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.