The Point -1959
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
SHOULD HATE BE OUTLAWED?
Most Americans, hearing this question, would answer promptly, “Yes, by all means, hate should be outlawed!” Their eagerness to reply can be accounted for all too easily. During the last decade and a half, they have been pounded with a propaganda barrage calculated to leave them in a state of dazed affability toward the whole world. Those advertising techniques that are normally used to encourage Americans to be choosy in matters of soap and toothpaste are now being enlisted to persuade them that there is no such thing as a superior product in matters of culture and creed. On billboards, on bus and subway posters, in newspapers and magazines, through radio and television broadcasts, Americans are being assured and reassured, both subtly and boldly, that “Bigotry is fascism ... Only Brotherhood can save our nation ... We must be tolerant of all!”
The long-range effects of this campaign are even now evident. It is producing the “spineless citizen”: the man who has no cultural sensibilities; who is incapable of indignation; whose sole mental activity is merely an extension of what he reads in the newspaper or sees on the television screen; who faces moral disaster in his neighborhood, political disaster in his country, and an impending world catastrophe with a blank and smiling countenance. He has only understanding for the enemies of his country. He has nothing but kind sentiments for those who would destroy his home and family. He has an earnest sympathy for anyone who would obliterate his faith. He is universally tolerant. He is totally unprejudiced. If he has any principles, he keeps them well concealed, lest in advocating them he should seem to indicate that contrary principles might be inferior. He is, to the extent of his abilities, exactly like the next citizen, who, he trusts, is trying to be exactly like him: a faceless, characterless putty-man.
Along with everyone else, American Catholics have been hammered with the slogans of the “anti-hate” campaign. Additionally, they remember the stories of how prejudice against Catholics oftentimes made America a very uncomfortable place for their immigrant Catholic grandparents. And so, they too, if asked, would declare unhesitatingly that hate should be outlawed.
What American Catholics do not stop to reflect on is that the Catholic Faith, by its very nature, fosters indignation, intolerant positions, and strong utterance. The Church is set up to continue the divine ministry of Jesus Christ, Who avowed that He had come on Earth, “Not to send peace, but the sword ... to cast fire on the Earth, and what will I but that it be kindled.”
In accepting their vocation to be “other Christs,” Catholics are faced with the countless examples of Gospel astringency. They are reminded that the same Jesus Who said, “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart,” likewise said, “I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own house-hold.” Nor can they forget that the same Jesus, Who submitted Himself to the Jewish mob in the garden of Gethsemani, had previously overturned the tables of the buyers and sellers and driven them from the temple with a whip.
In accepting their position as contemporary members of the Church, American Catholics must take as their heritage the outlooks, attitudes, and purposes of their older brothers and sisters in the Faith — those Catholics who have gone before them and have preserved the Church to our own day. For the Catholic Church is One. The Church that called on its sons to take up the Cross and the sword and drive the infidel from the Holy Land, the Church that isolated the Jews of Christendom with rigid laws and ghetto walls, the Church that has repeatedly condemned the doctrines of those who disagree with her, is the same Catholic Church that claims the loyalty of 35,000,000 twentieth-century Americans.
Along with the Mass, the Sacraments, and all the spiritual treasures that are a Catholic’s baptismal birthright, these American Catholics must also assume the rest of their legacy. As members of the Church Militant — raised by the Sacrament of Confirmation to be Soldiers of Jesus Christ — they are heirs of a tradition that has been marked through the centuries by sustained and unashamed militancy.
Examples of the clash between traditional Catholic observance and the current “anti-hate” campaign could be multiplied indefinitely. Every chapter in every age of the Church’s history will provide them, because the ultimate issue involved is an abiding one, a doctrinal one. It is the Catholic Church’s uncompromising claim to be the One True Church established by God. It is this conviction of Catholics throughout the centuries that leaves our greatest heroes and saints and the very constitution of the Church itself open to the charges of bigotry and intolerance.
The Catholic Church does not believe that all religions are on a common plane. It does not subscribe to the popular notion that, “We’re all headed for the same place, you in your way and we in ours.” The Catholic Church believes that Christianity is the world’s only chance for salvation, and it further insists that true Christians are found only within its fold, under the Supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of Christ, Our Holy Father at Rome.
