The Bowl Of Revelation 16:10 Was Just Poured Out
Recommended links for you:
Train Ride Christchurch-Greymouth TranzAlpine [ same ride both my son and I took a few weeks after the 7.1M 4th September, 2010 Earthquake]
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center January, 1953
John Foster Dulles, our newly-appointed Presbyterian Secretary of State, has lately been photographed with his Roman-collared son, thus revealing that the Dulles family and the Catholic Church have something in common: a member named Avery. Under the spiritual direction of his prominently Protestant father, Avery Dulles had grown up to be an atheist. Then, by involved intellectual processes which he wrote a book about, Avery abdicated to the overtures of “Omniscient Love” and became a Catholic and a Jesuit.
Included also in the photograph were Presbyterian Mrs. Dulles and daughter, the total pictorial effect being a splendid Interfaith testimonial to the wisdom of Father Keller’s dictum, “The family that votes together, gloats together.”
Some months ago, Archbishop Cushing surprised the firemen of Boston by telling them that, according to his latest theological theory, anyone who is killed while trying to put out a fire goes straight to Heaven. This past month, the Archbishop spoke to the mothers of boys killed in the Korean war. Still seeking to provide more generous ways into Heaven than the single way Our Lord ordained, Archbishop Cushing told these mothers that their sons were “genuine martyrs,” that all soldiers who die in Korea go immediately to Heaven, and prayers for them are unnecessary.
After defining this new dogma, Archbishop Cushing established a new devotion. Fancying that the bereaved mothers of Boston would find comfort in his willingness to violate the singularity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the archbishop bestowed on Our Lady the title, “First Gold Star Mother.”
While Boston’s flashbulb Archbishop was getting local newspaper applause for his patriotic heresies, another American prelate was getting nationwide publicity for his words of encouragement to infidels. In Washington, D. C., Archbishop Patrick O’ Boyle sent his warmest greetings to Rabbi Norman Gerstenfeld, rejoicing with the rabbi that Judaism has become successful enough in the nation’s capitol to build a new temple.
In contrast, and in answer, to Archbishops Cushing and O’ Boyle, we print the kind of uncompromising statement that marks a bishop as a saint. Says the Bishop of Hippo, Saint Augustine: “No man can find salvation save in the Catholic Church. Outside the Church he can find all except salvation. He can have dignities, Sacraments, can sing ‘Alleluia,’ answer ‘Amen,’ accept the Gospels, have faith in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and preach it, too, but never except in the Catholic Church can he find salvation.”
THE INTERFAITH OF OUR FATHERS
“Americanism” is the name given by Pope Leo XIII to the heresy that was born in this country toward the end of the nineteenth century and that has been growing and fattening itself here ever since.
It is safe to say that nothing in Leo XIII’s reign was more difficult for him to cope with than this American heresy. Being a European, he was accustomed to seeing theological error that took the shape of intellectual speculation, and allowed itself to be formulated in neat, condemnable propositions. But this sprawling, raucous, back-slapping movement could not be so easily pinned down. It was a theological maverick that defied any attempt to brand it with conventional categories and terms. Consequently, when Pope Leo XIII tried to describe and condemn Americanism with his precise theological vocabulary, the American hierarchy was able to deny indignantly that they had ever heard of such a thing. The Pope felt obliged to accept this denial, and so Americanism was free to continue unhampered on its merry, convivial way.
Had Leo XIII been an American rather than an Italian, the heresy of Americanism might not have been such an enigma to him. For actually it is nothing else than the adoption into theological territory of that same national temperament that Europeans find so unintelligible in its secular manifestations.
It is the temperament of standardization, of uniformity, of mass production; the temperament that makes every American want to be like every other American and every American want every other American to be like him. It is the temperament that always seeks and adopts the lowest common denominator, as a basis for friendship, for culture, and for intelligence; that is suspicious and resentful of whatever does not conform to the mores of mediocrity; that calls it freedom when everyone shares the same slavery. It is the temperament that boasts of its undiscriminating and unrelenting joviality; that feeds its mind and stirs its emotions chiefly by platitudes; and that is constantly striving for platitudes that are large enough and grins that are broad enough for the attainment of national unity.
The heresy of Americanism consists in trying to adapt the Catholic Faith to this temperament. It consists in trying to give the impression that Catholics are in no way different from other Americans; that priests are just good fellows — likeable, broadminded, and unchallenging; that the message of the Catholic Faith is the same as that of democracy and Interfaith; that the Church honors and respects other religions and encourages the members of those religions to be faithful to their observances; that, though securing our democratic privileges might require constant vigilance and labor, securing salvation is easy; that heaven is not a kingdom, but a democracy; that it plays no favorites and is open to all, regardless of race, color, or creed.
The secret in discovering the doctrines of Americanism is this: to pay attention not to what its preachers say, but to the impressions that they give. This is necessary partly because their democratic jargon and Rotary Club inanities usually make it impossible to extract any coherent meaning from what they say, and partly because they are reluctant to state, in so many words, what they really believe. They prefer to get their message across by suggestion, insinuation, implication, leaving it to their listeners to infer their meaning and to state the heresies outright.
The heresy of Americanism is fostered and advanced mainly by a few highly conspicuous and successful American priests, who have made their reputations on their ability to display their own sparkling personalities and good citizenship, while obscuring the Catholic Faith. One such priest is Fulton J. Sheen, who presents us with the spectacle and the scandal of a Catholic bishop, sworn to preach and defend the Faith even to the shedding of his blood, offering to the millions of Americans who see him on television, a “non-sectarian” program. Bishop Sheen never indicates that he is worried about, or even interested in, the eternal salvation of his audience; nor does he ever tell them anything that they would need to know in order to achieve that salvation.
Another promoter of Americanism is Father James Keller, M. M., founder and director of the Christophers. He has, by way of reducing the Church to the standard of American religion, shown that a Catholic priest can make Christ just as vague and just as meaningless as any Protestant can. Through his Christophers, Father Keller invites “Catholics, Protestants, Jews, as well as those who profess no formal religion,” to join with him in being “Christ-bearers.”
Still another priest who has devoted his life to the practice and preaching of Americanism is Father John A. O’ Brien, or, as he prefers to be called, John A. O’ Brien, Ph.D. Like Bishop Sheen, Father O’ Brien is a midwesterner; in fact, they both grew up in the same midwestern town and attended the same midwestern college. For many years, Father O’ Brien was chaplain at the University of Illinois, where, in evidence of his easy-going disposition and lack of faith, he was presented with a gold pin by a Masonic fraternity and was called “Jack” by all the Protestant ministers on the campus.
Recently, Father O’ Brien has emerged from his milieu to achieve a kind of national prominence. This has come about by reason of a pamphlet he has written entitled, “The American Dream,” which has just been published by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. This pamphlet has received wide circulation. Extracts from it have appeared in many secular papers and magazines, and the U. S. government is having it reprinted for distribution overseas — presumably to let those Europeans know the kind of Catholicism we can produce in the good old U. S. A.
The tone of the pamphlet is established in the very first sentence, in which Father O’ Brien hitches up his cassock and makes the following midwestern declaration: “I am a Catholic priest, and I like Protestants.” Having thus unburdened himself, Father O’ Brien goes on to tell us who else he likes (Jews, naturally). He tells how all Americans are his brothers (a distinction they seem to have achieved either through their nationality or their existence, it is not clear which), and avers his eagerness to die for their constitutional rights. He concludes by saying that we ought to be grateful that there are so many different churches and sects in America, because it gives us the opportunity to turn our religious differences into “shining pearls of understanding and brotherhood.”
The message that Father O’ Brien, and Father Keller, and Bishop Sheen, were ordained to preach is the message of a kingdom. By trying to make it the message of a democracy, by preaching Americanism instead of Catholicism, they have been true neither to their country nor to their God. They have betrayed Christ the King, and they have kept the Catholic Faith from America.
BY FATHER FEENEY
There are three kinds of Communists: economic Communists, cultural Communists, and religious Communists. The least dangerous of these three is the economic Communist, the man who has no money. Then comes the cultural Communist, the man who has no values.
And finally, the most dangerous of all, is the religious Communist, the man who has no Faith and who wishes to share that lack of Faith with everybody.
It is this last form of Communism which has given rise to the movement known as Interfaith, which consists of a common-denominator belief that leaves a Jew delighted, a Protestant contented, and a Catholic without an Apostles’ Creed.
We priests were not put in Sacrament to take care of the temporal needs of our flocks. Our assignment is to the spiritual welfare of our people. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: “Christ allowed one of His Apostles to take charge of all the money — the traitorous Apostle — because He wanted to teach prelates readily to entrust the managing of temporal affairs to anyone, but to keep the managing of spiritual things to themselves; though many do the contrary.”
The hungry whom we must feed, and the naked whom we must clothe, are those who hunger for the Bread of Life and thirst for communion with the Blood of Christ. The Blessed Eucharist is a priest’s great gift to man: that Divine Food and Drink which makes him con-corporeal with Jesus and induces the Blessed Virgin Mary to take him as her child. Saint Paul tells us that we could give all our goods to the poor and still not have charity. (I Cor. 13:3) Unless a priest makes the Blessed Eucharist his first and foremost charity, how can he say, or ask anyone else to say, what Saint Paul once shouted: “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Priests should be poor men. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, insisted that all his sons be poor. A poor priest is free to talk all the time about man’s eternal salvation.
(from Bread of Life, published by St. Benedict Center)
The Starving Children of America
The United States of America is dedicated to the sublime realization that, two thousand years ago, a child was Immaculately Conceived in the womb of Saint Anne. The United States of America is aware that Saint Anne’s child became the Mother of God, when God became a child. Yet, the United States of America is not a good place in which to be a child.
Our nation was established by European Protestants who did not want an Old World kind of childhood for their children. Consequently, the boys and girls of early America were of a kind all their own. They were the children of log cabin and covered wagon, who never saw a French child’s cathedral. They were the sons of buckskin and bronco, who never knew the wonder of a Spanish boy’s Christmas. They were the daughters of home-spun and calico, who never could have dreamed of the First Communion lace on a little Italian girl’s veil.
As America and her children grew up, there was a corresponding growth in the number of Protestant sects. For, in hopes of keeping her offspring away from all “Roman” practices, Protestant America has made available an abundant variety of heresies.
Here in Boston, for example, a Protestant child can now aspire to Christian Science, a system in which Christ survives as an anesthetic, and whose founder had a telephone installed in her mausoleum, so confident was she that she would not be dead when she died.
To the more fastidious young Protestant, one who feels that God is much too fine for a Bethlehem manger, Boston offers Unitarianism, allegiance to which consists in denials of belief in the Divinity of Christ, and professions of faith in the fertility of the dollar.
If Christian Science and Unitarianism are not to his fancy, the youthful untruth-seeker has an alternative in Congregationalism, Boston-style. This is bare, raw Protestantism, the kind that has kept America so militantly Protestant, and has muzzled Catholicism in this 70 per cent Catholic city. The current impetus behind Boston Congregationalism is Doctor Ockenga, whose newspaper and pulpit anathemas against the Virginity of the Mother of God have long since established him as Protestantism’s most valuable local voice.
America is a Protestant country, and its regional religions, like the three foregoing Boston ones, are calculated to keep America just that way. Religiously, America is not a good place for a child, and whenever a Protestant child revolts, that is his message to the nation. He may imply it in his novel or shriek it in his suicide. Once a Boston boy put it in his poetry, and got a Pulitzer Prize for complaining in the following way about Boston (while invoking a strictly literary Blessed Lady):
“Mother, for these three hundred
years and more
Neither our clippers nor our
The haven of your peace in this
Neither my father nor his
On these dry flats of fishy real estate ... ”
Protestant America is a land where children are either pampered or prevented, and grow up to be either divorced or mercy-killed. It is a land which, having many religions and no certitudes, demands that a child get dogmatic about democracy and make a creed out of the slogan that creeds are of no importance. A determination to protect the Italian-Catholic children of America from this kind of enslavement was what forged our only American saint, Mother Cabrini. She said, “I shall have no peace until I have wrested every last infant from Protestant hands.”
From the beginnings of our country, Mother Cabrini’s purpose had been anticipated by Our Blessed Lady. In her mercy toward America, Our Lady arranged that most of the Protestantism of our land should be the Baptizing kind. Thus, in thousands of water-pourings, validly administered, New World babies with Protestant parents became members of the Church and subjects of the Pope. And countless of these infants were soon after taken up to heaven by Our Lady — where they remain happy hostages for the conversion of the land they, happily, never grew up in.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
An Open Letter to President Eisenhower
Saint Benedict Center
23 Arrow Street
Dear President Eisenhower:
I am writing this letter in the week of your inauguration to the great dignity which our people have bestowed on you. By the time you are permitted to read this letter, the ceremonies of inauguration will be completed and you will be President Eisenhower, indeed.
I am writing to you as a Roman Catholic priest, living in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am the Superior of a little American Catholic Religious Order, recently founded, and called The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I promise to Your Excellency, as President of our great nation, my respect, my allegiance, and my loyalty — in all the things which God has permitted to be put under your charge, which are many indeed, and are endowed with God’s own authority to the extent to which He permits you to share it.
As President of our great nation, you are somehow a function; but you are also irrevocably a person, responsible both to God and to your nation for what you do. It is with regard to your personal responsibility to God that I wish to appeal, as one of Jesus Christ’s Catholic priests, privileged to be able to speak to you freely, in a free country, at this great time of your installation. And here is what I have to tell you, Dwight Eisenhower, Mr. President, head of our great nation:
Unless you become a Catholic, a Roman Catholic, before you die and unless you give your spiritual allegiance to Christ’s Vicar upon earth; unless you become an adopted son of God the Father, by the incorporate requirements of Baptism, and a child of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, by the incorporate fulfilments of the Blessed Eucharist, you will never save your soul.
You cannot plead ignorance of this great challenge where twenty-six million of your subjects are Roman Catholics, where nearly fifty thousand of your subjects are Catholic priests, where one hundred and fifty thousand of your subjects are Catholic nuns — in a nation dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is in every town, abundantly and super-abundantly in every great city of our nation, in the Catholic churches you have so frequently passed.
This Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, living and breathing in all His adorability in the Catholic churches of your nation, can use the humblest instrument through which to speak to you. I am a beleaguered Catholic priest, whom some are denying the privilege of speaking freely to the President of this nation, in a land that boasts that it favors the practice of freedom of religion.
I do believe that, as a Catholic priest in a free America, dedicated to the Mother of God, I am free to say to you what I now say: Unless your “Our Fathers” are appeals for the Blessed Eucharist, unless you learn the beautiful “Hail Mary,” and call Christ’s Mother the Mother of God, you will never save your soul.
The end of some of our past Presidents has been sad, indeed. President Harding’s, for instance, and President Wilson’s, and very much, indeed, President Roosevelt’s. I do not want your end to be such a one, and I do not want to have to stand before the Judgment Seat of God, as a Roman Catholic priest in a free nation, who has been afraid to tell our President what are his obligations to God and to God’s only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord, the Word Who became flesh and dwelt amongst us.
Respectfully yours in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Leonard Feeney, S. I. H. M.
We have been reminded by a subscriber that this year will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Orestes Brownson, a local Yankee who came into the Faith with much gusto, trying to drag in with him such unspirited souls as Emerson and Thoreau. This reminder has reminded us to re-appreciate our position as Catholics in a country where courage and conversion can still go together.
The urgent message of the Catholic Faith demands a quick and total response. With the East of Europe under Communist domination, and the West of it frightened by the prospect, America remains as our one large hope for such responses. And we are the more hopeful because we have known Americans to be generous and eager for much lesser causes than the one to which we call them — the cause of the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Mother of God, who long ago saw to it that America was dedicated to her Immaculate Conception.
Blessed Pius X, the one saint we have had in the papacy since the sixteenth century, would hardly be sympathetic with those flag-waving American Catholics who feel that the Vatican will have made the grade when it gets an ambassador from the United States. Blessed Pius X realized that his dignity and his power in no way depended upon hours of consultation with freemasons of the Myron Taylor vintage. On one occasion, when a representative of a foreign power threatened to withdraw if certain concessions were not made to his government, Blessed Pius X answered: “Let him go, and all the others with him if they like; they are here in their own interests, not in ours.”
Monsignor Matthew Smith, editor of the Denver Register, is one of this country’s most zealous armchair missionaries. Having little inclination to go out and preach the Faith in order to win converts to it, Msgr. Smith makes such preaching unnecessary, by staying close to his typewriter and thinking up theological innovations whereby those who had thought they were well outside the Church are discovered to have been members of it all the time.
The Monsignor’s latest theory, as announced in his Register column, is that many Protestant ministers are really Catholics “without realizing this,” and that what they are teaching is not Protestantism, as they thought, but the Catholic Faith, and that “such Catholicity as they unwittingly teach is saving many souls.”
We feel we ought to warn Msgr. Smith that, if he continues this sort of thing much longer, the Protestants are going eventually to get on to him and realize that two can play this game. They are going to conclude that Msgr. Smith, and priests like him, are really unwitting Protestants, and that what they are teaching is not the Catholic Faith at all, but sheer, unadulterated Protestantism.
