The Vatican’s Last Crime
How The Black International Joined The World-Plot
Against Freedom, Liberalism, And Democracy
Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius
The Black International No. 1
- Chapter I – The Foulest War In History
- Chapter II – Just What The Papacy Needed
- Chapter III – Is The Church Of Rome Fascist?
- Chapter IV – How The Crime Was Organized
- Chapter V – How Uncle Sam Was Duped
This war is one of the most deliberately aggressive, one of the most bloody and costly, and the most revolting war in history. It is not the work, of an Attila or a Genghis Khan, a man from the wilds of Asia whose barbaric dreams of conquest had never been checked by the ideals of modern civilization. It is the foul work of men who know how the race has fought during a century and a half, ever since the American and the French Revolutions, to rid its life of the last taint of barbarism and had reached at least a fair prospect of a final victory over violence and injustice: the work of loathsome hypocrites, who masked with a pretense of creating a higher social order the most monstrous greed, the most abhorrent callousness, that ever debased the human mind.
Historians have disputed how the guilt of the war of 1914-1918 must be distributed amongst the combatants. No historian will ever hesitate in assigning the guilt for this war. it brands for all time a relatively small number of men in Germany, Italy, and Japan. It puts upon them this infamy, that from a barbaric lust of power and “glory,” which ought now to be confined to the idle dreams of young schoolboys, and from an almost insane greed of wealth for themselves and their supporters they set out to drench the planet and in blood and bring incalculable misery upon hundreds of millions of innocent men, women and children.
These men, the Hitler’s and Goering’s and Goebbels of Germany — “the vilest triumvirate that has appeared in history, said the late Ambassador Dodd, who knew them and knew history — the Mussolinis and Cianos of Italy, the Hirohitos and Matsuokas of Japan saw with wide-open eyes the tragic close of the last war. They knew that nearly 9,000,000 men in the prime of life had been slaughtered in altars that were less merciful than those of the Aztecs; yet they were prepared to sacrifice even more on the sordid altars of their hellish ambitions. They had seen desolation from Calais to Poland: and they proposed to spread a worse desolation over the greater part of the earth. They had learned how in the last war at least $100,000,000,000 of the wealth that men laboriously create and meagerly share — not to count the waste of man-power and the paralysis of trade — had been thrown into a morass; yet knowing the advance of science and expecting a larger theater of war they would squander more than that sum in the pursuit of their greed.
The historian of the future who will coldly write these lines will add a fourth count to the charge. During the twenty years between the two great wars we had caught a vision of a new and better world. That light of science which, as it slowly dawns, enriches the imagination of man with plans that are more hopeful and more confident than those offered us by any utopian, had grown brighter. You remember how ten years ago America rang with discussion of the promises of the Technocrats. Professors said that we could, if we were wise, “smother every family in America with commodities,” Engineers became visionaries and made blueprints of a world in which poverty would be unknown and no man would feel that gnawing anxiety about holding the job which a dozen jobless hungrily envied. No more of this niggardly counting of dimes when the children want to go to the pictures, of dollars for the winter boots and clothe’s . . . An exaggeration, if you like, but every man knows that there is a great and solid scientific truth behind it all. And now, instead of seeing our wealth grow and brighten a million drab homes, we must pour down the military drain a sum with which we could have transformed the face of the earth, and we must see our industrial productiveness pass from prostitution to weariness.
That was only half the promise of science. Those knowing folk who read so little and talk so much asked, when you spoke about this promise of the future: Can you change human nature? You can build a house for a pig but it remains a pig. And while folk were glibly repeating this old saw science was quietly proving that it is just one more popular fallacy like the luck of a rabbit’s foot or the ill-luck of number thirteen, the virtue of priests or the wisdom of Popes. By 1930 the science of psychology had conducted the “soul” or “mind” to its frontiers, thanking it for its provisional services — if any. What was left to study was human behavior, and as we examined this in a scientific light we saw that, instead of it being unalterable or requiring a prodigious time to change, it is one of the most modifiable things under the sun. Precisely because it is human. Man’s behavior differs from the rigid automatic behavior of the pig just in that fact that it is not rigid and automatic. It depends upon ideas and stimulations from without which can be changed; as Russia changed them for its people, with stupendous results, in less than a generation.
It is one of the tragic ironies of our time that, apart from Russia, it was only the criminal Dictators who acted upon this rich principle of science. As late as the end of 1929 Hitler had not yet poisoned the minds — the mechanism of behavior — of one in 350 of the German people. He had 180,000 followers in a population of 60,000,000. Han’s wanted a quiet life, his big pipe and mug of beer and friendly neighbors, just as we do. He would have shuddered if someone had foretold that in ten years he would, because he accepted the lead of a criminal lunatic and a bunch of greedy adventurers, see his wife and little Gretchen just splashes of churned flesh and blood under the ruins of the home he had built for them. But Goebbels changed his “human nature” in six years. Mussolini, or Gayda, did the same, with the help of the priests of Italy. The Japs did the same with their fishers and farmers and textile workers, seizing and prostituting all the magnificent means of instruction that science has provided — the school and college, the radio and the cinema, the printing press and the library — these poisoners of the human race had the majority of folk in three nations soon howling like wolves at the scent of blood. Had it not been for this we were within measurable distance of a genuine era of peace, comfort, and brotherhood.
This, you may say, certainly looks like what happened, but it’s impossible. How could a gang, smaller than that which looted New York in 1860 or St. Louis in 1890, take over a whole country, make a corrupt fortune that beggars Tammany, and have a very fair chance of becoming super-emperors?
Think again; and start with the fact that a small minority of men in three countries, men of the vilest character and of colossal greed, did secure control of those countries and organize them for war. No one disputes that. And if you have had this success explained to you on the line that Italy and Germany had, through the conduct of Some melodramatic villains called Reds or Bolsheviks, fallen into an anarchy that ruined their economies, and that Mussolini and Hitler came along with “ideologies” which promised deliverance from this anarchy, put the theory in the trash-basket with the stories of Washington’s cherry tree and William Tell’s apple. It’s worse. It is, as we shall see later, a lie. For years Mussolini and Hitler were just small-scale gangsters directing mobs of hoodlums with bottles of castor-oil, loaded whips, and automatics. They ranked in the European press, when it thought fit to notice them, as part of the scum that had boiled to the surface in a time of trouble.
It was just because they had no appeal to thinking men, because they had relied upon disorder and brutality instead of order and discipline to attain such position as they had, that certain larger and more respectable forces — wealth, privilege, and religion — took them up and gave them that control of the spring’s of opinion and behavior which has enabled them to make a lie look like a grand truth, a gangster’s plan seem a schedule of national salvation. Thyssen wandering about Europe telling everybody how the Nazis took his millions and double-crossed him is one of the thousands who thought they could hire the gunman as the White Knights of Privilege and then dismiss them with a suitable reward. The heads of the German Church are only less outspoken because they are still within reach of the Nazi lash. The King of Italy fumes in his Quirinal just as the Pope does in his Vatican. It is — to borrow a Phrase from French history — the Day of Dupes.
Until we understand this the blight which has cursed our life and the Vatican’s share in causing it will remain painful and disquieting mysteries. Advertisement is a mild variety of hypnotism weakened by the fact that the advertiser has limited resources, and a hundred rivals. Smith’s soup is the finest in the world until you see Jones’s poster on the next hoarding. Now the Fascist system was so successful in corrupting nations, once its highly respectable patrons had given it wealth and power, because it uses the hypnotism of the advertiser in its ideal form: no rivalry, no discordant note, unlimited resources, the employment of every device from the pulpit, to the professor’s chair or the urchin with his bit of chalk. You may object that at all events there must be something sensible, convincing, attractive in the message that is brayed and blazed everywhere. Is it always necessary? If you assail ear and eye at every moment of the day for years with “Heil Hitler” or “Mussolini Solo” millions will begin to see genius in a neuropathic or a brutal adventurer who ought to be selling beef and mutton. however, there was a message, and it was very convincing.
