by Joseph McCabe

                     GIRARD  -- : --  KANSAS

                          ****     ****

     I    A Picture of Life in a Catholic Country ............. 1

    II    Those Beautiful Papal Encyclicals ................... 7

   III    The Action Record of the Black International ....... 14

    IV    The Comedy of Christian Socialism .................. 20

     V    The Churches and Radical Injustice ................. 26

                          ****     ****

                            Chapter I


     A few weeks ago there came to me, by a subterranean route, a
poignant letter from a man who has lived, in intimacy with the
people, for many years in a Catholic country of Europe. The press
always refers to this country as a happy little land of democratic
sympathies and entirely Roman Catholic. Its virtual ruler is
described as a particularly enlightened, upright, and humane
statesman. You have probably seen films of groups of its workers
singing, laughing, and dancing merrily in a sunny world; though if
you had not been misled by press-references you would have detected
signs of extreme poverty and would have seen that the gaiety is
that of illiterate, densely ignorant men and women at, culturally,
the lowest level of civilized life. In spite of disease,
exploitation, and poverty they are "happy," in a sub-human way --
until they begin to question the justice of the joint tyranny of
Church and Dictator. But the bold bad man is quickly removed to a
jail in which the vilest medieval torture is used today -- one
American writer who is not anti-Catholic has described these 
tortures -- or to the purgatory of a penal colony.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     The first letter I received told me that the land is entirely
Fascist, which I knew; that all the priests belong to the Fascist
party, which is also called Catholic Action and holds its meetings
in the Churches, and that every boy or youth works in it. The local
newspapers praise the Germans every day as well as the Italians. In
the course of a recent editorial one said: "If God so wills it we
must substitute the cross of the Swastika for the cross of Christ."
The British and American papers which were then assuring us that
"the brave little people" would resist the German pressure which
was being exerted on them did not quote this. A priest, praising
Hitler in a sermon said that he was "appointed by God to punish the
world for its irreligion." But my informant added a concrete little
picture which stimulated my appetite for further news.

     On the outskirts of the city a man -- not a poor working man
but an educated and comfortable man -- had a farm. His most
valuable pig fell ill, and my friend suggested sending for a vet.
Oh, no, what could a vet do against the Evil Eye? Next morning a
solemn procession made its way from the church to the sty. The
priest wore over his cassock and surplice a richly embroidered
shawl that is used in dealing with the devil. Altar-boys, one
swinging a censer, walked on either side of him, and the people,
mumbling on their beads, walked behind. They fell on their knees
round the sty while the priest waved the fumes of incense at the
pig and recited his incantations. The pungent smoke got up the
pig's nose, and it staggered to its feet; and the people cried "A
miracle." The priest received his 100 eggs and 2 hens, but the pig
died next day. Seeing that it was going to die, the owner had sold
it to the local butcher to be turned into food for the people. He
then quietly substituted another pig for it, and this wallowed in
the same poisonous filth as its predecessor; but there was now a
bottle of holy water hanging from the roof of the sty to protect

     I naturally wanted more of this for my readers, and I got it.
Before I quote it let me explain. My informant would be ruined and
punished if he were traced, so I make certain details not as
convenient as they might be for the Catholic detective. He is not
a working man but a well-educated middle-class man of high
character. The place from which he writes is not a rural district
but an old city of 30,000 people, well known to thousands of
Americans and Britons, but they are either Catholics or they prefer
to keep their mouths closed. The country will doubtless be
identified by some of my reader's, but I will say only that it is
not at all considered the most backward in Europe, though the great
majority of the workers are illiterate. It is solidly Catholic. The
writer is absolutely reliable both in regard to first-hand
knowledge and on conscientiousness, and I omit from the long
account only a few passages that are relevant to my purpose:

     "A few year's ago this country made a Pact with the Vatican,
and one notices more and more the growing power of the Church. At
government ceremonies, which are often held out of doors here, the
bishop (who by the way has eight illegitimate children) leads the
procession in full regalia and gives the Fascist salute. A new law
has been passed by which all schools must be of one sex, with the
subtle idea of putting the secular schools out of action. This law 
applies even to infants' schools.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     "I know the wife of a chemist whose husband is being
threatened by the priests with boycott as she refuses to attend
mass. A man can have as many mistresses as he likes but it is a
crime for a couple to set up home together unless they are married.
It is forbidden to let them a house. Civil marriage is done away
with, and one can only marry in the church. There is much
emigration to South America, and if a person takes a letter from a
priest Saying that he is a good Catholic he can get a good job. Of
courage, an offering for masses will always secure a good letter
though one never goes to mass. ... A Spanish friend of mine
described the national system in a nutshell. He said it was as if
the head of a family had a large box of gold heavily guarded and
refused to part with a penny of it though all the family were dying
of hunger. A writer described this country as a huge prison kept
down by force. There is a state of misery here that you never could
imagine. I happened to know well a skilled workman who has two
weeks off work and two weeks on, and he earns 85 cents a day when
working. But when he has paid his dues to the Syndicate [the form
of Trade Union imposed on Catholics by the Papal Encyclical and
counts his two weeks idle his pay works out at 35 cents a day, and
on this seven people must live. ... The cruel joke is that there is
a law that no man must get less than 50 cents a day but the
government themselves pay 20 cents. The usual wage of a workman is
25 cents. So, being unable to live on that as he invariably has a
big family he must send his children on the streets to beg. The
streets are thronged with starving whining beggars, with little
children with their stomachs swollen, and dropping blood in the
streets in the last stages of starvation.

     "Property rights are very severe, and a man may 'Shoot on
sight any who enters his property. Lately on the property of the
richest Englishman here two men were found speared to death. One
was a poor old man of 72 who was collecting a few sticks for his
fire, and one a young fellow who had the audacity to use the
property as a short cut. No one took any notice. I just happened to
hear of the incident as I lived near. All relations between the
people are vicious, and there is none of that kindly feeling or
sympathy that one gets among the poor in England. The rich have
their houses barred and bolted and scarcely ever help. Their
surplus money goes to building private chapels or at least
enriching them; as there is one in every rich or middle-class
house, or else the money goes directly to the Church. ... For every
one who finds comfort there are 99 who only find terror and worry.
My life as a R.C. was a horror. I lived in terror of sin, terror of
confession, terror of sex, and the supreme terror was of death and
hell. How often I lay shivering in bed thinking that this night I
would surely die and be weighed in the scales of God, so
graphically described to me by the Catholic teachers. Other nights
I lay listening, listening for the devil's cart, driven by headless
horsemen and horses and conveying the children who did not say
their prayers, and I pictured with what glee the devil would throw
them into hell. As a farmer's cart passed rattling over the cobble
stone's in my imagination I could hear the devil's chains rattling
and thought it would stop at our door and collect me. When day came
I was braver and followed all the funerals to the cemetery to make
the sign of the Cross over the Catholic graves and spit on the
Protestant ones. I waited, trembling, for the serpent to jump out 
of my mouth after making what I thought was a bad communion.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     "All hospitals are in the hands of religious [monks and nuns]
with no qualifications whatever and more often than not illiterate.
I had occasion to go to the Red Cross the other day. The doctor was
absent, and not one of the three nuns in charge could write a note
for him. A trained nurse offered her services free to the hospital
but they refused as she was not a nun. A young girl whom I know,
living with a man, was forced to have an operation without an
anaesthetic in punishment for her sin. She has been a nervous wreck
ever since. I saw a sweet little girl of four die the other day.
The priest had advised them not to have a doctor as God had need of
another little angel in heaven. A man was dying with T.B. and a
foreign nurse begged to be allowed to give him a drug but the
priest forbade it, as it would be against the will of God. Man must

     "To me child labor is the most terrible crime here. They have
little children from the age of seven onward as servants, and they
sometimes pay them nothing. The parents are glad to get rid of them
for their keep. They usually sleep on the floor in the coal-bin and
are often beaten. Someone once recommended to me a woman to do
washing, and a well-dressed woman, armed with a stick, came along
with a little boy of about ten. She was going to superintend while
he did the washing. One never sees a child playing on the streets,
nor are there any parks or playgrounds for them. The schools are
free, but the parents must provide books, etc. and children without
books are not allowed to enter: an order which excludes. all the
poor. The teachers are unqualified. The soldiers get about half a
cent a day and two meals of meat, but one can get exemption by
paying, so the army is composed of the poor and under-nourished.

     "I expect you read in the papers how our government was
unanimously elected. It was such a farce. A notice appeared in the
papers saying: "Go and vote. Your vote won't count, but go and vote
and show the world you are all with the government." They forgot to
add: "If you don't vote you will lose your job." The government is
putting up a lot of show buildings while there is a terrible dearth
of houses for the people. Rents are high in comparison with wages.
The houses at $8 a month are one or two-roomed and usually without
windows. I have seen a Seven-roomed house without windows. The
houses are close together and no sun enters. It is usual after a
rainy day -- and it often rains here -- to see all the bedding out
on the street drying."

     The rest of the letter is too personal and might give more
away than the writer supposes. I will note only that revolt against
this brutal system flickers up here and there but the spread of the
fire is truculently prevented. There is actually a small
Freethought Society in the town, but it meets in such secrecy that
my informant has never been able to get in touch with it. The eyes,
and ears of the priests are everywhere, and if the economic weapon
does not intimidate the incipient rebel there is always the jail or
the penal settlement. Ironically, some fled there from the triumph
of clerical Fascism elsewhere, and now they writhe in the shadow of
an equal tyranny.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     But the above extracts, referring to many sides of life in a
strictly Catholic city, will suffice for my purpose. I do not 
suppose that in America the apologist explains the defects of his
church, as he does in Britain, as due entirely to its Protestant
environment. You should see Catholic life in a Catholic country, he
is fond of saying. It must be difficult to use that piece of pious
deception in the United States. Folk down south are too near to
Mexico and up north too near to Quebec; while engineers and others
who have lived in Columbia, Bolivia, or Brazil tell funny stories.
Most people, however, know these foreign lands only from films
which conceal more than they show, and this little sketch of life
in a really Catholic city -- it is 90 percent Catholic and 70
percent illiterate -- heavily rebukes the apologist.