Allison Peers and Thomas Sugrue, the one a spiritual descendant of Henry VIII, the other a nominal Catholic, have both lately died. Peers, who made milktoast translations of the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila, persisted to the end in his belief that Saint Teresa’s allegiance to the Pope was just so much nonsense. Sugrue, who wrote articles against the Church for Protestant magazines, finished his career as the right-hand man of Paul “I hate the Vatican” Blanshard.
As a further sad proof that Catholic America is fast abandoning even its lipservice loyalty to Our Holy Father, the burials of these two anti-papists were accompanied by eulogies in our Catholic press.
The television performances of Milton Berle have lately received conflicting appraisals. The first came from the editorial page of the properly Bostonian Boston Traveler. The second was from the well-known television star, Bishop Fulton Sheen.
Says the Traveler: “It’s time for television to clean itself up and stay clean. The Milton Berle show, for example. Thousands of parents must have watched it with their children, suffering indignation and embarrassment ... ”
Says Bishop Sheen: “Milton Berle is a good friend of mine, and we’ve had conversations about our programs ... Yes, I bear the deepest affection for Milton Berle and I love his program intensely.”
Of special interest to our Jesuit subscribers are the following points for meditation taken from the writings of the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Saint Ignatius: “Outside the Church there is nothing good. Whoever is not united with this mystical body will not receive from its Head, Jesus Christ, Divine grace which vivifies the soul and prepares it for everlasting life.”
Comment: Would this pass for good editorial policy in current Jesuit periodicals?
Saint Ignatius: “All that proceeds from heretics should be suspected, especially books, however good they may be. ”
Comment: And what would Saint Ignatius have to say about those Jesuits who of late are studying under heretics at heretical universities?
Archbishop Cushing has announced that in addition to the 18 seminarians who will be ordained at the Cathedral this month, three others will receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in a special ceremony a day earlier, while prostrate before a battery of television cameras.
A television ordination is a fitting beginning for the kind of ecclesiastical career that some of our priests have aspired to, and a few have achieved. But the survival of the Faith in America must depend on priests who are willing to let their “light shine before men” without the aid of footlights. There is great inspiration for such priests as are willing to work simply for the salvation of souls, as well as a terrible warning to those who are busy about other things, in the words of the Cure of Ars: “Next to God, the priest is everything. Leave a parish without a priest for twenty years, and it will worship the brutes.”
The Point of The Point
With this issue, The Point begins its second year of publication. But before going on, we thought to pause and take a look at ourselves, partly to make sure we are still recognizable and partly to answer some of the questions we have received, asking us why we say the things that we say in the way that we say them. Here, then, is our declaration:
We believe that the Catholic Faith is not being preached in its purity and strength here in the United States. We believe that this is a cheated country — a country cheated of the one important and necessary thing: the knowledge of what a man must do to attain eternal life. We believe that this has happened because certain conspicuous Catholics, knowing neither America nor the Faith, have taken it upon themselves to make the Faith more agreeable to America — by putting it on a par with other religions and denying the point of its existence, which is to be the single divinely-ordained way to salvation.
It is at these distorters of the Faith, no matter who they may be, that The Point is aimed: and if it sometimes seems barbed, it is barbed with a reason. Whatever methods we can most effectively use to combat and expose these men, those are the methods we will use. If we can do it by satire, we will satirize them. If we can do it by making them look ridiculous, we will ridicule them. If we can do it by contrasting them with the saints, we will contrast them.
American Catholics and Ex-Protestants
However else it may have distinguished itself, the year lately ended will not go down in American ecclesiastical history as an illustrious one for the Catholic Faith. 1952 will be remembered as the year in which Cardinal Spellman liked Ike, and in which Catholic Canada dared to dislike Bishop Sheen. It will be remembered as the year in which our last vestiges of Catholic dogma went up in smoke, after Father Keller’s continued insistence that “It is better to light a Camel than to curse the darkness.”
And it will be remembered that during 1952 the zeal of American priests was responsible for our customary quota of converts: 0.001 per cent of non-Catholic America was persuaded to join the True Faith.
From the arrival in America of the first timid Catholics, the spirit of American Catholicism has never been apostolic. The Faith has been content in America merely to “get along,” hoping that the time might one day come when a Catholic would be thought just as “acceptable” as a Congregationalist or a Baptist. After one hundred and fifty years of watering down our doctrines and playing up our Americanism, we are finally approaching our goal. By now, Catholicism’s American evolution has won for Catholics a nation-wide toleration, which in many localities might even pass for respect.
While they were still striving for this toleration, the Catholics of America could never risk becoming apostolic. Their growth in numbers was caused not by their zeal to convert Protestants, but by the willingness of European Catholics to abandon the “old country” in exchange for whatever livelihood was available in the mills and factories of American freemasons. The resulting dependence upon Protestant pay-rolls served to keep Catholic mouths well-closed on the subject of conversions.
After a couple of generations of closed mouths, American Catholics came to feel that maybe conversions were not so important after all. Maybe the old folks got it wrong in Ireland, or Poland, or Italy; maybe the way to Heaven is not quite so narrow as Our Lord seemed to indicate; maybe the Blessed Virgin Mary is just the Catholics’ Gate of Heaven and there are other, less devotional entrances for Protestants and Jews.
The tragedy of the American Church is that these maybe’s have now replaced the dogmas which they contradict. Thus, American Catholics have not become merely apathetic about the conversion of their country; they have talked themselves out of the one and imperative reason why their country needs to be converted. This relaxed outlook on conversions explains the current “wasn’t-it-good-of-you-to-join-us” attitude of Catholics toward converts. It also helps to explain that contemporary religious phenomenon, the “noted convert” — whose fanfared entrance into the Church immediately establishes him, he feels, as a spokesman on all matters Catholic.
Perhaps the two who have assumed their role of spokesman most successfully of late are Clare “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” Luce, and Thomas “Seven Story” Merton. By becoming Catholics, the ex-congresswoman, Clare Luce, and the pseudo-mystic, Thomas Merton, have found new opportunities for advancement in their respective fields of endeavor.
Mrs. Luce’s Catholicism has lately made her the central figure in one of the shrewdest diplomatic deals of the century: General Eisenhower’s appointment of a prominent Catholic as Ambassador to Italy, a move which both smoothes over the “Vatican representative” row and rewards the conspicuous political support of New York’s Archbishop.
Thomas Merton’s Catholicism has provided him a long-sought try at literary self-expression. He discovered that an excellent way of having people publish what you say is to join the Trappists and vow never to say anything.
For those loyal Catholics who have been concerned over the American collapse of Catholic doctrine, and the subsequent influx of Mertons and Luces, there is one dogmatic consolation in all of this convert chaos. There has, as yet, been no tampering with the Profession of Faith required of every convert. He must enter the Church, the Priest’s Ritual still says, “Knowing that no one can he saved without that faith which the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church holds, believes, and teaches ... ”
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
All of our official Catholic protest-makers have registered their justified complaints over the appointment of Harvard’s J. B. Conant to the post of German High Commissioner. The principal objection has been that Conant is no man to have anything to do with the educational rehabilitation of Christian Germany. We agree.
Catholic spokesmen, however, have been notably silent on the number of Catholic priests who, of late, have been going to school to Dr. Conant at Harvard. No one made the embarrassing observation that the same Conant who is unsuited to provide education for German laymen has long been the head of a university where American priests feel it is a privilege to study.
Boston’s Protestant Episcopal Bishop, Norman B. Nash, is one of the country’s most prominent clerical supporters of Planned Parenthood. He is also a specialist at re-planning the Bible. Nash maintains that American parents have too many children and that Holy Scripture has too many “contradictory texts.”
You can imagine our astonishment, therefore, when Nash appeared in a “planned” newspaper photograph affectionately holding hands with the Catholic Archbishop of Boston, Richard J. Cushing. To bewildered Boston, Archbishop Cushing justified his presence in the picture by explaining that the platitudes upon which he and Nash agree are vastly more important than the dogmas upon which they differ.
In Washington, D. C., late this year, Americans will be able for the first time to view a Mohammedan mosque that meets every Islamic requirement. The new mosque is being erected a few doors down from the Apostolic Delegation, across the street from the National Catholic Welfare Council, and in the vicinity of the Catholic University of America.
The presence of Moslem worshippers in such a responsibly Catholic area prompts us the indicate the kind of procedure adopted in the past by those saints of the Church who have been associated with Mohammedans. “Saint Peter Mavimenus,” says the Roman Martyrology, “proclaimed to certain Arabs who came to him in his sickness: Every man who holdeth not the Catholic Christian faith is damned like unto Mohammed, your false prophet. Whereupon he was slain by them.”
In the Atlantic Monthly, a local literary sheet not usually given to the publicizing of inter-monastic squabbles, British Benedictine, Dom Aelred Graham, a middle-aged man who is slowing down, has accused American Trappist, Thomas Merton, of being a “young man in a hurry.”
Of Merton’s best-seller mysticism, Dom Aelred feels that “no religious propaganda could be more in harmony with the Marxist book ... ” By way of condemning Merton’s head-in-the-sand philosophy, Dom Aelred seems to recommend that we patronize “ ... the achievements and the noise and the baseness of men ... read their newspapers ... [sing] their unearthly songs.”
Thomas Merton has had it coming to him for a long time. But we feel that the spectacle of one priest smacking another under Protestant auspices is a strange price for Dom Aelred Graham to be willing to pay for the sake of getting into the Atlantic Monthly.
When the National Conference of Christians and Jews held its anniversary dinner in Boston last month, the question arose, “Just what are the qualifications for being a Christian?” — and there seemed to be no proper answer from anyone at the dinner. As a public service, therefore, we decided to print the following question and answer from the Catechism of St. Peter Canisius, S. J., one of the 29 Doctors of the Church.
Saint Peter Canisius asks, “Who is to be called a Christian?”
And he answers: “He who confesses the salutary doctrine of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, in His Church. Hence, he who is truly a Christian condemns and detests thoroughly all cults and sects which are formed outside the doctrine and Church of Christ, everywhere, and among all peoples, as for example, the Jewish, and Mohammedans, and the heretical cults and sects.”
Monsignor Ronald Knox’s British lack of faith is suspected by everyone who meets him. It ought as well be suspected by everyone who reads him. Often, though, as he writes, he has a way of concealing just what exactly is his meaning. If you squeeze Knox hard enough for copy, as his publishers, Sheed & Ward, seem to do, you will ultimately get him to reveal the shallowness that lies at the bottom of his thinking and the heresy at the bottom of his beliefs.
Having previously rephrased the Bible to suit his own doubts, and reduced the Holy Sacrifice to the Hollywood speed of The Mass in Slow Motion, just published by Sheed & Ward, Monsignor Knox innovates as follows: “We all know that a spiritual Communion, faithfully made, produces all the effects of sacramental Communion; God might have decreed that no Communions be made at all except spiritual ones.”
This statement marks the end of belief in our incorporation into the Body and Blood of Jesus, and makes the eatable reality of the Fruit of Mary’s Womb merely a ritualistic luxury. Just whom Knox means by the “we” in his “We all know ... ” is hard to say. Possibly he means his Anglican friends and himself. For these friends are sure to be delighted by this statement and will make it to mean that as far as Knox is concerned, whether you have the Real Presence in your tabernacles or the “real absence,” it all amounts to the same thing.
THE ORACLE AT ADELPHI
The Most Reverend Fulton J. Sheen, D. D., star of the Du Mont television program Life is Worth Living, and winner of the award “TV Man of the Year,” is the inevitable outcome, the ultimate fruit, of teaching that there is salvation outside the Catholic Church. He has taken the belief that Heaven belongs to the ignorant and the sincere as surely as to the lovers of Our Lady and the receivers of Our Lord in Holy Communion, and has pushed it to its final, fantastic conclusion. For Bishop Sheen, who first won renown by his fashionable instruction of fashionable converts, has now decided to try a new line. He has abandoned preaching the Catholic Faith, and, to the five million people who wait expectantly for his message as it is broadcast from the Adelphi Theater each Tuesday night, he expounds something he feels is more needful and more consoling: his own philosophy.
This rejection of the dogmas of the Church in favor of his own ideas has been purposeful and assiduous, and Bishop Sheen wants there to be no misunderstanding about it. He has seen to it that no matter what magazine a person might pick up, he is certain to find in it an interview with the Bishop. And the recurrent theme in all these interviews, the one point about which Bishop Sheen is most anxious, is to dissociate himself, as far as his program goes, from any tinge of Catholicism. “Mine is not a religious program,” he proclaims, in his own imitable way: “I am speaking merely as a university lecturer.”
There is no denying, of course, that as a television message, Bishop Sheen’s has it all over the Catholic Faith. The mere fact that he is the most popular performer on television, whereas if he were preaching the Faith he would be off the air in two weeks, is proof enough of that. As to just what his message is, however, it is not easy to say. He seems to be concerned mainly with fighting such evils as “boredom” and “internal conflict;” in warning his listeners against psychoanalysis, while at the same time he diagnoses their ills in psychoanalytic terms; in urging his listeners to stop reading “Nietzsche one day and Freud the next and Sartre the next” (and some other writer they have never heard of the next), and to get themselves “an abiding philosophy of life.”
The purpose of his program, he says, is to make people “think.” And this might well be the secret of his popularity. For there is undoubtedly a certain scintillation in having the whole family sit around the television screen, thinking. And the Bishop’s style of presentation is exactly suited to the thinking of America’s television watchers. “If Christ is not God, then He is Anti-Christ.” This, though taken from his religious days, is a fair sample of the kind of cogent aphorism he gives his listeners to mull over.
But it is not so much what the Bishop says that makes his listeners sit up and take notice as his manner of saying it. For every utterance he makes, from the most dire warning of what will happen to the world if it does not let itself be healed by him, to the most inane description of the kind of paper he uses to make his notes on, is delivered in the manner of an over-done Hamlet reading from the Apocalypse.
Then, too, there are the well-publicized rumors of the Bishop’s asceticism — talk of hair shirts and holy hours and hot water for breakfast — all of which gives him an unmistakable glamour and manages to make him somehow as attractive as the more lusty entertainers in whose midst he appears.
It is ironical that, in addition to his television duties, Bishop Sheen also holds the office of National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The purpose of this Society is to send missionaries into the farthest corners of the world so that everyone might hear the saving message of the Catholic Faith — the very message that Bishop Sheen, speaking each week to five million people, has discarded in favor of an utterly Faith-less message of his own.
BY FATHER FEENEY
It will never be defined that Saint Joseph was immaculately conceived, for he was not. He was conceived and born in original sin. He is a little son — our beautiful fallen-race boy — who was great and beautiful enough to be the father of Jesus when he needed a father’s care, and the virginal spouse of Our Lady when she needed the protection of a husband. He gave this protection with marvelous tenderness and purity. He is pictured, as you know, with a lily in his hand. We can move over and stand with Saint Joseph, we who were born in original sin, in a way we could not with our august Lord and our august Lady.
There are only two relics of Saint Joseph which have been left to us. The marriage ring he gave to the Blessed Virgin is at Perugia, in Italy. His cincture is at Joinville, in France.
Saint Joseph died before Our Lord did. I am prepared to believe, and so may you, although the Church has not yet infallibly so defined, that Saint Joseph’s body rose with Christ and that he is in Heaven body and soul, crowned with glory and honor — because, next to Our Lord and Our Lady, he is the highest of all the saints.
How do we know, in loving Christian faith, that Saint Joseph’s body is in Heaven? Well, because he and Jesus and Mary make up the Holy Family. Just imagine the Holy Family in Heaven, with one body missing! When we pray for a happy death, we pray to Jesus, Mary and Joseph to be with us in our last agony, and Mary and Jesus having bodies and being able to be with us, and Saint Joseph alone left in the order of sheer soul!
Saint Bernardine of Siena and Saint Francis de Sales both proclaimed their belief in the resurrection of the body of Saint Joseph from the dead, and his ascension into Heaven along with Our Lord, Jesus Christ. No Holy Father ever scolded them for so speaking, and Our Holy Mother the Church canonized them despite this utterance.
(from The Bread of Life, published by St. Benedict Center)
THE ANTI-SEMITISM OF THE JEWS
We, as Catholics, love Jews — not abstractly, not sociologically, not for the relaxation of ethnic tensions, not for the improvement of race relations. We, as Catholics, love Jews for religious reasons. And since love must be of persons, not of groups, we Catholics can name the Jews whom we love. They are Jesus, Mary and Joseph; Elizabeth, Zachary, and John the Baptist; Simeon, Anna and the Twelve Apostles. They are the King of the Jews and the handful of Jewish subjects who remained loyal to Him when mobs of Jews demanded His crucifixion in a wild prophetic shout of, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
For two thousand years now, we gentile Catholics have been eager subjects of the King of the Jews. We have enthroned Him in our chapels and cathedrals. We have taken His virginal mother to be our Queen. We have sent our missionaries to remote gentile lands so that the Kingdom of Jesus, King of the Jews, might cover the entire Earth.
One whole chapter of history is the record of our zeal for the return of Jesus to the Holy Land of His royal Jewish ancestors. At the cost of our children’s prayers and our widows’ tears, we sent our young men to die before the walls of Jerusalem, in those glorious spectacles of faith and folly called the Crusades.
