that has given me most preoccupation was ‘The Representative.’”28  The Lord Chamberlain was charitable and his was an understatement.  Catholic censorship, pressure, and even blackmail in English public life are tactics which everybody knows and fears, though they are seldom acknowledged or even mentioned.

There are times, however, when this blanket of silence is suddenly pierced and the extent of the power of the Catholic Church is laid bare before an incredulous and shocked nation.  One typical case should suffice to support this statement.

The British Broadcasting Corporation had sponsored a satirical program in which attitudes, public figures, and members of the Government were regularly criticized and ridiculed.  The program, although worthy of a “third-rate night club,” as The Times put it—and a “sub-moronic video audience,” as the present author would add—nevertheless had a following of millions.”29  Then the program did what it had done for months with all kinds of institutions, religious denominations, and individuals: It showed a satirical sketch, but this time about the Roman Catholic attitude toward birth control (February 27, 1965).  Immediately after the sketch, and as part of the same show, the B.B.C. asked a staunch Catholic Member of Parliament to criticize the sketch itself and to state the Catholic standpoint, which he did.

The British viewers enjoyed the skit, as they had those of the previous programs, and slept peacefully, convinced that it had been great fun.  But, lo and behold, the Catholics, like Queen Victoria, had not been amused.  In fact, they had been outraged.

Catholic laymen, Catholic prelates, Catholic Members of Parliament rose in arms.  A motion was tabled in the House deploring “this flagrant attack on the dignity of family life,” and the B.B.C. was asked to make a public apology.

The B.B.C. replied that the request “was being considered.”  The Catholic Members of Parliament thereupon ganged together and screamed collectively to heaven for vengeance.  The B.B.C. Director General wrote the Catholic Leader of this zealous band (Mr. Simon Mahon, Labour M.P.), saying that he regretted “the offence to viewers” and that he agreed the sketch was open to the criticism that it misrepresented Roman Catholic teaching about the family.  But, added Sir Hugh Greene, the Director General, the sketch “dealt with a subject of legitimate public interest.”  Not only that, but he had given “an opportunity for the presentation by Mr. N. St. John Stevas, Member of Parliament, of the Roman Catholic position on the social and economic aspects of birth control.”30
This enraged the Catholics even more.  Other Members of Parliament joined in the protest.  And, as is usual when the interests of their Church are at stake, Labour and Tory Members who until then had been at each other’s throats across the floor of the House, now forgot their party allegiance to rush to the defense of their true party, Catholicism.  The Catholic Socialists were joined by Catholic Tories.  The latter tabled another motion in the House of Commons, demanding “the immediate replacement” of Sir Hugh Greene as Director General of the B.B.C.31  The Labour group threatened:  “It is the duty of Catholic laymen in public life to see that reasonable standards of decency are maintained,” shouted their spokesman.  “What?  When we, as Catholic laymen, see our clergy, our women and our men insulted by this travesty of the truth . . . then we need no guidance from priests as to what action we should take.”32
The action to be taken was a “witch hunt” of the B.B.C.  The campaign was set in motion and reached such a pitch that one of the Catholic M.P.’s who signed the original motion of protest withdrew saying he “was not prepared to take part in any witch-hunting of the Director General of the B.B.C.”33
The Catholic uproar was eventually summed up by a reader of The Times thus: “There is no justification for the attempt, masquerading as affronted piety, to curtail that freedom of opinion and expression which the B.B.C. must have.”34

Another Member of Parliament put a motion to the House defending the Corporation:

 

That this House . . . notes that the B.B.C. television programme Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life has contained items ridiculing various Christian denominations and their Ministers, political parties, and right honourable Members of Parliament, businessmen, and trade unionists, and other worthy and important persons and institutions, as least as offensive as the recent item objected to by some Roman Catholics, but that those persons and institutions have not generally thought it wise or useful to retort with public displays of intemperate anger . . . observes that the recent protests were, in any case, unnecessary since the offending sketch was immediately and forcefully condemned in the same programme by the honourable Member for Chelmsford, himself a Roman Catholic . . . congratulates the director general of the corporation on the generally high standard of the more serious B.B.C. programmes on television and sound radio and urges him to continue to extend the producers’ freedom of experiment and, while allowing reasonable time to minority interests and opinions, to ignore organized attacks by minority pressure groups.35

 

The British public was astonished and shocked at the Catholic outburst of intolerance, witch-hunting, demands for instant dismissal, and similar dictatorial behavior simply because a public institution had dared to satirize a Catholic viewpoint.  “Why all this fuss about the birth control sketch in Not So Much a Programme?” wrote a viewer.  “I well remember a disgusting joke at the expense of God and His Son early on.  Hardly a protest was raised on that occasion.  Are we to believe that the Roman Catholic Church is more sacred than God?”36

Indeed, it was.  For as soon as the storm had abated, Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life quietly went off the air and ceased for good.  The B.B.C., the mouthpiece of a Protestant democratic nation, priding itself on its total political and religious independence, had bowed before the heavy hand of Catholic dictation.

 

 

8Pattern of Catholic Power in Great Britain and Australia

The ignominious surrender of the British Broadcasting Corporation was one of the most glaring cases of contemporary Catholic velvet pressure in Great Britain.  Hundreds of others go unnoticed except by the actual victims of Catholic intolerance and intimidation.  When such cases do come to the fore, more often than not the deadly Catholic hand in the press will see to it that they are minimized or suppressed altogether.

The Catholic pressure can be directed, not only against a respected institution like the B.B.C., but against a whole industry.  For instance, that of motion pictures, since the Church claims authority to censor, condemn, and boycott films of which she does not approve.

To add insult to injury, the directives, in the case of the British film industry are not even issued from London.  They come from Rome.

Thus, in 1964 the Committee attached to the Pontifical Commission for the Cinema, Radio and Television approved only 4 out of 41 British films for family viewing.  The remainder, headed by another 4 which had been banned altogether, were blacklisted, although one of these had been named the “Best British Film of 1963” by the London Film Critics Guild.  Reason?  “They had presented in subtle form themes contrary to Catholic doctrines.”1
I find it amusing that the Catholic Church is the only pressure group, besides the Communist Party, to do this kind of thing,” commented a publicity director.  “We made this film in the best possible taste, and we spent a lot of time, money and trouble on it,” complained another, talking about “Of Human Bondage,” another blacklisted work.  “This rating will . . . keep Catholics away from it. . . .”2  He was right.  The Catholic press and other organs of the Catholic spiritual boycott, not excluding some Catholic cinema managers, saw to it that thousands stayed away.

Because of this, the British film industry has to bow to Catholic velvet power before making any movie.  “Will such and such a script gain the approval or disapproval of Rome?” is the first unwritten question of the industry.

This is not in Catholic Italy—where, incidentally, out of 150 films reviewed in the same period 44 were blacklisted—but in England and Scotland, universally believed to be still Protestant countries.

Were Catholic fear to paralyze freedom in these fields alone, that would be bad enough.  But Catholic coercion is felt in more serious areas, where the welfare of millions of innocent people is involved, as in organizations dedicated to the feeding of the starving millions of the world, such as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam).

This charitable body, after years of direct assistance to the hungry the world over, decided to adopt a policy of family planning to control the explosive population growth.

Catholic supporters of the organization, a minority, protested.  Unless Oxfam applied Catholic teachings to their work, Catholics would stop their contributions, they said.  Oxfam tried to appease the Catholics.  “Contributions to Oxfam, the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, from known Catholic sources will automatically be assigned to other than family planning services,” assured the Director of the Committee.3

Catholics, however, continued to protest and to threaten withdrawal.  Oxfam tried once more to reassure them.  “The sum allocated to family planning for 1965 does not represent even one per cent of the 2,500,000-pound budget,” they assured their Catholic supporters.  The Catholics became more adamant.  Even that was an infringement of Catholic teaching.  The Director of Oxfam then pointed out that, while considering Catholic objections, he also “had to take into account the fact that many—in fact, the vast majority—of Oxfam supporters were non-Catholics.”

Catholic replies followed thick and fast.  “No more money from us to Oxfam,” said two hundred members of Abbey Youth Club, Erdington, Birmingham.  Catholic schools, Catholic organizations, and Catholic individuals followed suit.  Catholic members of the various branches of Oxfam throughout the country resigned.  “We are saddened,” said a spokesman of Oxfam.

Catholic pressure in this case, although it had failed to cow a powerful charitable body, had succeeded in reducing its activities, simply because Oxfam refused to impose upon its non-Catholic members in England and its non-Christian recipients in India the dicta of the Catholic Church.

At times such pressure can become a serious menace to the liberties of individuals or of corporate bodies dealing with the welfare of a whole nation.  Non-Catholic patients may be made to conform to Catholic ethics directly or indirectly by individual Catholic doctors or nurses.  Catholics themselves can be publicly castigated by Catholic authorities, independently of their rights as citizens.  Witness the case of a Catholic mother who, owing to the deterioration in her health, asked to be sterilized in a State Hospital.  In spite of legal and medical justification for the operation, she was publicly barred from Confession and Communion by the Church, to her great distress and to the distress of her whole family.4

It is doubtful whether the Catholic Church has the right to castigate citizens, even when they are her own members, by the use of religious sanctions and by promoting their emotional and social ostracism.  It might be argued in her favor that it is up to members to submit to or to reject her authority.  Which is true.  When, however, she attempts to impose her dictation upon non-Catholics, her actions can assume a truly sinister significance.

Such attempts are made by the use of two well-practiced methods: (a) exerting pressure upon Catholics, such as doctors, employed by a Protestant democratic government, and (b) threatening professions or non-Catholic professional bodies, so as to make them conform to Catholic dictation.

The former method of exerting pressure makes use of religion.  Through the local Hierarchy, British Catholic doctors have been the targets of this form of coercion time and time again.  To quote only one case: The Bishop of Nottingham scolded Catholic doctors for not obeying the laws of their church.5  “Doctors, even doctors who call themselves Catholics,” he accused, “advise family limitation by unlawful means.”  “Unlawful means” being methods not only legalized but also adopted by the State employing these same doctors.

Such pressure often trespasses into fields wholly alien to Catholic religious jurisdiction.  The Catholic Church in Britain, in her attempt to impose her laws and morality on a democratic Protestant country, uses Catholics in the professions as her tools to force public bodies and whole government departments to bow to her and to uphold her doctrines.

In this way she succeeded in forcing a partial Catholic censorship on the British General Post Office and on the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Family Planning Association, three highly respected official bodies.  Moreover, she makes her pressure continually felt by her concerted attempts to alter legislation involving the welfare of millions of non-Catholic citizens whose government has deemed it necessary, for instance, to legalize abortion.

The extent of this pressure has been such that in 1965 certain groups of doctors became concerned, pointing out that the efforts being applied to alter the present law were “mostly by nonmedical institutions.”6  They called upon the Minister of Health to solve the problem of the implementation of the law on abortion as it then stood.  Why?  Because, they pointed out, “there are occasions when our recommendations for termination of pregnancy have not been acted upon because of the admitted religious scruples of the consultant gynaecologists to whom the cases have to be initially referred.”  The final comment of the doctors was a telling one: “In this way,” they wrote, “whole sections of the community may be denied a service which is recognized as both legal and ethical.”7

The pressure is a continuous one.  This is so evident that even The Times, the semi-official mouthpiece of the government, on a similar occasion dared to come out with a frontal attack:

 

Generous allowance may be made for the strength and sincerity of beliefs affecting social questions that are held by Roman Catholics and by others who think like them.  But the far larger section of the public that disagrees has its rights and should not be sacrificed through the timidity or desire for a quiet life of any institution that serves it.  By general recognition of the majority in this country, the Family Planning Association has taken its place among the respectable and useful adjuncts of the social services.  To consult it is not compulsory.  Doctors and laymen who disapprove of its activities need have nothing to do with it.  But these non-conformists to the generally accepted pattern of public opinion have no business to seek to interfere with their neighbours.  The British Medical Association should clear itself of the charge that now hangs over it of having given in to a minority.8

 

The typical case which aroused The Times was when the British Medical Association refused advertisements for the Government-sponsored Family Planning Association:

 

Its [the B.M.A.’s] Council is reported to have rejected, at least until further notice, an advertisement for the Family Planning Association which was to have appeared in one or more of the B.M.A.  publications.  This withdrawal is stated to have been ordered in deference to protests from Roman Catholic doctors.  A similar attempt to exercise censorship on lines alien to British ideas was rightly resisted in the summer by the Postmaster-General and by the B.B.C.9

 

The Times, thereupon, having for once lost its Olympian serenity, became indignant:

 

“A healthy tradition of British public life,” it thundered in an editorial headed “Undue Pressure,” “allows the fullest reasonable freedom of speech and action to minority pressure groups.  But the line should be drawn against allowing them [the Roman Catholics] to have their way to the extent of coercing the majority.”10

 

The line will never be drawn.  Why?  Because British Catholics, by the mere fact of being Catholics, are duty bound to do all in their power to expand the influence of their Church.

The same applies to British Catholics who have emigrated.

At the other side of the world, in Australia, for instance, this is the most alarming fact of that country’s life.  The primeval Australia of the ruddy Puritan and Protestant pioneers is a thing of the past.  Today Australia is an Australia where the Catholic Church is a power in her own right, her membership by 1966 having reached 2,500,000.  Her “image” is as concrete as any social, political, or economic reality.  No political party, in or out of office, dares ignore her.  Her “presence” is already an integral part of Australian political life.  Catholicism as a political force will trespass into all fields, with the result that all strata of Australian activities are affected, influenced, and very often controlled by the Catholic Church.

Catholic influence is felt simultaneously in trivial and serious matters: in the issuing of a Christmas stamp depicting a reprint of a pre-Reformation woodcut of the Madonna and Child (1962), on the one hand, and in the allocation of lands to create 100 per cent Catholic communities, on the other.

Censorship of books, newspapers, and films by legal and semi-legal means and even by subterfuge is promoted by her, regardless of whether or not non-Catholics desire it.

The number of banned books—that is, books which could not enter Australia—for instance, was 1,200, although pressure from Liberal elements was so great that the authorities were forced to reduce this number to 145, as announced by Senator Henty, Minister for Customs.11

We have already dealt with the example of The Dollar and the Vatican, and the hundreds of copies withheld by Catholic officials and Catholic Action, on semi-legal pretexts, until the Australian government itself had to intervene directly in the matter (Chapter 4).  That was only one of hundreds of cases of Catholic censorship.

If the Catholic Church confined her interference to such matters, it would be bad enough.  But she does not hesitate to intervene in problems of the most serious consequence to all Australians.

She will seek legislation in accordance with her doctrines on matters of family planning, birth control, and divorce; and she has set up various organizations, pressure groups, and Catholic lobbies in the federal capital as well as in many other cities.  While individuals are honored by official and unofficial Catholic bodies for their services to the Catholic Church,12 Catholic societies launch appeals to collect funds to build chapels to the Virgin Mary13 or to influence Australian public opinion (e.g., the Australian Catholic Family Welfare Bureau).

Simultaneously, the Catholic Church tries to change the way of life of the whole nation by molding the minds of a large portion of youth, and by forcing the very government, by fair means or foul, to grant her special funds to carry on her schools, where only Catholic teaching is permitted and where anything non-Catholic—however Australian it may be—is strictly forbidden and condemned.

Thus, in 1964 the Australian Prime Minister introduced the first Commonwealth Bill ever to grant direct help to private schools, providing for an expenditure of 10 million pounds on education.  By 1966 there were about 150,000 secondary school pupils and 340,000 primary school pupils in Australia’s Catholic schools.  The Queensland Minister of Education, on the opening of St. Joseph’s College in Brisbane, after pointing out that the government was giving “considerable help to non-State schools”  (that is, Catholic schools), added, as a clue to what had produced the miracle, that “the change in the atmosphere” had been largely due to the efforts of Archbishop Duhig of Brisbane and the Anglican Archbishop Halse14—not to mention the Catholic pressure groups, both inside and outside the government, which had been working for just such legislation for years.

The granting of Catholic demands was a cunning move on the part of the political party then in power to court the favor of the Catholic vote: something which many Australians will deny exists, but which politicians of all parties know is of vital importance to their fortunes.

That this is a reality and not a myth was demonstrated by the Vatican itself, when Pope Paul VI conferred a Papal knighthood upon Mr. Arthur Calwell, Australian Labour Party Leader, bestowing on him the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (1964).  The honor had a practical political significance; it was hoped that this Papal gesture might sway the political allegiance of many Australian Catholics.  The purpose was to win back to the Labour Party many Catholics who had given their strong support to the breakaway Democratic Labour Party formed in 1955, thus frustrating the Labour Party’s sundry attempts to form a government which would have been favorable to the Catholic Church.

That Catholic individuals are in a position to sway the federal and local elections is due to the fact that many of them have penetrated the trade unions and that Catholic organizations of all kinds are at work to infiltrate, influence, and capture the political machinery of Australia.  Very often this results in the conflict of loyalties and interests and the stultification of legislation meant to benefit Australia as a whole, such legislation being often distorted to benefit exclusive Catholic long-range plans.

One of the most notorious examples of this is the Catholic Church’s relentless influence on legislature dealing with European emigration to Australia.

Australia is an empty continent.  With an exploding Asia next door, she is tempting bait for any overcrowded country.  The Yellow Peril is no distant myth to her.  It is real, concrete, potentially imminent.

Hence Australia’s call for immigrants, and her official and unofficial agreement to national quotas.  But these national quotas have been speedily bypassed, mainly by the Catholic Church, which has insisted on preference being given to certain immigrants because they are Catholics.  This is with the specific view of promoting a grand scheme aimed, not only at keeping Australia white, but at making Australia Catholic.

The National Catholic Rural Movement of Australia, for instance, like sundry other organizations, societies, and councils, has as one of its principal aims the establishment of Catholic colonies where Catholic immigrants can settle and thus create future Catholic communities where the dicta of the Catholic Church will prevail undisputed.  Lobbying, planning, and bargaining have been going on vigorously for years, with the view of buying land and carrying out this daring plan.

Such Catholic boldness has caused serious stresses between politicians and their parties.  No politician can take it lightly, since the pressure of the Church can mobilize forces of an economic and political nature that will steamroller anyone brave enough openly to oppose her schemes.

We shall confine ourselves to a typical case: that of a courageous Protestant Member of Parliament, R. W. Bolt.

The Australian Labour Party, which is dominated by Catholics—Mr. Calwell, for instance, its most prominent Leader, being one—and which supported and promoted the plan, went so far as to propose favorable legislation with a view to the creation of purely Catholic colonies in lands owned by the government.  The proposal was implemented by the same Party, which asked that special contingents of Italian immigrants (all of whom, of course, had first to be scrutinized by the Catholic authorities both in Italy and in Australia on the genuineness of their religious beliefs) should come to settle on Crown lands.

The most outspoken opponent was Mr. R. W. Bolt, who fought, practically singlehanded, against the passing of such legislation.

Catholic pressure was quickly built up against him.  Catholics visited him, counseling, asking, threatening.  They warned him that, unless he bowed to their wishes, they would see that he lost his parliamentary seat.

Mr. Bolt finally consented to introduce the bill, hoping for a quid pro quo from the Catholics and the government, and he duly addressed Parliament on the bill, as promised.  But then he startled his colleagues by suddenly putting aside his speech.  “I cannot go on,” he said, and walked out of the Chamber.

He subsequently resigned from Parliament and from his official position.

And the bill?  Under powerful Catholic pressure it was eventually passed and the vast program set in motion.

The Catholic Church, which only a few decades ago was considered a second-class Church, to be tolerated for the sake of integration and of democratic principles, now is the dominant Church of Australia, boldly putting forward plans to capture the continent from within by the penetration of Australian seats of power, and to transplant thousands of Catholics from Europe, so as to create whole Catholic colonies and eventually transform Australia into a Catholic continent.

The plans of the Catholic Church are no less and no more than that.  As in Britain, her ultimate goal is simple and total: Catholicization of the nation.  An outspoken English Hierarch minced no words about it:

“Our aim,” he said, “is the conversion of every single man, woman and child in this country [England] . . .  We must carry out the charter given to us.  We cannot and we shall not rest until not one single person remains outside the Catholic Church.”15

The situation is indeed different from that in 1570, when the Pope, after hurling a Papal Bull of excommunication against the heretical Queen Elizabeth, urged all Englishmen to rebel against her.  Today, one of his successors is being visited by British Prime Ministers, by British politicians, by Anglican Bishops led by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, and by the very Queen of England, all obsequiously pilgrimaging to the Vatican, where the Pope, while giving them his blessing, is simultaneously engaged upon creating new English Cardinals, erecting new English Dioceses, and expanding the English Hierarchy, all in pursuit of the same goal for which his distant predecessor had urged Englishmen to revolt against their legal ruler.

Now, such a call, more than unnecessary, would be unreal.  No wonder.  The Vatican, having waited four hundred years, can tarry a few more brief decades, the better to crush the hollow shell of the Church of England and her allied Protestant churches, to erect in their place all might and glory for the homecoming of the renewed, powerful, and triumphant Catholic Church.

 

[CHCoG – Overall, the papacy’s plan has continued as Manhattan has predicted, but with one important change:  In the USA, and many other countries including Britain, Australia and even Mexico, although the number of Catholics has continued to grow, the number of priests reached a maximum in 1970, and has declined steadily ever since, though this is partly offset by increases in Africa.  It seems that many of today’s Catholics are only nominal, and are not willing to work for the papacy as unpaid celibate slaves.  The numbers of monks and nuns are also in serious decline.  None the less, the Roman church remains a formidable political force, and when faced with excommunication and therefore threatened with ‘eternity in the flames of hell,’ it is likely that many of these nominal Catholics will submit to the pope’s demands.]

 

 

9The Pattern of Catholic Promotion of a Catholic America

The Catholic Church is the largest Church in the United States of America.  Ecclesiastically, she is the best organized.  Financially, she is on a par with any of the giant trusts or corporations of America.  Indeed, should the occasion arise, she could stand up to all of them collectively.  Politically, she is looming ever larger at the White House.  She is a power in the Senate, a force at the Pentagon, an invisible secret agent at the F.B.I., and the most subtly intangible prime mover of the wheel within a wheel of the U.S.A.: the Central Intelligence Agency.

Her hold on education is second only to that of the government.  Her influence on the press and on the radio, television, and motion picture industries is paramount.  Her presence is felt at all levels.  Her image has never before glittered with such glamor, paramountcy, and prestige.

What is more, her growth is gaining impetus.  And, while opposition to her is far from being spent, the magnification of her activities is gathering momentum at an ever accelerated pace.

Let there be no mistake about it.  The Catholic Church is out to conquer America.  Should that happen, the days of American liberty, as conceived and guaranteed by the Constitution, would indeed be numbered.

For liberty would mean Catholic liberty first, American liberty second.  And, since the two are basically incompatible—starting from the principle of the separation of Church and State—Catholic “liberty” would prevail.

The separation of Church and State, hitherto so dear to America, would thus be abolished.  And with the collapse of the principles of American freedom, the floodgates would be opened.  The outcome would be catastrophic, since unrestricted Catholic legislation, once let loose upon American society, would see to it that everything inimical to the Church would be wiped out of existence.

Privileges the Catholic Church considers her birthright: concessions her privilege.  And both are due her regardless of whether or not her demands clash with those of the State.  Witness her insistent, stubborn, and unreasonable requests in the sphere of education.

There the Catholic Church has never compromised and has never pretended to do so.  Hence her unceasing battering against the citadel of the Constitution almost since she first set foot on American soil.  Her attempts to break down the walls of the separation of Church and State on the educational issue have increased with the passing of time and with the growth of her numerical strength, political power, and financial potential.  Were she to succeed in this, her claims would not only open a breach in the Constitution but would open the gates to a flood of similar claims from the three-hundred-odd religious denominations composing the multi-religious, multi-racial and tricolored society of the U.S.A.

Her success, therefore, would contribute, not to integration of the mixed population of the nation, but to the disruption of the religious, educational, social, and political strata throughout the length and breadth of the American edifice.  The Catholic Church hopes that such disruption may be postponed or avoided, because now she is more confident than ever that she will reach her grand goal of making America Catholic.  And a “Catholic America” must preserve her national integrity, the better to play her role as a Catholic Power, at home and abroad.  Moreover, she is confident that her demands on education will eventually be met, since a few significant cracks have already appeared here and there in the battered wall.  Thirdly, she knows that Protestantism is viewing the same problem with denominational individuality and hence with enfeeblement of its determination and dispersal of its forces.  Furthermore, since Protestantism by and large has been integrated with State education, she is confident that it will not press for governmental support of its schools on a scale comparable to her own claims.

These are practical calculations of the Church, borne out and supported by startling facts.

The first is that the largest number of religious schools at the elementary and secondary levels are controlled by the Catholic Church.  What is the percentage, remembering that the Catholic Church has only between forty-five million and fifty million adherents in a total population of nearly two hundred million?  Twenty-five per cent?  Fifty per cent?  Seventy-five per cent?  No more nor less than 95 per cent!  Ninety-five per cent of all the religious schools of the U.S.A. are controlled by one single church.  Compare that to the pathetic 5 per cent of the two-hundred-odd Protestant denominations which could claim similar prerogatives.  Few of them do so.

Why?  Because they cannot do it or cannot afford it; because they have resigned themselves to the alternative offered to them by the State; or because, having accepted the principle that the State should have the over-all say in the education of American youth, they are perfectly happy with State schools.

The second reason for Catholic optimism is that cracks have already appeared in the wall of separation of Church and State, helped by increasing influential pressure upon the Federal government, even from non-Catholic quarters, for “direct aid to parochial schools” (read, Catholic schools).

“Catholic America” is in the making now.  She is being molded in earnest and with increasing rapidity, looked upon by the apprehensive tolerance of Protestant America, the blessing of certain non-Catholic educational authorities who should know better, and the tacit support of the government itself.

Battalions of black-robed instructors are busy implanting Catholic thinking into the minds of hundreds of thousands of American young.

To mention only one of such religious orders: the Franciscans, who are operating with no less than 40,000 lay sisters teaching to an estimated 1,500,000 school children.  Their Order of Friar Minor numbers about 40,000—many of them teachers.

The aggregate of Catholic religious nuns and sisters in teaching orders has been estimated at over 120,000, all instilling Catholic doctrines into well over 5,500,000 American children.

By 1966 there were about 2,500 Catholic high schools, indoctrinating about 1,000,000 young Americans, supplemented by about 280 higher educational institutions, such as Catholic colleges and universities, preparing the intellectual upper class to think and practice Catholicism in the influential circles of the professions, business, and government.  All these are crowned by the theological barracks (the Catholic seminaries) where over 50,000 Catholic priests, the storm troopers of the Catholic Church, are carefully trained to organize clerical and lay might in the years to come.

The collective social results of this colossal educational machinery are already visible in the harvest gathered by the Catholic Church in all walks of life.  The new generations are increasingly Catholic in that they are actual members of the Catholic Church, and those who are not members are influenced to accept Catholic thinking, and they thus undermine, in a most subtle and unperceived fashion, the very foundations of non-Catholic society.

When to the above are added the sundry religious battalions in charitable and medical fields—e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, etc.—then we have a closely knit army of well over 180,000 Catholic sisters, coordinated and spiritually led by about 60,000 Catholic priests, supervised and directed by an Ecclesiastical Junta of about 250 High Prelates, the latter placed in key positions in the great cities or great dioceses—as a rule the key industrial, intellectual, and political centers of the U.S.A.

Over one million babies are baptized in the Catholic Church every year.  And the number is fast increasing.  Seventy-five per cent of American Catholics attend Mass regularly every Sunday, while between 45 and 50 per cent receive Communion at least once a month.  [CHCoG – As noted at the end of the previous chapter, since 1967, many of today’s younger Catholics are nominal, and mass attendance has fallen dramatically in the 21st century.  It is likely that the COVID-19 restrictions (2020-21) will further decrease attendance even when the restrictions are lifted.]

Then there are religious, clerical, and lay organizations specialized in the direct and indirect propagation of Catholicism by methods as effective as the latest advertisement for the newest commodity.  To mention one such body: the Paulists.

Out of a total of thirty Paulist houses in the whole Order, they have twenty-five in the U.S.A.  It is they who in 1924 started the first Catholic radio station in the U.S.A.  They are the pioneers in making America Catholic by such propaganda devices as the use of paid advertisements in the press, car cards, and a nationwide mail order lending library to lure converts.

Above all are the storm troopers and intellectual task force of the Catholic Church, the Jesuits, who have their largest contingent in the U.S.A.  In fact, the United States provides more than a quarter of the whole Jesuit force in the world: over 8,000.

The Catholic press is a paramount journalistic and sectarian power.  She runs over six hundred publications—from the influential America (run by the Jesuits) to the most unobtrusive parish magazine—reaching an estimated readership of between twenty-three and twenty-five million.

But this is only the visible side of the Catholic machinery for influencing the American public.  Catholics own directly, and indirectly control, or can influence the national press and the great organs of information and molders of influential American public opinion.  This Catholic publishing army in the shadows is reinforced by an even greater army of Catholics employed as editors, reporters, advertisers, promoters, and the like.

At least a third of American papers are controlled or influenced by Catholics; their employees seldom dare publish items or editorials derogatory to or even mildly critical of the Church.  When news that is unfavorable to the Catholic Church arrives, it is either grossly distorted or left out altogether.  When, because of the competition of non-Catholic papers, such news has to be published, it appears with the minimum of fuss, lost in secondary pages or between incongruous news items.  Even papers that have nothing or little to do with the Catholic Church on purely religious grounds often carry advertising by Catholics or Catholic firms.  That is sufficient to enable Catholic pressure to be exercised upon the owner or editor of the “offending” paper.  For Catholic businessmen will be “advised” by their priest or a Catholic organization to curtail or withdraw their advertisements until the paper has “learned” that news derogatory to the Church must not be displayed unless “censored” and “rectified” by Catholics.

In addition to the press, there are some 160 agencies specializing in the infiltration and influencing of paramount circles dealing with vital problems, ranging from Federal and State legislation to issues involving the legal, medical, and other professions.

That is not all.  Catholic organizations, societies, unions, clubs, and the like proliferate all over the U.S.A.: in fact, no officially Communist country, even proportionately, has as many Communist clubs and societies as the Catholic Church has Catholic ones in America.  Over one hundred thousand of them.  And these bodies, it must be remembered, are inspired and sustained by the monolithic Catholic ethic and spirit.  They are literally Catholic “cells.”  Like the Communist “cells” in European countries, dedicated to the promotion of Communism in a non-Communist society, they work to capture and dominate.

These Catholic “cells” can be found in every stratum.  They function in the press, in radio, television and motion pictures, even in the world of sport.  They have infiltrated and are very active in unions, which are grossly influenced, when not partly controlled, by them.  The very A.F.L.-C.I.O. dares not antagonize a Catholic union member.  In fact, the eyes of its directorate are constantly on the reactions and wishes of its Catholic wing.

The Catholic “brotherhood” is alive in the seamy intersection of the legal, semi-legal, and illegal twilight of the American gambling, sex, and Mafia world.  There, where life is at its rawest, the religious affinities of the participants can play a role in the “treatment,” monetary, sexual, or physical, not excluding murder.

There have been cases of Catholic call girls, for instance, refusing to oblige a client who was so unwise as to hint his dislike of the Catholic Church.  A notorious call girl employed by a big corporation for the enticement of potential customers, when her client made a disparaging remark about a medal of the Holy Virgin appended to the bed where he was about to lie with her, handed him back his money and (although he was already disrobed) asked him to call on a Protestant colleague.1
In the lascivious, semi-pornographic press flooding the young, the lonely, the erotic-paper addicts and the like, it is not exceptional to come across Catholic agencies advertising for Catholics.  To quote only one: A semi-respectable magazine of this kind with contents like “I Am a Housewife-Prostitute” among its pages advertising French lingerie, seductive undies, etc., included, squeezed between one advertisement running “Men, men, men . . . We don’t care about your age, our women are screaming to meet you”  and another running “Japanese girls, catering to every wish and desire . . . teachers, nurses, unkissed maidens, secretaries,” the following: “Catholics who wish to marry . . . particulars in sealed envelopes . . . The most prominent advertisement next to it was “Men, remember our slogan, No man is any good without a woman!”—the obvious work of a Protestant determined to tickle the subterranean susceptibilities of the sixty thousand bachelor priests of the Catholic Church.”2

The excuse that the compassionate hand of Mother Church, to save the sinning souls of some of her members, should help them, no matter their needs, is further used in other, no less colorful, fields.  The Catholic Church, an ancient connoisseuse of human emotions, does not mind stooping to triviality to keep her children happy and, therefore, well tied to her apron strings.

Thus, for instance, if the notoriously impatient taxi drivers of New York should find themselves in a multiple traffic jam, even if with one or two swear words, they could invoke the speedy intercession of Saint Fiacre.  Saint Fiacre presumably was a French driver reduced to sainthood for having put up with all the traffic jams of Paris without a murmur.

Should the fare in one of the taxis be an aviator, or even an astronaut just back from the moon, he could profitably murmur an uplifting prayer to his Protector Saint, Saint Joseph of Cupertino, who was in the habit, a few centuries ago, of flying hither and thither when in a hurry.

Boy Scouts, if without a match to light the barbecue, should invoke Saint George, although it is whispered at the Vatican that he is not flattered by the honor, remembering the risks he took with that famous dragon.

Comedians, television buffoons, politicians and any individuals afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, can invoke Saint Vitus, who, it is said, can cure any one of them, provided they are willing to lose their lucrative jobs.  Alas for their health, the skilful mendacity of the publicity agents, protected by their patron, Saint Bernadine of Siena, insures that they seldom do.

A good American tycoon, even a Protestant one, should he really want an efficient secretary, must invoke Saint Genesius, their patron saint, while television workers, telephone operators, and manipulators of tape recorders and all the various radio and television spying gadgets are assured of the protection of the Archangel Gabriel.

Should any Catholic own a million-dollar yacht, then Saint Adjutor will be of reasonable help, provided the port authorities where the yacht is moored are promptly paid their taxes.

If you have a trade or profession of an outlandish character, you can inform the American Hierarchy and they will provide you with some saint or other, since thousands of them are more than willing to protect American Catholics, dollars having become the favorite currency at the Vatican and, consequently, in heaven.  Such superstitious triviality, although frowned upon by the most intelligent Catholics, is a potent factor in maintaining the unity and the uniformity of the lower type of emotional member of the Church.