Inevitably, this belief, when translated into practical action, makes for some intolerant arrangements: Catholics are admonished not to marry heretics and Jews; they may not attend a non-Catholic religious service; Catholic children must be sent to the Church’s schools. The motive behind these bigoted practices is the preservation of the Faith — not as an antique curiosity, but as a vital necessity. And not as a necessity for a chosen few, but as a necessity for all men, everywhere.
It is this terrible urgency about the Faith that explains both the Church’s rigidity in matters of doctrine an her encompassing love in matters of apostolate. For the note of absolute necessity that attaches to Catholic Truth, and makes the Church so intolerant and unbending, is, at the same time, the push and the drive behind every apostle. It is precisely because they are intolerant enough to believe that all men need the Catholic Faith in order to be saved, that the Church’s missionaries, from the time of Saint Paul, have given the world its most heroic example of zealous, consuming, constant, sweating, bleeding, dying but undying, love.
It is this love, this apostolic fervor, that the “anti-hate” program means to eliminate. For the ultimate outcome of the propaganda barrage that is now incessantly pounding the nation will be not only a spineless American citizen, but a spineless American Catholicism — a Catholicism that will be afraid to assert its own singularity and importance, a Catholicism that will try to become more like its neighbor religions, doing nothing to annoy, nothing to criticize, nothing that would in any way cause it to be accused of intolerance, bigotry, or hate.
Certainly no one will suppose that the promoters of the “anti-hate” campaign are just a bunch of well-meaning meddlers who launched the thing in all innocence and who would be dismayed to hear that it might discomfit the Catholic Church. The truth of the matter is much to the contrary. Just as the fast-talking soap commercials play on the gullibility of American housewives to make money for the big soap manufacturers, so the anti-hate slogans are selling Americans a bill of goods that will make rich profits for the Catholic Church’s enterprising enemies.
This deliberate and calculated program is a lineal descendant of that eighteenth-century campaign that clamored for “liberty, equality, and fraternity,” and ended up by wrecking Catholic France. It is akin to all those freethinking, freely-named, anti-Catholic ventures that have been plaguing the Church since the time of the Protestant Revolt — Humanism, Jacobinism, Freemasonry, Liberalism, Secularism, Communism, etc. For however much these movements may differ from one another in the means they advocate, they are all working for the same ultimate end. They are intent on building the City of Man — to the inevitable detriment of the City of God. They are enraged against the Church because of her calm insistence that the one thing that really matters is eternal salvation, and that she is the one divinely-commissioned ark of salvation. They are determined to show that the Church is not that important: if not by destroying her violently, then by reducing her to the level of the sects.
It was this latter expedient that appealed to Jean Jacques Rousseau, herald of the French Revolution and avowed evangelist of the Brotherhood crowd. Rousseau maintained (in The Social Contract, Book IV) that the worship of God should be allowed to continue, provided it did not become an end in itself. Theology must not usurp the superior place of politics; the interests of religion must be subordinate to those of the state. Accordingly, he felt the civil power should decide what articles of belief citizens might hold. And among these articles, Rousseau urged just one prohibition: anyone daring to say, “There is no salvation outside the Church,” should be banished.
All the followers of Rousseau, in their various guises — as well as his like-minded antecedents — are the Courtiers of the Prince of this World. But there is one group among them that is particularly of the household of Satan. They are the children of Satan, as Our Lord Himself calls them, the Jews. They, pre-eminently, are fired by the earthly, anti-Christian animus; and they have taken an active part, during twenty centuries, in all its manifestations. (This alone can explain the Church’s unique attitude toward the Jews: her traditional determination that this one people must be kept in check.)
As surely and securely as the Jews have been behind Freemasonry, or Secularism, or Communism, they are behind the “anti-hate” drive. Not that this movement represents the fruition of Talmudic doctrine. The Jews are advocating tolerance only for its destructive value — destructive, that is, of the Catholic Church. On their part, they still keep alive their racial rancors and antipathies. Their Talmud, for example, still teaches that Christ was a brazen impostor, and gives an unprintably blasphemous account of his parentage and birth. And as the Christmas season just past should have taught us, the Jews, for all their Brotherhood talk, have not in the least abandoned their resolute program to make all acknowledgments of Christmas disappear from the public and social life of the nation.
The secret of the Jews’ success is, of course, that they can practice such private hate while promoting public “love,” and not be accused of inconsistency. For, as always, they are running the show mainly from behind the scenes. They get their message across by means of co-operative Gentiles. And there are probably more such Gentiles now available — both the willing kind and the kind willing to be duped — than ever before in history. As a further good fortune, the Jewish directors of America’s entertainment industry can now guarantee that one Brotherhood spokesman, well-placed (e.g., behind a microphone or before a television camera), is able to influence Americans by the millions.
