AND ITS MONEY-BOX

                        by Joseph McCabe

                     GIRARD  -- : --  KANSAS

                          ****     ****


     I    The Holy Father ..................................... 3

    II    The Right Reverend Fathers ......................... 11

   III    The Common or Garden Fathers ....................... 19

    IV    The Money-Box ...................................... 24

                          ****     ****


     During the past few years several estimable American writers
have claimed that the Roman Church is in sympathy with Fascism and
has itself a semi-Fascist complexion. In support of this charge
they have adduced such evidence that even Catholics have been
disturbed and divided. Apologists of the Jesuit type, who had
represented the Church as the faithful guardian, if not the mother,
of freedom and democracy, have excelled themselves in the
contortions of their craft. They had almost succeeded in persuading
America that the Statue of Liberty is a symbolic representation of
the Church. Less unscrupulous Catholic writers, or those who have
a higher appreciation of the intelligence of the American public,
have recognized that there is some truth in the charge and have
blamed the Pope, the Italian corporation that runs the Church, or
the local hierarchies of bishops.

     Most men vaguely feel that there is more than "some truth" in
the charge. It expresses a monstrous truth: the prostitution of
what they had been persuaded to accept as the most massive moral
power in the world. For no literary or journalistic sophistry, no
sonorous speech on the either, can blur the significance of the 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

fact that in the mightiest struggle against evil that the planet
has seen for 15 centuries the Pope has been silent. Indeed, he was
worse than silent. In the old days a charge of treason was brought
against any man who "comforted or abetted" the king's enemies. In
that sense the Pope is a traitor to humanity. Neutrality in the
world at large, and especially in their own countries, was all the
help that the bandit-powers expected of the chief oracle of the
Church. It was enough if he allowed his local hierarchies of
archbishops and bishops and the priests they rigorously controlled
-- the Black International -- to assure their people that the orgy
of brutality, the satisfaction of a naked lust of power and wealth,
into which they had led their nations deserved their cordial
support and cooperation.

     And this effective support of a bestiality that will one day
astonish historians is not the whole guilt of the Church. In one
weak country after another that was marked out for enslavement to
the vile purposes of Hitler, priests prepared the way for the
invaders, and priests followed in their wake over the stricken
lands -- Spain, China, Abyssinia, Austria, Albania, Belgium.
France, Czecho-Slovakia, and Yugo-Slavia -- to raise the gold and
white banner of the Papacy, beside that of the pirates. Even in the
United States and the British Empire they tried, until each of the
Pope's three Allies in turn cynically dropped the mask and struck
at democracy, to lull suspicion and to paralyse by promoting hatred
of Russia and friendliness with or neutrality toward the enemies of

     These facts may be discerned by any man on the face of
contemporary life, and in a series of ten booklets I have given the
details and the full evidence. Readers of my historical works (The
True Story of the Roman Church, The History of Morals, etc.) hardly
needed proof, They know that for many centuries the Roman Church
has maintained its power, and could not otherwise have survived in
an age of growing enlightenment, by allying itself with bloody and
corrupt secular powers. From about 1150, When Europe was fairly
awake after the heavy slumbers of the Dark Ages and perceived the
corruption of its Church, to 1550, when Protestants won the first
installment of freedom, several million rebels against Rome were
massacred or savagely executed. Even in the first half of the 19th
Century, when the nobler motto of the French Revolution had been
washed out with blood, the Church compassed the death of further
hundreds of thousands. Then the new humanitarian world of our time
-- the skeptical frivolous world whose sins the Church tearfully
deplores -- compelled it to suspend its policy. But that policy
remained and remains, on its statute book when it saw tens of
millions of adherents turning away from it in the new atmosphere of
freedom it waited impatiently for the opportunity to apply it once
more. The onset of the Axis beasts was its opportunity.

     But few know these things today. In the new and more liberal
world the Church at first professed repentance and conversion. But
as it grew in wealth and masses of voters it grew bolder, and at
length it acquired a control of public education that is second
only to that of the Nazis in thoroughness and mendacity. We shall
see the details of the plot. By the wealth it was able to use in
propaganda, by the intimidation of some and the Seduction of other 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

organs of instruction, even of some academic writers, it succeeded
in obliterating all traces of its grisly past and on imposing upon
America the idea that Roman Catholicism is a moral force that is
beautifully adapted to work with the spirit and institutions of
America. That also will some day astonish historians.

     Accustomed for years to have this idea of the Church impressed
upon him daily or weekly by his papers, breathed persuasively from
his radio, endorsed even by statesmen, the average American
hesitates when you say that it is rather an economic corporation
than a moral force and is the natural ally of Nazis and Fascists
because it has the same aims -- to increase its own power and
wealth -- and the same ruthlessness in pursuing its aim. So here I
propose to give a true and detailed description of the Roman Church
and contrast this with the utterly false representation of it in
American Catholic literature. As in the earlier series I intend to
rely on facts not rhetoric: and those facts will be given as far as
possible on Catholic authority, always on the best authorities.
Part of the hesitation of the average American is due to the fact
that Catholic writers have warned him that the Church is
misrepresented and libelled: that it has, in fact, "enemies," who
are driven to an insane hatred of it by its virtue and wisdom. It
is an old trick. You have heard that sort of thing from Goebbels
and Haw-Haw, have you not? You heard it from the Nazis until 1939,
from the Italians until 1941, from the Japs until 1942. But you
shall we the facts and judge for yourself.

                            Chapter I

                         THE HOLY FATHER

     I think it was Cardinal Hayes -- the priest who in 1921
ordered the New York Police (who obeyed) to stop an important
meeting on Birth Control in the Town Hall -- that claimed, and a
vast body of American Catholics applauded the claim, that it is the
sight of St. Patrick's Cathedral, not of the Statue of Liberty,
that, as a symbol of freedom, moistens the eyes of the refugee from
down-trodden Europe. Have Catholics no sense of humor? St.
Patrick's Cathedral, or the Roman Church in America which it
represents, suggests a body of about 35,000 priests who not only
rule the maids of 20,000,000 Americans, threatening them with the
horrors of an eternal concentration-camp if they rebel or read
anything that might excite a critical feeling, but they interfere
in the intimate details of the personal lives of these 20,000,000
Americans more truculently than the Gestapo meddle with such
matters in Germany. It suggests a body of 120 bishops and
archbishops who rule the priests as despotically as these rule the
people. And it points overseas to a Pope who controls the bishops
and archbishops as tyrannically as they rule their priests, and who
has on occasion treated, publicly, the whole body of American
prelates as arrogantly as some tactless lieutenant of police treats
his patrolmen.

     Let us begin with the Pope. He is called the Holy Father or
His Holiness or the Sovereign Pontiff because he is so holy and
removed from ordinary mortals that if you have only 10 or 20 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

dollars to spare when you get to Rome you must look at him from a
distance. If you can make it $50 or $100 you may kiss his slipper.
Make it $1,000 or so and you may kiss his ring. If you have a
million you may kiss almost anything.

     You do not, understand the Catholic protests. It is not his
person but in his character that the Pope is sacrosanct. He bears
a dignity that has been borne during nearly 1900 years by a long
line of austere Bishops of Rome, and he has been chosen for this
and endowed with a very special measure of "grace" by the Holy
Ghost. Even a politician may fittingly speak with reverence of such
a character or kiss his ring, while the heads of these upstart
Protestant Churches must groan with envy. Well, I know nothing
about Holy Ghosts but I know as much as any man living about these
Holy Fathers of the past. I have, in fact, written about them so
often that here I must be very summary. But if I dismiss them with
the bald remark that no other long-lived religion in history ever
had so disreputable a series of supreme leaders some of my readers,
more familiar with the conventional estimate of them, will find it
incredible, so let me repeat a few lines.

     How many Popes there have been we cannot say precisely, since
even Catholic writers differ about the number. The first three or
four on Catholic lists are more or less mythical, and there were
later ages when rivals for the wealthy bishopric got into such a
muddle of consecrations that it is difficult to say which was Pope
and which Anti-Pope. Let us say about 260. You will find that in
Catholic lists of these no less than 30 were Martyrs and 86 were
Saints. No wonder your Catholic neighbor is proud of his Popes! Yet
this statement, though repeated in the most important Catholic
works of reference, is so flagrantly untruthful as to the Martyrs
that the weightiest Catholic experts on such matters (Delehaye,
Ehrhard, Duchesne, etc.) admit that two Popes, at the most laid
down their lives for the faith. A dozen or so cheerfully laid down
the lives of their rivals or opponents.

     Two-third's of the 86 Saints are men about whose character we
have no evidence that would be regarded as reliable even by the
biographer of a statesman. The eulogies of these in the Catholic
Encyclopedia are based upon a Roman official calendar of the Popes
the first part of which is mainly fiction and upon tombstone
epitaphs like that which describes John XII, the most corrupt young
ruffian who ever wore the tiara, as "an ornament of the whole

     Of the first 30 Popes, who all wear the official halo, the
character of only five is known to us. Two of these were Anti-Popes
who died in an odor not of sanctity but of sulphur, a third
(Victor) was rebuked by the whole Church for his arrogance and was
on peculiarly good terms with the Emperor's hottest concubine; the
fourth (Callistus) was an unscrupulous ex-slave adventurer (and we
know him best of all): the fifth (Damassus) fell foul even of the
civic police of Rome on a serious charge of moral turpitude. To sum
up this matter of early history, of which I give a full account
elsewhere, we do not know the character of at least 100 (which
includes nearly all the Martyrs and most of the Saints) of the 260
Popes; we know that more than half the remainder were addicted to 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

simony or protected clerical corruption; and we know that of the
remaining 160, with good evidence as to character, about 30 were
murderers, fornicators, sodomists, or variety-artists in crime. So
much for the fragrant tradition of holiness.

     Some of your professors of history say that I am just
muckraking when I recall these things, because the Roman Curia
reformed long ago. When? Certainly not at the Reformation, for the
line of Unholy Fathers, which had then already lasted a century,
was, with a few short intervals, prolonged for another century
after Luther; and the "greatest" Pope of the 18th Century, Benedict
XIV, was notorious in Europe for his love of spicy stories and used
expressions which the police would not permit me to translate.