A classic example was that of twenty-nine-year-old Efrain Gonzalez, a vigorous Colombian bandit.  Notwithstanding his youth, he is reported to have kidnapped 3 persons, wounded 91, and killed at least 233.  When in June, 1965, between 400 and 500 Colombian soldiers shot him dead in a suburb of Bogota, what did they find in his pockets?  A scapulary, a crucifix, sundry images of the Virgin Mary, and a rose-colored cloth shield with the inscription, “Stop!  The heart of Jesus is with me.”

To think that such articles are worn only by certain socially and culturally “low” strata would be to make a mistake.  Thousands of members of the Knights of Columbus, for instance, wear them.  A prominent American businessman, head of a concern dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars, a most matter-of-fact, dynamic, and intelligent individual, proudly showed the author of this book a scapular he was wearing under his vest.  “Don’t tell me what you think,” he commented, “I know.  But as long as I wear it, it will bring me luck.  Now, and, I hope, in the hereafter.”

When millions of other American Catholics are added to him, then the individual religious fetishism turns into a collective massiveness of dangerous potentialities.  It is a religious cement which is holding millions of Catholics under the Holy Church’s motherly fold.

In the U.S.A., this fold is protected by the Virgin Mary herself.  For, according to some well-informed Catholic Hierarchs, Mary is the Patroness of the U.S.A.  The Catholic Bishops gathered in Baltimore in 1846 announced the great news.  It was never denied by Mary, it is true, and amply confirmed by the prosperity which the American nation has enjoyed ever since.3

So, when it happens that the Pope himself comes to the fore, as Paul VI did in June, 1965, to bless two American astronauts—one of whom was the first American to float in the spatial void—saying “Let this blessing rise into the sky for those who are exploring the new paths of space,” he knew that he was striking a note in the hearts of millions of Americans, including one of the astronauts then circumnavigating the globe.

For, lo and behold, one, a devout son of the Church, Astronaut J. McDivitt, not trusting entirely in the textbook exactitude of the technicians of the N.A.S.A., had committed his spatial capsule to none other than St. Christopher . . . who, wholly unknown to the spatial brotherhood of Cape Kennedy, thus surreptitiously orbited several orbital days around that same world which he had once acknowledged somewhat heavy on his shoulders.  For astronaut McDivitt was protected, not by one, but by two images of the good St. Christopher.  One of these had been sent to him and to fifteen other astronauts by none other than Pope John XXIII himself!  Upon successfully circumnavigating the globe, J. McDivitt dispatched the image of the spatial protector back to Pope John’s successor, Pope Paul VI.4

Here on earth—or, rather, at the Vatican—Popes have never ceased to be somewhat startled at the number of medals and rosaries that prominent American visitors, including Congressmen and Senators, put before them for blessing.  A certain Senator—and a non-Catholic one at that, who shall remain unnamed, since the author is not yet acquainted with the Saint protector against libel suits—upon being asked by Pope Pius XII what he did with 126 rosaries and an unspecified number of multi-colored medals which the carrier Senator had asked the Pope to bless, replied that his “Catholic constituents at home would mightily appreciate the gesture.”

Witness the case of the sister of Fidel Castro, who, as already mentioned, defected from her brother’s regime because, among other things, one day she witnessed some of her brother’s Red followers scoff at and insult the image of the Virgin Mary during a procession.  The sister, incidentally, according to the New York Times, had had contacts with American Intelligence, thus proving once more that the naive reverence of a holy image and the Central Intelligence Agency can go hand in hand to attain a political goal.

The second example, described in detail elsewhere,5 is of the promotion of religious superstition concerning Our Lady of Fàtima, directed against Soviet Russia on a truly large scale.

The cumulative effects of this vast emotionalism will, in the long run, affect Americans outside the Catholic Church.  Numerous Protestants will begin to regard her with a kind of unspoken mystical respect, while many will have their resistance to her practices softened.

Hence the spate of anonymous conversions and of conversions which make news because of the financial or social status of the “convertees.”  An example of the latter, the seventeen-year-old daughter of Protestant President Johnson, in 1965.

This influence does not affect only the young in years.  At times it has made it necessary for prominent men to participate in Catholic ritual on social or political grounds, thus adding glamour to Roman Catholicism.  President Johnson apparently felt under an obligation to attend the “Red Mass” at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington,6 held annually to invoke the Patron Saint of all lawyers, legislators, judges, and sundry other members of the legal tribe associated with confusing, obscuring, and then clarifying the laws.

Such conformism on the part of the President, like that of many lesser public figures, is no mere formality.  It is a political necessity, a “must” for anyone, high or low, who “must” court favors from the Catholic Church.  Those who refuse to pay public obeisance to her will suffer at the polls, whether local, state, or federal.  They may miss promotions to higher offices in government departments, Army, Navy, diplomatic corps, police forces, the F.B.I., and other organizations.

What makes the Catholic Church today the greatest promotional force of all in every stratum of American life?  Her omnipresence through her watching members.

The average American Catholic is even more naive in religious and emotional matters than his European counterpart.  He takes the practice of his religion more seriously than, say, the Italian Catholic.  Thus whereas the Italian will very often scoff at his priest, the average American Catholic will not dare to do so, having an innate quasi-veneration for him—indeed, a kind of unspoken awe.  And, while he may treat him with a familiarity and lack of deference which would shock a European Catholic, fundamentally he has the same vague mixture of fear and veneration of him as a Central African might entertain towards some witch doctor whom he tacitly acknowledges to be a potential worker of magic.

Even more than that.  The average American Catholic will not only identify his priest with the sacred attributes and powers of the Catholic Church, but with the infallibility of the Pope in Rome.

This is the most peculiar defect of American Catholicism.

For Catholic clericalism, the touching naivete of the American Catholic has become its most valuable source of finances in exchange for individual and collective self-fulfilment in the emotional and religious fields.

Such self-fulfilment is urged to find concrete expression in concrete actions: for the erection of Catholic schools, Catholic sacred buildings, Catholic clubs, Catholic universities, Catholic orphanages, Catholic hospitals, and so on.

Since the American Hierarchy (with few exceptions) have always distinguished themselves, not for their theological subtleties but for their brilliant businesslike speculations, they have seen to it that the hard cash thus put into their hands by their flock is swiftly translated into profitable real estate and flourishing commercial concerns.

These have now multiplied into billions of dollars.  For the Catholic Church potentially is the most powerful billionaire corporation of America.  How is she investing all these billions?

She is investing them in the surest business investment of all time: “A Catholic America.”7

 

 

10Pattern of the Master Church of the U.S.A.

Since money is power and power is linked with politics, it is no accident that Catholic power is proportionate to Catholic financial might.  The nuptial bond between Church and Finance in the U.S.A. at present is still at the honeymoon stage.  That is, the Catholic Church and the monetary force at her disposal are cooperating directly and indirectly in pursuit of their individual interests and to their mutual benefit.  And, although the wealth directly controlled by the Catholic Church is already being used with increasing immodesty to the benefit of her mounting political image, nevertheless, on the whole, it is exploited with discretion, lest non-Catholic America be unduly alarmed.

Yet the financial puissance of the Catholic Church, whether corporate or individual, is already playing a considerable role in American life.  Thus, a literal interpretation of the American Constitution would prohibit churches from asking for or receiving a cent from the State; but they do so.

And to the tune of millions of dollars.

The spirit of the Constitution is slyly and efficiently violated by the device of tax exemption.  Tax exemption means one thing: special grant-in-aid.  This, like a good mother rabbit, has generated litters of smaller Constitutional stultifications.  For example, Chaplains in the forces are paid salaries and pensions, are commissioned, and obey the military.

The National Defence Education Act makes it legal for the churches to obtain low-interest loans or gifts for erecting buildings, for scholarships for students of divinity, and so on.  This was meant to benefit all denominations.  But did it?  The Catholic Church, although having an official membership only half as large as the official membership of the Protestant churches, was sufficiently clever, up to 1966, to secure NINE TIMES as much public money for her hospitals.

Which means, that out of the 125 million dollars of public tax funds going to Church-related hospitals, the Catholic Church grabbed 112 million dollars.1

Tax evasion, whether of a legal or a quasi-illegal nature, is subventioning the Catholic Church to the tune of hundreds, if not thousands, of millions of dollars.  To give a telling example:

 

In Buffalo, tax assessors rated the tax-exempt Roman Catholic church, schools, college and hospital land and buildings at $51 million.  Yet the Hierarchy’s own privately released figures gave the total Church assets there, mainly real estate and buildings, as 236 million dollars.”2

 

In a study of the District of Columbia tax office figures, P.O.A.U. learned that the Catholic Church, claiming but 19 per cent of the population of the nation’s capital, owned 38 per cent of the dollar value of all religious tax-exempt property, and 50 per cent of the physical land area so exempted.3  Total assessed value of all Catholic tax-exempt property in the District was $87,557,000.  And this did not include investment properties held by the Church agencies or by the Vatican itself.

In that field the Vatican has been “Americanized” in the fullest sense of the word.  This was demonstrated by the single fact that a Washington, D.C., luxury housing project of no less than 75 million dollars was announced by the Societa Generale Immobiliare of Rome, a subsidiary of the Vatican’s vast mysterious financial empire.

The religious Order most devoted to the Pope—the Jesuits—naturally could not lag behind.  In fact, they have always been well ahead in the field, as befits their tradition.  Thus, according to the Wall Street Journal (August 18, 1959), the Jesuit-owned Loyola University of New Orleans made as much as 500,000 dollars a year profit from broadcasting, for which it gained tax exemption on the ground that it was “an organic part of a Church.”  This, since the pioneering days of 1922.4

The notorious Trojan Horse device of obtaining public assistance for Church schools is another major means of channeling more millions into the coffers of the Catholic Church than into those of any other religious denomination.

 

A program of general assistance to such institutions would have the effect of channeling 2.5 billion dollars annually into the coffers of a [the Catholic] Church, which is already by its own admission the largest private financial enterprise in the U.S.A.

 

as an authoritative body put it.5
This statement is supported by facts.  For instance, the total value of Catholic hospitals alone until recently was over 1.5 billion, with an annual operating budget of between 750 and 800 million.6  That is not all.  The Catholic Church is set on a general building and speculative program for which the sky is the limit.  To quote the same source:

 

It has been set forth by a trade journal in the field that the annual dollar value of construction of Roman Catholic schools, colleges, hospitals and churches (in that order of magnitude) is at the rate of 1.75 billion dollars a YEAR in the U.S.A.

 

In May, 1961, Church and State estimated, on the basis of the Buffalo diocese quoted above, that the total of directly owned tax-exempt property of the Catholic Church in the United States was about eleven billion dollars.

Moreover, the Catholic Church has direct and indirect control of Catholic organizations forming the spearhead of her influence in the country.  To mention only one: the Knights of Columbus, boasting assets exceeding 177 million dollars.

No wonder a Catholic writer became lyrical at the contemplation of such immense wealth in the hands of his church in the U.S.A.: “The Catholic Church must be the biggest corporation in the United States,” he said.  “We have a branch office in almost every neighborhood.  Our assets and real estate holdings must exceed those of Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined.  And our roster of dues-paying members must be second only to the tax rolls of the United States Government.”7

The plain, brutal reality of the above figures is that the Catholic Church is establishing within the United States, in spite of the Constitution, a church which claims uniqueness vis-a-vis the State, the nations, and all other churches.

This is no mere gloomy speculation.  Simple reasoning will prove it.  When a Church—let us say, the Catholic Church—acquires or is given something, such as a building, a piece of land, a state bonus, that Church, by the mere fact that she goes on existing after the benefactor has died, will keep it in her possession.  When a person dies, there is, as a rule, a redistribution of his wealth.  With the Church that rule does not work and she will continue to aggrandize herself by the addition of more and more wealth which she will accumulate and make grow, generation after generation, until finally she becomes the major landowner and real estate owner of the nation.

This process has occurred again and again in European and Latin American countries, with the result that there the Church eventually became the wealthiest body of the nations.

This meant immense power, the imposition of her total influence upon the people and the State, until finally a revolution deprived her of all her possessions, the three most notorious examples being the Mexican revolution, the Russian revolution, and the French revolution.

When to her financial wealth is added the aggregate wealth of some of her cognate organizations and of individual members, then the collective weight of the Catholic Church in the nation’s behavior is imponderable; it will continue to influence all social and political life in a manner no longer consonant with the genuine interests of the country at large, but consonant with her own specific interests.

The fields in which Catholic influence, generated by monetary power, can be made to be felt are as numberless as the channels through which it can be distributed.  The recipients are equally unlimited in number, their needs being met whether with a trivial pittance of a few dollars or with disbursements running into millions.

Long-range schemes, directed at influencing the mores of the U.S.A., such as the subventioning of cultural or academic centers, of institutes, or even individuals, are part and parcel of loose plans meant to meet the unexpected needs caused by unforeseen cataclysmic disasters or by political events at home or abroad.

Of course that has always been the traditional philanthropic image of the Catholic Church at large in Europe and elsewhere.  But in the United States this characteristic has been magnified to a fine art reaching an insidiously dangerous point.

Thus, for instance, thousands of Catholics have entered the U.S.A. while non-Catholics in the same circumstances have been refused entry: not only because of favorable political pressure to let them in, but because of the simultaneous offer of financial help from the Catholic Church.  The most blatant case was that of the Catholic refugees from Hungary, allowed into the country after the 1956 uprising.  Prior to that, there was the entry into the U.S.A.  from such countries as Yugoslavia of Catholics who were officially wanted as war criminals and who were allowed in through the financial and political assistance of the Church via Catholic organizations and even via members of the Hierarchy, as we shall see presently.

The same process, of course, had gone on during the previous decades, when hundreds of thousands of penniless Catholic immigrants had been accepted.

The fact, for instance, that Joseph Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, owned the buildings through which the main stream of emigrants had to pass might have been a speculative accident; but, even if we accept it as such, the facts that many immigration officials were Catholics, that many of the immigrants were Catholics, that the money they needed to enter was Catholic money, that the influential politicians supporting them were Catholic, that the U.S. Hierarchy were watching and taking note of those who favored or opposed such Catholic immigration, were no accidents.

The election of the first Catholic President of the United States was not without its contributing financial factor.

To say that Kennedy became President because his father was a multimillionaire who started him off on his political career with the grant of one million dollars would be absurd.  Nevertheless, the factors of a Catholic multimillionaire, with a millionaire son supported by a family of millionaires,8 all closely knit with tribal, religious, and political ambitions, supported by a multimillionaire Church, should not be dismissed as trivialities.

The witticism of former President Truman, when he was asked, prior to Jack Kennedy’s nomination, about the possible political handicap of the latter’s religion, that “it is not his spiritual Father [the Pope] that worries me . . . it’s his natural father,” was a significantly accurate one.

Whereas, theoretically, every penniless American is a potential President, the hard fact is that, of two American citizens with equal political qualifications and ambitions, the one with a million dollar trust fund will have the initial, and probably the ultimate, advantage.

“An inheritance of ten million dollars or so at birth is an essential prerequisite to winning the White House,” stated Senator William Proxmire, who tried to pass through the 88th Congress a bill to control presidential election campaign expenditures.9

He should have known.  The huge cost of modern campaigning, for instance, made it no accident that prior to President Kennedy’s assassination, when the political future of Nelson Rockefeller, the multimillionaire, was in the balance, the American people for the next presidential elections had a choice only between two millionaire politicians who had inherited their millions at birth.

If the wealth of the Kennedy clan had not been mobilized to propel Kennedy to the presidency, it is doubtful whether, even with the support of the Catholic Church, he would have won the White House.  The perilously thin margin of votes by which he won is the best proof of that, particularly when it is borne in mind that the accusation of bribery at the primary elections of May, 1960, when Senator Jack Kennedy won the surprisingly large majority which put him in such a strong position for the presidential nomination, was taken so seriously that the Department of Justice agreed at that time to conduct a preliminary investigation into alleged voting irregularities in two counties of West Virginia.  During that period many witnesses reported seeing money and whiskey change hands at the polling stations.  And this to such an extent that politicians of the same political persuasion as Kennedy had no fear in declaring that they “had no doubt that this year’s primary was unusually corrupt,”10 while experienced observers agreed that it “was worse than usual.”11

The election of the first Catholic president who was also the first Catholic millionaire to reach the White House, however, does not preclude a penniless Catholic from reaching the Presidency at a future date.  Indeed, a day might well come when a Catholic candidate’s major asset will be his poverty.

How, then, would wealth play a major role in the promotion of such a Catholic President?  The reply is simplicity itself.  For our Catholic aspirant to the White House, instead of being promoted by the few dozen million dollars of a new “Papa Kennedy” and his clan, would be promoted by the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of the Mother Church, and of her vast clan of forty-five, sixty, or sixty-five million members.

Mother Church, being a billionaire now and a sure multibillionaire in the near future, will see to that.  For by that time, should the present trend continue, the Catholic Church will have acquired political power in her own right.

During the election of the first Catholic President, although wholeheartedly supporting him, she exerted a great deal of caution, so as not to spoil Kennedy’s chances of winning and of thus setting a precedent.  Once that precedent could be set, her political power would grow and the climate for a regular succession of Catholic presidents would be established; then her immense financial power could come to the fore, with all its irresistible magnitude, to insure that Catholic Presidents would be elected with such regularity as to make the election of a non-Catholic an increasing hazard.

An alarming speculation?  No. A calculated deduction.  For, even talking in financial terms alone, the above is more than probable.  But we have not even touched on the other and greatest of all political “imponderables” of the Catholic Church as an autonomous generator of political energy.  That is, the religious factor.

Until now, the Catholic Church has not taken it upon herself seriously to channel such power.  How could she?  Had she demonstrated her ability in this direction, she would have aroused the collective organized resistance of all Protestant America.

The keynote of the Catholic Church in the American political arena is still caution.  Yet her potential as a mobilizer of political power is there already, for all to see and to gauge.

To begin with, all members of Catholic institutions, such as monasteries, convents, parochial school personnel and the like, if told by their Church to vote for a Catholic candidate, will do so.  Although Catholic laymen would respond to the same request with less cohesion, in the majority they would be grossly influenced, particularly the women.  The latter are the most susceptible to the call of the Church, since in the U.S.A., as in other countries, women, except for a very small minority, have little political experience and even less political judgment and vote still according to their emotions rather than according to their reasoning.  The Church well knows this.  Hence, since the end of World War II, she has supported woman’s right to vote in all Catholic countries—in many of which she has been put and kept in power almost exclusively by women.12

When to the Catholic Church’s mobilization of her own organizations we add the Catholic press and all the other vast bodies at her disposal throughout the U.S.A., then we can see that no politician, no matter how minuscular or great, can afford to disregard her.

When President Kennedy confessed to a friend that unless he had the votes of the Knights of Columbus “I might as well give up”13 he was merely confirming a fact of political life which every politician, Catholic or not, must heed if he does not wish to commit political suicide.
The Catholic vote can promote, defeat, or bring victory, according to how it is used.  The candidacy of Kennedy was a case in point.  To begin with, almost all (95 per cent) Catholics, when asked whether they would vote for a presidential candidate with the same political and religious ideas as their own, said they would do so.  But, more ominous, over half of all Catholics are willing to betray their political principles and party to vote for a Catholic not belonging to their political party.  According to a Gallup Poll, 52 per cent of Catholics said they would vote for a Catholic belonging to a political party not their own: that is, more than half of the total adult Catholic population of the United States are willing to jump the party line to vote for a Catholic.14
During the presidential campaign Kennedy and Vice-President Nixon had the same odds: Kennedy 50 per cent, Nixon 50 per cent.  But, added the Gallup Poll of the period, “if Kennedy counts those Republican Catholics who would jump the fences to vote for a fellow Catholic, he could hope for a narrow popular tally: Kennedy 53 per cent, Nixon 47 per cent.15
The reverse situation would have yielded similar results: that is a Republican candidate would have lured one out of every seven Democratic voters to his cause—this notwithstanding the fact that at that period 58 per cent of all American Catholics were Democrats.16

It was a long way indeed from that earlier presidential election when religion had been a national issue and Herbert Hoover, a Quaker, had defeated Al Smith, a Catholic, by more than six million votes, and seven states had split from the solid South to vote Republican.

In the 1960 elections the magnificent organizational machinery of the American Catholic Church was set in motion to make Catholic voters aware that the candidate was a Catholic.  Because of this, in the eyes of the majority of American Catholics, Kennedy was a Catholic presidential candidate, first; a Democratic presidential candidate, second.

The result: The Catholic Church slapped Protestant America on the face with a vengeance, and the 1928 defeat of Catholic Al Smith turned into the Catholic triumph of 1960.

The year 1960 is an epoch-making date for American Catholicism.  For in that year political Catholicism entered the field of the American body politic.  Now, seats of power in the U.S.A. will be contested by three major political parties: the Republican, the Democratic, and Political Catholicism.

To be sure, political Catholicism will not come into the open as a political party.  Its role, from the Kennedy era onwards, will be as political arbiter of American political power.  That is, political Catholicism will support any party, be it Republican or Democratic, which will favor the Catholic Church in her demands upon American society.

This will make Catholicism the final arbiter of the Republican and Democratic Parties in search of votes.  And, since both parties, especially when engaged in an attempt to capture the White House, will concede as much as they can in order to win, it follows that the Church will receive an increasing number of concessions in all fields.

In this manner, the Catholic Church will play an increasingly major role in sending one or the other party to the White House, just as she has in various European countries between the two World Wars and since.  The classical example is that of the Centre Party (the Catholic Party) in Germany, which she used to help the Nazis to win the last general elections, thus sending Hitler to power.17

The Catholic Church will be aided still further by another important factor: the diminishing opposition to her from the average American Protestant.

At the time of Al Smith, Catholics and Protestants jumped party lines to fight each other on religious grounds.  The six million majority vote which defeated the Catholic, Al Smith, was mostly votes against him because he was a Catholic.  At that period, the ratio of Americans who would NOT vote for a Catholic for President was four to ten.  Now, a generation later, the figure has shrunk to one in six.  At this rate, in another generation there will be only a negligible Protestant opposition to the nomination of a Catholic president.18
If we add together these two major factors: (a) the massive Catholic vote, and (b) the decreasing hostility of non-Catholic voters to a Catholic president—we can see that in the future a Catholic president will be, not the exception, but a regular feature of the political life of the U.S.A.19
Even prior to the election of the first Catholic president, the omens were portentous.  In 1959, for the first time in American history, Congress had more Catholics than any other religious denomination.  Catholic Congressmen numbered 103, of whom 91 were in the House of Representatives and 12 were in the Senate; 88 of them were Democrats and 15 Republicans.20  This was an increase of 8 over 95 Catholics in the previous Congress.  Since then, Catholic preponderance has grown, not so much in numbers as in the weight of the Catholic “presence” in the topmost place of American party politics.

To confine ourselves to the Presidency: The shape of things to come was confirmed during the Presidential campaign of 1964, which ended with the election of President Johnson, when both parties considered Catholic vice-presidential candidates and the Republic party nominated a Catholic for vice president, William Miller, who was Republican Party Chairman, and had already served six terms as Congressman for New York State.

The Democratic aspirants included Catholics Robert Kennedy, brother of the late president, Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, and Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana.

With Catholics posted in strategic positions throughout industry, communications, and the political and the administrative machinery, the Catholic Church promises to become the supreme influence in the land.

What would be the consequences for the nation as a whole and for Protestant U.S.A. in particular?

They would be so profound as to alter the whole structure, nature, and significance of North America.

For truly, the Catholic Church, once master of both the religious and the political fabrics of the U.S.A., would use all her super-efficient power structure to absorb within her fold everything and everyone not in communion with her.

And that would spell the elimination of everything—whether religious, moral, ethical, social, or political—not conforming to her.

If almost two thousand years of her history be the indication of her forthcoming behavior, then this is precisely the shape of things to come for the U.S.A.

 

 

11Pattern of the Emerging Catholic Totalitarianism in the U.S.A.

Sectarian education, to the Catholic Church, is not just denominational teaching: It is sectarian indoctrination in its most pernicious sense.  Such indoctrination is not merely on a par with political or ideological regimentation by dictators: It is far worse.  For, whereas the indoctrination of political totalitarianism is largely confined to political matters, the theological and religious exclusiveness of the Catholic Church will trespass into ethical, moral, social, political, and even economic fields.

When the young Catholic American, having been saturated with this kind of culture, enters the active life of adult society, he will, knowingly or not, contaminate such society with the authoritarian bacilli which the Church has so diligently implanted in him.

If, to this individual young Catholic, we add five or six million others, we can see that there will be succeeding generations of Americans believing, thinking, and acting with the authoritarianism instilled in them by their authoritarian Church.

Catholic schools, in short, are vast nurseries of present and future denominational totalitarianism in the U.S.A.  As such, they are sources of danger to the future liberties of the American people.

Certain basic principles taught in Catholic schools are, to say the least, preparing young Americans to regard the State, not as the supreme authority, but as a secondary one, subsidiary to their Church.

In a dispute involving matters of faith or morals,” declares a textbook widely used in Catholic high schools, “the Catholic Church insists on its rights, whatever the cost.1

Notice “whatever the cost.”

“The Church has the right to judge whether a law of the State is harmful to the welfare of its members,” continues the same textbook, “and demand that it be changed if it has an evil effect on the soul of men.”2

In other words, the young American Catholic is being prepared, not only to accept the supreme judgment of his Church, first and above all, but also to become a rebel against his own government should it not be in harmony with the dictates of his Church.

The methodical stultification of the minds of millions of young Americans has already poisoned their thinking as regards civic liberties and the fundamental right of a free citizen to freedom of expression, of thought, and of action within the regulations of a legally elected government.

Thus the “Censorship Bulletin” published by the American Book Publishers Council, Inc., came out with the “terrifying disclosure” that: “American Teenagers Believe in Censorship.”  Over 50 percent of youth interviewed by an opinion poll agreed that “.  .  .  most people aren’t capable of deciding what is best for themselves”  (one of the essential tenets of Catholicism, it should be noted).  And these youths were in favor of putting censorship of all forms of public communication into police hands, “to protect ourselves against improper thinking.3

Since Catholic schools have been functioning for decades, many former pupils are adult citizens in positions of influence in all strata of American life.  In consequence, the anti-libertarian bacilli implanted in them by the Catholic Church have yielded practical results and are multiplying.

Because of this, a most “disturbing trend” is characterizing American society: its acceptance of the concept of “fewer and fewer people deciding what more and more people should receive from newspapers and magazines,” as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission stated at a Congressional inquiry.4 This was confirmed by a study supported by the Ford Foundation, which stated: “A substantial movement is developing in favor of censorship of the mass media in the U.S.A.”5

This trend is growing more and more rapidly.  And, notwithstanding the parrotlike repetition of slogans about liberty and the Constitution, the fact is that the subterranean tide is running against such liberties.

Sundry factors feed this dangerous undercurrent.  One of the most culpable because of the power it wields is the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Whether or not such functions of the F.B.I. are justified by the necessities of the times, it is not for us to say.  But, in its theory and practice, the F.B.I.’s paternalism is a twin brother to Catholicism.

American Catholicism has been and still is the Benjamin child of the F.B.I.; the child, in its turn, has always supported, encouraged, and blessed the F.B.I.’s existence, activities, and potentialities.  For they are in complete accord in ideological problems.  Both hate the same principles—for instance, the very word, “liberalism”—since both are convinced that anyone tinged with or dreaming liberalism must be sworn to the annihilation of the U.S.A. and of the Catholic Church.

With the excuse that a few hundred, or even a few thousand, of such “monsters” might truly exist, the F.B.I. has set up the largest and most efficient nationwide network of espionage, detection, fear-by-proxy, and Big-Brother-is-watching-you in the world outside Soviet Russia and China.

The average American citizen may have his telephone tapped, his private life scrutinized, his actions spied upon, his mail opened, his fingerprints kept in enormous fingerprint collections.  In short, the F.B.I., in the pursuit of its genuine and assumed functions, is not only above the rights of citizens, it is above the law itself.  It has become a law within the law.

This body, while performing basic functions concerning security, detection, the prevention and suppression of crime, and the like, has not only overrun the theory and practice of its original and proper tasks, but has developed into an intrinsic instrument of organized and legalized fear.  It can and does function as a terror machine, to be used against individuals, groups, or even the entire nation.  It has taken upon itself the right to judge, praise, support, or condemn ideas and practices to which law-abiding citizens are entitled.  It has assumed the functions of a civic authoritarian-paternalism, which—like the Catholic Church in religious matters—claims to protect the citizen against himself.  The assumption is that the American citizen is incapable of taking care of himself when dealing with political and ideological problems.

The result of this state of affairs is that the average citizen is afraid; his right to express himself is subtly undermined by his anxiety lest he be misunderstood at the secret listening posts of the F.B.I.  But its most dangerous aspect is the fact that the very people who are the brains, the spokesmen, indeed, the legislators and leaders of the nation have become apprehensive.  Journalists, politicians, lawyers, even witnesses, are afraid of the F.B.I.’s Big-Brother-Watching.

The general effect of this power is that such a body can and does unduly exaggerate real and even imaginary “dangers,” to make the American masses react this way or that, according to the political or ideological motives of certain top people at the F.B.I.  or of certain of its major supporters, including the Catholic Church.  In this way, some aspects of liberalism are depicted in a villainous light; the bogey of Communism is grossly exaggerated; students are intimidated; journalists, radio, and television personalities and even stations are discredited.  If this were all, it would be bad enough.  But the most dangerous aspect of this concentration of power is that it can support and foster political and ideological movements which, because of their affinity to the thinking or personal attitudes of certain of the F.B.I.’s leaders or its allies, are consonant with them.  To cite the most notorious of them: McCarthyism.

McCarthyism was not only a mongrel offspring of the Cold War and cognate factors: It was a child conceived by the Catholic Church and fathered by the F.B.I.  Without the protection and encouragement of such loving parents, McCarthyism would never have grown to adulthood.  It would have died at a very tender age or it would have been stillborn.

Senator Joseph McCarthy, besides having the tacit and open blessing of the American Hierarchy and strong popular support among the Catholic millions aided and abetted by extreme right-wing forces of all kinds, also had the “secret” cooperation, encouragement, and help of the F.B.I.  Thus, while Catholic McCarthy had the Catholics, with praiseworthy exceptions, officially and unofficially behind him, he had also at his disposal the secret files and the services of many agents of the F.B.I.

Genuine evidence could be exaggerated, fake evidence manufactured, informers bribed, committees cowed, public figures intimidated, legislation stultified, while the political prospects of McCarthy and of all those supporting him (the Catholic Church, certain financial groups, and the F.B.I.) became brilliantly unlimited.  “Unlimited” meaning the limitation of political liberty and freedom of expression and all those rights guaranteed to the American citizen by his Constitution.

It was a dangerous epoch; a dangerous attempt to stultify American democracy.

The sundry activities of the Catholic Church and the F.B.I. are all the more dangerous to a free society because they are the carriers of the authoritarian infection to all branches of society.  For example, government departments.

An official report issued by a Sub-committee on Government Information, for instance, stated that the U.S.A.’s practice of classifying information as “secret” or “restricted” has grown to such proportions as to create “a paper curtain” which is an obstacle to the free working of democracy.  “The Government,” asserted the report, “is withholding information that an intelligent electorate not only needs but has an inalienable right to possess.”  How could such an un-American attitude be justified?  The reply is alarmingly illuminating: “Officials in the Government,” concludes the report, “have developed a psychosis which leads them to believe that they can decide what is good for the public to know.6

This dogma is firmly believed and even more firmly practiced by the two standard totalitarianisms of our times: Communism and Roman Catholicism.

The practical consequence of this Communist-Catholic mentality is that any government, whether federal, state, or local, any department or agency or any official or semi-official body will take upon itself the right and the duty to decide what is good for the citizen to know—that is, what is good for him to read, to see, and to hear.

This will mean the banning of certain types of literature or the blacklisting of certain books not approved by individuals exerting bureaucratic influence in otherwise impersonal, anonymous, unpolitical, or undenominationally minded government departments.

Step by step, the right and the duty of these officials “who know what is good for the public to know,” will trespass into the banning, secret impounding, and secret destruction of literature of which they personally disapprove on religious and ideological grounds.  Witness the notorious case of a shipment of Quaker literature, destroyed illegally by the U.S. Post Office and Customs.7  Or the impounding and holding up by the Post Office, on more than one occasion, of this author’s books.  (See Chapter 4.)
The censorship bacilli have spread from their original breeding ground, the Catholic Church and the F.B.I., to most government and semi-official agencies.  They operate in all the educational, professional, and industrial echelons of society.  They try to paralyze with quiet, unspectacular effectiveness the inner machinery of the government.  Witness the U.S.A.’s Supreme Court decision on May 24, 1965.  This struck down, on constitutional grounds, the law which Congress had passed in 1962 to counteract a liberal policy initiated, ironically enough, by Catholic President Kennedy, the Supreme Court declaring that the right to receive publications was a fundamental one, protected by the Bill of Rights.  To the argument of the Administration that only “inconvenience and no abridgement of rights was involved,” the Supreme Court replied that the government “can never justify emulating the practices of restrictive regimes in the name of expediency.”  Mr. Justice Douglas, quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes, added that the United States might give up the Post Office when it saw fit but, while it continued it, the use of the mails was almost as much a part of the free speech “as the right to use the tongue.”8

It was a blast of fresh American wind against the gathering anti-libertarian mist of religious and ideological authoritarianism now slowly descending upon America.

The disease of creeping censorship will make the American public the victims of individuals, groups, and movements claiming to speak in their name, asserting that they are there to protect them and that it is their duty to prevent them from seeing, hearing, and reading what such self-appointed censors have decided is bad or harmful.

They are the most vicious and perilous enemies of American democracy.  For they act as if the State does not exist.  They proclaim their own laws, to be observed by the average citizen; they ban, condemn, and fight (even with physical violence) independently of the regulations of the land, impervious to the fact that, if a film or a book or a play or certain practices are permitted, approved, and even encouraged by the State, then there is no need for any self-appointed bodies to issue their own bans on the free citizens of the land.

Unless, of course, such bodies owe allegiance to some other authority which is above the State or which considers the State incapable of looking after the interests of its citizens.

The two most prominent and active of above-the-American-Government authorities are, of course, the Catholic Church and Communism.

Both are totalitarian in nature, spirit, theory, and practice.  Both are exclusivists: both consider their doctrines to be the only ones that are right and just, everything outside them is wrong and unjust.  Whenever the opportunity arises, both the Catholic Church and Communism will see to it that all doctrines except their own are eliminated.  The ultimate result being the respective erection of Catholic and Communist regimes.