     I should like to follow it up with a sketch of life in Russia
before the Beasts of Berlin broke unto it. Sociologists generally
agree that one of the best tests of a civilization is the way it
treats its children; one ought to say, how it treats the children
of workers. Whatever faults some find in Russia or the Soviet Union
it is agreed by all experts on this side of its life that it gives
a better time to the children than any other country in the world.
Before the Revolution or the last war the children had as miserable
a time as in this Catholic country. One of the toughest problems
the Soviet authorities had to solve was the reduction of juvenile
crime, and travelers in Tsarist Russia used to tell of child
prostitutes of 13 soliciting openly near the baths. Now Russia, and
especially Moscow, treat children as honored guests. They neither
beg nor work and they are poles removed from the cruelly-treated
starvelings, dripping blood on the streets, of this Catholic city.
Instead of being excluded from schools because they have no shoes
-- which in Russia happens only in summer in the country -- the
poorest have the same teaching and the same holidays and
entertainments as the children of the best paid.

     But I am concerned here with the workers not with the
children, though the fact that vast numbers of them cannot feed the
large families which the priests compel them to have is a
significant detail. A Catholic writer will tell you only, and
proudly, that there is a minimum wage fixed by law. Here, from one
who has moved intimately among them for years -- I can vouch for
that -- is the truth. They are "the stinkers" as the Tsarist
aristocrats used to call the workers, the "clods" as rich folk
called them in medieval England. They may be killed for gathering
a little fallen wood on or taking a short cut through your estate.
It is a picture of comprehensive injustice and exploitation.

     But how far is this representative of the condition of the
workers in Catholic countries generally? Let us try to ascertain
this on strict sociological lines. In which countries of the world
have the great majority of the workers, by general agreement, the
highest standard of living? I confine the comparison to the great
majority, the regular worker's, because the poorest are at much the
same level of life in all countries. If there is any difference
their condition is exceptionally bad in such Catholic countries as
Poland (before the war), Spain, Portugal, and Brazil. In any case
we reach a sound verdict only if we compare the great mass of the
people in different countries.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     It will surely be admitted that the highest standard of living
for the largest majority of the workers is enjoyed in the United
States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland, prewar Germany, and prewar France. I would put them in
that order but there is no need to go into that question. The point
is that these are all countries in which the Church of Rome has no
influence on the status of the workers. The one-eighth Catholic
minority in America and France and the one-twenty-fifth minority in
Britain may help to sour certain aspects of public life by Sunday
Laws, Blue Laws, Marriage Laws, etc., but we should smile if they,
claimed to have any responsibility for the economic basis of the
standard of life of the workers. If this were the place to go more
fully into the question we might make a stronger case. While for
instance, the workers of the United States will be put by most
students -- some, who know the vast range of free services in
Russia might prefer the Soviet workers -- at the head of the list
it is very doubtful if we should find as high a proportion of
Catholic workers -- Poles, Irish, Italians, Mexicans, etc. -- in
the higher as in the lower class of workers.

     But we must take it here on broad lines. The countries in
which the workers are best-off are those in which Catholicism is
not among the factors which determine the standard of living. At
the next level we should, still looking only to economic and social
well-being, put Holland -- many might put this at the higher level
-- Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Jugo-Slavia, Rumania, and
Bulgaria. The proportion of Catholic influence rises and the
standard of living falls. And at the lowest of three levels few
would hesitate to put Spain, Portugal, Poland, and the Latin-
American Republics generally. I have omitted Czecho-Slovakia only
because of its composite nature, but everybody knows that the
status of the workers was highest in Bohemia, lower in more
Catholic Moravia, and lowest in entirely Catholic Slovakia. Asia we
naturally leave out of comparison.

     We might go further and cheek our conclusion by asking in
which countries and under what condition the status of the workers
has risen most rapidly in recent times and in which it has advanced
little or not at all. Russia takes first place, and the character
of the uplifting factors is well known. The least Catholic part of
Czecho-Slovakia and Denmark probably come next. If we distinguish
periods of betterment and periods of reaction we have to assign a
notable advance to the Spaniards and the Austrians under Socialism
and a notable reaction to the Italian workers during the last
twelve years and to those of Austria, Spain, Portugal, and Latin
America generally since they passed under the Papal-Fascist flag.
If the present Fascist-Catholic rulers (under Germany) of Belgium
and France were to survive and carry out their declared plans the
status of the workers there also would deteriorate.

     In fact, we come in the end to a very interesting and
significant contrast. The democracies -- the United States,
Britain, Czecho-Slovakia, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway,
and Sweden (all non-Catholic) -- will, when Nazism is destroyed,
resume their character and progress. The Vatican, on the other hand
seeks, whatever the issue of the war is, to retain control of
Belgium, France, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

Spanish-American Republics and combine them in a Catholic League,
and it has prescribed their economic form in the solemn language of
a Papal Encyclical. What will that mean for the workers? Well, the
country of which I have given a description in this chapter
declares that it has, in its loyalty to Rome. adopted precisely
this economic structure urged by the Popes. This fact is so
flagrantly opposed to what Catholic apologists in America say about
the Popes and the workers that we must examine the matter

                           Chapter II


     A learned professor of religious views scribbled a marginal
note on a page of one of my books in which I had summed up vile
social condition of Europe in the last century, after 1500 year of
Papal power. With the usual air of superiority he wrote: "But the
Churches only took up social work at the end of the 19th Century."
Which was precisely my complaint. For nearly 15 centuries the Roman
clergy had contemplated without any serious interference with it,
a social order in which, apart from it other vices, the great mass
of the people, the workers, were treated with grave injustice and,
during most of the time with contempt and cruelty.

     If an apologist were to plead that the clergy had so much to
do in looking after the immortal souls of men that you could not
expect them to study social conditions you would smile, if you know
the moral history of Europe, but you might grant the plea a certain
amount of logic. But the Catholic apologist does not, and dare not,
put forward that very frail excuse. He says, on the contrary, that
the Church is, and always was, the friend, the very best friend, of
the workers. I hardly need to quote Catholic literature on that. It
is the supreme champion of justice and has always stood with its
flaming sword between the helpless workers and the greedy. In a
moment we shall find the Pope saying that very emphatically.

     As far as the past is concerned we will briefly run over the
record in the next chapter, but two reflection's at once occur to
us. Must not this championship of the cause of the workers have
been extraordinarily ineffective seeing that the workers themselves
had to ware a prodigious fight in the last century against
injustices which had lasted for centuries? And is it not a Singular
thing that the pronouncements of Popes on the subject which
Catholic apologists quote all belong to the last 50 years? With
great audacity they quote, when they call the Church the friend of
freedom and democracy, writers of nearly seven centuries ago like
Thomas Aquinas (who defended slavery), but they do not seem to get
further back than Pope Leo XIII when they seek proof of the
Church's interest in the workers. Everybody who knows anything
about socio-economic history knows that the great fight, the heroic
and bloody fight, the fight in which you hazarded your life or
liberty, for justice to the workers was, broadly, from about 1780
to 1880, yet the first favorable Papal declaration they quote is of
the year 1891.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     Why dig up so much history, Catholics peevishly ask me? The
value of the Church today lies in its teaching today, and Catholic
writers fill books with the bold and sound declarations of the
Popes from 1891 onward. The fight was still on, and the "great
Pope" ranged himself on the side of the workers with such
utterances that he was called the Pope of the Workers, even the
Socialist Pope, the author of the Magria Charta of Labor. I
remember the fuss well, having just then been appointed professor
in a Catholic seminary. Radical papers were lyrical; reactionary
papers were annoyed. But before you rush to a library for a
Catholic book to tell you all about this "Charter of Labor's
Rights" read the biographical notice of Leo XIII in the
Encyclopedia Britannica; and it is so sound that the Catholic
revisers -- to be polite -- of the latest edition of that work have
not ventured to alter it. The writer, Dr. Bryant, tell's how Leo
startled the world with his radicalism in 1891 but adds that he
fell back into sheer reaction before he died. He says:

          In 1902 the Sacred Congregation of Extraordinary
     Ecclesiastical Affairs issued instructions concerning
     Christian democracy in Italy, directing that the popular
     Christian movement which embraced in its program a number of
     social reforms such as factory laws for children, old-age
     pensions, a minimum wage in agricultural industries, an eight
     hour day, the revival of trade gilds, and the encouragement of
     Sunday rest, should divert its attention from all such things
     as savored of novelty and devote its energies to the
     restoration of the Temporal Power.

     Did you ever find your attention called to that miserable
change of the Pope's social creed in any one of the very numerous
books and pamphlets written in America on the grand and inspiring
call for justice of Leo XIII? You certainly did not. Catholic Truth
does not do such things. In science a man who made much of a
passage from an earlier great scientist and did not mention that it
was retracted in his later years would be discredited. In the field
of sacred literature he is just clever.