Take the case of Germany. On April 3, 1938 the leading German scientific weekly, Die Umschau, contained an article, not too prominently displayed, on the future of Germany in Europe. It was the program of the New Order, yet as far as I can ascertain, not a single paper in Britain or America noticed it. It described a system of ship-canals and canalization of lakes, already more than half constructed in 1938, which would connect every industrial town in Germany along the Danube and even across France and Belgium, with nearly every country and port in Europe. The scientific writer, who ended with a “Heil Hitler,” coldly explained how all Europe would then supply food and raw materials to Germany and receive payment in manufactured goods. This, in a respectable scientific periodical, was the raw program of the future enslavement of Europe, the paralysis of industry in every country, and the colossal enrichment of the German manufacturer and worker. That was the bait. Neither, Thyssen nor Hans cared the toss of a coin about theories of Nordic blood or Nazi ideology. it was a stupendous greed that was dangled before the eyes of Germany; and the poor fish in Italy, who believes that he would share the loot, used the bait to attract his own industrialists and workers. Japan notoriously has nothing but the same shameless greed behind its bland talk of New Order and Asia for the Asiatic.
Few took any notice when, in 1938, I drew attention to this and similar articles in the responsible German press. At the time there was still a world-chorus of praise for the “order and efficiency” of the Nazi system, and it would not do to admit a jarring note. Folk were told that, while there was no need of Fascism in the United States and Great Britain, these other — or inferior — countries were “without form and void” and “darkness was upon the face of the deep,” and it was fine that the spirit of Fascism “moved upon the face of the waters” creating a new world. This Fascism, it was said, menaced only disorderly folk, sadists, atheists, corruptors of women and children — the Reds, in short. What a tissue of lies it has all turned out to be! Roosevelt was deluded as effectively as Chamberlain or Reynaud; Cardinal Dougherty as effectively as the Pope. The historian of the future will not ask how a few gunmen nearly became the emperors of half the world. That is already clear. He will ask why the world looked on supinely, even applauding, while these men built a force. of so formidable a character that they almost compassed their sordid aim.
There can be only one answer. The statesmen, industrialists, bankers, and bishops of America are as able and well-informed as those of Germany and Japan and far superior to those of Italy. They were deluded about the Fascist program because one clause of it so far coincided with their own interests that they were not disposed to pay close attention to the other clauses. The great thing was that they promised to cheek the rapid world-growth of Socialism. But the other clauses of the program were plain enough from the start. The only change in the scheme of the gunmen in recent years is that it has been expanded until it aims at conquering and exploiting more than half the earth; and this is not so near to lunacy as some would have us believe, It was due to a cold calculation of the possibilities in view of the supineness or complacency of the democratic governments and their press and the support of the Black International.
Japan, Germany, and Italy have made no secret of their aggressive imperialistic schemes during the last ten years. I described them in full in 1937 in three booklets of “The A B C Library of Living Knowledge,” taking the facts from semi-official and other reliable publications. There was no secrecy about these publications. It was a necessary part of Mussolini’s appeal to the mob from the first that, once the politicians were cleared away, he would make a greater Italy by annexing Malta, Corsica, Savoy, and Dalmatia. Little girls read that in their balilia catechisms and even little girls knew that this meant war on England, France, and Yugo-Slavia. It was equally necessary for Hitler to promise that he would restore the greatness of Germany by bringing in all German- speaking lands (Austria, Alsace, and part of Switzerland, Czecho- Slovakia and Denmark); and to these he added as early as 1924, in Mein Kampf, the annexation of the Ukraine and the annihilation of France. That meant a European War. Japan has for the last ten years organized great patriotic societies, With millions of members, demanding the annexation of the eastern half of Asia and all islands of the Pacific. These three programs were the protocol of a world war; the war by which we now suffer. In my three booklets I showed that there was not the least uncertainty about that. It is just another fairy-tale for adults that the Axis has sprung a surprise upon an innocent world.
The vital question which we have to ask is why America, Great Britain, and France permitted, without arming themselves, the three robber nations to create so gigantic a military force that they had a real hope of attaining their object and dividing the earth into three Fascist spheres: into two, rather, because Germany and Japan never regarded Mussolini as more than a catspaw. In a general way you know the answer to this question. The Fascists were going to destroy the Reds and that was so monumental a service to the democracies, or to their ruling class and their Churches, that even diplomats and statesmen and prelates took the word of the arch- liars that they would cultivate peace when they had crushed the Reds. They were not ignorant but they were guilty of a gross amount of wishful thinking. Even when Mussolini publicly and brazenly said that he offered the world “peace resting on eight million bayonets” they put it down as a harmless overflow of a strong man’s strength. When, in 1934, he made the most deliberate and official statement of the nature of Fascism (in the article “Fascismo” in his new Encyclopedia Italians), saying that Fascism regarded war as the noblest work of the race and peace as a degrading ideal, statesmen and journalists pretended that they had never read it. So through five shameful years the world that was threatened with an appalling disaster smiled and praised the “efficiency” of the butchers who were sharpening their knives; because the world is now ruled by its press, and of the papers on which men relied the world over nine copies out of ten came from the editorial offices and printing shops of rich men who wanted the Reds suppressed at any price.
But where, you ask, does the Black International enter this conspiracy, as it really was? We are going to see immediately that of all the privileged minorities which dreaded the Reds and were therefore far too easily duped by the promises of the Anti-Reds the Church of Rome had the most urgent need of relief. The cry will be raised, of course, that I now accuse the Papacy of causing the war. That sort of rubbish is a necessary part of the Catholic propagandist system. What I do say is that the Papacy allied itself with Italy, as everybody knows, with Japan, as everybody ought to know — it is only a year since the Vatican coined a gold medal for the virtuous Matsuoka — and, as far as it was allowed to do so, with Germany, and that it used its international organization to create that fierce and confused hatred of Communism on which the Axis would rely when the crisis of the war was reached. Of that international plotting in every country these ten booklets will provide decisive evidence. It is shame enough that a Church which makes such arrogant claims of moral superiority, a Church which professes to have the finest international intelligence-service and to be inflexible in the condemnation of crime, should be silent, as it was silent, during ten years of monstrous outrages — Manchukuo, Austria, Abyssinia, etc. — but the Pope has a deeper shame. He played an active part over and over again on the side of the devil. Because the Church of Rome was not merely threatened, like all wealth and privilege, by the growth of Socialism — it was in fact breaking up under the impact, and only the violent suppression of the Socialists, if necessary by war, could arrest this disintegration.
There are various ways of divining into sections the broad stream of events which we call human history. One might divide it from a sociological viewpoint into two parts: the rise and the fall of privilege. During the first 3,000 years of history we find an ever-widening gap between a privileged minority and the working majority. Once upon a time men had chosen able and strong men to “rule” them, and these had chosen “companion’s” (Counts) and “leaders” (Dukes) of the troops who shared their privileges. In those days it was considered just as important to ward off evil spirits and flatter good spirits, and cunning men who could persuade their fellows that they were particularly skilful at this sort of work founded another privileged caste. With the growth of wealth, when men began to live in cities, the glamour of the sacred castes — kings, nobles, and priests — increased, The Kings were Sons of God, and the priests were his very special friends. Palaces and temples, the mansions of the rich, the nobles, and the chief priests, rose high above the clutter of mean homes.
That is another story, but it is necessary to outline it because the world-torture which we endure in this generation is a vital stage in the second half of history; the era of the undoing of privilege. The “profound” folk — usually literary men whose knowledge of any branch of positive learning would hardly fill a five-cent note-book — who now enlighten us about our problems by essays, feature-articles, and sermons have made some remarkable discoveries about our age. It is sick; it is degenerate; it is World-weary; it has the insolence of youth; it relies too much on old men; it misses the firm guidance of religion; it talks too much about rights and too little about duties, and so on.
It is all bunk. For instance, one of the most persistent charges is that, being irreligious, our younger men have lost the Spirit of sacrifice, whereas in Europe and China at least 15,000,000 bravely confront the horrible dangers of a modern war, and certainly four-fifths of them (Germans, Russians, British and Chinese) have no religion. The truth is that our generation, our degenerate, frivolous, selfish generation, has taken up, and more vigorously than ever, a task which the race has approached whenever and wherever it was free during the last 2,500 years; to reduce the harsh contrasts of privilege and service, idleness and work, wealth and poverty. Our age does not mind paying a good price for high service, but it doubts if the services of priests and kings are worth billions of dollars to a nation, and the conviction spreads that the entire system of privilege is the chief obstacle to the scientific organization and betterment of life. The world of privilege is, as it has always done, reacting bloodily to the revolt.