Out of wood and stone we gave structure to our loyalties. We built the universities of Europe as places where our scholars could train our minds in allegiance to the eternal truths of Jesus and His Kingdom. We built the monasteries and convents of Christendom as havens where our hearts might be pledged in singular fidelity to the King of the Jews.
As the Gospel was spread, we welcomed new gentile nations, encouraging them to give over to the service of Jesus all they had that was good and beautiful. From our solicitude there grew murals and frescoes, hymns and poetry, Italian madonnas, Spanish crucifixes, and French carols.
In times of trial and adversity, we are able to present to Christ the King the most royal of our saints for His consolation. Out of the Roman persecutions came the twelve-year-old Agnes, offering her patrician head to the executioner. Out of the Protestant revolt came the nobleman Francis Borgia, spending his final strength for the unity of Christ’s Kingdom.
Still, as we look back over the centuries of our labors, we are struck by a glaring paradox: the most sustained and ubiquitous opposition we have had to the spreading of the Kingdom of the King of the Jews has come from the Jews themselves. History books are full of the many measures we have had to take in order to guard ourselves against the hatred of Jesus by His own people. Pope Saint Pius V, for the protection of Christians, at one time ordered that all Jews in Rome were to wear bright orange hats, so they might be easily recognizable and, therefore, easily avoidable. The Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, made it an impediment to joining their order that an applicant should be of Jewish blood. The situation got so bad in Spain once that the King had to order every Jew who would not become a Catholic to quit the country.
Because we hold out for Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and try to protect them against other Jews who hate them, we Catholics have left ourselves wide open for that much-wielded present-day stigma, “anti-semitism.” And, indeed, if “anti-semitism” means not loving those who blaspheme the Divinity of Jesus, we plead guilty. If, however, “anti-semitism” means a religious contempt for the King of the Jews and His subjects, then we might well accuse the Jews of it.
In all the tabernacles of our Catholic churches, there is truly present the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus remains among us, a constant challenge to the Jews who will not take Him for their King and have chosen rather to take Him for their one profanity. “Jesus Christ!”, in blasphemous ejaculation, echoes through the ghettoes of the world. “Jesus!” — the designated name of the messias — a Jewish name to haunt each Jewish generation — a name waiting to be a grace for the dark-eyed girl or boy who will dare to acknowledge his King, who will kneel at our altar-rails and receive into his heart the Fruit of Mary’s Womb, the New Manna, the Emmanuel.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
Among the monthly outlets available to American theological innovators is a magazine called Integrity. This magazine says of itself that it is “published by lay Catholics and dedicated to the task of discovering the new synthesis of Religion and Life for our times.” Each month the several articles are so many attempts toward completing “the task.”
After much preoccupation with the soul of the Church, the invisible Church, and other such phantom arrangements, Integrity now proposes that, “The entire Church may suffer persecution and become the Church of desire, where would-be Christians will hunt for the revealed and the unrevealed (to them).”
In this Integrity “synthesis” there would be no more popes, no more bishops, no more priests, no more sacraments, no remnant of the Church which Our Lord promised would never be prevailed against by the gates of Hell! In fact, there could be nothing left of things as we know them — nothing, that is, but Integrity, through whose pages would-be Christians could still hunt, in vain, for the Catholic faith.
In 1947, our present Holy Father canonized the French priest who promoted the devotion of Slavery to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The priest was Saint-Louis Marie de Montfort and, during his lifetime, his outspoken zeal for Our Blessed Lady had gotten him kicked out of nearly every diocese in France.
On the twenty-eighth of this month, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Louis-Marie. To indicate to our readers why his orthodox message isn’t finding any honor in twentieth-century America than it did in eighteenth-century France, we print the following extract from Saint Louis-Marie’s Letter to the Friends of the Cross.
Speaking of the fewness of the saved, he says, “The number of the elect is so small — so small — that were we to know how small it is, we should faint away with grief. The number of the elect is so small that were God to assemble them together, He would cry to them, as He did of old, by the mouth of His prophet, ‘Gather yourselves together, one by one’ — one from this province, one from that kingdom.”
Since the time of the Protestant Revolt, we have had only two saints in the papacy, and both were named Pius. Two issues ago, we quoted the independent attitude of Blessed Pius X toward the representatives of foreign powers assigned to the Vatican. In the same spirit of papal dignity and authority is the bull, Regnans in Excelsis, of Saint Pius V, which excommunicated England’s heretic-queen, Elizabeth.
Saint Pius V: “He that reigns in the highest, to Whom has been given all power in Heaven and Earth, entrusted the government of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, to one man alone on the Earth, namely to Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and to Peter’s successor, the Roman pontiff, in fullness of power. This one man He set up as chief over all nations and kingdoms, to pluck up, destroy, scatter, dispose, plant and build ...
“Resting, then, upon the authority of Him Who has willed to place us, albeit unequal to such a burden, in this supreme throne of justice, we declare the aforesaid Elizabeth a heretic and an abettor of heretics, and those that cleave to her in the aforesaid matters to have incurred the sentence of anathema, and to be cut off from the unity of Christ’s body. Moreover, we declare her to be deprived of her pretended right to the aforesaid realm, and from all dominion, dignity and privilege whatsoever. ...
“And we enjoin and forbid all the nobles of said realm that they presume not to obey her and her admonitions, commands and laws. All who disobey our commands we involve in the same sentence of anathema.”
FRAUDS: PIOUS AND OTHERWISE
“I think I can do more for my non-Catholic friends by my prayers and good example than by making them feel that their religion isn’t as good as mine.”
“You can’t tell me that a native on a desert island who never even heard about the Faith isn’t going to save his soul.”
“We can best show our Christian charity by working to improve general living conditions without asking that others believe as we do.”
“The time has come for us to put aside our petty doctrinal differences and all work together as good Americans.”
The above statements have one thing in common: they all come out of the mouths of friends. The fact that such statements are commonplace American Catholic utterances merely indicates, what everyone with the Faith has known all along, that the Church in this country is infested with frauds.
A fraud (specifically, a religious fraud; but since he is the prime fraud, he deserves the title without qualification) is a person who poses as a model Catholic, an exemplar of holiness and learning, but who does not have the Faith. He is a person who tries to make you believe that the Catholic Faith, as it exists here and now in the United States of America, is somehow essentially different from the Faith as it existed elsewhere in ages past, that it is not quite the same as the Faith that the saints of the Middle Ages held and the martyrs of Rome died for, that it has changed and adjusted itself to keep up with the times.
A fraud is a person who, because of his own fears, ignorance, and ambitions tries to deceive non-Catholic Americans on the subject of their eternal salvation, telling them or letting them think that he has told them, that the Church does not teach, at least not any more, that it is necessary for them to become Catholics to save their souls, but that they need only to follow faithfully the precepts of their own religions. The frauds want to destroy the impression of the Church as the single, clear, unequivocal way to salvation and to substitute for it the impression of a good-natured, democratic, successful organization, a beneficent influence on community morals, a strong bulwark against Communism, something staid, harmless, and acceptable, something that would never be so presumptuous as to set itself above other religions or to claim for itself exclusive custodianship of the gate of Heaven.
Although all frauds have the same general intention, there are as many different varieties of them as there are different excuses for being ashamed of the Faith in the presence of non-Catholics. For example, there is the pious fraud, the archetype of them all, who boasts of his daily attendance at Mass, but who is equally anxious to tell you that those who do not have, or do not want, this Mass, can please God just as much in other ways; there is the intellectual fraud, who has a difficulty about the ignorant native that just has to be solved before he can see his way clear to evangelize the Protestant next door; there is the sociological fraud, who perceives that his first duty to non-Catholics is to give them a higher standard of living, and not the Body and Blood of Our Lord; and there is the patriotic fraud, to whom the Bill of Rights and the Apostles’ Creed are all one thing and who tries to make it appear that God, like America, regards neither race, color, nor creed.
It does not require a lot of study recognize a fraud or a reasoned argument to prove that that is what he is. The Faith is wonderfully simple and uninvolved, being for children and the childlike and providing not merely reasons but insights. It equips you to make judgments that are swift, sure, and just; and there is nothing so easy to spot, for the pure of heart who truly have the Faith, as a fraud.
Take Bishop Sheen, for instance, dressing up in his episcopal robes to present to the five million Faith-hungry Americans who listen to him on television a “non-sectarian” message that he himself has devised. Every Catholic knows that he is not speaking as a true bishop should.
To detect a fraud, there is no surer way than this: If a man says he believes that the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are really and truly present in the Blessed Eucharist and, yet, does not tell non-Catholics about this Eucharist, he is a fraud. If a man pretends that he loves non-Catholics and — as evidence of this love — offers them some other gift, like social improvements or assurances of his own goodwill toward them, rather than the great Gift of the Bread of Life, he is a fraud. If a man pretends to love the Eucharist and at the same time defends those who scoff at it and blaspheme it and says they are good and sincere people who are on the way to saving their souls, he is a fraud. It does not matter who he is, or what prestige and dignity he might have either in the world or in the Church, or what reasons and excuses he might be able to offer for his behavior, if he acts in this way, you can know, without any doubt, that he is a fraud. It is that simple.
After many years of loyal service to American theologians anxious to include Protestants and Jews in the fold of the One True Faith, death has finally come to that favorite loophole phrase, “the Soul of the Church.” The demise was noted in a dry-eyed announcement last month by Monsignor Matthew Smith in his Denver newspaper. From now on, Msgr. Smith declared, “the real Soul of the Church is the Holy Ghost.”
To the American theologians, who will now have to look elsewhere for a device for getting non-Catholics into Heaven, The Point extends its heartfelt, etc.
BY FATHER FEENEY
If a man will, he can look around the world to see where God has signatured the guardianship and protection of the road to Heaven. As the head of it, he will find the Pope, visible and singular, clear and unconfused.
It is child’s play to see the Pope, if one wants visibility. It is child’s play to find Rome! Rome is the most conspicuous city in the world, in geography and everything else. Land and sea are all woven around it with such beautiful conformation of design. If you are not there, you are always going there in one way or another, in interest or reference. All paths almost naturally lead there. Sweet winds blow there, and foods grow there — wine, and oil, and wheat.
The Church does not change its Eternal City from year to year, or shift it around to make it more popular to international outlooks! There is Rome! There it stands! The Eternal City, never to be changed!
The same Jesus who declared that He was the Son of the Eternal Father, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity — the one Mediator between God and man and the Judge of the living and the dead — also declared to Saint Peter, the Prince of the Apostles: “And I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 16:19) Imagine, in the face of that, our indicating to people that there are other ways into heaven than through the gate, and other ways of opening the door than by going to the keeper of the keys!
A man can become a martyr in the Catholic Church by dying for one dogma of it. The dogma for which we, in Saint Benedict Center, most hope to die — because it is the dogma most under attack in our day — is that no one can possibly enter the Kingdom of Heaven without personal submission to our Holy Father the Pope. I dare any Liberal theologian to turn this challenge aside by one of his skeptical terms! I dare him to tell me how to “belong to the soul” of Pope Pius XII, a flesh and blood pontiff, living and breathing in the Vatican, at Rome!
(from Bread of Life, published by Saint Benedict Center)
THE PRIEST, THE MINISTER, AND THE RABBI
A Catholic priest’s vocation is one of slavery to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. In the morning, he must approach the altar where he alone, as priest, can offer the one Sacrifice that is fitting worship of God. With the words of consecration, the priest places God as a prisoner in the chalice, binds Him in the likeness of a wafer of bread. And for the rest of the day, the priest must be all things to this helpless Divinity. He must be the voice of the Gospel, preaching in the place of the mute Jesus in the tabernacle. He must be the healer, the consoler, the forgiver of sins in the place of the imprisoned Jesus. He must be the very feet of Jesus when the static, motionless God of the Eucharist wants to rush to the side of a dying loved one and become his Viaticum.
The Point is concerned this month with the Eucharistic dignity of our priests, because there is now under way in our country a great conspiracy against Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. And the attack is being shrewdly aimed at Jesus’ priests. When Boston’s reigning Protestant minister published his latest insults to the Holy Eucharist, calling the Mass an “idolatry,” we asked God to punish such blasphemy — realizing, though, that this was not the main attack. When the Rabbinical Council of America came out against the observance of Christmas, we protested — but looked elsewhere for the real Jewish threat.
These overt demonstrations of hatred for Jesus are of the traditional, the predictable, Protestant and Jewish patterns. They are quite apart from the conspiracy which is the present danger to the Holy Eucharist and which, briefly, is this: a movement known as Interfaith, whose one objective is to reduce the priest of the Eucharist to the level of the minister and the rabbi. Interfaith hopes to accomplish this by creating the impression that the priest, the minister, and the rabbi who share the same lecture platform and dais at the annual banquet table are, also, believers in the same God.
Interfaith is establishing itself in America as a kind of state religion. That is why it has become a mortal sin against Democracy to suggest that Catholics belong to the only true Church. Interfaith does not want to make America a free place for religion. It wants to free America of the dogmatic religion of Catholics by imposing such dogmas of its own as:
1. It does not matter what a man believes.
2. One religion is as good as another.
3. Religious differences can be tolerated only if people will admit that such differences do not make any difference.
Lately, for reasons of politics, power, and prestige, certain priests have been willing to forget the Eucharistic nature of their priesthood and join in this new religion of Interfaith. With only their Roman collars and black suits to distinguish them from the ministers and rabbis, numbers of priests now make a daily practice of leaving Jesus behind them after their Mass is over and never mentioning Him once for the rest of the day — never once telling the Protestants and Jews with whom they are having lunch that GOD was their first food that morning.
Who are these priests who have grown ashamed of the Jesus on their altars? They are political prelates in high places, more anxious to be patriotically American than doctrinally Catholic. They are ambitious prelates, financial men who will dine at Anglican monasteries, and speak Christ-less prayers at conventions of Jewish rabbis, in order to guarantee non-Catholic donations to “charity” drives. They are petty, vain men to whom the Catholic Church has been merely a springboard to secular successes. They are gentlemen in Holy Orders who have made their way into the glamorous world of the television star. They are foreign-mission priests who have left the missions far afield, to become founders of new inter-creedal sects, inviting Protestants and Jews to join them.
In the face of these scandals, we are praying that American priests will be loyal to their God. For to any priest who accepts the overture of Interfaith, who abandons his slavery to the Eucharist by allying himself with a minister who says that Jesus is not God, and a rabbi who says that God is not Jesus, there awaits the warning of St. Paul: “Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
Speaking in Cleveland recently, Harvard’s professor of anthropology, E. A. Hooton, reaffirmed his belief in the inhumanity of man. Dr. Hooton reported that man is merely a “super-ape,” that he is “savage, predatory, acquisitive, primarily interested in himself.” To an approving audience of fellow scientists, Dr. Hooton explained how advantageous it would be if men could adopt for themselves the breeding methods currently being used on domestic animals.
Dr. Hooton is his own rebuttal. The Point ’s concern is for those Hootonites with Roman collars who have become a familiar sight in our neighborhood. Once more this month we want to register our protest against members of the Society of Jesus who are willing to sit in a Harvard classroom and listen politely while Dr. Hooton establishes the simian ancestry of the Sacred Humanity of Jesus.
Publisher F. J. Sheed, a disappointed lawyer from Australia, who wandered into New York by way of London and an English wife (whom he affectionately calls “Ward”), has finally decided to go all out for the salvation of any Protestant who likes Sheed & Ward books. Even a Protestant minister can make the grade, as Mr. Sheed affirms in the following announcement:
“We were very sad indeed to hear that Dr. Hobart McKeehan, a Protestant minister who loved books and gave Sheed & Ward many excellent reviews, died last month in a car accident. Although we’re sure he spent Easter in Heaven, we had a Mass said for him.”
Among other poses, Archbishop Cushing was photographed for the Boston newspapers this past month wearing a large smile and the habit of a Franciscan friar. The occasion was his being made an honorary member of the friars’ First Order. After the ceremony, which took place in the auditorium of a local insurance company, the Archbishop had this to say: “I have always done my humble best to follow in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi.”
This should be enough of a cue to all members of the Archdiocese that, from now on, Archbishop Cushing will expect to be referred to as “the little poor man.”
Suppose you were Pope and you wanted to say, in a way that no one could squirm out of, that there is absolutely no salvation outside the Church. Could you put it more clearly, more strongly than it is in these statements?
Pope Innocent III, at the Fourth Lateran Ecumenical Council, in the year 1215, speaking infallibly, “There is only one universal Church of the faithful and outside of it none at all can be saved.”
Pope Boniface VIII, in his bull, Unam Sanctam, dated 1302, speaking infallibly, “We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is wholly necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
Pope Eugene IV, in his bull, Cantate Domino, dated 1441, speaking infallibly, “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire, ‘which was prepared for the Devil and his angels,’ unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the Sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgiving, their other works of Christian piety, and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”
THE OVERSEERS OF AMERICAN THEOLOGY
Americans like to boast that they live in the land of opportunity, where the son of poor immigrants can grow up to have a diamond-studded swimming pool and an ermine-wrapped wife. This boast expresses what Americans refer to as “the pursuit of happiness,” a pursuit to which they were dedicated at their country’s founding and in which they have been furiously engaged ever since.
Yet, it is glaringly evident that, for all the devices they have contrived to help them snare it, happiness remains for Americans something perpetually out of reach and out of sight. And the franticness of their pursuit merely emphasizes the pathos of their failure.
