by Joseph McCabe

                     GIRARD  -- : --  KANSAS
                          ****     ****

     I    The Vatican Courts Russia for years ................. 1

    II    The Supposed Persecutuin of Religion ................ 8

   III    The Papal Hymn of Hate ............................. 14

    IV    Hitler's Magnifient Blunder ........................ 19

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                            Chapter I


     On the very morning on which I begin to write this little book
the news comes that Japan has attacked America. It completes my
case against the Vatican. Its third big friend and ally joins the
struggle to destroy all freedom, all enlightenment, all that we
most deeply prize in what we call our civilization. The Papacy has
still other friends, it is true. It has Vichy France and Franco
Spain, those islands of Fascism amidst populations in chains which
loathe them. It has Salazar Portugal, Leopold of Belgium, the
miserable new Slovakia and Montenegro, and the rats of Eire,
Hungary, and Rumania. One hopes it is proud of them. Until today it
flattered itself that amongst its loyal friends it numbered nearly
all the Republics of South and Central America but this latest
outrage on all human decency by one of the big Papal Allies seems
to have shaken most of them. The powerful friends of the Vatican
are Germany, Italy, and Japan -- the most brutalized powers of
modern history, the enemies of the human race.

     It is not nine months since the Pope gave Matsuoka so gracious
an interview at the Vatican that the wily Jap called it "the most
beautiful moment of my life" and he put amongst his treasures the
gold medal which the Pope gave him. Matsuoka had done more than any
other representative of Japan to fool Americans and delay their 

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armament. He is a more unctuous liar than Ribbentrop. Last March,
when he was so affectionately received by the Pope, he had just
come from interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, in which beyond
question the date, if not the manner, of Japan's intervention must
have been discussed. There is here no room for one of those
"unauthorized" assurances that the Pope was saddened or depressed
or murmured about barbarous outrages. From the audience he went,
radiant, to his usual public audience -- ten to fifty dollars a
head -- and said, according to the Osservatore (his own organ) as
well as the Italian and German journalists who were present, that
he had had "a fine conversation" with Matsuoka. And the
unscrupulous Japs went home to join in the concerting of the plot
to dupe America to the last moment and fall upon it with all the
brutal cunning and treachery which have characterized the greedy
enterprises of the Pope's two other big friends.

     Why call the Pope Japan's ally and friend, your Catholic
neighbor may ask, I had better recall for you what I said briefly
on the subject in the second book of this series. When in the most
fateful hour of this catastrophic development, the rape of
Manchuria, the first trial of strength of barbarism against
civilization, Japan looked round a hostile world for a friend it
found only the Vatican. The new Secretary of State, the present
Pope, directed French priests in the East to cooperate with the
bandits. I should not think that any decent American Catholic will
ask you to believe that the Papacy was merely concerned about the
spiritual welfare of the few thousand (or hundred) miserable rice-
converts to the Church in Manchuria. Anyhow, it was the beginning
of a most edifying friendship. Although there were only 100,000
Catholics in Japan there was soon talk of an exchange of
ambassadors between Tokyo and the Vatican City, and just when Japan
exposed its own lies about Manchuria by seizing and corrupting
other provinces of China the Vatican proudly announced, and the
Catholic press everywhere joyously repeated, that that proof of
amity between two "civilizations" had been achieved. Since then, as
I quoted in the words of a French Catholic, no Japanese of any
standing visited Europe without calling to pay his respects to "the
Holy Father."

     By what name will this beastly war be known in the history-
books of the future? We hope that our great-grandchildren will read
of it with amazement in their High Schools as "The Last Great War."
If the men and women of the rising generation who have shuddered at
its horrors do not make a life-vow of critical vigilance, if they
again trust priests and politicians to prevent the world from
drifting into so shameful a surrender to banditry, they are
unworthy of the years of sunlight which the chances of life have
offered them.

     Some think that the title will be "The Most Amazing War in
History." From 1919 onward hundreds of writers thrilled us with
gruesome pictures of the super-brutalities of the next war, and for
the last ten years at least there cannot have been a doubt in any
man's mind which nations were expected to rain down fire and poison
upon peaceful cities and which peoples were to suffer. Yet the
aggressive nations openly flaunted their programs of conquest and
their plainly named victims went from jazz to swing and let even 

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the weapons of 1918 rot in the fields. When the time came little
England declared war with an equipment of 18 good planes, quarter
of a million cardboard-coffins, and 40,000,000 gas-masks. France
entrusted its fate to naval and military commanders who allow
priests to tell them that an appalling national calamity purifies
the soul of a people and that no price is too high to pay for the
destruction of Communism and Atheism. Then there was the long spell
of "cockeyed war" in which profiteers waxed fat. Then, most amazing
of all, the great power that every other nation in the world had
maligned and every Church cursed entered the arena in which we were
supposed to be fighting for Christian civilization and lit it at
last with valor and heroism.

     Some day historians and military experts will estimate more
coldly than we can and more boldly than we dare today what chance
the British Empire, even with what we might call the morganatic
alliance of America, had of escaping destruction after the
appalling betrayal of civilization by France. There will be at
least many who will conclude that if Hitler had at that time
persevered in his designs against Russia before turning to attack
Yugo-Slavia, Greece, and Russia, the issue would have been. . . .
Let me, since I am an Englishman, leave it at that.

     But the most amazing feature of all is the story of the
relations of the Vatican with the Soviet civilization. In all that
maelstrom of emotion that agitated the press and peoples of the
world when mighty Russia entered the war nothing was more
intriguing than the wavering and discordant note of the Catholic
press. Even when it was clear, as it must have been to every
informed person, that the world's peril was mightily relieved, if
not dissipated, by the accession of this new strength to the forces
of good, large numbers of Catholics in every country denounced the
idea of employing it, and a certain reserve or hesitation was found
throughout the entire Church. You know why. Every Church had
attacked Russia for its Atheism and its supposed persecution of
religion, but the others had been temperate in comparison with the
Church of Rome. Ten years ago it had borrowed and adopted the motto
which Voltaire had coined against itself, "Wipe out the Infamous
Thing." We had been reading in Catholic writers for decades that
the truculence of that slogan was proof of the essential vulgarity
of the irreligious soul, and suddenly, five or six years ago, the
gentle voice of Mother Church began its "Wipe out Bolshevism in
Russia, Spain, and Mexico." Even a Catholic writer does not pretend
that Voltaire urged men to extinguish the Roman Church in blood.
But that is the only possible meaning of the Pope's slogan. He
appealed to "governments." The German hierarchy appealed to Hitler
to let them add their prayers to the thunder of his guns. The
American hierarchy appealed to Wall Street, which is believed to
have some influence at Washington.

     All that is known, but what is your Catholic friend likely to
say if you tell him that in what his own (as well as general)
literature calls the very worst years of Bolshevik power, the years
when priests like Father Walsh, who spent two years in Russia, tell
him that bishops and priests were murdered by the hundreds and with
sadistic savagery, the Vatican was straining every nerve to court
the favor of Lenin and his colleagues? That in the first year of 

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Bolshevik power, the summer of 1918, Russian Catholics held, for
the first time in the history of Russia, the most solemn and august
of their public processions, with the consecrated host, in the
streets of Leningrad, and no one was allowed to molest them?

     That is really the most amazing feature of the story of the
Vatican and Russia. As long as the Bolsheviks were Bolsheviks --
that is to say, as long as Lenin attempted to run the country on
Communist lines -- and a savage White War and famine did profoundly
disturb the normal Socialist psychology -- the Papacy was the only
power in the world that repeatedly attempted to enter into cordial
relations with them. But when the New Economic Policy suspended
Communism in Russia, when the passions of the civil war had died
down and the stately structure of a new and higher civilization
began to rise from its foundations, the Pope began to denounce
Bolshevism as the spawn of the devil and call for a crusade to wipe
it out in blood!

     Yet the evidence for that can be taken entirely from Catholic
sources, and any man who has read my account -- fully supported by
the Catholic Teeling -- of the Papal ambition to take over the
eastern Churches, will be prepared to accept it. To many, however,
it will seem not merely one of those "libels" of which Catholics
are taught to complain so pathetically, but a quite impossible
suggestion. So let us take this attempt of the Vatican to court the
Soviet government during the four or five years when all the rest
of the world hated it as our first point.

     From the Catholic Teeling (The Pope in Politics), who is no
rebel against his Church, I quoted the statement that the Vatican
was most eager to capture the Greek and other eastern Churches in
order to counterbalance the growth of democratic elements (chiefly
American and British) in the Latin Church. He goes on to describe
how the destruction of the power of the Greek or Orthodox Church in
Russia by the Bolsheviks -- in fact, the knowledge that they would
very soon achieve this -- gave the Papacy a wonderful new outlook
for its anti-democratic ambition. By flattering the Bolshevik
leaders and thanking them for delivering Russian Pacifists from the
tyranny of the Orthodox Church it hoped to take the place of the
discredited heads of the old national Church.

     The somewhat sympathetic American writer George Seldes (The
Vatican) says the same, with a slight difference. He says that the
Vatican regarded the rise of the Bolsheviks to power with mixed
feelings: a loathing of their economic philosophy and rejoicing --
for which he quotes the Osservatore in the splendid opportunity of
the Church, Seldes states on the title-page of his book that the
historical part of it is taken from a work by two French Catholics,
G. London and C. Pichon (Le Vatican et le monde moderns, 1933). He
does not explain how 20 small pages of historical matter in the
French book have become more than 100 large pages in his own book.
Anyhow, he here retouches their text. They simply say that the
Papacy rejoiced in the Russian Revolution in so far as it opened
out a golden prospect to itself. The talk about the infamy of the
Bolshevik philosophy began later. At the time doubtless Rome had
just the same idea of Bolshevism but it was prepared to sup with
the devil.