The work of undoing privilege began 2500 years ago in the cities of Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor, where Greeks mingled with men of many races on free soil. There were no kings or nobles, the priest’s had little power, and the rich — moderately rich — men served as merchants and in their leisure did some very useful thinking for the race. Privilege — the Kings of Persia — scattered them, and Greece took up the task. It got rid of its kings and listened to philosophers rather than priests; and if the Romans to whom the torch was next passed, apostatized to the extent of restoring monarchy and allowing some to become very rich — though not nearly so rich as our multi-millionaires — they at least exacted a princely price in superb free services to the workers. Then the night of the Dark Age fell upon Europe.
Now that Professors as well as politicians have a great respect for “the venerable Church of Rome” and its “august head” we must, it appears, not talk about a Dark Age. Please yourself. The facts are that whereas in the later days of the Roman Empire three workers out of four had been free men, nine out of ten of them were during the Dark Age (500-1100) serfs, which is the polite French way of saying slaves; whereas the Roman workers had all free education (and free bread, free games, free medical service, etc.), nine out of ten in the new Europe were totally illiterate and of an incredible ignorance; and that whereas the Roman and Greeks of the fourth century had had the protection of a fine code of law and in general character were as good as we are, law was almost as extinct as art in the new Europe, and the grossness of manners and morals was indescribable. But please yourself, I am merely, in all clarity, explaining why the work of human redemption was dropped for five or six centuries.
What it is important to know if we want to understand our own age is that from the time when Europe mentally awoke, in the eleventh century, to our days this attempt to put the world right has inspired three great revolutions, and what we witness today is the most logical and the broadest of the three. After five centuries of revolts — the Popes had to fight a republican movement in their own city for two centuries — and bloody reprisals Europe saw that the Roman Church was the arch-enemy and its power must be broken. Hence the Reformation. On the last ghastly fields of the Thirty Years’ War, the War of Catholicism and Protestantism, which was one of the most savage and squalid in history, the race won its first great victory over privilege; and it is pleasant as well as informing to recall that this first instalment of freedom was won in large part through the criminal misbehavior of the Popes themselves. They had stored away in Rome a treasure of at least a quarter of a billion dollars to help the Catholics when the war came, and when it reached its crisis Pope Urban VIII gave the whole vast sum to his greedy and vicious relatives. You can read that in the latest Catholic History of the Popes (Hayward’s, 1931).
Some of our advanced writers smile at the Reformation, but in point of fact it released forces which brought about a rapid progress in wealth and science and inspired the deeper revolt; the revolt which flared up in the American and the French Revolutions and then for a hundred years sustained a struggle against reaction and privilege which was as heroic as any in history. The fight was now against Church and feudalism as against priests and kings (and their politicians) in alliance. America, having abolished feudalism, had no share in it except to welcome refugees, and so there is some excuse for the very shabby treatment of it in American schools, colleges, and history books. But the chief reason for the suppression of it is Catholic influence because it knocks into a cocked hat everything that the apologists say about the Church. I gave a fairly full account of it in various volumes of the Appeal to Reason Library and must here confine myself to what is vitally required in order to understand the Black International and the lies of its apologists.
Five year’s ago, when we began to try to help Spain and I recalled Spain’s magnificent record in the nineteenth-century struggle, a Communist leader, a friend of mine, disdainfully swept that struggle aside as “merely a political revolution” and — this was the main point — thought it wrong to antagonize Catholics by talking about it. I doubt if the economic revolt would have been possible if the political-religious revolutions had not been carried first. In any case, a few years later Communism was extinct in most of Europe and South America, and the Church of Rome was shrieking for the blood of “Bolsheviks” from one side of the planet to the other. In fact, Catholic writers are now saying everywhere that this Liberalism of the last century is the real root of all our modern disorder, and the official attitude of the Church is to claim a full restoration of the royalist-clerical regime for which it had fought in the last century. Would-be kings, semi-consecrated loafers, wait with its blessing, on the frontiers of France, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Hungary; and of course poor Leopold of Belgium, whom the Church has white-washed, is going to be put back on his golden throne.
Whatever satisfaction anyone finds in dismissing the revolution of the last century, the fight to hold the gains of the French Revolution, as “a mere political struggle” or a “bourgeois revolution,” the story of it is vitally relevant to our tragedy today, and it is just on that account that it is suppressed or toned down in our educational and historical literature. For it shows, even as you find it told in the most important European manuals, that it is the black priests and their white allies who were guilty of just such murderous excesses and vindictive massacres as they now mendaciously attribute to the Reds.
In the course of the Nineteenth Century nearly half a million unnamed men, women, and children were done to death, on scaffolds and in massacres and deadly jail’s, for claiming less — they were as a rule not republicans — than the rights granted in the American Constitution of 1787. If we care to add the men who, from Poland to Peru, died on the battlefield for the sacred cause the number rises to more than a million, but let us keep to the unarmed victims and their very moderate demands. These men and women, and often children, were crushed with a savagery that surpasses even the worst features of the untruthful stories about the Reds in Spain and Russia; and the murderers and torturers were in nearly every case directed by priests and bishops who cooperated with monarchs (of Naples, Spain, and Portugal) of the vilest type of character. The outrages were so revolting and the complicity of the Church so clear, that the Catholic historian, Lord Acton, the one outstanding historian the Church can claim in modern times, wrote to the Catholic historian Lady Blennerhassett:
The accomplices of the Old Man of the Mountains (the classic assassins of history) picked off individual victims, but the Papacy contrived murder and massacre on the largest and also on the most cruel and inhuman scale. They were not only wholesale assassins, but they also made the principle of assassination a law of the Christian Church and a condition of salvation. (Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, 1917, Vol. I, p. 55.)
You may read the horrible details in the Cambridge Modern History (Vol X) the greatest historical work in the English language, or in any standard history of modern Spain, Portugal Italy, and Austria.
These are the undisputed historical facts and the recognized authorities upon which I base the statement which I have put in italic’s and in bold face words. And on the same solid ground I now make another statement in bold face words, because these are the essential points to remember: The people recovered power from the clerical-royalists repeatedly but they never indulged in reprisals, much less savagery, as the Black-and-Whites always did. There were, naturally, local outbursts against the defeated tyrants, a few churches were burned and priests killed, but the authorities always checked these spurts of violence. Who, then, are the real Reds?
What about the famous French Revolution, you may ask? You will find it strange, if you reflect, that when Catholic (and some other writers) want to show you how the “mob” is prone to commit outrages, especially if it is deprived of “the restraints of religion”, they skip from the French Revolution of 1789 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. They refuse to glance at the dozen important revolutions which lie between because these were always followed by clerical-royalist, savagery when the Whites recovered power; a savagery which led Lord Acton, in his day one of the leading historians in England, to denounce his own Popes and the worst assassins in history. But they also tell long discredited lies about the French and the Russian Revolutions.
Historians are now agreed within narrow limits about the September Massacre and the Terror which are the chief charges against the French Revolution, as you will find in Lavisse’s standard history of France, the equivalent of the Cambridge History, and more recent French works. In the September Massacre there were only about 1100 victims, and most of these were criminals and prostitutes from the jails. It is agreed that only about 500 men were involved in the butchery, and the hundreds of thousands of citizens of Paris were horrified. In the Terror (1793-4) there were about 18,000 victims — there had been at least 30,000 in a few days in the horrible Catholic St. Bartholomew Massacre — and only one-fifth of these were nobles, priests, and nuns, while 67 percent were atheistic working men. It was a fight of rival political parties, and the leader of the winning party, the director of the carnage, Robespierre was a fanatically religious man who hated Atheism. What is worse, Catholic writers never mention, and very few other writer’s ever mention, that there was a White Terror in 1794 and after the fall of Napoleon which was, more brutal, than the Terror of 1793. You probably never heard of it. That is how the education of democracies is conducted today; to the great satisfaction of the Church and the reactionaries.