     However, what was this bold and "magnificent" declaration of
Pope Leo XIII? It is contained in the encyclical (or to-all-the-
world) letter Rerum novarum -- these encyclicals are named from the
first two words of the latin text -- of the year 1891. You will
find it useful to consider the historical background. Some ten
years earlier the Pope had struck a bargain with Bismarck. The
Catholic Church in Germany would enlist all its power in Bismarck's
fight against Socialism and for militarism if he would quit his
campaign against the Church itself. It did not make an atom of
difference to Social Democracy. At the German election of 1887 the
Socialists polled 763,128 votes: at the election of 1890 their vote
rose to 1,427,298. In 1890 the Socialist vote in Austria was
750,000, and it was about half a million in France. In other words,
the policy of sheer opposition to Socialism had dismally failed.
Catholic workers were leaving the Church in millions because it
opposed justice to the workers.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

     So Leo, or his advisers -- he knew nothing about economic
matters, or indeed any other matters except Church stuff and the 
Latin classics -- had the brilliant idea of taking the wind out of
the Socialist sails by a solemn statement of the attitude of the
Church to Labor questions which would displease the employers and
presumably win the admiration of the workers. The Encyclical was
translated into most languages, and even the secular press hailed
it as a revolutionary pronouncement. It still shines in American
apologetic literature. The Catholic will tell you that the Church
has formulated the Charter of the Rights of Labor in two great
encyclicals, the Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII and the Quadragesimo
anno of the later (and the present) Pope. When you inquire,
however, you will find that the latter has not been translated into
English -- for reasons which you will understand presently -- but
the message of Leo XIII is (if you conceal his retraction of it)
written in letters of bronze on a block of granite.

     Surely, you think, it must be really good. You shall judge for
yourself. I have just read it carefully through once more and made
a synopsis of it, and, as a cheap translation is still available,
you can check my precis of it.

     It opens with the reflection that something must be done to
improve the condition of the workers. The gilds, which under the
lead of the Church so long protected them, were, the Pope says,
"destroyed in the last century." As every student of such matters
knows that they died a natural death, or were (if there is question
of destruction) destroyed by the workers themselves in the 15th
Century, this is not a promising beginning. It gets worse. Owing to
the spread of irreligion the callous world of the 19th Century put
nothing in the place of these beneficent Catholic gilds, and the
workers were left to be exploited by "a small number of very rich
men," while "crafty agitators" led the workers by the nose in the
wrong direction. Socialism cannot be accepted as a remedy because
it is itself unjust and futile. It denies the right of private
property -- the Pope seems to think that under Socialism you cannot
have your own books, carpets, or etchings -- and in this it is
immoral. It preaches a class-war, which is wicked, wasteful,
whereas if employers and workers were all religious (Catholics)
they would live in a beautiful atmosphere of brotherhood, and the
rich would give generous alms to the poor. That is the Pope's idea
of the Middle Ages.

     About half the encyclical is taken up with moral platitudes
and factual inaccuracies of this sort. The idea that the workers of
Europe were protected by gilds until the French Revolution and that
from then until 1890 nothing was done for them would bring the
wrath of a teacher upon a sophomore. Unions of any kind were
truculently forbidden in all countries, Catholic and Protestant,
from the 16th Century until the 19th, but at least there was in
England, and not in Catholic lands, the crude and costly machinery
of Poor Relief. In England, moreover, the workers won the right of
union before 1830, and under Place and Owen (Atheists both) there
was a great development of Trade Unions. There was also a long
series of Factory Acts for the reduction of hours and the 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

protection of the workers, and by 1891 the leading States were
considering or inaugurating schemes of old-age pensions, widows' 
pensions, sick and unemployment insurance, etc. The Kaiser
formulated this program for Germany and at once started work on it
in 1890.

     However, let us come to the "constructive" part of the great
Charter. If the workers realize that it is "no disgrace" to work if
you do not happen to "possess the gifts of fortune," and if the
employers "do not tax the workers beyond his strength" and "give
every one that which is just" this "thorny problem of capital and
labor is well on the way to settlement. It takes a Pope to discover
things like that. For a moment the capitalists get a jolt when the
Pope says that "it is only by the labor of the working man that
States grow rich" but, needless to say, he does not pass on to
Marx's theory of surplus value, of which he had probably never
heard. It is just a clumsy way of saying that capital cannot
dispense with labor. Then, after an excursus on the divine origin
of authority and the duty of the State to check employers who
impose conditions which injure the morals, religion, or health --
as I said, Britain already had a whole code of laws checking such
employers -- of the workers, the Pope gets to concrete proposals.

     The "revolution" is supposed to be here. The Pope mentions the
strike as a weapon of the workers and does not condemn it. He is
content to say that if the State were guided by religion it would
see that the grounds of strikes did not exist. Then we get the
"rights" of the workers. They must have a day's rest on Sunday (and
go to church), they must not be compelled to work such hours that
it "stupefies their minds and wears out their bodies," and the
wages must be "sufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved
working man." All this had been a platitude of Radical (and much
Liberal) as well as Socialist literature for several decades, and
the astonishment of the world that a Pope should indorse the claim
of one day's rest in seven (which had been normal in Protestant
countries for three centuries) and that men should not be
overworked is really a proof of its insincerity in its new
admiration of the Church of Rome. If there was any "revolution" it
was in the fact that the Roman Church had comprehensively and
officially opposed the rights of the workers for more than 100
years, or since they had been clearly formulated on the eve of the
French Revolution, and now that it saw the workers deserting it in
millions it admitted the most elementary of those rights.

     The American Catholic apologists on the social side Completely
ignore these aspects of the Pope's deliverance. They surely know
that what he calls "crafty agitators" had been demanding these
rights for the workers for 100 years yet they represent the Pope as
putting some profound new social wisdom before the world. They lay
no stress on the really revolutionary -- if it were clearly and
sincerely meant -- statement that "it is only by the labor of the
working man that States grow rich." Catholic social writers would
not dare to say that themselves in America today. It is the
essential basis of Bolshevism, the essential meaning of the hammer
and sickle. But I agree with them here that the Pope meant no more
than that the miner produces coal and the agricultural worker corn.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201

Any other meaning is quite inconsistent with the Pope's -- indeed
all Popes -- settled social ethic that the division of the race
into masters (private employers) and wage-earners is in accordance
with the divine will.

     As to the Sunday rest -- which, by the way, Britain, America,
Germany, etc., not only granted but sternly insisted on for
religious reasons -- the profit of the Church itself is here too
clear for us to consider it disinterested. Of the Pope's protest
against overwork also we take no notice. At the time when he wrote
this there had been a mighty and successful struggle for the
reduction of hours and the curtailment of the work of women and
children in Great Britain for 70 years and for a generation in
America, France, and Germany. It was Catholic countries like Italy,
Spain, and Portugal that needed the moralist, and neither then nor
at any, later date until Socialism became a power did they carry
out any serious reform. In fact, the worst condition of labor,
especially child labor, continued to be found in Catholic South
Italy, Spain (except 1932-6), Portugal, and Poland right down to
the outbreak of the war.

     The gem of the encyclical is said by the apologists to be the
demand for "a living wage." It is the minimum demand that any
reformer ever drew up because, obviously, the far greater question
is: What is a living wage? The Pope, in any case, did not use that
very familiar phrase, and how any Catholic employer in the world
could object to what he did say is incomprehensible. In two
passages the Pope goes beyond the hoary old Church-platitude that
in rewarding labor employers must be "just" -- leaving it to them
to say what is just. The first short passage is said in one
"official" translation to be that the wage must provide "the means
of living a tolerable and happy life." The word "happy" is here
arbitrarily inserted. The Latin text has no such word. The other
official translation is that the wage must suffice "to support the
wage-earner in reasonable and frugal comfort," The word
"reasonable" again is a trick. The correct translation is: "The
wage must be enough to feed a frugal and well-behaved worker." What
a revolutionary sentiment in the year 1891!

     In the next paragraph the Pope remembers that workers have
families to support. He say's: "If the worker receives a wage on
which he can support himself, his wife, and his children
becomingly, he will be able to save and to have a small capital."
He is to buy land (as that will keep him out of Socialism). I have
emphasized the significant word in this passage, as the Catholic
translators again play tricks with it. And if the reader finds my
translation of it ambiguous I reply that it is deliberately
ambiguous in the original. The Latin here is poor and unusual --
just for the sake of vagueness. As a matter of fact the official
clerical biographer of Leo XIII, Msgr. T'Serelaes, says that the
Pope's references to a living wage led everywhere to stormy
disputes as to what precisely he meant, and a Belgian archbishop
wrote to Rome for a clarification of them. He got none. So we may
dismiss the gems of social wisdom of Leo XIII and the dishonest
comments of American apologists who tamper with the text and
conceal the fact that through one of the Congregations of
Cardinals, of which the Pope is the head, Leo XIII in 1902 recanted
his "Charter," and ordered Catholic workers to quit talking about
the rights of Labor!
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     According to these apologists Leo's "Immortal" utterance
remained the Roman standard on such matters until 1931, when Pius
XI, in the encyclical Quadragestme anno re-affirmed and developed
its teaching; and these two declarations are the wisest and
soundest of all counsels on the great issue of Capital and Labor.
But, as I have already said, while these apologists talk very
fulsomely about the encyclical of 1931 they, as far as I can
discover never translate it. There is certainly no translation
issued by the British Catholic authorities and I cannot trace any
in America, though the essential meaning of an "encyclical" letter
is that it is addressed to the whole Catholic world, and the
hierarchy in each country is to publish a translation of it. Dr.
Ryan, the Catholic oracle on social questions, translated all the
earlier encyclicals of Pius XI but did not touch this one.