     But did not the even more terrible losses of money and members
at the French Revolution sober the Papal Court? For a time, or as
long as the wintry winds blew. When the sun of corrupt despotism
shone again upon Europe the Popes and cardinals showed little
improvement. In my large History of the Popes (1939) I have
described the three Popes who adorned the Holy See in that Indian
Summer of the Middle Age's. Leo XII, a converted rake and elderly
invalid, was despised by all Rome and Italy. Pius VIII was a
paralyzed old man who literally dribbled at the mouth as they
wheeled him about the Vatican in his baby-carriage. Gregory XVI, a
notorious wine-bibber and lover of erotic gossip, "absorbed himself
in ignoble interests while the country groaned under misrule" (says
one of the chief Italian historians). The leading power of Europe
had, publicly, to warn these moral oracles of the race to put a
little common decency into their kingdom. Then there was the
"saintly" Pius IX, a miserable weakling who, after running away in
disguise from the revolutionary storm of 1848, let Cardinal
Antonelli (who was born a pauper and left $20,000,000 for his
bastard daughter and the priests to fight over) rule Italy on the
vicious old lines while he defied modern thought, discovered the
Immaculate Conception of Mary, and bullied the bishops into the
irony of declaring him infallible! The century finished with "the
great diplomatist" Leo XIII; and he was so successful in his
diplomacy that during his pontificate the Church lost some tens of
millions of members.

     Well, you may say, that must have taught the cardinal-electors
a lesson, and since 1900 they must have been very careful to choose
the really holiest and best candidates. They learned no lesson
whatever. Each of the recent Papal elections has been, as it always
was, preceded by intrigue and the clash of rival ambitions. Three
times since 1900 the voters have put at the head of their Church (a
world-wide business with an income of hundreds of millions of
dollars a year at its central office alone) a man who would have
failed to run a $3,000 store. I have just read fifteen Catholic
books -- British, French, Italian, and German -- on them and ought
to know them.

     The fourth, the present Pope, we will discuss shortly. Let us
first consider the Papal election (Conclave) in itself. This will
correct half the flatulent stuff you may have read in American
papers. The Catholic theory you probably know. Sixty or seventy
cardinals elect the Pope. They are locked and carpentered in a 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

special part of the Vatican palace, where each now has a suite of
rooms -- in the old days when they were all locked in a chapel day
and night for weeks the odor was not one of sanctity -- until one
of the rival candidates gets two-thirds of the vote's. There is
much praying to the Holy Ghost for guidance, but they still have to
be locked in and watched lest they consult profane persons outside.
It is to be inferred that the direction of the Holy Ghost is not in
good Latin because they rarely agree in less than three days.
Possibly it is not even then the supernatural guidance so much as
the rule that their diet shall be cut down from the fourth day that
hastens the decision.

     In practice the Conclave is much more human than the theory.
Ever since the Church of Rome became rich in the 4th Century there
has been a spirited struggle for the control of the treasury. As
early as 366 more than 160 of the supporters of the rival
candidates had to be buried, and as late as 1492 the "butcher's
bill" was more than 200. The struggle is now more refined; though
when the Pope says his first Mass he still has nobles at hand to
take the first sip of the wine and see that it has not been

     A feverish intrigue warms Rome before la Pope's death. Broadly
there are two schools of cardinals: the "zealots" -- think of the
hairy hill-men of Kentucky who roar out the hymn "Old-Fashioned
Religion" -- and the "political's" or practical men. There are
generally four or five cardinals who fancy their chances and carry
the bets of the Romans, and they canvass the voters of the rival
schools and let it be known that they are grateful to supporters.
Each party selects one champion, and they enter the Conclave with
the Holy Ghost on their lips and the name of a candidate in their
pockets. Those from France, Germany, Italy, or Spain may have also
instructions from their governments to keep out So-and-so at all
costs (the veto).

     They pray and talk for an hour or two and then take a vote
(written). The two favorites are found to have, perhaps, a third of
the votes each, and the nibbling at each other's parties and the
neutrals begins. There is still generally a deadlock, and they turn
to the string of "also ran." A few colorless outsiders are tried
until one gets the two-thirds vote. He is generally advanced in age
or an invalid so that the struggle may be resumed in a few years.
The lucky man who at last gets the required majority murmurs "I am
not worthy" and -- because a Pope Was once taken seriously when he
said this -- makes for the pontifical robes, which are waiting (in
three sizes). Then they take him out on the balcony to show to the
public. The historical record of these Conclaves by Petrucelli
della Gattina -- a good deal of it is translated in Miss V. Pirie's
Triple Crown (1935) -- beats the history of Tammany for clean fun.

     An Italian Catholic priest, G. Berthelet (Storia en
Rivilazioni sul Conclave, 1904) says of the election of the "great"

          "If Pius IX had foreseen the election of Leo XIII he
     would have excommunicated him, but if Leo XIII had foreseen
     that at his death the cardinals would vote for Giuseppe Sarto,
     he would have excommunicated the lot of them."

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     Sarto, Archbishop of Venice, was a good old man of peasant
origin. His sister kept the village pub. He loved to talk broad
Venetian with a countryman and shock the more starchy cardinals.
But what else could the poor voters do? For years Cardinal
Rampolla, the ablest of them, a lean black-visaged lynx-eyed
schemer like the present Pope, had worked for the position. The
candidate of the zealots was Gatti, a somber ascetic man; and one
of the leading Roman cardinals, Vannutelli, who was well known to
have a mistress and children living not very far from the Vatican
-- one of the chief American consuls in Italy pointed out the house
to me in Rome in 1904 -- thought that he had a sporting chance and
carried many bets. But with so many of these prudish Americans and
British about in Rome nowadays only five dare vote for the gay
cardinal and he dropped out. Then, as that very sober and weighty
French newspaper Le Temps said in its account of the Conclave: "The
Holy, Ghost was clearly making for the French candidate (Rampolla)
but the Triplice (Triple Alliance) headed him off." The Austrian
cardinal, speaking for his government and that of Germany, said
that they would not tolerate the election of Rampolla, That
cardinal told them what he thought of so profane a maneuver but
"the German faction" stuck to their guns and Rampolla dropped out.
Then the genial Vannutelli proposed old Sarto who was turned 70 and
very easy-going. The Spanish cardinal had been instructed by his
government to oppose Sarto. but the warm language inspired by the
Austrian Veto intimidated him and the brother of the village pub-
owner (who was at once summoned to Rome and made comparatively
rich) put on the holy robe's.

     Catholic writers in America have denied that Austria was
allowed to exercise a veto but practically all the French and
Italian Catholic writers (Berthelet, Crispolati, etc.) affirm it.
I take the account of the Conclave from a biography of the Pope
(Pie X intime) by a high Papal official, the Count de Colleville,
who got it not only from "a great lady of the Austrian Court"
(obviously the Empress) but also from Cardinal Gibbons! The French
Cardinal Matthieu agrees in his account of the Conclave in the
(Catholic) Revue de Deux Mondes. It is beyond question. Vannutelli
and the Kaiser had a great deal more than the Holy Ghost to do with
the first Papal election of the 20th Century.

     As Pope Pius X (1903-14) he finely helped on that dissolution
of the Church which Leo XIII had begun. How in his fight against
Modernism he drove its few real scholars out of the. Church and set
up a new Inquisition: how he tried to drive out artists, literary
men, and ladies by forbidding modern music at the Sunday services;
and how he fell foul of France and Italy by insisting on his right
to examine the morals of their prelates we shall see later. He died
soon after the outbreak of war in 1914. They no longer knock the
Pope on the head with a little hammer to see if he is really dead
or feel the testicles of a new Pope to be sure that he is not a
woman in disguise, but the mood in which the cardinal-electors met
at Rome was as grim as ever.

     In 1914 the Vatican was "modernized." It had one telephone, of
primitive type, one creaky lift, four firemen (and odd-job men), no
automobile or vacuum cleaner. But it did know that there was a war
on, and the big question was whether they should have a Pope who 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

would help to bring Italy into the war or one who would keep it
neutral. Italy was a member of the Triple Alliance with Germany and
Austria, but they had not much to offer it, though they made
attractive offers privately to the Vatican, and they knew that it
was secretly negotiating with France and Britain for a higher
price. The Germans therefore hinted to the Holy Ghost that they
wanted a neutrality Pope, and they got one, a rank outsider. A
Strict Catholic writer, Crispolati, who was in the crowd in the
Piazza when Benedict XV, the new Pope, came out on the balcony,
says that there was "universal stupefaction." Baron Sonnino wrote
to a friend: "The Vatican is working with the German Centre and was
always an enemy of the Italian nation." You ought to try on an
Italian friend the little joke that "the Church never interferes in

     Like his predecessor, Benedict XV was a holy man -- that is to
say, he was elderly and never drank or swore -- but as the moral
ruler of the earth in a grave crisis he was about as useful as the
Grand Lama of Tibet. Europe was aflame with the first great war of
the century and, though this is not the place to assign the war-
guilt, no one imagines that the welter of blood and tears was just
due to an innocent misunderstanding. But Benedict XV flatly refused
to inquire who was guilty, "I am," he said in his Consistorial
Allocution on January 22, 1915, "commissioned by God to be his
chief interpreter." One would think that God would have had
something to say about a war that cost 10,000,000 lives and
$50,000,000,000 and led to a good deal of Atheism, but his "chief
interpreter" merely "denounced all injustice by whatever side it
may be committed" and said that he would not "involve the
pontifical authority in the controversies of the belligerents." He
was sure that it would be "clear to every unbiased thinker that in
this frightful conflict the Holy See, without failing to watch it
with close attention, is bound to a complete impartiality." The
Kaiser, being an unbiased man, heartily agreed with him. All that
he could hope for from Italy was neutrality. And the present Pope,
who was then Nuncio in Germany, was on good terms with the Kaiser.

     The great French scholar A. Loisy lashed him mercilessly (in
The War and Religion, 1915) for failing to distinguish between
impartiality and neutrality. The Italian's -- notably one Benito
Mussolini went further, They produced very good evidence that the
Pope maintained to treasonable correspondence with Germany through
the Austrian Church and very seriously tampered with the loyalty of
the Italian troops. But we have seen enough in our time of this
kind of conduct on the part of God's chief interpreter in a world-
crisis. As I said in the earlier books, the idea that there is
anything new in the recent policy of the Vatican or that you can
blame the present Pope for it is far astray.