But what about the 29 million Americans who are Catholics? Are they not sufficient to leaven their society, and to show their fellow countrymen that happiness is not something to be overtaken in high-powered convertibles on superhighways, but is to be sought in the quiet adoration of a white wafer that is God? Yes, American Catholics could do this — except that they are wholeheartedly engrossed in the same kind of pursuit of the same kind of happiness as all other Americans; and are just as unhappy as they. Far from leavening their society, they have made themselves, in their conversations, their interests, and their ambitions, indistinguishable from Protestants and Jews.
This thoroughly unhappy state is due partially to the fact that American Catholics have let other interests take precedence for them over the Faith. But there is another reason even more significant: They do not tell their fellow countrymen how to find happiness in the Faith because they do not themselves know the Faith; and they do not know it because they have never been taught it. It has never been presented to them as the vital, exciting, joyful and beautiful thing it is, but only as a kind of not-too-interesting required routine, something they are neither encouraged nor expected to know much about. Instead of being instructed by their own parish priests, patiently and lovingly, they have been made to feel — as have the parish priests also — that there are only a few men qualified to speak on doctrinal matters, a few theological know-it-alls who tell the rest of the Catholics, clerical and lay, what the Faith is all about.
Of these doctrinal dictators, the three outstanding are Father Francis J. Connell, C. Ss. R., Monsignor Joseph C. Fenton, and Monsignor Matthew Smith. These three priests have emerged from nowhere to set themselves up as the official and unquestioned American theologians. Not even the Pope is able to speak to American Catholics without their mediation. His pronouncements require their interpretations, which infallibly follow, in order to make them clear and to show what he was really trying to say.
The opinions and interpretations of Fathers Connell, Fenton, and Smith are disseminated by means of one journal, one university, and many newspapers. These are, respectively, The American Ecclesiastical Review, of which Fenton is the editor and Connell the associate editor; the Catholic University of America, at which Fenton was, and Connell is, Dean of the School of Theology; and the newspapers that print articles issued by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, of which Connell is the star performer, together with the Denver Register, of which Smith is the editor and featured columnist.
Properly speaking, Monsignor Smith is not a professional theologian at all, but only a journalist with a flair for theological dabbling. Connell and Fenton are really the original thinkers, issuing their proclamations from the nation’s capital. Smith is merely their parrot, the voice out of the West. His job is to see to it, by means of his newspaper, that American Catholics are informed of the opinions Connell and Fenton have decided they ought to have. However, he does his job so faithfully and so well — besides which he often adds bright touches and anecdotes of his own — that he deserves to rank with the other two.
Father Connell specializes in giving the “Catholic position” on the latest newspaper headlines. There is not a single curiosity or scandal that he fails to notice and to comment on for the edification of American Catholics. Typical of his unholy interests and faithless comments is the article he wrote last year during the “flying saucer” ruckus. Asking himself the question, how could men on other planets be redeemed, he casually elaborated a scheme of multiple Incarnations and reincarnations of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity, a scheme which turns Our Lady from Virgo Singularis into just one of the mothers of one of the Divine Persons who became man.
Monsignor Fenton likes to make it appear that he is terribly strong and intransigent on the matter of dogma, and that he is persecuted on account of this by those with more liberal ideas. However, as is plainly evident to any long-term reader of Fenton’s Ecclesiastical Review, there is no lasting difference between him and the liberals; he merely says what they say two years later.
In his interpretations of the doctrine “no salvation outside the Church,” his prize interpretations, Fenton lays down conditions for non-Catholic salvation that are so rigid and far-fetched that practically no one can meet them. (This is to show his “terrible strength.”) However, it does not bother him that those who want to go all out for getting non-Catholics into Heaven, do so using his reasons and his authority. All the liberals need is one little loophole, which Fenton gives. Through that loophole, the liberals are able, in their need, to squeeze every Protestant and Jew in America.
The Faith is meant to be something clear and simple, which the Holy Father can teach us in innocent terms, and every man can and must know for his salvation and his happiness. But as long as Fathers Fenton, Connell and Smith are running the show, the Faith is going to be presented as something obscure and esoteric — something that can be known by no one but these priests, and those to whom it shall please them to reveal it.
BY FATHER FEENEY
This is chastity: to keep central things central, to keep the Holy of Holies holy. The one central thing in the temple of the Jews was the Holy of Holies. The courts outside it had significance and meaning because the central thing was kept sacrosanct. Into the Holy of Holies, the High Priest went but once a year. He was the only one who could enter in. The faithful remained outside, watching. We have a Holy of Holies far more sacred than that of the Jews. And when a priest walks into the sanctuary of our Holy of Holies, there should be no other interest in his heart or in his thoughts except that Blessed Eucharist.
Our Bread of Life looks like the frailest little thing in the world. The Host is the least like stone that anything could possibly be. It is the most perishable little substance. Each morning it has to be renewed. But it is infinitely more abiding than the stones in the Ark of the Covenant — as long as the words of Jesus Christ are spoken, as long as there are priests somewhere in the world.
The Blessed Eucharist will never be lost, as were the Tablets of stone in the Ark of the Covenant. You can lose the Faith, if you are a priest, but another priest will come — there will be another altar, another vineyard, another wheat field. The Sacrifice of the Mass will always be in the world, from the rising of the sun to its going down.
We have not just one Ark of the Covenant. We have thousands and thousands of tabernacles, housing that little Frailty, whose whiteness and roundness are now the wrappings of the Flesh and Blood of God, once structured in Nazareth out of the pure substance of Mary’s body. Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist is the Gift of God, and of her who for nine months was the tabernacle of God.
The Blessed Eucharist will never be lost. Jesus visibly said only one Mass. He forgave only a few sins directly. But His priests fill the confessionals and the sanctuaries of the world with absolving and with consecrating hands.
(from Bread of Life, published by St. Benedict Center)
Dear Catholic Priests of America
Saint Benedict Center
23 Arrow Street
Dear Catholic Priests of America,
In the early years of the eighteenth century, there was in France a very holy and very much alone priest whose name was Louis-Marie de Montfort, Slave of Mary. His mission was to prepare the world for what he called the “Age of Mary,” and as he wandered through northern France, being silenced by this bishop and misunderstood by that one, he spoke constantly of that time when the Mother of God would shine forth in all her dogmatic challenge, and when those “Slaves of hers, the apostles of the latter times,” would secure the triumph of Mary over the army of Satan.
But there was no one to hear Louis-Marie, the priest from Montfort, and so he wrote all these things in a little book and called it True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. And he died in 1716, with the vision still before him of those valiant slaves of Mary, of whom he had written in his book:
“They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem, and abased before all, like the heel, trodden underfoot and persecuted as the heel is by the other members of the body.
“They shall be like sharp arrows in the hand of the powerful Mary to pierce her enemies.
“They shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, treading the narrow way of God in pure truth; sparing, fearing, and listening to no mortal, however influential he may be. ... They shall carry on their shoulders the bloody standard of the Cross, the Crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, the sacred names of Jesus and Mary in their hearts.”
We write you all this, dear Catholic priests of America, because we have an American postscript to add to the story of Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort and his True Devotion. It goes this way.
At the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, three winters ago, an American boy named Eddie Cunningham knelt before a statue of Our Blessed Lady and gave himself to her for keeps. Never outdone in generosity, Our Lady promptly began to give things to Eddie. Within two weeks she had given him a brand new religious vow, under the patronage of Saint Louis-Marie; a new title, Slave of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and, under the leadership of Father Leonard Feeney, a share in a very old battle, that constant one for the preservation of the Faith.
Last month, after three years in the hassle, and after countless new gifts from his Queen, including her very name to add to his own, Edward Maria Cunningham charmed Our Blessed Lady into presenting him with that infinite gift, the Beatific Vision. When he died, with every sacramental comfort one could pray for, his last word was “Jesus,” his last gesture was the Sign of the Cross.
But this letter to you, dear fathers, is not intended as an obituary notice. It is, rather, a warning — a warning that Edward Maria is out to get you! In all the spirit of one of Saint Louis-Marie’s apostles of the latter times, “Sparing, fearing and listening to no mortal, ... ” Edward Maria is launching a holy blitz to get you to tell America about the Catholic Faith, to get you off your Interfaith platforms and into the highways and the byways.
In three years time, Edward Maria had a chance to visit an awful lot of your parishes. From Maine to Maryland, from Boston to Chicago, in the Main Street shops and the factories and mills, he saw thousands of people whom you never see. He saw the Catholics who don’t have a son at Georgetown and who never read the diocesan newspaper. They liked what Edward Maria told them; that without Our Blessed Mother you can’t save your soul, that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. For Edward Maria brought them an echo of the Faith they once heard from their parents.
Knowing that he wants all of you to talk the way he did, and knowing that Our Blessed Lady is not through answering his requests, we just had to warn you this month, Catholic priests of America, to watch out for Edward Maria, Slave of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Editors of The Point.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
All spring long, the anticipated coronation of Queen Elizabeth II has provoked a multitude of ecstatic articles in our Catholic press. There has been glowing talk about the “Catholicity” of the coronation — the Te Deum, the holy oils, the Veni Creator Spiritus, the Queen’s reception of holy communion. Minimized or unmentioned in all these reports is the Coronation Oath, that supreme profession of “no-popery,” in which the Queen must swear to “maintain and preserve inviolably ... the doctrines, worship, discipline, and government of the Protestant Reformed Religion.”
When Queen Elizabeth I confected and subscribed to this oath, the reigning Pope, Saint Pius V, excommunicated her and dispensed all English Catholics from the allegiance due her as Queen.
When Catholics in America reflect that only a hundred years ago the Protestants were burning our churches in Philadelphia, slaughtering the Irish in Louisville, and marching on the Cathedral in Cincinnati in hopes of hanging a papal nuncio; and when they recall that only a hundred years ago half the members of the House of Representatives won their seats on an out-and-out anti-Catholic ticket, they, as Catholics in a Protestant country, are inclined to assume that Protestantism has grown decidedly more benevolent in our enlightened day.
The fact is not that Protestants have become less “protestant,” but that Catholics, knowing the price that orthodoxy cost the Catholics of a hundred years ago, have ever since then been watering down their Faith. For striking evidence of this watering down, compare any current pamphlet on “Salvation” with the hundred-year-old one we recently saw which quotes Saint Augustine’s stand on salvation outside the Church as the accepted Catholic teaching.
Saint Augustine says, “Whoever is separated from this Catholic Church, however innocently he may think he lives, for this crime alone, that he is separated from the unity of Christ, will not have life, but the anger of God remains upon him.”
THE HOLY GHOST
Love whose brooding brings
Wind and warmth and wings,
Flame and flight
And soft-note throat that sings, —
Love is now at rest,
God is in my breast;
As a Love-
My God is now my Guest.
OUR THIRTY-THIRD DEGREE ENEMIES
Communism is a great enemy of the Catholic Church in the world at large, but it is not the Church’s greatest enemy in America. Communism in this country is kept too much on-the-run to take a front-line part in the war between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. Far more menacing as an enemy of the Church, far more powerful than Communism, is that firmly established, rich, reputable, and unsuspected foe, American Masonry.
The strongest shield that Masonry has in its struggle against the Church is the wool that it pulls over the eyes of American Catholics and their clergy. That the Catholics do not see Masonry’s hostility, is partly due to their own defective vision, but it is also due to the craftiness of the Masons. For American Masons have carefully avoided the kind of shrill anti-Catholicism associated with the Lodges of Continental Europe, and use instead tactics that are more quiet, more subtle, and much more effective. Rather than attack the Church openly, or even directly, they seek to destroy her by destroying the premises on which she is grounded, the climate in which she thrives. To this end, they have conducted a thorough and calculated propaganda campaign.
Realizing that the Church’s strength and very life is in her singularity, her unique indispensability, the Masons hope by dragging her down to the level of the sects to cripple her. Accordingly, they demand that all religions be put on a par; that no one proclaim his faith to be better than anyone else’s; that differences of creed be considered of no importance. Because of the power and prestige of the Masons, and because of the thoroughness of their campaign, American Catholics have been given the impression that these Masonic causes are the causes of democracy, and that if they do not support them they will be disloyal to their country.
But how is American Masonry organized, that it has such power? Who is its head? (For it clearly could not have so much direction, determination, and drive, if it were the loosely-knit association it pretends to be.) Of course, you are not going to find out who is the head of American Masonry simply by asking some casual Mason you might encounter on the street; because, in the first place, Masonry lives by secrecy, and besides — and this is most important — not every Mason is fully aware of what Masonry is up to. Its ultimate purposes and plans are known only to the very top, Thirty-third Degree Masons. It is they who give Masonry its impetus and strength. They are the country’s bank presidents, its newspaper owners, its corporation executives, its chairmen-of-the-boards; and they have ways of seeing that what they want done, gets done.
Only these supreme Masons, and probably not more than a dozen of them, know who the head of American Masonry is; and they aren’t telling. However, we can surmise. And adding everything up, the most likely candidate is Henry R. Luce, founder and editor of Time, Life, and Fortune, and husband of the United States Ambassador to Italy. In fact, so perfectly does Luce meet all the qualifications, that if he is not the head of the Masons, he ought to be.
The thing that Masonry strives for is control. And control is precisely what Luce has. Through his magazines, he controls the thoughts and opinions, the values and attitudes, of most of the American people. He controls, either directly or indirectly, everything from how they dress to how they feel about the miracles of Fatima. And in the best Masonic tradition, he controls them so subtly and unobtrusively that they never seem to realize they are being controlled.
The combined circulation of the Luce publications is reported to be around seven million copies. But actually they have many times that number of readers. Life, for instance, is read, or looked-at, by practically everyone in America who gets his hair cut or his teeth filled. Time, which claims a circulation of a million and a half, is read mainly by those who fancy themselves as belonging to the social, financial, or intellectual elite. Unless they were to undergo their weekly ordeal of reading Time, they would not feel they could honestly give an affirmative answer to the crucial question, “Are you well-informed?”
Fortune has a comparatively small circulation, and is used less for control purposes than the other two, being read almost exclusively by the Thirty-third Degree Masons possessed of the commodity indicated in the magazine’s title.
Luce pretends that the purpose of his magazines, particularly Time and Life, is to give unbiased, informative reports of news and events. But this is clearly not so. News for Luce is merely a vehicle to be used in conveying his messages. Every article, every picture, every squib and caption that he prints has some definite job of indoctrination to do, some point that he means for his readers to get.
As is the strategy of American Masons, Luce does not attack the Church openly. Rather, he insinuates attitudes and notions that either oppose the Church in principle, or else aim at degrading or ridiculing her. And he has a hundred ways of achieving his effects: for instance, he can do it by pictures (the technique of taking dozens of shots of a single person or scene, in the sure hope of finding among them one picture that seems to indicate what you want to indicate). Or he can do it by the way he juxtaposes items (an article on the Assumption of Our Lady next to one on a Broadway show girl); or by the way he plays up, or omits, details (“At the Eucharistic Congress, where five hundred people fainted from the heat ... ”). He can do it by his adjectives, by his general diction and tone, so that while ostensibly giving his readers a factual report, he leaves them with a clear, fixed impression, though the readers will never quite know from where the impression came.
Normally, Luce rules his empire from his New York office, strategically located on the thirty-third floor of the Time and Life Building in Rockefeller Center. But recently he has moved his headquarters to Rome. For his wife, Clare, has rounded off her varied career by becoming her country’s official representative in Italy; and Luce has decided to go abroad with her. We had thought the former location of his office a significant one, but it doesn’t hold a candle to this new address.
Remembering that the Masons’ consuming desire is the destruction of the Church, and that the method they propose to use is secrecy and stealth, could you imagine a more favorable location, a more sinister set-up than this: for the head of the Masons to be married to a blithe, blind, and eminently successful American Catholic, to have at his disposal the most powerful journalistic enterprise in the world, and to be presently nestled, smiling and unsuspected, in the very heart of the Church, in Rome, the Eternal City?
If Henry Luce is not the head of the Masons, then the Masons are missing the greatest opportunity they have ever had — and it will be the first opportunity they have ever missed.
BY FATHER FEENEY
Jesus came to tell Saint Margaret Mary that His Heart had been hurt, not by neglect during the slow three hours on Calvary on Good Friday afternoon, but by the long, long neglect of centuries in the tabernacles of our churches: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and every day of the week, week of the month, month of the year.
If you sometimes wonder why the Sacred Heart was so daring as to unbare His breast at Paray-le-Monial to Margaret Mary, a little nun who came to visit Him in prayer, and to let her see, through the bones and the flesh, the beat of His heart; — and if you sometimes wonder why He asked that a picture of Himself with heart exposed be placed in every Catholic home — know that Jesus wished to show the one part of Him that the ropes had not reached in the scourging, or the crown of thorns had not pierced when He was exposed to ridicule and mocked as King. The one part of Him the nails did not penetrate. The one part of Him they forgot to wound when He was alive, and which the soldier’s spear pierced when the mind and soul of Jesus had gone, and the heart of Jesus was left to the silent entombment of His breast.
Saint Margaret Mary saw the incessant centuries of heartbeat of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — not in Galilee, not in Judea, not even in His glory in Heaven — but in the hiddenness and the lowliness of our tabernacles.