     I explained in an earlier booklet why this "great" encyclical
is so scurvily treated by Catholics and was almost ignored by the
press. It tells Catholics that the corporative state -- Fascism, in
plain English -- is the true model in economic matters and must be
enforced when the authorities are Catholics! I will again give a
faithful summary of it, but first let us get the true historical

     There was not, as the apologist's claim, a continuity of Papal
policy. There was exactly the opposite. Not only did Rome, as I
have said, formally reverse its policy, but that policy had so
palpably failed that the three Popes who followed Leo XIII never
endorsed it. I have shown elsewhere that the Church of Rome
continued to lose to the Socialists. In Germany the Socialist vote,
which had risen to 1,427,298 in 1890 had increased to 2,107,076 by
1898; and it was chiefly in Germany that the Pope had expected good
results from his encyclical. In France the number of Socialists
doubled between 1893 and 1900. In Austria the vote rose from
750,000 in 1890 to 1,041,948 in 1907. And Socialism began to spread
in Italy itself. The vote rose from 27,000 in 1892 to 175,000 in
1900. The Church, losing heavily, continued to denounce Socialism
and to permit local churches to experiment in Christian Socialism,
as we shall see later. Then came the war, the Russian Revolution,
and the rapid spread of Atheistic Communism as well as Socialism,

     The desperate officials at the Vatican learned, however, as
time went on that the modern world was not necessarily committed to
radical and democratic principles. A very large proportion of the
middle class as well as the wealthy were alarmed at the threat to
"private enterprise," or the chance of making a fortune, and, while
these men had in the 19th Century provided the backbone of the
anti-clerical party everywhere, they now sought clerical as well as
conservative allies against Bolshevism. To win a good support in
the working class they joined in the cry that Bolshevism set out to
destroy religion, and therefore threatened civilization, and their
press echoed the libels against and grossly misrepresented Russia.
So there was formed the grand anti-Bolshevik alliance of ministers
and morons, bankers and bandits, journalists, and Jesuits all over
the world. The Vatican dropped its coquetting with Russia and, as
we saw in the first series, entered into a brazen alliance with the
gangs of criminals who were the nucleus groups of the next

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     So you know what to expect of an encyclical on the workers
composed by the present aristocratic Pope, who was then Secretary
of State, in 1931. "Quadragesimo anno" means "in the fortieth year"
(since Leo's encyclical), and is really an amazing, suggestion of
continuity of policy. The Pope recalls the work of Leo. There was
vast and increasing misery amongst the workers -- in the leading
countries they had, as a matter of fact, had their real wage
doubled or trebled in half a century -- and "the eyes of all were
turned to the Chair of Peter." Leo issued his marvelous encyclical,
which "owed nothing to either Liberalism or Socialism" -- its best
points were, we saw, platitudes of benevolent Liberalism -- but was
inspired by the genius of the Pope and Catholic teaching. The world
was "stupefied at the novelty of his teaching," which "overthrew
all the idols of Liberalism," and the message produced the most
salutary fruits everywhere. These Liberals had done a little for
the workers, It is true, but it was the Pope's encyclical that the
workers had to thank for all the social legislation that was passed
after 1891 and for the full establishment of Trade Unions, which
the Liberals had opposed.

     After devoting a quarter of the long letter to this childish
theme the Pope says that he is going to develop Leo's principles.
He does not even hint at the retraction. At great length he proves
that the right of private ownership is based on moral principles,
so Socialism is immoral. "No good Catholic can be a good
Socialist." As to Communism it is beneath discussion. Capital and
Labor are equally indispensable, and the product must be "justly"
divided; but he does not go a step beyond Leo in defining what a
"just wage" is. The workers must have unions, but there must be no
class-war, and in view of the need for harmonious cooperation a new
type of union or "syndicate" which has lately appeared deserves
attention. There must be unions of both workers and employers and
conferences of delegates from each side. The worker is quite free
to belong or not belong to the syndicate, but he has to pay the
fees in any case. The Pope, who has the Italian model before him,
omits to say that if a worker does not join the union he will get
no labor-ticket. Strikes are forbidden, and if the two sides cannot
agree the government must intervene. But if they will all join the
Catholic Church and reform their morals the machine will march on
oiled wheels.

     In other words, Mussolini's Corporative State is the ideal,
and from Slovakia to Peru the new Catholic countries are adopting
it and expressly quoting this encyclical as the reason. Did or did
not the Pope know that Mussolini devised this economic structure
simply in order to have both industrialists and workers in his
power when the time came for war-industries and forced loans?
Obtuse as the Vatican is in such matters the clergy must have knows
this, and must have known also that, while the industrialists
really suffered in the matter of forced loans to the government the
workers were enslaved and impoverished. So now you know why, though
Catholic apologists in America insist that the papal encyclicals
are the grand Charters of Labor they are so very reticent about
this latest official utterance on the workers' rights.

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                           Chapter III


     Leo XIII, we saw, opened his solemn pronouncement to the world
with a summary of social history which was as near to the truth as
Cape Cod is to Tierra del Fuego. I do not for a moment suggest that
he knew this but felt it quite safe to give his fantastic version
of European history to Catholics who are not allowed to read the
truth. Do not misunderstand me. Apologists and missionaries of the
Black International -- lots of them -- do lie. Many of them in
America who repeat the Pope's words are compelled by their task to
read, and give in their writings sufficient proof that they have
read, ordinary expert works on the history of the struggle of the
workers in modern times. But you would not expect a Pope to have
leisure for that sort of thing. In fact if he knew the historical
truth he might not be able to write those sonorous and vapid
generalizations which Catholics mistake for deep or inspired
thought. In the next book we shall see some of these highly-
poisoned gems of historical fiction from an earlier encyclical of
Leo XIII. He writes history (and economics) like a devout nun. The
workers, we found him saying, were happy and prosperous under the
gilds, which the Church had inspired, until the French Revolution.
Then "irreligion" made the world of employers callous and brutal.
Nothing was substituted for the protection of the gilds, and. ...
Well there you are. That is why the workers of the last century
were so exploited. You have only to bring back the employers to the
true Church (as in that country which I described in the first
chapter) and the world of Labor will take on the brightness and
warmth of a garden in spring.

     Except for the howler about the gilds this is really what
Catholic apologists commonly say on the subject. The Church "broke
the fetters of the slave" and brought light and justice to the
workers of the pagan world. In due time -- five or six centuries
later -- it created the gilds which spread a rich religious mantle
of protection over the workers of Europe. Protestantism destroyed
the protection -- the little difficulty about what happened in the
Catholic half of Europe may (and had better be) disregarded -- and
so the arrival of the Industrial Era found them the helpless prey
of the exploiters. The world must return to the principles of the
Middle Ages when the workers were so happy.

     The real record of the Church in relation to the workers can
be summed up even more shortly than that, for it is much nearer to
the truth to say that the Church was comprehensively indifferent to
the condition of the workers from the time it won power until Leo
wrote his "great" Charter of their Rights. That condition varied
with the economic development of Europe but until at least the
French Revolution it was one of galling subjection and
exploitation, and the Church never condemned this. It is a long
story for a short chapter, but I may point out the fallacy or the
untruth of the chief statements on which the claim of the apologist
is based. And if I have here to be very brief and rather dogmatic
it may be advisable to explain to some of my readers that I have
dealt with these points and given the proper authorities in several
of my Little Blue Books and in my True Story of the Roman Catholic 

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     Catholic writers used to boast how the Church was communistic
and anti-rich from its infancy, but they have done their best
recently to make the word Communism stink in folk's nostrils so
they drop this argument. It would be as bad as boasting how
Catholic commercial travelers, or their medieval equivalent, used
to lock their wives in "girdles of chastity" when they set out on
their rounds. In any case it is false. The theory is based upon a
statement about one particular church in Acts, which even many
theologians consider a pious romance. Paul's letters are the
earliest documents, and they reflect a division of classes, with
rich slave-owners and even imperial officials. In fact Catholic
literature includes wealthy relatives of the Emperor Vespasian in
the Roman Church.

     More important is the claim about slavery; and let me say at
once that it is one of the most blatantly untruthful claims the
apologists make. No Pope, no Father of the Church, no body of
churchmen ever condemned slavery until the 18th Century. St.
Augustine, the dominant oracle of western or Roman Christendom,
expressly defended it as of divine appointment (City of God, Book
XlX, eh. XV), and Thomas Aquinas and all the other Schoolmen
followed Augustine. There is not an expert work on the subject that
does not explain that the old type of slavery was destroyed by the
economic collapse of the Roman Empire, and that before that time
Roman moralists and Emperors had done a great deal for the slave.

     After the year 500 the workers of Europe are called in our
modern literature "serfs," but the reader is rarely warned that
still for centuries all literature was Latin, and there are not
different words in Latin for "slave" and "serf." The workers were
-- and the Popes from 600 onward owned vast numbers of them -- just
servi as they had been under paganism, and Vinogradov, one of the
best historical sociologists of recent times, says that they were
in law and fact, "slaves." They were bought and sold like cattle,
and no law protected them from cruelty. So the only real change
when the Roman Church came to dominate Europe in the 5th Century
was that, whereas in the Roman Empire, two workers out of three had
been free (See Darrow's Slavery in the Roman Empire), literate, and
almost pampered, in the new Europe not one worker in ten was free
or literate or had a life of elementary comfort and decency.

