ABOUT THEIR WEIRD CREED

                        by Joseph McCabe

                     GIRARD  -- : --  KANSAS

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     I    What Is the Roman Creed? ............................. 1
    II    The Pope and Popery .................................. 6

   III    The System of Sacred Magic .......................... 11

    IV    How the Doctrines Were Fabricated ................... 19

     V    How the General Public Is Duped ..................... 24

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                           Chapter I.

                    WHAT IS THE ROMAN CREED?

     One of my readers informs me that the editor of an important
and comparatively independent American daily to whom he spoke about
the theme of these booklets, the conspiracy of the Black
International with the Axis powers, said that I would create a
sensation if I could furnish adequate evidence of it. He seemed to
think that my work must be on the level of the fools who talk about
a conspiracy against civilization of the Elders of Zion or at the
best a strained inference of plots which from the nature of the
case would be kept strictly secret. The editor did not say that he
would read the ten booklets of the first series in which I gave a
volume of factual evidence and unimpeachable testimony which it
would take a court of law a month to examine; evidence and
testimony from the published words of Popes, prelates, and Catholic
newspapers, leading dailies like the Times and the New York Times,
the European press as objectively reviewed in Keesing's 

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                   THE HOLY FAITH OF ROMANISTS

Contemporary Archives, Catholic and pro-Catholic books, and
official statistics. All that was new in my work was that I
laboriously collected these testimonies from the records of the
last ten years -- in our swiftly-moving times even editors forget
what they published a year ago -- and arranged them in such order
as to give the reader a faithful retrospect and an analysis of the
present situation of the world.

     Another correspondent asks me if I have worked up the material
in, or intend to write, one of those three or four-dollar books,
handsomely bound which really inspire confidence in the reader. My
friend is a member of one of those impressive societies of very
serious men and women who are out to tell their contemporaries the
full and profound truth about international happenings from month
to month. It appears that they won't read ten-cent paper-covered
booklets. Their library would not accept a copy of a work which
was, so that any worker could buy it, split up into ten such
booklets. And I reply as in the preceding paragraph. These people
may or may not want to know the truth about the share of the Black
International in the corruption of our age but they would not
publish it in any form or under any circumstance,, and most of them
have a more or less conscious feeling that they would rather not
see anyone give the world truth which they have not the courage to

     Some of these folks privately wish me good-speed in my work.
Some excuse themselves on the score that I am vituperative or a
mere superficial collector of facts; and when one reflects on the
way in which for the last ten years the "polite" writers and the
"profound" writers have led the world blind-fold to the brink of
the pit I welcome this description. But many feel it very difficult
to believe that the Roman Church, which they thought they knew
well, is capable of this conspiracy against civilization: that is
to say, a conspiracy for their own end's, no matter how they define
these, of the leaders of the Church with powers which, if they
succeeded, would certainly wreck civilization as we know it.

     This is not now in dispute but I recommend the reading of a
booklet recently published (though possibly not in America) by
Prof. J. Needham, of Cambridge University, The Nazi Attack on
international Science, in which he shows the appalling corruption
of even men of science in Germany, "Blood and soil," says Prof.
Krieck, Rector of Frankfort University, "are the symbols of the
National-political point of view and the heroic style of life," and
"What is the purpose of university education? . . . the heroic
science of the soldier." But it will be enough to show the depth to
which Prof. P. Lenard, one of the six greatest physical scientists
of our time, has sunk. He has adopted the vile and stupid racialist
creed of the Nazis and repeatedly said that the great Jewish
scientists of Germany (Einstein, etc.) have merely hampered "the
will for truth of the Aryan scholar, which is as boundless as it is
painstaking" and "lowered the level of German science." And what
these men of science, intoxicated by the Nazi poison, say in
Germany is applied to all higher culture and all that is
distinctively modern and promising in our civilization by the
priest-ridden dictators of the dozen countries which now grovel at
the feet of the Pope.

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     There are two possible theories as to why the leaders of the
Roman Church thus allied themselves with powers that corrupt
culture, suppress a freedom which it took the world a century of
heroic struggle to win, and brought an incalculable misery upon the
race. the first theory, which you may feel to be the natural
interpretation of all the facts that I have given and the whole
history of the Church, is that the Black International sought to
protect the wealth and power it was rapidly losing through the
advance of Socialism. The second theory is that of the Church
itself as stated by the most conscientious of its apologists. You
have the germ of it in these words of Cardinal Newman, the most
respected and most orthodox of Catholic writers in the English

     "The Church holds that it were better for sun and moon to drop
from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions
who are upon it to die of starvation in extremist agony, so far as
temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say should
be lost but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one
wilful untruth, though it harmed no one, or steal one poor farthing
without excuse (Anglican Difficulties, p. 190).

     And if it is Catholic doctrine that it is better that all this
ruin, being only material or secular, should take place than that
you should tell the wife you were detained at the office when you
were giving a little dinner to a stenographer, what ruin is not the
Church prepared to sanction, or to cooperate in producing, rather
than that tens of millions of folk should commit, or should persist
in the mortal sin of apostasy with all its sequels? Every apology
for the Pope's action in Japan, Spain, Germany, Italy, Abyssinia,
Brazil, etc., springs from that root. It is Catholic doctrine from
Augustine's City of God onward.

     Which theory do you prefer? If the first, the Black
International is purely and simply one of the gang, to be arraigned
like the others at the close of the war. If the second, it is an
enemy of the human race and of civilization as we moderns
understand the words. But at least do not talk to me about
respecting sincerity. The head-hunters of Borneo, the thugs of
India, the Aztec priests of Mexico, and the Inquisitors of Spain
were sincere.

     American apologists never quote this perfectly sound doctrinal
statement of Newman. They talk vaguely about it being the business
of the Pope or the Church to look after man's "Spiritual" or
"eternal" interests; and they rub the dust into your eyes by
telling you in the next breath that American civilization is based
upon "spiritual realities." Make no mistake about it. They mean,
when they tell the truth, just what Newman said, for that is the
Catholic faith. Why, then, you ask, do we not hear Protestant
apologists say things of this sort since they also believe in
eternal torment or eternal bliss? You will, as a matter of fact,
sometimes find a fanatical Baptist preacher using equally bleak and
revolting language, though in most Churches the old dogmas have
been softened by modern humanism. But the chief reason is that the
Black International is a professional body which is mainly
concerned to use the logical implications of the creed it imposes
to cover its anti-human activities.

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     As I said in an earlier book, it is not uncommon to find an
American Catholic writer, even a bishop, loudly asserting, with a
sort of strut and swagger, that if Rome ever ordered them to do or
to believe anything contrary to American principles they would cut
the cable. This, I explained, is a bit of forensic rhetoric or
trickery. It is just to give the non-Catholic public the feeling
that these apologists are so perfectly aware that there is nothing
in Catholicism opposed to our principles that they can even express
themselves in this melodramatic fashion. But it will be a good
introduction to our subject, the real nature of the Catholic as[
distinct from the general Christian creed, to consider what would
happen if these folk were some day called upon to make good their

     Obviously the Church in America would no longer be either
Roman or Catholic. The loss of the first name may not seem to
matter much because there is already some tendency to drop it. As
I have often pointed out, the new Encyclopedia Americana is
drenched with Catholic influence, yet if you look up "Roman
Catholic Church" you are referred to "Catholic Church, Roman." It
is only a few years since the Black International in Britain made
a brazen attempt to get the history-books in the public schools
revised in their interest, and one change they wanted was to have
the word "Roman" deleted in references to the Catholic Church, and
to get the Pope described as "the head of the Christian religion."
It was rather amusing for those of us who knew that a few years
earlier Catholics (especially in Rome) had boiled over with wrath
because the (Catholic) Premier of Malta had wanted that change made
in the Constitution of the island. However, you easily see what
isolation from Rome would mean to the American Church. The
oleographs of the Pope and St. Peter's in millions of American
(Polish, Italian, etc.) homes must be burned, and try to picture
the turmoil of mind of the folk, old or young, who had listened for
years or decades to services on the august authority of "the Vicar
of Christ," the glories of the Papacy, the unique wisdom of the
Encyclicals, etc., etc. Just bunglers after all. Leave them to
McCabe and Haldeman-Julius.

     The word "Catholic" would, of course, go with the word Roman.
It means, and most essentially implies, "universal." But every
other branch of the Catholic Church would scorn this American
abortion. At Detroit, Canadian Catholics would cross the river to
break up meetings of these foul schismatics of the . . . I wonder
what they would call it. The Church of the Stars and Stripes? The
Neo-American-Medieval Church? I give it up.

     But we know how bold our apologists are, so let us entertain
the idea that some day the hierarchy may bring out bell, book, and
candle against the Pope, and all the Papal marquises and knights
will throw their decorations into the gutter, and so on. What would
be the creed of the new Church, as distinguished from that of the
Protestant Episcopal Church? Study the latest and most careful
statement of the Catholic faith that is offered to the American
public, that written by a Jesuit professor in your Encyclopedia
Americana. Cut away the Papal part and see what is left.
Practically nothing. There is a lot about sacraments (baptism,
confession, communion, ordained priests, etc.) but it seems that 

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                   THE HOLY FAITH OF ROMANISTS

the validity of these things depends essentially upon magical
powers inherited from the apostles, to whom Christ gave them,
through Peter and the Popes! These revolting bishops would throw
away the dog and keep only the tail.