     How Benedict completed the medieval work of his predecessor
and fastened upon the Catholic world a Code of Canon Law which
gives the lie to American apologists we shall see later. The Barque
of Peter emerged from the war "with overwheathered rib's and
tattered sails" and before it had time to recover it ran into the
hurricane, of Atheistic Communism. A frothy sea of blasphemy (from
both Fascists and Communists) confronted the Pope in Italy, and
devastating waves spread over Germany, France, Spain, and Spanish 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

America and Benedict succumbed (1922) and the cardinals met for a
grimmer fight -- I mean a more ardent supplication of the Holy
Ghost -- than ever. Ought they to maintain Benedict's policy of
spending millions of lire in an attempt to conciliate Russia? Ought
they to come to terms at last with the Italian throne, which was
tottering, and government and cooperate with them in strangling
Socialism? And so on.

     The treasury was almost empty. Catholic writers say that the
new Pope found only $55,000 in it, but they are rather ingenious
about these financial matters. Seldes reports their report of the
$55,000 but seems to forget that a few pages earlier he had said
that the new Pope set out at once upon a career of princely
generosity. "The day after his succession" he says (p. 250) "he
handed over 500,000 lire to the German cardinals, for their
compatriot victims of the sinking mark," and "some time after" he
gave the French clergy 1,000,000 lire; and in the same year (1922)
spent 2,500,000 lire on his Russian mission or enterprise. Some
wizard of finance! Catholic writers say that Benedict himself had
found an empty treasury, and even the expenses of the Conclave had
had to be met by a fat American cheque! We thank them for these
detail's but would further like to know how these things happened
when, as we shall see in the last chapter of this book, from 1900
onward the income of the Vatican had been at least $500,000,000 a

     The same Italian writers tell us that Cardinal O'Connell had
hastened to this Conclave with instructions to probe the financial
mystery. The Knights of Columbus, we suppose, wanted to know where
their money went. But O'Connell reached Rome to learn that the
Conclave was over, and we gather that to express himself he helped
out his very elementary Italian with some ripe Irish-American.

     The voting had been fierce -- there were 14 scrutinies or
polls -- and out of the fight had emerged Achille Ratti, son of a
small silk-dealer of peasant origin. If his predecessor's
appearance on the balcony had been greeted with "universal
stupefaction" one wonders what sensation Pius XI created. He was an
obscure bookworm, a Papal librarian, and had for the last few years
been buried in Poland. Which did not prevent the American press
from hailing the result as a splendid choice and the new Pope as a
man of marvelous attainments -- he had even climbed the Alps -- and
character. He was quite moral, of course, and therefore in Catholic
language very holy, and of simple tastes. He set up a Spartan suite
of rooms in the Palace and brought his sister to clean out the
rascally valets, cooks, etc. He ordered that account-books (which
have never been seen) should be kept and is supposed to have
reformed the finances. The atmosphere of the Vatican City and Rome
was blue With naughty words.

     The chief point that concerns us here is that Pius XI is the
Pope who made the famous, or infamous, compact with Mussolini,
constructed an alliance of great cordiality with Japan, and helped
Hitler to power by ordering the German Church to drop its hostility
to the bunch of Nazi adventurers. He is the Pope who made Eugenio
Pacelli his Secretary of State and Signed every agreement that
Pacelli negotiated between 1930 and 1939. It was he who blessed the

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

outrages of the Germans and Italians in Spain and sent a Papal
banner to float beside the blood-stained rag of Franco; he who sat
with sealed lips in the Vatican while the whole Italian Church
cheered the savage attack on Abyssinia and called it a crusade for
God and civilization: he who patted Cardinal Innitzer on the back
for betraying Austria to Hitler and who approved the Catholic
intrigues which ruined Czecho-Slovakia: he who roused the Catholic
world -- indeed the whole world as far as he could reach it -- to
hatred of Russia and a demand for the extinction of Socialism. A
very Holy Father. When he died the Catholic press glowed with pride
in his fragrant memory and his services to the race, and the
American papers generally dug out their stereotyped articles about
"the venerable head of the Great Church" and his beneficent moral

     The cardinal-electors at once, and with less intrigue and
dispute than usual appointed as his successor the man who, as
Secretary of State, had emphatically carried out if not inspired,
his policy of alliance, for the benefit of the Church, with the
three great powers whom the world now execrates and loathes. The
Catholic press hailed him ecstatically. The American section of it
assured the world, on the authority of their cardinals (who had
worked generously for his election) and archbishops, that he was
quite American in his enthusiasm for peace, freedom and democracy.
But I have told the whole story in the preceding series of booklets
and will not return to it. Form your own judgment. You have all the
material. Ask yourself this question: Did or did not the American,
British, and French cardinals who were his chief champions in the
conflict, and the archbishops and bishops whom they are supposed to
consult, understand the policy that Pius XI and Pacelli has openly
pursued for ten years? Choose your alternative -- and your language
about it.

     This little sketch of the Conclaves of the last few decades
will give you a better idea of the Papacy as it is today than you
will learn from a hundred editorials and magazine articles. There
is no need to dig up the odoriferous bodies of the Popes of the
Dark Age or the Middle Age. I really do not care two pins about
the question how many children Innocent VIII, Alexander VI,
Julius II or Paul III had or just how many Popes were sodomists
or murderers. I recall these things only when I find so many
other writers, even professors, pretending that the Papacy
promoted civilization in Europe or Catholic writers telling
monstrous untruths about the Middle Ages. After all, these Papal
sinners, however incongruous it may be to find them in a Holy See
in which the Holy Ghost takes so special an interest, did not do
much harm to the race. Most of the real evil was done by the
Saints (Leo I, Gregory I, Gregory VII, Innocent III, etc.). But a
vast amount of harm has been done by these stodgy bourgeois Popes
of modern times and the political "cardinals who guided their

     That they are "chosen by the Holy Ghost" you now see to be
the emptiest of bunk. They are not even chosen because they are
the wisest and best men available. The present Pope, it is true,
was one of the ablest of the cardinal-voters, but he was not
chosen on account of his linguistic ability and his experience 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

from much traveling. He was elected because the Italian cardinals
believed that Germany, Italy, and Japan would win in the
impending conflict and would carry out their promises to the
Church and destroy Socialism. A Papal election is like any other,
except that in a political election the man with the largest
number of votes wins and in the Papal election the voting must be
repeated until one cardinal gets two-thirds of the votes. It is
gloriously prolific of intrigue but above all hovers the golden
rule: More power and wealth for the Church.

     Well, this is the Pope when you strip him of all
propagandist "properties," as the theatrical folk say. That he is
infallible is, of course, even on Catholic principles a poor
joke. Since it was declared in 1870, after a prolonged and bitter
struggle with a large part of the bishops, that he is infallible
if he speaks in certain conditions every Pope has been very
careful in his utterances to avoid those conditions. Is he an
autocrat? Very decidedly on Catholic theory. He need not consult
anybody, though in practice he consults his Secretary of State
and other cardinals when he is preparing an important message. He
can depose any prelate or cardinal, but in practice if an Italian
is troublesome to the Pope and his friends he is buried in a
diplomatic appointment far away. The Italian cardinals are the
Pope's cabinet and he frequently discusses matters with them and
with visiting cardinals and archbishop's but they have no power
to modify what he propose's to do. He is an autocrat, a dictator,
a Fuhrer or Duce, in just the same sense as Hitler or Mussolini.
But just as these find it expedient to discuss affairs with the
leaders of their respective parties, so the Pope must consult the
sentiments of the higher clergy of Italy. The cardinals find it
safe to elect a mediocrity sometime's because they know that he
will not run the Church. They and the leading Italian prelates
do. That is the next important point to appreciate.

                           Chapter II


     American and British Catholics show a tendency in recent
years to want to get rid of the title "Roman" of which they were
once so proud. In order to be able to call for the suppression in
America of Communism and socialism -- Atheism would be the next
victim -- without (they say) incurring the charge of violating
the grand American principle of freedom some sophists started the
slogan that these things are "un-American." It is slowly dawning
upon the minds of many that a religion which calls itself Roman
Catholicism does not sound pure American, so the word quietly
passes round to cut out the "Roman." Examine your new
Encyclopedia Americana -- of which, if you will pardon me saying
so, American culture ought to be ashamed -- in the writing of
which Catholics have played as lamentable a part as in the
writing of the last edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

     It is ridiculous to drop the word, and it becomes quite
funny when you occasionally find an apologist going on to say
that if the Vatican ever draws anything at variance with the 
American spirit and Constitution they will cut the cable and 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

become simply the American Catholic Church. Seeing that Catholic
means "universal" the thing is stupid. It is just a loud way of
saying that, of course, Rome would never do anything of the kind.
Their Church is essentially Roman: not in the sense that Peter
founded it at Rome, which is false, or merely in the sense that
Rome is the connecting link of the various bodies of its members
in most countries of the world, but because Rome rules it as
surely as the Boston clique, rules Christian Science everywhere.

     If the American hierarchy were conceivably to defy the Pope
they would have to repudiate a large part of their theology and
the vast literature of sermons and articles on their superiority
to other sects in that they possess a Holy Father, an
international and infallible leader who is inspired above all
other mortals to rule the world. All the talk about the grandeurs
of the Vatican would have to be disowned, and it would have to be
admitted that the billions of dollars sent to it were wasted on a
bunch of hypocritical Italians. Even if it were pretended that
the American Church remained part of the Catholic Church -- it
could not, as I said, be Catholic (universal) yet purely American
-- it would find itself repudiated with horror by every other
branch of the Church, for schism is in Catholic theology as
sinful as heresy. It would lose millions of adherents and its
treasury would be terribly reduced.

     You may therefore regard as sheer nonsense and quite
insincere any talk of American apologists about defying the Pope.
Every American bishop and most priests know that all such
attempts -- there was a notable attempt (Old Catholicism) in
Germany after Pius IX bullied the bishops into declaring him
infallible -- has dismally failed and could not possibly succeed
in our time. But few realize to what an extent the Italians
control the Church and have a huge financial interest in
maintaining this control.