And the Jews’ campaign is succeeding. We have every reason to be alarmed at its success. American Catholics, even those not actively taking part in the tolerance talk, are now kept in line by the omnipresent threat of being accused of hate, bigotry, and intolerance.
In the face of a new year that will be the biggest one yet for the Brotherhood promoters, The Point pleads with American Catholics to realign themselves with the militant traditions of their grandfathers. No threat of “bigotry,” no accusation of “intolerance” should temper our zeal or silence our message. We must preserve our commission to “Go forth and teach all nations...;” to “Reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.”
Unworthy as we are, we American Catholics must protect for ourselves the duty of naming God’s enemies and the privilege of carrying God’s revealed Truth to the people of our country, who, we pray, will hear it, with generosity and gratitude, and who will repeat that intolerant Profession of Faith which the Church requires of all new converts: “ ... At the same time, I condemn and reprove all that the Church has condemned and reproved. This same Catholic Faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess, with the help of God, entire, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life; and I shall strive as far as possible that this same Faith shall be held, taught and publicly professed by all those who depend on me, and by those of whom I shall have charge.”
(from the Rituale Romanum, published in 1947 with the Imprimatur of the Cardinal Archbishop of New York.)
A Militant Example
A recent Vatican news release has stated that Saint Lawrence of Brindisi may soon be declared a Doctor of the universal Church. Should he receive that title, the Italian Franciscan, who died in 1619, would thus become the thirtieth saint whom the Church has especially singled out as a teacher of the Faith to all Catholics everywhere.
Born at Brindisi in 1559, Saint Lawrence early demonstrated the singular gifts that would make him a brilliant preacher. As a Capuchin friar, with a personal commission from Pope Clement VIII, the saint delivered vigorous sermons in the principal Italian ghettos, thus incurring a bitter resentment among the Jews that has persisted to this day.
For our age of cowering Catholics, Lawrence of Brindisi supplies a reproving example. Not only did he work tirelessly to challenge the perfidy of the Jews, but he brought back to the Faith many who had gone over to the Protestant Revolt, and, most spectacular of all, he led an army against the Turks. It was in Hungary, in the year 1601, that Saint Lawrence, armed with nothing more than his cowl and his Crucifix, led a Christian army, outnumbered four to one, to an astounding victory over the infidels.
Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
SOME SUMMARIES AFTER SEVEN YEARS
Having reached the reasonable maturity of seven years, The Point begins its eighth with a few reflections on those subjects, both men and movements, that have occupied its columns and arrested its readers during the past eighty-four months.
Although this commits us to something of a summary, we do not intend it as a catalog of our editorial interests. Indeed, some of the items here represented have already yielded place to more urgent ones. For it is The Point’s intention to speak out on any issue, old or new, that touches upon its central dedication: protecting and propagating the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith.
Our favorite issue of The Point thus far is easily the one for May, 1957. It was entitled “Our Lady of Fatima Warned Us,” and what makes it so memorable is not any particularly fine touch it received from our pen, but the good fortune that befell it after it left us. A Virginia reader mailed a copy of it to England, to the Western European Center of the anti-Communist Russian Revolutionary Forces. She accompanied it with a letter, asking that since the message of Our Lady of Fatima, as The Point explained it, was of immediate concern to the Russian people, couldn’t the anti-Communist Russian underground somehow get the story to its agents and sympathizers behind the Iron Curtain?
The Russian Revolutionary Forces thought they could. Twice, however, “Operation Fatima” failed. But a third try, in May, 1958, a year after our Fatima issue first appeared, succeeded gloriously. By August, a courier’s message to R.R.F.’s Western European Center brought the welcome news that Russians in Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, Komsomolsk-Na-Amure, Kishinniev, Odessa, Vladivostock, and Alma-Ata were now reading “for the first time” the story of Our Lady’s apparition and her promise that “Russia will be converted.” The leaflet, still being circulated, carries in its right front column The Point ’s picture of Our Lady, drawn especially for the May, 1957, issue. Beneath the picture is the Russian text of a prayer that ends, “I have no other help nor aid but you, O Mother of God, save and protect me now and in the years to come. Amen.”
