The Point

Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M. — Saint Benedict Center

July, 1953


Speaking at Boston College’s commencement exercises last month, Archbishop Cushing astounded everyone who knows him by declaring that no Catholic student should attend Harvard, Boston University or Northeastern. This momentary show of strength did not sound as though it ought to come from the same Archbishop who had sent his Superintendent of Parochial Schools to Harvard, and his nuns to Boston University.

In the excitement, no one had noticed that a notable Boston secular college had been omitted from the Archbishop’s proscription. But the next day it all became clear, and everyone relaxed as things bounced back to normal in the archdiocese. It was announced that Archbishop Cushing would deliver the invocation at the commencement exercises for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Another collegiate event which occurred locally last month was the announcement by the Harvard Corporation that it had appointed a new President of the University. He replaces James Bryant Conant, the self-styled “skeptical chemist,” who resigned last January in order to assume the more imposing title of High Commissioner of Germany. The new man was born in Iowa, worked in Wisconsin, and answers to the name of Nathan M. Pusey (rhymes with “Who’s he?”).

According to Harvard press releases, when Pusey comes to town he is going to bring lots of changes with him. Instead of skepticism and chemistry, the students are going to be offered Episcopalianism and the classics. Whether or not such changes will really result in a fewer number of student suicides, everyone at Harvard, from the janitors to the Jesuits, is waiting anxiously to see.

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WARNING! Official diocesan figures show that one-third of our American Catholic boys and girls now marry non-Catholics. Two out of three children born of such marriages turn out non-Catholic. In six out of ten mixed marriages, the Catholic partner leaves the Church. In the past ten years, 165,000 young Catholics who married Protestants and Jews before their parish priests have abandoned their Catholic Faith!

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Last month, on the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, Fr. James Keller of the Christophers took up his breviary and found, as required reading for the day, the following excerpt from a sermon by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem:
“Under the appearance of bread He gives us His Body, and under the appearance of wine, His blood: and when you shall come to receive, it is on the body and Blood of Christ you shall feed, being made a partaker of His Body and of His Blood. Thus, indeed, it is that we become Christophers, namely, by carrying about Christ in our bodies, when we receive His Body and Blood into our own. Thus, as the Blessed Peter has said, we are ‘partakers of the Divine nature.’ ”
God, not government, is your business, Father Keller. We suggest you spend “three minutes a day” considering just how many of your “Chrisrophers” would back you up if your message to them was switched from “you can change the world, wherever you are,” to “you can be changed into God, at my altar rail.”


American Catholics are beginning to believe that one religion is as good as another. They are beginning to believe that it does not matter what church you belong to as long as you are sincere. Their views on salvation are beginning to sound like a syllabus of the errors condemned by Popes and Councils. And the effects of their holding such errors are becoming every day more noticeable.

The impression used to be given that the Church in this country could not possibly be better off. It was supposed to be riding the crest of a great wave of conversions. Now it is coming to light that things are not really going so well. A national Catholic magazine recently published the results of a survey it had taken, which revealed that the Church in America trails far behind the Protestant sects as regards convert-making. American Catholics, the survey showed, almost never try to get anyone to join the Church: and even when they do, the try is so half-hearted and uninformed that it seldom succeeds.

This same magazine has, by its cowardly refusal to profess the Faith, and its friendly encouragement of heretics and their ideas, played no small part in bringing about this decline in conversions. It calls itself the Catholic Digest, hoping to be favorably compared with, and possibly mistaken for, the Reader’s Digest. This same ambition to be secularly successful also prevented it from stating the reason why American Catholics are not trying to spread the Faith. Nevertheless, the reason is plain to see. Most American Catholics believe that membership in the Catholic Church is not absolutely necessary for salvation. And that is why they do not try to make converts. They do not see why they should risk disfavor, humiliation, even abuse, for the sake of such an unnecessary cause.