The long and bloody fight which, as I said, dragged on through the nineteenth century and was maintained in Russia and Spain until our own time was part of this second European Revolution. By 1920 it seemed to have triumphed everywhere, but the third revolution had already begun. We may call this the Economic Revolution but it was much broader. Socialism — not the Anglo-American anaemic type but as the world knew it — threatened a comprehensive war on privilege; on rank, wealth, priestly immunities, political corruption, and all sorts of “rulers.” And just because it was so all-embracing, every variety of privilege that it threatened took alarm, and they formed a grand coalition. The Unholy Alliance of 1814 was alive again.
To enlist in its support the more simple-minded folk and the masses who had no wealth or privileges to fight for the cry of Communism, Bolshevism, or the Reds was raised. The enemy is, of course, Socialism, because it aims to create a new social order in which there shall be no great private wealth, no chance to make a million, no rich landowners, no hereditary rank or office, no parasitism, no privileges of priests. The present Pope may be as ignorant as you like to think him outside of his theology and Church Law but he did know, when he told his Catholics that “Communism is the greatest evil in the world” and called for a crusade against it that outside Russia Communism never had a prospect of attaining power and in Russia — the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, remember — it is an ideal of the future. Mussolini, we shall see, confesses that he laughed in his sleeve when he raised the boogie of Communism in Italy, and in Spain the Communists were the smallest, if not the most respectable, of the popular parties. But it would not do to talk of extinguishing Socialism when the Labor Party in England occasionally calls itself Socialist, so they set up the scarecrow of Communism or Bolshevism and clothed it in ragged stories of rape and murder.
In view of it’s history the Papacy would inevitably join its natural allies — wealth, power, and privilege — but in the present state of the world it had a special and very pressing reason. During the fifteen years — say from 1919 or 1920 — after Socialism began to spread from Russia over the world the Vatican lost, mainly through its influence, more than four times as many followers as it had lost at the Reformation.
The Press is now so much controlled in the Catholic interest that this will seem to many a startling statement. It is, in fact, well within the range of demonstrable facts. If you reflect that, as you will find, the population of Great Britain, the largest seceding country, in the days of Henry VIII was only about 4,000,000, you easily see that the total loss to the Vatican at the Reformation could hardly be more than 12,000,000. But beyond question it lost, mainly to Socialism and Communism, at least 50,000,000 between 1919 and the beginning of the Fascist reaction. The largest items in this total will be vindicated as we proceed but a few words of explanation will reconcile the reluctant reader to it.
In countries where there was a clear-cut issue of Church and anti-Church at the polls — Spain, the South American Republics, Italy, Mexico, Germany, and Austria — the election figures give a very safe indication, and they show that in each of these cases (except Mexico and Austria) the Church had lost, and the Socialists had gained, at least 10,000,000. Add Russia (where Catholicism was nearly extinguished), Mexico, Czecho-Slovakia (where, we shall see, the Catholic clergy admit a loss of about 2,000,000), Holland, and Austria (where the Socialists held Vienna until they were treacherously disarmed for Hitler by gallant little Dollfuss), and further losses in France, Belgium . . . Need I say more? The loss was probably nearer 70,000,000 than 50,000,000. After the anti- clerical revolution in Spain in 1932 the only countries in the world that remained officially loyal to the Vatican were Poland and Hungary. We will not count Mussolini’s Italy.
The Roman Church knows from seven centuries of experience, ever since the Albigensian Massacre, that it never recovers ground by an intellectual appeal, by honest propaganda. How was it to check this new and appalling leakage? Only, as in all ages, by an alliance with forces which could and would trample on the ideals of peace and freedom. Fascism was just what it needed.
America has been so drenched in recent years with Catholic claims that the Church is ideally democratic and that the Pope is — or has been since democracy seemed to have won its battle against feudalism — the inflexible champion of political justice and freedom that some may imagine that an alliance with Fascism is unthinkable. We shall see largely on the testimony of Catholics, in the following booklets that this alliance is an elementary fact of the present situation, but it is easy to show at once that this Catholic description of the Church’s attitude which is broadcast in the United states — and now in the United States only — is a mockery.
The British Catholic writer, W. Teeling (The Pope in Politics, 1937), who has quite a reputation for boldness, almost heresy, is, his own sect, says that there are 350,000,000 Catholics in the world. How Teeling came to be described as bold and critical I do not know. He criticizes the Church only in the matter of Abyssinia and only the most expert clerical — shall we say manipulators of truth? try to defend it on that point. With his 350,000,000 Catholics he goes 20,000,000 better than the sufficiently audacious official claim, and, recalling how Macaulay gave the total as 150,000,000 a century ago, he ask us to admire the miracle of its growth. But when you reflect on the high Catholic birth rate — you go to hell, the priest tells Catholic parents, if you cheat the Church of possible subscribers by using contraceptives — and when you learn, as you easily can, that according to the experts, the population of a modern State would, without birth control, double every third of a century, the miracle looks rather tawdry. The Catholic total now obviously ought to be 600,000,000. It is in point of fact less than 200,000,000.
You smile at the figure of 330,000,000 when, if you take the trouble to look up Catholic statistics, you find that it includes 30,000,000 in France, where optimistic Catholic writers do not claim 10,000,000; 30,000,000 in Germany, where Hitler plays skittle’s with the Church; 40,000,000 in Italy, where as long ago as 1919 the banned Socialists polled 1,840,593 votes (more than half of the literate adult males) out of 3,500,000; 24,000,000 in Spain, where it took the armies of three nations two years to put the clerical Humpty Dumpty back on the wall; 60,000,000 in South America, where the Blacks keep power only by the use of violence, torture, and the zeal of masses of illiterate Indians. And so on. These are the little pleasantries of Catholic arithmetic.
Let us say 200,000,000. Where are they? Now, no sophistry can obscure the lesson of the answer to that; and it is the same whether you prefer to speak of 150,000,000 or 350,000,000 Catholics. Apart from the “converts” on foreign missions, who might be classed as consumers goods, nine-tenths of the Pope’s subjects live under a Fascist flag. That fact is so uncomfortable that even the most ingenious American apologist prefers to say nothing about it. They live under the regimes of Vichy France, Franco Spain, Salazar Portugal, Mussolini Italy, Horthy Hungary, and in the Republics of South and Central America, nearly all of which are Fascist, Poland was Fascist before it became compulsorily Nazi. And not the boldest apologist can say, even to his own flock, that this fact gives pain to the democratic Pope. Everybody knows that he warmly blesses the Fascist regime under which they live and urges it as the model for all Catholic countries. He has to. In an atmosphere of freedom his Church always crumbles.
Who are the enemies of Fascism? Russia, where the Church has virtually perished because of its political intrigues, is the most effective and most thorough going enemy, Great Britain, where Catholics are less than one-twentieth of the population, is next. I do not say the British Empire because the Catholic half of Canada is Fascist, and the Catholics of Australia are, under the lead of anti-British Archbishop Mannix, by no means united for the struggle against Fascism. Third is the United States, where genuine Catholics are less than one-tenth of the population but very much more than one-tenth of the Isolationists. In sum, there are in Europe and America 350,000,000 non-Catholic thorough opponents of Fascism to about 20,000,000 Catholic more-or-less opponent’s. Add Asia, and you have 1,000,000,000 non-Catholic opponents, fighting or ready to fight against Fascism, and less than 30,000,000 Catholics.
Who were the chief traitors to the cause of democratic civilization? Catholic France — that is to say, the Catholic and Pope-directed part of France, Belgium (or its Fascists, royalists, and priests), and the Catholic Croats of Yugo-Slavia.
Who made the best fight against the invading Huns? Norway, which has only 2000 Catholics to nearly 3,000,000 Protestants; the Serbs, who are bitterly anti-Papal and were let down by the Catholic provinces of their country; Greece, where the Pope has no influence; and Russia, where, if you will forgive in Irishism, he has still less. Not for a moment do I belittle the fine resistance of Poland, but it was not fighting Fascism as such. It was already Fascist and had for twenty years persecuted religious minorities. It fought for its national independence and to prevent the extension to Poland of the anti-clerical elements of Nazism.
What is the Constitution of the Catholic Church? It is the newest approach on earth to that of Nazi Germany. The Church is a despotic monarchy. The Pope may not only disregard the collective opinion of his cardinals (his cabinet) but he is not bound to submit to the decisions of a general council of all the bishops, arch-bishops and abbots of the Catholic world. He is the Fuhrer, with the additional prerogative of infallibility.