     In other words, all this talk about defying the Pope is just
trickery, probably put out with the amiable agreement of the
Vatican. The opportunity to state the creed in the Americana was so
important from the Church angle that you may certainly take the
article as authoritative, and it agrees with all other short and
responsible 'statements, as in the Catholic Encyclopedia. It begins
with the Gospels, which are said to show that Christ was God, and.
that he founded a Church with twelve "apostles" as its cabinet-
ministers and Peter as Premier or President. That is familiar. The
unique Catholic Truth comes in at the next step. It is that if not
a single Gospel had been written we should still know all about it.
Tradition is the great thing, greater than the Gospel's; and, of
course, the Church is the custodian and exponent of Tradition. This
is that wonderful Catholic logic, which is so lacking in modern
science. You prove from the Gospels that God (Christ) founded the
Church and made its leaders infallible, so you have to listen to
it. As to the little weakness that it is a most thorny question
even among Christian scholars how far the Gospel-narrative is
historical, when it was written, what interpolations were made,
etc., the Catholic need not be troubled. The Church, with its
Tradition, which is older than the Gospels, settles all these
things. You prove that John Doe is an authority on economics by the
authority of John Smith, and then you prove the reliability of John
Smith on the authority of John Doe.

     But there is method in the madness. We pass over articles of
the Catholic faith which are common to that Church and the
Fundamentalists. As I showed in the last book, and this, latest
exposition of the creed emphatically repeats, every man who calls
himself a Catholic pledges himself to a belief in the Trinity, the
creation of Adam and Eve and descent of the whole race from them,
the Garden of Eden, the Fall, the inherited or Original Sin, the
Incarnation, the virginity of Mary, the Redemption ("by death on
the cross"), the resurrection, the ascension. Any educated or
liberal Catholic who tells you that the Church does not now require
him to believe all these things literally, or as they were defined
by the Council of Trent, lies. It is the priest who received him
into the Church who whispered that to him -- if he will keep his
mouth closed about it. If any Catholic questions this, let him show
you one line in print of a sermon, book, or Catholic, paper
claiming that liberty.

     After this the creed again becomes distinctively Catholic, and
you see the reason for the above mental gymnastic. Christ's death
created an infinite store of "grace" (supernatural help) for men,
and this is mostly conveyed to them by the seven Sacraments of the
Roman Church. We will consider their peculiarities later. The main
point is that the Church has to prove that these "sacraments," with
all the weird beliefs and elaborate ritual and hierarchy they
entail, were "instituted by Christ." When you contrast the
anti-clerical and anti-ritual message consistently attributed to
Jesus in the Gospels with the powerful hierarchy and rich ritual of

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                   THE HOLY FAITH OF ROMANISTS

the Roman Church you fancy that this will strain the resources of
even the Catholic apologist. Not in the least. It is quite easy.
That is where Tradition comes in. The Gospels are just unofficial
collections of tit-bits. The full message and instructions of Jesus
about the future life of the Church were given privately to the
apostles, and Peter faithfully transmitted them to his successors
in the Roman See. What these Protestant and Rationalist historians
say about the early Church inventing priesthood and dogmas and the
medieval Church inventing myriads of new dogmas and practices which
happened to be rather profitable to it is all nonsense. The Church
invented nothing. It was all there in the instructions whispered to
the Galilean fishermen on the sunny slopes of the hills of Judaea.
When the time for each step was ripe the Church brought out the
plan from the Tradition entrusted to it.

     You begin to see the wonderful simplicity of the Roman Church
-- or of its lay adherents. If you find it difficult to believe
that a Church could get away with this Tradition theory in the
20th, Century read for yourself this article in the Americana. When
at last America was to have its own encyclopedia and not rely on
these Britishers, and the Catholic Church was invited to advertise
itself lavishly in its pages, you may be sure that this chief
article on Catholicism was most carefully considered. It makes a
very strong point of the Tradition theory. Naturally it has to be
helped out by a monstrous amount of tampering with the historical
evidence, but it will be enough to show this in regard to the first
and principal part of the Roman creed: the part which the bishops
propose to discard when that famous day comes on which they will
hurl defiance at the Vatican and the greedy Italians.

                           Chapter II

                       THE POPE AND POPERY

     In a sense its teaching in regard to the Pope is the only
distinctive part of Roman Catholicism. The Greek and certain other
oriental Churches which reject the authority of the Pope -- the
Roman Pope -- agree in almost every other respect with Roman dogma
and ritual, and until 1918 these non-Roman Catholic Churches had
almost as many members as the Roman. Each of them -- Greek,
Russian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Roman, Syrian, Abyssinian, etc. --
called itself the Catholic (or universal) Church, and they hated
each other like cold poison and snorted at the idea that they were
all sound branches of a really Universal Church, Historically the
Greeks, when Greece was still an Empire, massacred thousands of
followers of the Pope, and the Russians carried on the gentle
tradition on the Poles in the 19th Century. From 1919 to 1939 the
Romanist Poles returned the compliment to the non-Romanist
Russians, and today Italian and Croat Romanists use the familiar
argument on non-Romanist Serbs, or Greeks. Remember that it is
better that, millions should die of starvation, or have their dying
accelerated by a knife or a club, than that one man should commit
a venial sin, much less the mortal and horrible sin of questioning
that Eugenio Pacelli is the Vicar of Christ.

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     Each of these oriental Churches was founded by an apostle, or
by a Church which had been founded by an apostle, and -- if for a
moment you will screw your profane mind up to seeing things on this
sacred plane -- it is impossible to think that Christ gave one set
of instructions about the future to Peter and a different set to
his cabinet-ministers. It is therefore essential for the Catholic
apologists to say that in the fast few centuries of the Christian
Era, when the blood of the martyrs kept the Churches fragrant with
virtue -- this is their language, of course, not mine -- and all
were loyal to the message entrusted to the apostles, the supremacy
of the successors of Peter in the bishopric of Rome was
acknowledged; and so all the apologists, not to put too fine a
point on the matter, here lie like blazes. From Ducheane, the
finest and most liberal historical scholar they have had in this
century, to the Jesuit writers in the Catholic Encyclopedia, they

     Do not ask me to be more polite and to say only, in the words
of a British statesman, that they are guilty of frigid and
calculated inexactitude. Only half a dozen times in the first four
centuries did the Roman Pope claim a jurisdiction outside of Italy.
The evidence is therefore compact and can be studied in two or
three hours by any person who reads Latin; for all the Greek
documents are available in Latin (in the Migne collection). And
this evidence, plainly and emphatically shows that on every such
occasion the other Churches vigorously, and in most cases with
indignation aid contempt, repudiated the claim of the Bishop of
Rome. Yet in the article on the subject in the Catholic
Encyclopedia, one of the chief articles in this work which
announces to the American public that it is the last word in
Catholic scholarship and candor, the Jesuit Joyce says:

     "History bears complete testimony that from the very earliest
times the Roman See has ever claimed the supreme leadership, and
that that leadership has been freely acknowledged by the universal

     Duchesne himself says in the article on the Papacy in the
Encyclopedia Britannica that its supremacy was "never questioned."
Each of these statements to the public on a point of the highest
importance is therefore the exact reverse of the truth. You can
guess how the minor apologists talk.

     The Catholic professor who writes on the Papacy in the
Encyclopedia Americana is more diplomatic. Perhaps he has seen that
in half a dozen books in the last few years I have reproduced the
evidence -- see especially my True Story of the Roman Catholic
Church (I, 39-43, II 47-57) -- so that even those who do not read
Latin can judge for themselves. But he cannot or dare not tell the
truth. He says: "It is not now maintained that the full
significance of the Petrine primacy was manifest from the first in
the life of Christianity." But that is exactly what the Catholic
Encyclopedia does maintain, as I have quoted. And when this
Catholic professor says that the "full significance" was not
"manifest," instead of saying that it was flatly denied whenever it
was asserted, he is guilty of a constructive untruth. And when he
goes on to say that "Critics of all shades agree that Peter was in 

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Rome in 64" he is as bold as the others. Very few Protestant
theologians and no Rationalist historians admit that Peter was ever
in Rome, and I have shown that the "Letter of the Romans to the
Corinthians" of the year 96 plainly proves the opposite.

     I must not here be drawn into details of history, with which
I have fully dealt, quoting the original Latin and Greek
authorities, elsewhere. For the moment I am concerned only to point
out that the most distinctive doctrine of the Roman Church, that
concerning the Popes, the principal basis of the power of the Black
International, is so demonstrably contrary to the evidence that the
apologists, have to lie to their own people and to the general
public about that evidence. Indeed, the literature they impose upon
their own people -- we are bound to say "Impose" when they forbid
them to read critics -- about this important early phase of their
Church and its Popes is comprehensively untruthful. In the lists of
Popes nearly the whole of the first thirty are marked "Saints and
Martyrs" whereas the facts are so notorious that the leading
Catholic experts admit that not more than two at the most were
martyrs, that the hundreds of stories of martyrs impressed upon
children in Catholic schools are forgeries.

