From .............. HUMAN QUEST
LIVING UP TO THIS JOURNAL'S PAST PERFORMANCE
THE HISTORIC TITLE, THE CHURCHMAN, included in the official identity of this journal, honors the decades of integrity it enjoyed under the guidance of William Austin Smith [1918-1922] and Guy Emery Shipler [1922- 1968]. It has been "an antidote to falsehood" [George Seldes' words] and has courageously countered misinformation and disinformation in religious reporting.
Church interference in political affairs in Roman Catholic countries like Spain was exposed by Seldes and other courageous journalists [see page 4 of September -October, 1995]. And for over a quarter of a century THE CHURCHMAN felt dutibound to expose church chicanery in this country.
Contemporaries of Dr. Shipler helped to make the role less lonely. Unitarian leader, Dr. John Haynes Holmes was anti-war [page 19, November-December, 1995]; Dr. Robert J. McCracken's Reformation sentiments sharpened the stilettos aimed against world domination by any anti-pluralistic church.
Today, the religious right's fascistic pronouncements earn Vatican approval, covered up by the ruse of "ecumenism," which the late Dr. C. Stanley Lowell, first editor of Church and State [still going strong] characterized as "leading Protestantism to a dead end" in his devastating book, The Ecumenical Mirage [Baker]. The religious right aids the Vatican's appetite for world domination. Kenneth Baker, S. J. summed it up: "We are seeing a political alliance between Roman Catholic and conservative Protestants that could have a profound impact in areas of abortion, family life, school policy, and public morality......"
As Lowell put it: "to restore 'Christian unity' under the primacy of the pope...... brings into the fold not individuals but entire Protestant bodies in one or a series of gigantic sweeps."
An appropriately titled book, The Scandal of Silence, by the late Edward M. Keating, Roman Catholic layman and editor of the defunct Ramparts magazine, explains the reticent press:
"There is within the [Roman] Catholic Church the tradition of lay silence. The greatest obstacle to free speech is psychological, but breaking the silence is like breaking down an enormous wall....."
When Paul Blanshard's book, American Freedom and Catholic Power, was published by Beacon Press in 1949, THE CHURCHMAN had carried article after article, editorial after editorial, exposing Roman Catholic pressures largely overlooked by the media.
For example, an editorial in the September 15, 1947 issue of THE CHURCHMAN titled, "Who Controls Truman?" began:
"While Protestants in the United States outnumber Roman Catholics two to one, it is increasingly evident that Protestants have little influence on the Truman administration, in contrast to the influence of the Vatican."
It pointed to "a group of leading Baptists.... who condemned the exchange of letters between the President and the pope, declaring that the correspondence violates the cherished American doctrine of separating church and state."'
The editorial continued, "Two members of the group asserted that the exchange of letters implies that the United States government is 'an ally of clerical totalitarianism ....... It is a disservice to the world's hope for Peace to identify American aims with those of Roman clericalism.'"
It must be remembered that the Roman Catholic Church collaborated with the Nazis and with Hitler in parts of Europe, including Croatia, Yugoslavia, through Archbishop Stepinac.
Dr. Leo Pfeffer's book, Church, State and Freedom [Beacon] quoted Truman:
"It is well known that the Vatican is vigorously engaged in the struggle against communism. Direct diplomatic relations [referring to the U.S. envoy at the Vatican, Myron Taylor] will assist in coordinating the effort to combat the communist menace."
Dr. McCracken's outspoken sermons in Riverside Church were not reported in the press when he referred to
"the antidemocratic character of the Roman system and its ceaseless, surreptitious pressure to obtain a position of preference and control in the New World..... It has an astonishing hold over the machinery of American life Ñ the press, the radio, the films, the whole field of public relations.... Its clearly avowed purpose is to make America Catholic."
The conspiracy of silence is explained by Blanshard [p. 214]:
"Catholics are taught that the Roman church is the supreme guardian and purveyor of truth, and the pope has infallible judgment in moral matters and that 'union of minds requires not only a perfect accord in the one faith, but complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God himself.' The words are those of Leo XIII in his Chief Duties of Christian Citizens.'"
How far astray has the silence of the media led our Jeffersonian freedoms? How many lives were lost in the Vietnam war alone on what the late Senator Morse of Oregon termed "Cardinal Spellman's War" ?
Therein lies another story who's legacy of deceit is tragedy.
Only through education, discussion, and a free press can Jefferson's essence of enlightenment preserve our democracy. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said in one of his major opinions, "to avert the evil, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."
This is a time for more enlightenment and THE CHURCHMAN's role is to continue in its exposure of religious [so-called] deception, deceit and other chicanery.
The Churchman's HUMAN QUEST
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