What is the law of the Catholic Church? The most tyrannical code of law in the world. The Church has two sets of laws: a code of Public Law, which in plain English means Private Law because it is kept in a dead language and taught to very few priests and no laymen, and Private Law, which you may prefer to call Public Law because it alone is translated into modern languages and accessible to the general public. You may read this in an American translation, if you are able to disentangle the text from the artful commentaries of the translator’s. It is Fascist enough, if Fascism means tyranny. It treats the Catholic laity like sheep. They must not read a criticism of the Church and its untruthful literature without the permission of a priest who will insist on “replying” to it. Penalty — hell. They must not discuss such matters with a critical non-Catholic friend or hear a lecture that may be critical. They must urge non-Catholics to read both sides but never do it themselves. They must not marry except on lines prescribed by the Church whether these accord with civil law or not. Penalty — hell. They must never get a divorce. Penalty — hell. But if they are rich the Church will find, even if they have been married twenty years and have ten children, that they never were married at all.
The Public Law of the Church is the most arrogant and most truculent code in the history of jurisprudence, It is supposed to define the relations of the Church to other corporations (states, etc.) but if the Church has a bit of legislation which might look rather naked and immodest in English, it keeps this also under the veil of the dead language of the Public Law. For instance, it is one of the most emphatic principles of this Public Law (which is never made public) that you cannot leave the Church and so escape its jurisdiction, and that if you say that you no longer believe in it and have quitted it the Church has “the right and the duty.” to put you to death. I pass sleepless nights under the shadow of this awful sentence which has been hanging over me for 45 years. The fundamental principle of the law is that the Church, being the only institution on earth that has been established by God, is the only “perfect society,” and therefore it has the right to overrule and dictate to merely secular and human states on any point which it chooses to regard as affecting religion or morals; and believe me, the clerical genius could prove in five minutes that the color of your wall-paper or the number of your blankets is a question of morals. It follows at once that the Church will, where it has the power, not tolerate the practice or propaganda of any other religion, much less irreligion, or any criticism of itself or its priests; that no priest must be tried in a civil court; that all schools must be subject to clerical authority, and so on.
Well, you may say, a dead language means a dead letter. Pardon me. Latin may be a dead language to you but it is the living language of the Church. This ultra-medieval law is not dead letter but is taught today in the international Papal (or Gregorian) University at Rome, to which selected American priests are sent, just as a few are sent from all countries, and Latin is their Esperanto. It is, in fact, mainly to give them a thorough knowledge of this secret law that they are sent to Rome, for it is not taught in the education of ordinary priests, and not one in 100,000 of the zealous laymen (Knights of Columbus, etc.) who help the priests knows anything about it.
But you may be sure that the priestly writers, who tell America about the beautiful harmony of Church Law and American Law know all about it. The chief manual of it, Father Marianus de Luca’s Institutiones Juris Ecclesiastici Publici is in every seminary. It is not one of those Yellow and dusty tomes that are considered too valuable to open every day but a modern book, published by the Vatican in the present century. It has a particularly warm letter of authorization from Leo XIII, the great “democratic Pope,” though about ten pages of it are devoted to chastising priests who say that the Church his abandoned its “right of the sword” or any other medieval claims. I have quoted extensively from it elsewhere (Appeal to Reason Library, No.1), and you can spend a pleasant hour comparing the nice sentiments which Catholics quote for you from Pope Leo’s inspiring Encyclicals with the sentiments he endorses in Marianus de Lucas book.
In fact, it comes a little closer to Americans. A more recent but equally truculent manual of this Public Church Law is Cardinal Lepicier’s De Stabilitate et Progressu Dogmatis, Lapicier is a Canadian, the oracle of the Canadian Catholics. So white priests in Detroit were getting round Henry Ford and the American public with stories of how Thomas Aquinas and the Jesuit Suarez laid down our most modern principles of political morality centuries ago, and how the Pope is the incorruptible protector of democracy, justice, and freedom of conscience, other priests just across the river, were chuckling over Lepicier. Perhaps they were also in Detroit.
From the ease with which the American public were duped in this matter one would imagine that Quebec is an obscure place round Hudson’s Bay or in Greenland. Quebec is, under Church law, a Fascist state. It is the only free country — if you can call it free — in the world where Petain’s miserable senile corruption of our civilization is hailed with joy and admiration instead of curses and derision.
A few years ago a Canadian Journalist, Grant Dexter, had an article in the London press (News-Chronicle, August 18, 1938) with the title “There is Fascism under the British Flag,” and it opened with the words: “The facts about Quebec are not in dispute; Church and State are combining in an effort to suppress freedom and to create a Fascist State on the Italian model.” Dexter might have said that there has always been Fascism in French Canada. When the British took it over from the French the clergy made with them one of the usual selfish deals; they would stamp out revolt in the people if the British would give them tyrannical rights and powers over the people. I found the place a paradise of sleek priests, monks and nuns in 1925, but it has become much worse just when the British Empire was getting up its courage to “rid the world of Fascism.” Under the new “Padlock Law” (1937) against Communism, which means anything the priests don’t like and was directly inspired by the present Pope, the police became gestapo. They can invade and close premises and arrest men without appeal to the Courts. The censorship is tyrannical, and Protestants and Jews who have nothing to do with Communism are persecuted. In 1940 a respectable girl of sixteen was sentenced to jail (or a heavy payment) for distributing tracts of the International Bible Students’ Association.
To these French Canadians — and they are four out of the 12 million people of Canada — Franco Spain is an idyllic land, and Vichy France is making a noble effort to reach its level. Salazar in Portugal and Horthy in Hungary are ideal rulers, and Mussolini’s sale to the Pope of the liberties which the Italian people had won with their blood was a grand victory over the materialism of the age. That this encouraged Hitler and his gang, led directly to the rape of Ayssinia, and had a considerable influence on the Vatican’s alliance with Japan is — well, it is just one of those things.
How American priests and their writers and politicians were, while these sentiments were rampant in canada, assuring the American public that the Church stood inflexibly for democracy and freedom we shall consider presently, but we must notice here one very ironic occurrence. In 1929 the papers announced with great joy that Mussolini and the Pope had entered into a Holy Alliance. They did not recall that Mussolini had recently said, or roared out on a public platform, that he had “marched to victory over the rotting corpse of liberty.” They did not mention that he had 10,000 political prisoners in jail, many under torture. They said nothing to disturb the soothing assurances of Catholic writers, even of Al Smith during his presidential campaign, that it was only when the founders of our liberties “wedded themselves to ancient Catholic political principles that they were able to give birth to modern democracy as we know it.” Shades of Franklin and Jefferson! However, just when Catholic mendacity of this sort was given place of honor in the American press the Pope himself was angrily tearing it to tatters in Italy.
Mussolini had bluntly declared in the Italian Camera (Congress) that he had made no concession to medievalism, and the Pope retorted at once, in an open letter to his Cardinal Secretary of State which was published in the Vatican organ, the Osservatore Romano (May 30, 1929), that in accepting the Canon Law (Public Church Law) for Italy the Duce had conceded everything. The Pope, exactly on the lines which I have described above said that Mussolini had admitted the thesis that the Church is a “perfect society” and he must accept “the logical and juridical consequences of such a situation according to constitutive [Church] law.”
We saw what these consequences are. Naturally the Pope did not dare assert his “right of the sword” or his duty to put apostates to death. It would have meant a claim for the execution of about 20,000,000 Italians; and, in spite of the Catholic censorship, those blamed Americans might have heard of it. He could not demand the suppression of every other religion, because the Americans and British had chapels and missions in Italy, but he insisted on severe restrictions, complained bitterly that it was only the pressure of circumstances that forced him to make any concession, and secured at least that the civil law would deal with any free or critical discussion of religion. He did point out that one consequence of recognizing that the Church is a perfect society is that it is “absolutely superior to the State”: another is that “in matters of conscience the Church and the Church alone has competent authority;” another that this particularly applies to “the matter of propaganda” and criticism of the Church: another that “the full and perfect right to educate does not belong to the State but the Church”: another that “in a Catholic State liberty of conscience and of discussion must be understood and carried out in accordance with Catholic teaching and law”; another, referring to the Catholic scheme of controlling marriage, that the Church “can and must enforce it.”