     In the first book of this series I gave a short analysis of
our actual knowledge of the character of the Popes. The character
of the majority of the first eight centuries is really unknown to
us, but many were rogues. It is significant that there are only two
periods in the first three centuries when contemporary documents
throw a light upon the character of the Popes and they (Victor,
Callistus, and Damasus) are seen to be very far from saintly. But
I need not repeat the facts even in summary. When catholics are
told by their priests that their Church has been ruled by a long
line of Holy Fathers, Vicars of Christ, except that for mysterious
reasons God permitted "a few bad Popes" in the series, they are
duped. The phrase "a few bad Popes," 'which occurs in all Catholic
writers, is a constructive untruth. The Papacy was corrupt for
whole centuries: especially from about 880 to 1050 and (with a
short decent pontificate at rare intervals) 1290 to about 1660. No
"primacy" in any other organized religion has so disgraceful a
record. If I have any readers of this who are not familiar with my
earlier work I may assure them that I have covered the entire
ground in those works and quoted the contemporary documents for
each age, Some day I will get out a biographical catalogue of the
Popes. The general public is today more grossly deceived than ever
about the facts of Catholic history.

These facts are materially relevant to my present subject. The man
who hesitates to admit that the supreme motive of the Black
International is the protection and increase of its power and
wealth, who is inclined to take the "spiritual" view of its
activity therefore fails to understand that activity until it is
too late, only to consult the historical facts. I have said that
the longest period of degradation of the "Holy See," a period to
which you will find no parallel in the history of the religions
which Rome treats with such contempt, was from about 1290 to 1660.
The Papal Court was almost uniformly and extraordinarily corrupt
during that stretch, and the great majority of the Popes were men
themselves of unworthy character or men who permitted or patronized
corruption. That applies to nine-tenths of this period of nearly
four centuries.
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     Yet this is just the period when the fires of the Inquisition
burned most fiercely. The spectacle of the deeply religious and
puritanical monk Savonarola butchered as a heretic at Florence
under a Pope, Alexander VI, of the most cynically immoral life is
not a bad symbol for the period. More cynical still in some
respects, as he turned to sodomy after he became Pope, was Leo X,
and this man. wanted Luther burned at the stake as John Hus had
been burned under that "monster of vice" (as the Council which
tried him called him), John XXIII. Yet in those days the cry of the
Black International was the same as now. They were, they said,
moved only by thought of the horrible danger to the faithful of
eternal damnation, and no bodily suffering of individual or of
nation need be taken into account in their zeal to protect souls.

     It is one of the paradoxes of modern times that the larger our
historical knowledge has grown or the more self-conscious the world
at large has become, the more the power of the Pope has grown. No
Catholic writer would now dare, or be disposed, tell the facts
about the Popes of the Middle Ages as candidly as did Cardinal
Baronius, the Father of Catholic History, the pride of the Roman
Church in the 16th Century. A Cardinal Richelieu honestly telling
the Vatican, not making an insincere brag about it to impress his
own countrymen, that if the Pope does not mind his own business he
will sever France from Rome is today unthinkable. Instead of a
"Gallican Movement," which for centuries checked the Popes and
their encroachments in France, we have a French hierarchy cringing
to Rome though it is the ally of the brutes who drench France with
shame and misery. All the Catholic anti-Papal attitudes (Febronian,
etc.) of national Churches are deader, if I may use the expression,
than astrology. Such a figure as Lord Acton, the last fine scholar
of the Church, is no longer possible in it. There is far more
deliberate untruth in Catholic literature, particularly in regard
to the Popes, than there ever was before. And the literary men and
sociologists who write so much and so brilliantly about the
paradoxes and weaknesses of our age never notice this paradox.

     The historian of the future will write delicious pages on it.
The fundamental reason for this growth in modern times of what is
properly called Popery -- not the growth of Romanism in the world,
for there is no such growth, but of the cult of the Pope in the
Catholic Church -- is just that spread of democracy which Rome
hates so much. The Pope is the figure-head of the Italian
hierarchy, which shares the vast wealth and prestige that the new
Popery brings to Rome. Italy itself is too poor to give a
comfortable living to the preposterous number of its bishops and
priests, but Rome as the international center of the Church always
redeemed the poverty of Italy, as far as the clergy are concerned,
and this new glorification of the Pope everywhere, this blind
adulation of his encyclicals and speeches, this pressure on the
world-press to exalt him, have made it more profitable than ever;
and the Black International in every country shares the prestige
and prosperity and the new protection against the formidable forces
which threatened the very existence of the Church.

     The root of this remarkable development is, as I said, the
growth of democracy. A million Catholics means a quarter or half a
million votes, according to the nature of the franchise, and a 
political party has a profound respect for a man who can control 

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even quarter of a million votes, not to speak of five or six
millions. I am for the moment considering the world as it was
before the convulsions of the last three years, though we have seen
how the Vatican extracted profit from those. The Black
International in each country needed no orders from Rome. They and
the junta of Italians who run the Vatican had a common interest. It
was to the profit of all that statesmen should begin to consult and
editors to flatter "His Holiness." Catholic papers, knowing well
what it all meant -- Catholic support for politicians or papers --
put into their mouths an elegant pretext: they were supposed to
have rise superior to the narrow and poisonous prejudice against
the Popes of the last century and inaugurated an era of real
liberalism, tolerance, and civic cooperation.

     All this reacted on the Catholic body itself and led to a
meeker submission to or exaggeration of the powers of the Pope than
ever before. Universal free education and the creation of a
Catholic press greatly aided the clergy. Every encyclical that
issued from Rome was hailed in Catholic papers and, under Catholic
pressure, in other papers as a document of marvelous wisdom. As I
have had occasion to point out in various books, Catholic
literature still dilates in superlative language on encyclicals of
Leo XIII that were either actually reactionary or at the best
contained a few outward platitudes of humanitarian Liberalism which
were nicely trimmed so that no Catholic capitalist could take
serious, exception to them. Simple-minded Catholics expected the
Pope to be asked to preside at the Versailles Conference and are
today expecting President Roosevelt to secure that he will be
invited to preside at the Peace Conference when the present war is
over. Their Church in America published the fact that with a
prodigious expenditure of money and outpour of literature and
oratory it "converts" only about 25,000 of the 120,000,000
Americans every year; and it is demonstrable that it loses ten
times that number every year. Yet you will find numbers of Catholic
papers and books declaring that the conversion of the whole of
America to this child-like allegiance to the Pope is just round the
corner -- as prosperity was in Hoover's day.

     This second quarter of the 20th Century will be characterized
by social writers of the future as the age of negroid music,
tabloid newspapers, and cosmetics. In such an age any sufficiently
enterprising body can do almost anything. And the Black
International, with an army distributed over the earth of certainly
more than a million agents (priests, monks, nuns, teachers,
journalists, etc.) is an enterprising body. Even in England, where
Catholics are about one-twenty-fifth of the population, it had the
insolence a few years ago to approach the educational authorities
of the London County Council and demand a revision -- in reality,
of course, a falsification -- of the historical manuals used in the
schools of its vast area; and these manuals are already as tame as
a toothless old dog. It transpired that when, with the help of
benevolent Labor majorities, they had captured the schools of
London, they hoped to capture those of the whole country. Why not,
they asked? They had, they said, already done this in some of the
leading cities of America. And the Pope whom they expected to
glorify, knowing that they would shine in the reflection of his
glory, was one of the men responsible for the horrible evil which 
came within measurable distance of wrecking the, British Empire,
reducing Britain to the status of a fourth-rate power.
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                           Chapter III

                   THE SYSTEM OF SACRED MAGIC

     This Popery of the Roman Church is enough in itself to prevent
it from ever cooperating heartily in American life. As far as I can
discover no one has pointed out that these theologians (Suarez,
etc.) who four centuries ago spoke about the rights of the people
and the Popes who, after ignoring their political ethics for four
hundred years and defending the divine right of kings, now find it
expedient to recall it in their encyclicals never say what
Americans think and say. No one has ever been able to quote, or
ever will be able to quote, any endorsement by the Popes of the
people's right to govern themselves. All that they have ever said
is that the people have a right to nominate the man, king or
president, to whom God will give the authority to govern them. Such
words as "rule" and "govern" are in fact, obsolete to the modern
mind. Within strict limits the majority which votes a "government"
into "power" has the right to cheek the activity of individuals
whose acts are prejudicial to the general good. But it is, as in
the case of crime, a matter of organized administration not

     Thus, while the essential feature of democracy, as we
understand it, is freedom, the operative word in this revived
Catholic political ethic is "authority." It dropped from the lips
of Popes more and more frequently when there seemed to be a
prospect of Nazism conquering the world. Petain dribbles it in
Vichy every week. Franco, Salazar, Vargas, and the whole brood of
puppet dictators under clerical guidance agree that the cause of
the world's malady is the decay of authority and the remedy is the
restoration of authority. A few days before I wrote this the
German-inspired Swiss and Swedish press said that Hitler was going
to make a sensational announcement "and that this would be a
declaration that the Catholic League (Spain, France, Portugal,
etc.) had agreed to adhere formally to the Axis. The sensational
announcement proved to be a pitiful exhibition of carpet-chewing,
but the contemptible Catholic dictators continue to mumble about
authority. We know what they mean by authority: abject submission
to rulers in the choice of whom the people have no share, or the
exact opposite of the American Constitution.