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     Another Catholic writer who candidly describes this early
phase is Miss M.A. Almedingen (The Catholic Church in Russia Today,
1923). Her little book is valuable not only because the author is
one of those ardent (in the pious sense) virgins who are the
treasure of the clergy but because she lived in Russia during these
years of courtship. She tells us that the Bolsheviks at once
released the head of the Roman Church whom the Tsarists had put in
prison -- a Pole who had been guilty of political intrigue, be it
noted -- and lifted all the restrictions which the Tsarists had
laid upon Papist activities. It is this same devout Catholic and
very truthful lady who tells us that in the summer of 1918
Catholics were allowed to hold, for the first time in Russian
history, their sacred Corpus Christi procession, a priest openly
carrying what they call the Blessed Sacrament, in the streets of
Petrograd and at least one other city. The Bolsheviks actually
favored the Roman against the Greek Catholics, and there was, this
ideal witness assures us, no interference whatever with their
religion until the summer of 1919, nearly two years after Lenin got
power, and no "persecution" until three years after that. In 1920,
she says, Rome was still so intent upon friendship with the Soviet
authorities that bodies of friars waited on the frontiers for the
signal to march in and win the Russian people for the Vatican.

     I have earlier explained the situation. The Russian Orthodox
Church was the largest of the sections into which political
developments in the 19th Century had split the old Greek Church. It
differed from the Roman in ritual and on one very abstruse point of
doctrine (the procession of the Holy Ghost) but most emphatically
in rejecting the Pope's pretensions. That it was, and had always
been, very corrupt is agreed. "The Orthodox Church was filthy with
corruption and debauchery," says Seldes (p. 287). The 10,000 monks
were "very lax," says the Catholic Encyclopedia. But most people
have read the very characteristic story of St. Rasputin. Any body
who carers to look up a copy of The Romance of the Romanoffs which
I wrote and published in New York in 1917 will find many piquant
pages on church-life. Peter the Great had so open a contempt for it
that in the drunken debauches he held with his court he and the men
often dressed as monks and his loosest women dressed as nuns.
Catherine the Great had hardly less contempt for it. We recognize
in every age a decent and religious minority in it but it remained
until 1917 so generally corrupt that most educated Russians
despised it.

     The Bolsheviks had another reason to attack it besides the
spectacle of so corrupt a body owning "fabulous wealth," as the
most neutral historians say, and exploiting the ignorant. From the
time of the French Revolution it had drawn closer to the autocracy,
knowing that they would stand or fall together. Every atrocity of
the statesmen and their hirelings who protected the throne of the
Tsars was blessed by the Holy Synod, and this continued in the 19th
Century. In the last great revolutionary period, 1904-5, the jails
of Russia, which were supposed to have a capacity of 107,000, were
crammed with 174,000 prisoners, besides 100,000 in the Siberian
colonies. These prisoners were to a very large extent young men and
women of the university-student class. Thousands -- after boldly
stitching tabs with their names on their clothes. -- went out on
the streets to be shot. Hundreds committed suicide or were carried 

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off by epidemics in the fetid jail's every month. Brutal jailers
raped the refined young women in their cells. The press abroad put
these horrors in small paragraphs, if they were mentioned at all.
The banner-headlines were reserved for the fictitious "Bolshevik
atrocities" of a later date. But you will not be surprised that a
great debt was inscribed in the memory of the Socialists.

     Yet Lenin and his colleagues were content, as long as the
clergy kept out of polities, to disestablish the Church, destroy
its monopoly, and confiscate the bulk of its superfluous wealth.
Beyond that, Miss Armedinger insists, there was no persecution for
four or five years, and the complete freedom, and equality of
cults, which the Orthodox hierarchy had refused, were warmly
welcomed by the Romanists. The Vatican, however, which had from
long experience a cynical distrust of argumentative proselytism and
a decided preference for the knout, wanted more than freedom. The
Orthodox Church had been richer than any section of the Roman
Church, which in Russia was exceptionally poor. A very impartial
note on the religious situation in Kiesing's Contemporary Archives
(October 18, 1941, p. 4848) says that the monks and higher clergy
of the Orthodox Church had a wealth in land alone of
$8,500,000,000, and the property, jewels, etc. of their churches
and monasteries represented a vast further sum. The Vatican's dream
of taking over this was soon dissipated, as the Bolsheviks more
sensibly transferred it to the people of Russia. But it was said,
since the census of 1913, that the Orthodox Church had 98,000,000
communicants, and doubtless, since the only difference in doctrine
was one that not one Russian in 100,000 could comprehend, a little
pressure from the Soviet authorities Would help these millions
(mostly illiterate) to see that the Pope was a far holier person
than the Orthodox patriarch.

     The Bolsheviks had other designs but for a year or two they
were not unwilling to see Roman Catholicism, of which they knew
very little, replace the Catholicism which they had so much ground
to hate. Meantime, however, the White War, in which passions flamed
to redness and even conservative writers admit that the Imperialist
Russians themselves committed appalling atrocities had broken out.
How this led to what is called persecution we shall see in the next
chapter, but it is worth noting that we have here a parallel with
the French Revolution of a very different kind from that which is
usually, and falsely, pressed upon us. Aulard and other leading
French historians have shown that Danton and Robespierre, instead
of trying to destroy religion, made every effort to maintain the
Church but the people overruled them. In much the same way Miss
Almedinger, then living in Russia, describes Lenin and his
colleagues following a policy of religious freedom and the people
impatient of it. The Red guards, she says, frowned on the public
Catholic processions of 1918 but did not interfere. In the
following year they began to disturb services in the churches and
were checked by the authorities, but these did not seriously
interfere with religion until 1922, when large numbers of churches
were closed and priests arrested.

     We shall see why. For the moment let us follow the wooing of
the Kremlin by the Vatican. In 1922 the Romanists in Russia, who
were now reduced to one or two millions, mostly Poles and 
Lithuanians, by the formation of the independent republic of 

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Poland, suffered like the Orthodox for having intrigued with the
invading Poles and White Russians, and the golden prospect that had
opened up in 1917 to the eyes of the Papacy was replaced by a fear
that its Church was doomed to total destruction in Russia. The
Genoa Conference in 1922, at which the European powers were to meet
and come to a friendly agreement with representatives of Russia,
the higher interests of trade and the recovery of debts having
overruled the world's repugnance to Atheist Russia, gave the
Vatican a new hope. The Archbishop of Genoa was instructed to get
in touch with and cultivate Comrade Chicherin.

     London and Pichon, whose account is followed by Seldes and
Teeling, tell the story. After several futile attempts to meet
Chicherin the archbishop got himself placed next to the Russian at
a banquet which the king of Italy gave to the delegates and he was
as amiable as an Italian prelate knows how to be. He came away with
Chicherin's autograph on his menu, exchanging it for his own. Bear
in mind that according to later Catholic literature these
Bolsheviks had already slaughtered a thousand bishops and heaven
knows how many thousand priests. Doubtless the archbishop sent a
roseate account of his success to Rome, but Chicherin was not so
simple as the prelate imagined. Russia, disgusted at the
hypocritical patronage and greed of the powers, made a separate
trade-agreement with Germany, and the conference ended in

     The Vatican still wooed the hated Russians. some men compare
it to a blond gold-digger pursuing a wealthy gangster but we will
confine ourselves strictly to the facts, as told by Catholic
writers. The agents of the Vatican transferred their solicitation
to the Russian representative in Rome. The civil war had been
followed by a famine in which millions died, and the Pope pressed
for permission to help in the work of relief in which many nations
cooperated. Even Catholic writers do not go so far as to ask us to
admire the generosity of the Vatican in helping the nation which
had, it was alleged all over the world, been guilty of an atrocious
massacre of priests. The aim was so clearly propaganda that the
Russians exacted an agreement that the members of the Vatican
relief mission should avoid politics and propaganda before they
were allowed to enter the country.

     Everyone knows the value of these Catholic promises to refrain
from propaganda; when, for instance, you send your children to a
nun's school or an invalid to a Catholic hospital or convalescent
home. A priest or nun is bound in conscience to get round that
promise. So the American Jesuit Father Walsh, the head of the
Vatican mission, set out with a million nice parcels "for the
children of Russia from the Pope of Rome." So Seldes says, but he
does not add, as London and Pichon do, that they took also colored
photographs of the Pope to stick in their relief-centers; and you
can imagine for yourself what answers the Jesuits gave when
Russians made inquiries about this picturesque and benevolent
gentleman. The Russians found that they were proselytizing and in
1924 conducted them to the frontier. Walsh went back to America and
published one of the vilest of the attacks on Russia which were now
beginning to gladden the heart of Wall Street. He swept together
the wildest and most incredible stories of Bolshevik savagery; and 

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you will find it interesting to remember that these things are
supposed to have been perpetrated before or during the two years
when the Jesuit was working in Russia in friendly relationship with
the Soviet authorities.

     Still the Vatican hoped. It chose a French Jesuit, Father
D'Herbigny, whom it turned into a bishop to make him more
acceptable to the simple Soviet authorities, He and a few others
got into Russia and were expelled for intrigue, and the long
courtship, which was now clearly hopeless, ended in a Hymn of Hate.
D'Herbigny joined the libellers and maybe regarded as the author of
the Papal bugle-call for "the extinction of Bolshevism." It is
convenient for Catholics to forget that the Vatican pressed its
friendship on Russia during these years when the appalling
condition of the country did give rise to a great deal of violence
and all the rest of the world was hostile. But the facts I have
given are quoted entirely from Catholic sources, and we must not
allow them to be concealed. What the Papacy believed about the
character of the power with which it sought an alliance did not
matter to it. All that it regarded was, as it thought, a new chance
of attaining wealth and power. As soon as that chance was
definitely lost and Communism and Atheism spread from Russia and
threatened the Church's wealth and power in other countries it
turned against Russia and tried to excite a war against It. The
fact that Russia was now building up a peaceful and humane
civilization did not matter to it. Indeed, the clearer Russia's
peaceful and humane intentions became and the greater its success
the more savage the language of the Vatican became. Did I overstate
the truth when I said that the first aim of the Black International
is the protection and increase, by hook or crook, of its own wealth
and power? 

                           Chapter II


     When Mr. Roosevelt recently sent Harriman to Moscow to inquire
what help Russia required he told his envoy to raise the question
of freedom of religion. That fact was stated in many papers and is
duly recorded in the Keesing daily summary of the press. Nothing
but heavy pressure from the Churches could have induced so broad-
minded a statesman as Mr. Roosevelt thus to interfere in the
internal affairs of another nation and, by implication, lay down
conditions on which he would grant help to a power that was bearing
the whole brunt of the attack on civilization; and back of this.
pressure of the Churches is, notoriously, the charge that Russia
persecutes religion or puts penalties of some sort on those who
practice it.