     Here let me, once for all, say a word about what some folk
call "the good side" of Catholicism. I have met many of these
'liberal' writers and read most of them, and I find that they
have one thing in common: they do not know the Church of Rome.
Often they take up this attitude for social or political reasons,
and they protect themselves in it by refusing to read critical
works or full statements of facts like mine. They give their
readers an impression of the Catholic period in European history,
the Middle Ages, which is a confused and superficial jumble of
lovely cathedrals and teeming universities, chivalrous knights
and holy monks and is false to the extent of four-fifths. They
will not read accounts of the real character of the time. Their
idea of the Church today is an equally superficial maundering
about venerable heads, sagacity of the age-old Vatican, deeply
religious priests, and virtuous laity: which again is a mixture
of one part of truth and four of lying. They are in large part
responsible for that false idea of Rome which has enabled it to
help the enemies of civilization during ten of the most fateful
years in history. So let me say that, while I know much better
than they how many decent Popes there were and what proportion of
the bishops, priests, and monks are really and consistently
religious -- not more than one in ten -- I am, as a conscientious
writer with a social outlook, concerned only with the general 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

features of the Church and think it a service to my fellows to
tell them the truths which are usually from not very respectable
motive's which masquerade as liberalism, so generally and so
scandalously suppressed.

     One of these truths is that in one of its most important
aspects the Church of Rome is an economic corporation, the Black
International, for collecting and drafting hundreds of millions
of dollars every year to Rome. I have described how, and on what
grounds, the Popes are elected. Originally, and all through the
Dark Ages, the Pope was elected, publicly and orally, by the
priests and people of Rome. This led, as I said, to vicious
fights when the See became rich, and the "cardinal" (or
principal) clergy of Rome used this pretext to secure a monopoly
of the election. The Popes had now crushed Roman democracy and
deceived the people everywhere into submission to their semi-
magical powers. It was a very profitable monopoly. The people
were still allowed to loot the palace and treasury of the dead
Pope but the cardinals from that date expected the man they
elected to show his gratitude and in Renaissance days the shower
of favors amounted to millions -- and a candidate found it easier
to bribe or persuade a handful of cardinal's than a mob. In time
the Catholic monarchs forced the Papacy to grant the red hat to
one or more distinguished prelates in their own countries and the
"sacred college of cardinals" became. international. But the
Italians retained, and still retain, a monopoly of the power to
elect a Pope.

     There are supposed to be 70 cardinals. At present there are
55, and 29 of these are Italians. They always have an absolute
majority; and this is easily secured because they elect, the Pope
and he, in consultation with them, creates new cardinals as the
old die off. Foreign cardinals fume and demand a larger
representation in the "sacred college." The United States has
about 15,000,000 Catholics and only two cardinals. Italy has
probably about 20,000,000 genuine Catholics and 29 cardinals. The
Italians have the further advantage of being united and close
neighbors while the foreign cardinals are scattered and often,
like their nations, bitterly hostile to each other. There are,
for instance, two American, two British (including the Canadian),
three Vichy French, three Fascist Spanish, and three Nazis. Thus
the Papal autocracy is a lucrative monopoly of the Italians.

     It is part of the Catholic idea that is foisted upon the
public by the press, radio, cinema, subsidized books, etc., that
these "Princes of the Church," as they are called, stand next to
the Pope in austerity of character and superiority of intellect.
After what I have said about recent Popes you will realize that
they need not be on a very high level to deserve that
description. But, as we saw, this virtue-and-wisdom idea is a bit
of sheer propaganda. Vannutelli was the second most important
cardinal in Rome -- after the Secretary of State -- and his
children must have been proud of him. A Hungarian cardinal at one
of the recent Conclaves refused to enter the concentration-camp
because the food served was not good enough. Most of them are
quite human; and as to intelligence, remember that Sarto (Pius X)

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

and Della Chiesa (Benedict XV) became Popes. They are selected
for all sorts of reasons, but in Italy mostly because they are
sound on the Italian policy of monopolizing power and being
always on the side of the big battalions.

     Most of them are comfortable men who are not so much
interested in power as in their bank-accounts, About half a
century ago a book on the Roman system (Les Congregations
romaines, 1890) was published by a Vatican official, a strict
Catholic, F. Grimaldi, in which -- and it is so accurate that it
was put on the Index -- the author said that any candidate for
the cardinal's hat had to have $5,000 for expenses, gifts, etc.,
and the cost would now be very much greater. But the prize is
well worth it. In the last chapter of this book we will consider
the very peculiar financial system, or lack of system, of the
Vatican, but no one really knows what any high ecclesiastic gets.
Pius XI declared in one of his speeches that the sum he got,
after two or three years haggling, from Mussolini as the price of
his silence was fixed by him as low as he could possibly make it
because the Italians (who would have to produce it) were his
children. It was more than $90,000,000, and each cardinal got his
income doubled at once. Seldes says that it is now about $5,000 a

     In Italy a tax-free income of $5,000 a year is equivalent to
a $20,000 a year income in America, but it is far higher. The
Italian cardinals are the Pope's cabinet, and they get the plums
in the way of special appointments, commissions, expenses, etc.
We shall see that most of the work of the crowd of officials on
the Vatican City is done through 13 departments of state (or
Congregations) besides various tribunals and other fixtures. I
will describe them in discussing finance. These Congregations,
which grant dispensation's, absolutions, solutions, etc., in the
name of the Pope, are the main channels of the Vatican's vast
income, and it would be interesting to know how much of the
stream of gold sticks to the fingers of the cardinals who preside
over them. You need not take it literally when you read that some
service rendered at the Vatican was "gratuitous." Its officials
could give lessons to the photographer who enlarges your
photograph "for nothing" and then charge& "$5 or $10 for the
frame. In the account of these Congregations in the Catholic
Encyclopedia you read that a cardinal presides over each. In the
much more reliable and semi-official annual Orbis Catholicus we
are told that the number of cardinals at the head of each is "not
generally less than ten or more than 35"; and do not imagine them
rushing to the job from the breakfast-table of a morning.
Millions of lire reach these Congregations, which are housed in a
massive palace, every month from all parts of the Catholic world,
though Italy itself is far from being the best customer.

     But there are other sources of income. Here is one of which
you will not read mention anywhere. In 1935 Sir Thomas More,
Henry VIII's favorite wit until they quarreled and "the author of
more puns than all the rest of the saints put together, was
"canonized." The touching final ceremony was filmed, and you may
have seen the serried ranks of the crimson-caped Italian
cardinals who had gathered in the sanctuary to do honor to 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

Britain. A London priest in close touch with the authorities told
a friend of mine that each of these cardinals had demanded a fee
of $100 (English money) for that single appearance. The whole
business cost English Catholics, to the disgust of their
leader's, about $85,000 in all.

     Such opportunities, or far more profitable ones, are common
enough, and we may be sure that cardinals who, through the Pope,
control an income of hundreds of millions of lire do not treat
themselves shabbily. But no one outside the inner circle knows
the facts. Writers on "the secrets of the Vatican" confess that
the secret of revenue and expenditure is impenetrable. Something
like 5,000 officials, monks, prelates, priests, impoverished
nobles, and grafters dip into the stream of gold but each knows
little more than his own business. The clerical officials of the
Vatican publicity-bureau are as venal as any in the world but
they do not know this secret.

     That, then, is the central mechanism of the Italian Church
for controlling and exploiting the Catholic world. It is a pretty
system. The cardinals, reaching a deadlock in the fight of rival
schools, elect a glorified peasant, a bookworm, or a simple-
minded old prelate on whom they can rely for loyalty to the
Italian policy. As the older cardinals die out they discuss with
the Pope in their cabinet-meetings whom they will choose to fill
the vacant places. Foreigners are little represented at these
discussions and they would be in a hopeless minority if they
happened to be in Rome so the Italians settle which of their
archbishop's can safely be admitted to the inner circle. Italy
owns the Church. So it was in the days of Dante six centuries
ago: so it is in our age of wireless and wonder-planes.

     And the Italians are determined that so it shall remain.
These American cardinals who come along with blustering
instructions from the Knights of Columbus about finance are a
pain in the neck to the Italians. They have to be humored, though
they sometimes complain of meeting discourtesy at the Vatican,
because they supply so very large a part of the Papal income, but
their idea of applying in so sacred a world the profane maxim
that taxation without adequate representation is tyranny is very
unsound Catholicism. It is true that their Italian is too
elementary to enable them to argue with the suave and foxy Roman
cardinals, but they can now draw upon their colleges and churches
in Rome.

     The Italians, as I showed in the earlier books, have for 20
or 30 years met this democratic menace by extending the Church in
lands in which, they think, the people have not been bitten by
the bug of democracy. The British Catholic Teeling's very
temperate book, The Pope in Politics, takes its text from that
truth. The Church must be extended eastward as rapidly as
possible -- hence, as I explained, the stupid wooing of Russia
and Turkey, the chronic hostility to and readiness to injure
Greece, and the general support of the Eastern policy of the Axis
-- and the so-called Latin nations, thoroughly purged of modern
and democratic ideas by Petain, Franco, Salazar, and the South
American dictators, are to form a grand Catholic Fascist League.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     In all this the Vatican is not merely acting on a long out-
dated psychology. If one point is more humorous than another in
the conventional idea of the Vatican it is the claim that it has
"a profound and penetrating knowledge of human nature." The only
psychology it knows is a medieval corruption of that of Aristotle
which is about as valuable as a second-rate novelist's psychology
of woman. Scientific psychologists put it in the ash-can nearly a
century ago. These Vatican officials who cherish the theory that
orientals are "naturally submissive," that Russians and Slavs.
are "peaceful and docile" until they are confused by Bolshevik
agitators, and that the Latin-American folk have much the same
"nature," proceed on a racial psychology that belongs to the last
century. There is no "human nature," much less a permanent type
of national character, in modern psychology. There is only human
behavior, and you do not need any science to tell you how
rapidly, even in national masses, it can change. Russia, Germany,
and Italy in their different ways have illustrated the truth so
plainly in the last 20 years that one would have thought that
even an Italian priest could see it. One suspects, in fact, that
the Papal bureaucrats have their eye more on the knout in the
hands of the leaders of these "submissive" peoples than on their
"nature." The Italian priests are not really on the mental level
of Petain for simplicity.

