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.
POINT OF THE POINT
Readers of the foregoing reflections may have observed that one topic especially has occupied The Point ’s attention during the past seven years: the problem, in its many aspects, of the Jews.
Why this emphasis? Because we think it is imperative that American Catholics wake up to the fact that the Jews, as an organized force, are the implacable, declared enemies of Christianity — of its tenets, its traditions, its moral code, its very culture. We think it is vital, too, for American Catholics to realize that the Church has always known this fact about the Jews, and, to the extent of her influence, has counseled and decreed regulations for curbing their malice. And since American Catholic publications, in general, seem determined to say little about these basic matters, we have tried to make up for their negligence by our own insistence.
Our solution to the Jewish problem, however, is not merely a series of warnings and exposures to let American Catholics know what their enemies are up to. For we will be able to withstand no enemy, however well informed we are, if we are not strong from within. The ultimate point of The Point is therefore to inject American Catholics with a crusading zeal for the truths and traditions of their Faith, and thus to foster in America a strong, militant Catholicism, worthy of a country that is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.