This prayer, repeated in thousands of secret places throughout Russia, is the one kind of weapon that the Communists are defenseless against. That we had some small share in forging that weapon is The Point ’s greatest consolation in seven years of battling the enemies of the Faith.
THE HOLY LAND
In April of 1955, we presented a detailed, though necessarily incomplete, account of the atrocities and desecrations perpetrated in Palestine since its seizure by the new Jewish state. We published names of convents, Catholic hospitals and orphanages, and ancient Church buildings and shrines that had been either confiscated, pillaged or demolished by the fanatic Israelis. Our principal sources for this information were the courageous reports of a few isolated diocesan newspapers and the first-hand accounts of Franciscan members of the Commissariat of the Holy Land.
Since that very popular issue was distributed, there has been an increasing interest among American Catholics to learn more of what happened in those first years of Jewish “independence” in Palestine. That interest, as reflected in certain Catholic publications, has won the Church some stern rebukes.
The latest of these appeared in New York’s Jewish Spectator for December, 1958. It was an editorial attack on Catholic periodicals that persist in exposing the activities of Jews in the Holy Land, and it concluded with this frank stand-off: “It is touching that the Catholic Church, after a thousand years of antipathy, should suddenly be so sympathetic to the needs of the Arabs, and that the Church, which has practiced some of the most hideous barbarities, should find the Israelis guilty of ‘heartless injustices.’ What conclusion is to be drawn from all this? Simply that as long as Jews remain Jews, they will be a thorn in the side of Christianity, which will seek to remove it.”
A most formidable enemy within the Church today is that army of pseudoscholars and self-conscious apologizers who, we must conclude, have determined to debunk and overthrow any Catholic tradition that annoys or embarrasses them. Last November, The Point showed how this attack, to the delight of the Church’s external enemies, has carried over to Catholic hagiography — leaving the lives of our canonized saints open to wholesale re-assessment, based on the latest theories of post-Freudian psychology.
A related offensive has been opened out in the Iowa cornfields. A priest named Father Catich has shocked Catholics (as he intended) by demanding pictorial representations of Our Lord in modern dress. Decrying traditional Catholic art, in terms bristling with unpriestly disrespect, Father Catich summarizes,” We must fashion a Christ who will be no stranger to our time ... I do not think it vulgar to suggest we give Christ a shave and a haircut.”
Father Catich and his crusade may go down in oblivion before more significant debunkers, but he has provided us with a clear anticipation of what the anti-traditionalists ultimately want: the entire length of the Christian dispensation — liturgy, dogma, and all — retailored in “modern dress.” This is that same spirit of heresy that Pope Leo XIII condemned in “Americanism,” and Saint Pius X condemned in “Modernism.” The labels have been changed, but the movements continue.
Since January, 1956, when The Point issued its first detailed report on the Jewish siege of Boston, Boston Jews, with the possible exception of Mr. Bernard Goldfine, have continued to augment their holdings, increase their returns, and generally tighten their grip on this (numerically) Catholic city.
The single lightsome relief in the darkening Boston picture came last Fall with the sudden demise of Massachusetts’ Attorney General, George Fingold, the Republican Party’s “sure winner” candidate in the state’s 1958 gubernatorial race. The Worcester Telegram ’s State House reporter concluded his Fingold death notice with the following ingenuous observation: “ ... He wanted to be elected governor as living and final proof that the voters of this state had no bias against a Jewish candidate for that high office. By the tone of his voice, by a few of the things he said, I took it he wasn’t sure about that. Now he will never know.”
Early in 1955, we warned our readers about a United Nations brainchild called the Genocide Convention. This document was then on the verge of being introduced in the United States Senate for ratification as an international treaty. Had it been ratified, the provisions of the Genocide Convention would have become, in effect, an amendment to our Constitution and “the supreme law of the land.”
Fortunately, that harried and shrinking Senatorial band, the Conservatives, took the trouble to discover just what these provisions were. They found that although “genocide” etymologically might mean “race-killing,” the United Nations was by no means calling on the Senate for some vague denunciation of mass murder. To be guilty of genocide, as defined by the U. N.’s Genocide Convention, it is not necessary that you be caught in the act of violently and totally exterminating some race. It is quite sufficient that you be accused of “incitement” or “complicity,” and the deed itself need be only “causing serious mental harm to members of the group.”