     Most of us know the insincerity of that charge. Russia was
feared and hated, until it entered the war because its rapid
progress from about 1928 to 1940 discredited two very sacred
principles of the British and American press, literature, and 

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politicians. One, the ancient and threadbare charge against
Socialism, the really fundamental reason why Russia was treated as
an outlaw nation and the truth about it concealed, was the
assertion that you cannot make progress without private enterprise
or, in the ordinary meaning of the word, capitalism. It would not
do to let the people of the world know that Socialist Russia was
advancing so rapidly that this most emphatic principle of
individualism was completely discredited.

     The second principle was that you cannot even maintain an
existing civilization without religion; and, since in this respect
we are thinking of the ruling or, guiding class of a nation, the
principle refers particularly to these. Yet, whatever be the
strength of religion in Russia today, which we will discuss later,
no one questions or could question that the members of the
administration from the Commissars at Moscow to the administrative
officials of a small town are all Atheists. These Atheists have
achieved in twenty years one of the greatest feats in history in
the construction of a civilization. They took over, not a working
and fairly solid economy as they Fascists and the Nazis did, but a
country that had been reduced to a state of social and cultural
chaos, Tsarist Russia had been low in culture and character and,
for so large a country with such resources, far from rich. But the
three years of the European War, the ensuing two years of the White
and the Polish War, and the two years subsequently of famine and
disease, had made a wilderness of the vast land. Anyone who does
not realize that ought to look into a good annual, like the Annual
Register, for 1923 and 1924. It was still a few years before the
Communist statesmen could begin serious construction, and I repeat
that what they did between 1928 and 1940 is beyond all historical
precedents. All the world knows it today.

     Hence when American writers so far removed from Communism as
John Dewey, Durant, etc. began to assert this fact the anti-
Socialist slogan was discredited and criticism, to be plausible,
had to be confined to the supposed interference with religion. Here
again priests and bankers joined hands, and the most unscrupulous
priests of all were the Roman Catholic. Although, particularly in
Britain, the charge of persecuting religion was, as we shall see,
officially disproved years ago, we must admit that the Church of
Rome was not the only offender. The entry of Russia into the war
roused the same ecclesiastical fussiness in England as in, America,
to which Mr. Roosevelt's unhappy instruction to Harriman bears
witness. The President of the Baptist World Alliance publicly
denied Maisky's claim that religion is, and has been for years,
free in Russia. To that we will return but we, at once, recognize
one distinction between Protestant and Catholic anti-Communism. The
Protestant Churches wanted such diplomatic pressure as their
government could bring to bear upon Moscow, but as I have quoted
repeatedly in the Pope's own words, the Vatican wanted Communism
extinguished by war.

     Some of my readers may occasionally regard my language about
that Church, which is treated with profound respect in most papers,
as over-emphatic, but candidly, could any man with moderate
historical knowledge characterize in milder terms the effrontery of
the Vatican's diatribes against Russia? Hell hath no fury like a 

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Pope's scorn, of course, but most people do not expect the strident
and unreasoning language of a rejected suitor from the heads of any
Church, and for the Popes to complain of persecution is simply
grotesque. Ever since Europe returned to some degree of mental
sanity in the 20th Century the Popes have relied on savage
persecution to maintain their power and of the half-million
democrats who forfeited their lives for freedom in the 19th Century
all but a few hundred were victims of Catholic authorities, lay and
clerical acting together.

     But there is no need to go into history. In our own day, we
have seen repeatedly in this series of books, Rome follows the old
policy of persecution wherever it can. We saw that the Catholic
Church and authorities of Poland maintained a brutal persecution of
the Orthodox Catholics in the Galician Ukraine, indeed of
Protestants in Poland itself, from 1919 to 1939. We saw that when
Pacelli had traversed South America the most terrible persecution,
including torture, broke out everywhere. It followed the seizure of
power from the Socialists by the Catholics of Vienna. . . . In
short, the policy has been enforced wherever the Vatican had the
power to enforce right down to the time, only a few months ago,
when the priests of Croatia and Bulgaria fell upon the priests of
the Serb Church.

     The supreme irony is that, as I have shown until most of my
readers must be tired. of it, in its Canon Law today the Church
lays down that it "can and must put heretics to death." Catholics
in Britain and America are so keen to prevent this from becoming
generally known that it astonishes most people. Only two days ago
I had a letter from a businessman asking where he could buy a copy
of this Canon Law as, if that is impossible -- as it is, for the
Vatican Press alone publishes it, and only for priests -- whether
I could get for him a photostat of the page -- there are five or
six pages -- making the claim! I have not found any priest bold
enough to deny it in writing for the non-Catholic public. The
modern world rightly laughs at the idea of Roman priests burning
heretics, or forcing the police to burn them, in the market-place,
but there is here a serious question of principle. The great
majority of people in every advanced modern civilization claim
freedom to go to church or stay away, to accept a religious creed
or reject them all. Why do we tolerate all this fuss about "freedom
of religion" from Catholic writers and priests who say they will,
wherever they get the power, suppress all freedom of irreligion?
Clerical-Fascist power has in our own time fallen truculently upon
tens of millions of seceders from the Church in Italy, Spain,
Portugal, France, and Latin America, and none are more vehement
than these countries in demanding the blood of the Bolsheviks
because they put certain mild restriction's on the propaganda, not
the personal practice, of religion!

     There is another forgotten aspect which will interest every
man who wants honesty even in religious propaganda. I said that one
of the first things the Bolsheviks did was to release the head of
the Catholic Church in Russia from the jail to which "Holy Russia"
of Tsarist days had sent him. This was only a last trace of a
bitter persecution of Roman Catholics that the Orthodox Russians
had maintained for a century. Catholics now generally suppress the 

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facts -- though you may read some account of them in the Catholic
Encyclopedia, since it was written before 1920 -- in order to be
able to represent the "persecution of religion" as a wicked
practice introduced into Russia by those terrible Bolsheviks.

     In point of fact, such restrictions as the Bolshevik
authorities have really laid upon religion, apart from the legal
punishment of priests for treason, are trifles in comparison with
what the Greek Catholics did to the Latin Catholics in the last
century. You will find it amusing to read in the article on Russia
in the Catholic Encyclopedia how 70 or 80 years ago Pope Pius IX
was using about his brothers in Christ of the Orthodox Church
exactly the same abusive language as the Vatican now uses about the
Bolsheviks! But what was then done out of religious hatred -- we
must admit that the chief ground was that the Russian Catholics
were then, as now, mostly Poles and political intriguers -- was far
worse than Catholic's have suffered in Soviet Russia. Hundreds of
priests were hanged and whole communities of nuns were raped and
brutally treated. They were stripped and flogged and in some cases
burned alive. Young Catholic nuns were put in Orthodox convents,
and it was hell. One Orthodox mother-superior took an axe to one of
these stubborn Romanist nuns. At one place a number of nuns were
put in sacks, and dragged over the surface of lakes in winter, the
people cheering from the banks. Monks had to let down their pants
and sit on the ice. I really wonder why Father Walsh did not get
hold of some of these true stories of 80 years ago and turn them
into Bolshevik outrages of 1923 and 1924!

     These, things make a mockery of all this modern twaddle about
cruel Atheists and sadistic Bolsheviks. And when we examine the
stories which are offered us even by writers who pose as experts we
find them often grotesque. There is, for instance, a much-consulted
history of the early Bolshevik years by Lancelot Lawton (The
Russian Revolution, 1927). Most people know only that he was a
correspondent in Russia of the Liberal Daily Chronicle and not that
-- so a Russian official assured me -- he married a White Russian.
Most of the folk who talk about the horrors of the early years
would quote Lawton. Well, here is a specimen of his "history." He
says, "The number of ecclesiastical persons executed from 1917 to
1920 was 8,050, including 1,275 bishops." How magnanimous of the
Vatican to press its friendship upon Russia after such a ghastly
slaughter! But if you put together the details given in the
Catholic Encyclopedia and its supplement and the last edition of
the Encyclopedia Britannica you will be relieved to find that in
1917 there were not more than 80 archbishops and bishops, of both
Churches, in Russia, and most of them escaped -- the Encyclopedia
Britannica describes 15 of them setting up a synod in Belgrade --
or went to prison for intrigue with the invaders. It is a nice
example of the "historical" basis for the talk about Bolshevik
atrocities and persecution of religion.

     As far as the Roman Catholics are concerned we may follow Miss
Almedinger because she not only lived in Russia at the time but she
is so really religious that she won't lie even in the good cause.
She tells us that one Catholic bishop and a number of anonymous
Catholics were put to death and admits that they were guilty in
Russian law. Bolshevik law was so wicked that it imposed sentence 

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of death on traitors or men who intrigued with and helped the
invaders. One of the most impartial histories of the time, J.H.
Jackson's Post-War World (1935, p. 189) says that "no case has been
discovered of a priest or anyone else being punished for the
practice of religion." Those words, we shall see presently, are
part of the official report of the British ambassador and were read
in the British House of Commons by the Foreign Secretary (a vary
religious man). The charge has been so discredited that it does not
appear in the supplement of the Catholic Encyclopedia which was
published after the alleged period of sanguinary persecution, but
other Catholic writers sustain throughout the world the tattered
legend of Bolshevik atrocities. It is the chief foundation for
their gospel of hatred of Russia and their demand (until recently)
that other powers should make war upon it.

     The period in question is still as obscure as some parts of
ancient history, for the confusion was such that few authentic
records were kept while the intense passion on both sides gave rise
to vast quantities of reckless rumors. There is again a real
analogy with the French Revolution -- with the true story of the
revolution for, as I said, Lenin and Stalin no more interfered with
religion for the first few years, beyond disestablishing the
corrupt Orthodox Church and nationalizing its superfluous wealth,
than the leaders of the French Revolution had done. And in both
cases it was hostile invasion and the intrigues of the clergy with
the invaders which soured the people and forced the hand of the
authorities. After the November Revolution Lenin repudiated the
huge foreign debt incurred by the Tsarists, and foreign armies were
sent to help the Whites or refugee imperialists. About 300,000
Whites, Poles, Rumanians, Czechs, Japanese, British, American and
French entered the distressed and impoverished country for the
purpose of destroying the new regime, and there never was a more
savage war. As in the French Revolution, again, the refugees told
wild stories (as is now definitely proved by French histories) of
the number of victims. The Russians say 50,000. Some unprejudiced
historians suggest between 100,000 and 200,000. But even so
responsible an organ as the London Times gave the figure as
7,700,000 with just such impossible exaggerations in detail as that
I quoted from Lawton.