Do you wish to let me tell you in one final and doctrinal affirmation, what it was that forged the Eucharist? The Blessed Eucharist, which was to be God’s atonement to God in the Mass. God’s Presence in our tabernacles, God’s divinization of our spirits in the Blessed Sacrament, and God’s incorporation into Himself of us in Holy Communion? If you wish to know what it was in Jesus that thought to plunge Himself, in His divine and human majesty, into the semblance of wheat and wine and leave Himself there for us to adore and love until His second coming on the last day, I will tell you it was — the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From the shedding of His blood came our redemption. From the beating of His heart in love for us, came the Blessed Eucharist.
(from Bread of Life)
Calling All Protestants!
With all the publicity currently being given to the Church of England and its newly installed head, we have decided to speak this month to that momentarily forgotten group, our nation’s religious majority, the American Protestants. This decision, however, has presented many problems, the chief of which is our inability to know just which variations and voids of Christianity we will encounter in the Protestants to whom we speak.
However limply it is surviving in the U. S. A. at the moment, the Catholic Church is still the sole fulfillment of Christ’s promise to build His Church upon Peter. As a result, every Catholic is, religiously, a known quantity. The lowliest parishioner and the pastor with a D. D. from Rome are both committed to the same Apostles’ Creed, are both receivers of the same Blessed Sacrament, and are both called upon to answer for the entire Church whenever a Protestant gets worried lest the Mother of God should become too highly thought of.
Conversely, it is impossible to predict what any Protestant’s stand will be on any Christian doctrine. And realizing that a common belief could never be the principle of their unity, American Protestants, since the days of their Salem witch-hunts, have devised a succession of schemes for giving their heresies the desired adhesive qualities.
Determined that the “popish feast” of Christmas should be replaced by an observance more in keeping with their Mother-of-God-less theology, the primitive New England sects decided to jump the gun on December 25th by instituting an annual November “Thanksgiving Day.” The religious success of a yearly turkey dinner encouraged local Protestants to supply further culinary come-ons in the form of Sunday School picnics for the young folks and baked bean suppers for the elders. The religious indigestion that inevitably followed touched off a local revolt which scoffed at medication and terminated in a dogmatic prohibition against all future stomach aches. An enterprising Boston girl assumed the leadership of this reactionary movement, added to its popular appeal by outlawing both the divinity of Christ and the actuality of death, and then called the whole thing Christian Science.
In the southern part of our country, staunch, militant, established Protestantism was possessed of a unique problem. A product of the world’s most purely Protestant culture, the Southern hillbilly had nothing in his make-up that would attract him to the theological niceties of a system like Christian Science. And everyone was agreed that it would take more than a plate of baked beans to sustain his interest in prayer meetings. Thanks to the initiative of alert Freemasons, however, Southern Protestantism offered even the hillbilly a satisfactory religious expression, wrapping him in a bed sheet and welcoming him to the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan.
As America moved west, there were accompanying religious expansions, introducing new local liturgies to complement the Christian Science nirvanas of the North and the Ku Klux Klan lynchings of the South. Most of these innovations, however, were finally merged into that serviceable mid-western combination of Rotary Club dogma and Farmers’ Almanac morality, with, occasionally, some hog calling and hymn-singing on the side.
Given the impossibility of knowing just which Christian values we can appeal to in speaking to American Protestants, we will, after all this geographical isolation of them, say what we have to say to them. And perhaps we might best start with an apology.
For a number of generations, now, we Catholics in America have been content in our knowledge that we have the One, True Faith and that we are in a country where, if we are quiet enough about it, we will very likely be left unmolested in that Faith. For this selfish attitude of “leave the Protestants in their religious despair rather than jeopardize our Catholic necks,” we apologize. And to indicate the extent of our apology, we have a promise to make.
In this month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we promise the Protestants of America a crusade, in the full, medieval sense of the word; a crusade to complete the work of those American Catholic bishops who met in Baltimore a hundred years ago, dedicated their country to the Immaculate Mother of God, and then left it totally unconverted.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
Speaking at Boston College’s commencement exercises last month, Archbishop Cushing astounded everyone who knows him by declaring that no Catholic student should attend Harvard, Boston University or Northeastern. This momentary show of strength did not sound as though it ought to come from the same Archbishop who had sent his Superintendent of Parochial Schools to Harvard, and his nuns to Boston University.
In the excitement, no one had noticed that a notable Boston secular college had been omitted from the Archbishop’s proscription. But the next day it all became clear, and everyone relaxed as things bounced back to normal in the archdiocese. It was announced that Archbishop Cushing would deliver the invocation at the commencement exercises for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Another collegiate event which occurred locally last month was the announcement by the Harvard Corporation that it had appointed a new President of the University. He replaces James Bryant Conant, the self-styled “skeptical chemist,” who resigned last January in order to assume the more imposing title of High Commissioner of Germany. The new man was born in Iowa, worked in Wisconsin, and answers to the name of Nathan M. Pusey (rhymes with “Who’s he?”).
According to Harvard press releases, when Pusey comes to town he is going to bring lots of changes with him. Instead of skepticism and chemistry, the students are going to be offered Episcopalianism and the classics. Whether or not such changes will really result in a fewer number of student suicides, everyone at Harvard, from the janitors to the Jesuits, is waiting anxiously to see.
WARNING! Official diocesan figures show that one-third of our American Catholic boys and girls now marry non-Catholics. Two out of three children born of such marriages turn out non-Catholic. In six out of ten mixed marriages, the Catholic partner leaves the Church. In the past ten years, 165,000 young Catholics who married Protestants and Jews before their parish priests have abandoned their Catholic Faith!
Last month, on the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, Fr. James Keller of the Christophers took up his breviary and found, as required reading for the day, the following excerpt from a sermon by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem:
“Under the appearance of bread He gives us His Body, and under the appearance of wine, His blood: and when you shall come to receive, it is on the body and Blood of Christ you shall feed, being made a partaker of His Body and of His Blood. Thus, indeed, it is that we become Christophers, namely, by carrying about Christ in our bodies, when we receive His Body and Blood into our own. Thus, as the Blessed Peter has said, we are ‘partakers of the Divine nature.’ ”
God, not government, is your business, Father Keller. We suggest you spend “three minutes a day” considering just how many of your “Chrisrophers” would back you up if your message to them was switched from “you can change the world, wherever you are,” to “you can be changed into God, at my altar rail.”
MORE STATISTICS AND LESS FAITH
American Catholics are beginning to believe that one religion is as good as another. They are beginning to believe that it does not matter what church you belong to as long as you are sincere. Their views on salvation are beginning to sound like a syllabus of the errors condemned by Popes and Councils. And the effects of their holding such errors are becoming every day more noticeable.
The impression used to be given that the Church in this country could not possibly be better off. It was supposed to be riding the crest of a great wave of conversions. Now it is coming to light that things are not really going so well. A national Catholic magazine recently published the results of a survey it had taken, which revealed that the Church in America trails far behind the Protestant sects as regards convert-making. American Catholics, the survey showed, almost never try to get anyone to join the Church: and even when they do, the try is so half-hearted and uninformed that it seldom succeeds.
This same magazine has, by its cowardly refusal to profess the Faith, and its friendly encouragement of heretics and their ideas, played no small part in bringing about this decline in conversions. It calls itself the Catholic Digest, hoping to be favorably compared with, and possibly mistaken for, the Reader’s Digest. This same ambition to be secularly successful also prevented it from stating the reason why American Catholics are not trying to spread the Faith. Nevertheless, the reason is plain to see. Most American Catholics believe that membership in the Catholic Church is not absolutely necessary for salvation. And that is why they do not try to make converts. They do not see why they should risk disfavor, humiliation, even abuse, for the sake of such an unnecessary cause.
And the reason that American Catholics hold such destructive and heretical beliefs on salvation is not simply that they have been uninstructed or misinstructed in this one point. It is that they have been uninstructed or misinstructed in the whole Faith. They have not been taught the most basic truths and mysteries of their religion; and it is that, even more than direct teaching on salvation itself, which is responsible for their erroneous beliefs on who goes to Heaven and how. If they had really been taught the sacraments, and especially the Holy Eucharist, its meaning and its preciousness, then it would be impossible ever to fool them on the subject of salvation. If they had been taught what Heaven really means — being with Jesus and Mary for all eternity — they would know that it is only for those who love Jesus and Mary, and who would want to spend eternity loving them.
St. John Marie Vianney, the beloved Cure of Ars, said that more Catholics lose their souls on account of ignorance of the Faith, caused by lack of instruction, than on account of any other sin — not on account of the conspicuous, disgraceful sins, as one might suppose, but on account of this thing, ignorance, which is so prevalent among American Catholics, and so disregarded.
For the sake of these American souls that are being lost for lack of instruction, we make this appeal to Our Holy Father, the Pope:
Most Holy Father, we come to you as to the Father of Christendom and the only hope of the world, to plead that our country, the United States of America, be taught the Catholic Faith. We plead for teachers who will instruct us not in their own programs and ideas, as so many do now, but in the Faith as the Church has taught it and held it throughout its history. We want to be told what the attainment of eternal life means, and what we must do to attain it.
We promise you, Most Holy Father, that if we are taught the Faith strongly, lovingly, and courageously, we will respond to it. We are a young and vital people, we Americans, with the enthusiasm and eagerness of youth. We promise you that with your help and your care, we can produce saints in our country. We promise you that we can produce martyrs, that if the need should come we will shed our blood for you and for Jesus and Mary. And, we think, Most Holy Father, that the time might soon come when you will need our blood.
BY FATHER FEENEY
We in Boston often ask ourselves the question: What is a Unitarian? I shall give the answer in the form of a questionnaire. And I shall inflict it on a modern Bostonian, and in the best Unitarian manner.
Q. What is a Unitarian?
A. A Unitarian is one who believes in the unity of God and the trinity of enterprise.
Q. Can you give examples?
A. Shreve Crump and Low. Jones McDuffee and Stratton. Choate Hall and Stewart. New York New Haven and Hartford.
Q. Who and what are these?
A. Three prices in one pearl. Three stewards in one master. Three clients in one lawyer. Three journeys in one direction.
Q. What else are they?
A. An inevitable and rhythmic arrangement of names so proper as to make even commas between them superfluous ...
A. Decoration Utensilization Litigation Transportation ...
A. Shreve Crump and Low. Jones McDuffee and Stratton. Choate Hall and Stewart. New York New Haven and Hartford.
Q. Are all these, Unitarians?
A. Unitarianism is not a synthesis.
Q. What is it?
A. An interpretation.
Q. Weren’t its ancestors farmers, fishermen, and hunters?
A. Seed Weed and Feed. Hook Line and Sinker. Lock Stock and Barrel.
Q. In Boston, today, incorporated — what would they be called?
A. Farmsworth Fish and Huntington.
Q. You mentioned Jones McDuffee and Stratton.
Q. It is hard to remember what they sell.
A. Plates Cups and Saucers.
Q. And the Shreve people jewellers ...
A. And the Choate crowd are lawyers ...
Q. And the rest is a railroad.
Q. The Gospel doesn’t make things quite so elemental.
A. Nothing is more elemental than sentimentality.
Q. But why such a blasphemous rejection of the beautiful processions in the Godhead? And why such a passion for partnerships that will blow to blazes on the Day of Doom?
A. These are extremely difficult questions to answer.
Q. Is Unitarianism a Revelation of its own? Is it an Illumination twirling all by itself in mid-ocean, like a solitary lighthouse, showing nothing, but itself, where to come, or go? Is it its own efficacious Grace?
A. These are extremely difficult questions to answer.
Q. Partnership is the weirdness of Anglicanism: High Broad and Low. Partnership is trying to sunder Catholicism: one root in three trees called The Branch Theory. Partnership is the horror of recent pray-as-you-enter projects: Dispersion Immersion and Conversion.
A. That is why a Unitarian prefers to remain ...
Q. Like Emerson?
A. Like Shreve Crump and Low. Jones McDuffee and Stratton. Choate Hall and Stewart. New York New Haven and Hartford.
Q. You mean: minding his own kind of God?
A. Yes, and finding and founding his own kind of business.
(from London Is a Place, Ravengate Press, Boston)
There Are Only Eleven Million
A Jew will never ask you to be a Jew. The Sunday supplements carry no announcement of home-study courses for prospective Hebrews. The missionary lands get no influx of predatory rabbis trying to win the natives to the Jewish fold. A Jew, in fact, defies you to be a Jew: still, the Jew, mysteriously, goes on.
For two thousand years, the spectacle of his wanderings has challenged the gentile world. Living everywhere, at home nowhere, the Jew from Warsaw and Vienna and Budapest, from Antwerp and London and the Bronx, is the same ubiquitous Jew who provoked a Catholic girl in remote New Zealand to write:
“Discountried and diskinged
And watched from pole to pole,
A Jew at heart remains a Jew —
His nation is his soul.”
In his successive migrations, the Jew has made little pretense at belonging to wherever he is. Rather, and shrewdly, he has sought to make himself necessary to wherever he is. At his shrewdest, he has identified himself with money. That is how be made himself necessary to, without belonging to, Christian Europe. And that is how he happened to be still very much on the scene when the break-up of Christian Europe occurred — when the revolting Protestants discovered a most obliging ally in the Jewish moneylender.
It was about this same time that the Jew, who never asks you to become a Jew, relaxed just a little his exclusive hold on things Jewish. By some occult interplay of symbolism and ritual, the Protestant-Jewish alliance of the Reformation era found an abiding religious expression in Freemasonry. For the Protestant Mason, traveling to the East in his abbreviated apron, equipped with Talmudic names and signs, is, at the peak of his liturgy, rebuilding the Jewish Temple of Solomon. And, in feminine counterpart, Masonry’s Protestant wives are guided back through the centuries by their “Eastern Star” until they become, in their fifth and highest degree, the Jewish Judith, slaughtering the enemy, Holofernes.
Yet, after all the observations about him have been made — the migratory, monetary, Masonic, and numberless other ones — the Jew is still unexplained. For the Jew is not a movement, or a cycle, or a complex. The Jew is a blood stream: an uninterrupted flow back to Jerusalem, and back to the Holy Week clamor of the Jews, “His Blood be upon us and upon our children!”
The hatred of the Jew for the Blood of Jesus explains the first Good Friday. The sustained hatred of the Jew for this Precious Blood explains his subsequent behavior, Good Friday and every Friday for nineteen hundred years — his uncanny genius for turning up, anywhere in the world, to lend a helping hand any time the Precious Blood of Jesus is under attack.
And how is the Blood of Jesus, so availably left in the world, protected? By sublime paradox, its protection is established in the prophetic canticle of a Jewish girl from Nazareth. As the Blessed Virgin Mary concluded her “Magnificat,” mindful of the newly conceived Jesus in her womb, her final apostrophe was, “to Abraham and to his seed, forever:” to the great father of the Jews and to those gentile children of his who, in their sacramental reception of the Blood of Jesus, would be incorporated with the Jewish blood of Jesus’ Old Testament ancestors, with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. This is Jesus’ protection and the Jew’s consternation: the centuries of First Communion children, kneeling at Catholic altar rails, who have welcomed into their mouths and hearts the Body and Blood of Mary’s Child.
A Jew will never ask you to become a Jew. A Catholic will ask you to believe that a Jew is what God once became. In this month of the Precious Blood, we are daring to ask that the Jews believe that, too. We are bold enough to declare that the problem of the Jew (and problem he has been in every country he has entered) is not a political or a social, but a religious one. Its solution will not be found in Israeli bonds, Einstein theories, Anti-Defamation Leagues, or Hillel Houses. It will be found only in the acknowledgement by the Jew that the one reason for his being “discountried and diskinged” is his rejection of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, God in the royal blood of David, present on our Catholic altars.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
To anyone interested in preserving the singularity and necessity of Our Blessed Lady, in this month of her glorious Assumption, we recommend Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort’s challenging writings about her. A fair example of why the French peasants loved him, and the Calvinists tried to murder him, is the following statement from Saint Louis-Marie’s True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
“All the true children of God, the predestinate, have God for their Father and Mary for their Mother. He who has not Mary for his Mother has not God for his Father. This is the reason why the reprobate, such as heretics, schismatics and others, who hate Our Blessed Lady or regard her with contempt and indifference, have not God for their Father, however much they boast of it, simply because they have not Mary for their Mother.”
In the January, 1953, issue of The Point we protested against Archbishop Cushing’s statement that all American soldiers who die fighting in Korea are “genuine martyrs,” and that there is no need even of praying for them.
This month, Boston’s diocesan newspaper made an attempt to rectify the Archbishop’s theological blundering. In a front-page article, it admitted that soldiers who die in modern wars should not be called martyrs, because they do not die for the Faith. But in trying to haul the Archbishop out of the frying pan, the newspaper got one of its own theological fingers burned. Referring to the Holy Innocents, it said they were “brought by their death to the state of sanctifying grace.” The truth is, the Holy Innocents were Jewish boys of two years and under. They had been circumcised, according to the strict Jewish code, at the age of eight days. It was by circumcision that they were brought to the state of sanctifying grace; by their death they were brought to the Limbo of the Just.