     This is the fundamental principle of the Papal Constitution,
and it is all the more repugnant to the modern mind when we
contrast the story of its actual historical development with the
Catholic theory of it. The idea that Jesus took Peter and his
friends aside and instructed them how they and their successors
during centuries were to build up and equip the Church is a very
feeble sort of fairy-tale. That such an idea should be offered to
the American public in what purports to be its most up-to-date and
most important work of reference shows only to what an extent the
Church has already put a blight upon American culture. I suppose
this new encyclopedia is in the historical school of all American
universities, and I wonder if any professor dare warn his pupils
that, not only is the idea in itself too absurd to be put before an
adult person, not only is Jesus described in the oldest portion of

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 the earliest Gospel as convinced that the world would come to an
end within fifty years, but that the historical influence and
conditions which explain the evolution of the Papal power are as
fully known as the causes of the feudal system or the Renaissance.

     We will glance at these in the next chapter. Let us first
consider the next distinctive element of the Catholic scheme. To
the man in the street it probably seems that there is a gulf
between the Catholic and the Protestant Church, but my readers know
differently. Practically all branches of the Christian Church east
of a line from Northern Yugo-Slavia to the Russian frontier of
Poland agree entirely with the Romanists except that they scorn the
Pope, allow married men to become priests, and differ on one
insignificant detail of the doctrine of the Trinity. Then there is
the "Catholic" wing of the Church of England and the Protestant
Episcopal Church of America. In any case, you can simplify the
apparently bewildering Romanist system by dividing it into two
parts. There is the doctrine of the authority of priests and
hierarchies with all its disciplinary consequences, and there is
the doctrine of "grace" which is the basis of the whole scheme of
ritual and dependence on the priests.

     I am afraid my readers are a very profane lot, and I almost
despair of explaining to them what this "grace" means. I might make
short work of the job and say that it is just supernatural magic
and the priest is the magician, but, your Catholic friends would
not admit that. It is fundamental to the whole Catholic system, yet
all these pro-Catholic writers and journalists fight shy of it as
nervously as they do of the chastity of a nun. The nearest thing to
it in the world of reality is mana. The Melanesians, who are almost
at the lowest section of savage life, believe that a mysterious
power pervades nature and is especially stored in certain persons
and objects. Every native is on the lookout for more mana, which
means more strength, bravery, defiance of evil spirits. He looks
for unusual objects -- shells, stones, etc. -- in nature or eats
dead men who had been strong and bold. It is fairly equivalent to
the medieval idea of magical power, and it is analogous in a sense
to that supernatural influence or "grace" which Catholics are so
keen to get.

     Do not ask me to go into the psychology of it. Catholic
doctrines, and especially this basic doctrine, can no more be
fitted to modern psychology than the grass-skirt of some fat old
Maori woman could be fitted on a slim blond stenographer. Catholic
theology still talks about man's "free will" as the basis of moral
judgment. Most of my readers will know that no modern psychologist
even notices the antiquated belief in free will, and four manuals
out of five say that there is no such thing as will. But even if
there were, the cooperation of this "grace" with it would be as
mysterious as the Trinity. However, there it is. Since the Fall of
man the human will has been so enfeebled in the face of temptation
that it needs this magical strengthening or grace. Is a girl going
to a dance? Has a youth to sit in an office with wicked non-
Catholic youths? Does a man's business afford illicit
opportunities? And so on. You remember how we saw that the Catholic
is assured that the rest of us are so fearfully wicked that every 

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hour he is in more danger -- because the penalty of yielding is
eternal -- than if he were in a Florida swamp or a smallpox area of
a Mexican town. Grace is what he needs: the great evil-tonic with
magical qualities.

     The next step is that the Roman Church has an unlimited Supply
on tap, and other Churches have none or a very poor and uncertain
supply. You may find this exposition rather tedious but on
reflection you will admit that you now begin to see why the
Catholic talks about his unique church, outside which salvation is
at least so risky that no Insurance Corporation in Chicago would
take it on. This grace has to be conveyed by "channels" for some
reason or other (doubtless on those secret instructions given to
Peter in his fisherman's cottage), and the main channels are the
Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Penance (Confession and Absolution)
Confirmation, the eucharist, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Extreme
Unction. And by what you may or may not choose to regard as a
remarkable coincidence each of these channels is controlled and
opened by a priest. You may, of course, get grace by praying for
it, as the devil does not always give you fair warning to get
official assistance. You may see a man drop a five-spot on the
pavement before you, the sun shining through a girl's translucent
skirt, an unexpectedly bold picture at the cinema, one of McCabe's
books lying about . . . Then pray for grace. But the surest and
broadest of all channels are the confessional and that priceless
advantage of Catholics, the "real presence" of Christ, in the
consecrated wafer and the various rites (communion, the mass, etc.)
based upon it.

     These two threads will take you through almost the entire
labyrinth of the Catholic scheme of services and practices for
defeating those deadly, restless, voracious, and intensely spiteful
enemies of yours: the world, the flesh, and the devil. I am not
going through the labyrinth with you. I have a touch of lumbago
just now, and my sense of humor is under eclipse. But I must say a
few words on each "sacrament", for there are writers who may try to
persuade you that they are just pretty symbolic arches under which
the happy Catholic passes as he hurries from the cradle to the
grave. baptism in infancy, confession at the age of seven (when you
first become liable for hell), communion at nine or so,
confirmation at thirteen or fourteen when the springtide of the
hormones rises, marriage or holy orders when the contest becomes
tougher, extreme unction in the last lap.

     There is nothing symbolic about baptism. It is stern Catholic
dogma -- and if any man professes to be a Catholic, and does not
admit it he is not honest for he dare not openly say so -- that
every human being inherits the eternal punishment imposed for the
sin of Adam and Eve, and baptism is the one cleansing fluid for
this liability. In the early Church baptism was generally
administered late in life, and the idea of all children, if not
half the Christian body, to say nothing of the pagan millions,
being sent to hell for all eternity was so revolting to the few
educated pagans who took any interest, in the new religion that a
compromise was effected. Eternal torture, as I explained in the
last book, has two aspects: the loss of the vision of God and
"sensory pain." So theologians worked out -- I mean found amongst 

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the blue-prints entrusted to Peter in Galilee -- that besides hell
and heaven there is Limbo or Purgatory, a spirit-world with a
salubrious temperature and what-ever sports and entertainment
spirits indulge in, but no vision of God . . .

     I had better keep off these more delicate aspects of the
Catholic faith, as this pen of mine runs to ribaldry. It is enough
that not one of us, from the new-born babe to the centenarian, will
go to heaven unless he has been baptized. In America apologists
dupe the general public by saying that it is no longer Catholic
doctrine that "outside the Church there is no salvation." I have
shown that this is false if by salvation is meant admission to
heaven, but theologians are good enough to allow that baptism in
Protestant Churches may be valid. There are, however, so many
conditions for validity that it is always doubtful, and a convert
to the Roman Church is always "conditionally" baptized.

     Doubtless all this sounds very silly, if not a little
nauseating, to most of my readers, but it is an essential part of
the theory to which the Black International appeals to justify its
intrigues, its encroachments on the liberties of non-Catholics, and
its endorsement of such policies as the alliance with the Axis
powers. By the "spiritual interests" which, the apologist says, the
Church must consider above all other matters, he means something
totally different from what a religious statesman or a puritanical
essayist means when he uses that expression. He is referring to
this monstrous doctrine of eternal punishment and the claim of the
Roman Church to possess the only really safe means of dodging it.

     At seven the normal child is introduced to the sacrament of
Penance. The basis of this practice again is revolting. It is that
a child usually reaches "the age of reason" at that age and may
incur eternal damnation. They are all treated as junior Dead-End
Kids. The child is confronted with a list of the more serious sins
-- I regret that I do not remember from 67 years ago whether it
contained fornication, adultery, etc., as it does in the Prayer
Book which older children consult -- which it may have committed up
to the age of seven. Less serious sins (lies, quarrels, petty
thefts, etc.) a Catholic is not bound to confess as the penalty is
not hell. I have not patience to discuss it, but when you read one
of those books in which it is said that the Catholic Church has,
from its long experience, a marvelous understanding of and sympathy
with human nature, think of these boys and girls of seven to ten
being taught to brood over their sins and hell and the devil.

     So begins the life-long comedy of the confessional. From the
age of seven to death the Catholic must go to confession at least
once a year, and the societies and confraternities which most of
them are bullied into joining make the obligation monthly. It is
rather surprising that the Church does not make it weekly. It must
harrow a priest's feelings to think of his men and women, youths
and maids, boys and girls over the age of seven, frivoling about
the parish or the city for three weeks or so under the sentence of
so savage a punishment that the practices of the Nazis in Poland
and Russia or of the Japs in China are pleasantries in comparison.
Is it necessary again to remind you that this is indispensable
Catholic belief on which no gloss whatever in permitted?

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     The moral aspect I have considered in an earlier book. To talk
about the rare cases in which a woman of severe character goes to
the priest for "spiritual advice" is like saying that war is a fine
moral tonic because a few are braced or purified by their
sufferings. Let us keep to plain English. The crowd you will see on
any Saturday night in a Catholic Church awaiting their turn to
confess is enough to make you despair of modern intelligence in the
mass. There are social moralists who shed tears over the crowds at
baseball games or in cinemas. They would do better to be concerned
about the intellectual level betrayed in these scenes in Catholic
churches. Remember that I was once a father-confessor. They just
reel off mechanically a list of lies, quarrels, thefts, drinking,
etc. and in almost every case a few points about sex; for the
Church tells them that not merely every act of touch or exhibition
but every thought or word about sex comes under the damnation
clause. And for every woman or girl who sincerely wants guidance
there are fifty who just love the intimate talk about sex that is
permitted with the priest in the confessional; and, to crown the
infamy, there is not a more transparently priest-made doctrine in
the whole of religion than this sacrament of penance. That it
promotes morals and reduces crime is bunk. The one object of it is
to consolidate the power of the priest over the laity.