     This "era of the serfs" lasted until the 12th or 13th Century,
when the majority were emancipated. Again there is no modern expert
who does not trace this emancipation to what we may broadly call
economic causes. The nobles sold freedom to immense bodies of serfs
so that they could go on the looting expeditions of the Crusaders
or enjoy the more luxurious life which Arabs had taught Europe.
Kings emancipated bodies of serfs to help fight their rebellious
nobles: nobles emancipated them to fight the kings or other nobles.
Abbeys and bishops were, says the Catholic historian Muratori, the
last to emancipate them, saying that they must not "alienate Church
property." At the same time Europe was rapidly recovering
economically and far larger bodies of craftsman were required in
the towns (which, for the same reasons, now got charters of

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     The famous gilds had begun long before this, and the Church,
instead of having inspired them, tried for more than a century to
suppress them. They seem to have been formed by the workers on the
model of the unions (colleges) of the old Greek and Roman workers,
traces of which survived. I have elsewhere quoted decrees from the
Capitularies of Charlemagne and later Church Councils showing how
drastically the Church condemned them. It could not suppress so it
appropriated them, and for several centuries they certainly helped
the workers. That is to say, the skilled workers. Writers on the
gilds (Gross, Walford, etc.) do not remind the reader that while in
the towns even the prostitutes had gilds and walked in the sacred
processions (of course, the writers I have named do not tell this),
the agricultural workers, who were at least four-fifths of the
workers of Europe, had none or any other kind of protection.
Further, every single real expert on any country in Europe during
this period, the so-called Age of Chivalry, the best part of the
Middle Ages (1100 to 1400), agrees that the lords and landowners
regarded the workers as dirt under their feet, robbing and
torturing them barbarously. It was an age of wild license, of
fiendish cruelty, and you can imagine -- or read Eccardus for
Germany, Brissot for France, and Thorold Rogers or Traile for
England, the chief authorities on the workers -- how the unarmed
mass of the people fared.

     All the leading historical experts on the period use the same
language as Professor A. Luchaire, the highest authority on France
in the 13th Century. He says (Social France at the Time of Philippe
Auguste) that "feudalism seemed to take a ferocious delight in
seeing flames consume burgher's house's and the villains [workers]
who lived in them" (p. 5); that the knight or noble "was almost
everywhere a brutal and pillaging soldier" (p. 249); and that "the
noble had an untameable antipathy to and a profound contempt of the
villain: that is, for the serf, peasant, laborer, citizen, or
burgher" (p. 271). Such was France, the most advanced country in
Europe, in what Catholics call the most beautiful part of the
Middle Ages; and every leading authority on Italy, England, or
Germany at the time gives exactly the same picture. Pope Leo XIII
had as naive an idea of the time as has the schoolma'am who talks
to her class about the beautiful Age of Chivalry and the Knights
Errant. And in our age of historical scholarship this sort of thing
is solemnly made the basis of a social argument by the spiritual
leaders of 200,000,000 folk and is most respectfully treated by
editorial writers and essayists.

     It would be pertinent to show that while the workers who were
subject to the Pope were thus as unprotected from the brutality of
their "betters" as the slaves of old -- indeed less than the slaves
of Rome from the time of the Emperor Hadrian -- and lived for the
most part (on the land) in sordid and brutalizing conditions, the
workers of Arab Spain, who cannot have been far short in number of
the workers of the whole of Christian Europe, were relatively happy
and prosperous and generally educated. But I cannot enlarge on that
in this little sketch. Let me just say, on the strength of the
research and the general consensus of authorities in ancient Rome,
medieval Europe, and Arab Spain which I give in a dozen works, that
the period which the Pope and his apologists choose as the Golden
Age of the workers was for them the blackest age, apart from Spain,

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between their good condition in the Roman Empire and the
improvements they have won in modern times. None but Catholic
apologists and a few American teachers of history who play up to
them now write such trash about the Middle Ages. The period had
great art, but four-fifth's of the workers, scattered outside the
cities, never even saw this.

     It is true that the condition of the growing body of
industrial workers became harder in some respects after the
Reformation. The apologists make a ridiculous attempt to connect
this with (at least in England) the suppression of the monasteries,
the chief effect of which for the workers was that crowds of men
and women who had idly hung about the fat monasteries for food
instead of working for it had now the choice of working or
starving. In point of fact Protestant England set up a system of
Poor Relief which, crude as it was -- like most government measures
300 years ago -- did discriminate to some extent between "sturdy
beggars" and the real needy.

     But the answer to any Catholic attempt to make capital out of
the fact that, as trade and industry expanded, the lawyers, in the
interest of the rich, made the law harsher against the workers,
especially in regard to unions, is easily found when we compare
Catholic and Protestant countries. The three countries of Europe
which sank most notably from the best level of the Middle Ages
after the Reformation were beyond any question Catholic Italy,
Spain, and Portugal. There the lot of the worker fell to the level
at which we found it in the first chapter and remained at that
level until our time. The exceptions only strengthen my point. When
anti-Papal statesmen took over Italy from the Pope and his puppets
at Naples the status of the workers began to rise -- until
Mussolini shared his power with the Pope. In Spain and Portugal
also there were periods of anti-clerical Liberalism or (1932-6)
Socialism during which the condition of the workers was improved
and schools for their children were opened. Under the present
Papal-Fascist regime they have fallen back toward a condition of
ill-paid illiterate serfdom. These are platitude's of socio-
political history.

     I have not spokes of France because it did not, like Italy,
Spain, and Portugal, build round itself a Chinese Wall to protect
its Catholic population from the taint of non-Catholic influences.
It was open to receive ideas from England, Holland, and Germany,
and it saw a considerable growth of skepticism. Even its clergy
were remarkably independent of Rome. Yet it remained predominantly
Catholic, and it retained medieval vices (torture's, etc.) in
proportion to its Catholicism. Here I have to notice only the
condition of the workers. There is no dispute about it. Apologists
find a second Catholic Golden Age in the days of Louis XIV: a
vicious, selfish, scandalous monarch who regarded the people only
as a source of wealth for his corrupt court, if you read French try
to see the documents in Martin's authoritative history relating to
the appalling condition of the agricultural workers when Louis was
building his palaces. Brissot, the chief French authority on the
history of the workers, shows that the wage even of the skilled
workers fell under Louis XIV to about 38 cents a day (of 12 to 14
hours) and the price of food rose.

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     But their condition on the eve of the Revolution is well
known, and it is equally well known -- in fact eagerly claimed by
apologists who know as little about the French Revolution as they
do about the Russian -- that anti-clericals educated the people up
to and inspired that inauguration of the first attempt in
Christendom to redeem and uplift the workers. People will not
understand our own time unless they see that we still live in the
new age, an age of struggle against privilege for freedom,
democracy, enlightenment, and justice to the workers, which opened
at the French Revolution; in a sense you might say the American
Revolution, since it was in some respects more than political
though in just these respects its roots were in French anti-Papal

     I hope some day to write a worthy history of this period.
Already for 150 years men and women, touched by the vision of a
wiser and juster social order, have fought for freedom, justice,
and enlightenment. A million of them have lost their lives in the
struggle, yet but for the rousing of Russia the race in most
countries would have lost all that it had won in those 150 years of
sweat and blood. Even now that victory is certain in the sense that
the nests of pirates in Berlin, Rome, and Tokyo will be destroyed
the race makes no totalitarian war against them because so few
people understand the struggle in all its range. The coalition of
the Roman Church with the bandits is concealed from the majority --
I just received a letter from a distinguished clergyman, no lover
of Rome, who writes that I will startle England if I can prove that
connection! -- whereas, if you know the whole period, it is the
logical and almost inevitable policy of the Papacy. And with so
much hidden and the perspective distorted some of the leaders in
the present fight, men who mouth about freedom and democracy, hope
to save the Roman Church from chastisement or loss of power because
it will help to put kings back on their thrones, restore privilege,
and cheek the aspirations of the workers.

     I have tried in all my works for the past ten years to get
people to see the events of contemporary life in this historical
perspective, but I must here confine myself to the question of the
workers. The French Revolution proved a false dawn of the new age,
and when it and the compromise of the Napoleonic regime were
destroyed the fight had to begin again, under a dense cloud of
reaction. Let us say that the period from about 1830 to 1930 was
one of increasing victory for the worker's. The real wage in the
larger lndustrialized states was trebled. Universal free education
was won, and this meant at all events the erection of a ladder by
which the abler workers might ascend to a higher level. Immense
social services -- hygienic, medical, recreational, educative, and
financial -- were provided. The right to unions was almost
completely established. It all fell far short of the ideal, but let
us be just. That age which the Pope blandly blames for all that is
wrong, which he represents as undoing the justice won for the
workers in earlier Catholic ages was one of the most progressive
that the world had yet seen; for the workers of imperial Rome had
not had to fight for such privileges as they had.

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     Well, what share has the Church of Rome had in the victorious
struggle? Should we be far away from the historical truth if we 
said, None? Apologists search the darker lanes of recent history
for some obscure priest or layman -- generally in bad odor in his
Church at the time -- who dared to say a word for the improvement
of the condition of the workers, for the emancipation of the
Slaves, for justice to women, and so on. That neither the Vatican
nor any national branch of the Church joined in the great word
until the last decade of the 19th Century, when wholesale apostasy
of the workers alarmed the Black International, they have to grant.
But this thimble-rigging game of claiming the credit for "the
Church" when one man is honest and asking us to blame "not the
Church but the individual" when a hundred are dishonest begins to
be resented even by the Catholic laity.

     I made a broad examination of the mighty campaign for reform
-- which means to rid the world finally of medievalism -- during
the last 150 years in my recent 'How Freethinkers made Notable
Contributions to Civilization' (1938). I showed that in periods
when Catholics regarded Freethinkers as an insignificant and
negligible minority they provided the great majority of the leaders
in every branch of the reform-movement. A Catholic survey of that
magnificent fight for man, the grandest of all epics, naming all
Catholics in Europe or America who made any such notable
contribution would be a farce, yet all the time the Church was
boasting that it ruled a third of the white race. Even the men who
are claimed, like the Chartist leader in England Bronterre O'Brien,
were apostates in most cases.