Whenever that is not physically or politically possible and they have to live in a society like the American one, based upon democratic liberties, then both the Catholic and Communist totalitarianisms work by infiltration, by weakening the national fabric, and by openly or silently paralysing the sinews of democracy.

Of the two, the most powerful and the more dangerous to American democracy is the Catholic Church.

For, while Communism is simply an ideology with economic and political revolutionary goals and is easily recognized and fought as such in its own field, the Catholic Church, by hiding behind the screen of religion and religious liberty, can carry out her revolution.

Owing to the fact that she is disguised as a church, she is practically immune to attack.  While the State can issue regulations and protective laws against an ideological foe like Communism, it cannot use the same defensive practices against the subversive activities of Catholicism; since that would be called religious persecution and an infringement of the Constitution.

The most notorious instruments of Catholic stultification of American society are the hundreds of Catholic bodies set up by the Catholic Church as her weapons to fight American democracy and to weaken the authority of the State.  Such bodies are commissioned by her to enact HER laws and to see that they are enforced upon Catholics and non-Catholics alike: in short, to ensure that Catholic dicta are enforced via Catholic spiritual, moral, and ethical vehicles of censorship, pressure, and boycott.

The Catholic Church’s activities through these bodies have been pursued for decades, and by now they have so infiltrated American society as to have become almost an integral part of it.

Indeed, besides acting as the lay instruments of their Church, such groups have grossly influenced non-Catholic bodies and even taken over nondenominational organizations, in order to carry out the policies of the Catholic Church.  This could not be otherwise, since the religious authoritarianism by which they are inspired will produce authoritarianism in whatever they do.  That is why they institute their own censorship.

Very often, the Catholic Church does not like a film or a book.  In which case, she sets herself up as the sole and final judge, issuing decrees to the effect that the film she has condemned or the book she has objected to must be boycotted.

And, since she cannot, as yet, openly use the agencies of the American government, she will use her own, set up exclusively to enforce her law upon American society.

These Catholic bodies vary, and the spectra of their status, nature, organization, belligerency, and subtlety are numberless.  Some act wholly undetected; others in a most blatant manner; most in ways somewhere between these two.  Some operate through bodies seemingly having nothing to do with the Catholic Church; others through bodies set up by sundry forces but infiltrated by the spirit of Catholicism.

For over a quarter of a century the motion picture industry abided by a self-imposed “production code,” the voluntary censorship to which the producers submit their films before having them publicly shown.  Everyone appeared to be satisfied with this “production code,” with the exception of some pressure groups (mainly women’s clubs) and the Catholic Church.  These good companions in 1934 launched a widespread campaign for “purer films.”  Under the threat of picketing, boycotting, and applying subsidiary financial “punishments,” the industry finally agreed to revise its rule and to insure much stricter enforcement.  Thus the whole of the motion picture industry had to bow to pressure groups, headed by the Catholic Church, claiming, then as now, to be the arbiters of the moral values of the American masses.9

Exhibitors came to be at the mercy of Catholics who, by the device of direct and indirect threats against local authorities, in many cases deprived the exhibitors of authorization to show films.  This trend became so widespread that eventually the Supreme Court had to intervene, with the resultant ruling of 1954, by which the states no longer had the power to withhold exhibitors’ licences.

This Catholic threat to motion pictures is solidly and financially omnipresent, and everyone in the industry fears it.  For everyone knows that to defy the unwritten Catholic censorship will set in motion the vast Catholic boycott machinery from coast to coast.

It must be remembered that in addition to bodies like the Catholic Legion of Decency, there are the ones related to them and the ones under the direct control of Catholic laymen or even Catholic clergy.  These bodies, besides using the Catholic press as their vehicle for “indexing” an offending film, can and do produce hundreds of “little Indexes” of blacklisted movies.

These “little Indexes” do their work of financial terrorization from the pages of diocesan journals, devotional magazines and such publications, some of which are specifically created to give “moral rating’”—that is, Catholic approval—to films, books, and plays.

Catholic owners of theater circuits will not hesitate to enforce a ban, very often openly and directly, because the Church has imposed it.  For example, Joseph Kennedy, father of the late President Kennedy who, upon a certain film being indicted by the Hierarchy, owing mainly to a beetle-browed cowboy being unaccountably fascinated by the mammalian protuberances of a beauteous two-legged singing female, instead of those of his usual four hundred mooing quadrupeds, banned it from his chain of twenty-three theaters in Maine and New Hampshire.”10
Catholic shareholders controlling theaters exert pressure for the same ends.  Non-Catholic exhibitors will shrink in fear of Catholic wrath.  Witness the theater in Albany which, upon the Catholic Church blacklisting the film, “Baby Doll,” begged Warner Brothers, the producers, to let them out of their contract to play the movie.11  In Washington a Joint Services Commission omitted the same picture from a list approved for showing to the armed forces for fear of Catholic ire.
The Hierarchy themselves do not hesitate to enforce such Catholic censorship from the pulpits.  For example, Bishop Russell J. McVinney, of Providence, urged Catholics to obey the Legion of Decency’s ban against this film, whether censored or not.  When Cardinal Spellman added his weight to the ban, police “snipped half a dozen scenes before they would permit it to be shown.”12  Warner Brothers, the distributors, threatened the exhibitors if they bowed to the Catholic threats by showing the Catholic-cut version.
Cardinal Spellman then went further.  Acting like the Popes of old, he altogether forbade Catholics from patronizing the film “under pain of sin.”13
The same Cardinal, on more than one occasion, not only promoted a boycott but also the picketing of certain films of which he did not approve.  In one instance, hundreds of Catholic ex-servicemen picketed a film shown in a New York theater, declaring that they would force the picture off the screen, after the Cardinal had called for a boycott.14

Such instances could be quoted ad infinitum.

It must be remembered that the motion picture industry is only one of the many mass media thus coerced by the Catholic Church.  Hundreds of radio and television stations are no less at her tender mercy.  News, programs, even advertisements, before coming to the television screens, are “screened,” censored, and analyzed time and again, lest they hurt Catholic susceptibilities.

And so, to make sure that the Catholic writ is enforced, not merely negatively or passively but also positively and actively, the Catholic Apostolate and Radio, Television and Advertising Guild have come to the fore, while the Catholic Actors Guild of America, when not too busy invoking Saint Jude (the Saint specialized in sending financial windfalls exactly when you have too much money), will make an extra grimace for the sake of Mother Church, often willingly and freely, provided it benefits both.  Facetiousness and massive promotional efficiency combine to mobilize all the available forces at the disposal of the Church, for the benefit of the Church, so that this same Church may project her image, her presence, and her power upon all and sundry.  The amalgamation of these factors spells direct and indirect pressure.  In many cases, fear.  Or even simply the fear of fear.

The channels through which the Catholic Church can syphon her presence and her pressure are real, concrete, and function like nothing else in the land.  As we have already seen, these channels are under the direction of the Catholic Hierarchy.  They comprise individuals, schools, guilds, clubs, churches and so on.  To take as an example a comparatively limited territorial area: that of New York from Camden, New Jersey, north to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and lower New York State.

Within this compass there are about 1,500 Catholic schools and colleges, and about 1,400 churches.  These are reinforced by not less than 800 miscellaneous Catholic institutions, operated by over 6,000 priests, about 2,000 brothers and 25,000 sisters, serving a laity of less than 6 million people.

The many Catholic clubs are mobilized, when necessary, to enforce the “writ.”  For instance, the Catholic Club of New York, the Carol Club, the Catholic Laymen’s First Friday Clubs, catering mainly to Catholic businessmen and businesswomen.  In addition there are: the Guild of Catholic Lawyers, several Guilds of Catholic Executives and employees of insurance companies, a Catholic Institute of the Good Trade.  Then, no less important, we have the Catholic Court Attachés Guild, the Catholic Guild of the Office of President of the Borough of Manhattan (the author is not a member . . . as yet), the Catholic Guild of New York City Department of Welfare.  Then, over 3,000 Catholic doctors, Catholic nurses, interns, and other employees of the New York City Department of Hospitals, are organized in 16 Municipal Hospital Chapters.  And, last but not least, out of about 22,000 policemen in New York City, one half are Catholics.

If one pictures the same situation in other big American towns, cities, and states, then it is not difficult to visualize the immense machinery at the disposal of the super-Censor of America: the Catholic Church.  The whole coordinated by sundry vast and efficient nation-wide organizations (for example, The National Catholic Welfare Conference)15 working simultaneously at different levels, reaching diversified strata, their activities synchronized with the exertions of cognate bodies, inspired, energized, and strengthened by vigorous lay legions, dedicated ecclesiastical battalions, and a managerially minded Hierarchy.

The truth of the matter is that the freedom-loving American citizen today is confronted, not only with the dangerous potentialities of sundry totalitarianisms across the oceans but with a fast-emerging totalitarian intangibility, in the guise of religion, on his own doorstep.

Such intangibility has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.  Failure to do so will mean but one thing: the obliteration of American freedom.

 

 

12The Progress of Fear in the U.S.A.

Of all the anti-libertarian forces set to obliterate American freedom, the Catholic Church is the most determined, the best organized, the most cunning, the most plausible, and the most deadly.  She is also the most likely to succeed in her ultimate goal: the replacement of American freedom by Catholic freedom.

A vast conflict, hidden and visible, is in full swing between American freedom as enunciated and promoted by the Constitution, and the Catholic Church’s determination to impose her doctrines upon an American society based on such freedom and unwilling to be molded according to the Church’s exclusive principles.  This conflict is becoming steadily sharper in proportion to the growth of the Catholic Church.  For the Catholic Church will press her “presence” upon the society of which she is an integral part but from which she considers herself to be wholly apart, since America is a Protestant-inspired society.

Suppose, for instance, that Moscow or Peking were to give orders to American Communists—orders which they must obey since their allegiance is to Moscow or to Peking first and to the American government second—their obedience to such directives would be condemned as alien and inimical to the interests of America.

Why?  Because, by obeying Communist Moscow or Peking, the American Communists would be acting as Americans who put the Communist Russian or Chinese capitals above Washington, the capital of their own government.  And, since these two Communist capitals are the headquarters of an ideology whose aim is the total subversion of American society it follows that the behavior of the American Communists would be full of dangerous potentialities for an America not inspired by Communism.

The American Catholics are in exactly the same situation.  Except that the activities of the American Communists are restricted and condemned, while those of American Catholics are tolerated, permitted, and encouraged.  And yet, the American Catholics’ behavior is as full of dangerous potentialities for an America not inspired by Catholicism as is that of the American Communists.  The American Catholics will put Rome above Washington, and their Church’s avowed aim is the transformation of a nation inspired by the principles of Protestantism into a Catholic country.

Thus American Catholics, although free citizens of the U.S.A., if they contravene Catholic laws on marriage cannot remarry, because certain marriage laws enacted in Rome forbid them to do so, although their state laws permit it.  Thousands of American Catholics can testify to this, since they cannot divorce or remarry because they put the laws of Rome (the Catholic Church) ahead of the laws of their own land.

Failing that, they will be condemned, officially or tacitly or even automatically.

Witness the case of Mr. Henry Ford II, the industrialist, a “convert” from Methodism to the Catholic Church, who was “automatically excommunicated” by the latter as a result of divorcing his first wife and remarrying.1

But the Catholic Church is not waiting for a Catholic revolution to make America Catholic.  The Catholic Church is carrying on her revolution now.  Thus she strives to impose her standards of what Americans should or should not read, and that censorship applies not only to Americans who are Catholics, but to Americans who are Protestants and even non-Christians.  Just as if hundreds of millions of them had no government at all, no laws concerning good or bad books, no regulations dealing with harmful literature.

To achieve this, she will use all her influence in religious and other fields.  She will use pressure, boycott, and fear.  Or, simply, the threat of the imposition of these three methods.  By the 1950’s her power was awesome.

Notice the case of the National Organization for Decent Literature, headed by a Catholic priest, director of the Chicago Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women.  This organization, openly attacked by John Fischer, editor of Harper’s2 was “to put pressure on newsdealers, booksellers and drugstores to remove from their counters all books on a blacklist”—a blacklist, it must be noted, compiled, not by the American government, but by the Catholic Church, and including works by Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Dos Passos, George Orwell, Emile Zola, Arthur Koestler, and Joyce Cary.

In case fear of this organized Catholic boycott against the legitimate trading of thousands of American citizens was not sufficient to cow them to the will of the Catholic Church, the zealous Catholic “sin sniffers” threatened them with the use of the police.  How? . . . since they had no authority whatever to do so?  Simply by—again quoting Harper’s editor, “enlisting the local police to threaten booksellers who were slow to cooperate.”  And how could they enlist the police to enforce the laws of the Catholic Church?  By appealing to Catholics who were policemen, who were in positions of authority in the police force, or who were in positions where they could influence those connected with the police.

Here we have an organization abusing the laws of the State, threatening peaceful citizens, blackmailing goods and people, and even using police forces employed by the civic authorities, yet nothing is being done to apprehend it or bring it before a court of law—as would surely be the case if its ideological counterpart, the Communist Party—or even an individual citizen—were to act in the same way.

What would happen to Protestant Churches in Italy, Portugal, or Ireland, were they to use the same methods in those Catholic-inspired and practicing countries?  The answer is a simple one.  They would be brought before the civil law, their activities stopped, and their inspirers punished.

In our case, American Catholics engaged in such campaigns are “‘un-American” in the widest meaning of the word.  Since, besides “conducting a shocking attack on the rights of their fellow citizens,” as the editor of Harper’s rightly commented, “they are also engaged in an un-American activity . . . harming their country, their Church and the cause of freedom.”3
“For it is one thing for a minority [the Catholic Church] to persuade readers not to read certain books, but it is quite another to in effect deprive all readers of books the minority declares unsuitable.”4

Fischer wrote those words in 1956.  The rebellion of the intellectuals and some liberal Court decisions produced a lull in the censorship offensive, and by the early 1960’s it began to appear that the forces of censorship in the field of general literature had been subdued in the United States.  Publication of such works as Naked Lunch, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Fanny Hill marked an unprecedented libertarian epoch in the land of the Puritan forefathers.  But in the spring of 1966 the censors won a signal victory.  Attorney Albert R. Gerber, distinguished authority on censorship law in the United States, reported it in the April, 1966, issue of The Independent:

 

For almost two years American writers, publishers, movie producers, and in fact all those interested in censorship, obscenity, and the basic communication of ideas, awaited with bated breath the decisions of the United States Supreme Court in three pending cases.

The cases involved the legality of the book Fanny Hill, which had been held obscene by the highest court in Massachusetts; the constitutionality of a three-year prison sentence and $12,000 in fines for Edward Mishkin, who had published and sold hard cover and paperback books with a special appeal to sadists and masochists; and finally the legality of a five-year prison sentence and $28,000 in fines meted out to Ralph Ginzburg, publisher of a magazine (Eros), a book entitled Housewife’s Handbook on Selective Promiscuity, and Liaison, a newsletter.

The nine justices of the United States Supreme Court labored hard and long and came up with as weird a concoction of law as anyone could possible imagine.

 

Gerber then summarized the Court’s decisions and explored their implications for publishers and booksellers.  In conclusion, he noted:

 

At the moment, however, the censorship forces appear to be in the ascendancy and are likely to prevail for some time to come.  Unless, as is usually the case, the Supreme Court turns around and does the unexpected!

From 42nd Street in New York City to Market Street in San Francisco the book stores are culling through their wares and hiding books once thought safe.  Motion picture producers are re-examining scripts and the sex films in the cutting rooms are receiving more than the usual once over.  Lawyers in the obscenity field are busy reading magazines, tabloids, manuscripts, and even plays.

The blue noses of Comstockery are cheering.  The various committees for decent literature have been rejuvenated as though with a special shot of adrenalin.  Ambitious young district attorneys throughout the country once having given up the sport of their predecessors, namely, favorable headlines and pro-editorial comment for so-called smut hunting, are now reexamining the prospects.  Courts are beginning to censor the items that are coming before them.

Chief Judge Thomson of the Federal District Court in Maryland just upheld the government confiscation of 19,500 copies of a magazine called Hellenic Son which was basically a Danish magazine seeking to be imported into the United States but having the impropriety of containing full-page color photographs of nude males with genitals “flagrantly displayed.”

New York’s brand new Chief Inspector of Police, Sanford Garelik, has announced that arrests for obscene literature have increased three hundred per cent since the recent decisions of the High Court.

 

Books criticizing the Catholic Church have always been subject to relentless warfare, and for many years, most editors, publishers, writers, as well as booksellers and the like, have been afraid to defy directly the writ of the Catholic Church.  The result is that the majority of publishers issuing books of general literature will not touch a work seriously criticizing the Catholic Church.

“Except for . . . . . ,” wrote a publisher to the present author in 1946, “no other American publisher would think of touching your book.  You have no idea of the stranglehold which the Catholic Church has upon the U.S.A., and the fear of offending her that pervades all business circles.  I think I would make one more exception [here the writer mentioned another well-known publishing house] . . . would not be afraid to publish it, but since most of his customary advertising media would be closed to him for it, I doubt whether he would undertake it.”5
Another well-known publishing house was of the same opinion.  “As you probably know yourself, a book attacking the Catholic Church has practically no chance of publication by a commercial publisher in this country.  Such firms see no advantage to themselves of bringing out a book that will antagonize a number of people and endanger the sale of their other books.”6

It remains for publishers who dare to defy the Catholic pressure machine, including evangelical publishers, to hold the field.  Those who have done so have found an eager market for fearless books on the Catholic Church.

Fear is widespread also in other circles: for instance, in that of public speaking.  When the present author was invited to lecture in the United States, a well-known American lecturer warned him: “What you say about coming over to lecture interests me greatly.  Of course, I lecture widely myself, but I would never dare devote a lecture to the Vatican and its politics.  Frankly, I would be afraid of retribution.  I would be called anti-Catholic, the sale of my books will be sabotaged, and I would generally be put into the dog house.”7

This fear is not confined to writers, lecturers, and publishers.  Hundreds of newspaper editors, for instance, are very careful in handling items dealing with the Catholic Church, editing, cutting, favorably distorting, or eliminating altogether items that are unfavorable to her.

Many American newspapers and magazines are “Gestapoed” by Catholic editors, journalists, and the like, since there are Catholic Guilds of Journalists in many of them.  The most reputable organs of the American press are anything but immune from this Catholic “siege.”  Witness the fact, for instance, that all the New York daily newspapers—the New York Times, the Daily News—have nothing more nor less than a Catholic Action Society in each—supplemented nationally by the Catholic Institute of the Press and the Catholic Press Association.

It does not take a journalistic imagination to guess the promotional work which these associations will do in favor of the Catholic Church in the “free and unfettered American Press.”

As for serious literature, the all-powerful Catholic Writers Guild will see to it that Protestant America gets its share of Catholic, Catholic-inspired, and Catholic-impregnated books.

Catholics in the Post Office, by invoking doubtful regulations, will ban what might or might not be, let us say, Communist or pornographic literature.  Witness a book by the present author, which dealt exclusively with diplomacy and the Catholic Church, but which was listed in the latter category. . . . Catholics in the Immigration Bureau will prohibit the entry of would-be visitors or immigrants to the U.S.A. simply because they are persona non grata to the Catholic authorities.  For example: the novelist, Graham Greene, a converted Catholic but considered, nevertheless, a Communist.  Or the author of this book, not a Communist or a Catholic or, even less, a capitalist, but considered persona non grata by the U.S.A., the Catholic Church, and Soviet Russia, having committed the unpardonable felony of criticizing all three.

Many Catholic campaigns are wrapped up in some philanthropic or “goody goody” cause.  Such devices are used not only to make the Catholic terror campaigns immune to retribution from the law, but also to draw the sympathy and support of non-Catholics.

The Catholic Church, being very flexible in her tactics, is always up-to-date on which cause to sponsor in order to further her own.  Thus, whereas a few decades ago the major bogey was Communism, thanks to which she increased her cause by leaps and bounds, now she has adopted the racial problem to advance her influence.

The Archbishop of Detroit, for instance, in 1965 simply could not resist the temptation, and presented the Catholic Church in the guise of the champion of the oppressed colored people by launching “Project Equality.”8
Of course, the good Archbishop forgot to mention one or two details.  For instance, that the Catholic Church supported slavery until as recently as the last century, and that she never took one single step to abolish it, as we mentioned in another book.9

What was the object of “Project Equality”?  “To boycott firms practicing racial discrimination in hiring employees.”  How?  By “setting up a central office to check on the hiring practices of any company doing more than fifty dollars worth of business annually with a Catholic Institution or Agencies.”

When it is remembered that the Archdiocese of Detroit, where this “Project” began, has a multimillion-dollar purchasing potential, then it is easy to figure out how many firms are affected if they do not conform to the Archbishop’s ideas of how racial problems should be solved.

That is not all.  An official of the National Catholic Conference, who was head of its Employment Service, was appointed Director of the “Project,”10 thus coordinating the blacklisting and blackmailing throughout the U.S.A.

Blackmailing is the correct word.  Witness the pious Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis.  There, suppliers were asked to sign statements pledging themselves to carry out the Catholic Church’s policies, or else . . .

When the Archbishop of New York was approached about promoting the “Project,” a spokesman announced that the Archdiocese of New York’s purchasing department had already “followed a pattern of repressing discrimination in its dealings with suppliers” for more than twenty years.11
What was the real goal behind the official aims of “Project Equality”?  The Archbishop of Detroit had no doubts about it.  “The purpose of ‘Project Equality,’” he said, was “Truth through education.”12  And what is Truth to a Catholic Archbishop?  Catholic Truth, or course.

If the Catholic Church in the U.S.A. should confine herself to acting as if the nation had no laws at all and setting up her own and applying them to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, that would be bad enough.  But the Catholic Church goes even farther and conducts campaigns of veritable intimidation—indeed, of blackmail and persecution.

It is not only the high Catholic Hierarchs who promote such campaigns: Minor clergy by the thousands follow their example in less publicized blackmail campaigns of their own.  For instance, Father Francis E. Fenton of Stamford, Connecticut, instructed his parishioners to boycott five stores which had refused to blacklist literature banned by the National Organization for Decent Literature.

The United States is still nominally a Protestant country.  One would take it for granted that a film on the life of the greatest founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, would be shown without trouble or recriminations.  But not so.  Many cinemas exhibiting the film “Martin Luther” were not only boycotted but also picketed by Catholics.  The boycott was widespread and caused much acrimony.  In 1956, for instance, WGN-TV, the television station owned by the Chicago Tribune, canceled a scheduled showing of “Martin Luther” because the management became the target of a “bigot blitz” of impassioned telephoned protests from Catholics.  Some years later, the film was forced off WTOP-TV in Washington, D.C., a station owned by the Washington Post.  Before and after that, countless cinemas refused to show “Martin Luther” because of the direct and indirect threat of Catholic boycott.13

Catholic films, glorifying the Catholic Church, always get the most favorable treatment, since the forty-five million Catholics will automatically patronize them.  Catholics in authority will help their promotion, thus making them “good business” even for Protestant exhibitors.

The Catholic boycott can also stifle Protestant thought on radio and television.  To quote only one telling instance: In September, 1960, the pastor of a Baptist Church broadcast over radio station WWNH a sermon on the text “Thou art Peter and upon this rock. . .” giving the Protestant interpretation of the words.  Result?  A Catholic “bigot blitz’ threatened the station with boycott, and so intimidated the manager that he canceled all the remaining broadcasts on the subject.  The Manchester Union Leader, defending the station’s action, said a very illuminating thing which confirms what everyone in radio and television fields throughout America already knows: “WWNH has only done what any other radio station would do under similar circumstances.”14

Precisely.  Since hundreds of radio and television stations throughout the U.S.A. are already refusing any program which might antagonize the Catholic Church.  In fact, such items are refused before they are even submitted.  And, since generally they are not submitted because it is well known that the stations will reject them, they are stillborn before they have been conceived, thanks to fear of Catholic retaliation.  Such is the deplorable state of affairs inspired and promoted by the well-organized mass Catholic terror-bigotry.

Catholic terror-bigotry will not limit itself to attacking sermons and radio and television programs.  It will dare boldly to attack free American citizens for expressing views to which they are entitled, thanks to the freedom which the American Constitution guarantees them, but to which the Catholic Church objects.  We quote a few typical examples, instanced by Protestants and Other Americans United:

 

During the 1960 political campaign, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale dared to raise the question of the fitness of a faithful Catholic to occupy the White House.  He attended a meeting dedicated to honest exposition of the religious issue.  His weekly column was promptly canceled by at least three large metropolitan dailies.  Such a storm of calumnies broke upon him as few Americans have ever faced.  His inquisitors put him on the rack until he recanted.  He learned the hard way that an individual must be incalculably tough if he is to say anything even mildly critical of the Catholic Church.

An equally famous clergyman involved in this same incident, Dr. Daniel Poling, refused to withdraw his signature from the statement of the so-called Peale group.  He had been serving for years as honorary chairman of the All-American Conference to Combat Communism.  The National Council of Catholic Men called upon Dr. Poling to renounce his “anti-Catholic” statement, and when he refused the Catholic group withdrew from the anti-Communist organization.

 

Catholic terror-bigotry can go even further by trying to bring ruin to individuals courageous enough to denounce certain doubtful activities of the Catholic Church.  The case of Glenn L. Archer, executive director of Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is a typical example.  Glenn L. Archer was the victim of Catholic terror boycott from the moment he assumed that post.  Owner of a grain and lumber business in Kansas, he suffered the loss of half his business when the local priest, Father T. F. Keogan, organized a boycott.  The boycott continued for years until the community revolted against the priest’s tactics and refused to obey his orders.  Discredited in the community, the priest eventually was given a transfer.

Following is another typical case of Catholic terror against law-abiding free Americans: Drew Pearson, in his syndicated column of April 27, 1960, recounted the facts in the case of State Senator Earle D. Hillman of Bangor, Maine.  Senator Hillman cast a tie-breaking vote which denied transportation at public cost to Catholic schools in Maine.  As a result of his vote a boycott was clamped on the Footman-Hillman Dairy, a business owned, not by the Senator, but by his son, the father of six children.  Young Hillman, faced with a sales loss of 200 to 300 quarts of milk a day, eventually sold the business, which his father had given him in 1955.  The P.O.A.U. film, “Boycott,” was based on this episode.

Catholic boycott and terror tactics are so real and can be mobilized with such total impunity against anyone and anything anywhere, that the mere threat is often worse than the boycott itself.  Such fear is everlastingly present for anyone who might be tempted to resist Catholic pressure.

Planned Parenthood is a frequent object of such tactics.  Guidance to parents in the matter of intelligent spacing of children is deeply resented by the Catholic Church, and its leaders have repeatedly boycotted or threatened to boycott community funds which include Planned Parenthood.  In Washington, D.C., for instance, Planned Parenthood was denied a place in the 1957 United Fund because of Roman Catholic pressures, with a Catholic boycott of the fund in prospect.  In Lorain, Ohio, where the Knights of Columbus censor the films that may be shown in the public school auditorium, Catholic priests ordered parishioners not to contribute to the Community Chest because the Y.W.C.A. and the Salvation Army were included.

Catholic pressure influences and cows non-Catholics, to an ever greater extent, to do the bidding of the Catholic Church in cases where it is inadvisable to use Catholics.

For instance, to obtain satisfaction of her ever growing demands for her sectarian schools, one of the slyest techniques employed by the Catholic Church is, not to ask for outright grants for her own schools, but to ask for loans for sectarian colleges.  Once these loans are well established as legal precedents, the plan is to lower the beam a little to acquire loans for Catholic high and elementary schools.  The usual move is to employ a non-Catholic politician to carry the scheme to fruition.  Senator Wayne Morse, of Oregon, for instance, introduced into the Senate a special amendment asking for seventy-five million dollars a year for the construction of private and parochial schools.  He said that the bill called only for loans, but in reality the money would have come mainly from Protestant taxpayers and would have been employed to help finance one religion—the Catholic.

In spite of the way in which the scheme was disguised, everybody in the Senate knew or should have known the real purpose of the bill and that it de facto violated the Constitution by helping one particular denomination.  But not one single Senator dared to stand on his feet and denounce the measure.15

The reason for the Senators’ silence?  Fear.  Fear in case their opposition be noticed and they be singled out by a Catholic velvet terror campaign against their political futures.

Fear of the Catholic vote and of the Catholic Church’s political opposition is a growing consideration in the calculations of every American politician, high or low.

There was the case of the “package bill” drafted under the supervision of Archbishop O’Brien, of Hartford, favoring Catholic schools.  When put before the House, it was promptly defeated.  The Hierarchy, seeing millions of dollars lost, decided to join the fray themselves.  Archbishop O’Brien, joined by Bishop Shehan and Bishop Flanagan, issued a statement in The Catholic Transcript stating that a vote against the Roman Catholic subsidy was “bigotry.”  It darkly hinted about “the next election” if the bill were defeated.

Under pressure of the Catholic lobby, a move was started in the House to get signatures to a petition to force the bill back on the floor.  Archbishop O’Brien and his colleagues then resorted to direct political blackmail to frighten the legislators.  They issued a statement read at every mass in Connecticut on May 27.  The statement urged parishioners to “carefully observe” how their representatives voted in the State House of Representatives on the bill providing free bus transportation to parochial school pupils.16
That was by no means a unique case of direct political blackmail.  Instances can be quoted again and again.  For example, the case of Connecticut, where a bill to provide public funds for Catholic schools was defeated.  Result?  “The bishops were incensed about this and issued a public remonstrance against all legislators opposing their will.  Seeking to intimidate the lawmakers, the bishops urged the faithful to carefully observe the action taken, especially those of their local representatives.  The diocesan paper said ominously, ‘A political issue can be corrected at the polls.  This one will be.’”17
These direct threats to non-Catholic politicians by the Catholic Church are part and parcel of the armory of the Church.  Her main weapon the world over, it must be remembered, is politics.  The time has not yet come for her to employ it openly and directly in the U.S.A.  But the cases quoted above are dire reminders that the day is not far off when she will emerge on the American political horizon as a most formidable political power in her own right.  More than one modern Pope has asserted that it is the duty of the Church to tell voters for which party they should vote, Pope Pius XII being the chief advocate of this claim.  And the Vatican has by no means abandoned it.  Not long ago one of its spokesmen declared that “Bishops in all countries, including the United States, not only have the right but also the duty to advise voters at election time.”18

American Catholics already form an unofficial political party, in that if a political issue involves the interest of their Church they will jump the party line to vote for whoever favors the Catholic Church.

The “Catholic vote,” it must be remembered, is controlled by the third most powerful political caucus of the U.S.A.: the Catholic Hierarchy.

We have already seen how the Catholic Church, when dealing with certain problems, claims to be above the State, above the Constitution, and above all the legislative principles of the American fabric on the specious grounds that she “has the right and the power to teach the truth,” as the U.S. Bishops asserted in no uncertain terms.  Also, that only the Catholic Church has—again quoting the U.S. Bishops—the power “to distinguish truth from heresy . . . to define virtue and to distinguish it from sin.”  Because the Catholic Church is “a divinely founded organization, committed to a definite body of teaching.”19
Catholic teachings are not developed in the abstract.  Most of them are promoted in concrete form against American ways of life.  For example, the Bishops’ assertion that the Catholic Church “has the right to preach her own concept of the inviolability of marriage” in a society “which has legalized divorce”; that she has the “right to state her principles of contraception”; the right to “take measures to protect the faith”; the right to protect her children in a mixed society against a “monopolistic Stateism”; and so on.20

By “rights” the Catholic Church means that it is her duty to enforce her dicta upon Catholics and non-Catholics alike, since only hers is the truth.

The Catholic Church asserts such rights in the plenitude of her uncompromising implementation of them in medicine and cognate problems.

A foetus, she contends, has the right to live as much as the mother.  In fact, where the lives of the two are in the balance, that of the mother must be sacrificed on the grounds that the foetus is an individual with distinctive rights “as soon as he is conceived.”21

Whether this is true or not is not for us to say.  And if the Catholic Church, being persuaded of its veracity, should confine herself to imposing its application exclusively on her own members, well and good.  But the Catholic Church does nothing of the kind.  She attempts to have the appropriate legislation enacted to enforce such Catholic tenets upon all.  Her efforts have already met with success in many Courts around the world and their results are now also creeping into United States legislation.  The same intolerant imposition of her doctrines concerning birth control is better known, since she will do anything to deny to Catholics and non-Catholics alike the right to receive information on birth control or to support or promote its practice.

In many countries outside the U.S.A. she has managed to obstruct legislation permitting birth control, and, through Catholic politicians and her national Hierarchies, she has succeeded in making the prohibition of birth control legally binding.

We shall not go into details about her relentless campaigns in this field, even following the Second Vatican Council’s deliberations and the most recent papal liberalization in the matter.  Fundamentally, the Catholic Church still retains her exclusive right to be the final judge.  Suffice it here to say that she will continue, by virtue of her claim, to try by all means to impose her will upon the Protestant society of the U.S.A. as she has upon other nations.

The Catholic Church will publicly defy the very President of the United States in no uncertain terms.  Thus, for instance, when President Johnson, in his State of the Union message (January, 1965), told the nation in a carefully worded statement that he promised to “seek new ways to use our knowledge to help deal with the explosion in world population and growing scarcity in world resources,” the director of the Family Life Bureau of the National Catholic Church was opposed to any use of public funds “to promote artificial birth prevention in America or abroad.”22  This although, it should be noted, President Johnson had made no specific mention of birth control methods.
Prior to this, a special committee charged with studying the foreign aid program of the U.S.A. recommended to the President that “demographic information, possibly including birth control advice, should be given to nations which request it.”23
This recommendation was supported by the Senate and also by a Protestant study group sponsored by the World Council of Churches.”24

Here we have the recommendations of an impartial, non-denominational committee, those of a Christian group sponsored by most Protestant Churches, those of the American Senate, and even those of the President of the United States, all advising a certain policy beneficial to Americans and to millions in underdeveloped countries, many of the latter non-Christians.  What was the reaction of the American Hierarchy?

The Catholic Church of America not only did not support the policy; she threatened to oppose all its sponsors.  She brazenly challenged the U.S. government to go ahead, threatening that she “would fight any attempt to use foreign aid funds to promote artificial birth prevention programs.”25

The laws of the Church—perhaps even more than in the educational orbit—are most strictly enforced in the field of medicine.  Here the Catholic Church has erected her own citadels from which the laws of the State are excluded unless they are acceptable to the Catholic Church and where her own laws are absolutely paramount.