     But there is a second reason, not suspected by most writers
on the subject. Why the Vatican looks to these new extensions of
its power to counterbalance the detested democratic element which
the Americans. are bringing into the Church. Catholic provinces
in which there is not yet a fully constituted hierarchy are ruled
directly from Rome. They are foreign missions and are under the
Congregation of propaganda and its cardinals. It is an
arrangement that is more profitable to the Vatican -- it cuts out
the middle-men so to say -- and gives it a better chance to make
the Italian influence felt. The Vatican is, therefore, in no
hurry to establish new hierarchies. Even Briton remained under 
the Propaganda Congregation until well into the 19th century. No
doubt, the new bodies of subjects of the Pope who are, it is
thought, to be won from the Orthodox Churches in the East are to
be kept as long as possible under Italian representatives of the
Roman caucus.

     When the Catholic body in any country becomes large and rich
it presses for the establishment of a hierarchy of bishops under
one or more archbishops (or "chief" bishops). The early Church
had, in my opinion, bishops ("oversees" or superintendents)
before it had priests, at least in Rome, the sacerdotal idea
being developed late in the 2nd Century. However that may be,
bishops and archbishops, the Right Reverend Fathers and
Lordships, soon became indispensable elements of the clerical
structure that Rome was fabricating. The Church has today about
1,000 bishops, more than a quarter of whom are in the golden
land, Italy, and in one way or other share the financial
sunshine. A moral history of them would be even more unsavory
than that of the Popes and cardinals. The rich bishoprics and
archbishoprics of the medieval Church, which were often little
princedoms until the end of the feudal system, were obvious
prizes for the younger sons and bastards of princes and nobles, 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

and a remarkable procession of them crossed the stage of European
history. Down to the year of the Revolution the great French
prelates took not the least trouble to conceal their vices, and
there was considerable freedom in Italy, Austria, Spain,
Portugal, and South America. One must not refuse a measure of
sympathy to these rich clerics who found their world rudely torn
apart, their wines spilled and their mistresses scattered, by the
new species of men know as "the Reds."

     With the growth of the deplorable "materialism of the 19th
Century" and the increase of Protestant or skeptical travelers in
Catholic countries the episcopal and archiepiscopal epicure's
were painfully compelled to part with the more graceful of the
luxuries of their palaces, though the tactless zeal of the late
Pope discovered scandals in Italy as recently as ten years ago.
Today in every country where Fascism has not extinguished liberty
the archbishop's must devote themselves soberly to the
supervising of a group of dioceses. They are the Gauleiter, the
regional representatives of the Fuhrer, in the Nazi-Papal system,
and their loyalty to the central caucus at Rome is easily secured
today. Time after time in history a national hierarchy, rooted in
the soil and intimately connected with the king and his
interests, have defied Rome and threatened to cut the cable.
Cardinal Richelieu seriously considered making the French Church
independent of Rome, and in Germany and Austria the hierarchy
have often defied, sometimes excommunicated, the Pope. In Italy
bishops and archbishops have cut up his troops . . .

     That, as I have explained, cannot happen in modern times.
One of the differences between the course of sacred and that of
profane history since the French Revolution, a difference that
few historians care to notice, is that while secular monarchs
have ceased to be absolute or autocratic the Popes became more
and more absolute until, in the full 19th Century, the bishops
granted that claim of infallibility which Popes had failed to win
from the Church in earlier ages! But the Church is also more
sensitive about scandal. The gay medieval spirit, when a man
jovially told his neighbor that he "drank like a Pope" yet
contributed generously to Rome, has departed from Catholicism. A
page of medieval history which lingers in my memory tells how
when a certain pope was threatened (for the thousandth time) a
robust archbishop hastened to see him and assure him that his
(the archbishop's) five sons would fight for him. Gone are the
snows of yesteryear. But the Vatican has various ways of securing
the loyalty of the Gauleiter.

     In the first place they are all appointed by Rome. Some of
the sternest struggles with rulers that the Vatican has waged
have been over this appointment of prelates. Rivers of blood
flowed over it in medieval Italy, and only recently Franco and
the Pope quarreled for a year about it. The Church never yields
any country or ruler more than the right to submit the names of a
few eligible men to the Vatican, which usually chooses one but
may refuse all. The qualifications for the office are very
varied. I remember that in my clerical days a British episcopal
See fell vacant and I heard my senior cynically repeat that the
essential qualification was to have a private income of $20,000 a

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

year. The main qualification, are skill in collecting money and
loyalty to the Italian system. The Vatican makes careful inquiry
on these points and listens very seriously to suspicions of
discontent. Fifty years ago I found it still a vivid tradition in
higher Church circles in London that Cardinal Manning repeatedly
and very truculently, on the occasion of his visits to Rome,
denounced Cardinal Newman for disloyalty.

     Every archbishop and bishop must pay a periodical visit to
Rome and give the Secretary of State a close account of his work.
He would find it difficult to conceal any rebellious sentiment
from Italians whose scent of intrigue has been sharpened by
decades of practice; and they have a most courteous way of making
him feel that he is rather an inferior member of the Church. In
addition to this, Apostolic Delegates, Apostolic Visitors, etc.
-- lucrative little jobs for the Italians -- are sent
occasionally to every province of the Church to make more
searching inquiries. The Vatican has several classes of spies,
from the Nuncios or formal ambassadors who settle in the capitals
of various countries and cardinals who are sent abroad to preside
at Congresses and other special functions to minor but much more
inquisitive officials. Rebellious tendencies are toned down
without any scandal, which is the bugbear of the higher clergy,
the worst offense in the ecclesiastical code. Local prelates are
advised when and how to interfere with priests who stand out from
the common rut and attract public attention by political work.
Some ask in America why Rome was not informed long ago about the
campaign of Father Coughlin, as the bishops say that the Vatican
alone could silence him. You may be sure that the Vatican knows
almost as much about Coughlin as you do.

     Here, again, is an instructive bit of experience. When I,
already a priest and a monk, went to Louvain University to study
philosophy and oriental languages I became fairly intimate with
my professor, Mercier, then the leading authority on philosophy
in the; Church and later known all over the world as Cardinal
Mercier. I was compelled to live in the monastery, but Mercier
invited me to live at his house, and I at least spent many hours
there with him. Having been commended to him by a very liberal
priest in London, I had his entire confidence and heard him use
very disdainful language about such vital doctrines as eternal
punishment. He was an advanced Modernist. Years later he became a
cardinal and whew the ignorant Pope Pius X made his truculent
attack on Modernism (or scholarship) in the Catholic Church I
read in Catholic literature that Mercier warmly supported him.
"Let there be no innovations," he said, on the most approved
Italian lines. And after his death I had to read (in Prati's
Popes and Cardinals of Modem Times, 1926) that he was "one of the
noblest characters the world has ever seen." Mercier had
described me in a long review of one of my books as a fallen
angel, an outcast.

     Finally, here is an illustration from public life. American
prelates and priests began in the last century to claim that
their Church was distinctively American, and so it was useless to
quote against it what Catholics were saying or doing in other
parts of the world. The Vatican sent an Apostolic Delegate to 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

study the matter and, as it had not yet realized the full
financial potentialities of the New World, it took normal action.
In a published letter to Cardinal Gibbons in 1899 the Pope
sternly, in fact disdainfully, condemned what he called
"Americanism"; by which he meant precisely that modification of
the Roman teaching which apologists now put before the public as
Catholic social and political ethic's. Later Popes were more
sensitive of American generosity, and the apologists are now
permitted to say that these principles are not only sound
American but sound Roman, because Jefferson a dogmatic
Materialist and his blasphemers friend John Adams learned them
from Catholic theologians!

                           Chapter III


     Do I, in speaking of the Fuhrer and the Gauleiters of the
Roman Church, suggest that it has some resemblance in structure
to that most despised and most hated corporation, the Nazi Party?
Certainly, a very close resemblance. It is an autocracy tempered
with an informal council of consultants. Its center in Rome
corresponds closely to the Nazi center in Berlin. Its regional
rulers are representatives of the Fuhrer and subject to his
control. Its aim is the same and the acquisition of power and
money -- and it clothes the aim in a profession of concern for
civilization just as the Nazi leaders clothe theirs. It is just
as convinced as they that the education of its subjects must be
monopolistic and not suffer the voice of a critic to be heard. It
realizes the hypnotic value of an incessantly repeated phrase
like "God Bless our Pope" (Heil Hitler) and "the Holy Father" and
an untroubled outpour of eulogies of "our Holy Faith." And it has
its Gestapo and other agents scattered over every country which
it has conquered or hopes to conquer: quarter of a million
priests, a vast army of monks and nuns, and an immense body of
"technical experts" (journalists, teachers, writers, paid agents,
organizers, etc.).

     The cream of this vast international service consists of the
body of priests and dignitaries (canons, monsignori, etc.) below
the level of bishops: the Gestapo men. How they work, and how
here again there is a close resemblance to Nazi methods -- except
that the priests use threats of hell instead of Dachau -- we
shall consider thoroughly in the next book, but we must have a
short chapter on them here to complete our study of the structure
of the Church.

     How many there are in the world I do not find stated in any
official or semi-official publication. One Catholic writer says
100,000, but there are more than that number in France, Germany,
and the United States, which contain only one-fifth of the
world's total of Catholics. They are very unevenly distributed.
France, which has less than 10,000,000 Catholics, and probably
not more than 6,000,000, has 51,000 priests: Brazil, which claims
46,000,000 Catholics, has only 4,000. Eire has 5,000 and Holland
2,000 to the same number of people. If you have a scientific eye 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

you will notice a relation between the number of priests and the
amount of money extractable or the comfort of the priests' life.
Brazil is, taking it by and large, a land of paupers, whole vast
areas of Indian-populated country being almost abandoned. France,
though the number of its Catholics has been reduced to about one-
fifth of the population since 1870, is a land of sleek priests. A
witty French work describes a father who has paid for a clerical
education for his son and has just seen him ordained saying to
him: "Now settle down, my boy, and get fat." Eire has much the
same conditions. America feeds its 35,000 priests generously. Let
us say that there seems to be, roundly, about quarter of a
million priests serving the interests of the Italian caucus all
over the world,

     Each of these priests is, like the Gestapo men, a pocket
edition of the head Dictator. Once a week he become's an oracle,
on any subject on which he chooses to orate, and even the best
educated man in the church must not frown at the insipidity of
his sermon or the absurdity of his statements. Periodically he
preaches on the priesthood, and he sternly insists that
Catholic's must look to the character (in the ecclesiastical
sense) not the person of a priest. He is miles removed from them
because he can by a few words convert a bit of paste into the
living body of Jesus and can forgive sins or drive out devils. He
does not mind much if some of the richer members, with higher
education, decline to take this literally provided they never
breathe their heresy except to each other. He learns about them
from their wives. He can enter any Catholic home he likes any
afternoon and demand an answer to any question he likes. If there
are no children or only one or two he must know if the smallness
of the family is a work of nature or of art. If the children do
not attend his school he peremptorily orders an immediate change.
If a daughter goes out with a non-Catholic young man he breaks
the friendship or exacts a secret promise that she will leave her
husband no peace unless all the children become Catholics. If he
sees a book written by a critic of the Church he puts it on the
fire. He must know if the husband goes to church and confession
regularly or ever attends anti-Catholic meetings; and he may
suggest an intimate treatment for bringing him to heel. . . .