From the viewpoint of the man who wants to know the truth about the relation of Catholic law to civil law, who wants to examine whether the Church is really democratic or Fascist, this is the most important and most explicit document that has emanated from the Vatican for fifty years. But no American or British paper reproduced it; and even the Catholic who wants to read his own Pope’s words on the subject will find that he would have to read them in my books or one of Marshall’s — which he is forbidden under pain of hell to open! Remember what Heywood Broun, a journalist of knowledge and character, said about the Catholic censors of the Press: “There is not a single New York editor who does not live in terror of this group,”
One of the aims of this general intimidation of editors or of newspaper owners by threats to withdraw Catholic advertisers or readers is to protect the Catholic-American fiction that the Church never interferes in polities. The Vatican, we are told, cooperates at one time with a democratic state and at another with a Fascist state because it leaves to the people the choice of its political form. It must cooperate with the established state in protecting the interests of religion. Did not the great Pope Leo XIII formulate that principle in golden words which have been reproduced so many hundreds of times that there is no excuse for any writer who does not know it?
We smile. Until 1939 the assurances of Hitler and Mussolini that they ardently desired peace in Europe were reproduced just as many hundreds of times. And the Catholic writer who quotes the Encyclical (Immortale Dei) of Leo XIII as a sublime utterance on “The Constitution of Christian States” and the freedom of people to shape their own constitutions is no more honest than Hitler or Mussolini. The very title given to it in the English translation is a trick. The Pope’s title is “On the Constitution of Catholic States.” A few other neat little changes conceal the fact that the aim of it was almost the exact opposite of what Catholic writers in America pretend. It was addressed to France, and its chief object was to chastise the French for daring to choose a constitution which put all religions on the same level by excluding the Catholic Church from polities, the lawcourt, and the school: which is just what the American Constitution does. The Encyclical was written in 1885, and the French people had then lived under a Republic for fourteen years. The Papacy had during all that time refused to recognize the political form which they had chosen in a free Congress and with the full support of the country. Leo XIII, who never interfered in politics, had stubbornly insisted that they must take back either the royal or the imperial family.
The whole Catholic propaganda on this point is nauseating in its dishonesty. The world does not need a Pope to tell it that a nation can choose its own political form, and the Pope forgot this Catholic principle when the Spaniards set up a Republic in 1932. It is not the business of a moralist, however richly oiled he may be, to dictate on such matters as choosing between a royalist and republican form. But if there is any such thing as political morality or principle in public affairs, the Fascist form of a state, being imposed upon a people by force, does concern it. And when those who have imposed it are corrupt adventurers like Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, or senile splutterers like Petain, when they lie and cheat like medieval Popes and princes, when they debauch their people with sentiments of banditry and commit outrages on a vast scale, it is time for the Pope, to speak out. Yet, while statesmen all over the world who do not claim to be “holy men” loathe and execrate them, the Pope enters into alliance with them. He has a concordat with every Fascist ruler in Europe and South America, but he goes far beyond that.
Does the Catholic apologist mean that men in power, no matter how criminal they may be, must be taken into alliance if they promise to protect and promote “the interests of religion”? What interest of religion, in the best sense, can such men promote? And what are their promises worth? A man’s principles are suspect if he deals with them, but his intelligence is worse than suspect. Religion in such a case obviously means the power and wealth of the Papacy and the Catholic hierarchy, And it will be shown overwhelmingly in this series of booklets that for the last ten years or more the Black International has intrigued with the powers of darkness in its own interest and condoned every outrage and deception that prepared the way for this ghastly crime against humanity.
Aggressive war was always barbaric. Priests reserve the richest section of their vocabulary of vituperation (loathsome, swinish, filthy, obscene, bestial, etc.) for the man who loves a woman without their blessing, but they have always contrived to keep their dignity when they condemn aggressive war. They know that whenever their own nation enters upon one they will support it. Yet it is a crime on so vast a scale that no individual crime can for a moment be compared with it.
It was always a relic of barbarism. Today it stinks. There used to be, and still in defensive war are features — a superb courage, a heroism, a self-sacrifice for others, a splendid challenge to our common cowardice — that have moved quite respectable writers to praise it. Sir Arthur Keith, one of the most kindly And most humane of men, said some years ago that war is necessary. He could not say that today. Modern aggressive war, Fascist war, the war launched by the men who mouth about their invincible legions, their indomitable courage, their noble blood, is an incarnation of cowardice. What is called the Age of Chivalry in European history is a Catholic lie. Historical experts — not writers of manuals of general European history for American colleges — consider the period (1100-1400) one of the most brutal, dishonest, treacherous, and aggressively sexual in the chronicle of civilization. What we see today is not a decay of chivalry but precisely a return to the so-called Age of Chivalry, with certain diabolical improvements (from the bandit’s angle).
You prepare the way for your war by years of lying, cheating, corrupting, prostituting your women, seducing soldiers and statesmen, and buying traitors and Fifth Columnists. Meantime you forge your weapons in underground arsenals. When you are ready, you look round the map for the weakest victim, and you bear down upon him with a force four or five times as great as his. You shelter your men behind an advancing war of steel. You drive hundreds of thousands of frantic women and children and old men along the roads before them, knowing that your enemy is less inhuman than you and it will paralyze his defense. You pour hell upon the towns where the women and children and old men live so as — this is laid down in German and Japanese military manuals — to take the heart out of their husbands or sons in the field, and you then announce that you have bombed their “military installations.” You flood them with poison gas — unless you learn that they have enough to retaliate A your cities . . . In a word, it stinks. And the Black Internationals, the Pope and his cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, monks, nuns, and paid journalists and organizers, have for ten years or more cooperated with the arch-criminals who have brought this blight upon civilization. They have done more. They have summoned the bandits to the foul work and called it a Crusade.
Now that, you say, is really too strong. But is any man really ignorant that the present Pope raised the cry, years before the war started, before we heard those first shots in Spain which were the curtain-raiser of the great tragedy, that the powers must unite to “extinguish Bolshevism in Spain, Mexico, and Russia,” and that the cry was taken up by the whole Catholic world? How did Catholic’s think that Bolshevism was going to be extinguished? With rose- water? Seldes is very frank in his work The Vatican about the way in which the Knights of Columbus joined the Wall Street Choral Society in demanding war upon Mexico, that is to say, of course, upon its Bolshevism, though it hasn’t got any. Is a war less criminal when the defender is incomparably weaker than the aggressor? Profane moralists think otherwise. Has any man now any serious doubt that the Pope encouraged Franco to rebel and the Italians and Germans to assist him? As to Russia, Pacelli, who is now Pope Pius XII, has howled for the extinction of its Bolshevism, and in particular has appealed to Germany to allow him to cooperate in this, in explicit terms since 1936 and implicitly long before that. Crushing Bolshevism in Russia meant, as we now see and as any properly informed man could have foreseen, the bloodiest war in history.
If, as one can hardly suppose, a man has any doubt about this charge against the Black International, he will get ample information in the following books. We shall, in fact, see all about Pacelli Pius in the next book. But proofs meet the eye every day. Why do you suppose that the head of the Roman Church in Britain, Cardinal Hinsley, has warned Catholics to be prepared for terrible propaganda against the Church when the war is over? Why is Archbishop Mannix, the head of the Church in Australia, permitted to make such attacks on the British effort to extinguish Nazism, that on the latest count, only 16 percent of the Australian volunteers are Catholics and 65 percent Protestants? Why do international radio experts complain in England (News-Chronicle, August 21, 1941) that Italian broadcasters address English Catholics “as if they were a ready-made Fifth Column”? Why does the Vatican radio find it necessary repeatedly to meet the charge that the Pope is pro-Axis? Why does it denounce as traitors to the Church Polish and other officials who adhere to the Anglo-Russian alliance? Why do those servile followers of the Vatican, Franco and DeValera, help Germany? What about the Pope’s latest pet scheme, a Catholic bloc to be formed with the help of Germany?