Physicians, surgeons, doctors, medical staff and so on are bound to observe certain rules approved and codified by the American Medical Association Code, blessed by the State, and by the whole of the medical profession.  The Code, however, is of no use to the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church has her own Catholic Medical Code, known as the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Hospitals.”  “Catholic hospitals exist,” says paragraph one of the introduction, “to render medical and spiritual care to the sick.”  “Spiritual,” in this case of course means “Catholic.”  That is, only Catholic regulations and laws must prevail in Catholic hospitals.

Thanks to this, the requirements of the American Medical Association are wholly ignored and those of the Catholic Church stand supreme and are binding on all doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other personnel and—last but not leaston all patients.

Moreover, Catholic hospitals and their medical cohorts must practice not medicine as sponsored by the government and accepted by Americans, but “Catholic medicine.”  The latter is controlled to the last comma, not by the medical profession, but by Catholic priests.

For, even when Catholic hospitals are supplied with the latest scientific equipment, as they often are, and the medical services administered are of the first class, ultimately and when dealing with certain fundamental matters the last word comes from the Catholic Church.

Catholic nurses, even when they have been trained in State nursing schools supported by Protestant money, are told that Catholic rules must prevail, whether they are employed in Catholic or non-Catholic hospitals.  When working in Catholic hospitals, of course, they are as bound to obey Catholic rules as are the nuns employed in nursing activities.

Some of the results of this blind obedience to the laws of the Church are that very often non-Catholic children are baptized in the Catholic faith, non-Catholic patients are administered Catholic rites before dying, and so on.

Doctors who have not strictly obeyed the Catholic Code have been not only severely reprimanded but ruthlessly dismissed.  Protestant and Jewish physicians have been denied the use of facilities because they have indicated their belief in family planning.”26
The extent to which this Catholic intolerance can go is indicated by the case of the head of Orthopedic Surgery at Albany (New York) Medical College, who was barred from St. Peter’s Hospital there because his wife had taken a post with the Planned Parenthood Federation.”27
As mentioned above, it must be remembered that Catholic laws are enforced, not only on the medical profession, but also on all patients, regardless of their religious beliefs.28

In concrete form, this means that doctors employed in hospitals where the Catholic code is the rule cannot and will not give birth control information, and the patients are not given devices or treatment in this field.  The Catholic Church forbids Americans—Catholics or not—once they are in her hands, to have a therapeutic abortion to save the life of the mother; although the parents wish it and although the American Medical Association and the American government have legalized the practice.  The dramatic effect of the imposition of this particular Catholic law is that, by the most conservative estimate, between one thousand and two thousand American mothers die unnecessarily each year.

The Catholic code is strictly enforced thanks to the zeal of Catholic doctors and nurses.  When these are supplemented by thousands of Catholic nuns, then the patients have no chance whatsoever to avoid Catholic dictatorship at its strictest.  Nuns are employed by the Church as a kind of spiritual Gestapo; they see to it that the medical staff carries out every rule of the Church in its entirety.  Should the doctors or nurses fail to do so, the nuns will not only rebuke and denounce them, but they will intervene directly in a most reprehensible and dangerous way.  We give only one such example, which is by no means unique:

Dr. John M. Stephens, of Brownsville, Texas, determined that a patient of his, after surviving three close calls in childbirth, could not survive another pregnancy.  At the request of the patient Mrs.  Theresa Gonzalez, and her husband, at the time her fourth child was born, he tied off her Fallopian tubes in the delivery room of Mercy Roman Catholic Hospital of that city.  A Roman Catholic nun, Mary Adele of the Sisters of Mercy, who was in charge of the hospital’s obstetrical department, physically interrupted Dr. Stephens and compelled him to untie the tubes.  Time Magazine, commenting on the episode, declared: “Most of Brownsville townspeople backed Dr. Stephens.  So did fellow doctors, though none could raise his voice for fear that he, too, would find the doors of Mercy Hospital shut in his patients’ faces.  For violating its code of ethics (which it shares with other Roman Catholic hospitals in the U.S.) Mercy Hospital denied Dr. Stephens the use of its facilities for his patients.”29  Mercy Hospital was Brownsville’s ONLY hospital.

Catholic hospitals are, therefore, enclosures in which the Catholic Church rules supreme and her dicta are enforced upon Catholics and non-Catholics alike, although hospitals controlled by the Catholic Church are considered “community institutions” and have received and are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal and local governments composed mostly of non-Catholic tax payers of America.

Catholic dictatorship is not confined to American Catholic hospitals; since totalitarianism, in this case the absolute observance of Catholic laws, is a fundamental rule of Catholicism.  Thanks to it, the same exclusive enforcement of the Catholic Church’s doctrines will be carried out whenever she manages to gain control of other fields.

Her immense ecclesiastical machinery; her growing influence in all fields of activity and thought in the U.S.A.; her mounting power in the political life of the nation; her continuous and ever bolder interference in the internal and external policies of the Government; her colossal wealth; her penetration of the most vital legislative, administrative, military, and governmental citadels, coupled with the ever accelerated magnification of her image and of her prestigeall portend that the Catholic Church today is determined to capture, dominate and rule the United States of tomorrow.

The containment of the Catholic Church, therefore, is not merely essential.  It is vital.  As vital as the free air the free citizens of the United States are breathing now.

As, truly, the survival of a free America will depend on just that.

 

 

13The Pattern of Catholic Power on a Super-Catholic Island: Malta

Up to now we have seen the pattern of Catholic pressure, boycott, and fear in Catholic countries in which the Catholic Church, although enjoying a preponderant influence, is kept in check by the State; or in Protestant ones in which she is restricted by a non-Catholic culture, population, Constitution, and State.

So it might be illuminating to scrutinize an island where there is a totally Catholic-imbued population, a subservience of the State to the Church, and an overwhelming, unreined power of the Catholic Hierarchy in both religious and civil matters.  We refer to the most Catholic Island of Malta.

Malta, the island where Saint Paul is reputed to have been shipwrecked, is a curious mixture of cosmopolitanism and the narrow-mindedness so peculiar, in varying degrees, to all races living on islands, big or small: that is, insularity.  The insular malady here has attacked the Maltese people especially in their religious susceptibilities.

Being an even more complex mixture than the southern Italians, they share the same virtues and defects in magnified proportions, which might account for their religiosity, a strong brew of archaic pagan primitivism, Christian insularity, and codified superstitious Catholic fanaticism.

Where else—with the exception, perhaps, of certain backward regions of Sicily, Poland, Ireland and South America—could there be found, side by side, Catholic Churches where operas are played but where the congregations are 90 per cent illiterate; where one is held to be a pious and respected man if one pays for the marble on the altar or the gold of the chalice, but where infant mortality is among the highest in the world; where one can see drunken Catholics in front of holy statues during Catholic fiestas, and pious dullards genuflecting or walking on their knees as private or public penance; where young girls dressed in white, crowned with bridal crowns and the white lily signifying virginity, frequent churches next door to brothels for English sailors, where, if one leaves money or, even better, one’s property, one’s soul is prayed for by rotund canons; but where, if you incur the serious displeasure of the Church, you may be buried in the “rubbish heap” reserved for dogs?1
In Malta there has been seen the spectacle of fervent Catholics attacking no less fervent ones with bottles (as a rule empty) or even with knives because some were the partisans of Saint Paul and the others the partisans of Saint Dominic, or because one was with Saint George (the Dragon, a public house, as a rule was left behind) and the other with Saint Sebastian.2

With this kind of background, the Catholic Church in Malta was a power which was not only unchallenged but also dominant and as ruthless as it was permitted to be by the British Empire.  The latter and the Vatican often battled with such resounding clamor that at times they attracted the attention of the world at large—not so much because of the rights or wrongs of the Maltese problems, but because those same problems reflected the eternal conflict between the claims of the Catholic Church and those of the civil powers.

Malta now is an independent island, but until 1964 it was a colony of the British Empire first and a Dependency of the British Commonwealth later.  Since Britain is nominally a Protestant country, it followed that a colony characterized by the low-level fanatical Catholicism of Malta was bound to give a lot of trouble.  Which it did.  But, for the sake of simplification we shall illustrate a typical phase in the Britain-Malta relationship.

The conflict occurred between the two World Wars, in about 1930.  At that time, the British Government decided to pour oil on the troubled religious-political Maltese waters by appointing a Governor who was not a miscreant and obtuse Protestant, incapable of understanding the problems of Catholicism and its sacrosanct claims upon the civil authorities, but a good, sincere, devout son of the Catholic Church.

The intentions of the British government were good.  They wished for nothing better than appeasement with the Catholic Church on the island; and harmonious cooperation with her.  Since the Governor was both a sound Britisher and an even sounder Catholic, the appointment should have worked the miracle.

The miracle occurred.  But in reverse.  For the simple fact is that the Catholic Church will never relinquish her claims to be above the State and to act as such whenever she has the power to do so.

Towards the end of 1928 Father G. Micallef, a Franciscan friar, was banished by his Superior from Malta to Sicily.  The friar, believing the banishment unfair, refused to leave and appealed to the government for protection.  The government passed a resolution asking the Vatican to appoint a representative to inquire into the case.  The resolution was duly adopted by the Legislative Assembly on January 24, 1929.  Two months later, in March, the Prime Minister, Lord Strickland, quashed the sentence on the grounds that a British subject could not be expelled from British territory by a “foreign power’—i.e., the Vatican.

The incident brought to the fore the old slippery question of the power of the Church vis-a-vis that of the State.  Following the quashing of the sentence, the Head of the Maltese Hierarchy publicly denounced the action taken by Lord Strickland.  Soon all the churches on the island echoed with denunciations of the government.  Lord Strickland protested that, this being a legal issue affecting the authority of the State, the attacks made against him from all pulpits were unfair and unjust.  The Maltese Hierarchy, he claimed, were not justified in their behavior and were exploiting their religious power in a purely legal issue between Church and State.  Thereupon he appealed to the Vatican.

The following month (April) the Vatican sent an Apostolic Delegate to investigate the case.  The Apostolic Delegate’s conclusion: The Maltese Government was in the wrong.  His advice to the Maltese bishops: Continue to fight Lord Strickland.  Lord Strickland appealed to the Vatican against the Apostolic Delegate.  The Vatican replied in the person of none other than its Secretary of State.  His verdict: Lord Strickland was in the wrong.  His orders: The Maltese Hierarchy must continue and increase their pressure upon the government, whose decision was absolutely inconsistent with the authority due to the Church.

Lord Strickland rejected the decision of the Vatican’s Secretary of State and went in person to Rome, where he asked to be received by the Pope.  The Pope refused to see him.

Lord Strickland, determined to put his case before public opinion in spite of his Church, wrote a memorandum, setting down the government’s case and disowning the decisions of the Maltese bishops, of the Apostolic Delegate, and of the Secretary of State.  The memorandum was widely publicized, and additional fuel was thus added to the fire.

Once Lord Strickland was back in Malta, a resolution against ecclesiastical interference in civil matters was passed by the Legislature that same month, with a strongly worded protest signed by all the Maltese Ministers, which was forwarded to London, for transmission to the Pope.

The British government, after having pondered over the case, in August lodged an even stronger protest at the Vatican.  The Vatican, as a reply, ordered the Maltese Hierarchy to tighten still more the screws on the Maltese Government.

On December 11, the Archbishop of Malta threatened with the severest penalties anyone, Catholic priest or layman, who maintained that the government was right and the Church wrong.

The situation went from bad to worse.  A few days later the Prime Minister reviewed the matter in the Chamber, referring the gravity of the issue to the British government.

The British government, hoping to reach some kind of compromise, began negotiating for a Concordat for Malta.  The Vatican proved as uncompromising as it was with the Maltese government, and soon the negotiations reached a deadlock.  Great Britain made it clear that, unless the Vatican ordered its priests in Malta to cease interfering with the political life of the island, the British government would not consider reaching any agreement with the Church, whether through a Concordat, a modus vivendi, or in any other way.  The Vatican countered by asking the British government for the dismissal of Lord Strickland.

The British government refused, and ordered Lord Strickland to continue in his policy.  The Vatican commanded the Maltese Church to intensify its pressure.  On May 1, 1950, the Archbishop of Malta issued a letter to all the Catholic clergy, ordering them to refuse the sacraments to anyone who should vote for, or intended to vote for or support, Lord Strickland’s party in the coming elections.  To give a vote to Lord Strickland or his government, warned the Archbishop, would be “a mortal sin.”

This, it should be noted, was not the beginning but the culmination of the religious pressure which the Maltese Hierarchy had been conducting for some time, using purely religious instruments such as the confessional.  Priests had for months been telling their penitents to oppose a government which was against the Church.

The Maltese government declared the interference of the Catholic Church intolerable, stating that the Archbishop’s order amounted to an open interference with parliamentary elections, and was tantamount to a claim to make and unmake ministers and governments.  And Malta appealed to the British Crown.

On May 30, the British government gave an ultimatum to the Vatican’s Secretary of State.  Unless the Vatican withdrew its demands that the Maltese Premier be removed from office, unless it restored complete freedom to the Maltese electorate by ordering the Maltese Hierarchy to lift the ex-communication penalty, unless it withdrew the astounding claim that Catholic priests must not be sued before a lay tribunal without ecclesiastical permission, the British government would take appropriate measures and was determined to stop all kind of negotiation with the Vatican.

The Maltese Hierarchy renewed their war, and within a short period they succeeded in bringing the Catholic population to such a fever pitch that an attempt was made on the life of Lord Strickland, who escaped unhurt.

Members of the government and many Catholics proposed that a Service of Thanksgiving for Lord Strickland’s safety should be given in the Cathedral.  The Archbishop promptly refused to comply with this request and prevented the service from taking place.

The British government, in view of the uncompromising attitude of the Vatican, rather than have the election under Catholic pressure, postponed it and, in June, 1930, suspended the Constitution.

On the same day—and this was no coincidence—the Pope summoned all Cardinals present in Rome and, during a solemn allocution, repeated once more that the authority of the Catholic Church was definitely and unalterably above that of the State, and that all Catholics were conscience-bound to obey their Church first, and to fight the State when the latter was opposed to the laws of the Church.

In June, 1932, Lord Strickland startled many of his supporters, both in Malta and in England, by declaring that he had been wrong in opposing the claims of the Catholic Church.  More, he went out of his way to make a formal apology to the Vatican for his past opposition.  Lord Strickland, the unyielding defender of the authority of the State, had thus been ignominiously defeated by Lord Strickland, the pious member of the Church.  A Prime Minister had been compelled to meet his Canossa, as an individual Catholic under the spiritual duress of his Church.  Another striking reminder that Catholics are Catholics first, and that, even when they consider the authority of the State as paramount, to save their souls they are forced by their spiritual leader to disown the civil authorities to whom all loyal citizens should owe undisputed allegiance.

 

*     *    *

 

Thirty years later, in 1962, another major eruption shook the island, with even wider repercussion.  This time, the battle between the Church and the civil powers affected not only the status quo of the island but its very future, since Malta’s independence was almost at hand.  In that year an electoral struggle took place, the chief contestants being the Church with her allies—or, rather, instruments—and her only serious opponent, the Malta Labour Party.3

It was an electoral campaign, supposedly to be fought between the Catholic Church and all those who opposed her quasi-absolute dominance of the life of Malta.

The Church’s supremacy on the island was not merely of a religious kind.  It was a mixture of material and spiritual privileges by which she dominated the lives and the activities of the population.

Thus she was ceaselessly engrossed in her own material welfare, represented by buildings, land, and so on.  She was the largest landowner in Malta, owning no less than one-third of the whole island.

To add insult to injury—or, rather, to add solid possessions to liquid financial wealth—she was exempt from paying taxes, unlike the poverty-stricken fishermen or dock laborers.  For, believe it or not—and this was obviously a requisite for entering heaven—the Archbishop of Malta and other high Hierarchs were wholly exempt from such mundane matters as paying income tax or super tax.  Also exempt from taxation were all their public educational institutions, all their ecclesiastical and charitable organizations and trusts, bequests, and public foundations.  Since the Church owned a third of the island, it is easy to imagine the economic, social, and financial power she could exert in a territory so grossly over-populated, grossly impoverished and grossly over-Catholicized.

When it is also remembered that the Catholic Church was in a position to impose her will upon everyone and everything in moral, ethical, and social matters, the weight of her hold upon the island is obvious.  Religious discriminatory legislation introduced in 1921, when self-government was granted, proclaimed that the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion was the religion of Malta.  A clause in the 1947 Constitution interpreted this as meaning that Protestants, while “tolerated,” had no right to organize processions in the streets (a privilege reserved only to the Catholic Church), had to pray privately, could not preach or advocate Protestantism, and could not have their own religious schools.  The Maltese law on marriage was the law of the Catholic Church, as codified in the Canon Laws, in which at least one of the contracting parties must be a Catholic.

Prior to the 1962 elections, the Labour Party promised the electorate to reduce the overwhelming power of the Church by a reasonable liberalization of the economic, social, and political potentialities of the island.  It had had the opportunity to carry out this program during brief spells of power in 1947-49 and 1955.  The experiences of the Church in those days had not been at all happy.  Now, the mere threat of another dose of Socialist castigation gave her nightmares.  It was not so much because the Labour Party wished to curtail her ecclesiastical stranglehold, but because she was the biggest landowner on the island.  Furthermore, since this was probably the last general election prior to Malta’s independence, its result would shape the future of the island.  Because of all such factors, the Church came to the fore boldly, brazenly, and determined to win, cost what it may.  The civil authorities were already under her thumb so that regulations and even legislation were formulated and interpreted to allow the Catholic supported by the Church to do practically anything while his opponent was hamstrung in all possible directions.

Thus, while the Catholic Party had broadcasting facilities available any time and for as long as they wished, their opponents were denied the same rights.  A speech to be delivered by the Leader of the Labour Party and former Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff, in January, 1962, was forbidden by Catholic censorship to be put on the air.

While the Church’s opponents were gagged by her, they were also paralyzed by the police, since the Church saw to it that the police in charge were her devout sons.  Result: the election campaign was supervised—with a partiality that is easy to imagine—by a Police Commissioner who had previously been dismissed by the Maltese Labour Government.

Catholic leaders, priests, and others had complete freedom to speak, to preach, and to hold assemblies, while their opponents had to run the gauntlet of the Catholic police, who, when they could not brazenly veto meetings, resorted to tricks bordering on the dishonest and the illegal.

One typical instance should suffice.

Upon the Labour Party asking permission to hold a public meeting, the Catholic police gave consent.  Yes, the Labour Party could hold their meeting, but on one condition: that they did so only after a religious ceremony, due to take place nearby, had terminated.  The religious function was due to end at 4.30 p.m.  But the police had imposed a curfew from 4.57 p.m.  Here is the text of the letter from the police:

 

The meeting due to be held at Qala on Sunday 31st December 1961 can be held after the religious function taking place in the church situated in the Square has come to an end.  The meeting should not be continued after sunset, that is after 4.57 p.m.

 Superintendent, f/ Adjutant Malta Police,

 26th December 1961

 

The meeting, of course, never took place.

In addition to the police, the election commissioner and his assistants were all handpicked by the Catholic Church via the colonial administration.

That was not all.  Catholic organizations and the priests, with the connivance of the police, often openly disturbed their opponents’ meetings.  Indeed, it was an open secret that priests organized veritable religious-political expeditionary Catholic gangs, with the specific purpose of breaking up assemblies.

The Catholic crusaders were not all adults.  Thousands of school children were taught genuine democracy in a practical way by being supplied by their parents with hooters and whistles which they used en masse whenever they came across Labour speakers, often preventing the speeches from being delivered.

A friend of this writer’s, Mr. Tom Driberg, a prominent member of the House of Commons, who happened to be visiting the island at the time, was persistently hooted by hundreds of school children, who pursued him wherever he went, having taken him for a potential speaker, which he was not.

Since Mr. Driberg, being observant, had noticed from their little noses that they had not yet had the opportunity of pondering upon the weightiest tomes of John Stuart Mills, or of digesting the perorations to freedom of John Milton, or suchlike trifles never mentioned in Catholic schools, he appealed to their most politically minded organs: their tummies.  And, having explored his pockets, he scattered a handful of well wrapped sweets among the hooting toddlers.

Following an instant of massive silence and the subsequent dribbling of a thousand mouths . . . a single sharp whistle whistled a signal.  Then suddenly a horrified voice gave the alarm: “They are pink!”  “Oh, Lord, have mercy upon us!” shouted the bravest of them all.  Thereupon, having made the sign of the cross, he swallowed a couple of sweets, wrappers and all.

“Tom for our tummies!” shouted all the children.  “When we grow up, we shall vote for you!”

The Archbishop had tasted his first bitter pill.

 

*   *   *

 

The Catholic clergy, meanwhile, were engaged upon more mature matters.  And they surpassed themselves in their vigorous activities to defend the spiritual interests of Holy Mother Church (and, we must not forget, one solid third of the island) by using their brains as well as their muscles to silence the devilish enemies.

And so the very bells of their belfries were made to work whenever the whistles of their children (who, presumably, were put to bed exhausted) had no more wind in them.  The clergy’s method was certainly a sonorous one.  And most effective.  For it not only silenced the Labour speakers, but deafened them and their listeners and those who did not want to listen at all—the Catholics themselves.

So it came to pass that when the former Maltese Premier, now enemy number one of God and of Saint Peter, began to address an open-air meeting, the bells of a nearby Church began to toll.

At first both Catholics and Socialists assumed there was a funeral somewhere.  Then, since the bells started to ring joyously, they supposed they had made a mistake and that it must be a wedding.  Then, since the ringing turned into a kind of pandemonium, they concluded that somebody had already won the elections (still weeks ahead) or that there must be a carnival to celebrate some forgotten Saint or other.

The bells, however, were in no mood to rest.  On the contrary, they tolled and pealed and rang with increasing energy, stopping periodically only for a few minutes, to let the speaker begin his first sentences, to start anew with devilish merriment.

On this occasion the bells rang continuously for THREE SOLID HOURS, not one minute more and not one minute less.

When the Labour listeners, now practically stone deaf, lost their patience and attempted to take the bells by their ropes . . . via a well-conducted siege of the belfry, they found the belfry and the Church unassailable.  A massive police cordon had surrounded the sacred building, to prevent those vociferous silvery proclaimers of the rights of the Church from being silenced.

Dom Mintoff, the speaker who had not been permitted to speak, and the parish priest who had ordered that his bells be rung, had sufficient energy left to write.  So, while the first wrote protests to his own press the latter wrote a justification of his sonorous interpretation of freedom of speech to the Times of Malta (February 3, 1962).  That journal one morning printed an illuminating letter from Father Innocenzo Borg, of Luqa (the place where the bells had tolled for three solid hours).

What?  He, anti-democratic?  he asked.  What an insult!  Like the Catholic Church and the Archbishop of Malta he, too, was a firm believer in freedom of speech.  Had he made the bells toll?  Yes, he had.  But, assured Father Innocenzo, he had given the Labour speakers several opportunities to stop speaking . . . and if that was not democracy, could anyone tell him what true democracy meant?  Here are the very words which the good Father Innocenzo (i.e., Innocent) wrote in his letter of explanation:

 

. . . As regards the ringing of the bells which continued long after sunset, may I say that the pealing of bells stopped when the loudspeakers with their irreligious and scandalous talk did stop.

The bells rang, in fact, as a protest against this kind of speech . . . and a speaker began to attack the church teaching and his Grace the Archbishop.

Several times, the ringing of the bells for a very short time had unsuccessfully warned this speaker to stop his irreligious speech, before the din of the bells, as Mr. Mintoff put it, “attempted to interfere with the public meeting taking place in the public square.”4

 

In addition to the mobilization of belfries, that of the porches of churches followed suit, as well as their walls, internal and external.  For posters of all sizes, colors, and kinds appeared all over Malta, decorating the sacred buildings with slogans in which the Devil, the Labour Party, all the Saints of the Calendar, and even God Himself, not to mention the Catholic Church, figured prominently.

“Vote as directed by the Diocesan Junta,” said a poster on a Young Christian Workers Club.  “God will be watching you.  God will judge you.”

“If you vote for the enemy of the Church,” said another, on the walls of Gudja Parish Church, “you will be defying the Bishop, you will be defying God [sic].”

Parish priests sent letters to the voters.  Witness the one received by the parishioners of Marsa, Malta, written by Father Felicjan Bilocca of the Order of St. Francis:

 

You all know me.  I embellished your Church and built another one for you.  Listen to me:

Do not be afraid of the Socialists, who are mortals like you, but Fear God.

Before you cast your vote, say unto yourself: “I have but one soul.  Am I going to lose it because of Mintoff?”

 

A picture at the top of the circular showed Father Felicjan blessing the new Church at Marsa dedicated to Our Lady of Tears.5

Whether the voters thus addressed shed tears of joy at the Father’s political counsel is not recorded.  But in all probability, remembering their souls, they voted as he told them to vote.  Thousands more did likewise.  Father Felicjan Bilocca was not the only one to use religious fear to compel voters to vote for the Church.  Following threatening words with deeds, the Church ordered whomever she could mobilize to vote according to her dicta.  All young seminarians who had never voted before, for instance, were compelled to go to the polls.  All the sick and the infirm of Malta were mobilized.  Witness the following extracts from a stenciled circular sent to bedridden voters before polling day:

 

We know that many of you never leave your home, not even to hear Holy Mass.  This time, however, YOU MUST COME OUT.

God knows your good intentions, and He will give you the help you need.

We must vote for those whom we know not to be against the priests, against the Church and against the Archbishop.

Do your duty, dear brethren, so that you will share in the Victory for Catholic Malta.6

 

After which there was the following warning:

 

Our volunteers will be wearing a badge mounted with a colored photograph of Mons. Archbishop.  Do not accept lifts to the polling booths from persons who are against the Church.

 

That was not all.  The Catholic Church mobilized her most feared spiritual weapons and unblushingly used religious “terror”  to compel voters to vote her way.  Imitating Pope Pius XII, who years before had done the same, they told the Maltese, in no uncertain terms, that unless they voted for the political party favored by the Church they would be grilled in the flames of Hell for endless millions of years.  Purgatory, in this case, was to be bypassed altogether.  Priests all over the island told voters that it was a mortal sin to vote for Labour.  The Archbishop himself gave specific instructions to that effect:

 

Preachers can indeed be of great service for the reassertion of the Church both in civil and political matters, as the occasion demands . . . and for the recuperation of souls lost on account of political matters. . . . In their sermons or speeches they should explain the divine influence of the Church for the formation of a perfect society both private and public; about the divine power of the Church and her unerring judgment, EVEN IN CIVIL LAWS; about the gravity of mortal sin . . . the utility of Catholic associations.7

 

The Archbishop’s words were confirmed by the Bishop of Gozo who, in April of the same year, published a circular telling Catholic voters that to belong to the Labour Party or even to attend its meetings was “a mortal sin.”

To coordinate the individual and collective fear thus engendered by the Hierarchy, the Vatican then dispatched to Malta from Rome some of its best “organizers,” specialized in that very type of warfare generated directly by religious pressure and the fear of the punishment of God.

These specialists were veterans in that kind of religious-political pressure, since they had used it in exactly the same way on a larger scale in Italy several times before.  For instance, back in 1949, Pope Pius XII had excommunicated all and sundry who either directly or indirectly supported the Communists or their allies, the Socialists, in order to compel them to vote for the Catholic Party, inspired and backed by the Vatican itself.  In 1959 the Holy Office had reiterated the excommunication, followed by another one in 1965, when Cardinal Ottaviani said that the Holy Office decrees were still in force.8

“Tacticians” like Father Rotondi, a Jesuit, led by none other than Professor Gedda, a former President of Italian Catholic Action, descended upon Malta and coordinated the religious pressure to yield the maximum political results at the voting stations.

Professor Gedda, a brilliant organizer, had even fuller cooperation from the Maltese Hierarchy than he had received from the Hierarchy in Italy, where the Church, notwithstanding her boldness, has to tread with a certain care.  In Malta the Church went further than anywhere else.  That is, she transformed the sacrosanct confessional into a polling ballot box.  Confessors were ordered to tell penitents how to vote.  Disobedience meant refusal of absolution.  To vote for the mildly “pink” liberalism of the Maltese Labour Party would have meant gnashing of teeth in Gehenna, while at the same time—and this for eternity—the sinner would have to listen to the reading of the most obscure works of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Company, never understood by even the best of Socialists.  Which of the two tortures is the worse it is not for us to say.

The fact remained, however, that His Grace the Archbishop, on the days of Our Lord January 29 and 30, 1962, called a secret meeting of all FATHER CONFESSORS only, at the Catholic Institute, Floriana, and ordered them orally—under a THREAT OF EXCOMMUNICATION—to “ask penitents whether they were voting Labour and to refuse them absolution if the penitents persisted.”

The Father Confessors above a certain age limit accepted the Archbishop’s orders without a murmur, since thirty years earlier they had been given exactly the same instructions during a similar election.  But the younger ones confessed to being somewhat puzzled.  It was not a confession. . . .9

And so it came to pass that one morning—or, perhaps, evening—the stupefied Maltese Catholics discovered that their confessionals, those havens of secrecy and spiritual comfort which they had always assumed were dedicated exclusively to whispering between them and their spiritual fathers concerning interesting private misdeeds (mostly confined to love and money) now had become places of veritable political confabulation, whence the Archbishop of Malta ordered them how and for whom to vote.

In case readers should doubt the authenticity of these archiepiscopal instructions, we quote a few.  They are an ad litteram translation of the Latin text distributed by hand on March 7, 1962, to parish priests only.

 

Methods of Procedure for Father Confessors and Preachers.10

A.  As regards the Father Confessors

1.  First of all, confessors should inquire of the penitent whether he voted or not.

2.  If the penitent did not vote, the confessor should ask him why he shirked to fulfill such a heavy obligation.

a.  If the penitent shirked this obligation through mere negligence while conscious of the gravity of such a thing, he is to be accused of a serious omission. . . .

b.  If he shirked this obligation because he had no faith in any of the candidates . . . he should be argued with . . . ; he should however be REFUSED ABSOLUTION unless he faithfully accepts the relevant directions issued in May, 1961, against the spokesmen of the political party hostile to the teaching of Holy Mother Church.

c.  If indeed he shirked this obligation through malice he should be REFUSED ABSOLUTION . . . .

3.  If the penitent voted for the party hostile to the Church, the confessor should ask whether in so doing the penitent had sinned in private or in public (such public action implies either making one’s intention manifest or canvassing for that party).

a.  If the penitent declared himself to have sinned privately, whether he should be absolved or not depends on his sincerity. . . .

b.  If on the other hand he sinned in public, he should NOT BE ABSOLVED, unless and until he makes his atonement public . . . and honestly promises that wherever possible he will make reparation to the same extent that he had wrought damage to the Church, Bishops, Priest, and all those he may have offended.11

 

So much for the sacrosanct sacrament of the confession which, Catholics never tire of repeating, is inviolate and dedicated exclusively to spiritual matters.

Having terrified the voters in the secretiveness of the confessionals, the Maltese Hierarchy now came into the open and inflicted a spiritual leprosy upon their political opponents by hurling their bolts against the members of the National Executive Party.  Here are their words:

 

Their lordships . . . feel compelled to inflict from now the canonical penalty of personal interdiction according to canons 2291-2 and 2275 on all those who at the meeting of the National Executive of the Malta Labour Party held on March 15, 1961, took part in the drawing up of the statement or approved of it by their votes. . . .12

 

In short, the members of the party opposed to the Church had been put out of bounds to all Catholics by the canonical penalty of “personal interdiction.”

The result of this state of affairs can be gauged by the fact that foreign visitors to the island at that period were, to quote a well-known member of the British Parliament who was among them, “treated with such ferocious hostility and discourtesy” that the car they were in was shot at.13

The Church’s vengeance against her political opponents went even further.  Not content with the mobilization of terror in this world, she mobilized terror of the next that would pursue them beyond the tomb.

Thus Joseph Mercer, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, who died in September, 1961, was not given burial where Christians are usually interred, but was laid in a spot popularly known as the “refuse dump.”  He had not even been present at the Executive Meeting of March 15th, and was a practicing Catholic.  Another Labour Party member was refused burial in the same way.14

As the election day approached, the Church intensified her pressure upon all and sundry.  News agents were forbidden to sell literature opposing the Catholic party, Catholics were forbidden to put advertisements in Labour journals.  Over 80 per cent complied, for fear of reprisals.  Children were questioned by priests as to the political attitudes of their parents, while parents not conforming to the political dicta of the Church were denied the sacraments.

Finally, on the eve of the elections, crucifixes draped in mourning were paraded in village squares, with the caption: “Why are you voting against me?”

Last but not least, during polling day itself, to complete the campaign of terror against the already cowed Maltese Catholics, cohorts of black-robed priests, nuns, and monks appeared at the voting queues and stationed themselves in front of the voters, chanting and saying the rosary, while bedridden and practically dying faithful were carried on stretchers to vote “for the Church and for God.”

The result?

The Church won.15

 

 

14The Pattern of Catholic Power in a Non-Christian Country: South Vietnam

Wars ignited by territorial or ideological aggression or by the rivalries of inimical powers are seldom regarded as the visible results of conflicts initially originated by the personal credences of a strong-willed individual, the hostility of a powerful religion towards some abhorred ideology, or the conflicting interests of the warring nations using both to their own advantage.

Yet, more often than not, that is precisely the case.  The internal and external war of South Vietnam is a typical example.

We shall not here examine the rights or the wrongs of the “dirty war”1 of South Vietnam which was to lead to the quasi-military confrontation of the U.S.A. and Communist China.  We shall confine ourselves to the part played by the religious factor, since this not only helped to ignite the conflict but, by keeping the flames of religious and ideological odium burning with almost suicidal virulence, was one of the instruments most responsible for the cause and the unnecessary lengthening of the conflagration.

Although operating in an Asian, non-Christian land, the Catholic Church is once more at the center of events, the intangible and at the same time concrete inspirer and mover of the religious-political interplay that resulted in the fearsome military activities characteristic of the Vietnamese conflict.

Unlike Malta, where the civil administration was wholly supported and hence wholly dominated by the Catholic Church, South Vietnam had a civil administration supporting and partially dominating the Catholic Hierarchy.  In this case, far from being the masters as they were in the Mediterranean island, the Hierarchy had been reduced to the subservient tools of a strong-willed Catholic individual at the helm of the State, determined to use them to implement a policy consonant with (a) his personal religious convictions and (b) the furtherance of the spiritual and ideological interests of the Catholic Church, of whom he was a fanatical son.