Boston’s diocesan paper has changed its editor many times in the past few years. And if Archbishop Cushing reads the paper, we expect that the present editor (a priest who was recently advertised as lecturing in a Protestant church) may soon be changed, too. The Archbishop may not resent having his theology corrected, but not by someone who knows no more about it than himself.
The appreciation of Hilaire Belloc which Father Leonard Feeney wrote two years ago in his book, London Is A Place, appears in Father Feeney’s column this month. It was written about the Belloc who was then waiting for his “summons to the Particular Judgment,” and is the more touching now that this summons has come.
NEW VERSIONS AND PERVERSIONS OF THE BIBLE
When the Protestants broke away from the Church in the sixteenth century, one of the chief reasons they gave for doing so was that they thought the Bible, all by itself, should be enough to teach a man what he ought to believe and how he ought to act; and that there should be no need of any Church to interpret the Bible or to supplement its teachings.
It was apparent from the beginning, however, that the Protestants were not going to get along any better with the Bible divorced from the Church than they had gotten along with the Bible and the Church together. Thus, they found that when they tried to preserve the Bible’s literal sense, they were always getting bitten by the snakes they were supposed to be able to pick up; and when they tried to pass off the whole Scripture as figurative and symbolic, they were always running up against texts, the clarity of whose dogma would confound them. Still, for all the hardship it caused them, the Protestants never quite gave up the Bible; and whenever they felt called upon to make a profession of their faith, they always did so by pounding the book vigorously or waving it aloft.
But, last September, Protestantism reached the turning point. The event was marked by the official publication of a new Scripture translation, called the Revised Standard Version. In this book, which is meant to supersede all previous English Bibles, the Protestants finally, and convincingly, have let it be known how far from Christianity they have come in their 400 years. They have at last dropped all pretense of getting their faith from the Bible just as God wrote it, and, by way of offering a “new translation,” they have re-written the Bible so as to make it fit their preconceived Protestant notions. No longer will Protestants have to skip pages in their Bible-reading in order to miss religiously embarrassing passages; all such passages have been altered so that they are no longer embarrassing.
The Revised Standard Version is a perfect Protestant document, having no certitude, no integrity, no authority. It contains nothing to offend the skeptic sensibilities of Protestants or to shake them in their disbelief. It turns Our Lord in the Gospels from the Son of God preaching the Kingdom of Heaven into a mawkish, ineffectual do-gooder, patterned according to the familiar Protestant type. And Our Lady, long the Protestants’ foremost resentment, it turns from the Virgin, foretold by Isaias, who would conceive and bear a son, into just “a young woman.”
Yet, anxious as the Protestants might be to twist the Bible to their heretical ends, they would never dare do so were there not some Catholic sanction for the act. The Church is the donor and protector of the Bible, and every Bible-tamperer fears her wrath. The reason that the Protestants have dared to publish such a flagrant distortion as the Revised Standard Version is that the stage was already set for them, the precedent established by a Catholic priest. That priest is the Right Reverend Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, author of The Knox Bible.
When Ronald Knox gave up his Anglican ministry to become a Catholic (in 1919, having waited two years to make sure the pull he seemed to feel toward the Church wasn’t just a case of “war-nerves”), he brought with him two gifts. These gifts were: a deep devotion to, and sympathy for, the pagan classics; and a kind of fluency and unctuousness in the use of the English language that passed for an elegant prose style. Knox presented these two talents to the Church as his dowry, and received from the Church in exchange for them the gift of Holy Orders, validly administered.
These same two talents have been Knox’s chief assets, his stock-in-trade ever since. By advertising his love of the pagans and familiarity with their languages, he got himself appointed Chaplain at his alma mater, Oxford; and by squirting his oily prose at impressionable Catholics, he has kept them blinded to his almost total lack of Faith.
But it was not till 1939 that Monsignor Knox found an exercise that would enable him to display his talents to the fullest. In that year he retired to the manor house of a friend and began to translate the entire Bible into English from the Latin Vulgate. This virtuoso performance was meant to replace the traditional, and faithful, Douai-Rheims version, which had been used by English-speaking Catholics since the time of the Reformation.
Despite the terrible presumption of the title, there is ample justification for calling this book The Knox Bible, as his publisher and practically everyone does. For it is much more Knox’s work than God’s. It is dominated by Knox’s vocabulary, his sentence structure, his phrases. If he thinks something is not sufficiently clear the way the original, inspired writer put it — if it does not mean what Knox thinks it ought to mean — then he redoes the passage, adding words, leaving words out, and substituting phrases of his own (the Oxford equivalent) for the phrases used by the inspired writers. The cumulative effect of this is devastating. Thus, the fiery and overflowing Saint Paul, after being subjected to the School of Knox, sounds likes a secretary in the British Foreign Office. Example: at the end of his life, Saint Paul, having fought the good fight, writing to his disciple Timothy, boasts of his great achievement: “ ... I have kept the Faith.” Knox decided this should have been less enthusiastically rendered: “ ... I have redeemed my pledge.”
Knox treats the authors of Holy Scripture not as inspired writers but as hacks like himself, who are trying to find the best way of saying what it is they have to say, and who do not always succeed as well as he himself might have. You get the impression that the Evangelists were just interim instruments the Holy Spirit, used while He was waiting for Knox to come along. As a specimen of his attitude toward the Bible and the men who wrote it, here is one of his patronizing paragraphs, commenting on the Gospels. Referring to the place in the last chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John, where Our Lord asks Saint Peter: “Do you love (diligis) me? ... Do you love (diligis) me? ... Do you love (amas) me?” Knox says: “The probability is that Our Lord used the same word for love, and Saint Peter answered Him in the same word, three times over, but John (or his Greek amanuensis) introduced a second word in the Greek, from a natural (though mistaken) desire to avoid monotony. ”
It is almost impossible for a Catholic to read the whole of The Knox Bible, unsuspectingly, and keep his Faith. He would be almost better off reading the Revised Standard Version. The perversions of that book are so monstrous and overt that every Catholic would immediately recognize them, and be on his guard; but The Knox Bible gets him unawares. It does its damage not so much by clear, specific distortions as by its faithless British slant. There is an unholy attitude that pervades the book, a kind of atmosphere that hangs over it, like a London fog, and that, quietly but thoroughly, obscures God’s Word and stifles the Catholic Faith.
BY FATHER FEENEY
Hilaire Belloc is a Londoner in looks, a Londoner in walk and talk, and a Londoner in stubbornness. But he is the only London writer I know — with the possible exception of Philip Guedalla — who is not a Londoner in soul. Belloc has a Continental soul — a perfect sympathy with things French, Austrian and Italian, and a perfect shrewdness for everything that is German. Belloc never lost his Continental kinship with soldiers (he once served in the army of France), nor did he ever lose his sense of comradeship with the spirits of Continental saints, nearly every one of whose shrines he has at some time visited, making the journey on foot. His is also a Continental thirst for wine.
Belloc refuses to drink any liquor discovered or invented since the Protestant Reformation. The odors of brandy, sherry and port delight his Catholic sense of smell, but whiskey is a word one must never utter in his presence. I am almost afraid to put it in a paragraph where the name of Belloc is mentioned.
... He is now an old man, older, as he once remarked, than the Little Flower of Jesus would be were she still alive. Belloc has now a bent back, is helpless, is unshaven, is unreliable in all his remembrances, and faithful only to his memories. He sits by the fireside in some hidden country place, and waits for the tap on the shoulder that is to be his summons to the Particular Judgment.
When Belloc goes to Purgatory — I am positive Our Lord will never send him to Hell — I know he will be required to purge his soul of some of the interests collected there during life, by reason of too much association, even in the heat of conflict, with some of the heretics of his time. But I also believe he will be promised high rewards in Heaven for the clear courage with which he proclaimed all central Catholic truths, fearless of what would be the consequence to himself.
(from London Is A Place, Ravengate Press, Boston)
The Finalys and Baptism Betrayed
Q. What is Baptism?
A. Baptism is a Sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians, children of God, heirs of Heaven, and subjects of the Pope.
It is by this kind of summary that a Catholic child first learns the supernatural difference which spoken words and poured water can make in someone, and did make in him, long before his catechism days.
Christianity’s initial overture, or better still, its initial threat, is made in terms of Baptism. “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter the Kingdom of God.” And it was in terms a threat set to rhyme that Baptism once got called:
That pouring to producing
a loosening of Grace,
Divinity imparted at
the pourer’s pace,
When a trickle with the Trinity
will negatively tell
Of the dryer way to Hell!
Because Baptism makes all the difference in the world (and in the next world) between Christians and not, Heaven and Hell, saved and damned, we want to tell you this month two stories about it. The first, and the happy one for Baptism, goes this way.
One hundred years ago, in Italy, there was a servant girl named Anna Morisi, employed in the household of the Mortara family of Bologna. Now, Anna was a devout Catholic, while the Mortaras were Jews, and parents to a Jewish child named Edgar. One night, as Edgar lay sick, and close to dying, Anna Morisi poured water on his head, saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
Seven years later, the civic authorities of Bologna found out that the child, Edgar Mortara, long since recovered, was a Christian. In a matter of hours, Edgar was taken from his Jewish parents and dispatched to Rome, there to be brought up in the home of a Catholic family. For this was necessarily the law in a place where the Sacrament of Baptism was valued for what it is.
And no amount of Jewish wailing, at which Mrs. Mortara was most accomplished, could persuade the authorities otherwise. Appeals to the local clergy were useless. The priests of Bologna held the law to be quite in accord with their Catholic belief in the effects of Baptism. In Rome, Cardinals agreed with the Bologna priests, and the Holy Father himself, Pope Pius IX, could not be prompted to indicate even the least displeasure with the affair of the Mortara child.
Here is the second, the recent, and, for Baptism, the very sad story.
In 1944, shortly before they were killed by the Nazis, Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Finaly left their two Jewish sons in the protection of a French Catholic lady, Miss Antoinette Brun. Four years later, under Miss Brun’s auspices, Robert and Gerald Finaly were baptized in the Catholic Faith. It was after this that certain of their Jewish relatives became solicitous for the welfare of the Finaly boys and anxious to gain custody of them.
When it appeared that the French courts would require Robert and Gerald to leave Miss Brun and their Catholic home and move to Israeli with a Jewish aunt, plans were made. The boys must be taken across the border into Catholic Spain and hidden there. The hiding began last February, and involved in this holy plot to guard the Sacrament of Baptism were eight French priests and nuns.
Last month, the Finaly boys were found and returned to France. Previously found, and jailed, were the eight French religious. By an agreement between the Grand Rabbi of France and a prominent French Archbishop, the boys were to be turned over to their Jewish relatives, and the kidnapping charges against the priests and nuns were to be dropped. This seemed so eminently fair that the highest court in France labeled the agreement “justice” and closed the Finaly
To international Jewry, this was good news to hear. Baptism had come off as expendable. To restless Europe, the Finaly decision came as a kind of symbol. Here was the obituary for a European thing which was long suspected of having died. In the press, spokesmen for the people suggested that the “thing” was provincialism, or perhaps conservatism. Eight French priests and nuns thought it was the Faith.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
WHAT HAPPENED IN CHICAGO
Six Catholic Brothers were sent to jail in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. They were Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Saint Benedict Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the charge against them was “disorderly conduct.” All over the country their story was reprinted, supplemented by tabloid photographs and “serves-them-right” editorials. The Chicago incident got its start in South Bend, Indiana — the whole story in the press sounding somewhat as follows:
On Tuesday, July 28th, six clerically garbed young men from Saint Benedict Censer, headquarters of the controversial Father Leonard Feeney, appeared on the Notre Dame campus at South Bend and managed to stir up the whole University summer school. Their apparent purpose was the conversion of Notre Dame to their own “peculiar” beliefs.
Two days later, the group of six presented themselves at the Chicago Chancery Building and demanded an appointment with Samuel Cardinal Stritch. The “rumpus” raised by them forced Chancery officials to call in Chicago police and have the noisy sextet locked up. On the following morning in a local courtroom, the young men insisted that their case was a matter for the Church, not the civil courts. They were fined. They refused to pay. They were sentenced to five days in jail. Next day, fines for the six were paid by a Chicago Catholic who did not agree with the boys doctrinally, but thought that they ought to be allowed to “go back to Massachusetts.”
ENTER THE POINT
This month’s issue of The Point is the twentieth. In past months, there have been many incidents which, like the Chicago one, have made Saint Benedict Center, and its director, Father Leonard Feeney, subject matter for headlines in the newspapers and for feature articles in the news magazines. Great numbers of these write-ups have been of malicious intent, deliberately disregarding the actual situation. “Hit Feeney again,” has become a popular policy with news publishers, since they are assured that none of their readers would dare or care to come right out in the open and demand a fair hearing for Father Feeney.
Even more vicious, and less solicitous for the truth, have been the Father Feeney smear-jobs in the nation’s Catholic press. With them there has been no pretense at objective reporting. Hundreds of pages of “He’s insane,” “He’s proud,” “He studied too much,” have been foisted upon the Catholic public in the hope that the sheer quantity of the calumny will cover up the fact that no one has given a dogmatic answer to Father Feeney’s charge that heresy is being taught in the American Church, that the infallibly defined dogma of no salvation outside the Catholic Church is being reduced to a meaningless formula.
Father Leonard Feeney has come off in the Catholic periodicals as the one man in the country with dangerous doctrines. In such magazines, an article praising the religious outlooks of Christian Scientists, Mohammedans or Jews is the accepted and common accompaniment to a diatribe against the “ideas” of Father Feeney. And while Catholic students in Catholic colleges delve with “permission” into every forbidden hook on the Index, the one volume that is absolutely prohibited to them is Father Feeney’s recently published Bread of Life.
In all this, The Point has consistently refrained from rushing to Father Feeney’s personal defense. For we know that his first interest has always been the defense of the dogmas of the Faith, not the rectifying of misimpressions about himself, however maliciously and widely they may have been spread. To our faithful subscribers, the great majority of them priests, we need make no apology this month for departing from our usual practice. The truth is, this Chicago issue of The Point was prompted by the most dogmatic of reasons and, for our priest readers, the most sacramentally personal of reasons. The events in Chicago have cast doubt and confusion on the inviolable dogma that a priest is a priest forever.
This is our heartache, and our privilege: that we should now have to defend, along with the Church’s doctrine on salvation, the Church’s equally sacred doctrine on the eternal character of the priesthood. It is likewise our privilege that, in defending the priesthood, and its very nature, we cannot defend it apart from the priest in whom priesthood has been lately attacked, Father Leonard Feeney of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is in this spirit that we are telling the Chicago story.
The whole thing might very well have ended just where it began, at Notre Dame, had it not been for what appeared in the newspapers as a result of the Notre Dame incident. All that the six Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary had originally intended to do was to go out to South Bend, talk to as many of the students and teachers as they could, and then come home again.
The message that they brought to Notre Dame was a simple, straightforward one: that no one can get into Heaven who does not love the Blessed Virgin Mary. Later, the newspapers scoffingly reported that the six Brothers had come to “convert” the Notre Dame students. This was the strange doctrine to which they wanted to convert them.
The Brothers talked to more than three hundred Notre Dame students and priests. They told them that Notre Dame was letting Our Lady down. They said that there had once been a time when every Catholic American boy had thought of the Notre Dame football team as somehow representing Our Lady; but now, they said, it had turned into an eleven-man Interfaith meeting, many of whose members would refuse even to say the Hail Mary.
It was this attack on the sacred Notre Dame football team that really aroused the press. There was hardly a newspaper in the country that did not print the Brothers’ statement. Of course, it was twisted to try and make it sound queer and absurd: “The first sign of your approaching damnation is that you have Protestants on your football team.” But people could see through the way the papers had put it to what the Brothers had said, and they could see that a very telling point had been scored against Notre Dame. The University was officially upset enough to issue a statement on its policy regarding Protestants in the athletic department.
An hour from the time the six Brothers left the Notre Dame campus, they were on the front page of the South Bend newspaper. And by that evening their story and pictures were all over the country. On the whole, the reports of what happened at Notre Dame were good. Despite distortions and misquotations, enough of the truth had got out for anyone to see that the Brothers had gone to Notre Dame in Our Lady’s interests.
It was in identifying the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Order to which the Brothers belonged, that the damage was done. Father Leonard Feeney, the superior of the Order, was referred to as everything from a “former priest” and an “ex-priest” to “Mr. Feeney.” This was a clear, overt attack on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and the Brothers could not overlook it. Since the Chicago newspapers had been the most frequent offenders, the Brothers decided to go to Chicago.
As soon as they arrived in the city, the Brothers went directly to the editor of Chicago’s largest newspaper, and told him their grievance. The editor told them that he had honestly been led to believe — from reports he had read in the Catholic press — that Father Feeney was no longer a priest. However, he assured them that if they could get some sort of statement from Cardinal Stritch’s office saying that Father Feeney was still a priest, he would be glad to print a retraction, and would never make the mistake again.
The Brothers arrived at the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Chicago about noon on Thursday, July 30th. They were directed by the receptionist to Cardinal Stritch’s secretary, whom they asked for an appointment with the Cardinal. The secretary was about to make an appointment for them, when a door beside his desk opened and out stepped a priest whom the secretary identified as Monsignor Burke, Chancellor of the Archdiocese.
“Who are you?” the Monsignor demanded.
“We are six Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with Father Leonard Feeney,” one of the Brothers answered.