     Or take, as we have done before, the contrast of Catholic and
Protestant lands. In the first chapter I distributed countries, as
they were before the war threw everything into confusion, into
three groups. I do not imagine that any student of social matters
will question the general distribution, and quarrels about the
exact position of this or that country do not affect the
conclusion. The workers enjoy the best conditions where Catholicism
has no influence on public life and the worst conditions where it
has its greatest influence. They are worst paid and least protected
by law, and have the feeblest social services in the lands where
the ruling class profess docility to the Pope. In Russia, where
Catholicism simply does not exist, the workers have the finest
position they ever had in history, and they were rapidly advancing,
when the Pope's war against them broke out, to a level higher than
is or ever was, found in any other civilization. Whether you agree
to that or no the broad truth remains; the position of the workers
rose in proportion as Papal influence fell. I wonder if there is
any normally-minded Catholic worker in America who will question my
distribution of the leading countries of the world according to the
status of the workers and the Catholic element in the country, or
will claim that his Church has anything to do with the high
position, from material and historical reasons, of the workers of
America. Yet these Catholic workers cannot open one of their books
on social questions without reading that the two encyclicals I
analyzed show the Popes as the beat friends of Labor.

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     In other words, we have in this controversy, as in so many
others that concern the Church, all the facts on one side and all 
the rhetoric on the other. The Papal encyclicals are not merely
rhetoric but platitudinous rhetoric. That of Leo XIII in those
passages of it which won most attention just took up and, with a
certain amount of vagueness, repeated demands which had for decades
been considered elementary in serious discussions of such matters.
Was there, in fact, on the capitalist side any responsible writer
who said that "overwork was just as long as you did not specify the
hours for any industry" -- at that time the burning question, which
the Pope carefully avoided, was the eight-hour day -- or who
questioned that the worker had a right to a decent wage as long as
you refused to say what in any industry a decent wage was? And the
second Encyclical officially took back the slight concessions --
already quietly withdrawn -- of the first because it put the
workers under a Corporative State, in which any demands of theirs
are finally settled by the employer's or the government. Both
encyclicals, moreover, lay heavy stress on something which is
anathema to every social student. They say that the rich justify
the larger share they take of the wealth produced if they give
generously in charity to the poor.

     If the apologist falls back, as he usually does, upon the fact
that the Church has always sternly insisted on justice his case is
worse than ever. Such preaching is, and always was, barren. There
is a Catholic church in New York which the Tammany leaders have
attended for the last 100 years, and the services and sermons have
spoken of justice as often as they did in other chapels. Under the
Pope's nose, in Italy, Catholic employers made the vilest use, in
the sulphur mines, of child labor that you would find anywhere in
Europe. Almost as sordid a use of child labor was made in the
tailoring business in Poland, and in agriculture and various
industries in Spain, Portugal, and South America. So it has been
for ages, though the employers listened Sunday after Sunday to the
Catholic gospel of justice. The ethic has been the same in all
ages; the practice has varied considerably, and the facts I have
given even in this short sketch show that the actual treatment of
the workers was always nearest to the ideal of justice where public
life was influenced by those whom the Church denounced.

                           Chapter IV


     I have found it necessary at this point to make a few
excursions into older history because it was impossible to ignore
the Pope's amazing statement that the workers enjoyed happier
conditions when the world was Catholic and that their modern
grievances are due to the collapse of Papal authority over a large
part of the earth. How Catholics tolerate such howlers and then
respectfully read articles in their press about the profound wisdom
and sagacity of the Popes is the one problem of Church life I have
never mastered. But let me remind the reader that this discussion
of the status of the workers is part of a broader study of the
Roman Church which we are making. The starting-point of it was:
What is the real nature of the Church of Rome, of the Black
International in particular, that it should enter into alliance 

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with the vilest forces of modern times? One of the difficulties of
the general public in entertaining this is that for 40 years
Catholic apologetic works in America have loudly boasted that their
Church has always been, and especially in Papal declarations during
the last half-century, the champion of Labor against greed. We have
seen that it was, on the contrary, always in alliance with wealth
and greed and is in its present alliances merely pursuing its
normal policy.

     I imagine that after the war, when Socialism and Communism
spread once more, what is left of the Catholic Church will to a
great extent turn to what is called Christian Socialism, and we may
glance at it. The movement was, of course, never Socialistic, and
in so far as it was adopted in Catholic countries, it never used
the word Socialism. It was called Christian or Catholic Democracy
or Social Party, and its express purpose was to divert the workers
from Socialism, which Leo XIII condemned as emphatically in 1891 as
Pius XI did in 1931. The movement began in England in 1849 when
people still distinguished between the state Socialism of Marx,
which then had few adherents in Britain, and other varieties such
as Robert Owen's voluntary Socialism.

     This British movement, founded by two clergymen of the Church
of England, Charles Kingsley and F.D. Maurice, assisted by the
barrister (of the same Church) Ludlow, which borrowed the title
Socialism as it was loosely used by the Owenites, never had a large
body of adherents and did not last long. Ludlow admitted that its
chief aim was "to Christianize Socialism," or to show the workers
that they need not leave the Church because they demanded a
betterment of their condition. But it was a group of men and women
who very sincerely felt that something must be done for the workers
when the Chartist movement so sensationally collapsed in 1848 and
it did render material services in education and in helping Trade
Unions and Cooperative Societies. It was continued in the Guild of
St. Matthew, which was closely associated with the "High" or
Ritualist branch of the Church, and there was a less advanced
Christian Social Union.

     I once took the chair for a lecture by the Rev. Stewart
Headlam head of the Guild of St. Matthew, and the audience numbered
30 or 40. When we sipped a whisky and soda together afterwards he
said that he had given this eloquent lecture on "The Brotherhood of
Men under the Fatherhood of God" a score of times and got almost no
response. Why? I discreetly reminded him that the Church had taught
the Fatherhood of God just as dogmatically in the long ages of
tyranny and exploitation and suggested that perhaps the employers
reflected that since the Father condemned his children to an
eternal hell the little hell they gave their workers sometimes did
not matter much.

     I need not trace the echoes of this movement in the religious
world of America -- the Christian Labor Union of 1872, the Knights
of Labor, the Christian Social Union, etc. -- as Catholics were not
involved in them. It was in Germany, after 1870, that the movement
which we generally call Christian Socialism spread amongst the
Catholic worker's. It was, of course, not merely not Socialism but
the very opposite of it, since the sole aim was to prevent Catholic

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workers from joining the Social Democrats. The whole movement, in
Britain, America, and Germany, rather reminds us of the clergymen
who try to keep their young men and girls from wicked dance-halls
by arranging chaste dances or ping-pong games, with non-alcoholic
refreshments, in the parish hall.

     It was more serious and more resolutely Catholic when it
spread to Austria. Its appropriation of the name Socialism was in
this case peculiarly ironical. Not only had it no sincere program
of improvement of the condition of the workers but it at first
consisted of violently anti-Socialist middle-class men, and it soon
absorbed the Conservative body of Catholics. The urban workers,
especially at Vienna, were too well read in social history to be
duped by the romantic version of the Church's attitude to Labor
that the priests offered them and, as is well known, they passed
bodily to Socialism and in free elections won complete power over
Vienna and a few other towns year after year. It was particularly
exasperating for the Church because the Austrian workers were so
well behaved that it was in this case impossible to fabricate
stories of "Red atrocities." I spent a week amongst them at the
time when the depression and the mutilation of the country by
Versailles had brought upon Vienna such economic stringency that,
police-officials assured me, the patience of the workers was
strained to breaking point. I saw 10,000 armed police drawn across
a short section of the Ring between the rich inner city and an
industrial suburb. But not a clash occurred, though I verified that
half the workers suffered grave privation.

     It was therefore the policy of the church to hold the ignorant
and priest-ridden agricultural workers, which would ensure its
control of the national government and so give it, in case of need,
power over the Socialist municipal governments. The title
"Socialist" became farcical when the Catholic nobles and land-
owners were enlisted in the party and their influence over the
rural population secured, so we need not pay any attention to the
few ameliorative measures, such as agricultural cooperatives, which
they passed. But the story, as it developed, is so characteristic
of Vatican strategy that it is vitally relevant to the point we
are. considering.

     In the stress of the terrible experiences of 1918 and 1919 the
so-called Christian Socialists cooperated amiably with the Social
Democrats in reconstituting the beggared Austrian state on a
democratic basis, and then for a time they became, with this
immense rural backing, the chief party in the country. It was led
by a clerical professor, Seipel, whose position was much the same
as that of Dr. Ryan in the American Church. But with the capture of
the national government by the party it suited the Vatican to
forget that churchmen must not interfere in polities -- as a matter
of fact the Church never sacrifices a single opportunity to put a
priest at the head of a political party -- and Selpel became
Chancellor of the Austrian Republic and brought his party back to
the old bitter hostility to the Social Democrats.

     The situation that immediately ensued was falsely represented,
as all Socialist constructive work was in the world-press and by
the Church, but historians of the period have made it clear. While 
the Popes were blandly explaining that they opposed Socialism 

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because it mould not work and they therefore acted in the interest
of the race Austria presented the spectacle of a bankrupt and
totally inefficient national Catholic government, under a priest,
kept alive by loans from the League of Nations -- or subsidies from
the power which equally dreaded the success of the Socialists --
while Vienna, under its Socialist administration and refused any
share in the international loans to the country, did such splendid
work for the people (especially in education and re-housing) that
an editorial in a Liberal London paper, the News-Chronicle
(February 12. 1935) pronounced it "as close to the ideal Platonic
Republic as the world has ever seen." I may recall that the present
Pope, who represented the Vatican in Germany for 12 years, was
familiar with all this, yet in the encyclical Quadragesimo anno,
which he issued in the name of the late Pope, he dwelt on the
futility and danger to civilization of Socialism in the usual
Catholic manner.