Before embarking upon a cursory scrutiny of how far the religious factor was responsible for the situation, it might not be amiss to cast a glance at the political background, since it is otherwise impossible to see in its right perspective the role played by the Catholic Church in that unhappy country.

When, in 1940, during World War II, the Japanese engaged upon taking over Indo-China from the French, they were fought by guerrilla groups formed by the Indo-Chinese.

Shortly after the end of World War II in September, 1945, they proclaimed a Republic and then set out to expel the dominant colonial power, the French, who meanwhile had returned to their old Protectorate.  The progress of the guerrillas, who were to be labelled as the Communist Viet Minh, alarmed the Great Powers, who eventually summoned a meeting in Geneva in July, 1954, to settle the Indo-China question.

The eight participating nations agreed to partition the country near the seventeenth parallel, and Indo-China became ruled by two provisionally independent States.  The North went to the Communists, and the South to those forces opposed to them.

The partition, however, was agreed upon by all the eight signatory powers on the condition that a general election should take place throughout North and South Vietnam simultaneously prior to July 20, 1956.

When the time arrived for it, North Vietnam approached the South with a view to making arrangements for the elections, in accordance with the decision reached at the Geneva Conference.  This also in view of the fact that the Conference had ruled that such preliminary talks should be initiated after July 20, 1955.

South Vietnam, however, flatly rejected the request.  Appeals to the eight signatory nations for the prompt implementation of the solemn international agreement made and guaranteed by them at Geneva were to no avail.  As a result, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam was formed.  Soon its members began active guerrilla warfare against their own government.  With the passing of time, this developed into a kind of civil war, in which the Communist North, which had encouraged and helped the South Vietnamese guerrillas from the beginning, became increasingly involved.  In consequence, the activities of the guerrillas and North Vietnamese finally provoked the financial and military intervention of the U.S.A., which, besides spending over 3 billion dollars (by 1966), within a few years had dispatched hundreds of thousands of troops and had imperiled world peace to an extent almost unprecedented since World War II.

 

*   *   *

 

These were the events which finally led to the fratricidal internecine war in Vietnam.  In such a contest, Vietnam was but a small section of a vast strategical canvas on which inimical ideologies, attempts at territorial aggrandizement, the abstract and real interests of super-powers like Soviet Russia, the U.S.A., and China met, with deadly results.

It must be remembered that at the time of the Geneva Conference the Cold War was at its height, and that the two major Western partners—the U.S.A. and the Vatican—were actively engaged upon a global anti-Communist campaign.  This embraced not only Western Europe, but also Asia.  As a result, Indo-China became another local territory upon which a local contest between the two global antagonists was about to take place.

The joint exertions of the U.S.A. and the Vatican had met with full success in Western Europe.  While the U.S.A. had injected the tottering European economy with billions of dollars, the Vatican had contributed with the creation of a postwar political Catholicism which in no time had dominated the whole continent.  American financial help prevented the economic collapse of Europe and the Vatican’s Political Catholicism prevented the Communist forces from coming to power, though it was unable to annihilate the Communist ideology from countries such as France or even Italy.

While the U.S.A. set up military and nuclear bases all over Western Europe, as defensive-offensive bastions against Soviet Russia, the Vatican used the Catholic Church’s spiritual weapons to cajole hundreds of millions of European Catholics into supporting the political parties she sponsored.

In 1949, for instance, Pope Pius XII excommunicated all Catholics who joined the Communist parties of Italy, France, Belgium, and other countries, or who even, wittingly or not, supported them or their allies—for example, the Socialists.

Thus, the Catholic Church was able to keep the Communist menace at bay; that is, while unable to destroy the various national Communist parties, it prevented them from taking over Western European governments.

In Asia, the situation was somewhat different.  In Indo-China, for instance, the cultural and religious backgrounds were alien to Catholic religious pressure, the population having been nurtured in a Buddhist culture.  In the economic sphere, dollar omnipotency was also comparatively of small avail.  Yet, as Indo-China was wedged between two prolific colossi—India and China, with two opposite cultures and, now, two inimical ideologies—it was of great strategic importance and it became imperative that it should not be permitted to fall into the Communist territorial and ideological fold.

To attain this without the crude methods of an economic, diplomatic, or military intervention, there was but one avenue left open: to post a key man at the helm of the government of South Vietnam.

Since both the U.S.A. for strategic reasons and the Catholic Church for religious ones were pursuing a common policy in this area they had to cooperate closely on Vietnam and to agree upon the instruments they would use for the implementation of their policy.  In this kind of war the human element is of supreme importance; and the leader chosen must have the total confidence of the two grand partners.

The man to lead such a key State as South Vietnam had to be 100 per cent anti-Communist.  The genuineness of his political odium had to bear a guarantee.  This guarantee was religion.  His anti-Communism would stem less from political antagonism than from religious conviction.  As religious convictions are counter to Marxism, the individual selected by the U.S.A. and the Vatican would be a most reliable ally, particularly as the country to be run by him had a Buddhist background.

In 1954 Washington and the Vatican finally agreed on a choice.  Certain American authorities who objected to it were promptly overruled.  The Vatican and its U.S. allies insisted that Vietnam policy must be consistent with the policy pursued there until recently under the French.

What had been the highlights of the U.S.-Vatican policy under the French aegis?

The following:

While the United States in 1950-51 prior to the Geneva Conference had initiated an aid program for French Indo-China of approximately 23 million dollars, three years later it had committed itself to over three billion dollars of direct and indirect aid to bolster the country’s economy.

Simultaneously, the Vatican, besides marshaling the Indo-Chinese Hierarchy and Catholics in religious and ideological realms, had managed by clever maneuvering in Paris to install in the Indo-Chinese dominion a political potentate acting as a pro-Consul for the French Empire, a fanatical son of the Catholic Church: Admiral Georges d’Argenlieu, a monk.

The U.S.-Vatican policy misfired, for reasons outside the scope of this book.  And when, eventually, the U.S.A. and the Vatican had to choose a new leader for South Vietnam, they remembered the French monk who had ruled with an iron hand chiefly because of his religious beliefs.  And they decided to select the one indigenous man who resembled the Carmelite Friar.  The choice was unmistakable and clear: Ngo Dinh Diem.

 

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The decision, which originally had been made at the Vatican, was sponsored and supported by certain elements in the U.S.A.  Indeed, when doubts appeared among some high prelates at the Curia about the wisdom of the choice (among those prelates being Monsignor Montini, later Pope Paul VI), American Catholics mobilized all their most potent influence to support Pius XII.  Cardinal Spellman—at that time confidant and grey eminence both at the Vatican and at Washington—led the sponsorship of Diem.

The success of the U.S. Catholics was such that they managed to overrule Americans of the highest standing, such as General Lawton Collins, of the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, and even that arch-enemy of Communism, none other than Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

The success story of the Pius XII-Spellman protégé notwithstanding, official U.S.A. antagonism against him was explained also by the fact that the Eisenhower administration in certain matters gave ample latitude to action to political protégés of its own.  For example, Clare Boothe Luce, a zealous convert to Catholicism, who, appointed American Ambassador in Rome as a reward for helping Eisenhower win the presidency, became also a de facto unofficial American Ambassador to the Holy See next door, so to speak.

With Cardinal Spellman and Clare Boothe Luce, with a pliable and naive president who reigned but let a few people in key positions do the ruling, beginning with the fanatical John Foster Dulles, the choice of Diem was confirmed, implemented, and launched to dual blessings from Rome and Washington.

Diem’s Messianic complex blended perfectly with the U.S.A.’s—or, rather John Foster Dulles’—policy of Manifest Destiny.  The two were synthesized by Pope Pius XII’s anti-Communist globalism, characterized at this period by reckless employment of political clericalism, the use of fanatical individual Catholics, and the misuse of religious fear for the attainment of a political goal.

Diem, therefore, seemed the ideal man to carry out both Pope Pius XII’s fanatical anti-Communist crusade in Asia and John Foster Dulles’ virulent odium against the same enemy.

When the Vatican had installed a French monk as ruler of Vietnam, from a Catholic viewpoint the choice apparently could not have been better for combating Asian Communism.  But with Diem, the Vatican and the American Catholics did even better.  For, while Diem was neither a priest nor a monk, he was the summation of both.  Indeed, he was more than a priest and more than a monk; he was an active and fanatical politician.  His personality was a synthesis of all three: monk, priest, politician, in that order.  He was the rarest of combinations, even for a fanatical Catholic.  Racial, historical, religious, and individual factors combined to make up his character.  He came from a Catholic family who had embraced and practiced the faith for centuries—in a non-Christian land.  Often his ancestors had suffered veritable persecution, since Catholicism during the French occupation was frequently identified with colonialism.  During the last century, for instance, in an anti-Christian, anti-French revolt, a hundred members of his family had been burned to death by the Buddhist revolutionaries inside a Catholic Church at Pai Phong.

Diem’s father had originally studied to become a Catholic priest.  After the massacre he married, Diem being the third of nine children.  Diem was brought up to attend daily Masses, his father and brothers going to the Angelus at six o’clock every morning, summer or winter.  Diem’s elder brother, Thuc, became a priest.  Diem decided to follow his example and entered a seminary.  Even prior to that, Diem’s chief occupation, apart from his studies, had been prayer.  He spent hours in daily and nightly prayer, to such an extent that eventually his brother dissuaded him from becoming a priest because the life would have been too soft for him.

Eventually Diem gave up the idea, but he continued with his daily and nightly religious practices, spending long hours in meditation.  Indeed, from an early age he practically led the life of a lay monk, and even made his own vows of continence.

He was a brilliant scholar and a hard worker.  Soon he rose in the administration under the French, filling important and authoritative posts.  After years of this, he withdrew from active politics, for reasons we must here bypass.  During his voluntary exile he passed his time in prayer, taking Holy Communion every day.

Prior to assuming office as Premier of South Vietnam, Diem lived in various monasteries in Europe and the United States.  Years before, following the breakdown in negotiations with the Viet Minh leader, Ho Chi Minh, he had retired to a monastery in Hanoi, North Vietnam.2

Diem had integrity, unselfishness, and was not interested in material reward.  His total interests were politics and religion.  His religion pervaded and inspired his politics.  It was the secret of his strength, but also of his weakness, the primary and ultimate cause of his downfall.

 

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Since religion came first and last, all his actions derived from it.  He therefore imposed upon others the discipline he imposed upon himself.  This became evident very early, under the French, when he organized an extra-efficient intelligence system.  He bore no criticism or advice.

Diem, as an individual, as a Catholic and as a politician, was thus conditioned to believe, in all good faith, that whatever he did to serve the cause of truth and true religion was permissible and was right.

The fight against the number one enemy of religion—Communism—could, therefore, be carried on by any means.  And anything that served to thwart the progress of Communism was justified.

The reasoning of Diem, the pious Catholic, the would-be priest and the de facto monk, became the reasoning of Diem, the Prime Minister of South Vietnam.

The result was that when Communist North Vietnam approached South Vietnam, in conformity with the recommendations of the Geneva Conference and with a view to preparing for the general elections in both partitioned countries, President Diem flatly refused to implement the Geneva decision.

How did President Diem dare to defy the will of eight powers in such a blatant manner?  A man who had been out of office for over twenty years and had just become president by the grace of one of the great nations which had been the pillars of the Geneva Conference, the U.S.A.?

President Diem had dared to defy the Geneva decision, not just because he personally, as a fanatical Catholic, had decided that this was the best way to deal with the situation, but because he had the full support of his two great sponsors, the Vatican and the U.S.A.  It was as simple as that.

Cardinal Spellman, with a few more powerful Catholics who had the ear of President Eisenhower, counseled President Diem to refuse to implement the decision of the Geneva Conference.  Cardinal Spellman did not view the Vietnamese problem only from afar, for in 1955 he personally visited President Diem in South Vietnam, in the guise of Father Christmas, with a gift of $100,000, which he gave to Catholic refugees.  Later he visited that country three more times.  Besides being instrumental in having the U.S.A. send heavy relief funds, he was also primarily responsible for the later dispatch of the first American military forces sent to help Catholic Diem.

Cardinal Spellman’s concrete financial and material help, however, was not only the visible embodiment of the Vatican-U.S.A. support for their Catholic creature in South Vietnam.  It was the precursor of the heavy aid that was to come directly from the American government.

This was soon to be seen when, as a result of the partition, hundreds of thousands of Catholics began to stream southwards, encouraged by the Catholic authorities of South Vietnam and the Vatican and the Catholics of the U.S.A.  Their fate had given the Vatican no end of trouble.  Although the Communist regime of North Vietnam regarded them with suspicion, if not hostility, in many cases characterized by maltreatment, it was nevertheless reasonably tolerant of their presence, bearing in mind that the Pope was thundering against everything Communist and threatening with eternal damnation any Catholic who collaborated with a Communist regime.

During the Geneva Conference, Diem’s Foreign Minister, Tran Van Do, had done his best, following direct instructions from Diem himself, to insure that the Catholics passing under the rule of the Northern Communists would be safeguarded with the creation of a special area for them.  His efforts failed.  “We fought desperately for a neutral zone in the Catholic area of North Vietnam.  Absolutely impossible to surmount the hostility of our enemies,” he cabled from Geneva.  “We respectfully submit our resignation.”

The Catholic elements in North Vietnam were no negligible political force.  Far from it.  Until a short while before, not a few Catholic groups had maintained their own private armies.

Following the setback at Geneva to his plans to save his Catholic brethren, President Diem set in motion the powers of his twin protectors, the U.S.A. and the Vatican, and asked them to help him save the Catholics under the Communist North.

The Catholic Hierarchy of North Vietnam were duly instructed to mobilize their flock.  The result was soon to be seen.  Catholic priests, disregarding the North Vietnamese government’s offer to cooperate with them, told the faithful to leave the domain of the devil incarnate—that is, of the Hanoi government—and seek refuge in South Vietnam, where there was a Premier who was a Catholic like them.  More, a President who would eventually liberate the North from the enemies of Holy Mother Church.

The priestly mobilization quickly took effect.  Hundreds of thousands of peasants and workers, men, women, and children, used to regarding the words of their Catholic padres like the words of the Pope himself, abandoned everything, their houses, their fields, their oxen, and, like some nightmarish crusade of the Middle Ages, made for Catholic Diem’s capital, Saigon.

The hundreds of thousands of Catholics thus mobilized by real and imaginary fear soon became half a million; then, in no time at all, eight hundred thousand.

These swelling Catholic multitudes that swarmed into South Vietnam (besides bringing problems of all kinds) created by their sheer numbers a political religious group which almost automatically gave Catholicism paramountcy in the opposition to Communism.  Their escape from the Communist North created the impression that only Catholic Vietnamese were doing something active against the Communists even if it was merely fleeing from their control.

This impression was further enhanced by the large gift which the U.S.A., once more prompted by Catholic Spellman and Company, gave these Catholic refugees: twenty and a half million dollars of aid and food (Christmas, 1955).  The money and aid were carefully channelled by Catholics and went exclusively to Catholic recipients.

Since the aid came from the U.S.A., since it had been directly and indirectly prompted by American Catholics, since the Catholic President directed it to Catholic quarters, and since the agencies administering it were Catholic or Catholic controlled, the impression formed by the Buddhist population was that open and concrete discrimination was being shown against those who were Buddhist.  The bulk of the population began to resent the implications of the situation.  For many Buddhists were as opposed to Communism as were the Catholics.

The eight hundred thousand Catholics from North Vietnam, however, did not hide the fact that they hated everything Red and that they wanted the South to use them to fight Communism.  As, naturally, they were encouraged and helped by the Catholics already living in South Vietnam, Catholic elements became the most active spearhead of the anti-Communist crusade.

When to this is added the fact that the Catholics who had remained behind in North Vietnam had been organized by their priests and by the Catholic agents of Diem into groups meant to operate as fifth columns, we can see how the Buddhist and other elements were automatically put in the shade in the national and ideological struggle.

President Diem did nothing to discourage this process.  On the contrary, he did all in his power to integrate the Catholic will to fight with his own.  The result was that, with the passing of time and the intensification of the South Vietnamese anti-Communist struggle, the Catholic elements which had already been prominent when Diem came to power began to take over places of influence at an ever accelerating speed.

Soon, positions of authority, at national and local level, in the government, in the police, in the army, passed into the hands of more and more Catholics.  It was not long before Catholics dominated the governmental, police, and military machines.  Catholics were promoted over the heads of Buddhists, often simply because they were Catholics.  This was true to such an extent that many Buddhist and agnostic officers became converts to Catholicism as a means of insuring swift promotion.

While this was taking place in the capital and in the army, the same phenomenon occurred in the provinces, and at one time more than two-thirds of the provincial chiefs were Catholics.

The most important aspect of this general Catholicization was that, while key positions in the civil administration, the army, and the police went to Catholics, the top positions of the government became the exclusive and private field of Catholics.

For President Diem had seen to it that his brothers, who during their childhood had gone to daily Mass and daily Communion with him, now exerted influence and power second only to his own.

One of them, Ngo Dinh Nhu, got what in any authoritarian regime is the most important force of all: the Secret Police.  Thus the head of the Secret Police, a Catholic, and without scruples, became the key inspirer, supporter, and counselor of his brother, the Catholic president.

In due course, this became the primary cause of the discrimination against the Buddhists, at first on political grounds; later, on purely religious ones.  Particularly when the Catholicism of a South Vietnamese was taken as the surest guarantee of his fealty to the Diem Regime and to the anti-Communist struggle.

But that was not all.  President Diem’s elder brother, whom, in their youth, Diem had tried to imitate by entering a seminary now was not only a Monsignor but the very head of the Catholic Church of South Vietnam, Archbishop Thuc.

Pope Pius XII and Cardinal Spellman had seen to it that this was so.  It is a maxim of the Catholic Church that a civil government, if it cooperates as an ally in fighting a mutual political enemy, should be supported and cemented by the spiritual authority and power of the Church as a religious institution.

In this manner, the government of South Vietnam was composed of a most zealous Catholic Trinity: a Catholic president, a Catholic head of the Secret Police, and a Catholic Archbishop, united not only by their Catholicism, but also by their family ties and common interests.

In short, South Vietnam, protected and aided by the two grand partners in Asia, the Vatican and the U.S.A., had, within a few years, been converted into a veritable Catholic dictatorship.

 

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Now, if this state of affairs had prevailed in a Western country, and especially in a Catholic country, it would have been bad enough.  After all, Vatican maneuvers of this kind had reaped tremendous benefits with nominal Catholics like Mussolini and Hitler and with practicing ones like Dollfuss of Austria, Monsignor Tiso of Slovakia, and Franco of Spain.3

But it must never be forgotten that in Vietnam we are in a non-Christian land; in a country whose very air is imbued with a Buddhist background and culture; where Christianity—not to speak of the Catholic Church—was an alien credo imported from the West, and its adherents a minority.

Catholics, in fact, of a population of roughly 15 million, numbered fewer than one and a half million.  That is, they represented only 9 per cent of the total population, while 65 to 70 per cent of the remaining population were Buddhists or of other religious affiliation.

The policy of the Catholic trio of South Vietnam (religious favoritism on the one side and discrimination against the Buddhists on the other) was bound to turn into a genuine religious internecine struggle.

This meant the alienation of forces which, had the religious factor not come to the fore, would have banded together with the Diem Regime to carry on the struggle against the Communists at home and the North Vietnamese government outside.

That was the case with sundry religious sects which, in spite of their outlandish rituals, fantastic theologies, and even para-military fabric, could nevertheless have been of real political and military help to President Diem.  All Diem showed them was scorn, inspired mainly by his sense of religious superiority.

The resultant alienation spread to the major Buddhist element, so that the largest bulk of the population began to cut adrift and set course against the government.  The war effort was weakened, and began seriously to suffer.  This was felt, not only in civil quarters, but also in the battlefield.  Cases of Buddhist soldiers fighting Catholic soldiers instead of the Communists became ever more frequent and weakened still further the army’s morale.  Buddhist privates put up passive disobedience to Catholic officers, whom they began to regard as their real enemies, since alien Catholicism was being identified as a religion discriminating against Buddhism.

Catholic churches were being built on sacred Buddhist ground; the only two universities of South Vietnam were entirely in the hands of Catholics; Catholic laws concerning marriage had to be practiced; American food supplies meant for the whole population had been parceled out by Catholic priests, who had distributed most of them to Catholics; while Buddhist soldiers had no chaplains, the Catholics had their padres with them; and, while Catholic flags had been flown on Catholic holidays, Buddhist ones had been banned.

The religious discrimination wrought havoc with the defensive capacity of the civil population of a land at war within its own borders, where villages and hamlets in isolated parts had to be protected by the local inhabitants.  For it soon came to pass, as the religious war came increasingly into the open, that weapons for defence were handed with definite partiality to Catholics, very often with total disregard for Buddhists, who were thus left to fend for themselves, without weapons, against the Red guerrillas.  Moreover, it was usual for the local Catholic priest, once his flock had been thus armed, to take control of the village and its defence and become a de facto miniature Diem, aping him in all but the size of his domain.

That was not all.  Catholic priests began to build their own private Catholic armies.  The most celebrated of such priests was Father Nguyen Lac Floa, who had previously fought in the Nationalist Army of Chiang Kai-Shek.  Father Hoa led Catholic fighters, called Sea Swallows, in 1961 and 1962, having more than 1,200 under him.  His was only one of many private Catholic armies then in existence, acting semi-independently and wholly disregarding the Buddhists as fellow citizens or fellow combatants.

The religious issue thus eventually split South Vietnam into two antagonistic sections, the Catholic and the Buddhist; disrupted its armies, its government, its civilian population, and alienated the greater bulk of the population.

The result was that the primary goal for which Diem had been put in power by now had become almost secondary to him and his brothers.  In short, the grand strategy of the U.S.A. and the Vatican in the East was being jeopardized.

Catholics in the U.S.A. and in South Vietnam became concerned lest the religious persecutions should turn into a disaster for the whole country.  Talk about the possible displacement of Catholic Diem become current.  This was intensified when a coup against President Diem took place in 1960.

Many had expected such a coup to come directly from the Church.  This was not as improbable as it may sound.  For it must be remembered that Vatican power had changed hands since Diem’s accession to power.  Pope Pius XII was no more.  His place had been taken by Pope John XXIII, the “Red Pope,” who, as soon as he became aware of the situation in Vietnam, discouraged the prosecution of the policy being followed.  Besides, Cardinal Spellman, who, prior to the election of Pope John had been the link between the Vatican and the U.S.A., now had lost all his power in Rome.  In fact, politically and diplomatically speaking, he was persona non grata there.  Then, Pope Pius’ ideological twin brother, John Foster Dulles, was also dead.  To add to all this, a new president, John F. Kennedy, a fellow Catholic from whom Diem might have expected full support, seemed strangely unsympathetic.

Diem, however, never aware of being out of tune with the Vatican, knew that he still had the complete support of the U.S.A., or rather, of the forces there which had put him where he was.

The evidence was the mounting concreteness of their financial, material, and even military aid.  The millions of dollars multiplied; the food, equipment, and similar civilian aid grew rapidly in volume; the American “advisers” from a few groups turned into thousands; military experts were cooperating with and directing military operations.  All the signs were, in fact, that Diem had the full backing of the U.S.A.  And, since this depended to a large extent on the blessing of powerful Catholic groups in America and on the blessing of the Catholic Hierarchy in South Vietnam—which, so far as local matters were concerned, were acting almost autonomously from the Vatican—President Diem felt confident that the situation was still well in hand.

The disruptive Buddhist antagonism, therefore, must not be tolerated.  It must be stopped.  If the Buddhists reacted by invoking religious freedom—guaranteed, incidentally, by the Constitution—a reminder that the country was in a state of war would put them still more firmly into the political and military strait jackets from which they were trying to break loose in protest against the Catholic take-over of the country.

Diem’s reminder meant sterner discriminatory strictures against all Buddhists not conforming with the requirements of the Regime, beginning with their religious leaders.  To that effect, regulations were strictly enforced and new ones enacted, while police measures paralyzed practically every movement of the Buddhists.

The common knowledge that Catholic priests, such as the Reverend Gao Van Luan, Rector of Hue University, and the good Archbishop Thuc, were influential counselors of the president and his brothers did much to inflame the mounting Buddhist resentment.  When to this resentment there was added the accumulation of the growing restrictions, discrimination, and minor acts of brutality, the anger of the Buddhists rose to boiling point.  Thousands of them who until shortly before had never given a thought to the religious aspect of the situation, now began to feel discriminated against and joined the growing Buddhist religious and, therefore, political resistance to Diem’s Catholic Regime.

The Buddhist religious leaders came increasingly to the fore, to lead the faithful and to attempt to make the authorities realize that their mounting discrimination was bound eventually to lead to catastrophe.

The Catholic trio, however, confident of their strength and of the righteousness of their cause, forged ahead with total disregard of the religious susceptibilities of their compatriots.

Finally, one day in early June, 1963, a 73-year-old Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Due stopped in a busy street in Saigon, the capital city of South Vietnam, and, after having been soaked with gasoline by a fellow monk, sat down cross-legged; thereupon, having calmly struck a match, he burned himself to death.

Prior to this he had written a message to President Diem: “Enforce a policy of religious equality.”

The self-immolation of Quang Due struck a profoundly emotional note among the Buddhist population.  Thousands who had not entered a pagoda for years began to pray again.

Buddhism suddenly became a living religion.  A spiritual brotherhood of hundreds of thousands was resuscitated and became filled with explosive religious and political potentialities.  Women and students, perhaps more than any others, were visibly affected by the suicide by fire.  Thousands of students who until then had supported the Regime turned against Diem and against the Church he represented.  Buddhist politicians, even some who were members of the Diem government, protested.  An example was the Foreign Minister, Vu Van Mau, who offered his resignation because of Diem’s religious discrimination against the Buddhists.

President Diem, however, encouraged by his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu, Head of the Secret Police, no less than by his other brother Thuc, Archbishop of Hue, continued undeterred in his tough policy.

Following the suicide by fire of Quang Due and resultant demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, protests, and police interventions, Diem clamped martial law upon the city, sealed most of the pagodas, ordered his Secret Police force to arrest Buddhist leaders, and mobilized his troops to truncheon any Buddhist monk or any Buddhist crowds who dared to protest.

The suicide of the first Buddhist monk was not the beginning of the open revolt against the Diem persecutions, but the first visible dramatic result of a situation which had already grown to explosive proportions.  The first spark, in fact, had been set only a few days before, in Hue, the ancient Vietnamese capital, now the See of the Archbishop, who reigned, ruled, and dominated Catholics and non-Catholics alike in his role of a spiritual guide to his two brothers, the president and the head of the Secret Police.  At a celebration to honor the Archbishop, the Catholic contingent at Hue flew a flag of the Vatican, without any Buddhist objection.  When, three days later, the whole country celebrated the 2,507th birthday of Buddha and the Buddhists unfurled their religious flag, the Archbishop, via the authorities, forbade them to do so.  This, it must be remembered, in a country where the great majority of the population are practicing Buddhists.

The Buddhists staged a peaceful demonstration march against the edict.  The government replied with troops and armored cars and fired at the demonstrators, killing nine Buddhists.

The Hue massacre caused demonstrations all over South Vietnam.  Buddhist delegations in Saigon demanded the removal of restrictions on their religion and the discriminatory laws imposed against them.  The government arrested many of the demonstrators.

In Hue, meanwhile, when another demonstration of Buddhists paraded the city, troops dispersed them, using tear gas bombs.  Result: 67 people were taken to hospitals with chemical burns.

The U.S.A. protested.  President Diem seemed to take note, but discriminations against the Buddhists continued unabated.  More Catholic soldiers fought Buddhist soldiers within the national army engaged upon a life or death war against the Communist Regime of the North.  The war was being jeopardized by the rapidly increasing religious strife.

President Kennedy put pressure upon the Catholic trio; but, since this seemed to have no effect, he finally suspended, among other heavy U.S.A. subsidies, part of the American Central Intelligence Agency’s two million dollars monthly payment to the South Vietnam “Special Forces,” and stopped the funds which financed the super-Catholic Head of the Secret Police.

Although protests from all over the world went on, the Catholic trio continued in their set policy: Catholicization of South Vietnam.  Hasty promotions of Catholics in the government and in the army were increased.

President Kennedy changed Ambassadors in an effort to persuade the three brothers to alter their policy.  In July, 1963, he sent President Diem a personal message of confidence via Ambassador Nolting.  Kennedy’s efforts once more were of no avail.  On the contrary, the Head of the Secret Police, with the excuse that Red elements had been found among the Buddhists, turned the harsh discriminatory campaign into actual religious persecution.

Buddhist monks, Buddhist nuns, and Buddhist leaders were arrested by the thousand.  Pagodas were closed and besieged.  Buddhists were tortured by the police.  One day another monk burned himself alive in public, to draw the attention of the world to the Catholic persecution.  President Diem, undeterred, continued his policy.  The Secret Police packed the jails with more monks.  A third monk committed suicide by fire, and then another.  Within a brief period, seven of them had burned themselves alive in public.  Vietnam was put under martial law.  Troops now occupied many pagodas and drove out all monks offering resistance.  More Buddhists monks and nuns were arrested and taken away in lorries, including a large number of wounded.  Many were killed.  Nhu’s special forces, whenever the opportunity arose, went on storming pagodas and monasteries with submachine guns and grenades to enforce martial law.

Ten thousand Buddhists took part in a hunger strike in blockaded Saigon, while a giant gong tolled from the tower of the main Xa Loi Pagoda in protest against the persecutions.  At Hue, in the North, monks and nuns put up a tremendous struggle at the main pagoda of Tu Dam, which was virtually demolished, while eleven Buddhist students burned themselves inside it.

The Diem government, instead of trying to appease its restless opponents with a policy of compromise, refused to see the portents.  It went on, with suicidal assurance and self-righteousness, and appealed to both teachers and students, not with concessions, but with invitations to remain calm and clear-sighted, so that they might be enabled “to see the truth” concerning “this Buddhist affair.”  President Diem added insult to injury by stating that the solution had to be his solution.  “I confirm,” he said at the time, “that the policy of the Government . . . is irreversible.”4
But, while President Diem’s attitude to the rapidly deteriorating situation was inflexible, the reaction of his closest associates was of such blind placidity as to border on the incredible.  This, perhaps, can best be summarized by a remark of the Vice-President in answer to a reporter who raised the issue of the self-immolation of Buddhist monks and the efforts of a young girl student who tried to chop off her arm at the Xa Loi Pagoda at 10 p.m. on August 12, 1963.  “I am very saddened,” replied the Vice-President, “to see that the cases of self-immolation and self-destruction only waste manpower.”5
Vice-President Tho went even further.  “Such acts,” he declared, “are not very necessary at the present time.”6
Thereupon he added what must be the third greatest understatement of the century: “They may make the public believe,” he said, “that the Buddhists are putting pressure on the government.”7

The world at large was shaken by what was happening in South Vietnam.  So was American public opinion.  President Kennedy took note, and soon the U.S. applied even stronger pressure and threatened to cut off all aid to President Diem.  Again, to no avail.

South Vietnam’s Ambassador in Washington, a Buddhist, resigned in protest.  President Diem’s brother and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Nhu, advocated even harsher treatment of the Buddhists.  Mrs. Nhu scoffed openly at the Buddhist monks who had committed suicide, declaring that they had used “imported gasoline” to “barbecue” themselves.

By this time the Buddhist leader, Thich Tri Quang, had to seek asylum in the American Embassy to escape with his life.8  The American government grew openly impatient.  The American State Department issued an official declaration deploring the repressive actions which the South Vietnamese government had taken against the Buddhists.  “On the basis of information from Saigon it appears that the Government of the Republic of Vietnam has instituted serious repressive measures against the Vietnamese Buddhist leaders,” it said.  “The action represents direct violation by the Vietnamese Government of assurances that it was pursuing a policy of reconciliation with the Buddhists.  The U.S.A. deplores repressive actions of this nature.”9

Vietnam was split.  The army became openly restive and put up passive resistance, not against the Communists, but against their own government.  Result: The war against the Communist North was rapidly being lost, since the population at large, upon whose support the struggle ultimately rested, refused to cooperate.

At long last the U.S.A., realizing that its strategy in that part of Asia was in serious danger, took action.  The American Central Intelligence Agency, in cooperation with Vietnamese Buddhist elements, successfully engineered a coup.

The extreme right-wing Catholics in the U.S.A., no longer at the center of things as they had been under the Eisenhower administration although, ironically enough, they were now under an administration run by the first American Catholic president, were still on good terms with certain top elements of the C.I.A.  Getting wind of what was afoot, they made a last desperate effort to mobilize American public opinion in Diem’s favor.  They sponsored a campaign counter to that waged by the State Department and all others who had decided Diem’s fate.  And Madame Nhu, the wife of the head of the Secret Police, was invited to come over and “explain” the true situation to the Americans.

Madame Nhu came, and her first call was upon the principal sponsor of the Diem Regime, Cardinal Spellman.  The vast Catholic machinery went into action to make the campaign a success.  Catholic papers, individuals, organizations, and all the vast tangible and intangible ramifications of Catholic pressure upon the mass media of the U.S.A. were set in motion.

While the hidden Catholic promotional forces worked behind the scenes, influential Catholics came to the fore to sponsor, support, and promote Madame Nhu’s advocacy of the Diem Regime.

Clare Boothe Luce, the converted Catholic who, it had been said when she was Ambassador to Rome, was more Catholic even than the Pope himself, acted as press agent, campaign manager, and general sponsor of Catholic convert Madame Nhu.

The reception that President Diem’s sister-in-law received in the U.S.A., more than striking, was portentous, since it demonstrated how Catholics there, far from condemning the religious persecutions, tacitly approved of or openly supported them.  On the other hand, American Protestant and liberal segments told Madame Nhu in no uncertain terms that the persecutions carried on by her husband and brother-in-law were abhorred by the American people.  During a visit to Columbia University, for instance, Madame Nhu was greeted by the students with catcalls and boos; at Fordham University, however, she had an “enthusiastic” reception from 5,000 Catholic students at the Jesuit school.

The striking difference in her reception by two diverse sections of American youth was significant, particularly in view of the fact that the 5,000 students, with their Jesuit teachers, claimed to believe in religious liberty.

