The Point

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

May, 1954


Auxiliary Bishop Bernard Sheil of Chicago was recently photographed receiving a “blessing” from a rabbi. Not long ago, he established a scholarship fund to send Catholic boys to study at Brandeis, New England’s Jewish university.

This month the Bishop was still at it. Recognizing the fact that most uncovered Communists turn out to be Jews, he delivered a bitter blast against his fellow-Catholic, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. By hampering or discrediting McCarthy’s investigations, Bishop Sheil hoped to render still another valuable service to Judaism.

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In a recent issue of The Listener, the official magazine of the British Broadcasting Corporation, occurs an echo of a blast heard here in Boston five years ago. It is by way of a letter, and then a reply, and a second letter, in subsequent issues of that London paper:
Sir. — Mr. Hodgson, commenting on Dr. Gilbert Murray’s reminiscences, is, I think, mistaken about the famous dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation. Here in England, in partibus infidelium, the dogma has been explained away and watered down to meaninglessness; but a whole catena of papal and conciliar decrees could be quoted to prove that the words mean exactly what they say.

To mention only a few: in the year 1215, the fourth Lateran Council, cap. l, De Fide Catholica, decreed that, ‘there is one universal Church of the faithful outside which absolutely no one is saved.’ Boniface VIII, in the bull, Unam Sanctam (1302), speaking, if ever a Pope spoke, ex cathedra, made this solemn utterance: ‘Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is wholly necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.’ And, within living memory, Leo XIII, in his encyclical, Satis cognitum, used these words: ‘The Church of Christ is, then, the only one and the perpetual one; whosoever are outside it depart from the will and commands of Christ the Lord; they have left the way of salvation and gone aside to destruction.’

— Yours, etc.,
Harold Binns

Sir. — I am sure that most Catholics are grateful to Mr. Harold Binns for showing us so clearly what the Catholic Church really teaches concerning the salvation of those who will not accept the authority of the Church. It is salutary to be reminded occasionally that the Catholic Church really does mean what she says. Even so, these Papal pronouncements must be viewed in their proper context, and in the light of the circumstances in which they were uttered; also they are de jure and directive. And when a Catholic says that this does not mean that particular souls are condemned to Hell he is offending no doctrine of his Church — on this aspect we have no need of Mr. Binns’ directives. No squaring of the circle is necessary — only a little common sense, and perhaps a little tolerance!

The position is quite clear even to the average Catholic: does Mr. Binns imagine that all the attempts on the part of Catholics, both here and abroad, to solve the differences that divide the churches are based on the assumption that ‘our separated brethren’ are de facto damned? The present Pope has even permitted that in certain circumstances prayers may be said in common. Perhaps Mr. Binns would like to lecture the Pope now?

— Yours, etc.,

Sir, — I should like to thank ‘Catholicus’ for bringing out my meaning so clearly. He has put my point better than I could put it myself. I quoted papal and conciliar decrees to prove that the words of the famous dogma, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, though taken quite literally in medieval times and regarded as de fide, are now, for propaganda purposes, whittled away to meaninglessness. ‘Catholicus’ very obligingly confirms this. Such papal pronouncements, he says, are merely ‘directive.’

Let us see what this means. More than one hundred years after Boniface VIII had declared, ex cathedra, that ‘submission to the Roman Pontiff is for every human creature an absolute necessity of salvation,’ Eugenius IV, in his bull, Cantate Domino (1441), gave a fierce fire-and-brimstone ‘directive’ interpretation of the dogma:

‘The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that none of those who are not within the Catholic Church can ever be partakers of eternal life, but are to go into the eternal fire “prepared for the devil and his angels” unless before the close of their lives they shall have entered into that Church.’
The fact, of course, is that this rigid sheep-and-goat dichotomy between Roman Catholics and the overwhelming majority of the human race is so repugnant to common sense that papal declarations, however ‘infallible’, have to be explained away, and the ‘fresh-poured red wine of a mighty pulse’ watered down to its very thinnest and pinkest tint.

— Yours, etc.,
Harold Binns

We do not know who Mr. Harold Binns is, or what his motives were in writing his letters. We only know that he has stated the true Catholic doctrine on salvation. And he had better believe it if he wants to save his own soul.


In addition to the bean and the cod, Boston is also the home of several hundred thousand Catholics. Despite the fact, however, that these are by far the city’s largest religious group, they have never, except in a numerical or political sense, been able to make Boston a Catholic city. The reason for this is a simple one. Because the Catholics of Boston did not make their Faith the central, primary issue in their lives, they were not able to withstand the assault of those who were determined that Boston remain essentially un-Catholic.

The assault began the moment the first timid Catholics reared their heads in Boston, around the year 1700. Immediately, the city’s primal squatters, the Puritans, slapped a statute into the books declaring that any priest who set foot in the territory of Massachusetts would be confined to life imprisonment. In 1834, the heretics of Boston met the challenge of the Catholic immigrants who were pouring into the city, by burning down a sisters’ convent; and in 1855, the Massachusetts Legislature, still in the grand old Protestant tradition, established a Committee for the Inspection of Nunneries.

Yet none of these strong-arm tactics worked. Catholic immigrants continued flooding Boston, and before long outnumbered the Protestant aborigines. And so, instead of the purely Protestant device of active persecution, a more subtle, Masonic scheme — designed especially for controlling Catholic majorities — was henceforth employed. The scheme was to keep the Catholics divided against each other, so that they would never act with their full, united strength. And the principle of division was to be nationality.