“The first appointment you are going to get,” the Monsignor snapped, “is with the police. Now get out of here!”
Stunned at this treatment, the Brothers for a moment did not know what to do. Then, as by a single inspiration, they turned and walked into the Cardinal’s office.
Cardinal Stritch was seated at his desk. He looked up, smiled, and nodded as the Brothers came in. “Your Eminence,” said Brother Hugh, one of the six, “we are Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and we would like an appointment to speak with you about a very grave matter.”
“I will be glad to give you an appointment, if you will make it properly,” the Cardinal said.
“That’s not what Monsignor Burke told us, Your Eminence,” Brother Hugh said. “He told us that the only appointment we would get would be with the police department. Your Eminence, could Brother Francis speak to you?”
The Cardinal nodded his assent.
Brother Francis told the Cardinal what a terrible scandal it was for Father Feeney to be called an ex-priest; he told him that millions of people were being made to think that the priesthood was not something abiding, but something that a priest could have one day and which could be taken away from him the next. He beseeched the Cardinal to put an end to this scandal and to give a statement to the newspapers affirming with finality that the Sacrament of Holy Orders, once administered, can never be taken away.
The Cardinal said he could do nothing.
“But don’t you see, Your Eminence,” Brother Francis protested, “that this is more than an attack on Father Feeney? It is an attack on the priesthood of every priest. If you do not want to issue a formal statement, have someone in the Chancery call up the newspapers and tell them unofficially, just so they will know.”
The Cardinal said he could do nothing.
Brother Francis then asked, “Your Eminence, do you believe that a priest is a priest forever?”
The Cardinal looked away, and did not answer.
While Brother Francis had been speaking to Cardinal Stritch, members of the Chancery staff kept coming into the office. But no one spoke, no one interrupted Brother Francis. Now, all of a sudden, someone tried to grab hold of him. The Brothers all dropped to their knees and said a prayer, in the hope of avoiding a scuffle. Cardinal Stritch then went into a more quiet office, and Brother Hugh went with him.
“Your Eminence,” Brother Hugh said, “I want to talk to you as a son to a father. Will you listen to me?”
“Yes,” said the Cardinal, “what can I do for you?”
“Your Eminence, I plead with you to stop this terrible scandal. Defend the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Tell the newspapers that Father Feeney is still a priest. Don’t you believe, Your Eminence, that a priest is a priest forever?”
The Cardinal did not answer. At this point, three laymen came into the room. Brother Hugh turned and spoke to them: “You can see that I am speaking to the Cardinal as a son to a father. I am asking you in the name of Our Blessed Mother not to hinder me.”
The men stepped back. Brother Hugh turned to the Cardinal and asked him again if he would do something to stop the scandal being given.
“Rome has spoken,” the Cardinal said, “There is nothing I can do.”
“Rome has always referred to Father Leonard Feeney as a priest,” Brother Hugh said.
“Well, in common parlance around here, we sometimes call a priest an ex-priest,” the Cardinal answered.
“Your Eminence,” Brother Hugh asked one last time, “do you yourself believe that a priest is a priest forever?”
Suddenly, two policemen seized Brother Hugh from behind. They held his arms and pulled him from the room. When Brother Hugh turned around, he saw that the policemen were acting at the direction of a priest. He realized, too, that Cardinal Stritch must have seen what was about to happen, yet he had made no motion to stop the policemen; he had given no indication that they were approaching; he had not even changed his expression.
Each year on the first day of August, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Peter in Chains, the commemoration of Saint Peter’s deliverance from prison by an angel. This year’s August first, a Saturday, found the six Brothers from Saint Benedict Center quite as thoroughly in jail as Saint Peter had been. It was on Thursday that they were arrested in Cardinal Stritch’s office. On Friday their case came up in the Chicago Municipal Court. The judge decided that the Brothers must admit, by paying a five dollar fine, that their request to see Cardinal Stritch was “disorderly conduct.” The judge’s alternative was a five day trip to one of the local penal institutions, and the Brothers chose the trip.
Were it not for a certain Mrs. Thomason, Saturday August first would have been for them the first of five willing days behind bars. On that morning, however, the said Midwestern lady appeared with purse in hand, paid all six fines, and then made statements to the press about how delighted she was that Senator Robert Taft was in Heaven and the Brothers from Massachusetts were on their way back home.
Mrs. Thomason’s neighbors were not all so blithe about the whole affair. Alert Chicago Catholics began to realize just how far our bishops are prepared to go to discredit any priest who will not fall into the American pattern of compromised Catholicism.
And in Boston, Father Leonard Feeney had an answer for those who would “de-priest” him. It was to affirm more loudly than ever that defined dogma of the Faith which his enemies had hoped to disgrace by disgracing him: there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, nor without personal submission to our Holy Father, the Pope.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
Last month’s issue of the Catholic Digest went all out for a money-making real estate deal in Florida called “Holy Land, Inc.” Conceived by Broadway Catholic Eddie Dowling, “Holy Land, Inc.” plans to reproduce the Palestine holy places over a square mile of Florida, and then stage annual Nativity and Passion plays which will be “non-sectarian” and offensive to no one, including the Jews who are among the project’s financiers.
These were the plans, that is, until the Bishop of Saint Augustine, Florida, came out against the whole thing. The official diocesan statement said, “The Catholic mind shrinks from the concept of a ‘non-sectarian’ Christ as it does from other aspects of the plan set forward in the Catholic Digest.”
Every time the Catholic Digest departs from its customary fare and tries to go a little theological, it gets into trouble. We hope this Florida rebuke will help it to re-see its vocation as a second-rate Reader’s Digest and to stick to the kind of thing it knows, articles like, “How to Tan Gloriously Without the Aid of Grease.”
On the third of this month, the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus. Because of her great zeal for the Faith, this young French nun, who died at twenty-four in a Carmelite cloister, has been appointed the Patroness of all the Church’s missions.
Here is the way she spoke during her last illness. “Oh, how happy I would have been to fight at the time of the Crusades, or later on to fight against the heretics. Be assured, I would not have been afraid of the fire! Oh, is it possible that I should die in bed?”
This desire of the Little Flower’s to fight the Crusades was in the courageous spirit of an earlier French saint, the King of France, Saint Louis IX. That holiest of the Crusaders once wrote to the Sultan of Egypt, whose lands he was about to invade, “The soldiers who march under my standard cover the plains, and my cavalry is no less formidable. You have but one means to avoid the tempest that threatens you. Receive priests who will teach you the Christian religion; embrace it and adore the Cross; otherwise I will pursue you everywhere ... ”
THE MASONS AND THE JEWS
The United States of America is the most Masonic country in the world. Three and a half million Masons, more than 75 per cent of the world’s total, live here.
American Catholics persist in regarding these Masons who surround them as nothing more than a bunch of harmless, fun-loving fellows, who like to sponsor football games to aid aged widows. Yet, in all the history of the Church, there is no organization that the Popes have condemned so insistently, urgently, and severely as Freemasonry. It has been anathematized seventeen different times, and has in some way been warned against by almost every Pope of the last two centuries.
The fact that Masons in this country have such an innocuous reputation is the result of deliberate and prudent Masonic planning. Instead of attacking the Church frontally, which would reveal them as enemies, and would enable the Church to defend herself, the Masons launch their attack obliquely, sinisterly, as it were by night. They rarely declare themselves as being anti-Catholic — particularly among the Thirty-third Degree members, by whom Masonic policy is established and understood. Rather, they always have some apparently innocent program they want to put into effect, like Interfaith, or universal public school education. It is by such programs that they achieve their ends.
The Masons pretend they are concerned with political reforms; but their real objectives are not political, they are religious. They talk loftily of wanting to establish “progress” and “freedom” and democracy.” But if you probe deep enough, or wait long enough, you will discover what they mean by these terms. For the Masons have but one goal: the utter destruction of the Catholic Church throughout the world; and whatever else they may seem to be for or against, as is ultimately for the sake of achieving that goal. Since the time of the French Revolution, when they marched against the Church under the specious banner of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, the Masons have been active wherever there has been a chance to assail Christ the King and His Mystical Body.
Though the Masons will pose as great patriots when it suits their designs, the Masons are really loyal to no country. In its war against the Church, Masonry transcends all national boundaries, all forms of government, all economic systems. That alone explains such a strange league as the capitalistic Masons of the United States supporting and encouraging avowed Communists in Mexico and aiding them to take over the government there. They did so because the Communists had declared war on Christ the King and had sworn to crush the Faith of the Mexican people.
But of all the schemes the Masons have devised against the Church, of all their weapons, the most terrible, the one that makes them such a dangerous and desperate enemy, is this: they have unleashed on Christendom the fury of the Jews.
Until the Masons came to power, the ancient, bitter hatred that the Jews have for their King and for those who are loyal to Him, was kept in check. They were obliged to live in ghettos, and the Christians were well-warned against them. But as the Masons took over the nations of Europe, they invited the Jews to leave their ghettos and to mingle freely with the rest of society. Like Pilate befriending Herod, the Masons overcame their natural abhorrence of the Jews and, for the sake of their common foe, took them as an ally.
Once out of their ghettos, the Jews found that, by the alert practice of usury, they were soon able to control the finances of whatever countries they were in. They then proceeded to take over, thoroughly and securely, all those media by which the thoughts and opinions, the sympathies and emotions, the values and attitudes of men and of nations are ruled.
Today, in the countries which the Masons dominate, notably the United States, the Jews control the book publishing industry, they control the press, they control the news agencies, they control the movies and radio and television and entertainment. They control what information, under the guise of “news,” shall be given to the people, and what shall be withheld. By their command of the news agencies, especially the international ones, they can determine what slant the news shall have at its very origin. Witness their vicious propaganda campaign against Catholic Franco and for the Communists during the Spanish Civil War.
Those newspapers that the Jews do not shape positively, by writing, editing, or publishing them, they regulate quite effectively in another way — by threatening to stop advertising their department stores in the papers, if they print anything detrimental to Jewish interests.
Thus, the Jews are able to spread the Masonic principles and programs, which they, for their own Judaic reasons, share. They can make it look as though a person is against public opinion, against democracy, against America who does not hold, for instance, that one religion is as good as another.
But important as this work of indoctrination is in combating the Faith, the Masons have given the Jews another assignment which is even more important. It is to subject Christians to the evil influence of Jewish morals. This task the Jews perform with delighted thoroughness. By their movies, their television programs, their advertisements, their books and magazines, the Jews saturate society with their sensualism and filth, their what’s-in-it-for-me outlooks. No one can withstand long exposure to this Jewish influence without becoming completely demoralized.
Traditionally, the Masons’ final step is to foment a revolution, overthrowing by violence the existing government and setting up one based on anti-Catholic, Masonic principles. But here, in our time, the Masons are going to try and destroy the Faith in a nation of 30 million Catholics without violence, or bloodshed, quietly and legally.
However, there is one condition necessary for the accomplishment of this Masonic scheme: American Catholics must continue on the same merry, unguarded, unsuspecting way they have been going. They must continue to believe they have nothing to fight in the power of the Masons, nothing to fear in the influence of the Jews.
“Tear away the mask from Freemasonry, and let it be seen as it really is.” — Pope Leo XIII
“Let us remember that Christianity and Freemasonry are, by their nature, irreconcilable.” — Pope Leo XIII
“The Masons blasphemously profane and defile the Passion of Jesus Christ by their sacrilegious ceremonies ... They cherish a very special hatred against the Apostolic See, which they are striving to overthrow.” — Pope Pius VII
“It is not alone the Masonic body in Europe that is referred to, but also the Masonic associations in America and in whatsoever part of the world they may be.” — Pope Pius IX
BY FATHER FEENEY
Our Lord, in the few observational remarks he made about children, never commented on a child’s good looks, soft hair, or bright utterance. He blessed and canonized their innocence in a single pronouncement: “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God.”
A child offers Christianity all it needs on which to build by way of value. It is on what a child can readily know about a lamb, a pearl, a field of wheat, a leper, a fisherman, a lamp, the taste of salt, the odor of wine, a gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh, that the entire Gospel story is written. Christianity seeks to win the approval of the child, knowing that the best way to know how to be great is to let children teach us value. A child’s questions, problems and delights are the poetry, philosophy, theology and mysticism of Catholic life in one little blue-eyed inquiry.
If Our Lord has set such importance on a child’s interests in order to make Revelation fruitful, it must follow that a continued childhood — a perennial let-the-dead-bury-the-dead, take-no-heed-for-tomorrow outlook — is the very best manner in which to let the seed of faith, once given, take root in fruitful soil. As Catholics, we must preserve — or, if lost, re-establish — the child in us, in order to be saved. ...
Little Jesus did not enter this world to give us the privilege of condescension toward something inferior to us. He came to be our King, issuing commands by His small silences, His tiny fingers and His great need. God could easily have entered the world by some thunderous and impressive route. He is well-known for His power to split the sky with lightning, tear the air with a tornado, spill a mountain into an avalanche, or unsettle a continent with an earthquake. By way of any of these cosmic overtures, He could have made His entrance into our world, led by twelve legions of Angels. But, no. The road He chose to travel to us was the innocent portal of a mother’s womb, garlanded with the no-hurries and long delays of love.
(first printed in The Messenger of the Sacred Heart)
The Newman Clubs
Amid the ordered barbarism which the late Dr. Roosevelt was wont to call “our American way of life,” there is established a pattern which may be identified by the name of “our club culture.” For the levels of American sociability lend themselves admirably to a breakdown by “clubs” — beginning at the top with the polo club, the yacht club, the country club, descending through the women’s club, the bridge club, the Lions Club, and terminating inelegantly at “Mike’s Club — Beer Ten Cents a Glass.”
Distributed up and down this vertical hierarchy (generously in the middle, sparsely at either end) are the subsidiary clubs — aggregations of button collectors, bird watchers, and the offspring of American Revolutionaries. With pompous Mesdames President and dutiful sub-chairmen, the members of the clubs sustain themselves in that one interest which provides their common unity — to wit, bizarre buttons, odd birds, or rabble-rousing ancestors.
In the midst of these lesser gatherings, and willing to be taken for one of them, is the Newman Club Federation, that appraisal of the Catholic Faith as “something to have a doubt about.”
Newman Clubs are now about fifty years old. Their members are those tragically misplaced persons, Catholic students at non-Catholic colleges. And their very name, Newman, gives them away.
It was the spirit of Newman’s writings, quite as much as his over-esteemed clarity, which made him so fit the purposes of American Catholics at non-Catholic colleges. For in everything that Newman said in print, after he rationalized his way into the Church, there is a clear determination to dissociate himself from all that he considered vulgar (that is, not English) in his new-found religion. He felt, for example, that devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was being carried too far, and that the infallibility of the Pope was something to keep quiet about!
As they started off, the Newman Clubs selected John Henry Cardinal Newman as their patron for many reasons, one of which was their certainty that he would never embarrass them by getting canonized and turning into a patron-saint. Newman, they decided, was an eminently acceptable variety of Catholic to bring to the attention of our secular universities. To begin with, he was not a noisy Irish-American Catholic, but an ex-Anglican English one. And he was not only literate, he was even literary.
The establishers of the Newman Clubs must have realized, however, that in importing his spirit, much of Newman’s Oxford refinement and Anglican propriety would be lost in transit. For when it is found on a Midwestern university campus, clad in blue-jeans at a Newman Club weenie roast, the spirit of John Henry Cardinal Newman as stripped of all but its most basic elements: compromise of and apology for the Faith.
The Newman Club maintains that a Catholic student can “stick it out” at a secular college and preserve his Faith by means of weekly teas, monthly dances and an occasional festive breakfast, preceded by a hasty Holy Communion. In fact, Newman Club bulletins point proudly to recent surveys which report that although the percentage of Catholic students who leave the Faith at secular colleges is very high, the number is considerably lower among those students who are Newman Clubbers.
The Newman policy is blithely and blindly to assume that the student who does not openly break with the Faith must therefore still have it. And this policy explains the Newman Club alumni, those secularly-educated thousands who are, in name, Catholic, but who are, in sympathy, outlook, judgment, appreciation, manner, in their very impulse, non-Catholic, and what is worse, unconcerned that this is the case.
The declared purpose of the Newman Club movement is, “the religious, intellectual, and social betterment of its members.” Understood, is the qualification, “provided such betterment in no way interferes with that primary consideration, the Catholic student’s acquisition of a secular college degree.” Thus, the effectiveness of a Newman Club as a secular college is the effectiveness of the boy who held his finger in the leaking dike, hoping to keep back the flood which was pouring in over the top.
Our necessary conclusion? We prefer degree-less Catholics to drowned ones.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
The attack on Freemasonry in last month’s issue of The Point brought forth many comments. Masons were particularly upset. To keep them in this state, we are printing the following pronouncement by Pope Clement XII.