     The Poles continued this war when the other Allies quit, and
at a time when the country suffered as no other land has done in
modern times, and it would be absurd to doubt that the Catholic
clergy and the peasants they controlled did all they could to help
them. At one time it looked as if the Poles were likely to win and
restore the autocracy of the Church. In any case the vast majority
of the Roman Catholics left in Russia after the detachment of
provinces to form Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, were Poles. How
many there were no one knows. They were too poor for the Church to
organize them. The Catholic Encyclopedia claims 5,000,000 and then
talks of dioceses in which there was only one priest to 5,000 or
even 10,000 Catholics! There were probably not a million subjects
of the Pope then in Russia, and the number today is negligible. It
was the heritage of the Orthodox Church for which the Vatican was

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     The Orthodox clergy and the few Romanist priests continued to
intrigue with Poland and the White refugees abroad, and there were
further executions. Any fair-minded man ought to recognize the real
character of these after the official verdict given in the British
House of Commons. In 1929 some of the religious members of
Parliament, under Church pressure, shamelessly ignoring the rule
that one country does not interfere in the internal affair's of
another, insisted that the government should inquire into the
persecution of religion in Russia. This, it will be remembered, was
the year in which the Papacy signed its Concordat with Mussolini,
and desperate efforts were made to get Mussolini to forbid the
practice of any religion but the Roman in Italy. Severe
restrictions were, in fact, put on Protestantism, and the grossest
intolerance to seceders from the Church was embodied in the law,
with the approval of those Catholics in all countries who continued
to talk about Russian persecution of religion. The oracle of
American Catholicism, Msgr. Ryan, blandly explained it on the
principle that truth has rights but error none!

     However, the British government asked its ambassador in
Moscow, Sir Esmond Ovey, for a report, and it contained this
sentence which was read to the House of Commons by the Foreign
Secretary, the pious Henderson -- the government was then under
that arch-trimmer Ramsay Macdonald, who was at one time a personal
friend of mine and a complete Agnostic -- on April 23 and reported
in the press next day:

     "There is no religious persecution in Russia, in the strict
sense of the word persecution, and no case has been discovered of
a priest or anyone else being punished for practicing religion."

     It is characteristic of the way in which the public is
educated by its press in our time, under pressure of Roman
Catholicism, that a persecution of the Ukrainians by the Poles on
the ground of religion (as well as nationality) was then at its
height and only three papers in Britain and America dared refer to
it. At the most Russia restricted religious folk to their own
premises while in Poland priests opposed to Rome were flogged,
grossly insulted, robbed and jailed. But did you hear any outcry
about the persecution of religion in Poland or any demand that
American or British authorities ought to make an inquiry?

     To this official assurance that no priest or anyone had been
"punished for practicing religion" could be added the words of a
large number of religious leaders, in Russia itself. In a booklet
published in America (The Soviet War on Religion, 1930) Mr.
Sherwood gives, with exact reference to the date of publication in
the Russian press, a number of these admissions. One is signed by
three archbishops of the Orthodox Church (p. 27), one by 31 Jewish
rabbis, (p. 28), one by a group of Roman Catholic priests, and so
on. They insist that there is no persecution, say that the stories
of atrocities are "inventions and slanders unworthy of serious
peoples attention" and that there is no question even of "pressure"
on them, and that there had been general political intrigue on the
part of the clergy, especially of the Roman Church. The Catholic
priests, admitting this, actually say:

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     "The dark era of oppression has disappeared without a trace,
together with the Tsardom which maintained it, and the star of
liberty has begun to shine with its bright radiance on the life of
the Catholic Church" (p. 29).

     This was in 1927 and refutes the strongest claims of
atrocities, which are located before that date. Yet the Vatican not
merely encouraged the circulation of those stories in the Catholic
Church but actually became more vitriolic in its indictment of
Russia after that date; just at the time when its pets (Spain,
Portugal, the South American Republics, Italy and Austria) were
beginning to enforce a policy of persecution of religion.

     Putting aside therefore all stories of execution or outrage on
the ground of religion, which are thus disproved by the best
authorities, what is the law or practice in regard to religion
which, though it ought to be well known at Washington, moves Mr.
Roosevelt to raise the question of freedom of religion in such form
as to suggest that there is none, or only a restricted liberty, in
Russia? The prominence given in the press to the President's
instruction to Mr. Harriman led Keesing's Contemporary Archives to
insert at that date (October 18, 1941, p. 4848) one of its
impartial explanatory notes. It speaks of the "corruption" and
"fabulous wealth" of the Tsarist Orthodox Church and says that the
action taken against its clergy after the Revolution was taken on
the ground of "their secular activities rather than religious
partisanship." Whatever the ground no one who knows anything about
the old Church will feel surprise that in June 1918 the Church was
disestablished, the ecclesiastical property (nearly $4,000,000,000
worth of land) nationalized, religious education excluded from the
schools, and missionary activities suppressed. Within these limits
every Russian was free to follow his conscience. This was the
extent of persecution of religion in the years of the first violent
reaction against the foul older era.

     It is complained that the Soviet authorities then gave all the
unofficial assistance they could to the Atheist League which was
rapidly weaning the people from religion. It is rather funny to
read this complaint in countries in which the political authorities
do everything in their power to help the Churches; and the Soviet
authorities were more deeply and sincerely convinced that religion
is prejudicial to progress than democratic statesmen are that it is
beneficial, to say nothing of the treasonable activities of the
Russian clergy. It is complained also that, as time went on a large
number of seminaries, monasteries, and churches were closed. In
hundreds of instances the churches were converted to more useful
purposes at the request of the people who used to frequent them,
and political intrigue sufficiently excuses the closing of
seminaries and monasteries. The writer of the note in Keesing
quaintly says that "in spite of all this" the Orthodox Church
counted 98,000,000 communicants and the Roman Church 11,000,000
members, but "the last census," to which he appeals was taken in

     We will try presently to ascertain how many folk in Russia
still belong to the Churches and will continue here to examine this
supposedly neutral account. As Russia entered into relations with 
other countries the zeal against religion was modified. In 1935 the

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attempt to suppress the celebration of Christmas was dropped, the
more violent literature of the Atheist League was withdrawn from
the bookstores, and the famous anti-Christian museums, with their
caricatures of religion, became respectable museum's of religion!
In 1939 there was, this writer says, a great religious revival,
though "not within the framework of the Churches." How Christian
writers love vague phrases like that. In plain English the Churches
continued to lose, but there were now large numbers of priests who
fought to modernize theology, even to combine Communism with a "new
Christianity," and there was a good deal of fresh discussion of
religion. At the outbreak of the war with Germany the government --
the Christian Science Monitor announced -- suppressed the Atheist
paper (Bezboznik).

     In other words, the increasing danger from Germany induced the
authorities to take various steps which might mitigate the hatred
of Russia which the Churches inspired in America and Britain, but
the law was not altered, and Mr. Roosevelt seems to have been
persuaded that it contained an element of persecution of religion.
Senator Smith bluntly put it: "Harriman's job seems to be to try to
get Stalin to join the Church so we can call him brother." We all
understood what it really meant. The representatives of Churches at
Washington thought it a good opportunity to get Russian law made
more favorable to religion. What is wrong with the law?

     As Maisky, speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce in
London on September 23, and Lozovsky in Moscow said, its
fundamental principle is that all religions are free and equal;
which we were always asked to regard as one of the finest
achievements of the American Constitution. Let me repeat, as so few
seem to realize it, that you will not find that just law and
elementary human right conceded in any Roman Catholic country in
the world today. Even in Eire and Quebec there is no religious
equality, and the more docile to the Vatican Catholic states are,
the more of its Canon Law they admit into their legislation, the
more intolerant they are. Persecution of religion -- any religion
that rejects the Pope's authority -- is, we have seen, a first
principle of Catholic law and theology. And, though we moderns
insist that the non-religious man has the same right to liberty as
the members of any Church, the intolerance is in this respect worse
than ever. The Vatican's first excuse for its demand of the
extinction of Bolshevism is that the Russians are Atheists.

     Maisky later added to his statement of Russian law. The
government, which owns all property, puts a building at the
disposal of any group of worshipers and charges no rent or taxes.
Certainly a queer kind of persecution of religion! The police
arrest and the courts punish any who "violate the rights of
believers." Ministers of all religions have just the Same Political
and legal rights as other citizens.

     To this the President of the Baptist World Alliance made a
heated reply, and we may take it that his letter enumerates every
respect in which he and his colleagues see the shadow of
persecution. Worshipers, he says, must confine their worship to a
church. Sunday Schools and religious lesions to children are
forbidden. The Churches must have no social gatherings, no 

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lectures, and no libraries. Mr. Rushbrooke might be advised to
compare these restrictions on priests with the restrictions on
Protestant Churches and Atheists in Catholic lands; and if he
replies that Protestants do not do these things the answer is
simple. They certainly did in England until, in the 19th Century,
the Church of England, which inspired the law. dropped to a
minority. We might even raise a question about Baptist tolerance in
certain states of America, but it is enough to reflect that
Baptists or Methodists were never yet the majority in any country
so we must not be too sure what they would or would not do if they
had the power.

     To sum up the contents of this chapter and give the reader a
clear idea on an issue that often confronts him in his reading,
there is no truth in the stories that Catholics, Orthodox or Roman,
were ever physically persecuted in Russia, that is to say, ever
sent to, jail, much less executed, for belonging to a Church or
practicing religion. An unknown number of bishops and priests,
which in certain cases we have definitely proved to be exaggerated
fifteen-fold, were put to death in the dark early years, but the
ground was political, and our religious authorities admit that the
clergy did quite generally conspire with attempts to subvert the
government. We do not blame them when they saw a chance of the
restoration of the Church to wealth and power, but it is silly to
call this persecution. The law of treason is much the same in every
country, and Russia was in such circumstances at the time that a
drastic application of the law was essential.