     I pass over the sacrament of confirmation, which is as idle a
ceremony as taking the oath when you are elected to Congress, and
the next sacrament, the Eucharist, the chief glory and pride of the
Church, is intellectually quite the most repellent of the lot.
"Eating the God" -- that is to say, eating food in which the God is
believed to be present so that some mysterious power or influence
(grace) passes to the eaten -- is so natural a stage in the
development of ritual religion that the Spanish missionaries who
came out to convert the Aztecs found that they had that ceremony in
a form that was weirdly like their own. It was common in Greece --
in the cult of Ceres (the spirit of the corn) and Bacchus (the
spirit of the vine) -- and was found in the Persian and Mithralc,
and Manichaean religions. Thus a sacred supper of bread and wine
was very well known in all those cities of the Mediterranean coast
in which Christianity arose. In the great rivals of Christianity
during the first three centuries of its life, Mithraism and
Manicheanism, the similarity to the Christian practice was so close
that one Father of the Church was inspired with the theory that the
devil had tried to spoil the Church's game by anticipating it, and
Augustine tried to discredit the Manichaean sacrament by assuring
his followers that the Manichaean priests made their wafer from a
fluid and in a manner even the vaguest description of which would,
if I gave it here, secure a year's rest in a Penitentiary for
Haldeman-Julius; and Augustine was an ex-Manichaean!

     Whether thing common practice of "communion" had anything to
do with the appearance of the "last supper" story of the Gospels we
cannot consider here, nor can we linger to trace how the
"eucharist" grew out of this. But the fully developed dogma is so
starkly incredible that, although there is no obscurity whatever
about the statement of it I have often described it, I wonder if
any non-Catholic reader fully realizes what the Catholic believes
and would be expelled from the Church if he did not quite literally
believe. The "bread" used in the sacrament is, as most people know,

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a thin round wafer or cracker made from flour and water: the wine,
as a rule, a light Rhenish wine mixed with water. And the dogma is
that when, in the mass, the priest breathes over these the Latin
for "This is my body" (Hoc est corpus meum, which the wicked
Reformers shortened to Hocus-pocus) and "This is my blood," they
are in the most literal sense converted into the living personality
(body, mind, and divinity) of Jesus Christ. Theologians take
advantage of a fanciful distinction, which Aristotle made -- it is,
of course, quite meaningless in modern science -- between the
"substance" of a thing and its "accidents." In the case of a wafer
or a glass of wine these "accidents" are the color, shape, weight,
taste, etc. The Catholic dogma is that in every Catholic chapel
every morning there is the prodigious miracle, at the priest's
words, of the living personality of Christ taking the place of the
substance (by transubstantiation) of the bread and wine while the
"accidents" (or qualities, if you like) of the bread and wine

     Of course, you say, educated Catholics do not believe this .
. . (supply your own expletive). If any educated Catholic does not
literally believe it he dare not say so except in private
conversation with some other person who thinks it honest to profess
to be a Catholic and to deny a dogma on which the Church insists as
sternly as it insists on the existence of God. Every proposal to
give it a figurative or symbolical interpretation has been
condemned as heresy, a mortal sin to hold even in your own mind, a
sure ticket to Gehenna. But you have not yet heard the half of it.

     As the "accidents" of the wafer and the wine can be divided
into crumbs or drops, the theologian has to say that the living
body of Christ is in each crumb or drop: the entire physical body,
with heart beating, lungs working, blood flowing -- from hair to
toe-nails. Ask any Catholic if you still believe that I am pulling
your leg. Count Hoensbroech, the German ex-Jesuit, tells us from
his personal experience of a woman who after receiving the
sacrament (consecrated wafer) in communion reflected that she had
Christ's organs in her mouth, and she spat it into her handkerchief
and brought it to him. I advise you to get that point clearly. It
is heresy and a moral sin in Catholic theology to say even in your
own mind, as Protestants say in regard to their Lord's Supper, that
there is just a special presence or influence of God in the
consecrated elements. The doctrine of the Real Presence of which
Catholic (domestic) literature talks so much, means that Christ's
physical living body -- you remember that it "ascended" alive into
heaven -- is present in every crumb of the consecrated wafer -- if
one is badly made and a crumb falls off Christ is in it -- and
every drop of the consecrated wine.

     By this time some of my readers will be saying: Oh, quit it
and pass on to something that we can at least read. But if you want
to understand the Catholic's pride in his unique faith and
especially his belief that cruelty, intrigue, and mendacity are
justified in the work of bringing the world to so beautiful and
salutary a faith, you had better hear the whole of it.

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     There are, I take it -- I won't stop to work it out -- quarter
of a million altars at which this miracle occurs every morning, 
with Christ in each crumb. But besides the larger wafer which the
priest swallows -- often with much effort, for I can assure you
that those "accidents" of the bread remain pretty tough in a dry
throat -- he occasionally "consecrates" hundreds of smaller wafers
in a separate vessel for the laity to receive in what is called
communion. These are stored in that highly decorated safe which you
will find in the center of every Catholic altar. That is why a lamp
burns before it and the Catholic bends his knee on entering or
raises his hat on passing a church. If a bedridden invalid wants to
communicate in his home, the priest takes a wafer in a silver box
in his vest pocket. In Catholic countries, where there are no
ribald scoffers a procession warns Catholic wayfarers, who fall on
their knees, and even in America the priest wears a half-hidden
"stole" on such occasions so that the first parishioner he meets
will not stop him to tell the latest funny story or offer him a
cigarette. Did it ever occur to you that many a time when you met
a black-clad priest round Fourth Avenue he had Jesus Christ in his
vest pocket?

     If you like large sums in arithmetic you may care to estimate
in round numbers in how many crumbs of how many wafers (allow, say,
a hundred wafers to each church) in how many churches throughout
the world Jesus Christ is physically present without leaving
heaven: I haven't time. You may wonder also what happens when a
burglar opens the safe (tabernacle) for the silver cups and
scatters the consecrated wafers ( ... hosts") on the street, or a
bomb buries it until the "accidents" putrefy -- all theologians
admit that they will -- and so on. All that is carefully worked out
in theology and was doubtless included in the blue-prints entrusted
to Peter. It is disputed whether Christ remains when these wicked
Satanists, who are as real to Catholics as vampires are to a Bulgar
peasant, steal a "host" for very naughty purposes. It is generally
held that he does, and there are lots of edifying stories in
circulation in the Church about how the blood spurted from the host
when the wicked Freemason or Satanist stuck a dagger in it. A
church in America can hardly prosecute a man for stealing Christ,
but theft is not necessary. Every apostate priest, even Joseph
McCabe, retains the power to work this transubstantiation. I must
say that no Satanists have ever offered me a dime for my services.

     I could fill a book with interesting features of this dogma
and of the practices which it inspires, but must confine myself to
one more. This belief is the care of the Catholic Sunday just as it
is the central and most tremendous and precious dogma of the whole
system. In the "mass" on the Sunday morning the priest consecrates
the "host" and under pain of hell every Catholic who is not
seriously ill (tiredness or a cold or toothache won't do) must be
present at least at one of the "low masses (without singing). The
priest does his best for the people, gabbing his addresses and
prayers, in Latin, to the Almighty at 200 to 300 words a minute, so
as to get through in 25 minutes, or there will be much grumbling.
The "high" mass is the same ceremony with singing, commonly a choir
of non-Catholic professionals who happily, do not understand in the
least what is going on, and the best music (Beethoven, Mozart,
Cherabini, etc.) has been written by skeptics and apostates, as I 

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will tell in a later book. The evening service is optional to
Catholics, but again the chief part of it is based upon this dogma.
A consecrated wafer in a silver-gilt and glass receptacle, is
exhibited amidst a blaze of candles and flowers for the adoration
'Of the people. This doctrine of the eucharist, in other words, is
the chief source of the priest prestige -- he alone can create and
handle "the Blessed Sacrament" -- and the possession of so unique
and priceless a thing puts the Catholic faith incomparably higher
than any other religion.

     After this I need not waste time on the other sacraments and
all the devices piously supplied by the Church for a small
consideration, for defeating this desperate conspiracy of the world
(you and me), the flesh, the devil against the souls of Catholics.
Matrimony is a peculiar sacrament -- No, not on the ground that you
think I mean but because, on theological principles, the parties
administer it to themselves by marrying. But you may be sure the
priest is not out of it. As I have shown in an earlier booklet it
is part of Rome's sheer defiance of civil law in any modern
civilization that it declares the marriage invalid if the priest is
not present and valid if he is although the ceremony is (contrary
to civil law) kept secret. The real reason why in this case the
priest is not said to be the minister of the sacrament is, because
any Catholic can find out that until the 12th Century a Catholic
did not need to be married by a priest.