The Jesuit reception was even more startling because the Vatican, since the accession of Pope John XXIII, far from encouraging the Diems in their religious fervor, had, as we have already mentioned, cold-shouldered them.10  On more than one occasion the Vatican had even asked the Archbishop to stop offering “spiritual guidance” to the President and to the Head of the Secret Police.  These reproofs the Archbishop completely ignored, stubbornly refusing to believe that the ideological climate was no longer the one promoted by John Foster Dulles and Pope Pius XII.

But, while it was true that Pius XII’s policy had been greatly modified, it was no less true that Pope John and President Kennedy had to tread very cautiously in the situation.  Although both—each for his own particular reasons—wished to tone down the super-Catholicity of the Diem dynasty, neither could do so in too obvious a manner.  This was owing mainly to the intertwining Asian-American-Vatican policy spun jointly by the previous American Administration, via Cardinal Spellman, and Pope Pius XII.  The open reversal of the Dulles-Pius grand strategy could trigger suspicions of pro-Communism and of appeasement towards aggressive Communism in Asia—something which had to be avoided, particularly if accusations of such a nature were made by the powerful Asian lobby in Washington or the American lobby at the Vatican, not to mention South Vietnam itself.

One major event outside South Vietnam helped to precipitate matters.  Pope John died.  A few days before the downfall of President Diem, the seventh Buddhist monk was self-immolated only a hundred yards from the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saigon, with a United Nations fact-finding mission nearby.

President Diem and the head of the Secret Police, by now totally blinded by their religious blinkers, isolated themselves from all and sundry in South Vietnam, as they had already done from all outside it.

Diem, now more than ever, lacked any capacity for compromise.  Like his brothers, he had no compassion.  His Ambassador in Washington, before resigning from his office in protest against the persecution of Buddhists, summed up Diem and his brothers: “They are very much like medieval inquisitors,” he said, “who were so convinced of their righteousness that they would burn people for their own sake, and for the sake of mankind, to save them from error and sin.”11
That is precisely what made Catholic President Diem think and act as he did.  “We must continue the search for the Kingdom of God and Justice,” he wrote, years before he became President, from a seminary in which he was then living (ironically enough, in the U.S.A.), “All else will come of itself.”12

It came.  But with the help of the U.S.A.

On the afternoon of November 1, 1963, President Diem had tea with Admiral Harry Felt, Commander-in-Chief of the American forces in the Pacific, and with Henry Cabot Lodge, the American Ambassador, who hours before had cabled Washington that President Diem’s last hours had arrived.  Soon afterwards, the plotters set their plans in motion.  At dawn the next day, their troops invaded the presidential palace.

The President and his brother, Head of the dreaded Secret Police, had gone.  A few hours later, however, they attended Mass at the Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Saigon and devoutly took Holy Communion.

Upon being discovered there, they were promptly apprehended, and shot.

It was the 2nd of November, the Feast of All Souls.

Their bodies were laid in St. Joseph’s Hospital, only a few hundred yards from the Xa Loi Pagoda, where Buddhist resistance had first lit the spark of revolt which was ultimately to put such a tragic end to President Diem’s Catholic authoritarianism.

Thus died two most devout sons of Holy Mother Church.

And, with them, died the political regime they had attempted to impose for her sake upon an unwilling non-Catholic—even non-Christian—nation.13

 

 

15The Pattern of Catholic Power in a Super-Catholic Dictatorship: The Independent Catholic State of Croatia

Whereas in Malta we had a Hierarchy using the civil government to further the interests of the Catholic Church, and in South Vietnam we had a civil government using the Hierarchy to saddle a non-Christian land with a Catholic hegemony, now we shall examine a case where we have a government and a Hierarchy working together for the implementation of the Church’s writ in its most uncompromising totality.

The result of their cooperation was the Independent Catholic State of Croatia, a religious-political creature conceived by a perfect union of political terror and ecclesiastical ruthlessness likely to remain unique in this our twentieth century.

Its creation was made possible by the full implementation by the Catholic Church of most of her tenets concerning the rights and duties of a society where the Church and State are as one and where the State is subservient to the Church in enforcing her writ upon all and sundry.

The subtle manipulation of spiritual pressure and timely handling of social and political situations, in the cases we have so far examined, have been kept within the confines permitted by the State as acknowledged ultimate authority of the community in which the Catholic Church was operating.

In Europe and the U.S.A., for instance, notwithstanding the glaring abuses by the Church in her pursuit of power, her exertions have always been limited by the regulations and laws of the governments, even when such governments were formed by political parties inspired, nursed, and supported by her as in Italy.

In a case such as that of Malta, where the government had become the servile instrument of the Church, or that of South Vietnam, where the Church had been transformed into the instrument of a government dedicated to implementing her writ at home and her grand strategy abroad, the formalities of the juridically visible separation of Church and State were maintained, even during the moments of most extreme crisis.

This was due chiefly to the mood of the times, which was unsympathetic to the establishment of a community where Church and State, by mutual consent, fused themselves into one omnipotent instrument of politico-religious repressive totalitarianism.

In the case of Croatia, however, we have a unique example of the identification of Church and State in one organic body dedicated, not only to the parallel promotion of their repressive interests—that is, the political interests of Croatian nationalism on the one side, and the religious interests of the Catholic Church on the other—but also to the over-all erection of a society of which the Church was the most potent inspirer, the supreme deus ex machina in all spheres, the regulator, the distributor, and the source of all power.

The forces which were instrumental in its creation followed a familiar pattern: direct and indirect use of the Hierarchy to help political and military plotters engaged in undermining or overthrowing the legal government; the coordination of an obedient fanatical Catholic laity; the employment of Catholic organizations, societies, and vast ecclesiastical and lay machinery for specific political purposes; and secret and then open collaboration between the Church and ruthless political elements so as to implant the ideal Catholic State where all the Church’s religious, ethical, social, and political principles would be looked upon as the perfect guides to civil administration.

The result was not a community where the Hierarchy was behind the government, as in Malta, or a State where the government was using the Hierarchy as in Vietnam, or an authoritarianism where the Church and the political regime gave each other mutual support, as in Franco’s Spain: but a monolithic religious-political edifice standing upon two pillars: (a) the totalitarianism of a super-Fascist State; and (b) the totalitarianism of a super-Catholic clericalism, the most ruthless hybrid of its kind yet produced in this century.

Sundry historical, religious, and political factors beyond the scope of this work contributed to it.  Perhaps the most powerful of these was religion, whether as a spiritual energizer, as the indivisible companion of a pernicious nationalism, or as organized ecclesiasticism.  The time factor was also paramount, since it enabled the promotion of a religious-political experiment which, in other times and in other circumstances, would never have been permitted.

The super-Catholic State of Croatia came to the fore and functioned in all its entirety because the world at large, engaged in a life or death struggle of its own, had not time, energy, or knowledge to concern itself with events in a little-known corner of Europe where nationalistic and religious forces had nothing to restrain them.  In Croatia they gave full vent to their ambitions, without fear of condemnation, limitation, or retribution.

Let us cast a glance at the historical background of the locality where the tragedy took place:

In 1917 the Papal Nuncio in Germany, E. Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, engaged in secret negotiations with the warring Great Powers.  His goal: to save Germany and Austria-Hungary from total disintegration.

The Austro-Hungarian monarchy, having been the staunchest bastion of Catholicism in central Europe, had to be preserved at all costs, lest its disappearance should permit resurgence of political and religious minorities which had groaned under the Hapsburg iron hand for centuries.

The Allies, sensing victory, were already mapping a Europe where the void left by the doomed German-Hungarian-Austrian Empires would be replaced by small nations regrouped within loose confines dictated by the ethnic-politico-religious affinities of the regions set free by the fall of the two Germanic colossi.

The Vatican, determined to keep the status quo, did all in its power to stop the tide; but, like King Canute, it finally had to accept the inevitable, notwithstanding the ceaseless efforts of Nuncio Pacelli, whose intrigues eventually had to be curtailed before the fait accompli.

Germany and Austria-Hungary were brought to their knees.  From their dismembered corpses burst forth the new nations.  In 1918 Czechoslovakia, the home of heretic Huss, declared its independence.  In December of that same year the new kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes officially came to the fore.  Yugoslavia had been born.

Nuncio Pacelli accepted the political decisions of the victorious Allies; but, having worked out a new grand strategy, he set out to implement it in defeated Germany, where eventually he became the power behind the Centre Party (that is, the German Catholic Party) until, following intricate, prolonged maneuvering, he switched that party over to the vigorous political newcomer, the Nazi Party.  The unwritten alliance between the Vatican and Hitler at this early stage had been prompted by two main considerations: (a) the conclusion of an honorable marriage between the Catholic Church and the new Nazi Germany by the signing of a Concordat; and (b) the prosecution, on a European and world scale, of the Vatican’s campaign against Bolshevik Russia and European Communism.

The latter consideration called for drastic measures on the home front: The European proletariat following World War I, was seemingly mesmerized by visions of a Red paradise, and had been jeopardizing the very existence of the established order—starting with the Catholic Church.

To the former Papal Nuncio to Germany, by now Secretary of State at the Vatican, Hitler seemed to be the only energetic individual dedicated to the same long-range goal of the physical destruction of the Red Dragon (Soviet Russia) and the obliteration of the theory and practice of the Bolshevik ideology both on the domestic and on the international fronts.1

While engaged upon such long-range schemes, however, E. Pacelli never forgot the “unholy” union of the Serbs, the Croats, and the Slovenes.  On the contrary, his grand strategy, directed at the final destruction of the enemies of the Catholic Church and based upon the ideological and military might of Nazi Germany, embraced, among others, Yugoslavia.

Unlike the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Yugoslavia was officially an Orthodox country.  As a result of the so-called Union, the Orthodox Government of Belgrade had become the ruler of some of the most devout sons of the Catholic Church, the Croats.  These, ever since the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, had appealed to the Vatican for “Independence.”  The Vatican—while waiting for the fall of Bolshevik Russia (which would mean that another enemy, the Orthodox Church, would be supplanted by Catholicism)—did all in its power, considering the delicate circumstances of the inter-war period, to encourage and aid those Catholics longing and plotting for the liberation of Catholic Croatia from the Orthodox Serbian yoke.2

To that effect, the Vatican encouraged the establishment of certain political currents inside Yugoslavia, as it did in so many other countries, with a view to bringing about a progressive disintegration of the Kingdom.  Catholic Croatian politicians came to the fore; Croatian extremists began to plot for the liberation of their Catholic land from the hated Orthodox Serbs.

At first, the Catholic policy was characterized by the familiar Trojan Horse stratagem.  Catholic politicians penetrated within the central government, the better to influence it to their own advantage.  But from 1928, when the Catholic leader, Radic, died, the Croats changed their tactics.  The dictatorship set up by King Alexander did nothing to discourage them.  On the contrary it was precisely what the Catholics needed to justify an advocacy of the politico-religious extremism which thenceforward marked their exertions.

The Vatican, in the meantime, had been busy implementing its grand strategy of the potential resurrection of the former super-Catholic Austrian monarchy.  Although the proposed restoration did not contemplate the restitution of the former provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire known as the Independent States of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, it nevertheless envisaged their “liberation.”  Liberation, in this case, had but one interpretation: the detachment of the various Catholic groups then under the heretical Hussite Czechs, on the one side, and the splitting off of the Catholic Croatians then under the Orthodox Serbs, on the other.

The hostility with which the Vatican had regarded the birth of Yugoslavia, instead of abating, had by now been transformed into a generator of anti-Serbian, anti-Orthodox polity which, integrated with the vast political designs of the Church at the time, was promoted simultaneously in two spheres: (a) the individual, confined to religious-political habitat of the Balkans; and (b) the general, embracing the vast anti-Communist schemes in which the irresistible might of Nazism had become paramount.

In both, the chief promoter was, once again, the former Papal Nuncio to Germany, Pacelli, the powerful seconder of two leaders of the German Catholic Party who, having become Prime Ministers with his direct help, had opened the door for Hitler to come legally into power.3

Monsignor Pacelli, now at the helm of Vatican policies as chief counselor and political expert to Pope Pius XI, set out upon a well-defined course as far as Yugoslavia’s part in his grand European strategy was concerned: He aimed at the ultimate disintegration of that country.

To that effect, in the years before World War II he pursued three distinct goals: (a) the detachment of Catholic Croatia from the rule of Orthodox Serbia, (b) the setting up of Croatia as an independent Catholic State, and (c) the restoration of a Hapsburg Empire in Central and Eastern Europe.  For over twenty years—from 1919 to 1941, when the disintegration of Yugoslavia was completed—Vatican policy stubbornly steered towards the achievement of such goals.

To assert that Yugoslavia’s fall was provoked only by the Vatican would be to distort history.  On the other hand, to minimize the part the Vatican played would be a crude historical falsification.

As in other cases, factors alien to religion played into its hands—the real racial animosities of the Croats and the Serbs and the political ambitions of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

The policies of these nations often ran parallel to that of the Vatican, so that, by skilfully manipulating them, the Vatican greatly promoted its own interests.  This it did, not by remaining merely the schemer of a long-range policy and therefore an aloof spectator of the exertions of its Croat, Fascist, and Nazi allies, but by vigorously carrying out its own plans and supporting the anti-Yugoslav policies of these allies.

Thus, while Italy and Germany were busily engineering political or terrorist activities, the Vatican—as in Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, and France—came to the fore with the promotion of a powerful Catholic fifth column.  This had gnawed at the internal structure of Yugoslav unity, like a veritable destructive termite, since the beginning, and consisted of almost all Croats, infected with national-religious fanaticism; of the Catholic Hierarchy of Croatia; and of an illegal nationalist-Catholic army of terrorists called the Ustashi.  These groups were led by the devout Ante Pavelich, by Vladimir Macech, leader of the Croat Peasant Party (who in 1939 arranged for Mussolini to finance him with 20,000,000 dinars for the Croat Separatist Movement),4 and by Archbishop A. Stepinac, leader of the Catholic Hierarchy in Croatia.

For years these men nursed, helped, and protected military, political, and religious underground separatist movements, with a view to having them sabotage the central government and cause its downfall.

Before proceeding with an account of the role to be played by the Ustashi, it might be advantageous to glance at the preparatory exertions and at the international ramifications of their activities and those of their politico-religious allies outside Yugoslavia in the years preceding the outbreak of World War II.

 

*    *    *

 

One day early in 1933 an official of the Austrian government approached an Austrian railwayman and offered him a large sum as the price for his silence.  The railwayman refused, informed his union, and what the Catholic Austrian dictator, Dollfuss, had attempted to hush up was promptly made known to the press.  Europe blinked at what was then revealed, and many a Chancellery was set in turmoil.  A few months before, the railway trade unionists had discovered that an armaments factory at Hinterberg, in lower Austria, was producing rifles, not, as it was believed, for the Austrian Army but for semi-fascist Hungary.  Important personages in the government were helping the smuggling.  Most of them, it was discovered by the socialists, were fervent Catholics, semi-fascists, or plain, rabid fascists.

The disclosure created a sensation.  Neither Austria nor Hungary were supposed to be dealing in arms.  That was not all.  The weapons had been ordered, not for Hungary but for fascist Italy.  The rifles were directed to Hungary only as a temporary storehouse.  Their ultimate destination was with the Catholic nationalists of Croatia, who were plotting a rising, with a view to detaching themselves from the kingdom of Yugoslavia.

But more was yet to come.  The Croats were not alone.  They had acted with powerful allies in various foreign countries.  This transformed their scheme into an international plot of the first magnitude, as a result of which political-religious factors were playing a paramount role in the domestic and foreign policies of several European nations.  Chief among these: fascist Italy.

Fascist Italy at that period had developed ambitions which she intended to achieve at Yugoslavia’s expense.  These contemplated the partial mutilation of that country by the Italian incorporation of Dalmatia.  The promotion of such a policy could result in war.  Mussolini knew this well, and toyed with the idea of bringing about Yugoslav disintegration by force of arms.

This fitted the plan of the Croats, for Yugoslav dismemberment would have given them the opportunity to detach themselves from Serbia, set up an independent Croatia, and install the Hapsburg monarchy, as a first step to a potential full resurrection of the Hapsburg empire.

The Hapsburg resurrection was not the dream of the Croat insurgents alone.  Others, beginning with the Vatican, were engaged on the promotion of the same scheme.

Mussolini, the most powerful fascist dictator of that time, being in the position to bring about such changes, became the main hope of all those who were backing his anti-Yugoslav policy.  In the case of the Croats, reciprocal support was of a most concrete character.  Realizing how their interests ran parallel with his, they came to a swift understanding with the fascist dictator: the disintegration of Yugoslavia would be accomplished via an external attack launched by fascist Italy and a simultaneous internal one launched by Croat monarchists.

While this joint strategy was being worked out, a new factor appeared on the horizon: Hitler.  At the elongating Hitlerian shadow adumbrating with alarming celerity the Central European landscape, Mussolini became cautious.  Hesitation weakened his resolution.  Soon the projected Yugoslav adventure, having turned unwholesomely risky, was shelved, in the hope of better times.

Fascist abandonment of the project had been inspired by sound reasons.  Nazi Germany had developed an aggressive Central European policy of her own.

At this new development Yugoslavia grew even more alarmed and appealed to England and France.  The latter came forward with a European Security scheme.  Its object: curtailment of fascist-nazi Balkan ambitions.  Yugoslavia accepted the offer of a strong defensive alliance; negotiations were initiated, and in 1934 Yugoslavia and France made ready to seal them with a treaty.  This implied a French guarantee of Yugoslav independence; that is to say, Yugoslav territorial inviolability.  To those who had erected their political castles upon a potential Yugoslav disintegration, the treaty spelled one thing: indefinite postponement of all their hopes.  The implementation of the French-sponsored European Security scheme therefore had to be prevented at all costs.  The two most powerful fascist dictators in Europe gnashed their teeth and seemingly resigned themselves to the inevitable.

Not so the Catholic Croats, who set out to concoct the most fantastic schemes with a view to preventing the Yugoslav-French treaty from being signed.

In the autumn of that same year, 1934, King Alexander of Yugoslavia, at the invitation of the main architect of the European Security program—the French Foreign Minister Barthou—officially visited France.  Barthou welcomed the King at Marseilles.  As they were riding through the streets of the city a shower of bullets hit them.  Both the King and French Foreign Minister were killed.  Investigations soon established that the double murder had been carried out by Croat nationalists.  The murder ring had been supplied with money, weapons, and false passports by the Nazi authorities in Munich, by Mussolini, and by the semi-fascist dictator of Hungary, Admiral Horthy.  The leader and soul of the gang, Ante Pavelich5 was sentenced to death, in absentia, by a French court.

Ante Pavelich’s life-dream had been a sovereign Catholic State of Croatia, where the Catholic Church and the reinstated Hapsburg monarchy could rule supreme, standing like a rock in the midst of the Orthodox sea.  His followers shared his dream.  The Vatican had blessed the project from the very inception, Pavelich having been granted double Vatican and fascist protection for the many years during which he resided in Italy as a privileged exile.

From there, Pavelich, ominously in touch with Catholic and fascist authorities, directed plottings and intrigues, reverting now to Mussolini and now to Hitler according to which of the two dictators’ strategy seemed to have the greater chance of prevailing.  Pavelich’s strategy consisted in submitting plans to both Mussolini and Hitler for waging a terrorist campaign throughout Yugoslavia, in order to force the government to grant autonomy to Catholic Croatia.  With the approaching storm of World War II, Hitler, having fitted Yugoslavia into a vaster scheme of his own, reoriented his policy and promoted one aimed at neutralizing Yugoslavia—indeed, at making of her an ally.  In order not to antagonize the Yugoslav government, Pavelich’s activities were greatly reduced and officially discouraged.

Hitler’s policy paid him handsome dividends.  Yugoslavia not only stubbornly remained neutral; on March 25, 1941, she actually signed a pact with him, thus stepping right into the Nazi camp.  Two days later, on March 27, 1941, an anti-Nazi coup d’état, carried out by General Mirkovich, unseated the pro-Nazi Yugoslav government.  While the rest of Yugoslavia celebrated the event, Zagreb, the Croat capital, received the news in ominous silence; circulars, full of threats, were found on the doors of Serbs in Zagreb, and an atmosphere tense with expectation seized Croatia.  On April 6, 1941, Hitler attacked Yugoslavia.

 

*    *    *

 

At Rome, Eugenio Pacelli, now Pope Pius XII, received news of the attack with mixed feelings.  While colossal military events by now had dwarfed the problems of the Balkans, the attack nevertheless spelled the disintegration of the Serb-Orthodox Kingdom, a dream he had labored for so assiduously during more than two decades.

The all-clear was given for the Croatian Catholics to work their passage to independence, and the Croatian Hierarchy were briefed to that effect.

As a result, Croatian extremists came openly to the fore and took command.  Pavelich, the leader of the Ustashi, whose career until then had been punctuated by plots, assassinations, and confabulations with Fascists, Nazis, Catholic Hierarchs, and the Vatican, at last saw his life’s goal come true.

The Ustashi, his vast underground Catholic organization which for years had been prepared for just such a day, was set into motion.  Pavelich sided instantly with Hitler.  His Ustashi initiated vigorous fighting in the rear of the Yugoslav Army, Croats within the army simultaneously carrying out fifth column activities to such an extent that nothing could be done according to plan.  Croat officers fled to the Germans,6 to whom they disclosed vital information about air bases and so on.  Units of the Croatian Peasant Guard disarmed units of the Yugoslav Army.  The widespread disorganization created by Catholic Croats was one of the paramount factors in the swift Nazi conquest of Yugoslavia.

The promotion of such a large, treacherous body within the country would have been impossible without the active cooperation of the Catholic Church.  Pavelich’s terrorist bands had been morally and financially encouraged and supported by her.  Their backbone had been formed by priests, monks, and even bishops.  Monasteries had been used as the clandestine headquarters of the Ustashi long before the Nazi attack.  Secret nationalistic and military activities were disguised under the cloak of religion.  The Catholic priesthood in Croatia, Herzegovina, and Dalmatia for years convoked so-called Eucharistic Congresses which, in reality, were for extremist political purposes (e.g., those held in Pozega as late as 1940, under the fictitious name of Mary’s Congregation).  The various para-military, illegal, terrorist movements were likewise screened by the mantle of religion.  Most of them were affiliated with Catholic organizations, under the direct supervision of Catholic Action, which was strictly controlled by the Croatian Hierarchy.  Examples were the Brotherhood of the Crusaders, with about 540 societies and 30,000 members; the Sisterhood of the Crusaders, with 452 societies and 19,000 members; the Catholic Student Associations, Domagoj, and others.

Most of the members of such religious organizations were active in sabotage and acts of terrorism, and a good number of them even participated in the treacherous disarming of the Yugoslav Army following Hitler’s attack.  As soon as they came out into the open, many of them appeared transformed into Ustashi authorities, functionaries in Ustashi commissions, heads of District Councils, or even of concentration camps.

The President of the Great Crusaders’ Brotherhood, Dr. Feliks Niedzelski, was nominated Ustashi Vice-Governor of Bosnia and administrative head for the Ustashi youth, while Father Grga Peinovic, also a director of Catholic Crusaders, was appointed president of the Ustashi Central Propaganda Office.7  Many of the priests of the Crusaders’ Brotherhood and of Catholic Action took or gave military training, or were sworn officers of the Ustashi formations—for example, Father Radoslaw Glavas, a Franciscan monk, who on April 10 and 11, 1941, disarmed the local gendarmerie, captured the post office, and drew plans to prevent the mobilization of the Yugoslav Army; or Father Chaplain Ivan Miletic, who, in collaboration with the Nazis, led bands of guerrillas against the Yugoslav government.

On April 10, 1941, the German Army entered the capital of Croatia.  On that same day the leader of the illegal Ustashi movement proclaimed the Independent State of Croatia, formed the first Ustashi government, and soon afterwards, in true satellite fashion, declared war upon the Allies.

 

*    *    *

 

The granting of independence to Catholic Croatia had not been a mere Hitlerian whim.  The privilege had been obtained because of the Vatican’s intercession.

Hitler’s original plan was simply to make the whole of Yugoslavia a Nazi protectorate, as had been his custom with other occupied countries.  The appeal to Rome by the Croatian Hierarchy—or, rather, by certain members of the clergy closely connected with the Ustashi—found not only a favorable hearing there but prompt encouragement and papal blessing.

Hitler was asked to make an exception and permit Croatia to concretize her national aspirations for independence.  Since independence meant the fusion of Croatian nationalism and the Croatian Church, the two were wooed to gain their collaboration with Nazi Germany.  In exchange for favorable treatment, Croatia would side with Germany, set up a Nazi State conditioned to the peculiarities of Croatia, while the Church would cement such an arrangement with her full support.  The only condition would be that the two powers forming the new Croatia—that is, Pavelich’s Ustashi and the Catholic Hierarchy—would be conceded the amplest liberty to mould the new State according to their politico-religious conceptions.

Hitler, engrossed in other problems but at that time wooing and wooed by the Vatican, agreed.  And, following his consent, the Vatican gave the all-clear to the Catholic top Hierarchs of Croatia.

And so it came to pass that within two days of the Nazi armies entering the Croatian capital and the proclamation of Independence, although the Germans were still fighting in the Bosnian mountains, the Croatian head of the Catholic Hierarchy, Archbishop Stepinac, urged all Catholics to support the new Catholic State to the full.

On April 13th, Ante Pavelich reached Zagreb, capital of the new State, from Fascist Italy.  On April 14th, Archbishop Stepinac went to meet him and to offer his congratulations and blessing on the fulfilment of Pavelich’s life work.

The Catholic Hierarchy and the Catholic Press, following Stepinac’s example, promptly initiated a feverish campaign of praise for Pavelich and Hitler.  A leader of the Crusaders wrote:

 

God, who directs the destiny of nations and controls the hearts of Kings, has given us Ante Pavelich and moved the leader of a friendly and allied people, Adolf Hitler, to use his victorious troops to disperse our oppressors and enable us to create an Independent State of Croatia.  Glory be to God, our gratitude to Adolf Hitler, and infinite loyalty to chief Ante Pavelich.8

 

This was wholly in harmony with the spirit which had already energized the Catholic Church of Croatia.

For one day before Ante Pavelich’s arrival in the capital, a Zagreb newspaper warned all non-Catholics—that is, the Orthodox population of that city—that they must vacate the new Catholic capital within twelve hours.  Anyone disregarding the warning would pay the consequences: which, among other things, included execution.

Serbs, Orthodox, and others had to go into hiding or leave hurriedly, harried and chased by Ustashi Catholics with the tacit and open consent of Catholic priests.

A few weeks later Archbishop Stepinac came to the fore with a pastoral letter in which he prompted the whole of the Croatian clergy—many of whom were still doubtful what to do—to support and defend the new Catholic State of Croatia.  Not content with this, he announced, with all the solemnity and authority of his office and from the very steps of the capital’s Cathedral, the establishment of the Independent Catholic State of Croatia, thus giving the sanction of Church and Vatican to Pavelich’s work (Easter, 1941).

On June 28, 1941, Stepinac, with other Bishops, went to see Pavelich.  After promising the full-hearted cooperation of the whole Hierarchy, the Archbishop solemnly blessed Pavelich as the leader of the Croatian people: “While we greet you cordially as head of the Independent State of Croatia, we implore the Lord of the Stars to give his divine blessings to you, the leader of our people.”

Pavelich, it should be remembered, was the same “leader”  who had been sentenced to death for political assassinations: once by the Yugoslav Courts for his acts of terrorism, planned and carried out from Austria, Italy, and Hungary; the second time by the French, for the murders of King Alexander and the French Foreign Minister Barthou.

The murderer of King Alexander was blessed with equal enthusiasm by Pius XII, who bestowed his paternal protection upon him and the new Croatian State.

That was not all.  Saintly Pius XII, prior to his blessing, had spun some unholy diplomatic intrigues, with a view to giving his devout regicide, Pavelich, some kind of king.  For kings, as we have already seen, are still, next to strong Catholic dictators, the darling political dodoes of the Church.

The Croatian throne had originally been assigned to Otto, Hapsburg’s scion.  Hitler’s anti-Hapsburg phobia, however, could not be forgotten.  Hence the search for a king who could be persona grata with the Fuhrer.  Catholic Providence is not only the provider of Peter’s pence—or, to be more up to date, Peter’s dollars; it can still provide that increasingly rare commodity: kings.  Pius XII, privileged with visions of dead Papal predecessors,9 of zigzagging suns and sundry heavenly ethereal events, soon found one (after down-to-earth secret negotiations with Mussolini): Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy, “the August and wise Emperor of Ethiopia,”10 proclaimed such only three years earlier, after Mussolini had subdued Abyssinia.

To the chagrin of the most unholy trinity—Pope, Duce, and Pavelich—King Victor, physically a midget of a man, protested that the weight of two crowns was already killing him, and refused.  After a moment of confusion, Pius XII was once more inspired, and (again after hasty secret consultation with Mussolini) found a substitute: the Duke of Spoleto, King Victor’s cousin.

The Duke had been a mere duke all his life.  The prospect of promotion went to his head.  So, having duly thanked Adolf Hitler, the man who, from a mere private, had been promoted to the exalted rank of corporal in the democratic Hapsburg armies, and who subsequently promoted himself to the Chancellorship of Germany plus ex-Hapsburg Austria; and Hitler’s friend, Pius XII, a mere member of the Roman nobility—he blushingly accepted the regal scepter.  At the news that a king had been found, Ante Pavelich, accompanied by a Croatian delegation, went to Rome.  There, on May 18, 1941, the ceremony of the acceptance of the Croatian crown by the new king took place.

Pius XII, while acting as go-between for the bridal pair—the king and Croatia—being simultaneously the head of the Church, had to use caution.  For millions of Catholics at that very moment were fighting on the side of the Allies to destroy that same fascism with which the Holy Father was on such cordial terms.  Besides which, Pius XII was also head of the Vatican State.  For him to extend official recognition to the new Axis creature would have been considered—by the democracies—a breach of “Papal neutrality.”

Pius XII, the master priest-diplomat, remembered all the ambiguous Catholic paraphernalia, e.g. “equivocation” and “mental reservation”—and solved the problem triumphantly.  He received the King-designate of Croatia one day before the ceremony of his coronation.  That was no breach of “Papal neutrality,” the future king having been seen by the Pope before he officially became king of Croatia.

The same day, the ceremony which proclaimed Croatia a kingdom took place.  Pius XII granted Pavelich a long and very private audience, at which only one stenographer, brought by the devout murderer of King Alexander of Yugoslavia to record the interview, was present.  After that the Pope solemnly received and blessed Ante Pavelich’s Prime Minister and his entire Croatian delegation.  Was this a breach of “Papal neutrality”?  Not at all!  The Pope had received them, not as the heads of the government of the New Croatia, but, quoting the Osservatore Romano, “as Catholic individuals.”

The “Catholic individuals” had been specially received, specially blessed, and specially supported by His Holiness the Pope, not because they were merely Catholic individuals.  Pius XII had granted them privileged treatment for the specific reason that, while members of the Church, they were also the representatives of a political creature, conceived, nurtured, and stubbornly promoted by the Vatican: the newly born sovereign Catholic State of Croatia.

 

*    *    *

 

From then onward the new State, under the special patronage of His Holiness the Pope, topped with a Catholic king, ruled by a Catholic terrorist, policed by Catholic bayonets, and protected by Hitler, set out to transform itself into an ideal Catholic State, as advocated by the Church.

Democracy, equality, and freedom were anathematized.  A fascist dictatorship appeared in their place.  Ante Pavelich proclaimed himself the Great Leader, labelled his terroristic bands the National Army, and in no time turned Croatia into a pocket-size model of a fascist tyranny.  A State, however, according to Papal dicta, must be regulated by not only civil but also religious authority.  So Pavelich, having determined that a religious equivalent of himself should partake of the rights and duties of rulership, saw to it that the head of the hierarchy became a de facto ruler of the new Croatia.  Archbishop Stepinac, the Croatian Primate, and others, members of the Hierarchy, the religious equivalent of the Ustashi were duly elected members of the Sabor.

The military, political and religious pillars of the new state having thus been erected, Pavelich and Stepinac set out to transform its whole structure into what a true Catholic-fascist state should be.

From the very first day, Croatia was made to conform to the letter and spirit of Catholicism.  All political parties were suppressed.  Communists, socialists, and liberals were arrested, imprisoned, and sent to concentration camps.  Catholic teaching became compulsory in all schools.  Trade unions were abolished.  Freedom of speech and of the press became memories of the past.  Catholicism was declared the only religion of the State.

While Pavelich carried out such changes with the genteel cooperation of his storm troops, Archbishop Stepinac facilitated his labors by a thorough mobilization of the Croatian Church, of the Croatian Hierarchy, and of all the faithful.  No occasion was ever let pass without his coming to the fore to praise, recommend, and bless the New Croatia, her Great Leader, and his fascist protectors, Hitler and Mussolini.

On October 28, 1922, the first fascist dictatorship had been installed in Italy.  The event was celebrated yearly in that country with military parades reviewed by Mussolini himself.  Archbishop Stepinac, although in Croatia, also annually celebrated the march in Rome with lyrical panegyrics and special prayers for the Duce.

Archiepiscopal panegyrics were bestowed even more generously upon fascist Croatia during religious, political, and even military ceremonies.  When the Sabor met, in February, 1942, Stepinac solemnly invoked the Holy Ghost to alight upon Pavelich’s simian forebrow and upon the sharp-edged knives of his bands.  When Pavelich’s birthday dawned, the Archbishop celebrated an extra solemn mass, gave special thanksgiving and ordered special prayers in all churches on his behalf.11  When Pavelich’s pocket-size Navy departed for the Black Sea, to fight with the German ally against Soviet Russia, celebrations were held in Zagreb, attended by the Catholic hierarchy, headed by Stepinac and by the representative of Pius XII, Dr. Romano Marcone, the Papal Legate.

The Croat Hierarchs followed their leader’s example with the utmost zeal; e.g. Archbishop Saric, the intimate friend of Jure Francetic, Commander of the “Black Legion,” who religiously used the Ustashi (fascist) salute in public and private; or Bishop Aksamovic, of Djakovo, who was personally decorated by Pavelich because “His Excellency the Bishop has from the very beginning cooperated with the Ustashi authorities.”

The political-religious leadership having thus become so entwined as to be inseparable, political and religious leaders set out in earnest to bring about a ruthless racial transformation, with the specific view of making of Croatia a 100 per cent Catholic model state.