     As to later years and the present time we frankly admit that
the Churches are not free to do what they like in Russia. The
restrictions are mild in comparison with the restrictions on
religion imposed in Catholic countries, and we very justly resent
the practice of calling them persecution and implying that they are
something peculiar to Soviet Russia. That is implied in the great
majority of reference's to religion in Russia, and not a word of
appreciation is given the Bolsheviks for their introduction of the
principle of individual freedom of conscience. The restrictions are
that the priests must not impose religious doctrines on children,
who can't argue with their teachers, or do propaganda other than by
holding religious services which any person may attend.

     Apart from those whose admiration of Russia is so great that
we might regard their judgment as biased, Atheists would differ
about the propriety of these restrictions. We must, however, at
least not judge the Russian authorities in the light of our
experience in America. The Russian Church, which alone we need
consider since the Roman brand of Catholicism is nearly dead, has
been an enemy of the people for a thousand years. It allowed the
Tsars and the nobles to keep nearly half a million peasants until
100 years ago in the state of slavery (serfdom) which Europe
generally abolished 700 years ago. It supported a corrupt and
murderous autocracy until 1917. It continued for the next 10 years
to help every attempt to destroy a regime in which, whatever else
you may think of it, the wealth produced by the people is shared
amongst the people. To me personally it seems that if the Soviet
authorities still think it dangerous, they have the right to impose
these mild restrictions. Please yourself. They do not care the toss

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of a coin what you and I think about it. But as a vast amount of
evil has been done by the Churches, and most particularly the
Vatican, spreading a hatred of Russia, I have had to show that
there is no justification for this in any persecution of religion.

                           Chapter III

                     THE PAPAL HYMN OF HATE

     I invite the readers' particular attention to the
chronological parallel between the successive phases of the
Vatican's attitude to Russia and the developments in that country.
I have briefly referred to it but it deserves careful
consideration. Until about 1925, when Jesuit Bishop D'Herbigny was
still trying to get a foothold in Russia, the Vatican made friendly
approaches to the Soviet government. Apart from the futile gesture
of the Genoa Conference no other power in the world was so amiable
with Russia, and the country itself was in a very miserable
condition. Long after that year our papers and novelists, were
still serving up pictures of Russians in rags clinging to
ramshackle overcrowded cars, sadistic officials of the 0.G.P.U. who
had innocent maids waiting in the ante-rooms until they had
finished their champagne-orgies, priests boiled in oil or burned in
lime, and go on.

     During the next ten years the world-hostility to Russia
moderated. There was always money for a fiery indictment of the
Soviet system, but level-headed men began to see that Russia had
got on to a line on which it might travel far. During this
indecisive period the Vatican had not much to say about Russia as
far as I can ascertain. Locally members of the Black International
like the American Jesuit Walsh might inflame sentiment against
Russia. Business and financial men were not really very sensitive
about outrages of religion. They were more deeply pained by the
refusal of the Soviet authorities to pay interest on the Tsarist
loans and on British and American investments. But if there were a
few million folk who believed Walsh's stories and helped to swell
the feeling against Russia, it was all to the good. Still the
Papacy, as I said, was fairly quiet about Russia. In fact, as lite
as 1930 the Pope politely summoned the Catholic world, not to
agitate for war but to pray fervently for Russia, the consequences
of which I cannot discover.

     About 1934 what we might broadly call the third phase of
Russia's internal development and relation to other power's began.
Russia had after so many years of bovine prejudice become rather
indifferent to the opinion of the outside world but it received a
large number of visitors from America and Britain every year, and
men and women of very different schools and respected character
wrote in high appreciation of its recovery. So neutral an authority
as the Statesmen's Year Book showed that Russia more than doubled
its annual production of wealth from 1932 to 1935 -- a feat far
beyond the achievement of any other country -- and there were no
rich men to absorb any of it. Duranty has written sympathetic
accounts for years to the New York Times, and his volume of
articles (Russia Reported, 1934) made a deep impression. In the
same year Sherwood Eddy's Russia Today, written from a different 

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rather conservative angle, confirmed the impression. A lady of the
Tsarist family who had settled in America, Countess Skaryatina,
still very conservative and religious, had the courage to go to
Russia and the honesty to say that the Bolsheviks had made great
progress (First to Go Back, 1935). An equally conservative British
general, W.H. Waters, also a lover of the old regime, paid a visit
and made the same report. Sir Bernard Pares, high British authority
on the East and for years a heavy critic of Bolsheviks, now gave a
very appreciative account and joined the "Friends of Russia." He
spoke of a "hostile foreign diplomat" in Moscow who grudgingly
admitted to him that "the Bolsheviks have won all along the line."
We shall see other equally notable impartial witnesses later.

     Naturally, the literature about Russia was very mixed. Some
writers expressly catered to the chronic demand for blood-curdling
stories of the O.G.P.U. and the poor folk who wept when their icons
were torn away from them. Others, with milder prejudice, denounced
Russia because it had no political elections of the democratic
purity of those of America or because the workers, who a few years
ago had been the worst paid and most ignorant in Europe, had not
yet risen to the high standard of American workers -- not
mentioning that there was no unemployment in Russia and the workers
had vast free social services and cheap rents in the cities.
Typical was the work of Sir W. Citrine, who went with all the
prejudice which the British Labor Party still stupidly fostered and
poked into tenements to see if the baths all had stoppers, and
after traveling hundreds of miles found a woman who seemed no
better than she ought to be and something like a slum (such as he
could have found within a mile of his house in London).

     However, my point here is that as appreciation of Russia grew
in the rest of the world the attitude of the Vatican to it became
more somber and bitter, Catholic apologists are nothing if not bold
but I have not yet heard of one who has asked us to admire the Pope
because he was friendly to Russia when the rest of the world was
venomous and became critical only when, and in proportion as, it no
longer needed friends. We might get near the truth if we remember
that the power behind the Pope, the Secretary of State, was changed
in 1930. Pacelli, the present Pope, an aristocrat to his toenails,
then became the dictator at the Vatican, for the Pope was very old
and feeble. We might remember, too, that Pacelli entered, at the
end of 1932, into a policy of friendliness to Germans, and Germany
was pledged by its, bible, Hitler's book, to make war sooner or
later on Russia.

     When precisely the Vatican began to snarl at Russia it is
difficult to determine. The Encyclical Quadrazesimo anno of May 15,
1931 makes the earliest reference that I find, and the hand of
Pacelli in that vapid manifesto is clear. It is a recommendation of
the Corporative State to all Catholic countries; in fact, to the
whole world, as the Pope ingenuously remarks that the truth on even
the social and economic order can come only from Rome. How
journalists ever stoop to praise these Papal utterances on Social
questions puzzles me. They are like the ideas of a Baptist preacher
in Tennessee blinded with those of Thomas Aquinas and almost lost
in a jelly of Latin verbiage. There is, as I have already
explained, no English translation of this Encyclical, because it 

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approves -- indeed imposes -- such restrictions on capitalism and
private enterprise as are provided in Mussolini's Corporative
State, which industrialists in America who are assured by Catholic
writers that their "freedom of the individual is thoroughly
Catholic, detest almost as much as Socialism.

     The Pope tells the world, with quite an air of profundity and
originality, that Socialism has split into moderate Socialism and
Communism. As we saw, and it may be convenient to repeat, he
answers the question, on which, he says, Rome has often been
consulted, whether a Catholic can be a Socialist by saying that
"Socialism, as long as it remains real Socialism . . . cannot be
reconciled with the teaching of the Catholic Church." He insists
that "religious Socialism or Christian Socialism is a contradiction
in terms," and he winds up by saying that "no genuine Socialist can
be a good Catholic." That is another reason why the Encyclical is
not translated into English. It might prevent Catholic writers for
the workers from continuing to say, as they do, that the Church has
never condemned Socialism; while Catholic writer's for the wealthy,
like Ryan, tell them that the Church regards any attack on private
ownership as a sin.

     However, the Pope is still more drastic when he passes on to
Communism. It is too "impious" to consider. When it gets power it
shrinks from nothing "however atrocious and inhuman." As Russia was
the only country in which it had power this was pointed enough, but
the Pope goes on to speak of "the massacres (strange) and ruin it
has brought upon Eastern Europe and Asia." There may be earlier
pronouncements on Russian atrocities for all I know but this is ten
years old. A Jesuit writer quotes from the British Communist Daily
Worker an account of a meeting in the offices of that paper on
December 30, 1932 which passed a valiant resolution to attack
religion "considering that the clergy of all creeds and
denominations are, with religion as their pretext, following the
lead of the Pope in his call for a crusade against the U.S.S.R."
They resolved:

". . . to organize an unflinching resistance to every variety of
religious attack . . . to vindicate the policy of the U.S.S.R. in
regard to religion and the Churches against all and every attack .
. . to urge the complete separation of Church and State and the
complete exclusion of religion from the school," and so on.

     Communists must feel like biting the carpet when they reflect
how they abandoned that attitude. A few years later, when I was
writing my Militant Atheist -- perhaps the most congenial work I
ever did -- a member of the staff of the Daily Worker asked me to
call at the office, making a definite appointment, to see him as he
edited a column of the Dally Worker with that title and would like
to cooperate. I called -- and saw none but the editors who
explained that they had changed their policy and no longer thought
it of any importance to attack the Churches.

     It was a mistake even of Moscow to drop the criticism of
religion while adhering slavishly to everything else that Marx had
said. American and British Communists, on whom they relied for
information, told them that the bitter hostility to them would 

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cease if they quit criticizing religion. One or two influential
cleric's like the Dean of Canterbury had taken to patronizing
Russia, and publishers (skeptics) who felt that Rationalism checked
trade added their persuasion. In May 1938 the Communist
International published in England for America and Britain, had an
article which would, if there were any truth in superstition, have
made Marx turn in his grave. I am quoting the Jesuit Ryder at the
Cambridge Summer School of Russian Studies in 1938. The article,
headed "The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Catholic Masses,"
recommends the policy of conciliating Catholics and Protestants.
The Soviet Union, it claimed, was "realizing the ideals of
Christianity," and Communists must "not ignore the more than
400,000,000 Catholics of the world"; which is 50,000,000 more than
the more optimistic Catholics claim and double the true figure. The
writer poured scorn on "the Left phrasemongers" who attack the
policy of "the outstretched hand" and, by a tour de force, said
that "we come forward in the defense of religion against the
Fascist persecution of believers" yet had not the least idea of
deviating from the teaching of Marx! We recognize the accents of
the American and British Communists, who were at that time offering
cooperation to the Catholic Church. Now there is "a smile on the
face of the tiger." The blood of Communists reddens the earth in
Catholic Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Vichy France,
Italy, Brazil, Peru, etc. etc.

