Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center
Nearly a hundred years ago, His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, in the Syllabus of Modern Errors, condemned the three following statements, and also any theologian in the Church who believed them.
a) In the observance of any religion, men can find the way of eternal salvation and attain eternal salvation.
b) One can at least have good hope for the eternal salvation of all those who do not at all dwell in the true Church of Christ.
c) Protestantism is nothing else than a different form of the same Christian religion, in which, equally as in the Catholic Church, it is given to please God.
If you were searching for statements which would indicate the tenor of current Liberal Catholic theology in the United States, it would be difficult to find more representative ones than these.
Saint Thomas Aquinas has many and varied admirers. Few of them, however, have strayed beyond the Summa Theologica. Because this represents only a small portion of the saint’s complete writings, we are this month printing, in the interests of a wider knowledge of Saint Thomas, the following extract from his letter to the Duchess of Brabant:
“And is it correct that all Jews in your realm should be obliged to bear some special sign to distinguish them from the Christians? To this the answer is easy and in conformity with the decision given by the General Council. Jews of both sexes and in all Christian lands should on all occasions be distinguished from other people by some particular dress.”
In the light of this, we can suggest an excellent gift for some fellow Thomist to present to Mr. Mortimer Adler, of the University of Chicago; namely, an orange hat. It could be worn by Adler during his lectures on Saint Thomas, as his silent Jewish tribute to the thought of his master.
President Eisenhower recently attended a Red Mass sponsored by Washington, D. C., lawyers in a Washington Catholic Church. Monsignor Cartwright, who spoke at the Mass, never once urged the President to adore the Blessed Sacrament, in Whose Divine Presence it was our President’s privilege to be. Instead, the monsignor congratulated President Eisenhower for being such a good church-goer — even though he knew that there is no Blessed Sacrament in the churches that our Chief Executive attends each Sunday.
We do not excuse President Eisenhower for failing to see the challenge of the Real Presence of Our Lord in a Catholic Church. And we do not believe Our Lord will excuse Monsignor Cartwright for failing to mention it.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN BULL
When the Reformation came to England, it cut like a knife, severing the country cleanly from the Faith, from the traditions and culture of Europe, and from its own past. In the space of just a few lifetimes, the England that had been — that carefree, joyous country with its tender love for the Mother of God — was obliterated. And in its place there arose something new: Protestant England — mistress of the seas, merchant of the world, mother of the Empire.
What had once been called Our Lady’s Dowry became, in apostasy, the most un-Mary-like of nations. It became cold, haughty, ambitious and, when necessary, officially ruthless. It developed a lust for empire, a passion to impose its government, its culture, its ideas on the rest of the world. It became, in its interests and aspirations, no longer merely English, but British.
Among the products which this Protestant empire has been responsible for is British Catholicism. Though this is not the Faith of all English Catholics, it is the official, By-appointment-to-Her-Majesty version. It is represented mainly in the writings of certain articulate Britons who, for reasons of their own, decided to join the Church.
The fact that these writers should be the spokesmen, self-appointed or otherwise, of the Faith in England is the most conclusive evidence of how the Reformation has triumphed in that country. An examination of some of them, therefore, ought to be instructive for more than just what it reveals about themselves.
The outstanding Catholic novelists writing in the English language today are, by the consensus of all unbelieving critics, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene. These two have developed a convenient technique: they deny that they are writing as Catholics when they see that such a commitment would hamper their free expression, but advertise their Faith when they are trying to get the Catholic public to buy their books. In the latter case they assure their readers that what they are writing is not simply pornography, but pornography with a point; that it has a very moral and Catholic purpose, and will probably lead thousands to the truth.
The Bible in England comes clothed in the vocabulary and the manner of Monsignor Ronald A. Knox. “Ronnie,” as the Oxford students used to call him, is otherwise known for his clever quips and his superficiality in theology. He is known as a man who is willing to sacrifice any value, any truth for the sake of scoring a point against an intellectual adversary. Here is a typical instance, in which it happens to be the singularity of Our Lady’s sinlessness that falls by the way. In refutation of a noted blasphemer who says he does not believe in the Immaculate Conception, Knox remarks: “Does he believe in original sin? I imagine not; and if he does not believe in original sin, then he believes in the Immaculate Conception; not merely in the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, but in the immaculate conception of everybody else.”
We should like to point out to Monsignor Knox that it is the preservation from original sin, not the non-existence of original sin, that accounts for the Immaculate Conception. If one does not believe in original sin, one does not believe that anyone, not even Our Lady, was immaculately conceived.
Ronald Knox’s British reply to this correction would probably be: “I was only pulling his leg”; to which we add our American reply: “And you were also pulling a bone.”
Another outstanding English apologist, and a disciple of Monsignor Knox, is Mr. Arnold Lunn. His little vagary is a predilection toward certain Modernists, particularly the condemned English priest, George Tyrrell. Lunn quotes Tyrrell approvingly and at length in his books. But Lunn is far too cagey to go on record as openly favoring a Modernist; and so, by way of excusing Tyrrell and exonerating himself, he offers this: “Tyrrell’s poor tortured diseased liver was largely responsible for his Modernism.”
Alfred Noyes has the distinction of being the only one of these British writers to have a book of his condemned by the Holy Office during his lifetime. The book is Voltaire, Noyes’ friendly account of that notorious hater of Christ and His Church.