That implied not only transformation of the Croatian social, cultural, and political fabric, but radical extirpation of whatever was alien to Catholicism.  This included all individuals not belonging to the Catholic Church and therefore not of Croat racial stock.  That was a prerequisite for the erection of a monolithic Catholic Croatia.  Hence the need for their total elimination.  That was not an easy task, for a large portion of the new Croatia was composed of racial-religious groups wholly foreign to Croat-Catholicism.

Out of a population of 6,700,000, in fact, only 3,300,000 were Croats.  Of the remainder, 700,000 were Moslems, 45,000 were Jews, followed by sundry smaller minorities.  Over 2,000,000 were Orthodox Serbs.

The inclusion in the new Croatia of so many non-Catholics was due to the territorial ambitions of Croat nationalism.  These had been epitomized in the conception of “Greater Croatia,” whose origin went back to the last century, when a Catholic Croat, Ante Starcevic, founded an extreme political party, the Croatian Law Party, subsequently elevated to the level of a Croatian national program by Ante Pavelich.  Whereas Starcevic was the theorist, Pavelich became the executive of the Party’s ideology of racial and religious exclusiveness, based upon such a conception.  This meant the inclusion in an independent Croatia of disputed territories, and hence of non-Catholic elements.  These became automatically the greatest obstacle to the complete Catholicization of the new Croat State.  Hence the adoption of a policy directed at the swift elimination of all the non-Catholic population.

Such a policy, coolly planned by Pavelich in concert with the Croatian Hierarchy, was set in motion when the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia and was announced by responsible Croat leaders.  Dr. Milovan Zanich, Dr. Mirko Puk, Dr. Victor Gutich, Croatian Ministers, unhesitatingly declared that the new Croatia would get rid of all the Serbs in its midst in order to become 100 per cent Catholic “within ten years.”  Dr. Mile Budak, Pavelich’s Minister of Public Education and Creeds, at a public meeting in Gospic, on July 22, 1941, officially confirmed the plan:

 

We shall kill one part of the Serbs [were his words], we shall transport another, and the rest of them will be forced to embrace the Roman Catholic religion.  This last part will be absorbed by the Croatian elements.

 

The swiftest and most radical means to enact such a scheme: mass removal of Serbians from the contested zone.  Of these, one-third would have been ejected to Serbia proper, one-third would have been “persuaded” to embrace Catholicism, and the rest would be “disposed of” by other means.  “Persuasion” turned out to be forcible conversion, and “other means” biological extermination.

That spelled the total annihilation of the Orthodox Church, the official policy of the new Catholic State of Croatia, put forward by the Croat Minister of Justice and Religion, Dr. Mirko Puk, who announced it in Parliament:

 

I shall also make reference to the so-called Serbian Orthodox Church.  In this regard I must emphatically state that the Independent Croatian State cannot and will not recognize the Serbian Orthodox Church.12

 

The Croat Minister of Justice and Religion could well speak thus, for behind him was the Croat Hierarchy.  Typical of the spirit which at this time moved that Hierarchy was the following, written by Father Peter Pajic, in the organ of the Archbishop of Sarajevo:13

 

Until now, God spoke through papal encyclicals. . . .  And?  They closed their ears. . . .  Now God has decided to use other methods.  He will prepare missions.  European missions.  World missions.  They will be upheld, not by priests, but by army commanders, led by Hitler.  The sermons will be heard, with the help of cannons, machine guns, tanks, and bombers.  The language of these sermons will be international. . . .

 

Was this mere rhetoric?  It was the concrete basis upon which the Pavelich-Stepinac triple program was made to operate simultaneously everywhere, following the establishment of the new state.  Its implementation was a simple, direct, brutal affair, conducted under the shadow of Pavelich’s Catholic storm troops, the Ustashi.  It ranged from simple decrees—like that issued by the Croat Minister of Public Instruction only four days after Hitler’s attack (April 10, 1941), which barred members of the Serbian Orthodox Church from entering the university unless they had given up the Orthodox faith before April 10, 1941—to wholesale deportations, like those carried out on July 4 and 5, 1941, by the Ustashi in Zagreb; to the massacre of men, women, and children, like that of Kljuch, on July 31, August 31, September 1 and 2, 1941, when the “Flying Ustashi” summarily executed approximately 2,000 Serbs.14

Mass deportations and mass executions, mainly in isolated small towns and villages, were well-planned operations.

In April, 1941, in the village of Gudovac, 200 Serb peasants were killed by the Ustashi, followed by larger groups in the villages of Stari Petrovac, in the district of Nova Gradisca, and in Glina.  There, in the early days of May, 1941, Ustashi from Karlovci, Sisak, and Petrinja gathered together all males over fifteen years of age, drove them in trucks outside the town and executed them all.  In this district alone about 120,000 Serbs were thus exterminated within a short period.15

These horrors were not isolated instances.  They were part of the well-calculated policy of the government, which carried them out uninterruptedly, both in rural districts and in concentration camps erected for the purpose—e.g., at Jasenovac, Stara Gradiska, Gospic, where tens of thousands of Orthodox Serbs were exterminated.

As a rule, the procedure was a simple one.  Ustashi authorities summoned groups of Serbs under the pretext of recruitment for military service or public works.  Once rounded up, they were surrounded by detachments of armed Ustashi, taken outside the village and executed.  At times the rallying-point was a Serbian Orthodox church—as in the town of Glina.

In the mountainous regions of Upper Dalmatia, like Bosnia and Herzegovina, women and children were taken to remote spots and massacred.  In Brcko, the home town of Dzafer Kulenovic, Deputy Prime Minister, the prisoners were executed on bridges and then dropped into the river.  Often executions were committed in the homes of the victims, with the most primitive weapons.  Some Ustashi specialized in disposing of their charges by crushing their skulls with hatchets or even hammers.  Incredible but authenticated atrocities were committed wherever the Ustashi appeared.  At Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, for instance, Italian soldiers took pictures of an Ustashi wearing two “necklaces.”  One was a string of cut-out eyes, the other of torn-out tongues of murdered Serbs.16

Some of the greatest horrors, curiously enough, were perpetrated by members of the intelligentsia.  The most incredible case in this category is that of Peter Brzica.  Peter Brzica was a law student, who had attended the Franciscan college at Siriki Brijeg, Herzegovina, a member of the Catholic organization of Krizari (the Crusaders).

On the night of August 29, 1942, in the concentration camp at Jasenovac, orders were issued for executions.  Those in charge made a bet as to who would dispose of the greatest number of prisoners.  Peter Brzica cut the throats of 1,360 inmates with a special butcher’s knife.  He was declared the prizewinner of the competition, elected King of the Cutthroats, and rewarded with a gold watch and a silver service, a roasted suckling-pig and wine.  This astonishing depravity was reported by a doctor eyewitness who was in the camp when the event took place.  His name: Dr. Nikola Kikolic, himself a Croat.17

Simultaneously with all this, the persecution of the Orthodox Church and forcible conversions were carried out with systematic ruthlessness.

Many of the Ustashi formations charged with such tasks were officered by Catholic priests and often friars, who had taken an oath to fight with dagger and gun for the “triumph of Christ and Croatia,” and some (e.g., Miroslav Filipovitch Majstorovich) even became commandants of concentration camps.

Catholic priests led the armed Ustashi in the closing of Orthodox churches and the confiscation of Orthodox records.  At Banja Luka, an official order directed that all the Orthodox Church records of marriage, baptisms, burials, be delivered forthwith to Catholic parishes.  Catholic priests took possession of the Serbian Bishop’s residence at Pakrac, and locked and sealed the cathedral (April 12, 1941).

Many Orthodox churches were converted into halls—e.g., that of Prnjavor, on July 10, 1941.  Others were transformed into Catholic churches, when they were not pulled down altogether—as in the provinces of Lika, Banija, and Kordun, where 172 churches were totally destroyed.  Most Orthodox monasteries shared the same fate.  At Fruska Gora, fifteen Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches were given to Catholic monks of the Franciscan order, as was also done with the Church properties at Orahovica, Pakrac, Lepavina, and other places.

The monastery of Vrdnik-Ravanica, where the remains of King Lazar were buried, who led and died in the historic battle of Kosovo against the Turks in 1389 in defence of Christianity, was also taken over, as was Sremski Karlovci, the former seat of the Orthodox Patriarchate.  There the great cathedral was plundered of all valuables and closed, after all its physical properties had been taken over by the Catholic Bishop.

Parallel with all this, a veritable race between Catholic Bishops and priests to see who could convert the most Orthodox to the “faith” began throughout Croatia.  The spirit in which such a campaign was conducted can best be judged by the typical leaflet, issued in 1941, by the diocesan journal of Djakovo, which read:

 

The Lord Jesus Christ said that there shall be one pasture and one shepherd.  Inhabitants of the Greek-Eastern faith, hear this friendly advice. . . . The Bishop of Djakovo has already received thousands of citizens in the Holy Catholic Church, and these citizens have received certificates of honesty from State authorities.  Follow these brothers of yours, and report as soon as possible for rechristening into the Catholic Church.

 

With the example of the daily massacres before them, many followed this “friendly advice.”  Individual and mass conversions became a frequent occurrence.  Most of the mass conversions were announced in the Croatian press.  Katolicki List, organ of the Bishopric of Zagreb, controlled by Stepinac, in its issue No. 38 in 1941, for instance, reported that “the entire village of Burinci was rechristened to the Catholic Faith.  A parish of over 2,300 souls was created in the village.”  The preparation for the rechristening was made by a Franciscan from Nasice, Father Sidnije Scholz.

Ustaska Velika Zupa No. 1372, of April 27, 1942, describes the mass conversions in the vicinity of Osijeck, carried out by Father Peter Berkovic:

 

His work covers the period from preparation of the members of the Eastern Orthodox Church for conversion to Catholicism until they were actually converted, and thus in the counties of Vocin, Cacinci, and Ceralijie he converted more than 6,000 persons.

 

Ante Djuric, priest of Divusa, an Ustashi administrator, compelled all heads of families to come to their local teacher, with a ten-dollar tax stamp, to make out a petition for conversion to Catholicism for themselves and their families, or forfeit their residence and posts.

The curate of Ogulin, Canon Ivan Mikan, charged 180 dinars for each forced conversion, so that in one Serb village alone, Jasenak, he collected 80,000 dinars.

A hint of how these mass conversions were carried out was given by Nova Harvatsha, a Ustashi paper, on February 25, 1942: “The rechristening was carried out in a very solemn manner by the curate of Petrinja, Michael Razum.  A Ustashi company was present at this solemn occasion.

The conversions, or rechristenings, as they were called, frequently were celebrated not only with water but with blood.  Priest Ivan Raguz, for instance, publicly urged the killing of all Serbs, including children, so that “even the seed of these beasts is not left,” while Curate Bozidar Brale, from Sarajevo, who took part in Serbian liquidation with gun in hand, advocated “liquidation of the Serbs without compromise.”  Brale was later appointed to the Presidency of the Spiritual Board of the Archbishop of Sarajevo.

These mass conversions were not only forced by fear or actual massacre but, as in Poland after World War I, were made easier by a calculated elimination of the Orthodox clergy.  Hundreds of Orthodox priests, including bishops, were killed by the Ustashi.

On the night of June 5, 1941, on orders of the Ustashi chief, Gutic, the Orthodox Bishop of Banjaluka Platon in Western Bosnia, together with several Orthodox priests, some of whom were former members of the House of Representatives, was taken to the outskirts of the town by the Ustashi.  There the old bishop’s beard was first torn out, a fire lit on his naked chest; then, after prolonged torture, he and all his companions were killed with hatchets and their bodies thrown into the Vrbanja River.

Dositej, Orthodox Bishop of Zagreb, the capital of the Independent State of Croatia, where Archbishop Stepinac had his residence, lost his mind as a result of the tortures inflicted upon him before his execution.  Two more Orthodox bishops, Peter Zimonjic of Sarajevo and Sava Trlajic of Plasi, were similarly murdered.18
Numerous Catholic priests and monks, some of them not even attached to the Ustashi formations, carried out executions with their own hands.  The names of some of them have been put on record by the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. and Canada.19

The result of such a policy was that whole families, entire villages, and even small towns embraced Catholicism during mass ceremonies performed by Ustashi priests, “watched” by armed units of the Ustashi, under the threat of expulsion.  That meant that their property and their lives could not be guaranteed.  Thousands were thus converted.  After such mass conversions, the “new Catholics” had to go in procession to the local Catholic church, as a rule accompanied by units of armed Ustashi, singing about the happiness of having at last become the children of the true Church.

This was not all.  In all the villages where the Serbs had been “rechristened” the people were compelled by the Catholic priests to send congratulatory telegrams to Archbishop Stepinac, who was informed of every mass conversion performed in each parish throughout Croatia.  Many of such telegrams were printed in the Ustashi paper, Nova Hrvatska, as well as in Stepinac’s own official diocesan journal, Katolicki List.  In its issue of April 9, 1942, Nova Hrvatska printed four such telegrams, all addressed to Stepinac, in which mass conversions in villages were reported.  One of these ran:

 

2,300 persons, assembled in Slatinski Drenovac, from the villages of Drenovac, Pusina, Kraskovic, Prekorecan, Miljani and Gjurisic, accepted today the protection of the Roman Catholic Church and send their profound greetings to their Head.

 

In this manner within a brief period 30 per cent of Orthodox Serbs residing in the New Croatia were converted to Catholicism.

Members of the Catholic Hierarchy engaged in this type of proselytization, however, did not limit themselves to the use of fear of loss of property and even of life.  Whenever resistance was encountered, they ordered and themselves often carried out the execution of many of the most stubborn Orthodox.  When collective resistance was met, collective punishment was inflicted, and this was often death.

A Jesuit priest, Dr. Dragutin Kamber, a sworn Ustashi, for instance ordered the killing of about 300 Orthodox Serbs in Doboj, and 250 others to be court-martialed, most of whom were shot; while Father Dr. Braanimir Zupanic, a personal friend of Ante Pavelich, had more than 400 men, women, and children killed in one village alone, Ragolje.

Father Srecko Peric of the Gorica monastery near Livno, during one of his sermons in the Church of Gorica, advocated mass killings: “Kill all Serbs [were his words].  First of all, kill my sister, who is married to a Serb, and then all Serbs.  When you finish this work, come here to the church and I will confess you and free you from sin.”

There followed a massacre during which over 5,600 Orthodox Serbs lost their lives in the district of Livno alone (August 10, 1941).

The record, however, was reached by Miroslav Filipovic, a Ustashi since long before the War and a Franciscan monk.  In the village of Drakulic the Friar killed a child with his own hands, at the same time addressing a unit of the Ustashi with the following words: “Ustashi, I rechristen these degenerates in the name of God.  You follow my example.”

The result of Monk Filipovic’s example: 1,500 Orthodox Serbs were executed in one single day.  Filipovic was made Commandant of Jasenovac, a Ustashi concentration camp which equalled Dachau in horror.  In this capacity, Filipovic, in cooperation with Father Zvonko Brekalo, Zvonko Lipovac, and Father Culina, became responsible for the deaths of 40,000 men, women, and children, which took place in the camp during his rule.20

Were these the atrocities of a few demented priests acting on their own initiative, blinded by religious mania, scornful of the authority of their church, or disdainful of that of their head, Archbishop Stepinac?

The answer is in the negative.

The words and deeds of the Croatian Hierarchy and, behind them, of the Vatican are the most eloquent proofs that Ustashi massacres were an integral part of a premeditated policy of total physical extermination of the non-Catholic population trapped within the confines of Catholic Croatia.

One of the most awful features of all violent commotions is that, even when inspired by ideals, they often set free the hidden beast, lying seemingly dormant, deep in the heart of man.  Whenever anarchy is let loose, then the human brute, burning with passion, springs to the fore to make its most abominable dreams, nursed in the utmost secrecy for years, come true.  Hidden phantasmagorias, repressed, thwarted, concealed through fear of either punishment, convention, or laws, shoot to the surface, provoking, like irresistible whirlwinds, such emotional devastation that apparently normal individuals commit deeds unimagined not only by others but even by themselves.

The mightiest provokers of such aberrations have been religious and political fanaticism.

In Croatia, this, having been identified with Church, race, and State, was soon bound to twist the mental faculties of some individuals and turn them into veritable human monsters.

Catholic priests, being no less subject to passions than laymen, could not be exceptions because of their tonsures or cassocks.  Whenever caught in the maelstrom, their ordinary faculties having been ousted, blind emotionalism induced them to commit the barbarities they did.

Owing to the innate frailty of human nature, to the irresistible power of religious fanaticism, these insane Croat Catholic clergy are to be regarded with compassion, rather than with execration.

No such leniency, however, can be entertained for those who calculatingly promoted such crimes.  The flimsiest shred of mercy for the master-minds which calmly planned them and callously exploited the most abhorrent human passions to further religious and political designs would not be generosity, but approval of what they did; hence perversion.

The Croation terror was the offspring of such masterminds, identified mainly with personages appareled in clerical garb.  The terror had been coldly instigated from the silent archiepiscopal halls of the Croatian Hierarchy.  That Hierarchy not only knew what was happening: It tacitly and overtly approved and encouraged whoever was engaged in that execrable work.

Violence advocated by priests, crimes ordered by priests and frequently committed personally by priests, were never condemned either by the bishops or by their leader, Monsignor Stepinac.  Not a single member of the Catholic clergy was ever called to task while the Independent State of Croatia existed.  Neither Archbishop Stepinac nor any other Church authority prohibited venomous writing, hate speeches, or even murders.

Priestly incitements to violence were written and published with the full approbation of the Croat bishops.  No priest, it must be remembered, can write in the press without specific episcopal permission.  Canon Law is very clear on this: “Any priest who writes articles in daily papers or periodicals without permission of his own bishop contravenes Canon 1386 of the Code of Canon Law.”

Priestly incitements to violence were published in the ordinary press without the bishops uttering a single word of reprimand.  More than that, they were printed in the very ecclesiastical press of the Croatian Hierarchy.  The meaning of that was too obvious to be misunderstood: The head of the Croatian Hierarchy fully approved of them.

Archbishop Stepinac’s responsibility is further enhanced by the fact that, in addition to having at his disposal canonical power, he could also use disciplinary authority.  For, in addition to being chairman of the Bishop’s Conference, he was also chairman of Catholic Action, and hence had supreme control over the writing of the entire Catholic press.  By invoking these powers Stepinac could have silenced any priest advocating the extermination of the Orthodox Serbs.

Nor was that all.  Stepinac could have used civil power, being a full-fledged member of Parliament.

And, if that were not enough, to stop the crimes of his priests Stepinac was in a position to make use of military power.  At the beginning of 1942 and at the direct suggestion of the Vatican, he had been created Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Croatian army, being thus officially the highest military clergyman in Croatia.  All priests attached to the Ustashi units—and these were usually the ones who either incited the soldiers to commit crimes or committed them themselves—were thus directly subordinated to him.

That the campaign of forcible conversion was supported by the Croatian Hierarchy is further proved by the fact that forced conversion to Catholicism was made legal by governmental decree.  This was issued by the Ustashi Prime Minister in June, 1941 (No. 11689), when an Office on Religious Affairs in charge of “all matters pertaining to questions connected with the conversion of the members of the Eastern Orthodox Church”  came into being.

The Croatian Hierarchy made no protest, but wholeheartedly supported the decree.  It did more.  It saw to it that the head of this new department was a priest, Father Dionizije Juricev, an intimate friend of Pavelich.  The office was set up following the very private audience which Pius XII had granted to Pavelich the previous month.

But nothing could better prove that the Catholic Hierarchy had planned all this with the most cold-blooded calculation than their attitude toward the surviving Orthodox children who had escaped the biological extermination of their Orthodox parents.

Under the auspices of Caritas, the Catholic organization run by the Hierarchy, all these children were placed in public homes directed by Catholic priests or Catholic sisters, or, in many cases, with private Catholic families: this with the precise purpose of implanting into them “the true faith,” as a prerequisite of their bodies being saved.  The process of speedy religious assimilation took place almost at once.  Rebaptized with new Croatian names, officially converted to Catholicism, growing up in Catholic Croatian surroundings, these children, having lost all contact with their original ethnic and religious groups, were soon absorbed into the Catholic Church.  The absorption was so complete that even after the collapse of Independent Croatia many could not be returned.  Traces of their origin were very often wilfully made to disappear.  A not-inconsiderable number were taken to Italy and even to the Argentine by fleeing Ustashi.

That the forcible conversions were directly instigated by the Hierarchy was further demonstrated by the bishops themselves, who discussed, encouraged, and promoted them.  One typical instance should suffice:

Dr. Simrak, former Apostolic Administrator and Bishop of Krizevci, issued a directive to all his clergy to that effect.  It was published in the official Bishopric News of Krizevci, No. 2, 1942.  The text, in part, reads as follows:

 

Directive regarding the conversion of the members of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Slavonia, Srijem, and Bosnia.

Special offices and church committees must be created immediately for those to be converted. . . .  Let every curate remember that these are historic days for our missions and we must under no circumstances let this opportunity pass. . . .  Now we must show with our work what we have been talking about for centuries in theory.  We have done very little until now because . . . we are afraid of complaints from the people.  Every great work has someone opposing it.  Our universal mission, the salvation of souls and the greatest glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is involved in this issue.  Our work is legal because it is in accord with official Vatican policy and with the directives of the saintly congregations of the Cardinals for the Eastern Church.

 

Was this the isolated action of an enterprising bishop acting on his own, without the approval of his superiors?  Indeed it was not.  The Bishop of Krizevci was following the directives officially promulgated by the Primate of Croatia himself.

The year before, in fact—and precisely on November 17, 1941—Archbishop Stepinac, after having convened a Bishops’ Conference in Zagreb, gave canonic sanction to the program of forcible conversions.  Result: the adoption of a program which was officially followed by the entire Croatian Hierarchy from that date.

The Bishops’ Conference, in addition to promulgating such a policy, actually set up a committee of three.  Their task: to solve the question of the forcible conversions, in conjunction with the Ustashi Minister of Justice and Religion.  The members of the committee?  The Apostolic Administrator, Dr. Janko Simrak, the Bishop of Senj, and Monsignor Stepinac, Archbishop of Zagreb.

Here are a few revealing clauses of the decree, which begins:

 

The Council of Croatian Bishops, at a conference held in Zagreb on the 17th day of December 1941,21 upon deliberations in regard to the conversion of Serbians of Orthodox faith to Roman Catholicism, promulgates the following decree:

1.  Concerning the vital question of the conversion of those of Serbian Orthodox faith into Roman Catholicism, the Catholic Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, according to divine right and Church canons, retains sole and exclusive jurisdiction in issuing necessary prescriptions for said purpose, consequently, any action from any other but ecclesiastical authority is excluded.

2.  The Catholic Ecclesiastical Hierarchy has the exclusive right to nominate and appoint missionaries with the object of converting those of the Serbian Orthodox into the Catholic faith.  Every missionary shall obtain permission for his spiritual work from the nearest local church authority. . . .

3.  It is necessary that for conversions to be achieved, a psychological basis should be created among the Serbian Orthodox followers.  With this object in view they should be guaranteed not only civil rights, but in particular they should be granted the right of personal freedom and also the right to hold property.22

 

Not content with this, the conference issued a complementary resolution (No. 253) in which further directions were given on the way in which the forcible conversions were to be carried out.  If shorn of its official phraseology, the whole document would read like an incredible declaration sprung from the remoteness of the most tenebrous days of the Dark Ages rather than factual directives adopted by a Catholic Hierarchy in Europe in the middle of the twentieth century.

The monstrous promotion of it all occurred with the tacit approval of the Vatican.  Not a single priest could have taken part in the massacres or in the forcible conversions had the Vatican disapproved of them.  A village curate can act only with the approval of his immediate superior, the Bishop with that of his Archbishop, the Archbishop with that of the Primate, the Primate with that of the Vatican, and the Vatican with the personal approval of the Pope.

Pius XII was as responsible as, if not more than, Archbishop Stepinac himself.  The Pope is the ultimate authority for all the Hierarchies of the world.  Policies of great import must be submitted to him before their implementation.

Croatia was a satellite of Nazi German.  In 1940-42 the Vatican was on the most cordial terms with Hitler, the Nazi ambassador there being treated at this period as a personage of far greater importance than the Allied diplomats.  In addition to this, Croatian political and religious leaders came and went between Rome and Zagreb as freely as did the Germans and Italians themselves.

Pius XII, furthermore, knew about what was happening in Croatia, not only thanks to the hierarchical administrative machinery of the Catholic Church, which kept him extremely well-informed of all Croatian events, but also because of additional, extra-reliable sources.  Devout Ante Pavelich sent him regular reports about the progress of the Catholicization of the new Croatia, while Archbishop Stepinac himself supplied His Holiness with figures of the forcible conversions.  In an official document, dated as late as May 8, 1944, His Eminence Archbishop Stepinac, head of the Croatian Hierarchy, informed the Holy Father that to date “244,000 Orthodox Serbs” had been “converted to the Church of God.”

While the most saintly Archbishop and the even more saintly Pope gave special thanks to divine Providence for the fast-increasing number of the Croatian flock, protests at the forcible conversions and massacres began to mount as the first news leaked out.

The smiles of incredulity and the belief that they were anti-Catholic fabrications soon gave way to horror, with the result that frantic appeals were sent, with increasing urgency, to Stepinac, Pius XII, and the Allies.  Such appeals came from all quarters.  Many were written by Catholic Croats, who cried their indignation directly to the Vatican or lodged horrified protests with Archbishop Stepinac.  One of the most revealing is that sent to him by Prvislav Grizogono.  Grizogono was a Minister of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; more significant still, a Croat; and, even more ominous, a devout, honest Catholic.  His words, therefore, had been carefully considered.  Yet nothing could more eloquently indict his church than his letter:

 

“YOUR GRACE:

I write this to you as man to man, as a Christian to a Christian.

Since the first day of the Independent Croatian State, the Serbs have been massacred (Gospich, Gudovac, Bos, Krajina, etc.) and this massacring has continued to this day.

 

The writer then gives a long and detailed enumeration of the crimes committed.  After which he concludes:

 

Why do I write this to you?  Here is why: In all these unprecedented crimes, worse than pagan, our Catholic Church has also participated in two ways.  First, a large number of priests, clerics, friars, and organized Catholic youth actively participated in all these crimes, but more terrible even Catholic priests became camp and group commanders, and as such ordered or tolerated the horrible tortures, murders, and massacres of a baptized people.  None of this could have been done without the permission of their bishops, and if it was done, they should have been brought to the Ecclesiastical Court and unfrocked.  Since this did not happen, then ostensibly the bishops gave their consent by acquiescence at least.

The Catholic Church has used all means to Catholicize forcefully the remaining Serbs. . . .  The province of Srem is covered with leaflets of Bishop Akshamovich, printed in his own printing shop at Djakovo.  He calls upon the Serbs, through these leaflets, to save their lives and property, recommending the Catholic faith to them.

What will happen to us Croats if the impression is formed that we participated in all these crimes to the finish?

Again it is the duty of the Church to raise its voice; first, because it is a Church of Christ; second, because it is powerful.

I write to you this, about such terrible crimes, to save my soul, and I leave it to you to find a way to save yours.

Signed, PRVISLAV GRIZOGONO,

Former Minister of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

At ZEMUM, February 8, 1942.

 

Dr. Grizogono sent another letter to Dr. Ujchich, the Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade.  In it he appealed to the Archbishop to ask the Pope to use his authority and to order the Croatian Hierarchy to stop the massacres.

The Archbishop of Belgrade answered, saying that he had forwarded the appeal to the Vatican.  In his reply to Dr. Grizogono, the Archbishop wrote the following:

 

I thank you for your letter.  The information about the massacres we have already received from many different sources.  I have forwarded everything to the Vatican, and I believe that everything will be done.”23

 

Archbishop Stepinac, the head of the Croatian Hierarchy, and Pope Pius XII, the head of the Universal Catholic Church, remained silent.  Their silence cost the lives of 850,000 men, women and children.

Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum—Such evil deeds could religion inspire.2425

 

 

16Like the Fingerprints of God . . .

Catholic Power today, as yesterday and tomorrow, has one supreme objective: the Catholicization of the human race.

To attain this, the Catholic Church will suffer no obstacles, be deterred by no barriers, tolerate no enemies, rivals, competitors, or even friends.  Her clarion call to Ecumenism, Reunion and Unity is nothing but a specious screen behind which to hide such millenarian ambition.

It cannot be otherwise.  Her aim has never changed in the past, does not change in the present, and will change less in the future.

What has changed now is her strategy, her tactics, her methods, her approach, her parlance, and her seeming acceptance of modern liberties.

Neither her revolutionary innovations nor the individual humanity or intellectual liberality of some of her latest Popes can obliterate the central fact that she considers herself divinely inspired, divinely commissioned, and divinely predestined to Catholicize the world.

In such apocalyptic commitment lies the secret of her perennial self-energization and the ever-accelerating tempo of her renovation, her metamorphosis, and her expansion.

To be sure, now, instead of attacking medieval citadels she is battering Constitutions, instead of using the crudeness of theocratic coercion she obfuscates the contemporary mind with ecumenical subtleties; and, more, she has mastered the mellifluous language of an age obsessed with the liberties of individuals, religions, and races.

Yet, even so—indeed, because of it—more than ever before she has mobilized all her power in an unprecedented effort towards self-aggrandizement, following an almost miraculous display of adaptability and inventiveness.

A nightmarish omen for the future of mankind.

For, truly, whenever she is not circumscribed by the limitations imposed upon her by contemporary mores, the Catholic Church will not hesitate—as the example of Croatia has so amply testified—to impose her writ upon all and sundry.  By use of the Law.  By stultification of the Law.  By battling against the Law.  Via minorities, institutions, governments, states, whole nations; via persuasion, cooperation and beguilement; via her call to understanding, to tolerance, and to unity.  But also via disguised and undisguised pressure, invisible or open boycott, intangible and concrete persecution.  In many cases, via the use of fear and terror—even bloodshed.

The hundreds of millions of her adherents, owing to their individual preoccupation with piety and the fascination exerted upon them by the mounting prestige of their Church, like the majority of those outside her, are hardly aware of her ceaseless exertions directed at the consolidation and furtherance of her expanding world dominion.

She speaks to them all with the language of the age.

It is precisely because she has appareled herself with the splendiferous vestments of contemporary culture and has boldly worked the most revolutionary changes within and outside herself that she can project her influence throughout the globe with such glaring success.

Her modernization, therefore, far from indicating that she has changed, is the surest proof of the inflexibility of her determination to penetrate, to weaken, and to capture the culture which she has decided to conquer.  The methods of conquest used by Catholic power today, like the fingerprints of God, are never identical.

The vistas of its exertions by now should have amply demonstrated that when and where Catholic power waxes strong, there liberty wanes.

Its actions everywhere, the infinite variety of its methods, its almost miraculous sense of identification with the diverse systems, cultures, and societies we have scrutinized, its ceaseless attempts to undermine, infiltrate and dominate conflicting strata, institutions, and nations, are the surest proof that under its cloak of modernization, basically it is still the visible embodiment of that same Church which inspired and promoted the Croatian nightmare.

Here we have an example of the Catholic Church implementing to the full the theory and practice of all the principles we have examined in this book, unhampered by opposition or by the fear of world opinion.  And, even more ominous, it provides a model miniature of what the Catholic Church would not hesitate to repeat on a larger scale in similar circumstances.

For Croatia, by transcending its local background, is a warning of the shape of things to come.

The mores, standards, and horizons of mankind are fast changing; the aspirations, ideals, and achievements of nations are becoming increasingly magnitudinous; the individual, either as a single entity or as the collectivized unit of contemporary society, is quickly discarding hoary notions, atavistic cruelty, and ancient fanatical exclusiveness.

Yet, certain institutions, among which the Catholic Church looms the most formidable, are still dreaming the same dreams of absolute dominion over the bodies and souls of men as dreamed in the darkest past.

Their up-to-dateness, their advocacy of tolerance and even of radical reform, far from being a guarantee of their change of heart, are the surest proofs that the ancient fires which once ignited horrifying religious and political persecutions are burning as fiercely as ever within the recesses of their doctrines, of their tenets, and of their beliefs.

A warning, a danger, and a threat for the generations yet to come.

The Croatia of yesterday is not only a reminder for today, but an ominous portent for the potential Croatias of the near and distant future.

 

 

Update 2021 (by CHCoG):  The massacres and atrocities detailed in this book did not disappear without a trace.  After World War II, Yugoslavia was recreated, but this time as a communist nation controlled by Josip Tito, allied with the USSR.  In 1960, Jasenovac was preserved as a memorial site of the horror that had occurred there.  The distrust between the Croats and Serbs continued, eventually flaring up as a war from 1990 to 1995, during which Croatia again separated and attempted to eliminate the remaining Orthodox Serbs in their country.   This time, the Serbs were armed and fought back, and atrocities were committed by both sides.  Jasenovac was vandalised during this war.  The Roman Catholic church has repeatedly tried to minimise the Croatian barbarity, the deaths and their responsibility for them.  Today the Croats and Serbs each have their own countries, and live in relative peace.

 

 

Some Other Resources Available from https://chcpublications.net/

Publications

The Holy Bible - CHCoG Version - This translation from the original Hebrew and Aramaic is accurate and readable, giving you a clear understanding of how the New and Old Covenants are interlocked and God’s message to you.

Everlasting Life is God’s Gift - Does the Bible teach that you have everlasting life?  If not, how can you receive God’s gift of immortality as His child?

Fifty Years in the Church of Rome - Charles Chiniquy’s classic exposure of the corruptions of the Roman church, and how he found God’s Gift of Salvation.

Books of Moses - Fact or Fiction Series - Are the miracles recorded in Genesis and Exodus our true history?  Do the facts support Special Creation or the Big Bang & Evolution scenarios?  What about the Flood, Babel and the Exodus?

Spirit, Soul and Body - What does the Bible teach about the nature of human beings?  Do we have a soul?  What is our spirit?  What happens when we die?

Papal Idolatry: Transubstantiation and Mariology - Chiniquy’s indepth exposé of how the Roman Church worships their wafers and Mary instead of Christ.

Eastern Meditation and Jeshua the Messiah - Recounts the experiences of a CHCoG member who became a Christian while practising Eastern Meditation.

The Ten Commandments - What are God’s Ten Commandments? How do they guide us in our relationships with God, our family and our neighbours?  Shows how obedience to Jehovah’s Instructions would result in true civilization.