     Rome has only one effective answer in such cases, violence,
and in an earlier booklet of the past series I told what happened.
The Christian Socialist government, led by the priest-ridden and
piously unscrupulous Dollfuss, allied itself with the Fascists and
destroyed Social Democracy. It was the time when Hitler was
supposed to leave Austria in Mussolini's sphere of influence, and
the Papal encyclical of 1931 ordered Catholics, in effect, to adopt
the corporative state. As Hitler made public his real plans and his
growing power the Austrian Catholics split, many joining the Nazi
Greater Germany movement; and, when the triumph of the Nazis was
put beyond question the head of the Austrian Church, Cardinal
Innitzer, threw off the mask and delivered the country to the Beast
of Berchtesgaden. The long, and heroic struggle of the Austrian
workers was over. They passed under the vile tyranny of the Pope's
ideal corporative state and the Gestapo.

     Not less instructive is the development in Italy. Socialism
began to grow rapidly in that country in the last decade of the
19th Century. The situation here was peculiar because the Popes
had, since the Italian government had taken over the Papal States,
forbidden Catholics to take any part in national politicks. Leo
XIII had permitted them to enter municipal Polities and in 1905 the
sagacious Vatican was forced to acknowledge its blunder and remove
the ban altogether. Leo had, we saw, sourly ordered Italian
Catholics in 1902 to drop all concern about the living wage and
industrial betterment and concentrate on the recovery of the
Temporal Power. The removal of the political ban reopened the
question of social activity, and a People's Party, a variant of
Christian Socialism, was established. Led by the priest Murri, it
was violently anti-Socialist -- see his work Battaglie d'Oggi --
but it appealed to the people against a middle class which Murri
not unfairly represented as solidly opposed to the Church and had
to make increasing concessions to the demands for justice to the
workers. But Murri, though secretary to a cardinal, went on to
write in scathing terms about the higher Roman clergy themselves
and was excommunicated.

     The rapid advance of Socialism and Communism after the war
compelled the Vatican to reconsider its attitude and permit a new
extension of the Popular Party, or the Catholic Union of the People
of Italy. Women now had the franchise in Italy, and with their aid 

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the union might provide a political counterpoise to Socialism, It
could do this only by making concessions to the reform-program, and
under a new priest-leader, Luigi Sturzo, it became less and less
ecclesiastical and more exigent in its demands for the workers.
Then came the rise of Fascism and the spirited fight of the
Fascists against the Socialists and Communists. Large numbers of
the Catholic party joined the Fascists -- one of them was in
Mussolini's first cabinet -- since they understood that the
Church's primary object was the destruction of Socialism, and
helped to put the Duce on the throne. The Vatican followed its
usual policy of having representatives in both camps as long as the
issue was doubtful.

     Seldes describes the situation in his work 'The Vatican,'
which is so lenient to Rome that I at first mistook its author for
a Catholic. In 1922 and 1923 the Catholic peasants of the Union
cracked Fascist skulls even more than the Socialists and Communists
did in the daily fights. The struggle continued as fiercely as ever
although Mussolini seized power in 1922. We are again reminded of
the real usurpation of power by Mussolini and Hitler who never won
more than a minority of the people in free elections. Fascism in
Italy was far outnumbered by the Catholic, Liberal, Socialist, and
Communist opposition. And we are equally reminded of the evil
wrought by the Vatican, Mussolini sent envoys to it with a promise
to make concessions to the Church if the Pope would condemn the
Popular Party. Alternatively he threatened Church property if the
Pope did not. So in June 1923 the Pope acted. Sturzo resigned his
leadership of the Party on the ground that priests must not
interfere in politics and retired to a monastery. The Party lost
ground, and at the final reconciliation of Mussolini with the
Church and his rich reward of it for its services it was entirely
sacrificed. The workers of Italy, who had fought for their rights
for 140 years and sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives passed,
with the Pope's solemn blessing, into the ignoble slavery of the
Corporative State.

     It will now be apparent why, in spite of the tragic features
of the story, I speak of the Comedy of Christian Socialism. or
prevent its growth by luring workers to stay at a half-way house in
that direction, and in most forms it was bitterly opposed to
Socialism. This is so far acknowledged that in most forms it
avoided the title Socialist and preferred Social Union or Christian
Democracy; but if any reader is inclined to suggest on that account
that I have no right to include these Catholic and Protestant
movements under the title Christian Socialism let him consult, for
instance, so authoritative a work as The Encyclopedia of the Social

     In speaking of comedy, however, I am thinking of the policy of
the Vatican in its occasional use of the movement. Pope Leo XIII
discovers in the twentieth year of his pontificate that Liberalism
has ruined the excellent status of the workers which his Church had
secured. That is comic enough, as I explained it is still more
ridiculous in the eye of any serious student of such matters
because he knows that as long as the mass of the workers were
uneducated it was mainly left to middle-class Liberals to win the
first installments of justice for them. Even Socialist writers 

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often call the middle half of the 19th Century the Age of the
Benevolent Bourgeois. Irony apart, not only were great Socialist
pioneers like Marx, Engels, and Lasalle, middle-class men but there
is a very honorable list of Liberals in the fight -- the fight
against the Conservatives and the Churches -- to liberate the
workers from their medieval bondage. In England for instance, it
was middle-class Liberals like Owen, Place, Bentham, Brougham, etc.
-- who won education, shorter hours, and less ghastly working
conditions for them.

     It was the rise of Socialism and the threat to private
enterprise which caused the Liberals to raise the cry (as
shibboleth) that we must have "evolution not revolution" and
propose reform by installments. In other words, they invented the
program of moderate industrial reforms -- a living wage, shorter
hours, factory and workshop inspection, weekly rest and occasional
holidays, etc. -- which the Christian Socialists took over. What is
more amusing is that it was just this program which the Pope took
over from the Liberals, whom he heavily censured for their
wickedness to the workers, in 1891. The three points of his Charter
were commonplaces of Liberal literature by that time, and the
better Liberals had got beyond them and were demanding or favoring
schemes of insurance, pensions, and so on.

     But the ignorance of the literature of the subject displayed
in these Papal Encyclicals is well known to students of these
matters. What is of more interest here is that American Catholic
apologists are still substantially in the stage of Leo XIII and
still quote his encyclical as a grand revolutionary utterance. The
whole "social welfare" movement of the American Papal Church has
the same aim as Leo had, to distract men from Socialism or to keep
up the working-class membership of the Church, and, though some of
its writers go farther than others, if there is anything like an
agreed body of teaching endorsed by the bishops it certainly does
not go beyond advanced Liberalism. It is now quite common for
writers who are Liberals even in the political sense to say that
the age of Lassez-faire is over and the state must interfere in the
interest of the workers, but Popes and American Catholic writers on
social questions talk as if they had not noticed the developments
of the last quarter of a century.

     The broad plea of the apologists, when they are confronting
the workers and not preaching to their richer congregations, is
that the Church in its wisdom has established the truth midway,
between Liberalism and Socialism. I need not speak here of
Coughlin, who does not represent the Church and will be disowned
whenever it becomes expedient. The general position is that
Liberalism does not go far enough while Socialism goes too far. It
enhances the comic aspect of the situation if you examine the
grounds on which they oppose Socialism. With a dry medieval
pedantry that must equally amuse the professor of ethics and the
professor of economics they prove by elaborate arguments that the
right of private ownership is asserted by "natural moral law," of
which God is the author, so Socialists who deny it are sinful or
immoral. It is like chewing sawdust and has as much relation to the
actual problems of life as have arguments for a flat earth. You
would hardly expect verbal camouflage of this sort to hide even
from a sophomore the fact that Rome really hates Socialism because 

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freethinking generally accompanies it and because the use of the
Church's international machinery to check the growth of Socialism
keeps it in alliance with the rich, the privileged and the
powerful. The Catholic position never was between Liberalism and
Socialism, but Rome found it expedient to let bodies of Catholics
take up a position between Liberalism and complete reaction.

     The irony is now complete. The Church swings back to reaction
under the impression that it is going to recover world-power and
leaves the American apologists looking very foolish as they still
chant the praises of the Papal Charters of Labor. It was possible
to conceal from the public the way in which Leo XIII emphatically
withdrew his Charter of the Rights of the Workers. This was done in
a letter to the bishops and priests of Italy, and the foreign
press, which had been enthusiastic about Leo's "revolutionary"
utterance in 1891, would offend Catholics if it noticed the
retraction of 1902. The same attempt was made to keep the American
(and British) public unaware of the really revolutionary encyclical
of 1931, in which Catholic workers are told that they must join
syndicates or corporations which are overshadowed by corporations
of the employers and drastically subject to the state, which will
not permit strikes. I have read French and German translations of
this encyclical but found none in English, though the very idea of
an encyclical is that it is addressed to all nations and must be
translated into all their languages.

     The wheel has turned full circle. For fourteen centuries the
Church was on the side of the masters and had nothing to say about
the pitiful condition of the workers. Owing to the victory of
reaction over the French Revolution this lasted until the middle of
the 19th Century. Some of the Churches then began to propose half-
measures to conciliate the workers, but the Church of Rome was the
last to patronize even these half measures. At the end of the last
century, however, the Vatican began to wonder whether the
emancipation of the workers was not, like democracy, likely to be
permanent and it began to trim in such countries as it thought this
profitable. The monstrous progress of reaction and decay of
idealism in the last ten years have given it courage and it boldly
enjoins the Catholic world to run up the pirate-flag of the Fascist
state. One Catholic country after another obeys, but in America the
slick apologists conceal the Papal orders and continue to drone
that the Roman Church is, and always was, the angel with a flaming
sword that keeps the greedy and the exploiter out of their medieval

                            Chapter V


     Some day the students of the sociology-class will puzzle over
this controversy of our time as to who helped or who did not help
workers. They will read that before the end of the 19th Century
manhood suffrage or complete democracy was established nearly
everywhere, and that the workers were something like four-fifths of
the adult voting males. Why need anybody help them? Yon know the
answer. Broadly, they helped themselves. The great advance of
social and labor legislation, of municipal services, etc., from 

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1890 onward was due to their pressure. What Leo XIII said had no
more influence on the development than Emerson's essays and less
than Maeterlinck's essays. It was not until the Popes returned to
reaction that they had a real influence on contemporary life.