But this booklet must be a preliminary general survey. The plot will be shown and proved in detail in the following booklets, and on the most positive evidence. It is sometimes difficult, even impossible, to prove the Vatican’s share in international intrigues and crimes. Catholicism is not the same thing in America as in Italy. It is a minority Catholicism and most behave very prudently. Sometimes American Catholics tell you, when you point out the irrepressible absurdities and eccentricities of their Church, that you “ought to see it in a Catholic country.” You may be sure these men have never seen it themselves in Eire, Spain, Italy, and Poland. In these countries Catholics can from long familiarity see and hear without raising an eyebrow things that would make an American Catholic pale. Very often, in fact, they are kept in complete ignorance of what the Vatican is doing in their own country with its underground diplomacy and secret agreements, and the apologist flatly denies these things — until they come to light years later.
What do you think of this choice specimen? In the years when Britain obstinately refused Home Rule to Ireland there was very serious trouble, and it was often said, and angrily denied, that the Vatican secretly negotiated with the British Government to use the influence of the priests to cheek the people in return for concessions in England. The Irish leaders knew that it was true. I have myself heard John Dillon in the last century exclaim: “I take my religion from Rome but not my polities.” It all came out in the official biography of Leo XIII by Msgr. T’Serelaes, but it had an ironic sequel which American papers have probably not noticed. The British statesmen and the Catholic lords never thought that in the end the Vatican would double-cross them, but it did. The Irish Press, a staunch Valerist paper, said in an editorial in its issue of May 26, 1933:
Today Ireland learns for the first time one of the most moving and glorious stories in connection with the Easter Week Rising . Before it took place Pope Benedict XIV received a mission from the Irish Volunteer Executive in the person of George Noble, Count Plunkett. The Count had a private audience of two hours with His Holiness and disclosed to him the decision to rise and the date of the insurrection and received from him his Apostolic Benediction on the men who were facing death for Ireland’s liberty.
You may admire the pathetic rebellion or you may think it foolish in its plain futility. You may acknowledge the right of rebellion yet feel that these secretly organized revolts, when a country is engaged in a terrible war, are not pleasant to contemplate. But the only point of interest here is that if we had suggested at the time that the Papacy was in any way involved in the movement we would have raised a storm of indignation. Yet it was not simply involved. The Pope outwardly friendly with the British, gave his most solemn encouragement to the enterprise by giving it his Apostolic Benediction. Now that De Valera has got all that he expects to get out of England he reveals the truth.
Should we be unduly suspicious we suggested that the Vatican, through the Catholic hierarchy, encouraged De Valera to refuse the use of ports to Britain and so prolonged the carnage of seamen and the brutality of the Nazi regime? Especially when we have the heads of the hierarchy in Australia publicly threatening what the Church will do if Britain forces a temporary occupation; especially when De Valera, Franco, Salazar, and Weygand (who would grant the Germans the use of ports tomorrow if they were more confident of its final victors) are abjectly amenable to Papal direction. We remember how Leo XIII’s clerical biographer boasts of the cleverness of his hero in making deals with Prussia at the expense of the Poles, which was denied at the time, just as he boasts of his diplomatic intrigues in London at the expense of the Irish. We remember how American Catholics raged when Pegler in one of his syndicated articles accused the Vatican of supporting Japan. Now the Pope receives Matsuoka in great honor at the Vatican and gives that arch-hypocrite a gold medal.
But do not get a false impression. This exposure of the plots of the Black International will not at any point rely on suspicions. It is based on such positive evidence is I have just given of the Irish plot. The only suggestion or suspicion I introduce is that the plot most probably goes far beyond what we can at present prove. That is a plain inference from the historic way in which Vatican intrigues are angrily denied at the time and later revealed or — as is the case with the Japanese alliance — indignantly denied by American priests and at the same time claimed by French and Italian priests as proof of the Pope’s cleverness. The known facts, the Pope’s published words and actions, are, however, grave enough and, in view of the criminality of the Axis plot against the world, the infamy of the way in which it was organized, the bestiality with which it has so far been carried out, they make a mockery of what Catholic apologists have said in America for half a century.
Let us first be quite clear on this organization of the plot; and this I particularly recommend to men and women of fine sensitivity who are tempted to say that the whole world has somehow apostatized from its ideals. Three nations only want aggressive war: three nations out of fifty, or one-tenth only of the race. Another tenth (backward people) know nothing about it, but eight- tenths loath aggressiveness and the brutality it causes. Don’t blame the world.
Even in the case of Germany, Italy, and Japan, the nation is not so much corrupt as corrupted by a minority; and this corruption was accomplished in ten years and can, by a reversal of the educational machinery, be redeemed in less than ten years. Nations like France and Spain may seem under Vatican influence to have adhered to the corrupt gangs, but we know that the majority are sound and when the time comes for the final and drastic, destruction of this clerical influence they will rise to greater heights than ever.
The second point to hold clearly in mind is that it is a military-economic plot. It appeared first in Japan, where a score of very wealthy families wanted more wealth and hundreds of others wanted to reach the same position. Fortunately for them Japanese naval and military commanders are still at the medieval or Samurai level of mentality. They want to win “glory” by conquering half of Asia. The miserable politicians and the heads of the Shinto and Buddhist religions were bought — literally — to support the plot, and the Vatican promised that if it were given a monopoly of the Christian missions it would see that the Gospel was accommodated to this noble design of exploiting the slave labor and vast resources of China, indo-China, Thailand, etc!. In Germany the economic element precedes the military, as it had to create the army afresh, and in the case of Italy we will not venture to speak of military “glory.” In sum, the world is darkened by a plot of two nations to create a vast wealth by exploiting all the other nations. Italy was never seriously meant to share it. Mussolini ought to have paid more heed to Hitler’s emphatic statement in Mein Kampf twenty years ago that there is no room in Europe for two great powers.
The third point to keep clear is that Mussolini and Hitler had not at first any idea of the ultimate plot. Mussolini, a brutal, scatter-brained adventurer, was too busy breaking the heads of Socialists with whom he had quarrelled, to write programs, and Hitler just put together a few Christian Socialist ideas (especially anti-Semitism) and the already familiar demand that all sections of the German-speaking race must unite. Add the spice of denouncing Versailles, though it had treated Italy far too generously. How these mob leaders and saloon-bar politicians came to have definite and rapidly expanding programs is a long story that will, as far as, is necessary, be told in later booklets. In a word, it was due to the adoption of the parties by the capitalists, who in time saw an opportunity of acquiring amazing wealth by enslaving Europe, Asia, and Africa; the majority of the workers, who were diverted from dreams of dispossessing their own wealthy to a dream of taking England’s lucrative place as “the world’s shopkeeper”; the army, which is always ready to “conquer” when you give it the tools; the Churches in each country and the Vatican for the whole world.
The question that will interest the future historian is, as I said, not how the plot grew, which it is very easy to trace, but how the rest of the world was so duped that it made no defensive preparations, except the futile Maginot Line in France. Again there can be only one answer. The world was duped by its statesmen and its rich newspaper-owner who refused to see anything except that privilege would be saved by the extinction of Bolshevism in Italy, Spain, Germany, China and Russia. These are large questions to which a full answer will be Provided in the later booklets, but most people will remember how the press of America and Britain (and France) was filled for years with (1) lying stories of the confusion and inefficiency into which Socialism had led Italy, Germany, Spain, and Russia; (2) lying, stories of the efficiency of the Nazi and Fascist regimes; (3) sympathy with the pressure of population in Italy and Germany, though everybody knew that Mussolini and Hitler were forcing the birth rate, and every expert knew that there was far less pressure than in England or Belgium.
To what extent statesmen and editors and heads of Churches really fooled themselves into thinking that the vast armaments which Hitler and Mussolini were creating would be allowed to rust when they had crushed Bolshevism in Spain and Russia as well as their own countries is not my concern. Perhaps you remember how a few years ago an French journalist in an interview (arranged for the purpose,) asked Hitler about his emphatic statement in Mein Kampf that France would be ground to powder, when he airily brushed it aside as an ebullition of younger days — it was still printed in every edition on a score of pages. — the press everywhere gave prominence to his assurance; and the same press everywhere, with a few honorable exception’s, repeated every lie and libel about Soviet Russia that anybody cared to send in.
The verdict of this generation of young folk, when they grow up, will be that the “Guilty Men” — journalists use that language at last, forgetting that editors were as guilty as statesmen — who let the monstrous evil attain such proportions are only a little less guilty than the bandits. In this respect I approach death with clean hands. In my Haldeman-Julius publications for the last six years, especially the Appeal to Reason Library, and the ABC Library, and The History of the World Since 1918, I have thoroughly exposed the current untruths, described the growth of the plot, and made clear the true attitude of the Roman Church. This attitude and the work of American Catholic apologists in falsely representing it are the last point to be noticed in this introductory booklet.