What is God’s Name? - How can we know what God’s Name is and how to Pronounce it?  Does the Bible teach us to use God’s Name?

The Sabbath in Scripture - Has God’s Seventh-day Sabbath been ‘done away with’?  What does the Sabbath mean, and does God want us to keep it?

Rome’s Challenge: Why do Protestants Keep Sunday? - This Roman Catholic article proves there is no scriptural basis for changing the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday, and shows that the Roman Catholic church made the change.

Sex, God and Families - Article exposing the dangers of sexual immorality and outlining the benefits of following God’s sexual principles.

The Catholic Chronicles - Keith Green explores the meanings of the Roman Catholic Mass, transubstantiation, their concept of forgiveness of sin and salvation and whatif anythingVatican II changed.

God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah - Shows how God’s Calendar reveals that Jeshua truly kept the Sign of Jonah, His ultimate proof that He is the Messiah.

Free to Obey GodGod’s Son Jeshua sets us free!  But what does he set us free from, and how does He expect us to live our new life?

Jeshua the Messiah: Is He the Son of God or Part of a Trinity? - Explores the relationships between Jehovah God, Jeshua the Messiah, the Holy Spirit and us.

Software

Calculated Biblical Calendar - Calculates dates of Annual Holy Days, Crucifixion, Flood, Creation: allows you to test the new moon visibility locally.

Radiocarbon Dating - Calculates the effects that changes in the geomagnetic field and radiocarbon/carbon ratios, etc, on radioactive dating.

 

 

Endnotes

 

1 The first thing Napoleon did on entering Madrid in 1808 was to abolish the Inquisition.  When the Cortes in 1813 declared the Inquisition incompatible with the Constitution, the Vatican protested.  Super-Catholic Ferdinand VII restored it in 1814, with the full approval of the Church.  The Holy Inquisition was finally suppressed by the Liberals in July, 1834.

2 The Jesuits, who specialized in attacking any new intellectual liberal movement—e.g., the philosophers, Freemasons, and Encyclopaedists of the eighteenth century.  Prior to and after this they became such a menace to all and sundry that they were repeatedly expelled from every country of Europe.  The Popes themselves more than once castigated them and, indeed, even tried to suppress them altogether.

3 In 1870-71, with the fall of Napoleon III, who had sent troops to defend the Pope.

4 By the Italians, who wanted a United Italy, with Rome as its capital.

5 1870.

6 May 15, 1891.

7 E.g., the Austro-Hungarian Empire held such a stranglehold upon the Church that it had the right to propose the name of a prospective Pope or veto the one chosen by the Sacred College of Cardinals.

8 In 1926 Pope Pius XI disbanded the Catholic Party in Italy to strengthen Fascism.  In 1934 Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, did the same with the Centre Party, the Catholic Party of Germany, to consolidate Hitler in power.  For details, see the author’s The Vatican in World Politics (444 pp.) and Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century (422 pp. Lyle Stuart, Inc., New York, 1966.)

9 By 1950 Catholic Parties formed the governments of Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Eire, and Switzerland, in addition to the Catholic dictatorships of Spain and Portugal.

10 Communist Party membership in 1964 was 1,500,000.  The Communists in 1963 received 25 percent of the total poll—i.e., 7,764,000 votes.  Figures compiled by The Times, London, July 8, 1965.

11 Witness the Welfare States of the Scandinavian countries and of Great Britain; the Social Welfare legislation of Italy, France, Switzerland, Canada, and even of the U.S.A.

12 The movement sponsored by Cardinal Suhard was to draw the proletariat back into the Church by sending Catholic priests, disguised as workers, into the factories.  Pope Pius XII suppressed it.

13 E.g., Roncalli, exiled to the backwater of the Patriarchate of Venice, and Mgr. G. B. Montini, Pius XII’s Under-Secretary of State, exiled to pastoral work of the Archbishopric of Milan.  Montini refused to accept a Cardinal’s hat offered him by Pius XII.  Roncalli eventually became Pope John XXII; Montini, Pope Paul VI.

14 Its basic principles having been enunciated in his Encyclicals, Mater et Magistra (1961) and Pacem in Terris (1963), the two main sources of his teachings.

1 Encyclical, Ubiarcano Dei, Pope Pius XI, 1922.

2 [CHCoG – Manhattan wrote “God’s Laws”, but Rome is only interested in enforcing her own Canon Law.

3 Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI, 1931.

4 Ibid

5 Ibid

6 Divini Illius, Pius XI, 1937.

7 Quas Primas, 71.

8 Ibid

9 Sapientae Christianae, 87.

10 Ibid

11 Ibid

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Sapientae Christianae, 91.

15 Sapientae Christianae, 93.

16 Mit Brennender Sorge III, Pius XI, 1937.

17 Sapientae Christianae.

18 Ibid

19 Quas Primas, Pius XI, 1925.

20 Pope Paul VI’s discourse during a general audience, November 4, 1964, at the Vatican.

1 See Chapter 10.

2 Italian Press.  First week of June, 1965.  The actress: Lollobrigida.

3 Idem.

4 The Times, London, June 5, 1965.

5 The Times, London, July 1, 1964; also Daily Mail, July 4, 1964.

6 Sunday Express, January 3, 1965.

7 See Sunday News, May 23, 1965.

8 Dr. H. Fabre, addressing delegates at the International Planned Parenthood Federation Conference, London, June 9, 1964.

9 Idem.

10 Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century.

11 Statistics issued by the Population Reference Bureau, Washington, D.C.  July, 1964.  See also Demographic Year Book, 1963, of the United Nations; also The Times, London, August 19, 1965.  By 1966 the increase in world population being between 63 million and 65 million a year.

12 See Clericalism, Roots and Fruits, P.O.A.U.

13 Long Beach, The Independent, October 3, 1963.

14 July, 1965.  Bishop Pike hoped that “such denigration of Christian Baptism should never occur again.” Catholic Herald, July 16, 1965.

15 A Protestant Speaks His Mind, p. 203, quoted by P.O.A.U.

16 The Times, London, April 1, 1963; also The Universe, April 9, 1965.

17 The Churchman, July, 1957.

18 For details of wholesale persecutions by the Catholic Church in Poland against the Orthodox and Protestant Churches, see the author’s The Vatican in World Politics, chapter “The Vatican and Poland.”

19 The Times, London, June 27, 1964.

20 Commando Marine Howard Dalton, June 12, 1964.  See Sunday Express, London, June 14, 1964.

21 Cardinal Wyszinsky, May, 1965.

22 Pope Pius XII, September, 1957.

23 For more details, see The Times, London, June 30, 1965.

24 E.g. Don Merrifield, working at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.  Time, May 25, 1965.

1 Founded by Dr. Marie Stopes in 1921.  C.B.C., Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress.

2 E.g., News Chronicle, Daily Telegraph.

3 For details of Catholic anti-democratic pressure upon the press of England from 1921 to 1953, see The Evidence of Dr. Marie Stopes to the Royal Commission on the Press, 1953, London.

4 The Times, London, March 30, 1965.

5 For sundry refusals by The Times, The Evening News, John Bull and other papers, see Minutes of Meetings of C.B.C., London, April 25, 1955, March 12, 1956, June 18, 1956.

6 Cardinal Griffin.

7 Towards the New Italy, by T. L. Gardini, with a preface by H. G. Wells.  Drummond, London, 1943.  The Times Literary Supplement called the book “a devastating indictment of Fascism in action.”

8 Crux Ansata, by H. G. Wells, published by Penguin Books, 1942.  The first established London publisher to reject the manuscript was Seeker and Warburg.

9 The Vatican in World Politics.

10 Names of the editor, the reviewer, and the paper cannot be disclosed at present since the first two are very active in the press and in politics.  It might interest readers, however, to know that the mere fact of the author’s mentioning these events in an article a year later provoked the editor to issue a writ against the author.  The writ was eventually withdrawn.

11 Bookshop in Kensington, London, in 1958 and again in 1961 and 1965.

12 Thomas Gillespie.  Letter published in The Freethinker, London, May 24, 1957.

13 See The Freethinker, London, November 29, 1957.

14 For details, see Church and State, March and May, 1955.

15 See Church and State, December, 1956.  Also, The Independent, October, 1956.  The importer, Lyle Stuart, New York.

16 For more details, see Church and State, “Latest Manhattan Work Clears Customs Bureau,” December, 1956.  Also The Independent, December, 1956.

17 The Times, London, November 15, 1957.

18 Letter from H. V. Evatt, Leader of the Opposition, House of Representatives, to L. Allee, November 21, 1957.

19 R. W. Holt, Victoria House of Representatives, Canberra, Australia.  For more details, see Daily Telegraph, Sydney, November 21, 1957.

20 Colonel A. W. Sheppard, Morgan’s Bookshop, Sydney.  See The Beacon, March, 1958.

21 Idem.

22 The incident was related by Hugh Dalton himself to the author a few weeks later, upon the latter’s reinstatement.

23 The Vatican in World Politics.

24  The U.S. ban lasted twelve years.

25 The Vatican in World Politics.

26 Religion in Prussia, C. E. Watts, London, 1947.

27 See French press of the period (February and March, 1958), also The Times, London, March 15, 1958.

28 The Times, London, May 21, 1957.  See also Irish Press of the period.

29 Lord Guthrie, Edinburgh, December 12, 1958.

30 The Reverend F. W. Broome, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Bracknell, Berkshire.  The Times, London, November 4, 1958.

31 The first group consisted of 42 British and European scientists, the second of 36 Americans.  June 21, 1965.

32 [CHCoG – Note that nearly all of these Catholic ‘martyrs’ were not killed because they were Catholic, which would make them martyrs, but because they committed acts of treason.  This makes them criminals, not marytrs.]

33 For further details, see Sunday Express, May 22, 1960, or apply to Convent.

34 Brussels, July, 1955.

35 The prohibition lasted until 1870.

36 In the summer of 1965 a Catholic, a convert from the Anglican Church, expressed his apprehension to the Papal Nuncio and received the reply quoted.  The questioner is a personal friend of the author’s, and the latter can vouch for the authenticity of the episode.  The names of the questioner, of the Papal diplomat, and of the locality must remain anonymous for obvious reasons.

1 Sporadic attempts to liberalize this anti-democratic absurdity all failed.  In 1965, however, a private bill was put before the Chamber of Deputies.  As usual, it was defeated by Catholics.

2 About 50 per cent believe they can be good Socialists, or even Communists, and good Catholics at the same time.  1965.

3 The Times, London, July 30, 1965.

4 For more Saints dedicated to the Americans, see Chapter 9.

5 See also Il Mattino, April 21, 1961.

6 Paese Sera, December 2, 1964.

7 The author: P. P. Pasolini.  The prosecutor asked for one year’s imprisonment.  See Italian press, March 7 and 8, 1963.

8 The Times, London, February 15, 1960.  The film: La Dolce Vita.

9 The passing of the amendment endangered the very existence of the Coalition Government, the non-Catholic Parties being so incensed by the Catholic trickery.  For more details, see the Italian press of the period, May-June, 1965.  Also, The Times, London, and the New York Times, June, 1965.

10 The Representative, by R. Hockhuth, February, 1963, in Rome.

11 Signor Menni, Deputy Prime Minister, leader of the Socialist Party, a lifelong anti-Fascist, who fought Mussolini almost single-handed when in exile in Paris before World War II, where the author first met him.  For more details of the ban on the play, see Italian and Rome press, February 13-17, 1965.

1 See Roman and Italian press, November 13 and 14, 1958.  Also L’Osservatore Romano, November 13, 1958.

2 May 10, 1960.

3 The Times, London, March 25, 1958.

4 The Times, London, March 25, 1958.

5 Don Basilo, parish priest of Roccastrada, March 26, 1958.  See Italian press, L’Expresso, Corriere Della Sera; also The Times, London, March 27, 1958.

6 L’Expresso, Corriere Della Sera, March 4 and 5, 1958.

7 The Times, London, February 26, 1958.

8 L’Osservatore Romano, March 3, 1958.

9 Signor Zolli, Christian Democratic Prime Minister of Italy, March 4, 1958.  See Italian Press.

10 Annabella, a best selling woman’s weekly, December, 1964.

11 Signor Fortuna, debate in Italian Parliament, December 2, 1964.

12 Official figures quoted by the Italian Minister of the Interior during a debate in Parliament, December 2, 1964.  See proceedings of Italian Parliament of that date.

13 [CHCoG – in this case, this is partly what Jesus taught: though a couple can divorce, they cannot remarry while their ex-spouse is still living. (Mark 10:11-12)  And Jehovah does not teach that it is OK to punish the children for their parents’ sin (Ezekiel 18:20).]

14 Debate in Italian Parliament, December 2, 1964.

15 Actually, the Ecclesiastical Code lays down the minimum age of fourteen for girls for a normal marriage.  The Times, London, March 28, 1965.

16 Decree of the Italian Constitutional Court, June, 1965.

17 Attributed to L. Veuillot, died 1883.

1 H. Pearn, of Devonport, December, 1958.

2 Church of England Commission under Sir George Hutchinson, set up in 1955.

3 Sunday Dispatch, December 21,1958.

4 The Red Dean, alias the Dean of Canterbury.

5 E.g. Honest to God, by the Bishop of Woolich, 1964.

6 In the Heythrop estate, near Oxford, 1965.

7 Administered by the Church Commissioners, who in 1965 raised over 5 million pounds to finance property speculation in London alone.  The Daily Telegraph, June 23, 1965, and May 19, 1965.

8 The Times, July 2, 1965.

9 Can a Dog be a Christian?  Sunday Mirror, April 4, 1965.

10 Title assumed by Queen Elizabeth I.

11 In 1966 it was estimated that only 5 million out of 52 million go to church.

12 E.g., Sir Ivonne Kirkpatrick, Permanent Under Secretary to the Foreign Office; Lord Longford, leader of the Government in the House of Lords; George Woodcock, General Secretary of Trade Unions, T.U.C.; novelists Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, etc.

13 E.g., The Duke of Norfolk, Premier Duke.

14 August, 1965.  See Catholic Herald, August 13, 1965.

15 See Hansard, July 13, 1964.

16 Catholic Herald, January 15, 1965.

17 Statement in Rome by the Hierarchy of England and Wales.  The Times, London, December 7, 1964.

18 Dom. Wilfred Upham, of Buckfast Abbey.  Catholic Herald, January 15, 1965.

19 The Times, London, December 7, 1964.

20 Ibid.

21 Catholic Herald, June 19, 1964.

22 E.g., Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, February, 1963; Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, April, 1965.

23 E.g., Henry Garnett, of the Gunpowder Plot fame.  Book published by Longmans, 1964.

24 E.g., Inter-denominational Committee, headed by Fr. T. Corbishley, a Jesuit; see Catholic Herald, July 31, 1964.

25 A law reform proposed by Sir Jocelyn Simon, a High Court Judge, May 2, 1965.

26 See editorial of Catholic Herald, March 5, 1965.

27 Catholic Herald, May 5, 1965.

28 Lord Cobbold, Lord Chamberlain, interviewed by The Sunday Times, April 11, 1965.

29 Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life.

30 The Times, London, March 4, 1965.

31 The Times, London, March 6, 1965.

32 Simon Mahon.  See The Universe, March 5, 1965.

33 The Times, London, March 8, 1965.

34 Letter in The Times, March 10, 1965.

35 Tom Driberg, The Times, London, March 9, 1965.

36 Letter to The Times, London, March 7, 1965.

1 L’Osservatore Romano, February 3, 1965; also Catholic Herald, February 5, 1965.

2 Catholic Herald, February 5, 1965.

3 See interview of the Director of Oxfam with the Catholic Herald, March, 1965.

4 1964.

5 In a pastoral letter for Lent, read in all churches of his diocese, March 6, 1960.

6 The Daily Telegraph, June 8, 1965.

7 Daily Telegraph report from its Health Services Correspondent, June 8, 1965.  [CHCoG – We believe that human life is sacred to God, as He has formed us in His image (Gen 1:26-30), so abortions should only be performed where they are absolutely necessary to save the life of the mother.]

8 The Times, London, December 12, 1959.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Senator Henty, Liberal Party Forum, Sydney University Union, September 5, 1962.

12 Dr. John Billings, a neurologist of Melbourne, awarded a Pfizer traveling scholarship, June, 1965.

13 E.g., Operation One Million, launched by the Society of Mary, Marists Fathers, June, 1965.

14 J. C. Pizzey, Queensland’s Minister of Education, June, 1965.

15 Dr. Joseph Rudderham, Bishop of Clifton, The Sunday Express, November 9, 1958.

1 This was told to the author by a well-known bon viveur Chicago businessman in 1965.

2 Uncensored, Vol. 13, No. 7, August, 1964, p. 57, Directory of Active Clubs.

3 Catholic priests are preaching this with increasing frequency.

4 Declaration of Bishop Morkovsky, Coadjutor of Galveston-Houston, to the diocesan youth organization conference in Houston, Texas.  See Universe, August 27, 1965.

5 Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century.

6 February, 1965.

7 In the days of the American Revolution, of a population of three million, only thirty thousand were Catholics: one in a hundred.  Today, of a population nearing the two hundred million mark, between forty-six and fifty million are Catholics: about twenty-five in every hundred.

1 See The Ramparts We Watch, by Glen L. Archer, P.O.A.U., Washington.

2 Church and State, May, 1961.

3 The Wealth of the Roman Catholic Church, P.O.A.U.

4 Idem.

5 The Current State of Church and State—P.O.A.U.—More than 100 federal programs by 1955-56 were providing large sums of government money to church-related agencies.  Time, September 3, 1965.

6 Quoted by “Policy Determination for Catholic Hospitals,” published by the Catholic Hospital Association and re-quoted by P.O.A.U. in The Wealth of the Roman Catholic Church.

7 Father Richard Ginder, quoted by P.O.A.U.  in The Wealth of the Roman Catholic Church.

8 Joseph Kennedy was rich enough to settle a million dollar trust fund on each of his nine offspring.

9 Washington, January 7, 1963.

10 Congressman Slack, Democrat, of West Virginia.

11 For more details, see The Times, London, May 27, 1960.

12 This is particularly so in Catholic Italy, where the women’s vote was almost always the major factor for the marginal majority of the Catholic Party.

13 Jack Kennedy, as reported by Arthur E. Schlesinger, Jr., in A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.  Houghton, New York, 1965.

14 Gallup Poll, May, 1959.

15 Idem.

16 Idem.

17 For more details, see the author’s The Vatican in World Politics; also Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century.

18 Gallup poll, October, 1963.

19 [CHCoG – However, it has taken until 2021 for the next Catholic President, Joe Biden, to arrive.  Perhaps many Protestants remain concerned that Kennedy committed the US to the disastrous Vietnam War in support of the papacy.]

20 Tabulation of Library of Congress, February, 1959.

1 Living Our Faith, Book Three, in the Catholic High School Religion Series, pp. 246-47.  Imprimatur of F. Cardinal Spellman.  William H. Sadlier, Inc., New York.

2 Ibid.

3 See also Books, the Journal of the National Book League, London, March, 1958.

4 Mr. Newton Minow, at the opening of a Congressional Inquiry, Washington, March 3, 1963.

5 Dr. C. Winick, in a study made for the Fund for the Republic, supported by the Ford Foundation, Taste and the Censor in Television, New York, February 19, 1959.

6 Report issued by the U.S. Government, July, 1956.

7 See statement of William H. Osborne, Quaker attorney, before a House Judiciary Sub-committee.  August, 1956.

8 Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, and comments of Justice Douglas on the U.S. Post Office, May 24, 1965.

9 [CHCoG – Though the censorship of the Catholic Church is often inappropriate, and designed to protect Catholicism from deserved criticism, we agree that it is necessary to have censorship to protect children in particular, and society in general, from sadistic and perverted productions.  But this needs to be done carefully and in line with guidelines agreed to by our society as a whole, and not by highly biased ‘celibate’ priests.]

10 Another banned film, “Baby Doll”  January, 1957.

11 January, 1957.

12 Time Magazine, January 14, 1957.

13 Time Magazine, December 24, 1956.

14 January, 1951.  The film, The Miracle.

15 The National Catholic Welfare Conference has the following main divisions: the Executive, Educational, Legal, Press, Immigration, Social Action, Youth, and Lay Organizations.

1 Henry Ford first married in 1940, after he became a Catholic.  He remarried and was therefore excommunicated in 1965.

2 October, 1956, issue.

3 J. Fischer.  Harper’s, October, 1956.

4 Ibid.

5 Fulfilment Press, New York, January 15, 1946.

6 Henry Holt and Co. Inc., New York, June 27, 1952.

7 New York, August 22, 1949.  Name of writer withheld.  His letter in possession of the author.

8 By the summer of 1965, forty dioceses had already joined the drive.

9 Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century.

10 T. H. Gibbons, Jr., of Chicago.

11 Catholic Herald, May 21, 1965.

12 Ibid.

13 See Boycott, P.O.A.U., Washington.

14 As quoted by P.O.A.U. in Boycott.

15 The amendment was eventually defeated, 49 to 37.  See America’s Finest Hour, by Glenn L. Archer, P.O.A.U.

16 See The Ramparts We Watch, by Glenn L. Archer, P.O.A.U.

17 See Clericalism in the World Today, P.O.A.U.

18 Church and State Monthly Review, 1960, as quoted by the New York Times, October 27, 1960.

19 See the text of the declaration of the U.S. Catholic bishops at their annual conference in Washington, November 16, 1958.  Also the New York Times and The Times, London.

20 Ibid.

21 Dr. David A. Gordon, in the Michigan Law Review, April, 1965.

22 Mgr. J. Knott.

23 The Draper Committee’s Report, July, 1959.

24 Stanford Research Center, September, 1959, and statement of a group of World Council of Churches, October, 1959.

25 Declaration of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Washington, November 25, 1959.

26 For specific cases, apply to P.O.A.U., Washington, D.C.

27 See The Silver Spring Hospital Story, by Colonel E. Felker, P.O.A.U.

28 For more details, see Medical Ethics, by Father Edwin F.  Healy, S.J., Imprimatur Cardinal Stritch, 1956, Loyola University Press, Chicago.

29 For more details, see Time magazine, December 4, 1950.

1 Most of the instances given are taken from a script by Dom Mintoff, one time Prime Minister of Malta, leader of the Maltese Labour Party.  His broadcast, to be delivered on January 25, 1962, was refused by the Malta Broadcasting Authority.  See Memorandum and Supporting Documents, Malta Labour Party, May, 1962.

2 Idem.

3 The elections were held on February 17, 18, and 19, 1962.

4 Letter from the Reverend Father Innocenzo Borg, Parish Priest of Luqa, to The Times of Malta, February 3, 1962.  See also Suppression of Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech during the Recent Elections in Malta, May 28, 1962—a collection of documents and photostats dealing with the 1962 elections.

5 See Suppression of Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech during the Recent Elections in Malta, May 28, 1962.

6 Signed Monsignor M. Azzopardy, Director of the Family of the Sick.  Issued by the Diocesan Junta of Catholic Organizations Movement for the Victory of Catholic Malta.

7 See Suppression of Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech during the Recent Elections in Malta, May 28, 1962.

8 Cardinal Ottaviani’s reminder to Catholics everywhere, August, 1965, Rome.

9 In 1930 the Maltese Bishops, in a joint pastoral letter, had given, among other things, the following instructions:  “Know, therefore, as Catholics you may not without committing a grave sin, vote for Lord Strickland and his candidates. . . .  “We remind our priests that they are strictly forbidden to administer the Sacraments to the obstinate who refuse to obey these our instructions.”  (Extracts from Correspondence with the Holy See relative to Maltese Affairs, January, 1929 to May 1990, printed and published in Britain by H. M. Stationery Office under reference Holy See No. I (1930), Cmd 3588, and presented by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Parliament by Command of His Majesty.)  For instructions to Father Confessors given in January, 1962, see Suppression of Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech during the Recent Elections in Malta, Memorandum and Supporting Documents H and I, May 28, 1962.

10 The written instructions were distributed on March 7, 1962, a few weeks AFTER the elections.  This was done for fear that, had the written instructions been distributed before or during the elections, the British government would have been forced to cancel the elections, as they had done in 1930.  (See also previous footnote.)  The instructions were then put in writing, since, by 1966, when the next general elections were due, Malta would have become independent.  Thus, being no longer subject to the British government, the church, under a Maltese administration supported by her, would be free to act without restraint—as, indeed, she did.

11 For complete text, see Methods of Procedure for Father Confessors and Preachers, Document J.  Photostatic copies of the Latin original are held by the Malta Labour Party.  See also Suppression of Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech during the Recent Elections in Malta, Memorandum and Supporting Documents, May, 1962.

12 Priests and Politics in Malta, 1962.

13 See Reynolds News, December 3, 1961; also The Voice of Malta, December 10, 1961.

14 Idem.

15 Two years later, in 1964, Malta became independent.  The date of Independence, however, due in the spring, had to be postponed because the Church in Malta refused to accept certain basic democratic clauses inserted by the British government in the new Constitution, since the new Constitution, as the Secretary of State for the Colonies said during discussion of the Malta Independence Bill in the House of Commons, July 23, 1964, was not going to “place the Catholic Church above the law.”  (Parliamentary Debates, Hansard, Volume 699, No. 149, columns 709-710.)

The Maltese Church, with the connivance of her representative, had tried every device to put herself above the Constitution, finally counting on the time limit of thirty-six hours before the House of Commons went into recess.  Thanks, however, to Lord Alexander of Hillsborough and others, the maneuver did not succeed.  For further documentation on the 1962 Elections in Malta, see Suppression of Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech during the Recent Elections in Malta, May, 1962, Memorandum and Supporting Documents.  Also, Malta Independence Bill—Order for Second Reading, House of Commons, July 23, 1964.  Parliamentary Debates, Hansard, Volume 699.

1 So described by President De Gaulle in 1965.

2 As related by Denis Warner, in his book, The Last Confucian, Macmillan, New York, 1964.

3 For details, see the author’s The Vatican in World Politics, or Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century, or The Dollar and the Vatican.

4 President Diem in an interview given to Marguerite Higgins, correspondent of the New York Herald Tribune, August 14, 1963.  See also The Buddhist Question—Basic Documents, Volume II, from August 22, 1963, to September 2, 1963.

5 Vice-President Nguyen Ngoc Tho, at a press conference at Dien Hong Hall, August 13, 1963.  See official documentation of the South Vietnam government, The Buddhist Question, The Position of the Government of the Republic of Vietnam.  Basic Documents, Volume I, from May 6, 1963, to August 21, 1963, p. 34.

6 Idem, p. 35.

7 Ibid.

8 September 2, 1963.

9 August 21, 1963, New York Times.  September 22, 1963, The Times, London.

10 Although Archbishop Thuc was at the time in Rome at the Second Vatican Council.  In 1964 he received another snub from Pope Paul VI, who refused him a papal audience.  Archbishop Thuc thereupon went to see Cardinal Spellman, by way of consolation.

11 Tran Van Chuong, South Vietnam’s Ambassador to Washington and father of Madame Nhu.  See also The Last Confucian, by Denis Warner.

12 See The Last Confucian, by Denis Warner.

13 Following Diem’s downfall, Catholic fortunes suffered accordingly.  But later on the Catholics regrouped themselves, sponsored by their American colleagues and by the Vatican.  As the war assumed vaster proportions and the U.S.A. sent hundreds of thousands of troops, the Vatican and the U.S.A. reorganized South Vietnam’s Catholicism as a political weapon.

Here is the sequence of the process:

February 27, 1965, Pope Paul appeals for peace in South Vietnam.  The same day he sends a letter to all the Catholic Bishops of South Vietnam.

Mid-April Catholics begin demonstrations against the Buddhist Premier because he has neutralist tendencies.

May 2, U.S.A.’s Henry Cabot Lodge has a secret visit with Pope Paul at the Vatican.

May 10, a Catholic Party is officially formed in South Vietnam.

The following month, South Vietnamese Bishops appeal to all Catholics for obedience.  Following the appeal, there are massive Catholic demonstrations against the Buddhist Premier.  These grow to riots until they force the Buddhist Premier to resign (June 18, 1965).

The subsequent exertions of the Catholics, the Vatican, and the United States have been dealt with in another book by the author, titled Vietnam: Why Did We Go?.

1 For details of how the Vatican and Pius XII helped Hitler to power, see the author’s The Vatican in World Politics.

2 For details of the Vatican’s long-range war against the Orthodox Church between the two world wars and after, see the author’s Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century.

3 Dr. Bruning and Von Papen, who, with the cooperation of Msgr. Kaas, another pillar of the German Catholic Party, the Centre Party, after vain attempts to form a coalition with Hitler, finally struck a bargain with him.  When Hitler became Chancellor, Catholic Von Papen became his Vice-Chancellor.  For more details, see the author’s The Vatican in World Politics, and Vatican Imperialism in the 20th Century.

4 See The Ciano Diaries, 1946, pp. 46, 48, 50-60.

5 Pavelich had lived in Italy since 1929.  Immediately after the King’s murder, Mussolini, to appease world opinion, arrested him, but then set him free.

6 E.g. Aviation Corps Officer Kren, who, on the eve of the war, flew to Germany.

7 See Nedelja, August 10, 1941.

8 See Nedelja, April 27, 1941.

9 Pius XII claimed to have seen Pius X during the Conclave of 1939, and that he told him to prepare to become the next Pope.  For more details, see The Cross, organ of the Passionist Fathers, Dublin, March, 1948.

10 Words used by Pius XII, December 21, 1939, when blessing King Victor.

11 Katolicki List, June 11, 1942.

12 Speech by Dr. Mirko Puk, Minister of Justice and Religion.  Excerpt from stenographic record of the proceedings of a regular session of the Croatian State Assembly, held in Zagreb, February 25, 1942.

13 Katolicki, Tjednik No. 35, August 31, 1941.

14 All the crimes described in this chapter are authentic.  The author has drawn them from documents supplied by sources as politically varied as they could be: official documents of the government of communist Yugoslavia under Tito; documents in the archives of ex-King Peter of Yugoslavia, then residing in England; documents of the Orthodox Church; papers of Dr. M. Zekulich, who was charged jointly by the Orthodox Church and by General Mihailovich in 1942 to contact the Allies, with the special mission of informing them of the Ustashi massacres.  Also from information supplied by Dr. Zekulich and by General Mirkovich, the man who overthrew the Yugoslav government when it signed a treaty with Hitler.  General Mirkovich then brought Yugoslavia into the Allied camp (1941).

Not content with this, the author personally contacted numerous Orthodox Serbs who had been eye-witnesses of the Ustashi massacres, and even victims who had escaped.  In May, 1951, the author, Dr. Zekulich, and General Mirkovich held a special meeting in London, attended by victims of the Ustashi residing in England, from whom further documentation was added, all authenticated by names, places, and dates.

15 For further atrocities of this kind, see the Memorandum sent to the General Assembly of U.N.O. in 1950 by A. Pribicevic, President of the Independent Democratic Party of Yugoslavia, and by Dr. V. Belajcic, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Yugoslavia.

16 Idem.

17 This event is described in his book, The Concentration Camp at Jasenova, p. 282.  See also “Memorandum on crimes of genocide committed against the Serbian people by the Government of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II,” dated October, 1950, sent to the President of the 5th General Assembly of the United Nations by Adam Pribicevic, President of the Independent Democratic Party of Yugoslavia; Dr. Vladimir Belajcic, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Yugoslavia; and Dr. Branko Miljus, former Minister of Yugoslavia.

18 See the above Memorandum.

19 For the list of names of Catholic priests who personally committed such crimes, see p. 176 of The Martyrdom of the Serbs, prepared by the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese for the U.S.A. and Canada, Palandech’s Press, Chicago, 1943.

20 Filipovic was regarded as abnormal even by many of his Ustashi colleagues.  All the cases just quoted are authenticated and can be found in the files of the Yugoslav State Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes.

21 [CHCoG – It read 1947 in the original, clearly a typo.]

22 Here is the rest of the relevant part of the decree:

“3.  Such missionaries shall be responsible only to the local church authorities or directly to the local Catholic priests.

“4.  The Roman Catholic Church will recognize as binding only those conversions which have been made in accordance with these dogmatic principles.

“5.  Secular authorities shall have no right to annul conversions made by the Church representatives.

“6.  The Croatian Catholic Bishops constitute a directorium consisting of three persons . . . they are authorized to consult with the Minister of Religion on all questions relating to necessary and proper procedure. . . .

“9.  Concerning the rites to be applied in the conversions, the Croatian Roman Catholic bishops will adopt in full the rule prescribed by the Holy Congregation of the Eastern Church as of July, 1941, and which has been communicated to the President of the Bishops’ Council. . . .

“10.  The Committee of the Croatian Catholic Bishops for Conversions will organize courses for those priests who are to act as instruments in the conversions of the Serbian Orthodox into the Catholic Church.  In these courses they will receive both theoretical and practical instructions for their work.”

23 Dr. Ujchich, the Archbishop of Belgrade, was executed by the partisans.  The authenticity of his reply was personally confirmed by Dr. Grizogono’s son, Dr. N. Grizogono, a practicing Catholic.  For further details, see Ally Betrayed, by David Martin, 1946.

24 Archbishop Stepinac eventually was arrested, tried and jailed; after which Pope Pius XII named him a Cardinal, making capital out of the “martyr who fought for religious freedom.”  Pavelich escaped, after hiding inside the Vatican, and formed a new Croatian government in exile.

Pope Pius XII died in 1958, Pavelich the following year, and Cardinal Stepinac in 1960.  The Ustashi, however—who, meanwhile had set up headquarters in the U.S.A., Canada, the Argentine, Australia, Germany, and even in Croatia itself—continued their activities, often led by priests and monks.  E.g., in 1960, fourteen Ustashi were arrested and imprisoned.  Their headquarters: a Franciscan monastery.  Their leader: a Franciscan monk.  Another plot, discovered during the same period, was led by two theological students and seven Catholic priests.  In Western Germany, the Brotherhood of the Cross, a Ustashi body led by a Catholic priest, made bomb attacks there and were expelled by the Catholic government of Western Germany.  In 1965 Ustashi organizations terrorized Catholics in Australia to force them to support their activities, to such an extent that the police had to take measures against them (August, 1965).  Similar activities were promoted wherever Catholic Ustashi emigres were to be found, keeping themselves ready “for the day.”

25 [CHCoG – In 1986 Manhattan released a new book dedicated to reminding the world of these horrors, and the Papacy’s responsibility for them, called The Vatican’s Holocaust: The sensational account of the most horrifying religious massacre of the 20th century.]