     In so far as Moscow was involved in this change of policy,
chiefly owing to false information from Britain and America, we
have an extraordinary situation. The change was carried out just at
the time when the Vatican was inflaming Catholic sentiment against
Russia all over the world and beginning to call for war upon
Russia; and the change brought about no modification whatever of
the world-cry of "persecution of religion in Russia." What moved
the papacy to enter upon this more bitter and more dangerous
campaign? I say more dangerous because it would be difficult to
exaggerate the profit to the Axis of this Papal preaching of hatred
of Russia in every Catholic land and amongst the Catholics of all

     The reasons given by the Vatican, as in the above Encyclical,
are puerile. In speaking of the "massacres" -- it is interesting
that in his Latin text Pacelli uses just the word which the Pope
put on his gold medal of triumph at the time of the St. Bartholomew
Massacre -- which the Bolsheviks committed he endorses the wild
legends and lies which I have disproved from Catholic writers. As
to their having brought "ruin" upon the land, the Pope, granting
him sincerity, seems to have been as crudely ignorant of Russian
affairs as a nun in a Quebec convent. By 1931 the Bolsheviks had
saved Russia from the real ruin which the White War (zealously
supported by the two Churches) had brought upon Russia and were
rapidly restoring prosperity and creating one of the finest
educational and social services in the world.

     His attacks in 1936 and his broadcasts to Spain in 1939 -- in
fact, all his characterizations of Bolshevism in his appeals for
war from 1935 onward -- are just as childish. I quoted elsewhere
the address of Pius XI to Spanish refugees in 1936, in, which he
plainly invited the destruction of Bolshevism "from Russia to
China, from Mexico to South America." The reference to South 

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America is cool, as Pacelli, who clearly wrote the address, had
just got Communism violently destroyed in nearly every republic.
But the whole diatribe is fatuous. Everywhere, the Pope says, there
is "a satanic preparation" for the work of "subverting established
orders of every kind" and "attacking every institution, human and
divine." At that very time, philosophers like Professor Dewey,
Liberal individualists like Sir Ernest Simon (brother of Sir John
Simon), and a few clerics like the Dean of Canterbury were
describing to the public how Russia was creating a new social order
which in its care for children, women, and the mass of the people,
had no equal in history.

     We may make allowance for the real ignorance of Pacelli and
the Vatican. They never even try to get accurate information about
movements or bodies which are offensive to them on religious
grounds. They see everything through a red haze of professional
piety. But there is deliberate policy behind it all. By 1935 Japan
had got the innocent western powers to support Chiang Kai-shek in
his costly campaign to crush Communism in China and smooth the way
for Japan itself. Hitler and Mussolini were wondering how they
could get the same powers to overlook their proposed intervention
in Spain. Hitler was repeating in public speeches that the noble
German race must have the Ukraine. Wall Street wanted a good
pretext for stirring the country to attack Mexico. Labor and
Socialist movements everywhere were to be encouraged in their
tragic policy of attacking and disowning Communists so as to
prevent the formation of a Popular Front until it was too late.
This sacred fury against Bolshevism was one of the Vatican's
greatest contributions to the preparation of the world for the
onslaught of barbarism.

     But, you may ask, is it possible that the Pope, the Black
International which forced his slogan upon the Catholic masses
(which do not read encyclical's) in every country, and the Catholic
press which made "the extinction of Bolshevism" as familiar to
Catholics as "Heil Hitler" is to Germans and ... "Mussolini solo"
to Italians, realized what they were doing?

     You can analyze that for yourself. There is, of course, no
documentary evidence beyond the very plain evidence that the Papacy
blessed the rebellion and the intervention of Italy and Germany in
Spain and just as plainly wanted war on Russia. It must seem
equally certain to anyone who knows the ecclesiastical mind that
the Vatican and the Black International in America wanted war for
the annexation of Mexico. The Knights of Columbus, who may be
considered unconsecrated members of the Black International, made
open offers of alliance with Wall Street and called for
intervention in Mexico. Whether the Pope and the unscrupulous
Italian branch of the Black International knew in advance of the
war upon the western democracies we have considered in other
booklets. As I there said, so objective a review as the Annual
Record gives it as commonly received information, that Ribbentrop
told the Pope in April that the Germans would be in Paris in June
and in London in August. As to the main body of Catholics who
chanted the anti-Bolshevik slogan, they were probably as hazy about
what they meant as the average German is about the pure Aryan
sharing the world with a race of Mongolian-Malayan mongrels.

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     One of the most ironic features of it all, if there is any
room for irony in considering the colossal tragedy, is that Russia,
the irreligion of which is blamed by the Vatican for all the
world's troubles, is more religious than Great Britain or than
France was before Vichy.

     The question how many of the people of Russia are still
religious has been raised innumerable times, and it has invariably
been answered with all the slovenliness and inconsistency that are
characteristic of such discussions. Generally the writers spoke of
"atheistic Russia" as if it were a phenomenally irreligious
country, but when they recollected that religion was supposed to be
indestructible or when the plain evidence (which we have seen) that
there is no persecution of religion and any few dozen men and women
can get a building from the government for worship was produced the
writers gave us pictures of crowds packing the churches on
festivals. As long as there was some dead cat to fling at Russia --
like the common misrepresentation of the trials, and executions of
leading Russians for treason -- we were reminded that the governing
body is solidly atheistic, and when some reputable author testified
that the social service is the most generous and most humane in the
world we were told Russia is still far more religious than is
commonly supposed.

     On one point there is no controversy. The officials, from
those in the smallest town to Stalin, are all Atheists. The
Communist party governs Russia -- hence the stupidity of calling
Stalin a dictator like Hitler and Mussolini -- and all its members
are Atheists. These officials determine the form and institutions
of the state. The mass of the people produce the wealth, of course,
and in that sense create the state, but these atheist officials
direct the distribution of it and are responsible for all social
legislation. They have given a form to the state which now elicits
the admiration of writers of every class. They have lifted the
average Russian character high above the level at which it was in
the religious Tsarist days, -- when atheism was confined to a
relatively small minority, with no influence on the state, in the
cities. This unquestionable truth is one of the chief reasons why
the clergy hate or fear it, and why the worst discredited libels of
it are still in circulation. Russia -- the creative part of Russia
-- has not merely disproved the common claim that a state decays
when atheism spreads. It has shown that the reality is the exact

     The question what proportion of the mass of the people are
still Christians is, therefore, of no importance, but you will find
it amusing to assure your neighbor whose idea of Russia is taken
from the press that it is much more religious than Great Britain.
The Church of England a few year's ago appointed a committee to
inquire carefully how many people in England go to church or are in
any definite sense Christians. They reported, and the leaders of
other Churches agreed: 10 percent in London and 20 percent in the
rest of England. This -- a total of 8,000,000 or 9,000,000 in
42,000,000 -- fairly agrees with the statistic's of membership
annually published by the Churches, and these are always
optimistic. There is evidence that the Churches put the figure of
churchgoers too high but let us accept them here. Between three-

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fourths and four-fifths of the people of Great Britain are not
Christians. It was the same in France, and Vichy has made only a
superficial compulsory change. In America the Churches claim 55
percent of the people, but we know what these claims are worth.
Allowing for the Bible Belt and the greater wealth and business
organizations of the Churches in America we should expect a higher
proportion of churchgoers: say, two-thirds of the total population.

     It follows that Russia is, on the best available estimates, as
religious as the United States and much more religious than Great
Britain or France! The best gauge is Yaroslavsky, the able and
accomplished leader of the Atheist League. He has several times
estimated that about one-third of the people in the Soviet Union
are still Christians. The Jesuit Ryder, speaking at the Cambridge
Summer School of Russian States, said, that this mean's 30,000,000
and is a ridiculous under-estimate. It is his jesuitical arithmetic
that is ridiculous. One-third of the population means nearly
60,000,000. But notice what follows. If you call Yaroslavsky's
estimate too small you must mean that more than a third are still
Christians, or a far higher proportion than in Great Britain and
France, and probably America. On any estimate Russia is more
religious than Great Britain. Now that it is smashing Germany the
clergy begin to say: We always thought so.

     Maisky, addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in London
on September 23, 1941, gave some figures which seem at first sight
to show that Yaroslavsky greatly over-estimated instead of under-
estimating the number of believer's. He quoted an official
statement that on June 1, 1941, there were 8,338 churches, mosques,
and synagogues in the Union, and 30,000 registered religious
societies (or, as we should say, parishes) of 20 or more person's.
But there must be here a serious misprint as to the number of
churches. Considering that there are about 10,000,000 Jews and
Romanists and 14,000,000 Moslem in the Soviet Union besides members
of the Orthodox Church the error is apparent. Great Britain has
more than 40,000 churches and chapels to less than 10,000,000
churchgoers. America has 200,000 religious organizations (organized
units or parishes) to less than 50,000,000 church-goers. If the
figure of 8,000 churches, mostly in villages, in Russia were
correct we should have to allow more than 7,000 worshipers to a
church to make even 60,000,000. As I have no access to the Soviet
official announcement (on August 15, 1941) I have to leave the
matter open, but we may reflect that if the figure of 30,000
parishes is correct it suggests less than 60,000,000 worshipers.