     The conception of the Pope as a beneficent and highly
effective moral power protecting "be weak from injustice is on a
level with the medieval myth of the knight-errant. I have read
large numbers of medieval chronicles and never came across the
figure of a knight-errant, a knight who even occasionally set out
from the castle to rescue the distressed and smite the cartiff.
Naturally it would be a left-handed compliment to their religion if
we had to say that one in a hundred of them did this, but all real
authorities on the Middle Ages seem to have found, like myself,
that the figure is a sheer myth largely founded on the silly
Spanish fiction, which Cervantes caricatures in Don Quixote. As
Prof. Medley says in Traills' Social England, if a knight met a
maid unprotected on the road he raped her; and I differ from the
learned professor only in this that according to all the leading
authorities on woman in the Middle Ages she is not likely to have
waited to be raped. In fact, if I were malicious I would press
further the parallel of the knight errant and the Pope. According
to all the historians of the time the knight spent his days roaming
the land, not to give help, but to acquire wealth in such ways. ...
But I will not be tempted to any unkind things of the Church to
which I once belonged and, stodgy as the work may be, let us return
to the statement of facts.

     And just to complete the record we may glance at other victims
of medieval oppression and exploitation who, being minorities,
really needed a champion after the workers had become strong. This
should not apply to women seeing that they are half the adult-race,
but it does; and they had the greater claim on the assistance of
the Roman Church from the fact that they have been through all the
modern age of increasing skepticism more loyal and more generous to
the priests than the men. It would seem too big a subject to engage
upon at the tall-end of a booklet but we, may simplify it. A
chapter in my How Freethinkers made Notable Contributions to
Civilization sketches the fight against injustice to woman, which
mean's far more than the refusal of political rights, and shows
that in America the leaders -- F. D'Arusmont, L. Mott, the Grimkes,
A. Kelly, L. Coleman, M.J. Gage, L.M. Child. E. Rose, H. Gardener,
C.C. Stanton, and S.B. Anthony were for the most part Deists (in
the early stage) or Atheists, and that in any case there was not a
Catholic amongst them. Priests jeered at their crusade. It was the
same in England and Europe generally. I enlisted in the fight,
lecturing and writing for the women, about 1900, and in the whole
20 years never heard of a priest or even a prominent Catholic woman
who helped. Once, near the end I was invited to address in London
the Irish (presumably Catholic) Women's Suffrage Society. I got no
audience and was told that anyway it would not have meant more than
half a dozen Catholic girls. I trust I am not misinformed but I was
told that the one nominally Catholic woman in the movement, Mrs.
Despard, had left the Church.

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     Let us try the Jews. I read lately that there is a sort of
circus-group going about America consisting of a Catholic priest, 
a Protestant minister, and a Jewish rabbi telling from a common
platform how Christian's and Jews love each other. Adversity has
made stranger bedfellows than this holy trinity. It is just a sign
of a wintry age, for Churches. Jews, like the workers, have had to
fight themselves for emancipation from the Christian tyranny and
exploitation which lasted from the Dark Age to our own time, and
which the Pope's allies are restoring. There is a persistent
statement in Catholic literature that the knights-errant of the
Vatican always protected the Jews. From whom? Certainly not from
the Moslem, who were most friendly with them, and not, until this
perversity of human nature which we call Nazism began from the
modern skeptical states in which some Jews have grown rich and
powerful. I looked up the learned Catholic Encyclopedia and In
support of this statement of the apologists it quoted five Popes.
Look up what the Jews have to say about those five "champions" of
their race in Graetz's standard 'History of the Jews.' He shows
that four of the five made great financial profit out of the Jews
and the fifth was harsh and cruel to them but protested against the
infamous popular massacres of them.

     I have a long essay on Anti-Semitism in Christian times in No.
2 of 'The Appeal to Reason Library.' To sum it in a few lines, the
Jews were from the 5th to the 11th Century despised and badly
treated in Christian countries as the murderers of Christ, while in
Arab Spain, Sicily, and Persia they had complete freedom, except
when fanatics got power, and made equal contribution with the Arabs
to the culture and prosperity of the great civilization. From 1100
to 1500 they suffered such savage treatment in Christian countries
that the number of victims of massacres is estimated to exceed a
million. The great oracle of the Middle Ages, the Thomas Aquinas
who is now said to have been so modern in sentiment -- we will
consider that in the next book -- instructed, a Christian princess
that they were the "slaves" of Christians and it was not unjust to
seize their wealth. The Reformation brought some improvement, but
it was the growing skepticism of countries like England, Holland,
and France that inspired a more humane attitude. In short the
Church of Rome had idly contemplated a monstrous cruel racial
injustice for 1400 years and has never given a clear moral lead to
its followers, as is amply proved by the birth of modern Anti-
Semitism in Catholic Austria and the recurrence of pogroms in other
Catholic countries. It has been said in reference, to the collapse
of civilization in the Dark Age: "The Popes finished what the Huns
had begun." We may say of the sufferings of the Jews in the last
ten years: The Huns finished what the Popes began.

     Finally, there is the question of the colored folk in America.
We have here a problem the solution of which requires a delicate
balance of social sagacity and moral sentiment. When, during the
fifty years that the Roman Church in America has claimed to be a
moral power that could contribute materially, in fact uniquely, to
the national guidance have its leaders made a clear and categorical
pronouncement on the Negro question, on which whole libraries were
written? Dubois and, other spokesmen of the colored Americans have
declared that Catholics are amongst the most stubborn of their
opponents. We may surely at least say that Catholics as a body, 

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clerical and lay, have shown and show no superior moral and
humanitarian feeling to others. They have insisted on the removal
of the colored folk from contact with them, often even in church,
just like others.

     The problem of the colored population in the United States is
notoriously the sequel to one of the most monstrous racial crimes
of modern times. In that crime England came to take as active a
part as Catholic countries, but it is just to take into account the
fact that it was drawn in by the vast profit which Spain and
Portugal, the originators of the traffic in African flesh and
blood, derived from it. This brought the question of black slavery
well within the sphere of Rome's moral jurisdiction and kept it
there even after Britain and America had emancipated the slaves.
Where will you find the luminous wisdom, the austere and
uncompromising idealism, of the Papacy on that subject? It emerges
clearly from all the controversy on the subject that the crime had
two ecclesiastical roots apart from the greed of Spanish and
Portuguese traders. The clergy decided that since the conversion of
the Amer-indian's was checked by the imposition of forced labor it
was expedient (for the good of the Church) to employ Africans, and
that the cruelty and misery which this involved for the Africans
was compensated by the fact that it brought them into the Church
outside of which -- as the Church then taught -- there was no

     A point which is never made in the endless controversy on this
subject -- at least I have never found it mentioned except by the
Rev. Dr. Agate in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics -- is
that slavery was the more easily imposed upon the Africans because
the Church had never condemned it. Most writers on the subject
imagine a long interval between what they call ancient slavery and,
the beginning of the African slave-trade; some, in fact many,
suppose that, through the efforts of the Church of Rome, slavery
had died with the pagan Romans. There was, on the contrary, as Dr.
Agate shows, a continuous traffic in slaves. It was one of the
chief industries, in the west of England (in Irish slaves) in the
10th Century, and it flourished in north Italy until the middle of
the 15th Century, when the Turks destroyed the commerce of the
Venetians and the Genoese. The heirs of these, the Spanish and
Portuguese, merely transferred the traffic to the Atlantic. No
Papal or theological pronouncement forbade them. Thomas Aquinas
had, like Augustine, put the seal of Catholic scholarship upon it.

     As to the abolition of the traffic we never find the Roman
Church mentioned amongst the claimants of merit. It was not even a
moral problem in Catholic lands until the French revolutionaries,
whom the Pope anathematized, condemned it in their colonies. The
moral guide of the universe failed to see what a Protestant
apologist has called "the blackest crime of modern times." It was
only in the light of a skeptical age that the Popes realized that
the brotherhood of man implied that all men, white, black, and
yellow, Are brothers and had a right to freedom and a decent life.

     We might extend this inquiry over other fields. When did Rome
condemn that cruel and stultifying employment of children which
continued through Catholic ages and survives in full horror in 
Catholic countries? Why is there not a word of rebuke of it in the 

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wonderful Charters of the Rights of Labor? The people of half of
Europe are virtually enslaved to Germany today, the whips of the
Gestapo replacing the whips of the ancient galley-slave overseers.
What has Rome said about it? Japan astonishes the world by the
savagery of its treatment of the helpless, and the Vatican enters
into closer diplomatic relations with it. But we will be content to
have made one point clear. The Vatican has never helped the workers
because its natural alliance is with the exploiters of the workers.
Its apologists plead that it must look always to "the good of the
Church." Yes, just as the managers of a corporation assign as the
first principle of all employers to work for the good of the firm
-- for its advancement in wealth and power. So it has always been;
and if the line of Papal policy has shown some strange deviations
and meanderings in the last 50 years the cause is quite clearly
seen in the development of contemporary life. For the moment it is
back on the straight line. The corporative state makes and works a
serf under the feudal tyranny of masters and pastors.

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    Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

   The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful,
scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of
suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the
Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our
nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and
religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to
the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so
that America can again become what its Founders intended --

                 The Free Market-Place of Ideas.

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   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.

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                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201