     But we shall see all this in the next book. Where the
priests differ from the Gestapo is in their infinite variety. In
theory and in the opinion of many there is still an analogy. All
the Gestapo men are sadists: all the priests are deeply
religious, very wise or sagacious, and uniformly of a beautiful
nature, like the priests of whom you read in Catholic novels or
see in the films which the Church persuades Hollywood
occasionally that it is worth while producing. In the flesh
priests differ just like any other body of men. There are even
total abstainers amongst them, though drink is the chief
alleviation of their condition at which the Church connives.
Catholics who live in parishes which are served by priests who
belong to certain religious orders will tell you how it is
impossible to persuade one of them to take a drink. They do not
know that in order to edify the people, such priests are very
sternly forbidden by their rulers to drink outside their
monastery and in their own parish; but they may have their 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

revenge when they get home. Other priests use their judgment.
Visiting an Irish or otherwise jovial family that likes the
"Father O'Flynn" type of priest they will drink or joke freely,
yet carry a long face to the next house.

     In short, the most drastic element of their training is to
accommodate their external behavior to their environment. The
non-Catholic who assures you that he has met priests in the homes
of Catholic friends and that it is the sheerest nonsense to
compare these frank, genial, so very human personalities to the
sour and vicious Gestapo men is foolish. The priest is in such
circumstances just as compelled to display a professional
geniality and broadmindedness as the Gestapo man is bound by his
office to be mean and overbearing. That priest, we shall see,
believes in the right of "mental reservation" -- saying one thing
with your lips and another in your mind -- is intolerant of other
creeds to his marrow, and has a more despotic authority over his
own people than the President of the United States.

     Catholics themselves do not know the character of their
priests. I have in my travels met many ex-priests and compared
notes with them. There was a general agreement that the majority
of priests are skeptical in some degree, often completely
skeptical, but their people never suspect it. I lived from the
age of five to fifteen under the shadow of a monastery. My
childish impression of the priests, whom, as the star pupil of
their school, I knew well, are, of course, worthless, but I knew
what my elders thought of them. They were all believed to be well
above the average in character. They induced me to join the
fraternity, and ten years later I lived with them and really knew
them. Not one was above the average in character, and several
were far below it. One who had in my earlier years been regarded
by all the Catholics of the district as particularly holy and
ascetic, turned out to be an incurable dipsomaniac, an appalling
liar, and woman-chaser and had, though this step is taken with
extreme reluctance on account of the possibility of its becoming
known, to be expelled from the brotherhood. Another I found to be
quite well known to his colleagues as a seducer of girls. A
third, a robust man of considerable talent, became half-insane
through brooding over sex and the eccentric acts to which this
led in his relation's with women. A fourth, my immediate superior
for years though I had not the least suspicion of his character
and state of mind, bolted with all the money in the monastery and
was traced to a low cabaret in Brussels. Nearly all drank
generously and were of a poor type of character.

     The newest approach to a generalization on "the morals of
the priests" that I have been able to reach is that a small
minority -- hardly one in ten -- has the type of character and
the sincerity of religious feeling which are demanded by their
vows and position and are attributed to them by the laity. The
remainder vary as much as any other group of men, at least half
of them, probably much more, being unfaithful to their vows, and
just fitting as much comfort as they can into the dreary life to
which they committed themselves when they were boys or youths. It
matters little how many priests misconduct themselves with their
servantq or lady-parishioners or make periodical trips in semi-

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

disguise to the nearest city. The main point is that the
overwhelming majority are not in the least "spiritual," to use
the favorite word of those who take transcendental views on these
matters. "Holy" Orders are just part of the hypnotic phraseology,
constantly repeated -- like the excellence of soap or soup that
stamps itself on the mind by lavish advertising -- which the
Church has found so useful. Holy Father, Holy Mother the Church,
Holy Land, Holy Faith, and so on. Since, other Churches do not
use this phraseology the Catholic gets a naive idea that his own
Church is admitted to be unique and therefore not bound by the
ordinary laws of honesty and mutual tolerance. It is unique only
in its scheme of self-laudation.

     The mediocrity of character of the vast majority of the
priests is easily understood. They are mostly men who, if they
did not wear costumes that are supposed to indicate a moral
superiority to the rest of us and if they did not arrogate the
right to a moral censorship of the lives, tastes, and
entertainments of the whole community, not merely of Catholics,
would pass as ordinary decent citizens. The system has in some
respects distorted their character, and their official status
makes them hypocritical. An Irishman, whom I know well and upon
whose word I can entirely rely, told me that he and two others
entered into conversation with a priest in a train in western
Ireland. The conversation gradually warmed and in the end, as
they approached a town, the priest invited them to join him in
visiting a lady with two daughters in the town and promised very
intimate entertainment. If that priest had been talking to an
English traveler his language would have been very edifying. As a
rule they need not practice much hypocrisy in Eire, Italy, Spain,
etc. -- I have even in Melbourne seen a young Irish priest in a
hotel leave the bar and, with a wink at the barmaid, who followed
him, go upstairs -- and even in some American cities, such as
Chicago and Boston, they have now such power as to ignore the
fear of scandal. In Spain until a few years ago priests
advertised in the papers for "companions," and in South America
they quite openly frequented brothel's.

     The situation is, as I said, intelligible. It is part of the
Catholic myth that priests are men who in their youth felt a
supernatural "vocation" to serve the altar; though in recent
years I have seen clerical advertisements in Australian papers
advising youths that the "vocation" will probably come after they
have entered upon ecclesiastical studies. The wintry atmosphere
of the modern world (from the Church angle) in such countries as
America and Britain stunts the annual crop of vocations, and what
usually happens is that parish priests or teachers mark out boys
as suitable, and the great advantages and privilege's of the
priesthood -- it is the same for monks and nuns -- are impressed
upon them. Having had the charge of such boys for years, in
addition to my knowledge of my fellow-students, I am familiar
with their psychology. Becoming priests means rising to a level
of comfort and especially of social prestige which they would
otherwise never attain. Possibly in later adolescence the
unnaturalness of the celibate life will be felt by them but even
if they are already irrevocably pledged, it is too late. A
Catholic youth requires rare moral courage to go back to his 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

home-district as one who drew back from "the call." In any case
the social prestige of the priestly order, the flattering
attentions of a peculiarly large circle of girls and women, the
chances of becoming a notable preacher or rising to a higher
dignity, still beckon. Where the age-old experience of the Roman
Church does tell is in devising effective systems of this kind.

     Moral mediocrity is in most cases doubled with intellectual
mediocrity. The boys attracted today are as a rule from the
farming, the immigrant, or some similar class. Such bodies of
priests as the Jesuits, who have higher colleges, are supposed to
select their brightest pupils and carefully inspire them with a
"vocation." The utter mediocrity of Jesuit literature in modern
times, especially when we reflect that they have more leisure
than most priests, shows how false this is. The general level of
intelligence of a class of ecclesiastical students is poor. And
the system of education is calculated to restrain the development
of the more intelligent. The year or two of preparatory study,
mostly of Latin and Greek, leaves them with no idea of a real
classical education. Not one priest in hundreds could read
Tacitus or Martial in Latin, and still less keep up their very
elementary knowledge of Greek. After that the years of study are
stupefying. Two years, perhaps, are devoted to studying a system
of philosophy which is beneath the contempt of philosophers (and
quickly forgotten) and three or four to systems of moral and
dogmatic theology and spiritual study on Fundamentalist lines. In
the rare seminaries in which science or general history is taught
it is ruthlessly emasculated. My professor of philosophy
illustrated a point by alleging the mystery of the distance of
the moon from the earth, and I contracted my first suspicion of
rebelliousness by speaking out and telling him the distance.

     The great majority forget even these acquirements as rapidly
as the youth or girl forgets the lessons of the primary and the
high school. They are abysmally ignorant from the viewpoint of
modern culture. Their reading, when they read at all, is
generally confined to articles in Catholic weeklies and monthlies
and the cheaper Catholic literature. They protest that no book-
learning is required for the discharge of their functions.
Theoretically the Catholic youth who has felt doubt from
conversation with non-Catholics or from indiscreet and forbidden
reading is supposed to lay the matter before the priest in
confessing his sins. In practice he looks for an apologetic work
or consults the Catholic Encyclopedia. He might as well consult a
professional politician, even on points of ecclesiastical
history, as a priest. Few priests have even an elementary
knowledge of science, philosophy, economics, literature, or art.
The innumerable writers of the Church have, they say, relieved
them of responsibility in this respect, and the daily round of
their functions requires only a minimum of professional
knowledge. This life is really mechanical: the daily celebration
of Mass (which it would take you an hour to read and they run
through in 25 minutes), recital of their office (which is
gabbled, with lips only, at more than 200 words a minute and
without any attention to the meaning), the pleasant visits to the
brighter homes of parishioners in the afternoon, and the services
or society-meetings after dinner. The priest of the Catholic 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

novel, or of the novelist who aims to conciliate Catholics -- the
wise, placid, far-seeing priest who drops such pearls of wisdom
-- is a myth. Few priests could read an article in a scientific,
philosophical, or economic journal. Mercier once lent me, when I
was studying at Louvain, Paul Janet's work Les causm finales. The
friars, who regarded with deep suspicion mt intimacy with the
future cardinal, reported me for reading works on necromancy or
spiritualism or something of that kind. Mereier spoke about them
to me exactly as I am speaking here.