The New York Times of May 12, 1940, contained a very special apology for the Vatican by Dr. Ryan, Catholic bishop of Omaha. That paper has, as many quotations in these booklets will show, given us a fair news-service both from the Vatican and Russia, and it was right to publish the Catholic case. Ryan, formerly head of the Catholic University, is the fifteen-inch gun, the 50-ton tank, of American Catholic apologetic on these matters. His strength is, besides his Catholic learning, that he is so solemn that he always gives you the impression that he believes what he says. Even when in the course of this article he says that today “the place of Papacy in world affairs seems to stand out in bolder relief than at almost any other epoch of its long existence,” he is quite serious, though he cannot possibly refer to the Vatican’s share in the world-plot.
Dr. Ryan’s complete vindication of the wisdom and the integrity of the Papacy is this. In the last century it fought “political liberalism.” This is now dead and “on its ruins there have risen such extremes as communism and fascism” which “meet on the common ground of state totalitarianism.” Against these new dragons the Papacy steps out again in shining armor, and they “have thrown down the gauntlet to Catholicism,” which cannot possibly “capitulate to the new theories,” Thus “the democratic regimes” have no stouter champion than the Pope, and all Americans must rally to him.
Two months later, when the pious and purblind Petain trampled on the last remnants of democracy in France, the Papal newspaper, the Osservatore Romano (July 8), hailed his restoration of “the principle of authority” with enthusiasm and Said that in this respect “the aims of the dictatorships coincided with those of the Church.” What the leading Catholic apologist felt when the same New York Times (July 19) gave the gist of this Papal article one wonders. The Osservatore quoted its pet dictator Salazar saying: “The authoritarian regimes have the purpose of creating a civic conscience as a way to create a moral conscience”, and in the name of the Pope added: “Such are also the desire, the aspiration, and the program of the Church.” And the Times Rome correspondent, went on to say that the Germans rejoiced at this “complete about-face by the Vatican in its position toward totalitarian states!” You see, the terrible case with which Germany crushed Holland, Belgium, and France had convinced the Pope that it was going to win the war; and from that time onward the Vatican’s one great idea was to set up a bloc of totalitarian Catholic States in cooperation with Hitler.
Pity the poor American apologist in these days. But Ryan’s plea was gross even at the time. In the last century, he begins, the Church fought political liberalism. Yes, at a cost of half a million lives of Liberals and with such documents as its moth-eaten Syllabus. Political liberalism means simply democracy, sol the Church fought democracy, which Ryan has always denied. Other apologists prefer to say “economic liberalism” but they obviously do not know what they are talking about because the Church joined with economic liberalism in a violent attack upon its opposite, Socialism. This political liberalism is now “defunct,” Ryan says. Yes — in all Catholic countries. As we saw, nine-tenths of the Pope’s subjects live under a Fascist flag, and the Pope presses upon them as the political ideal the totalitarian regime of Italy and Portugal. It is upon Protestant lands that the Crusade for democracy and against Fascism vitally depends. And Ryan’s final point that the principles of the Catholic Church compel it to fight for democracy and freedom is even worse. If it were true, the Vatican is guilty of a monstrous moral apostasy. But it is the reverse of the truth. We have seen that the Church of Rome is Fascist in its Constitution, its law, its principles, and everything about it. It coquetted — cocotted might be better — with democracy as long as it paid.
The recent history of Vatican policy — it has no “principles” in the ordinary sense — is not obscure. It was fiercely anti- democratic, until the last quarter of the last century. It still remained anti-democratic, expressing this plainly in its relations with France, until near the end of the century. It insulted and humiliated the heads of the Catholic Church in America by addressing to them an Open Letter, published all over the world, condemning what is called Americanism. What it condemned was precisely what Ryan and other apologists teach: that there is no lack of harmony in any respect between the spirit and law of the Church and the American spirit and law But the “century ended with, apparently, the triumph of political liberalism all over the world, and the Vatican ceased its mumbling. On political matters it became ideally neutral; and the Church in America began to store up billions of dalliers while the Church in France and Italy shrank, so much that its contributions to the treasury were meager. One must keep an eye on these Americans.
Then began the golden age of Catholic propaganda in America. The Church, they said, was essentially democratic; always had been in fact. The apologists grew bolder and bolder. Not only is the eternal political truth in the Encyclicals (slightly retouched) of Leo XIII (who hated democracy) but it was now discovered in the writings of the Jesuit Suarez (who would have had a man burned at the stake for professing it) and even in the works of Thomas Aquinas (who had picked a few ancient Greek ideas out of the works of Aristotle but otherwise defended the most merciless principles of medieval clerical tyranny). The flag of freedom had been first set up in Catholic Maryland; which, Bancroft had clearly shown, never had more than a Catholic minority, and these had passed the policy of toleration in their own defense.
Year after year American Catholic writers and journals broadcast this monumental untruth, but the Vatican itself was meantime watching for the first opportunity to get rid of its misalliance with the vulgar drab Democracy and recover its association with its elegant Aristocracy. Ryan says: “Political liberalism and not the Papacy was almost completely destroyed in the cataclysm of the World War.” He ventures to say that in one of the best-informed countries in the world! Just think for yourself, for no reading is necessary in order to test this.
Democracy was not destroyed in Russia, for it had never had democracy. It was not destroyed but for the first time set up in a pure form, by getting rid of Kaiserism and the Junkers, in Germany. It was not in the least weakened, but invigorated by the collective war-effort in America, the British Empire, France, Italy — in fact, all over the world except in Japan. Oh, Ryan will say, I take a long view; I see Communism already growing. We will not press his language — that democracy was destroyed in the World War — but we reply that he is using one of the flimsiest tricks of propaganda. Outside Russia, where the conditions were unique, Communism, which must be taken in this connection to mean the dictatorship of the proletariat, never had a chance of attaining power. Bela Kun was an episode. What did show a prospect of gaining the world was Socialism, and it is the only pure form of democracy. But the Catholic apologist, like his colleagues as fellow-crusaders in Wall Street, finds it more useful to say Communism. They could never have made America quite so red-hot about Socialism.
What are the facts? Dictatorship began first after the war in Poland; and no government in the world was more subservient to the Vatican than the Polish, no other nation so solidly Catholic. The democracy began next in Spain where in 1923, the King and Church had, to prevent an inquiry into their corruption, set up a dictator. He had the blessing and cordial cooperation of the Pope. Mussolini had marched on Rome in the previous year, but his dictatorship was very imperfect — as late as 1925 more than 2,500,000 or half the country voted against him — until he came to terms with and bought the support of the Vatican. This was in 1929. During ten years after the war the only blows at democracy, which, instead of being “defunct,” as Ryan says, was as vigorous as ever, had been dealt in Catholic countries with the warm support of the hierarchy, and the Pope.
In 1929 Pacelli-Pius became Secretary of State at the Vatican, and democracy began to bleed. Japan started on China, (1931) and the only power in the world to enter into close association with it was the Vatican City. Germany still rejected Nazism, but in 1932 the Pope made an underhand deal with Hitler, and this was one of the chief reasons why he won and destroyed democracy. In 1934 democracy was destroyed in Vienna, after Dollfuss had had an interview with the Pope and with the zealous cooperation of the Austrian hierarchy; and Mussolini, loudly cheered by the whole Italian Church, entered Abyssinia. Next year (1935) Pacelli visited South America, and the statesmen and generals who fawned upon him made a bloody end of democracy. In 1936 Franco, with the Pope’s blessing, began his vile work in Spain, and the way was prepared for the world-assault on democracy. It survives, fighting for its life, in non-Catholic countries.
That is the story we shall tell in detail, but that this is the true outline of it everybody knows. The Church of Rome is vitally implicated in the most criminal and most gigantic conspiracy in history. It blesses or courts men to whom lying is a pastime and wholesale murder and brutality are necessities which they defend with amazing callousness. Perhaps it is the Vatican’s last crime, for when this war is over a grim reckoning will be required of the Pope. He clings to his infamous association while every sane and free part of the world covers it with obloquy.