Some British government office lost an excellent clerk when Donald Attwater entered the Church and found a lucrative occupation in compiling various sorts of Catholic dictionaries. Despite his conversion, however, his heart has always remained true to the realm. Here is what he has to say on the subject of Pope Saint Pius V: “By the Regnans in excelsis, he excommunicated Elizabeth of England, declaring her deposed and releasing her subjects from their allegiance. It was a great error of judgment.”
Having thus surveyed the authors of British Catholicism — though there are others, these are sufficient to delineate the type — we have just one further thing to note. Indeed, for us in America, it is the most significant thing: the fact that these writers’ influence is not confined to England, or even to the Empire, but extends to this country. Consequently, to all the peculiarly American expressions of lack of faith, we have the added burden of this imported mongrelism. (A good deal of which is brought to this country by an ad hoc little outfit in New York, named Sheed & Ward, founded by a disgruntled lawyer from Australia, in partnership with an English wife.)
There is a long road to travel before America will ever become a Catholic country. However, the first clear sign that we have begun will be when we see America rid of British Catholicism, its authors and its advocates. That ought to be the first step. And, considering our national traditions, it ought to be the easiest.
BY FATHER FEENEY
I should like to protest against the proposed project for the fluoridation of our water. My reason for protesting is a religious one. I want to protect water in its prime purpose, its religious purpose, as the material agent for Christian regeneration in the Sacrament of Baptism.
In the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, it is required that the water used be natural water, the aqua naturalis spoken of by Catholic theologians. The amount of chlorine already put in natural water is not sufficient to invalidate it for sacramental purposes. Neither will the amount of fluorine to be put in, if this present project is voted through, be sufficient to do so. But it is quite clear to everyone that a positive tampering with natural water has now begun. The chlorine already added to water is intended to rid it of germs. The fluorine now proposed is intended to rid us of tooth decay.
If fluorine can be put in water to stop tooth decay, more and more chemicals and drugs can be added to suit the phobias or the whim of the latest scientific experimenter. If fluorine is needed to take care of our teeth, why not keep adding medicines of one kind or another, until water ceases to have a purpose all its own, but must be given drug-store value through additions of new substances needed for our health? Why not add vitamins, cough syrup, sedatives — to our reservoirs?
A great number of our legislators, being men with no sound Christian belief — for example, Jews and Unitarians — would not in the least be averse to the character of water being spoiled for the religious purpose to which a true Christian, a true Catholic, wants to put it. Therefore, as a Catholic priest, I protest.
BROTHERHOOD AND MOTHERHOOD
When the world was a whole world, sustained in its wholeness by the Catholic Faith, the men of one nation could look upon the men of another nation as their brothers, sharing, as they did, the common Blessed Mother who was given them by the Jesus Whom they both knew to be God.
Over all the rulers of Europe (and Europe meant the world), there was once a “Holy Father,” who saw to it that Christian kings remained the children of their Mother in Heaven. It was he who settled their quarrels, reproved, counseled, and blessed them. It was he who sent them to the East to reclaim the Holy Land; he who apportioned among them the New World they found to the West.
The New World is, now, only an historical reference, and so is the “whole” world of the ages of Faith. When the Faith went out, its by-product, unity, went with it. We are left with a split world which has decided that for survival it must adopt the Masonic-Jewish proposal, “Internationalism” — forming leagues, writing charters, building buildings, hoping that, thereby, men of different countries will believe they are brothers, and will act that way.
That world leaders in a divided world are trying to do what will certainly fail — build a united world upon a fiction like Internationalism — is not The Point ’s concern right now. Our concern is rather this: that there are men of the Catholic Faith, prelates even, who are actually promoting Masonic-Jewish Internationalism. Witness the manner in which they are willing, these past few years, to adulterate in public utterances that sacred principle which formed the supernatural (and supranational) brotherhood of the Ages of Faith, namely, the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In all the world, there is nothing held to be so singular as the Motherhood of Mary. She is the Mother of God, and so much is she literally Mother that we count it the greatest praise of her to proclaim incessantly in our Hail Marys, “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”
This virginal Mother has but one child from her womb. Only in so far as we are incorporated into the single fruit of Mary’s womb, Jesus, do we Catholics dare to say that Mary is our Mother. It was only after the beloved Saint John had received into his own body, in Holy Communion, the fruit of Mary’s womb, that Jesus could say to him from the Cross, “Behold thy mother.” It was only because of the God in the Eucharist, consumed by Saint John, that the Mother of God could ever look toward someone who was not of himself God, and hear God say to her, “Woman, behold thy son.” This is the sacrosanctity of the Motherhood of Mary as it has been guarded by her Eucharistic children for twenty centuries. And this is the chastity which is being violated.
Most outspoken of those Catholics who would hand over Mary’s Motherhood, to the use of the Internationalists, is the Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, John J. Wright. It is his plan that now, in what he calls “The Age of Internationalism,” the Mother of God should be passed off as the “Mother of Mankind” — that the singular character of her Motherhood should be promiscuously extended to make her the mother of Christ-haters, the mother of infidels, the mother, indeed, of the seed of Satan!
There is probably no nation on earth, now, where the Blessed Virgin does not have children, through mystical incorporation into the Body and Blood of her Divine Child. And the Catholic Faith calls them truly her children. But to say, with Bishop Wright, that every man, in every nation of the world, is a child of Mary, thus to impute to Mary children who are not hers, is the supreme unchastity, in what we might name, “The Age of Lust.”