     These are the men who, like the Gestapo in Germany, and most
of Europe, make the final application of the Italian system to
the millions of the Pope's subjects. They differ, naturally, in
different countries. A priest in rural Brazil, Portugal, or
Poland, who tells his people that practically all Britons and
Americans, being Protestant, are damned or a priest in Eire who
tells a young man, with a loud crack of the clerical whip, that
he will not marry him or let any other priest marry him for less
than $40, would not prosper in Boston, or San Francisco. But we
shall see enough of this, and of the prudent adaptation of
Catholic teaching in countries in which the Church is in a
minority, in later books. It is enough here that this is the
machinery by means of which a broad Papal policy, such as the
libelling of Russia and Communism, is stamped upon the minds of
millions. With the priests, as I said, cooperate vast crowds of
monks, nuns, religious brothers, journalists, teachers, etc., but
these general remarks will suffice for my present purpose.

                           Chapter IV

                          THE MONEY-BOX

     It is more important to understand, as far as one can, the
financial system of the Church of Rome. I have said that the
analogy to the Nazi party is completed by an identity of aim: the
protection or augmentation of the power and Wealth of the Black
International. Naturally the primary and general aim is wealth. A
certain number of the abler members of the clerical army have
that peculiar itching of the mind, so morbidly developed in
Hitler and Mussolini and the Japanese leaders, which is called
the Lust for power, but I leave that to psycho-analysts and
concentrate on the acquisition of wealth.

     I have already met the charge that in presenting the Roman
Church in this light, as an economic corporation that is
primarily concerned to keep up and enlarge the numbers of its
contributing members, I am ignoring nine-tenths of the life of
the Church and fastening upon a purely formal and superficial
resemblance to secular corporations. The man who, usually with an
air of superiority, charges me with this, really confirms the
analogy I have traced between the Roman Church and the Nazi
party, for what he says for the Roman clergy is much the same as
what we heard from the Nazi leaders a few years ago when the
secret of their wealth was made public. Their primary aim, they
said, indignantly, was not to acquire wealth either for
themselves or the German people but to impress upon the world a 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

new ideology which would inspire a greater civilization and, by
conquest, ensure that the exceptionally gifted German race should
have the power to protest it. Your amiable professor or literary
man retorts that they were lying by the clock. But all he knows
about the primary aim of the priests, prelates, and popes of the
Roman Church comes, similarly, from themselves, and he knows
nothing about their character except what they tell him. He
refuses to read the Works in which I give hundreds of
illustrations of their untruthfulness, insincerity, or duplicity
in propaganda. He refuses to believe the assurance of men like
myself who have lived intimately among them for years that their
body is saturated with skepticism and very poor in what he calls

     Another type of critic asks me why I fasten on the Roman
clergy when all clerical corporations are in the same position.
But the reason ought to be clear. I have proved that the three
bandit-nations had very grave encouragement and assistance from
the Black International in preparing and launching upon the world
their avalanche of brutal fury and greed. That sets Roman far
apart from other Churches. You may heavily blame the Lutheran
Church in Germany for supporting the Nazis or the Buddhist
priests in Japan for helping the treacherous and callous leaders
of their country, but the guilt of this is immeasurably less than
the evil done by the world-wide and hypocritical action of the
Black International.

     There is a further difference. Numbers of Protestant
ministers have told me not merely that they themselves reject
Christian dogmas but that such rejection is very widespread in
their body. They claim that for all that they are "doing good"
and will remain in their Churches. But skepticism about the
ideology which they preach is bound to be far more widespread in
the Roman clergy, and the unnatural life to which the Church
binds them gives it a more cynical tinge. What, in a word, is the
essence of the Catholic claim to such superiority over other
Churches that you must excuse their arrogance and intolerance?
They have had to abandon the idea, which they still held a
generation ago, that "outside the ark" (their Church) there was
no possibility of salvation, but they insist that their Church,
with its "real presence" of Christ in the consecrated wafer, its
priests who can absolve from sin and its punishment, its "Holy
Orders" and infallible Pope, makes it far easier and surer to
attain salvation. From the viewpoint of the modern educated man
or woman, Theist or Atheist, that is a crass and childish
superstition. It belongs essentially to the Middle Ages and
easily breaks down even in the mind of priests who read nothing
more stimulating to the intelligence than Catholic weeklies and
detective novels.

     Professional men are, from the economist's angle, men who
sell services to the community just as others sell commodities.
Priests sell their services in this sense. They are an economic
corporation like lawyers or doctors. But there is the mighty
difference that, while all the world acknowledges the value of
other professional services, at least four-fifths of the educated
world regards with disdain those services which the Catholic 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

Church claims to be peculiar to itself. The readiness of so many
to say that we must look to their moral and social service is due
either to lack of will or of leisure to make an exact study of
such services, in which case the scientific ideal should compel
them to be silent, or to even less respectable motives. I have
shown repeatedly in detailed an of every aspect of social conduct
-- and later books of this series will consider some -- that the
Church renders no such service to civilization; and the preceding
ten books have shown that its disservice immensely outweighs any
such service that it could plausibly claim. It sells to
200,000,000 folk services that are in the conviction of the
modern world as fraudulent as those of any charlatan, and the
price it gets for its services will astonish the reader. We ought
here to take into account the funded wealth as well as the annual
income of the Black International or -- since the laity have no
share whatever in the wealth -- of the clergy, higher and lower,
in every country as well as in Rome. A large work would be
required to cover that field, and we must here restrict ourselves
to the income of the Vatican or the Pope and his Italian
satellites and servants. The reader should, however, not forget
that this Roman annual income is only a tithe of what the
200,000,000 Catholics pay for the services of their clergy. The
Church in the United States is computed to have a wealth of
$4,000,000,000 and an income, of at least $800,000,000, a large
part of which is annually invested and adds to the mountain of
wealth. The Church in Germany, or (mainly) in those provinces of
Germany which did not leave the Church at the Reformation, was
equally wealthy until the Nazis began to take over schools and
institutions. The Church in Spain is estimated to have had until
recent years more than two-thirds of all the money and one-third
of all the real estate in the country. This is an estimate by a
Catholic Spanish bishop. Another Catholic writer illustrated its
wealth by saying that $7,500,000 worth of candles and incense
were burned in Spanish churches every year, and that the jewels
on one statue of the Virgin at Toledo were worth $100,000.
American writers computed that before the Philippines were taken
over the Church squeezed 113,000,000 pesetas a year out of the
poor people.

     Here, however, I have space only to give some idea of the
income of the Papacy, which more closely concerns us. Every
writer who touches on the subject observes that the total and the
details are kept a strict secret by the Vatican officials. Pius
XI is admired because he introduced expert accountants into the
Vatican. As I said, the attitude to finance was to that time so
slovenly and the graft so general that although in recent decades
the income has been hundreds of millions of dollars a year the
treasury was empty at the death of Pius X and almost empty at the
death of Benedict XV. Admiration is hardly the sentiment with
which in such circumstances we regard the action of Pius XI, but
whatever improvement there has been the secrecy is still strictly
maintained. It is, in fact, very doubtful if the Vatican draws
up, even for the information of the Pope and the Secretary of
State alone, a balance-sheet which shows the total annual income.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     In an earlier booklet I said that G. Seldes (The Vatican),
who has an interesting chapter on Vatican finance, puts the total
at a billion dollars. His book is so favorable to Catholicism and
won such recommendation from American Catholics that I concluded,
until I read his more recent and more critical work, The Catholic
Crisis, that he was probably a member of the Church and therefore
not likely to exaggerate its income. Almost the only thing which
the Black International and its admirers do not exaggerate is the
revenue of the Church. But hiving had occasion to consult my
notes again I found that I misquoted Seldes. He did not say a
billion dollars but a billion lire (and a lire at par is little
over one-fifth of a dollar).

     I ought therefore for once to apologize for an inaccuracy
but there are circumstances which dispense me. Seldes stated on
the age of his work that the "historical section" of it is based
a work by two French Catholics, London and Pichon, Le Vatican et
le monde moderne. But his book is a translation not merely of the
historical part but of the whole of the French work, though with
very large and useful additions. The paragraph from which I
quoted is a literal translation from the French -- but with an
alteration of four letters which makes a mountainous difference.
London and Pichon do not say that the total annual income of the
Vatican must be "a billion lire" but "billions of lire." When you
are thinking in billions it really makes a material difference
whether you say "one" or "several." The common-sense
interpretation of the expression used by the French Catholic
experts is that annual income of the Vatican (several billion
lire) must be between half a billion and a billion dollars.

     On one other point in this connection I should warn the
reader that Seldes's book, valuable as it is, is misleading. He
enlarges on the severe loss to the Papal treasury (which he
exaggerates) when Italy took from it the Papal State's or the
Pope's kingdom in Central Italy. It is not very clear how they
yielded something between five and ten million dollars a year to
the Pope when they were miserably poor, administered (by priests)
with gross inefficiency and graft, and loaded with debt. However
the point is that the loans were loans to the Papal Court, raised
from extortionate bankers not for expenditure on the provinces
but on the Court; and the Italian government, though by 50 to 1
the inhabitants voted for removal from the Pope's rule, and
conquerors are scarcely in the habit of giving compensation even
for provinces taken against the will of the inhabitants, at once
offered the Pope the compensation of 3,250,000 lire a year.
Seldes does not clearly explain this but quotes (p. 247) the
rather dishonest and certainly stupid complaint of Cardinal
Vaughan: "The robber's refused to take over the burdens with the
stolen provinces." The provinces eagerly joined the new kingdom
of Italy: the debts were on the security of the provinces but not
for, use in them: and the robbers offered such compensation or
price for the provinces that the accumulated interest in 1929,
which was handed over to the Papacy, amounted to more than

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     This vast sum, which was really the price of the Pope's
silence when Mussolini thought fit to begin his brutal
aggressions, ought to be today one of the chief sources of the 
Vatican's income. Nearly half of it was given in bonds of the
Italian, State, and though the Italians themselves lose a
colossal sum by their loans to the practically bankrupt state,
one suspects that Mussolini finds it prudent to pay the Pope's
share of the interest. It certainly gives the Papacy a very acute
interest in the maintenance of Fascism, for if Socialists
obtained power they would assuredly repudiate the dishonorable
bargain. The remainder of the bribe was paid in cash. Part of it
is still in bullion in the Vatican treasury, and a very large
part was invested by the Papacy in French and Hungarian railways:
which gave the Papacy a stake in the stability of those countries
or a lively concern to see them paralyze Socialism and Communism.
I have been informed from America that the Papacy gets its agents
to invest the greater part in the richer interest-bearing
enterprises of the States -- the depression was not yet in sight
-- and that it was buried under the snow-storm of the fall of
that year (1929). I offer no guarantee whatever of the soundness
of this statement.