     We do better to follow the estimate of Yaroslavsky, who has no
interest in exaggerating the number of churchgoers, and we may
reflect that the change from the solid orthodoxy of the
overwhelming mass of the people less than thirty years ago means
that Atheism spread more rapidly between 1920 and 1940 than any
religion in history ever spread in 100 years; indeed forty or fifty
times as rapidly as Christianity spread in the first 250 years of
its career. We might also invite the attention of some of our
modern skeptics to the fact that it was mainly effected by pointing
out the absurdity of the current belief and the monstrous history
of the Orthodox Black International. Their is no religious revival
in recent years but there is evidence that suggests that the 

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extraordinarily rapid progress of Atheism has been slowed. This is
in part due to the fact that education has won nearly all but the
hard core of stubborn old folk -- though it is remarkable how
thousands of villages including nearly all their old folk quit the
Church and demanded that the chapel be converted into a library or
debating club -- and in part to the clergy of what calls itself the
New Church and turns the older Christian teaching inside out. It
is, however, clear that the discouragement by the government of the
methods of the Atheist League, which made a very extensive use of
ridicule and direct satirical attack, has retarded the spread of

     One would like to draw the attention of those very superior
Rationalists of our day who say that ridicule of religion "defeats
its own end" to this phenomenal success of such methods during 10
or 15 years. The Russian Atheists did not, of course, fail to
follow up their first direct assault on religious belief with solid
scientific and historical information. The cultural change in
Russia is not less remarkable than the economic. The gross general
ignorance and illiteracy of Tsarist Russia was many shades worse by
1923, after four years of war and famine. Yet by 1936 the country
had 164,081 schools besides 1,797 factory schools, 2,572 technical
schools, 716 workers colleges, 595 higher schools and universities,
and 794 institutions for scientific research. More than 10,000
newspapers and 2,100 magazines (700,000,000 copies) circulated. In
1935 the output of books was 42,700, and the 53,380 free libraries,
largely in villages, contained more than 100,000,000 books. Upon
this vast and finely selected literature the Atheist propagandist
drew, and he was welcomed in the 71,770 clubs (57,700 in the
villages) where the favorite entertainment was a serious debate. As
the government adheres to its law that religious doctrines shall
not be taught to children, who must be left to consider religion
when they have at least a moderate capacity to see through fallacy
and resent mere dogmatism, the young generation has for the far
greater part definitely abandoned religion. A very short account of
the cultural as well as economic development will be found in my
booklet Economic Gains of the Soviet Union (1937) in the A B C
Library of Living Knowledge.

     This is what the Pope calls destroying the very foundation's
of the social order: this is one line of the real program of
national life which our press until Russia became our ally
habitually coupled with the gross greed-programs of Germany, Italy,
and Japan as "the four totalitarian powers." Russia never received
and never sought to gain a single rouble by the labor of the people
outside its own Soviet Union, but there were few papers in the
world which, until we so urgently needed its help, did not class it
with the three powers which openly boasted they were going to
dominate and exploit most of the earth. Russia gave better
conditions to women (see Prof. Susan W. Kingsbury and Prof Mildred
Fairchild's Factory, Family, and Women in the Soviet Union, 1935)
than any other nation, while Germany and Italy, and the Pope's new
subjects states told woman to sacrifice all their hard-won rights
and confine themselves to cooking and bearing future soldiers.
Russia gave more sympathetic conditions to children (see Playtime
in Russia by Ethel Manning and others, 1935) than any other
country, allowing no distinction of class, giving all a two-month 

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vacation with entertainments or tours provided every summer, and
providing special theaters (three in Moscow) and parks (26 in
Moscow) for them; while Germany and Italy brutalized their lives
and minds with militarism. Russia encouraged the mass of the
workers to enjoy art as no other country did, while in Germany and
Italy art was starved and all culture debased.

     This was the civilization which the Pope taught the Catholics
of the world to curse and demand war against, and the more it shed
the imperfections due to its recent rise from chaos, the more it
won recognition for its splendid social ideals, the more bitterly
he attacked it, and the more stridently the Black International
broadcast his sentiments in every land. Is the complete collapse of
his Church in Russia enough to explain this? Is his failure to get
the billions of dollars and millions of members of the Orthodox
Church, the explanation? No, he hates Russia because it was showing
the world that you could not merely build a civilization without
priests but you could build a far finer, juster, more peaceful and
more humane civilization. He hate's Russia because from it there
spread, as far as China and Indo-China in the east and as far as
Peru and Chile in the west, that formidable Wave of Atheism which
I described in the second booklet of this series: because it was in
Roman Catholic countries particularly that it was effective since
Papal doctrine and history were as vulnerable as those of Orthodox

     Some may say that a churchman, if his creed is sincere and
deeply felt, is bound to regard a spread of Atheism as a great evil
and may be understood even when he thinks war to prevent the spread
a lesser evil. There is no need for a profane person like myself to
discuss that question or to try to determine whether the Pope
really believes (as half the clergy do not) and deeply feels the
peculiar teaching of his Church about man and his destiny. We ask
a simple question: Why didn't he say so? Why need he give as the
pretext for his demand of war upon Russia every lie about Bolshevik
atrocities and persecution of religion that was current in
capitalist literature? Why did he assure the millions of ignorant
Catholics whom he wanted to inflame that the Bolsheviks were out to
destroy the moral and social order, to advocate cruelty and
violence, when it was easy for any man, to say nothing of a
billion-dollar international organization, to find out that Russia,
with its magnificent and complete resources, had no more reason for
war than the United States and was building a far finer social
order than that of the United States? And remember that we are not
here dealing with the Pope alone. We are considering the action of
a world-wide Black International that is saturated with skepticism
and hypocrisy and keener on dollars than harps.

     That is answer enough for most people but (we may go further.
We moderns -- by which I mean the majority of the men and women who
live in the cities of the world and have shed the limitations of
village-life -- will not have our affairs ruled or dictated by men,
however sincere they may be, who act on the myth that there is
another world that is far more important to men than this in which
we find ourselves. Whatever be the truth about religion this life
and the control of this life are secularized, We turn aside from
nothing fair and pleasant that it offers us because some of our 

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less-instructed neighbors think they see flames of hell reflected
from below the horizon or discern ghostly battlements of some weird
sort of heaven high above. And the clergy so far know this that
they plead that Atheism injures us in this life. We are always open
to argument but we resent lies. The clerical case for hatred of
Russia on human grounds is based upon a mass of demonstrable lies.
Its real basis is, as ever, the primary aim of the Black
International: wealth and power.

                           Chapter IV


     In September 1934 it was proposed to admit Soviet Russia to
the League of Nations. Nazi Germany, with Mein Kampf (the brigand's
guide) for its standard, had been retained in it. Japan had not
been expelled for its sordid violation of the League's principles.
Italy was an honored member although it made no secret of its
glorification of war and aggression. But the proposal to admit
Russia horrified and brought a shower of insults from the
representatives of various nations; and these outraged folk were
subjects of the Pope, and the Vatican warmly approved their

     The attack on Russia was led by the Swiss Motta, a
representative of the nation that has always been loudest in praise
of peace -- which is very profitable at Geneva -- and is now making
much wealth by manufacturing the more delicate mechanisms of German
planes, tanks, and submarines and selling food to Germany while its
neighbors starve. At that time, perhaps, not even a member of the
middle-class that rules or misrules the Swiss would have made this
disgraceful attack on a progressive and peace-loving civilization
that could have taught Switzerland a higher idealism but Motta,
from the small Italian part of the country, was a zealous Catholic;
and that he acted for the Church is shown by the Vatican comment on
his vituperative speech in the Osservatore Romano (quoted with
approval in the British Catholic Universe, October 5, 1934):

     "Mr. Motta faced the problem of the admission of Russia with
a clarity of vision, a nobility of sentiment, and a rectitude of
Christian and civil conscience that finds a profound echo in the
hearts of all, for whom justice and right are still the unshakable
bases of civil society."

     Nobility of sentiment! The man was striking the first note of
that Hymn of Hate which the Vatican would soon urge upon Catholics
everywhere; the stupid chant that was to prevent, or help to
prevent, a cordial world-alliance against the bandits when the
crisis came, the chant that was pleasant music in the ears of
Hitler, Mussolini, and Matsuoka. The Vatican organ rejoiced that
ten states at Geneva opposed the admission of Russia or pointedly
abstained from voting for it, and we see Catholic influence in the
whole group. Holland voted against, and the press recorded that
this was due to Catholic influence in the cabinet. De Valera's
representative and Schuschnigg of Austria attacked Russia as 
virulently as Motta but did not vote.

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     Two months before this Nazi Germany had shocked the world with
the mass-murder of prominent men, including Catholics, which is
called the Blood Purge. Did any Catholic orator or power, or the
Vatican, call it to account at the tribunal of civilization? Oh,
no; just then the Vatican was trying hard to persuade Hitler to
observe the Concordat and Catholic German bishops were flattering
him to his teeth. Two months after the Geneva meeting Japan,
probably encouraged by this outburst, threatened Russia, and there
was talk of war. What did Catholics say to that? Here is a
specimen, from the Catholic Times, November 3, 1934:

     "The Japanese are not anti-God. They have brought freedom from
persecution to our missionaries in Manchuria and adjacent parts of
China. They have consented to their settlers in Brazil being
instructed in the Catholic faith, and, while they dream of
influencing the world by the spread of Buddhism, they give freedom
of worship to their own Catholic nationals. In the event of a war
between Japan and Russia Catholics would sympathize with Japan, at
least in so far as religion is concerned, so let us beware of an
Anglo-American bloc against Japan involving us on the side of

     There you have the pure Papal note, the accents of the Vatican
oracle Japan is "not anti-God" -- as a matter of fact, its ruling
class is almost as solidly Atheistic as the Russian -- while Russia
is, and Japan has made small concession's in the interest of the
Roman Church. So defend Japan and libel Russia in the Catholic
press of all lands. In that very year, 1934, Upton Close (J.W.
Hall) plainly exposed to America in his Challenge, with full
documentary evidence, that Japan was conquest-mad and had removed
the last shred of disguise from its greedy plan to monopolize
Eastern Asia and drive out all Christians, particularly Americans.
And because it hypocritically made promises to the Pope, Catholics
must be used as its agents in Britain and America to obscure the
mind of those countries in regard to its aims and divert them into
hatred of Russia.