     "Holy Orders" is the channel by which a very special "grace"
-- the power of transubstantiate bread, to absolute sins, and to
sustain a vow of chastity so heroically as priests do -- is
conveyed. Extreme Unction, or the Last Anointing, is a development
of a pre-Christian medical practice of rubbing with oil, men who
were very ill. It became a symbolical ceremony of touching with oil
the parts of the body with which a man or woman had sinned. It was,
however, apparently provided in the original blue-prints that when
our wicked age supervened the anointing of "the loins" might be
omitted. In the delicate and virtuous Middle Ages they just lifted
up the dying person's smock and -- Well, it is not clear in the
ritual books what exactly the priest anointed. Holy Water is not a
sacrament but is very valuable. It is water from which a priest
has, with a pinch of salt -- I was never clear whether or not this
was meant for the devil's tail -- and various incantations driven
out the devil, and he so dreads it ever after that the Catholic
makes lavish use of it in church; where, Catholic practice suggests
-- women Still wear their hats to keep the devil from entering by
their ears -- evil spirits are strangely numerous. Then there are
the numerous objects (medals, etc.) blessed by the priest, the
bishop, or the Pope to be worn next the skin. These are the
cheapest of all means of fighting the world, the flesh, and the
devil and getting,one's "time" in purgatory reduced. But these
simple reflections on the main features of the Catholic system must

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                           Chapter IV


     That very persuasive and very popular and magnificently
audacious 'American apologist Dr. Fulton Sheen published a work
entitled Old Errors and New Labels (1931). It is as boring and as
far from reality as Hilaire Belloc on the same theme (Arrivals and
New Arrivals). The burden of the first chapter is a complaint -- a
complaint, mind you -- that nobody ever attacks his Church today.
It has "never before in the whole history of Christianity been so
intellectually impoverished for want of good sound intellectual
opposition" (p. 7). Phew! I will not attempt to reply that I have
myself written about 100 books and booklets (besides the present
series) on the Roman Church and never seen a word of reply,
because, of course, I am not at all on the same intellectual level
as Fulton Sheen. He would at once tell you that. So would I. What
he means is, he says, that the apologist wants "a foeman worthy of
his steel" -- like Hitler looking round Europe for little men until
he stupidly attacked Russia. The Church, he says, "asks her
children to think hard and think clean," and a really powerful
opposition helps this. But the intellectuals of America are afraid
to venture upon criticism. And so on.

     That is the sort of stuff that Catholics read. It does not
occur to them that they are forbidden to read critics anyway, or
that to explain the "intellectual impoverishment" of their
literature in his fashion is much like a junior baseball team
saying that it is kept down because the Giants won't meet it. The
reverend sophist also sublimely ignores the fact that his Church in
America has a tremendous organization for preventing the
publication or circulation of any criticism of itself and trying to
bring economic ruin upon any professor or professional writer who
dare attempt it.

     But we might overlook all that. What will at once occur to the
reader, after the preceding chapter, is the question: How in heck
does a Catholic expect modern scientists, philosophers, or
historian's to sit down and write serious criticisms of that
bewildering tissue of puerilities and dupery? Even the modern
astrologer or palmist puts up a better show. If Dr. Sheen literally
Believes that stuff, as he certainly professes to do, he might as
well expect Mencken to criticize the kiddies's section of the
Sunday Supplement, or a Carnegie Foundation to issue a learned
treatise on the longevity of the patriarchs. To talk about the
intellectual impoverishment of his Church is superfluous, but for
a man who accepts all this medieval trash to turn round on our age
with its monumental intellectual and practical achievements and
tell us that we are "Spineless" and "afraid of truth" is too funny
to be a good joke.

     I have written this lengthy chapter on what the Fulton Sheens
and Ryins and J.J. Walshes believe not because it is stuff that is
worthy of the reader's consideration but because he ought to know
exactly what Popes and apologists mean when they say that those
"higher interests" of men which they have to consult justify them
in ignoring those "lower interests" (peace., prosperity, freedom, 

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etc.) which we moderns think paramount. Now you know just what they
mean. But the cream of this very bad joke is that these doctrines
and practices which they are going to fasten upon more millions of
men at the cost of appalling war and suffering were quite
transparently and, in the world of scholarship, notoriously
fabricated by the Black International itself.

     I have shown this in chapter II as regards the first
distinctive leading Catholic doctrine, the power and peculiar
inspiration of the Pope. In the first reliable Roman document,
which was written by the Roman Christians themselves in the year
96, their bishops is not mentioned. He is just one of the bunch. A
hundred years later his successor claims authority over communities
in Asia Minor, and the bishops "bitterly reproached Victor" (the
Pope) for his insolence, the first ecclesiastical historian, Bishop
Eusebius, tells us (v. 24) and the African Fathers joined in and
heavily castigated him. In short, as I said, though the claim of
authority began to be treasured in Rome itself after A.D. 150 --
the blue-print given to Peter on this point seems to have been lost
for a century and a half, and all copies in the case were lost --
Popes ventured to assert it only five or six times in four
centuries and were mercilessly snubbed every time. Their
opportunity came in the 5th Century when the Goths and Vandals
wrecked the Empire and left no bishop of any strength to oppose
Rome, and Europe sank to an abysmal ignorance. The Greek Churches,
though on Catholic theory they had the same instructions or
tradition as Rome, continued to tell the Pope what he could do with
his claims, and even in the Darkest Europe of the Dark Age it took
the Popes eight further centuries -- culminating in the monstrous
claims of Innocent in (1198-1216) -- to build up that power which,
the world is solemnly informed in the 20th Century -- it would have
laughed even in the 10th -- Christ prescribed to the apostles. And
this power was, Catholic historians admit, in large part based upon
a mass of forgeries, the False Decretals, that are still basic
documents of the Canon Law.

     Reflect again on the fact, which I proved, that the Catholics
of our time are more subservient to the Pope than Catholics ever
were before. The Popes had to wait until 1870 to get themselves
declared infallible, as they had always claimed to be, and they had
a deuce of a time in getting the bishops to declare it. A
Republican or Democratic Convention for nominating a candidate for
the presidency has nothing on the Vatican Council of 1870. Catholic
schools had exposed in the 15th Century the lies on which the
claims of jurisdiction and the temporal power of the Popes were
based. Catholic France loudly defied the Pope even in the time of
Louis XIV. Now American and British bishops laud his serene wisdom
and divine majesty even while he is, they know, conspiring with the
bitter enemies of their countries and of civilization. Do you want
further proof of the common interest of the Black International and
of the fact that that interest is economic?

     Not less demonstrable is the fabrication of those dogmas and
practices which, the apologists blandly say, Christ sketched to the
apostles. (Incidentally, what an encyclopedia these illiterate
fishermen must have compiled?) The "eucharist," of course, is
ancient enough. As I explained, a sacred supper of bread and wine 

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in which a god was somehow incorporated was one of the chief
features of the leading religions of the Greek-Roman world, as the
Fathers admit. The pagans taunted them with having borrowed it. But
what exactly it meant to Christians in the first and second
centuries we do not know, and how it became "the mass" (borrowing
the very word from the Mithraists, according to many) in the 3rd
Century, and how the doctrine of transubstantiation was slowly
elaborated we cannot consider here. It was that towering genius
Thomas Aquinas who fully worked out the theory of the "accidents"
(color, shape, weight, smell, liability to putrefy or intoxicate,
etc.) of the bread and wine remaining when the "Substance"

     The sacraments of penance (confession) and matrimony, which
are the richest sources of the power of the priests over the laity,
are, on the other hand, quite obvious and late bits of priestcraft.
A practice of voluntarily confessing sins was, as I have previously
said, inherited from the pre-Christian world, but it was not until
after the year 200 that the Roman Church, under a Pope of
disreputable character (Callistus), discovered that the power to
bind and loose, which Christ was supposed to have given to the
apostles (Matt. XVI:19), meant that the bishop could absolve from
grave sing that were confessed to him, and other Churches
pronounced this a scandalous misinterpretation of the Scriptures in
the interest of the Roman clergy. Again the apostolic blue-prints
seem to have been lost. In the Darn Age, naturally the clergy made
headway with their ambition to enslave the laity -- even Havelock
Ellis and Bloch do not seem to have read the lists of sins that
survive from that appalling age -- but it still took centuries to
get obligatory confession extended to the clergy, monks, and nuns.
The laity remained refractory until the most powerful and most
arrogant of the Popes, Innocent III, imposed the obligation of
annual confession upon the entire Church (1215). It was, of course,
those marvelously modern school-men, Aquinas and his
contemporaries, who worked out the theory of it, and instead of it
proving the moral discipline which some historians, eager to oblige
the Church, now profess to find it, the law was followed by quite
the most immoral and vicious period in the history of Europe (1200-
1550). After this long and picturesque history the Council of Trent
declared it a "sacrament."

     Holy Orders (or ordination) is a magical ceremony of which the
clergy very gradually increased the solemnity and complexity in
order to mark off their sacred caste from the laity and enhance
their own prestige. From the Pauline Epistles and the earliest
Christian documents we gather that each "Church," which means
"assembly," was a very democratic community of a few dozen or
score, vague "followers of Christ." The only distinction recognized
amongst them in the last decade of the 1st Century according to the
Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians is that they have
presidents (bishops) and helpers (deacons),. As these things
usually go, they probably had annual elections at which Brother and
Sister So-and-so contrived to got on the committee and Brother or
Father So-and-so, probably the old fellow with the longest beard
and the longest purse, became chairman or overseer. A century
later, when a squabble for the leadership of the Roman community
led to one, and much the better, of the rivals writing a book which

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                   THE HOLY FAITH OF ROMANISTS

we still have, we find that the original weekly or monthly supper
is now a sacred event and round it is gathered a group of clergy
who are definitely cut off as a higher caste. In the squabble an
astute ex-slave got the bishopric, and this unscrupulous adventurer
made a considerable advance in marking off the clergy from the
laity and opened a modest chapel -- a room over a deserted pub
according to one contemporary version -- in which doubtless the
strict dividing line of the sanctuary was drawn. All this was
already done in the Mithraic temples, one of which was a stone's
throw from the Christian conventicle in Rome, so we do not need to
think of hidden Protocols.