And the reason that American Catholics hold such destructive and heretical beliefs on salvation is not simply that they have been uninstructed or misinstructed in this one point. It is that they have been uninstructed or misinstructed in the whole Faith. They have not been taught the most basic truths and mysteries of their religion; and it is that, even more than direct teaching on salvation itself, which is responsible for their erroneous beliefs on who goes to Heaven and how. If they had really been taught the sacraments, and especially the Holy Eucharist, its meaning and its preciousness, then it would be impossible ever to fool them on the subject of salvation. If they had been taught what Heaven really means — being with Jesus and Mary for all eternity — they would know that it is only for those who love Jesus and Mary, and who would want to spend eternity loving them.

St. John Marie Vianney, the beloved Cure of Ars, said that more Catholics lose their souls on account of ignorance of the Faith, caused by lack of instruction, than on account of any other sin — not on account of the conspicuous, disgraceful sins, as one might suppose, but on account of this thing, ignorance, which is so prevalent among American Catholics, and so disregarded.

For the sake of these American souls that are being lost for lack of instruction, we make this appeal to Our Holy Father, the Pope:

Most Holy Father, we come to you as to the Father of Christendom and the only hope of the world, to plead that our country, the United States of America, be taught the Catholic Faith. We plead for teachers who will instruct us not in their own programs and ideas, as so many do now, but in the Faith as the Church has taught it and held it throughout its history. We want to be told what the attainment of eternal life means, and what we must do to attain it.

We promise you, Most Holy Father, that if we are taught the Faith strongly, lovingly, and courageously, we will respond to it. We are a young and vital people, we Americans, with the enthusiasm and eagerness of youth. We promise you that with your help and your care, we can produce saints in our country. We promise you that we can produce martyrs, that if the need should come we will shed our blood for you and for Jesus and Mary. And, we think, Most Holy Father, that the time might soon come when you will need our blood.


We in Boston often ask ourselves the question: What is a Unitarian? I shall give the answer in the form of a questionnaire. And I shall inflict it on a modern Bostonian, and in the best Unitarian manner.

Q. What is a Unitarian?

A. A Unitarian is one who believes in the unity of God and the trinity of enterprise.

Q. Can you give examples?

A. Shreve Crump and Low. Jones McDuffee and Stratton. Choate Hall and Stewart. New York New Haven and Hartford.

Q. Who and what are these?

A. Three prices in one pearl. Three stewards in one master. Three clients in one lawyer. Three journeys in one direction.

Q. What else are they?

A. An inevitable and rhythmic arrangement of names so proper as to make even commas between them superfluous ...

Q. In?

A. Decoration Utensilization Litigation Transportation ...

Q. Entitled?

A. Shreve Crump and Low. Jones McDuffee and Stratton. Choate Hall and Stewart. New York New Haven and Hartford.

Q. Are all these, Unitarians?

A. Unitarianism is not a synthesis.

Q. What is it?

A. An interpretation.

Q. Weren’t its ancestors farmers, fishermen, and hunters?

A. Seed Weed and Feed. Hook Line and Sinker. Lock Stock and Barrel.

Q. In Boston, today, incorporated — what would they be called?

A. Farmsworth Fish and Huntington.

Q. You mentioned Jones McDuffee and Stratton.

A. Yes.

Q. It is hard to remember what they sell.

A. Plates Cups and Saucers.

Q. And the Shreve people jewellers ...

A. And the Choate crowd are lawyers ...

Q. And the rest is a railroad.

A. Exactly.

Q. The Gospel doesn’t make things quite so elemental.

A. Nothing is more elemental than sentimentality.

Q. But why such a blasphemous rejection of the beautiful processions in the Godhead? And why such a passion for partnerships that will blow to blazes on the Day of Doom?

A. These are extremely difficult questions to answer.

Q. Is Unitarianism a Revelation of its own? Is it an Illumination twirling all by itself in mid-ocean, like a solitary lighthouse, showing nothing, but itself, where to come, or go? Is it its own efficacious Grace?

A. These are extremely difficult questions to answer.

Q. Partnership is the weirdness of Anglicanism: High Broad and Low. Partnership is trying to sunder Catholicism: one root in three trees called The Branch Theory. Partnership is the horror of recent pray-as-you-enter projects: Dispersion Immersion and Conversion.