And how is mental harm to be caused? And to what group? Plentiful and vivid answers to these questions are to be found in the columns of America’s weekly Jewish newspapers. For the Genocide Convention, though still not ratified by this country, has been adopted elsewhere. And Jewish papers each week regale their readers with accounts of its successful operation. The following item, from the Jewish Advocate of Boston, is typical: “The Hague (JTA) — A 50-year-old boat livery owner has been sentenced to ten days imprisonment for using anti-Semitic language to abuse a passer-by. A Utrecht magistrate, pronouncing sentence, said the boatman had used the word ‘Jewish’ in a manner insulting to the Jewish people ... ”
A few years back, university officials assured us, off-guardedly, that Harvard’s quota on Jewish students was a strict ten per cent. Lately, after much intervening pressure, The Harvard Crimson, the university’s daily, has published the fact that twenty-five per cent of Harvard’s student body is now professedly Jewish. Although the quota lid has not been off very long at Harvard, the percentage of non-Gentiles is climbing vertically with each new academic term.
Material previously handled under the heading of Harvard may, in the near future, be found incorporated under general news of the Jewish community.
This theme has been a recurring one during The Point ’s seven articulate years and, unlike Harvard, is not likely to slip from our interest in the future. If anyone feels that such perennial concern with the Masonic menace is overdoing it a bit, we have an impressive rejoinder. Since the start of modern Freemasonry, in 1717, the sect has been warned against and condemned no less than twenty different times by fourteen popes, including every one from Pius VI (1775-1799) to Pius XII.
The reason for the alarm is not hard to see. However innocent individual lodge members may be of Masonry’s real intent, that intent is plain. It is expressed by Masonry’s noted American publicist, J. S. Buck, in his book, The Genius of Freemasonry and the Twentieth Century Crusade: “Just so fast as the world is converted to the ethical principles of Freemasonry, just so fast and so far the world repudiates every principle and every claim and practice of Roman clericalism.”
Despite general, and evident, successes in the Masonic campaign, there has been recently, on the far horizon, a victory for our side. The state of California had submitted to referendum, for last November’s voting, a proposal to tax private (and, therefore, parochial) schools. This, of course, was the Masons’ meat. The Scottish Rite high command swaggered into the battle full of gusto — confident that its wealth, power, and influence would carry the day. It was the first time in modern American history that Masonry, in its own name, had entered a political contest. The final outcome: California voters rejected the school-taxing proposal by an overwhelming margin of two-to-one.
The whole episode was an eye-opener — for Masons as well as for Catholics.
The term was first used in Spain as a label for those Jews who were trying to undo the Church from within. Two current arguments for its continued use are that pair of Jewish-convert priests whom The Point has several times warned against: Father Arthur Klyber, the Redemptorist pamphleteer, and Father John Oesterreicher, of Seton Hall’s Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies.
Among non-clerical American Jewish converts, few have done so much for the Jews in so short a time as the expensively-publicized Miss Lillian Roth. In order to let New England Jews know Miss Roth’s true loyalties, the Jewish Advocate of Boston printed an interview with her in which it stated that she “considers herself a Jewess despite her conversion to Catholicism.” To clinch the point, the Advocate quoted Miss Roth directly: “I will always be a Jew no matter what faith I follow.”
We had no notion when we decided to do our piece on Monsignor Ronald Knox last July that so many people shared our aversion to the late literateur. It turned out to be one of the most popular issues we have ever done. Nor should anyone interpret our silence on the subject during the past few months to mean that we have written all we intend to about the Bible-embroidering Monsignor and his faithless colleagues. As Hilaire Belloc said after firing his verbal volley at the “Don that dared attack my Chesterton” — our “fires are banked, but still they burn.”
About Belloc himself, we had our say in the issue subsequent to the Knox one. We presented him, by way of contrast, as an English Catholic writer who was loyal to the Faith. Some readers have asked why we didn’t take more notice in that issue of Belloc’s friend and ally, the aforesaid Gilbert Keith Chesterton. It is because, frankly, we do not think he was of the same stature as Belloc.
Still, there is no denying that Chesterton shared most of Belloc’s sympathies and antipathies, and at his best could be nearly as militant and almost as hilarious as Hilaire. He could be equally satirical — witness the following Chesterton triolet:
I am fond of Jews,
Jews are fond of money —
Never mind of whose.
I am fond of Jews.
Oh, but when they lose,
Damn it all, it’s funny.
I am fond of Jews,
Jews are fond of money.