During the next few weeks, the four million American children enrolled in Catholic schools will close their textbooks, stand for a final classroom Hail Mary, and embark upon that jubilant season called Summer Vacation.
As the last parochial school door clicks shut behind the last departing child, another group of four million Americans, an insistently adult group, will be dedicating itself to the task of preventing any child in this country from ever attending a Catholic school again. And at first blush this group would seem bound to succeed, for among its members are Senators, Congressmen, Cabinet Officers, corporation executives, bank presidents, newspaper publishers — the moneyed and the mighty of the nation. The group is, of course, that crafty, fanatic assembly, the American Freemasons.
For two centuries, in whatever country Masonic governments have been established, war has been declared against Catholic education. Though Masons are quite willing to appropriate the Church’s buildings, they are careful first to strip the crucifixes from class-room walls, to replace the nuns, brothers, and priests with teachers of their own choosing, to re-write the textbooks and adjust the curricula, and, finally, when all is in readiness, to make it mandatory for all children to attend these new, state-directed schools. Accordingly, the Masons banished Catholic instruction from France in the 1790s, from Italy in 1873, from Portugal in 1910, from Mexico in the 1920s, from Spain in the 1930s, and, save for the decisive protesting of an aroused nation, they would have banished it from the Catholic country of Belgium just last year.
The most casual reading of the literature of American Masons is sufficient to show that they have the same designs on parochial schools as have their brothers in Europe and the countries to the south of us. “The American public school, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, efficient, democratic, for all the children of all the people,” has been proclaimed by American Masonry’s Supreme Council as the first goal which all lodges must strive for. And lest there should be any doubt as to what the Masons mean by this directive, the New Age, official journal of the higher Masonic echelons, recently urged that steps be taken “to disabuse every mind of the thought that the convent or the system supporting it have any rightful place in a free America.”
Thus far, the strongest bid Masons have made to get their kind of “free America” came in Oregon, where, in 1922, a law was passed — admittedly at Masonic instigation — requiring that all children be enrolled in the state’s public school system. The law was to be rigidly enforced beginning in 1926, but when it was brought to a test the U. S. Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional.
Since that time, American Masonry has taken to playing octopus, maintaining at headquarters an air of detachment from the hurly-burly of battle, but lashing out furiously and incessantly with its multiple, well-directed arms. Chief of these for imposing Masonic school policies is the pompous, meddling National Education Association. Currently this organization is coiled about Congress, pressing for approval of large-scale Federal Aid to Education. This program would provide for financial hand-outs to state school departments amounting to three and a half billion dollars — to be used, the NEA insists, for the benefit of public schools only. By necessitating a sharp increase in the taxes paid for school support, the program is calculated to discourage Catholics from continuing to finance an independent school system of their own.
The NEA has also lately a report entitled “Public Education and the Future of America,” indicating that unless the former is soon made compulsory for all children, the latter is going to be impossibly bleak.
In all these well-laid plans, however, there is, for the Masons, one hitch. The Church is on to them. Even American Catholics, adamantly easy-going though they are, have become increasingly alert to the fact that their parochial schools are under siege. That has been one consequence of the Masons’ direct, open assault.
Then, too, being on guard against Masonic maneuverings is a deep-rooted Catholic habit. Since the establishment of modern Masonry in 1717, the cult has been roundly denounced no less than twenty different times, by thirteen popes. Speaking particularly of the Masons and education, Pope Leo XIII warned, “Do not think that any precaution can be great enough in keeping the young from masters and schools where the pestilent breath of the Masonic Society is to be feared.” And Pope Pius XI, who affirmed unequivocally that, “the frequenting of non-Catholic schools ... is forbidden for Catholic children,” also declared, “Masonry is our mortal enemy!”
Prompted by such precedents, American Catholic spokesmen have shown a growing willingness to stand toe-to-toe with the Masons and fight it out. In recent months, for instance, the National Education Association has been resoundingly blasted by Cardinal McIntyre of Los Angeles, Bishop Shehan of Bridgeport, the Education Division of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, and the head of the Knights of Columbus. Even Monsignor Matthew Smith, editor of the far-flung and faint-hearted Denver Register, is reported to have lately given over his front page to an attack on the NEA and the Masons, accusing them of working in conspiracy to abolish Catholic education.
In the light of this general awakening, why should Catholics have anything to fear? For the obvious reason that awareness of peril does not cause peril to disappear. There is still a very real and imminent danger that Masonic proposals will be jammed through Congress or state legislatures and seriously cripple parochial schools. But even more threatening is the fact that the Mason is by no means alone in his hatred for Catholic education. For he has, as his companion, his gleeful prompter, that inevitable enemy of all things Christian, the ever-lurking Jew.
When Pope Pius IX called the Masonic Lodges “the Synagogues of Satan,” he was choosing no idle metaphor. From the beginning, the Masons have been directed by, urged on by, inflamed by, the Jews. Their very ritual is shot through with Jewish symbolism. Indeed, it is in their own occult liturgy that the true nature and function of the Masons is most unerringly portrayed. They are, they say, the descendants and counterparts of those Gentile workmen of King Hiram the Tyrian (III Kings, 5), who were engaged by Solomon to have complete charge of building the Temple in Jerusalem where the Jews would worship. Thus in symbol do the Masons reveal what they are in fact: Gentiles doing the work of Jews. But, ironically enough, like the workmen of Hiram, the Masons can expect no part in the spoils, once the edifice of Jewish power reaches completion. For it has been long decreed that “secret societies,” now so vital to the plans of the Jews, will be jealously outlawed and trampled upon when the awaited King of Jerusalem, Anti-Christ himself, mounts his throne.