     Since we know nothing about those new account-books of the
Vatican we can see only that this sum ought to yield at least
$5,000,000 a year and of itself makes the Pope a multi-
millionaire. But the Vatican, which is not subject to common
human laws, can have its cake and eat it too. As soon as the
first of the Papal provinces were taken from it by the Italian
armies and the emphatic. provinces vote of the inhabitants the
Pope sent out an agonizing call to the whole Catholic world.
Catholics must save him from beggary -- you may remember that it
was at this time that Cardinal Antonelli, born in a peasant's
hut, amassed a fortune of $20,000,000 -- by contributing to an
annual collection called Peter's Pence. In the Middle Ages this
had meant a fixe Papal tax of a penny (then a quite respectable
coin) on every Catholic hearth in the world, but it was now a
voluntary collection to which rich and poor contributed according
to their means. Within a few years it was yielding $4,000,000 a
year. The latest figures I find are that it was yielding about
$5,000,000 before the depression of 1929 began, and Catholics
boast that, whoever starved in the new era, the present to the
Papacy was maintained.

     The main source of income is, however, the price of the
administrative work of the Vatican, just as the payment for the
services of the cardinals, priests, and officials employed in it
is the chief item of expenditure. The work is, as I said, divided
between 13 Congregations, which correspond to Departments of
State in a secular government, and few people have an idea of its
volume. In any large and international business it is a fixed
principle that the supreme or control office shall not be
bothered with queries and solutions of difficulties that are
within the competence of branch officials. In the Roman Church it
is rather the reverse. All over the world bishops and priests
have to encourage appeals to Rome, even on such matters as
whether Mrs. Smith in some small town in America may send her
children in exceptional circumstances to a National School and 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

whether her daughter may marry a second or third cousin or a
Protestant. Marriage, in fact, which the Church professes to have
raised to the rank of a sacrament in the interest of
civilization, is one of the most lucrative interests of the Black
International. It is hedged about with restrictions from which a
dispensation must be obtained from Rome. The Catholic must not
marry one who is related to him or her, either by blood or
marriage within the fourth degree. A dispensation is needed to
marry a non-Catholic, and disputes arise about the validity of
the marriage as its consummation which may lead to causes
celebres, costing thousands of dollars, at the Roman Tribunals.
The amazing procedure in this connection will have to be
considered at length in a later book, but the non-Catholic who
imagines that matrimony is a simple matter in the Roman Church --
that the priest links you to a man or woman you remain linked for
life -- is very far astray. And this is only one source of the
petitions and cases that are submitted daily to the "Sacred
Congregationi" of Cardinals it Rome.

     A conservative detailed account of their work will be found
in the Catholic Encyclopedia, and it is hardly necessary to warn
the reader that when a service is described as gratuitous you
understand the word as certain eminent amateurs of sport or
aristocratic dames who give their names to charities understand
it. There are always "expenses." When Count Marconi got a
declaration of the nullity of his marriage (which was blessed by
the Holy Ghost with several children) to Miss O'Brien (19 years
earlier) so that he could marry a Catholic countess and merely
paid "the expenses" one wonders whether they happened to be less
than $50,000. I have spoken of the canonization of Sir Thomas
More when the British Catholics were presented with a bill for
expenses (including a massive gold chalice as souvenir for the
Pope) amounting to $85,000. Such plums are rare, but the great
volume of ordinary work and consultation by priests all over the
world carries with it a very large total sum of money.

     There is no need here to list the Congregations and analyze
their work. First of them is the Holy Office, once the dreaded
Inquisition and now a very tame bureau of sleek priests for
granting, for a consideration, certain classes of matrimonial
dispensations. The second, the Congregation of the Consistory,
primarily has to organize the Papal election (Consistory) but
this would give the cardinals -- and official's too meager a
share of the Papal income, and they now arrange the formation of
new dioceses and the difficulties of bishop's in their dioceses,
receive reports of the titled spies whom the Vatican sends about
the world, grant (sell) ecclesiastical distinctions, etc. The
Congregation of the Sacraments has a very busy time hearing
doubts and disputes about the administration of the seven
sacraments, especially (except in regard to mixed marriages)
matrimony, all over the world. A bishop cannot allow priests to
say Mass outside the prescribed hours or places or make other
alterations of the ritual without its permission. The
Congregation of the Council takes over the innumerable questions
that are grouped under "discipline," both of the secular clergy
and the laity; granting, dispensations from or modifications of
the law of fasting and abstinence, hearing cases of 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

irregularities, and so on; while the next Congregation on the
list discharges this enormous task in regard to monks and nuns.
-- The Congregation of Propaganda takes care of all missionary
fields and administers all Catholic provinces where there is not
yet a hierarchy (which it is in no hurry to establish) and the
Congregation of the Index helps out its shrinking income by now
attending to questions of liturgy and canonization. These are
only half the departments, and behind them are three Tribunals
(or lucrative courts of appeal for the wealthy) and various
"Offices," but what I have said will suffice to give some idea of
the immense volume of work. All experts agree that these furnish
the largest element of the Papal income.

     Probably the next largest element consists of gifts to the
Pope or St. Peters. A Catholic -- if I ever have such a reader --
would wince when I rather flippantly described on an earlier page
the usual tariff for the privilege of "seeing the Pope," but,
except that non-Catholics of distinction are at times admitted to
interviews without fee for political reasons, this is the
recognized practice. Seldes gives a dollar each as the
contribution of the poorer American pilgrims who stand in a
bunch, open-mouthed, at some distance from the Pope. All are
"expected" to pay, and as pilgrims from France, Spain, Italy,
etc., in the summer often run to 1,000 or 2,000 the total sum is
large -- what rich American and British Catholics who "talk" to
the Pope pay one must imagine. In one year, Seldes says, the
Knights of Columbus gave the Pope $250,000, and in 1925 the Pope
received, at the prescribed financial distances, 1,250,000
Catholic pilgrims.

     Another source of income that is not generally known is from
certain Papal Domains and royalty rights. The Vatican takes a
large (unknown) percentage of the immense profits of the
fraudulent shrine of the Virgin at Lourdes, and of the still more
grossly fraudulent shrine at Loreto in Italy, where Catholics
still pay vast sums to see the actual house, transported to Italy
by angels, in which Mary lived at Nazareth 1900 years ago. Until
a few years ago it had a similar royalty right on the enormous
sale of indulgences in Spain and Spanish America, and no small
part of its sacred fury against the Reds is due to the fact that
the Socialists and Rationalists drove this traffic off the
market. Whether Franco has restored it I cannot ascertain. It
used to yield millions of pesetas yearly.

     The sale of titles is another rich source of revenue. It
would, I suppose, be libel to suggest that the hundreds or so
wealthy Catholics who bear Papal titles (countess, marquis,
Marchioness, knight, etc.) in democratic America paid cash for
them, but on the general question the French and Italian Catholic
writers are candid. Jean de Bonnfon has published a piquant work
(La menagerie du Vatican, 1906) in which he gives biographical
details of the 300 French men and women -- the large-minded
Vatican grants a (rich) woman a title in her own right -- in
France who hold these titles. From a Roman source he quotes that
the (pre-war) tariff was 100,000 lire for the rank of duke,
25,000 for a count, 12,000 for a baron, and so on.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     These are only a few of the more regular and familiar
sources of revenue. Seldes gives a further illustration for which
I must acknowledge my indebtedness to him. Mussolini's bargain
with the Pope in 1929 included the right of the Vatican to have
its own postage stamps, and the Director of the Papal Posts made
a profit on them of $5,000,000 in a few months; and he had
thoughtfully put a date on them so that a new issue was required.
Seldes observed that collectors and dealers bought them up
everywhere. He, does not seem to know that the faithful were
encouraged to buy them all over the world as souvenirs of the
restoration of the Papacy to royal power.

     But there are other vast and steady sources of income of
which Seldes knows nothing. Under their shirts or chemises (or
whatever it is that women wear next to the skin) most Catholics
wear, and all are urged to wear, holy medals, scapulars, Agnus
Deis, or other charms (against the devil, accident, disease,
etc.) which have been "blessed by the Pope." All that the Pope
has done, of course, was to wag his fingers at a room-full of
them, but the simple-minded Catholic is content. This traffic is
enormous. Less in volume but on a much higher scale, is the trade
in relics. Every new altar that is consecrated must (on Vatican
orders) contain a relic of a saint, and the Vatican has to supply
it. Naturally it charges only for the metal case and the voucher
of authenticity, but you would be surprised at the price of metal
and parchment in Rome. They are just as spurious as they were in
the Middle Ages. "In fact, the Vatican. manufactures relics
today. In my clerical days I found a Jesuit selling to pious
ladies in London in a house-to-house visitation bits of the
cassock of a canonized priest (whose biographer boasted that one
ragged cassock had sufficed him all his life). When I pointed out
the fraud he laughingly explained that a bale of cloth had
touched the genuine relics. Then the Vatican has its share in the
price of Masses. Quarter of a million are said daily and some
Catholic pays for each. In America the minimum tariff is a
dollar, and the rich give large sums. Rich churches with too many
commissions farm them out to countries with a cheaper tariff. And
from all presbyters that have a little spare fat, all nunneries
and monasteries, the surplus goes, through the bishops, to Rome..

     Do you begin to see why I call the Black International an
economic corporation aiming at wealth and power? Why it hates
Russia and Atheism? Why it forms alliances with any criminals who
promise to destroy Socialism? Why, in short, it played the part I
have described in the monstrous world-plot against humanity and

                          ****     ****

    Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

   The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old,
hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts
and information for today. If you have such books please contact
us, we need to give them back to America.

                          ****     ****

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201