A. That is why a Unitarian prefers to remain ...

Q. What?

A. Transcendental.

Q. Like Emerson?

A. Like Shreve Crump and Low. Jones McDuffee and Stratton. Choate Hall and Stewart. New York New Haven and Hartford.

Q. You mean: minding his own kind of God?

A. Yes, and finding and founding his own kind of business.

(from London Is a Place, Ravengate Press, Boston)

There Are Only Eleven Million

A Jew will never ask you to be a Jew. The Sunday supplements carry no announcement of home-study courses for prospective Hebrews. The missionary lands get no influx of predatory rabbis trying to win the natives to the Jewish fold. A Jew, in fact, defies you to be a Jew: still, the Jew, mysteriously, goes on.

For two thousand years, the spectacle of his wanderings has challenged the gentile world. Living everywhere, at home nowhere, the Jew from Warsaw and Vienna and Budapest, from Antwerp and London and the Bronx, is the same ubiquitous Jew who provoked a Catholic girl in remote New Zealand to write:

“Discountried and diskinged
And watched from pole to pole,
A Jew at heart remains a Jew —
His nation is his soul.”
In his successive migrations, the Jew has made little pretense at belonging to wherever he is. Rather, and shrewdly, he has sought to make himself necessary to wherever he is. At his shrewdest, he has identified himself with money. That is how be made himself necessary to, without belonging to, Christian Europe. And that is how he happened to be still very much on the scene when the break-up of Christian Europe occurred — when the revolting Protestants discovered a most obliging ally in the Jewish moneylender.

It was about this same time that the Jew, who never asks you to become a Jew, relaxed just a little his exclusive hold on things Jewish. By some occult interplay of symbolism and ritual, the Protestant-Jewish alliance of the Reformation era found an abiding religious expression in Freemasonry. For the Protestant Mason, traveling to the East in his abbreviated apron, equipped with Talmudic names and signs, is, at the peak of his liturgy, rebuilding the Jewish Temple of Solomon. And, in feminine counterpart, Masonry’s Protestant wives are guided back through the centuries by their “Eastern Star” until they become, in their fifth and highest degree, the Jewish Judith, slaughtering the enemy, Holofernes.

Yet, after all the observations about him have been made — the migratory, monetary, Masonic, and numberless other ones — the Jew is still unexplained. For the Jew is not a movement, or a cycle, or a complex. The Jew is a blood stream: an uninterrupted flow back to Jerusalem, and back to the Holy Week clamor of the Jews, “His Blood be upon us and upon our children!”

The hatred of the Jew for the Blood of Jesus explains the first Good Friday. The sustained hatred of the Jew for this Precious Blood explains his subsequent behavior, Good Friday and every Friday for nineteen hundred years — his uncanny genius for turning up, anywhere in the world, to lend a helping hand any time the Precious Blood of Jesus is under attack.

And how is the Blood of Jesus, so availably left in the world, protected? By sublime paradox, its protection is established in the prophetic canticle of a Jewish girl from Nazareth. As the Blessed Virgin Mary concluded her “Magnificat,” mindful of the newly conceived Jesus in her womb, her final apostrophe was, “to Abraham and to his seed, forever:” to the great father of the Jews and to those gentile children of his who, in their sacramental reception of the Blood of Jesus, would be incorporated with the Jewish blood of Jesus’ Old Testament ancestors, with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. This is Jesus’ protection and the Jew’s consternation: the centuries of First Communion children, kneeling at Catholic altar rails, who have welcomed into their mouths and hearts the Body and Blood of Mary’s Child.

A Jew will never ask you to become a Jew. A Catholic will ask you to believe that a Jew is what God once became. In this month of the Precious Blood, we are daring to ask that the Jews believe that, too. We are bold enough to declare that the problem of the Jew (and problem he has been in every country he has entered) is not a political or a social, but a religious one. Its solution will not be found in Israeli bonds, Einstein theories, Anti-Defamation Leagues, or Hillel Houses. It will be found only in the acknowledgement by the Jew that the one reason for his being “discountried and diskinged” is his rejection of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, God in the royal blood of David, present on our Catholic altars.

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