     We cannot follow here the slow growth of this arrangement and
of the elaborate consecrating ceremonies, to impress the laity,
which became the Sacrament of Holy Orders. I will add only one
detail. Although the Popes of the 5th Century, finding Europe in
ruins and sinking into profound ignorance, were now able to assert
(with the help of the imperial police -- this is a literal truth)
the sovereignty they had long claimed, they were very small cheese
compared with the Popes of a later date. When one died the people
helped themselves to his table-silver, wines, and anything else
worth looting and then joined the clergy in a new election. On many
such occasions the records tell, the church in which the election-
meetings were held swam with blood. At the election of "St."
Damasus, the darling of the women -- voters, the "butcher's bill"
was nearly 200. However, the people continued to have the chief
vote, since the election was carried by acclamation, in the
election of a Pope until the 11th Century. The priests then had the
assistance of a German army in putting the Roman laity in their
place and making a holier business of the election of a Pope: in
theory, that is to say, like all things Catholic, for the history
of Papal elections during the next five centuries was amazing and
it continued to this day to be an orgy of intrigue and rival

     But the historical details do not matter. It is more
interesting that, as in the case of confession and matrimony, the
elevation of ordination to the rank of a sacrament or "channel of
grace" had in actual fact, as revealed in all contemporary
chronicles, not the least moral result. I am often accused even by
skeptics who fancy themselves far superior to me in emotional
delicacy and intellectual poise of being unable to see or unwilling
to acknowledge "the good side" of these things. To which I reply
that I would rather be truthful than dainty and I am convinced that
it is immeasurably better for the world to ascertain and tell the
facts than to refuse to read the facts so as to be able to say
smooth and conciliatory things. In 1937 I published in Britain a
book titled The Papacy in Polities Today, plainly showing the
Vatican intrigues to that date and warning folk about the future.
In the organ of a group of these superior non-Christian folk the
book was dismissed as "lamentable" and not worth reading. I doubt
if even today they have read a line of the evidence I have
published of the conspiracy of the Black International. There are
thousands of them in America.

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     As far as my present subject is concerned these highly
respectable folk say that even if "grace" as a supernatural entity 
does not exist the Catholic scheme of special channels of it and
impressive ceremonies for the young men who are taking the clerical
vow of celibacy and the married couples who are swearing loyalty to
each other for life is admirable and may psychologically have
excellent results. There their knowledge of the matter ends. People
who argue in this way are on exactly the same level of
mischievousness as those who five or six years ago argued that
Fascism and Nazism, with all their faults, were doing good. The
world wants or needs the truth -- facts. And the truth is, and
every year of extension of my fifty years study of history makes it
plainer, that the fabrication of these sacraments by the clergy of
the Roman Church was followed by a more vicious general life in
Europe than we find over an equal period of several centuries in
any earlier civilization. Penance, holy orders, and matrimony were
not dogmatically declared sacraments until the 16th Century. But in
practice they were enforced as such and the basis of them was
constructed by the School-men, in the 13th Century. That century
and the following two are the most vicious period in civilized
history. Sacraments are medieval fabrications of the Black
International to dupe and further enslave the laity.

     There is the same evidence of deliberate priestly fabrication
in every part of the distinctively Catholic structure of doctrine
and practice. One of the next most prominent features is the cult
of Mary and the saints and martyrs. As late as the end of the 4th
Century we find the greatest of the Fathers, Augustine, protesting
against this cult, which was then beginning in the Roman Church;
though he did not know that, as Catholic authorities admit today,
the new cult of martyrs was based upon a mass of audacious
foreigners by the Roman priests. They had their revenge on
Augustine. They forged sermons on Mary in his name, and some of
these are incorporated in the Catholic ritual today.

     The cult of Mary is one of the most glaring innovations of the
latter part of the 4th Century, when the pagans were being forced
by law into the Church. They wanted a goddess so the mother of
Jesus, -- who is given less prominence than Mary Magdalene in the
Gospels and was not honored even in the Roman community for more
than 300 years after her death -- when the supposed tradition ought
to have been freshest -- was decked in all the dazzling robes and
epithets of the old pagan goddesses (Ceres, Ishtar, Anaita, etc.).
When, after an almost unparalled period of artistic dissolution,
art was cultivated once more in Europe, this cult of "the Madonna"
proved a splendid asset to the Church of Rome, and the great age of
Mariolqtry opened. As if in unconscious mockery of the theory of
Trpdition it got worse in modern times. Apologists profess that
while doctrine certainly "developed" there is in this no
inconsistency with their theory of Tradition or "a deposit of
faith" (kept, doubtless, in the Sacred Archives of the Vatican).
Any man who is not under the hypnotic influence of the Catholic
atmosphere smiles. The pure Christianity of the first three
centuries and the Reformed Christianity which returned to the
Gospels in the 16th Century rejected the cult. It began as a
concession to paganism, it developed more richly in the Middle
Ages( as a concession to the weird mixture of paganism and 

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Christianity in the art of the Middle Ages, and it was encouraged
to develop still more in modern times because it appeals to the
imagination of the emotions as few other dogmas do. The language
itself in the hymns to Mary today surpasses that of hymns and
prayers to the old pagan goddesses, and grown-up men in New York
and Boston lustily sing such things as "when wicked men blaspheme
thee, I'll lay me down and die," while frivolous city stenographers
and store assistants sing: "Holy Mary, let me come soon to be with
thee in thy home." It is part of the doctrine that when Mary died
her body was physically transported by angels into heaven, (now
called the stratosphere -- but I suppose that is blasphemy, so I
must look out for pious gunmen). The "rosary," a string, of 50
small and 5 large beads, to count 50 prayers to Mary and 5 to God,
became in the modern world one of the chief symbols of "the pure
religion of Jesus." Bogus shrines like Lourdes in France and St.
Annes in Canada attracted millions -- to the great profit of the
Black International.

     I have no space to trace even in the same very brief manner
all the other peculiarities of "the Holy Faith." The upshot is the
same. Doctrine and practice "developed" in exactly the same way a
great store like Marshall Fields developed. New attractions were
required to sustain or to increase profits. Age by age the
structure of the faith, with its gargoyles and its buttresses, its
dark corners and its theatrical mummery, was built up, and on every
stone of the structure is stamped the word "Priestcraft." at the
American public should in the fourth decade of the 20th century and
in its chief work of reference be confronted with a solemn
statement that all this was done in conformity with unwritten
instructions given to Peter 1900 years ago is an insult to
Intelligence: that the Fulton Sheens should be in a position to
claim blandly over the ether that the structure is so chaste, so
graceful, so logical that no "foeman worthy of their steel" will
venture to criticize it, while all the world knows what funds and
organizations they have for stifling criticism, is a menace and

                            Chapter V


     This situation would make the social student and the reformer
wonder, if they ever candidly confronted, it, whether a very large
part of the public is not kept in a mental atmosphere which must
have a dangerous effect on its attitude to more practical problems;
and the ease with which the entire population has been led during
years into a poisonous swamp, the mischievous action to the last
moment of American Catholics, and the stubborn adherence even now
of Canadian Catholics to that policy show that in fact this doping
of the Catholic mind by the priests is a real national and
international evil. But how do they succeed in drugging some
15,000,000 people in a country that spends more on education and
cultural establishments than any other country in the world? And
how is it that the general public is so far deceived that few
recognize the intellectual insipidity of the creed and the scheming
of priesthood?

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     The first question requires a thorough reply, and this will be
provided in the next book, but let me recall several elements of
the reply that I have already given. The Catholic body may be
predominantly urban, but it has not the psychological features of
urban life. Instead of being stimulated by community life it is
taught to regard the community as evil and free discussion as a
sin. It is composed to an extraordinary extent of immigrants from
the rural regions of less-educated countries (Poland, Slovakia,
Erie Italy, etc.) and their families, and the priests take care
that in the matter of religion they shall still have a link with
the motherland. The bulk of the remainder are folk who, since they
are taught to regard as particularly sinful the reading of any
literature that might unsettle their faith and assured that the
writers are conscious or unconscious agents of the devil, might
almost as well live still in Kerry or Apulia for all the influence
of modem culture on them.

     As to the "educated" Catholics we saw what such education is.
Everybody knows that many of them do defy the Church and read
modern books, without troubling to get the priest's permission and
are healthily skeptical about much that the Church teaches. If you
bear in mind that the Church does not merely forbid such reading
but dogmatically teaches that it is a mortal sin like fornication,
you see that these men and women, while professing to be members of
the Church, must repudiate its authority, when it suits them, to
say what is or is not a sin and thus reject a fundamental part of
the creed. They formally remain in the Church for reasons which it
drastically condemns. The mortal sin of heresy not merely to say
but to believe in one's own mind that a dogma of the faith is not
literally true. The amiable writers who speculate on the Church of
Rome from without and think that it is just as easy for Catholics
to take their peculiar doctrines figuratively as it is for members
of the Episcopal Church do not know what they are talking about.
And where these "liberal" Catholics are "converts" you will be
interested to know that before they were received into the Church
they made a solemn declaration of literal acceptance, not of the
religion as a whole, but of each one, individually, of a long and
complete list of the dogmas which was presented to them to recite.