     A few months later the same Catholic press went further in its
deadly work (Catholic Times, April, 1935):

     "Disarmament is dead . . . We can, nevertheless, have thirty
years' peace in Western Europe if France, Germany, Italy, and Great
Britain concentrate on Western Europe and its needs. We cannot have
agreement about Russia, since Germany has lifted the veil which
hides her ambitions. She wants the Ukraine. Few Catholics in this
country will approve a war against Russia, bad as her record is,
but fewer still will be happy if our alliances draw us into a war
in defense of the Godless. Russia must safeguard her own interests.
We are not concerned to uphold her. The wretched Franco-German
quarrel can be composed if France is willing to leave Russia to her
devices. If France insists on allying herself with the Soviet, she
should be told that Great Britain will have no part with her ... We
must choose between two evils, and Russia's possible loss of the
Ukraine is a much less evil than war-fires all over Europe, whilst
many would say that the undoing of Godless Sovietism is no evil at

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     As the British National Newspaper Library, the finest in
Europe, has been bombed and burned out of existence by the Germans,
I cannot verify the three quotations I have just given. I take them
from Miss E. Moore's No Friend of Democracy (1941) and I know the
author as a very careful and conscientious student of these

     This passage is a typical specimen of the slavery of the
Catholic press to the Vatican and its Policy of judging all
international events from the single viewpoint of the interest of
the Church while professing to consult the interest of the race.
The statement that few Catholic will approve of war against Russia
might seem to be written in defiance of the Pope's demand for a
crusade against that country, but the paper itself repeatedly
echoed the cry for "the extinction of Bolshevism," and the last
words of the above passage are plain enough. Not "many" but all
Catholics, as the writer knew, would rejoice at "the undoing of
Godless Sovietism." Notice, incidentally how carefully these
Catholic writers avoid the word Socialism. They know that large
numbers of Irish workers in Britain -- these workers of Irish birth
or descent are the main body of "English" Romanism -- belong to the
Labor Party, and this in rare moments of courage calls itself

     But the chief point is that this interpreter of Papal wishes
to the people of England emphatically advocates a national policy
which would be very acceptable to Hitler and was, in so far as it
was followed by Chamberlain and Halifax, most disastrous to Europe.
Russia was the one great European power that sincerely proposed
general disarmament. When its appeal was unheeded it was the one
power that began to devote a colossal part of its national
resources, which were very badly needed for social reconstruction
and education, to preparation for war. Thus in 1936, when British
statesmen were beginning to doubt the Baldwin policy of do-nothing,
Great Britain spent less than a fourth of its budget-revenue on
armaments and the United States one-tenth. But Soviet Russia set
aside one-fifth (20 billion out of 100 billion rubles) of its total
annual income -- for in that country the government-revenue
represents practically the whole of the wealth produced -- to
defense-measures, and it increased the sum every year until nearly
a third of the entire wealth produced in the country was devoted to
preparing for the barbarous and clearly-foreseen onslaught of

     What an ally Russia would have been from 1936 onward, and what
a different course of events in Europe might have followed! It must
be left to the historians of the future to say if a sincere and
dynamic alliance of Russia, Britain, France Czecho-Slovakia, and
Poland would not have intimidated Germany and Italy from that
piecemeal aggressive program upon which they entered. To me it
seems certain. But the Vatican and the Black International and the
Catholic press in every country did all in their power to prevent
it. Had the United States realized that Japan was one of the bandit
powers -- had the press freely and fully informed the people of the
open boast of Japanese politicians, military and naval men, and
editors, and told how highly colored models of the destruction of
the American fleet were exhibited to the public in Japanese cities 

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five or six years ago -- and joined the alliance, not in the
interest of Europe but its own interest, it probably never would
have known the vile treachery it has now experienced, for the
people themselves would have demanded adequate armament. But the
Vatican, the whole Roman Church, was opposed. There must be no
alliance with Bolshevism.

     Could there be a more terrible demonstration of the evil of
the sacerdotal viewpoint, the folly of listening to the Black
International on human affairs? At that time, 1936, the leading
powers were stirring from their criminal lethargy and beginning to
expand their armament-budgets. The League of Nations published a
statement that the world spent about $5,000,000,006 in that year on
armament, I have shown (What War and Militarism Cost) that it spent
something like $15,000,000,000, and one-third of this sum was,
according to the best experts, spent by Germany. What Japan and
Italy spent we do not know. No one trusts their figures. And the
two richest powers in the world, the two at which the great
conspiracy was chiefly aimed, America and Britain, spent (together)
one half the sum that Germany did. Russia alone spent something
like the sum that Germany did, though unlike Germany and Italy, it
did not starve or suppress its social services to find the money
but maintained and developed them.

     What guidance did the Papacy and its local agents give the
world? It bleated biennially about peace and between Christmas and
Easter cried for war on Communism in China, Spain, Mexico, and
Russia, above all Russia. It maintained its diplomatic alliance
with Germany, Italy, and Japan but spat poison whenever Russia was
mentioned. Its hierarchy flattered the ruler's of the three
aggressive, fully treacherous, and debauched bandit-states and told
the British and French people that they would have "thirty years
peace" if they would continue to outlaw Russia and trust Germany,
Italy, and Japan! What hilarious scenes there must have been behind
closed doors in Berlin, Rome, and Tokyo!

     Russia patiently, perhaps cynically, bore the hostility which
the Catholic Church and other interests fostered against it. It is
needless for me to observe that the Vatican was not the only
libellous enemy of Russia, but its share in the conspiracy is, on
account of its claim of lofty and disinterested idealism, in an
entirely different category from the share of bankers,
industrialists, and politicians. I am, however, not concerned with
finding adjectives to hurl at the Church of Rome. I am content to
establish facts. And if it is not a fact that Rome contributed
mightily until 1941 to that contempt and ostracism of Russia which
rendered vast service to the Axis and did incalculable harm to the
race we may as well doubt that the earth is a globe.

     So persistent and emphatic was this teaching of the Vatican,
especially during the fateful six or seven years before 1941, that
the Catholic world was paralyzed when at length Hitler made his
splendid blunder and attacked Russia. Less than a year earlier the
Papal Hymn of Hate had been more strident than ever. There were
many of us who, imperfectly informed by the press, felt our
admiration of Russia chilled when it seized part of Finland and the
little Baltic states. But we did not use the vituperative language 

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of the Pope's organ, the Osservatore Romano, the paper that had not
said a word about outrages like those in China, Abyssinia, Albania,
Czecho-Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Yugo-Slavia, Greece, and, even
Belgium and France, for which even a liar could not plead, as we
now see Russia could truthfully plead, an essential piece of
defense against an openly-declared aggressor. The Vatican, in its
paper, not only completely ignored Russia's reasons but wallowed in
irony and invective as if this were the first aggression in modern

     There is an amusing Paragraph in Stephen Graham's News Letter
(1940) reproducing the language of the Osservatore when the Russian
troops took back the Ukrainian and White Russian provinces. The
Papal organ shuddered to recall the atrocities committed by the
Russian troops in 1918. The soldiers were then Orthodox Catholics
almost to a man, and the Osservatore trembles to think what will
happen now that they are Atheists. And in the next paragraph
Stephen Graham, a strict member of the Church of England, gives
this report of an Englishman who Saw the Russian troops enter

     "The fears proved to be groundless. The discipline is
extremely severe, and cases are known when soldiers were shot by
the political commissars for the slightest breach of discipline."

     The religious mind is weird and wonderful. Stephen Graham
actually goes on to reflect that this contrast of 1918 and 1940
suggests that "the atheist soldiers of 1918" were now extinct and
the Russians were generally Christians! Not for a moment do I
suggest that atheist soldiers never commit outrages, but what are
we to think of a Papal newspaper that sheds tears over the
fictitious outrage's of atheist soldiers -- I earlier quoted the
Vatican radio (January 22, 1940) bemoaning the "infamy of all
kinds" perpetrated by the Russian troops in Poland and has not a
word to say when we get positive Proof that the German soldiers
perpetrated real infamies and savagery in Russia?

     Here again it is not a question of the Pope or the Vatican
alone. The Black International everywhere repeated the cry of
Russian atrocities (made in Germany). In an address by Cardinal
Hinsely published recently in a work titled The Bond of Peace we
read of his "deep indignation" at "the enslavement of more than
eleven million inhabitants of the Polish state by Soviet Russia."
He talks of a "treacherous attack from behind" and the "Bolshevist
horror," and says that these "Poles," as he calls them, are
"reliably reported to be suffering from those persecutions which
had made our generation the era of unparalleled martyrdom." Perhaps
we should not expect a cardinal, even if he does pose as an oracle
on world-affairs, to know that Ukrainians and White Russians are
not Poles, but is he really ignorant that the "unparalleled
martyrdom" that these millions, of members of the Orthodox Church
suffered was inflicted by the Catholic Poles, had been going on for
20 years, and was at once stopped by the Russians?

     Now, as I have earlier quoted, there are signs of a most
brazen repudiation of the Hymn of Hate which the Papacy has had the
Catholic world chant from Montreal to Syria for the last six or 
seven years. Catholics boast that they are in a better position 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

than Protestants in that they have one clear authoritative,
unwavering voice to guide them. It sounds like a dictatorship of
the Hitler sort. The truth is, however, that Rome speaks to them in
five or six different voices, and one can blandly repudiate the
other when it goes wrong. The only thing which they cannot
repudiate is the infallible or ex cathedra utterances of the Pope
-- but he never makes any. The Pope has several voices -- in
conversations, addresses, sermons, allocations, encyclicals, etc.
Then he has, in the second line a daily paper and a radio. In the
third line he has prelates and Catholic ambassadors, agents, etc.,
who can repeat conversations with him. On this third line we now
have Myron C. Taylor whispering that the Pope always recognized in
private a vast distinction between the naughtiness of the Nazis and
that of the Bolsheviks. Nazi wickedness is foul and unspeakable --
though he never cared to say so. Bolshevik wickedness is just
virtue without a Catholic foundation -- though he has a hundred
times called it foul and unspeakable.

     The latest audacity attributed to Mr. Taylor, solemnly cabled
to a London daily by its American correspondent, is this gem:

     "The general belief here is that important Washington-Vatican-
London-Moscow negotiations are in progress and that they are
directed towards the consolidation of the Christian front against
Nazism throughout the world."

     If we allow the Church of Rome to put over a maneuver of that
kind after its ten years of monstrous libel and vituperation of
Russia we have learned nothing by the terrible experience through
which we are passing. The Papacy could not hope to have any success
with it if it did not believe that we still have, unchanged, the
mentality with which we indolently contemplated the greediest and
most unscrupulous bandits of all time equipping themselves to loot
the world. There is no change in Russia. It is as atheistic as
ever. The change is in its critics. They have been compelled to
acknowledge that out of the horrible miseducated Tsarist Russia,
further demoralized by six years of war and two of terrible famine
and disease, the "Godless Bolsheviks," as the Catholic press still
called them only six month's ago, have created the greatest
civilization of our time; that the magnificent spirit of the
atheistic Russian people is in as stark a contrast as is
conceivable to the cowardice, evasiveness, tortuousness, and self-
seeking of the Black International that poisoned the world against

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