“Wherefore, to each and all of the faithful of Christ, of whatever state, grade, condition or order, We ordain stringently and in virtue of holy obedience, that they shall not, under any pretext, enter, propagate, or support the aforesaid societies, known as Freemasons, or otherwise named; that they shall not be enrolled in them, affiliated with them, or take part in their proceedings, assist them, or afford them in any way counsel, aid, or favor, publicly or privately, directly or indirectly, by themselves or by others in any way whatever, under pain of excommunication, to be incurred by the very act, without further declaration, from which absolution shall not be obtainable through anyone except Ourselves, or Our successor, the Roman Pontiff ... ”
The American liberal-Catholic solution for getting infidels and others into Heaven has always been the phrase, “the soul of the Church.” All the theologians now admit that this was an “unfortunate” bit of theologizing. For, in truth, the soul of the Church is none other than the Holy Ghost! This admission, however, provoked no contrite retractions from American theologians, nor did it send them back to the Church’s true teaching regarding the salvation of those who die as infidels.
For the enlightenment of the Catechism revisers down in Baltimore, who seem to consult only uncanonized contemporaries, we will repeat what Pope Saint Gregory the Great had to say about the salvation of infidels. (He had in mind especially the Jews.)
“We can no more pray for a deceased infidel than we can for the devil, since they are condemned to the same eternal and irrevocable damnation.”
In case you wonder why The Point sometimes sounds so alarmed, it is because of alarming befoulings of the Faith by some of our Catholic competitors.
The magazine, Novena Notes, published in Chicago, has allowed a priest to come out with the assertion that Our Blessed Lady never died!
The Pilot, published in Boston, whose priest-editor is a guest preacher in Protestant churches, has recently declared that one can apostatize from the Catholic Faith, if one’s conscience so directs, without any sin!
The Catholic Digest, published in Saint Paul, has featured the account of a Catholic chaplain whose apostolic duty during the past war was to tell dying non-Catholic soldiers how they could enter the Church by Baptism of Desire.
The Catholic monthly, Jubilee, published in New York, invited Christopher Morley to contribute to its columns (and printed his contribution) even though Morley’s insulting reply accused them of being “papists” whose interest in himself as a contributor to Catholic literature he could not quite understand.
The Register, published in Denver, has continued to issue its weekly “ex cathedra” pronouncements from the fallible chair of Monsignor Matthew Smith, the so-called “Pope of the Middle West.”
Our many other reasons for being alarmed will be stated candidly in future issues.
LAMBS WITHOUT SHEPHERDS
The outstanding example of American youth is neither Huckleberry Finn, Shirley Temple, nor Little Orphan Annie. He is, rather, a youngster who, in just a short time, and by the sheer impact of his personality, has soared to unprecedented fame. He is that familiar figure on the American scene, the juvenile delinquent.
Admittedly, his name is fantastic. It was given by his elders early in his career, in the hope that he could be gotten rid of by ridicule, or, failing that, could be made to sound like some strange social phenomenon that could best be handled by the academicians.
But no one considers the juvenile delinquent a laughing matter any more. He is presently America’s biggest headache, and is becoming daily more of a menace. He is the subject of newspaper editorials, of police campaigns, of Congressional investigations. And the more attention he receives, the more he thrives. Numerically, he represents one out of twenty youths between the ages of ten and seventeen. That was the number arrested and brought to court last year.
Nothing reveals a culture so vividly and sensitively as the way it affects the children who live in it. Thus, if you want to see the beauty and nobility of a Catholic culture shining most clearly, look at the children such a culture produces — at their innocence, their sense of wonder, their holy interests, their joy.
And likewise, if you want to see the rottenness of our own American culture, look at the mark that culture has made upon our children. For the juvenile delinquent is merely the ultimate, inevitable reaction to a prolonged siege of Masonic ideas and Jewish morals. He is the product of our culture as it outrages the innocence of a child.
Nowhere is this cultural assault so violent as in The Point ’s own city, Boston. Besides having whatever the rest of the country has, Boston has given birth to, or provided a home for, some peculiar barbarities and perversities of its own — among them, Unitarians, Christian Science, and Harvard University. It is not surprising, therefore, that Boston should be a hotbed of juvenile delinquency; but, what is surprising, and frightening, is that most of its heat is being generated by Catholic boys and girls.
To show why this is so, we need to make a few observations on the spiritual environment of the Catholic children of Boston — not by way of excusing the juvenile delinquents, for they are inexcusable, but only by way of explaining them.
When Richard J. Cushing was appointed Archbishop of Boston, everyone breathed a great sigh of relief. The long cold days of William Cardinal O’ Connell seemed definitely past. Here was a man who was the Cardinal’s very antithesis. The Cardinal had shone with Protestant polish; Archbishop Cushing had none of it. The Cardinal had kept his money and invested it wisely; Archbishop Cushing was a lavish spender. The Cardinal had considered himself a man of culture, and collected masterpieces of art; Archbishop Cushing had no use for the stuff.
Yet Archbishop Cushing has failed the Catholics of his city, particularly the children, as Cardinal O’ Connell never did. He has left the children entrusted to him completely defenseless against the ravages of the world. He has given them no indication that they ought to keep themselves guarded, or that they have any enemies who want to destroy their Faith. Rather, he has determinedly pursued a good-word-for-everyone policy, which has led him, among other things, to be photographed holding hands with a Jewish rabbi and a notoriously anti-Catholic Protestant bishop.
Archbishop Cushing has appeared to the children in his care as a hospital-builder, a money-raiser, a celebrity-greeter; but he has not been their Father, he has not been their priest. He has not made it his first interest to teach them the way to eternal life and exhort them to its attainment. Neither by his words nor his actions has he given them the impression that their Faith is any more precious than the faith of Protestants or Jews.
Nor has he appealed to them as you would expect a priest to, asking them to be noble for the take of their Mother, the Queen of Heaven, urging them to find in her cause the adventure and excitement they seek. Never has he called upon them for a crusade to protect the Holy Name of Jesus or to convert Boston into a strong, truly Catholic city. Instead, when a local Protestant minister bought full pages in the Boston newspapers to advertise that Our Lady was not ever-Virgin, nor immaculately conceived, nor assumed into Heaven, Archbishop Cushing, as an example to the Catholic children of the city, showed not the slightest indignation, or even interest.
The secret and the summary of juvenile delinquency in Boston is contained in this terrible premonition of Saint John-Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars: “Leave a parish without a priest for twenty years, and it will worship the brutes.”
That is the story of Boston. It has not been left without a priest, but it has been left in the episcopal care of a priest who will not teach and lead his people as a priest is meant to; and its children have become like a litter of brutes, roaming its streets in savage packs.
BY FATHER FEENEY
The earth does God a great favor by supplying Him with the materials of trans-substantiation, with the vestiges He uses in the Eucharist. Have you ever stopped to realize that if the fields yielded no more wheat, or the vineyards stopped distilling the liquids that become wine, there would be no more Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? And, without the Mass, there would be no Church!
When you realize the elemental innocences out of which God gives us the Bread of Life in the Holy Eucharist, rains have a new meaning, vines acquire fresh value as their grapes ripen in the sun, wheat fields assume a sudden significance, and clouds and foliage and silt and soil are all supersubstantially associated when we see them as necessities for the accoutrements, the wrappings, of this great Gift which makes our Holy Sacrifice, and which is the Flesh and Blood of Jesus under the eye-likenesses of bread and wine.
Bread is a product of fields and hands. Wine is the product of hills and feet. If Jesus did not have bread, there would be no Blessed Eucharist. No other food could serve Christ’s sacrificial purpose with the lightness and clarity and brilliance of wheat become bread. And it was the sun-charged grape bunches on the sides of villages that lured His generosity to pour Himself out in the guise of wine. This wheat and wine came to God the Son from God the Father. The Son thanks His Eternal Father for them at the Offertory of the Mass. He thanks Him for all the hosts and all the wheat fields until the end of time! What a harvest Christ requires for His sacrificial Suppers of Love, and what a wheat bill if God the Father were to charge the Son.
(from Bread of Life, published by St. Benedict Center)
CATHOLIC MEXICO AND CATHOLIC CANADA
When sixteenth century Spanish explorers discovered the southern end of our Mississippi River, they called it, the “River of the Holy Spirit.” A hundred years later, when the French found the Mississippi at its northern beginnings, they called it, the “River of the Immaculate Conception.” As the Spaniards were sailing up our Atlantic coastline, they came upon Chesapeake Bay and gave it its first name, “Bay of the Mother of God.” As the French sailed down the same coast, they beat the Pilgrims to Plymouth by a dozen years and named the place, “Saint Louis.”
The job of assigning names in our country, names for the rivers and hills and towns, fell first, in the South and the West, to the Spanish, and first in the North to the French. With Catholic liberality, they named everything that was namable, and with Catholic sensitiveness to the value of place, they took most of the names from their Faith. But in proportion as Spain and then France declined in Europe, so New Spain and New France diminished in America. They withdrew, one to the far Southwest, the other to the North, and into the area thus left empty of all but its Catholic names, there moved the U. S. A., young, boisterous, and Protestant.
And though vestige-names like Corpus Christi and Sault Sainte Marie have been of little effect in promoting a continuance of America’s Catholic foundations, a clear challenge has remained in the New World survival of Spain and France at America’s borders — with Spanish-Catholic Mexico to the south of us, and French-Catholic Canada to the North.
The Mexican is a blend of what the Spaniards brought to the New World and what they found here. For the Spanish colonials, unlike their English or Dutch counterparts, had no policy of “drive the natives out and we’ll take over.” They gave the Indians their Faith and presently welcomed them into their families, as the husbands of their daughters and the wives of their sons. And it was to one such native of Mexico, baptized with the Spanish name of Juan Diego, that the Mother of God long ago was pleased to appear — so that ever since, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, she has been in their songs and in their prayers, “The Mother of the Mexicans.”
If Mexico is the country of the Mother of God, then French Canada, from its long identification with “Good Saint Ann,” is as surely the land of the Mother of God’s Mother. Fittingly, the struggles of Mexico and Canada to stay Catholic have been much in the spirit of a mother and a grandmother — a Spanish mother defiant before the outrages financed in Mexico by American Masons, and a French grandmother praying, patient, and immovable before the brutalities of imperial England.
Out of the Faith which has thus been kept alive in them, Mexico and Canada have given us, within our lifetime, this grace: a young priest and a white-haired brother. The priest was Father Miguel Pro, whose determination to say his daily Mass and shout, “Long live Christ the King!” got him death from a government firing squad. The brother was Frère André, “Saint Joseph’s little dog” (as be called himself), whose child-like faith made him the worker of many miracles.
At the start, it was names that the Spanish and French brought to us. And now, the last articulations of New Spain and New France, there are these names, Father Pro and Brother André. Certainly they are going to intercede for their Mexico and their Canada, these two: and in this is our hope. For, looking down from Heaven, they will see, north of Father Pro’s martyrdom and south of Brother André’s miracles, the “Bay of the Mother of God,” and the “River of the Immaculate Conception,” and perhaps they will be convinced that something ought to be done about all the unfulfilled promise in names like San Antonio and Saint Louis and Saint Paul and Santa Fe.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
GLORY TO GOD IN THE MANGER
Nineteen hundred and fifty-three years ago, we were confronted with something new. We had never seen its like before: nor have we since. Angels deserted their heavens to shout and sing about it. Shepherds abandoned their sheep on the hillside because of it. Kings left their kingdoms behind to journey in search of it. For, nineteen hundred and fifty-three years ago, God became man, and was born in Bethlehem of a Blessed Virginal Mother.
Since the coming of God-made-man was something unprecedented in our midst, we could never have predicted what its consequences would be. Certainly, we could never have reasoned to the fact that it would mean bloodshed — that seventy-two holy and innocent babies would immediately be put to death as a result of such a birth. And certainly, we had no idea that if God were to be born into His own world, that world would demand the shedding of even His Blood, thirty or so years later.
Because we were totally inexperienced in the matter of an Emmanuel, a God-with-us, we had no way of telling, left to ourselves, that the memory of Bethlehem would go on more securely than ever, after the disgrace of Calvary. Nor, indeed, could we have guessed that by a perpetuation of this very Calvary, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. God was arranging to abide with us as our Emmanuel, in the consecrated hands of His Catholic priests.
Fittingly, the Holy Sacrifice that is offered on the twenty-fifth of December, during which God comes to our altars on the anniversary of His coming to Bethlehem, has long been regarded as especially “Christ’s Mass” — which has abbreviatedly come to be Christmas.
The Christmas we are about to celebrate will be the nineteen hundred and fifty-third. And although its survival is ultimately secure, its challenging truth will suffer countless attacks.
Here in Boston (a town reputed to be well-disposed toward such considerations as birth and Divinity), Christmas will come as a foreign extravagance to our primeval Puritans, whose grandelders could recall how the December twenty-fifths of their childhood were dismissed as “popish feasts.”
From the more recent denominations of Boston Protestantism, Christmas will get a varied reception. The followers of Mrs. Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy, for example, who believe there is no such thing as death, will be quietly disturbed — realizing that if they allow Jesus to be truly born at Christmas, He will grow up to be a serious threat to their theology when He truly dies on Good Friday.
And we can count on local manifestations of the older, more artful rebukes to Christmas: those of the Masons and of the Jews.
Still — however much it will be scoffed at as the Birthday of God-incarnate from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this year’s Christmas will not be a failure. It will be a nineteen hundred and fifty-third commemoration of a Happy Birthday for Jesus.
For at “Christ’s Mass” this December twenty-fifth, Jesus, welcomed anew at the words of Consecration, will be wrapped in the swaddling clothes of bread-appearances, and laid in that most precious of mangers, a Catholic child’s Holy Communion heart.
Martin Luther, a diabolical apostate priest, now in Hell, has been made the hero of a movie put out by the Lutheran Church. Catholics are being induced to attend this movie even by editors of Catholic magazines, whose movie reviewers report that although there are a few disappointing spots in the film, it is not, on the whole, a bad movie for Catholics to see.
If it is not an unqualified mortal sin for Catholics to attend a showing of Martin Luther, then it is utterly foolish for the Church to continue to demand that Catholics avoid occasions of sin and stay away from books on the Index.
This month marks the beginning of a Marian year, proclaimed by Pope Pius XII to honor the one hundredth anniversary of the definition of the dogma of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. We are therefore printing below a prayer addressed to Our Lady by His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, the Pope who defined the dogma.
“O Mary, mother of mercy and refuge of sinners! we beseech thee to look with pitying eyes on heretical and schismatical nations. Do thou, who art the seat of wisdom, illumine their minds, wretchedly involved in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may know the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which no sanctity or salvation can be found. Finally, complete their conversion by obtaining for them the grace to believe every truth of our Holy Faith, and to submit to the Sovereign Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, that thus, being soon united to us by the bonds of divine charity, they may make with us but one fold under one and the same pastor, and that we may thus, O glorious Virgin! all sing exultingly forever: ‘Rejoice, O Virgin Mary! alone thou hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world.’ Amen.”
BY FATHER FEENEY
O Love, and have you come to share
Our bones, our breath, our lungs, our air?
O Weightless, shall Your burden be
Our leaden Law of Gravity?
Within our fetters dare You, Fleet,
Go groping with our hands and feet?
And must our senses be assigned You!
Ears to deafen, eyes to blind You?
If I were God, I swear I’d loathe
Myself in measurements to clothe.
Were I the Father’s Word, no earth
Would straw and stable me at birth,
My tale would run — I must be honest —
Et Verbum caro factum non est.
Christianity is not the religion which holds that God exists. Every religion holds this dogma, whether it conceives God to be one or many. Christianity is the religion which holds that God became man, that He entered our ranks, assumed our nature, translated Himself into our idiom, “sifted Himself to suit our sight,” and was born in Bethlehem in a temporal generation, Who was born in eternity in an eternal generation.
When we betake ourselves to the crib on Christmas morning, it is not to see just another baby, nor even to see just another mother. This is the most different child and the most different mother who have ever existed. Nobody like them ever was before, or ever will be again. Take the mother.
Her child was born of the love of the Holy Ghost: sheer Love made her fruitful. She is the fulfillment of a thousand prophecies uttered in the Old Testament. As a special preparation for this most holy prerogative, she was herself conceived free from Original Sin, never tainted by the evil that beset our nature when Adam spoiled us all in Paradise ...
The Immaculate Conception has nothing to do, as is commonly supposed, with Our Lady’s chastity, nor with the chastity of her father and mother. The Immaculate Conception refers to Our Lady’s Christianity. Its meaning is best studied, not in connection with the Nativity or the Annunciation, but in connection with the third chapter of Genesis and with the discourse of Our Lord at the Last Supper; for there is a world of difference between the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and that of the Virgin Birth. The Immaculate Conception refers to Our Lady at her own birth and the sanctified condition of her soul in the nine months that preceded it. The Virgin Birth refers to her at Our Lord’s birth, and to the fact that she conceived Him without the aid of man. The Immaculate Conception refers to Our Lady as a child: the Virgin Birth has to do with her as a mother. The Immaculate Conception has reference to the condition of Our Lady’s soul at the instant of its creation; the Virgin Birth to the condition of her body before, during, and after the time that she became fruitful with the Divine Child. This is the woman, the miracle woman of all the centuries, who stands so quietly by her Infant in the cold of the first Christmas Eve, and at whose side stands meekly her husband, Saint Joseph, marveling at the Child of predilection which was not his own.
When I said Mass at midnight,
And candles were aglow,
I saw a white old woman,
Two thousands years ago,
My very great grandmother,
Who spun me flesh and bone,
Who felt my fingers aching,
In the atoms of her own,
In whom my eyes were shining,
However far away,
When Christ was in His cradle
And it was Christmas Day.