     I will tell the sad story of Catholic Modernism in the next
book and will add only one further point here. It would be a
reflection on the intelligence of one-sixth of the American people
if we were to suppose that, even taking into account their vast
funds and powerful organization, the priests actually hold the
loyalty of 20,000,000 to 25,000,000 people, according to their
various estimates, to this weird synthetic creed. We saw that, on
the contrary, the leakage is enormous, and that even when they give
the figure of 18,000,000 they include, and on the law of their
Church must include, people who have quit it. Another striking
proof of this reaches me as I write this book.

     It is announced in some of the papers -- most of them, as
usual, suppress the news as "offensive to Catholics" -- that the
religious census compiled by the military authorities from the
interrogation of recruits show that 31 percent of the men were
baptized Roman Catholics. This means that about 40,000,000 of the
present inhabitants of the United States had Catholic baptism and 

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are in the canonical sense Catholics. There is no ground whatever,
to suggest that the recruits were in any large proportion taken
from the Catholic more than the Protestant body, and it is clear
that more than half these men, though still fairly young, left the
Church so long ago that it is unknown to the priests of the
districts in which they live that they are really "subjects of the
Pope." They mainly represent that drift from the faith of boys who
have left the Catholic primary school, a drift which some Catholic
authorities estimate at between 60 and 80 percent of the whole. It
is a nice reflection on that "statistical" work, which I examined
in the second book, in which Fr. Shaugnessy learnedly proves that
there is no drift whatever! It seems to be about twice as bad as
even I estimated, and it is fairly certain that there are at all
events not more than 15,000,000 actual Catholics, half of whom are
children and most of the remainder peculiarly ignorant, in the
United States.

     This at once gives us one of the ways in which the general
public are duped According to the statistics of religion which are
given in all reference books the Roman Church has twice as many
members as any other Church in America or more than one-third of
the Christians of the country. The meaning of this -- the heavy
Catholic immigration from backward countries -- is, of course,
never pointed out in the papers, and the naturally large increase
of such a body at each decennial census is not explained. In fact
the government officials who publish the figures generally make
remarks about the "extraordinary increase" -- no one knows better
than they that the increase is not as great as that of the general
population -- and, while they are quite scientific in their
analyses of and notes on the figures in all other respects they
never warn the readers that, unlike other Churches, the Roman
Church does not admit that seceders have seceded from it.

     The net result is that the general public are grossly deceived
about the largeness and growth of the Romanist body, and this makes
them very receptive to Catholic propaganda of the broader kind: the
sort of propaganda that does not make you eager to enter the Church
and endorse its creed but disposes you to look upon the Roman
Church as a really unique body and superior to other Churches.
Skeptics of the last century, and far too many even in our time,
had a theory that the Roman Church has a far better chance of
survival than its rivals. If in this they were regarding the wealth
and power of its organization and the unscrupulousness of its
methods we could see nothing more than an exaggerated estimate in
the theory but they meant and mean, much more than this. They meant
that the doctrinal structure of the Roman Church was less likely
than that of other Churches to be affected by the corrosive forces
of the new age. Their idea of the difference is summed up in the
phrase "Rome or Reason." The world of the future was to be divided
between those who admitted the exercise of reason on religious
matters and would all become Rationalists and those who repudiated
the application of reason and based their faith upon authority.

     I have elsewhere shown that there is no such fundamental
distinction between the Catholic and Protestant Churches. We have,
in fact, seen repeatedly in these pages that Catholic writers claim
that they alone in the modern world are logical and that what they 

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want to face is "Intellectual" opposition. But it suits their
purpose to make use of the conclusion to which this Rome-or-Reason
theory leads, and they freely quote predictions of future triumphs
of their Church. They still drag out periodically and polish up the
famous prediction of Macaulay -- never mentioning, of course, that
he had a profound contempt for the doctrines and brutal methods of
Rome -- that the rule of the Vatican would still spread over the
earth when tourists from the other side of the world came to see
the melancholy ruins of London (which to Macaulay, as a good
Englishman, meant thousands of years in the future). They quote
Wells (whom they hate) telling, amongst his anticipations, how
monks with shaven polls will be conspicuous figures in the
scientific cities of the future, or Bodley, who at one time had a
high reputation in America, predicting that by the end of the
present century there would be 70,000,000 Catholics in the United
States. and a corresponding increase of the Catholic population all
over the world. If these critical writers -- two Protestants and
one Rationalist -- so candidly admit the triumphant progress of the
Roman Church it must, the general public think, really have
something of the unique nature and unconquerable spirit which it

     A good journalist would, of course, riddle theme predictions
with his shot in ten minutes. Macaulay was more rhetorical than
scientific in his essays, and he rather lazily suggested that a
Church which had survived all the onslaughts of seventeen centuries
-- he quite admitted that it was by the use of violent and
unscrupulous; methods -- would probably continue to survive. Wells
had the wrong idea that Catholic faith was based upon an emotional
trust in authority: which his particular opponent, Hilaire Belloc,
would have described as the sloppy Protestant idea of faith. Baldly
estimated that there would be 70,000,000 Catholics in America at
the end of this century because he calculated that the total
population would be 400,000,000: which would leave the proportion
of Catholic to general population just the same as Baldly
understood it to be at the time when he wrote. This critical
journalist would further point out that a Church which claims only
to make 20,000 to 25,000 converts a year and admits a serious
leakage does not show any promise of fulfilling these predictions,
and that in point of fact even the figures supplied by the Catholic
hierarchy to the authorities at each decennial census show, when
the birth-rate is taken into account (to say nothing of fresh
immigration and a claim of 250,000 converts a decade), not an
increase in the number of Catholics but a very notable decrease. He
would, in fine, easily learn that the Catholic, figures grossly
deceive the general public because while a Protestant minister may
hopefully include in his list folk in his parish who have ceased to
attend his church, the Catholic priest includes such seceders on
principle and denies their right to secede from the Church.

     But there is no such journalist in America (or Britain). No
paper would print such material. Any editor who ventured to do so
would lose his job. Not only would his circulation and his revenue
from advertisements be threatened but to an unknown extent the
Church buys up shares in American papers. Lecturing -- not on
religion or the Roman Church -- in Seattle a few years ago I
learned that one of the dailies made various excuses for not 

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inserting the advertisement of my lectures. My agent, a local
business man, was persistent, and he found, to his astonishment,
that through the bishop the Roman Church held a high proportion of
the shares in the paper. Haldeman-Julius has told in his paper how
after his advertisements had been accepted and inserted in some
papers a hidden hand intervened, and no more advertisements were
accepted and even a public apology made for the insertion. We speak
ironically when we call it a "hidden" hand. You can smell the holy
oil on it, even when it acts through a Knight of Columbus as a
member of the Holy Family Society.

     Editors and journalists, often ashamed of the pressure to
which economic necessity compels them to yield, evolve their own
defense-mechanism. As good Americans they are not going to
encourage the disruption of community-life by this "sectarian
strife." Moreover, the Roman Church is really exceptionally
entitled to respect. Look at its long and glorious history -- as
told now by certain professors who are, like themselves,
intimidated by it. took at Its world-wide spread, its primacy
amongst the Christian sects (if not all religions), the great names
(of dead men) it has an its roll of honor, the world-prestige of
its venerable and once more royal head, its vast wealth, its unique
organization, its privileged position in Washington, and so on. So
every Catholic event is written up by Catholic members of the staff
on their knees. A Eucharistic Congress? Not a word must be said to
the public about the childish Catholic doctrine that is at the root
of it. A canonization? Not a word about how the Vatican claims that
the "saint" literally wrought miracles and the Italian clergy at
all events lined their pockets at the expense of the country to
which the saint belongs. Diplomatic courtesies with Japan? Not a
word about how these have gone on since 1930 and the Vatican, by
its international influence, mightily helped Japan to hoodwink
America and the world.

     So it goes on. As I write, some of the papers announce that
the French general who hag "escaped" from Germany and gone to the
holy shrine of Vichy, the foulest nest of treachery in Europe, took
a message that the Catholic industrialists of Germany are prepared,
in collusion with the army-leaders to destroy Hitlerism and make
peace with Britain and America. The condition implied is that
Catholicism shall be restored in Germany and continue to hold the
position it has won by treachery in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain,
Slovakia, etc. It is, of course, nonsense, but the remark leaves on
the mind a vague feeling that the Roman Church has vast
potentialities of service. It is unique. That, or the reputation
for it, is its strength. And all this subservience of the press
which it now commands hides the real uniqueness which ought to put
it on the same level in the public mind as the Holy Rollers or the
Seventh Day Adventists. Its creed is uniquely contemptible amongst
the major branches of the Christian religion and more redolent of
deliberate priestcraft than any other. "Can such a faith survive?"
is the title given by an Angelican bishop to a series of sermons he
gave on the theology of his Church. Yes, he said, by jettisoning
half its dogmas, literally understood. But the Church of Rome
survives, ravaged it is true but still massive, without the
sacrifice of a line of its creed. How? To that question we must
next address ourselves.

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