The assault of the Jews on our Catholic parochial schools might easily, and not untruly, be chalked up to the general Jewish hatred for things Christian. But to see exactly why the “Catholic school attack” has such a high place in the overall battle plans of American Jewry, we need only be reminded that Catholic schools are the preservers and spreaders of that thunderous information which the Jews are so bent on silencing: (1) The Jews killed Christ. (2)God has cursed them for doing it.
Throughout the Christian centuries, the Jews have never once lost sight of the fact that it is Christian doctrine itself which has established the firm foundation of the world’s antipathy toward Jews. Writing for the American Association for Jewish Education in 1954, Rabbi Horace Kallen put it this way: “In sum, all anti-Semitism, either old or new, roots in a philosophy of life, a scheme of salvation, whose soil is the emotion imparted by Christian theology.”
How, therefore, do the Jews plan to be rid of our doctrine-disseminating Catholic schools? Well, the “direct attack,” we repeat, has long since been delegated by the Jewish policy-makers to their Masonic menials. And although it is possible that at any time the Masons’ frontal blitz may end the whole war in one crashing victory, the concurrent Jewish strategy is purposely less ambitious and, for the moment, more effective.
The basic plan is this: to leave the parochial school intact right now, but methodically, patiently, to purge it of its anti-Jewish sting by censoring and changing the story of the Jews and the Crucifixion as it is presented to parochial school children.
Among the Jews, agitation for this censorship has become increasingly widespread and frank. Back in 1941, in his book World Crisis and Jewish Survival, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver put the problem before the “thinking” Jews of America when he lobbied against “the manner in which the Christ story is taught to Christian children in many Christian schools.” The Jewish-controlled International Conference of Christians and Jews filed a bolder complaint at its very first organizational meeting (Switzerland, 1947) demanding “a revision of Christian religious teaching by eliminating concepts hostile to Jews.” Volume 50 of the American Jewish Yearbook later carried the identically same demand. And only a few months ago, the official bulletin of the Jewish Masons of B’nai B’rith, January, 1956, fanned the flames of this campaign, in lodges all over the country, by reminding members that the changes in Christian doctrine have not yet been made, and that, still, “Despite its demand that evil be repaid with good, Christianity has for almost 2,000 years taught — and in former centuries backed up that teaching with action — that the Jews must bear the punishment for their ancestors’ rejection of Jesus ... that the children of the Jews who crucified Jesus are visited for their fathers’ sin.”
And how are the Jews making out with their changing of the Crucifixion story? Perhaps the most striking evidence of their success is that the Catholic parochial schoolroom is the only assured place left where people will still say, still dare to say, that the Jews killed Christ. Just about everywhere else the Romans are being blamed; and this universal swallowing of the Jewish propaganda line has left it a simple matter to bring pressure upon the “narrow, bigoted, behind-the-times” Catholic schools.
Working in cooperation with all the major Jewish agencies in the country (through the exclusively Jewish National Community Relations Advisory Council) the American Jewish Committee has been issuing annual reports on how and where the “pressure” is being applied. In its 1954 summary, the Committee boasted that the work was going well and that, “The Catholic Biblical Association, which is responsible for parochial school texts, has expressed appreciation for our assistance in the preparation of materials on Jews and Judaism. And the National Catholic Welfare Conference continues to consult with us frequently.”
Having previously worked on an Intercultural Education Syllabus for use in parochial school classes of the Archdiocese of New York, the AJC last year reported that in the Catholic school systems of Boston, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D. C., Jewish Committee censors had made their way right into the classrooms and registered on-the-spot complaints about course material dealing with Jews and the Crucifixion.
Yet, for all their boldness, the Jews realize that there lies ahead of them still one enormous obstacle in “rewriting the Christ story for Christians.” Any number of Catholic textbook writers may be bought-off or scared-off by the Jewish book-burners, but where will there be found a Catholic editor, publisher, or parochial school superintendent to assume responsibility for changing that supreme Catholic text, the New Testament?
To those several members of the American Jewish Committee who faithfully read The Point each month, we should like to direct a closing request. We invite you, gentlemen, to announce in your next report, just how you propose to go about displacing and rewriting such New Testament messages as that, let us say, of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, in which you and your children are imperishably identified as, “the Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men.”
From Compendium of Bible and Church History, by Brother Eugene, N.Y., 1931.
“And ever since, the Jews have wandered about; a people without a flag, a country, a priest, an altar, or a sacrifice; a living testimony that indeed the vengeance of God fell upon them and their children.”From The Triumph of the Faith, the Catholic High School Religion Series, Book Two, N. Y., 1945, Imprimatur of Cardinal Spellman.
The text tells (page 36) how, through Jewish lies, Saint Stephen was betrayed to the Sanhedrin of the Jews, where “he turned on them and boldly declared that they had not lived up to the truth but had betrayed and murdered the Messias. Their sinful pride could not withstand these charges. The Jews rushed upon this brave young man ... ”From Religion: Doctrine and Practice, For Use in Catholic High Schools, by Fr. Francis Cassilly, S. J., Chicago, 1942, Imprimatur of Cardinal Mundelein.
“The Jews as a nation refused to accept Christ, and since His time they have been wanderers on the face of the earth without a temple or a sacrifice, and without the Messias ... The kingdom He founded — the Church — was a spiritual one, not a temporal one such as the carnal Jews were hoping for.”From Bible History by the late Bishop Richard Gilmour, N. Y, 1936.
“For 1,800 years has the blood of Christ been upon the Jews. Driven from Judea — without country, without home — strangers amongst strangers — hated, yet feared — have they wandered from nation to nation bearing with them the visible signs of God’s curse.”