There is a warm, beautiful love of one’s country and its traditions that the Faith encourages and brings to flower. But there is also a selfish, suspicious, belligerent kind of nationalism that sets Irish against Italians, Italians against French, French against Poles, causing each group to distrust and despise the other. This was the nationalism the Masons promoted and the Catholics of Boston sinfully submitted to.

The strategy consisted in never giving Catholics that status of unqualified “American” which the heretics attained the moment they stepped off the boat. No matter how long they had been in this country, Catholics were always referred to as aliens. Their Americanism was always hyphenated; they were Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, and Polish-Americans. Eventually, the Catholics of Boston came to feel, from having it so incessantly drummed into them, that the thing that set them apart from other Bostonians was not their Faith, but simply their nationality. Having achieved this, the Masons then played one national group against another, encouraging antagonisms, with the net effect that instead of all the Catholics being united by their common reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus, they were divided by reason of their disparate origins.

A prime example of this program in action is the way, with Masonic encouragement and Irish thick-headedness, Saint Patrick’s Day was turned from a religious celebration into a national one. The outsiders invited to take part in it became not the non-Irish Catholics, but the non-Catholic Irish. An Italian had no place in South Boston on Saint Patrick’s Day, but any Yankee heretic who would put on a green tie and become Irish for a day was welcomed to the festivities.

Finally, to ensure Boston’s remaining un-Catholic, there has been the latter-day assault by the Jews. Their role has been the old and eagerly-undertaken one of corruption: propagating their impurity, undermining every Christian value, trying to obscure every Christian feast-day.

We have put this discussion of what has happened in Boston in the past tense. And with good reason. For the Catholic people of Boston are at last beginning to arise. There is an undercurrent, a surging wave of discontent, and anger, and resentment at what Boston has become under the influence of Masonic schemes and Jewish filth. The signs become more clear and manifold every day. There are signs of growing impatience — like the fact that in Boston’s latest city elections not a single Jew was put in office; and of growing courage — like the way a Catholic city official this month called upon Catholic parents to keep their children home from school on Holy Thursday, so that they might commemorate and honor the institution of the Holy Eucharist.

But the greatest and surest sign that Boston is on the upgrade is that there is in Boston, at long last, a voice preaching the Catholic Faith without fear or qualification, in all its beauty and challenge and excitement. That voice is Father Leonard Feeney, speaking to crowds of thousands each Sunday afternoon on Boston Common. It is such a voice that the Masons and Jews have always dreaded and always tried to prevent. For they have realized, with a kind of diabolic instinct for survival, what we can realize through our Faith: If the Catholic people of Boston ever make the Mother of God and Her Son the great interest and crusade of their lives, then they will be united; and Boston will become, in its heart, in its culture, in its warmth and gaiety and love, a Catholic city.


In the year 1787, when the delegates were met in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention, Mr. Benjamin Franklin addressed that distinguished assembly in the following words:
“In whatever country Jews have settled in any great numbers, they have lowered its moral tone, depreciated its commercial integrity, have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated, have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion, have built up a state within a state, and have, when opposed, tried to strangle that country financially ...

“If you do not exclude them, in less than two hundred years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish the substance while they will be in the counting house rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude the Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.”

At the time he made these remarks, Mr. Benjamin Franklin was not yet the well-commemorated gentleman on postage stamps and U. S. currency, whose name is attached to so many of our streets, parks and schools; not to mention stoves, the Saturday Evening Post, and all of Philadelphia, Pa. In 1787 Mr. Franklin was a Protestant and, most devotedly, a Freemason. And his near-hysteria about things Jewish arose from intimate knowledge of how far the Jews had advanced since the Protestant revolt set them up, and of how much they were gaining control of Freemasonry — which was his own (and he felt ought to be America’s) secret power in public affairs.

Mr. Franklin’s Protestant-Masonic anti-semitism has found abundant survival in America. Though not always manifesting itself in such bed-sheeted boldness as the Ku Klux Klan, Mr. Franklin’s kind of anti-semitism always bears the same message at its core. Kick out the kikes before they grab up all the money and leave none for us! Whether it is enunciated over cocktails at Harvard’s Porcellian Club, or over a barrel of corn whiskey in the hills of Tennessee, Protestant anti-semitism is just that little removed from the jungle.

At this point, some eager Protestant history student would probably like to interject, “Yah! but you Catholics hated Jews long before the Protestants did!”

We answer: In every page of Catholic history there is certainly evidence to conclude that Catholicism and Jews don’t go together. Saint Pius V, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Edward the Confessor, Saint Louis of France, Saint Henry of Germany (the list is endless) could all be easily accused of having no affection for Jews. Public burning of the Talmud, the outlawing of synagogues, the demand that Jews be at all times distinguished by their dress, and a hundred other such practices, are standard procedure for any Catholic kingdom in the history books.

But to conclude from this that we are going to rally to Mr. Franklin’s crusade, is to miss the point entirely. Catholic anti-semitism, and that is a poor word for it, is traditionally a religious matter. It has never offered a “Hitler solution” for the Jew problem. Its consistent remedy has been ghettos and, perhaps surprisingly, a frequent willingness to have Jews around, in controllable numbers. For Jews (Mr. Franklin is very much out of this now) have a decided theological value. As Saint Bernard says, they are dispersed by God in Christian lands to be a constant reminder to us of the treachery of the first Good Friday, which treachery they are cursed to keep repeating, through their children.

One morning last month we were especially struck by the theological value of the Jew-at-hand. Precisely because we were living in an America that has not excluded Jews, we Catholics truly appreciated, on last Good Friday, the Church’s annual prayer “for the perfidious Jews.” History indicates that Mr. Franklin never prayed for them — and would have been even less inclined to had he known that Catholics did!

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