Making America Catholic



     THE Roman hierarchy knew that the older Protestants, who had read about the persecutions of the Dark Ages, and who knew some of the inside workings of the papal church, would never become Catholics. Rome's hope lay in capturing the younger generation. If the Papacy could cover up those dark pages of its history, when it waded in the blood of martyrs, and could appear in the beautiful modern dress of a real champion for liberty, as a lover of science, art, and education, it would appeal to the American youth, and the battle would be won.  

     The Jesuits, who through years of experience in Europe, have become experts in molding young minds, are now establishing schools everywhere, that are patronized by thousands of Protestant youth. They have also undertaken the delicate task of Romanizing the textbooks of our public schools, and books of reference, in order to cover up their past, and to whitewash the Dark Ages. That Romanists desire to cover up their past record of bloody persecution is acknowledged by that honorable Roman Catholic author, Alfred Baudrillart, Rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris. After giving a frank statement of the many persecutions of which his church is guilty, he says in the words of Mgr. d'Hulst:  

     "'Indeed, even among our friends and our brothers we find those who dare not look this problem in the face. They ask permission from the Church to ignore or even to deny all those facts and institutions in the past which have made orthodoxy compulsory."' - "The Catholic Church; the Renaissance and Protestantism," Alfred Archeveque Cardinal Baudrillart, pp. 183, 184. 

Romanizing Textbooks

     In the first place, all general histories used in our public schools and high schools had to be revised to eliminate every trace of the objectionable features from their pages. Plain historical facts of the Middle Ages, - such as the popes' interference with public government (as in the case of Henry IV, Emperor of Germany, A. D. 1077, and King John of England, A. D. 1213); the persecution of Waldenses, Albigenses, and Huguenots; the Inquisition; the sale of indulgences; and the Reformation, - all had to be eliminated or rewritten so as to exonerate the Papacy, and brand its opponents simply as political offenders and revolutionists, who suffered at the hand of the civil government, instead of being persecuted by the Church for their religion.  

     Such radical changes could never have been accomplished so quietly if Protestantism had not been asleep. At times it became necessary to create public sentiment against a certain textbook through newspaper articles written by some learned Catholic professor, and then pressure was brought to bear on school boards to eliminate it, substituting for it a Romanized book. Thus Swinton's "Outlines of History" was thrown out of the schools, and "Anderson's History" was black listed, but later revised according to Catholic wishes, and brought back to take the place of Swinton's. Myers's "Medieval and Modem History" was also censored. At first the author refused to change it, claiming "history is history," but later it was revised and came into quite general use for a time. Not all of this was done in the dark. As one example of protest we refer the reader to Senate Document on Public Hearing before the United States Committee on Education and Labor, Friday, February 15, 1889, and Friday, February 22, 1889, on "Senate Resolution No. 86. 23 Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Respecting Establishment of Religion and Free Public Schools," which unmasks some of this work. We shall now point out two of the vital changes made in our textbooks:  

     (1) The Catholic Church will never acknowledge the Reformation of the sixteenth century as a reform, but brands it as a "revolt" against the authority of the pope, and as a "revolution."

     A sure earmark, therefore, of all Romanized textbooks is the fact that they never speak of the Reformation as a work of reform but as "the Protestant Revolt," "the Protestant Revolution," "the so-called Reformation," or "what is called the Reformation." Let any one look it up in the schoolbooks used by his children, and see for himself.  

     To give the readers who may not have seen the textbooks used in our schools today an idea of what the Protestant children are taught, we shall take the "History of Western Europe," by Professor J. H. Robinson, as an example. It has the following chapters on the Reformation of the sixteenth century: chapter 24, "Germany Before the Protestant Revolt"; chapter 25, "Martin Luther and His Revolt Against the Church"; chapter 26, "Course of the Protestant Revolt in Germany"; chapter 27, "The Protestant Revolt in Switzerland and England." Chapter 25 says: "As Luther became a confessed revolutionist, he began to find friends among other revolutionists and reformers." p. 393. Chapter 28 takes up the effort of the Catholics to destroy the Reformation by a counter-reform, by the work of the Jesuits, and the bloody persecution of Protestants in Spain, in the Netherlands, and France. This chapter is entitled. "The Catholic Reformation," and yet it comes the farthest from deserving the title of reformation of all the above-mentioned chapters. In these Romanized textbooks the historical facts of the Middle Ages are entirely reversed. The way the last-mentioned chapter extols the Jesuits shows who has put their stamp on the book. Senator Thomas E. Watson truthfully says: 

     "In the public schools the Catholics have stealthily introduced textbooks written by Jesuits, and your children are being taught that the Roman church was misunderstood in the past; that its doctrines are not fatal to humanity and gospel religion; that its record is not saturated with the blood of innocent millions, murdered by papal persecutors, and that there never was such a monstrosity as the alleged sale of papal pardons of sins.  

     "Educate youth in this Catholic way, and the consequences are logical." - "Roman Catholics in America Falsifying History and Poisoning the Minds of Protestant School Children," p. 5. Thompson, Ga.: 1928.   

Sale Of Indulgences

     Histories used in the public schools in the United States up to the year 1900 were opposed by the Roman Catholic Church on the ground that they were not stating the truth about "indulgences." These histories simply stated that Martin Luther began the Reformation by opposing Tetzel's sale of indulgences, which is a historical fact. 

     "An Introduction to the History of Western Europe," by   Professor J. H. Robinson, says:

     "It is a common mistake of Protestants to suppose that the indulgence was forgiveness granted beforehand for sins to be committed in the future. There is absolutely no foundation for this idea."- p. 391. Ginn and Co... 1903.  

     This statement is copied on page 311 in 'A General History of Europe," by Robinson, Breasted, and Smith, a textbook quite generally used of late. We shall leave it with the reader to judge whether such statements actually represent the Protestant conception of "indulgences," or whether they are part of a program to cover up historical facts; and we would respectfully ask: Are not American youth entitled to know the unvarnished facts of history?  

     The historical facts about "indulgences," gathered from unquestionable sources, are found on pages 162-172 of this book. It is here shown that the idea of "indulgences" had so degenerated between the eleventh and the sixteenth centuries, that they were actually sold for money. Tetzel's "Indulgences" read: 1 "absolve thee . . . from all thy sins, transgressions and excesses . . . and I restore thee . . . to that innocence and purity which thou possessed at baptism; so that, when thou diest, the gates of punishment shall be shut, and the gates of the paradise of delight shall be open." - Coxe's "House of Austria," Vol. I, p. 385. London: George Bell and Sons, 1906. 

Revising Books Of Reference

     The next step in the papal plan was to revise all books of reference, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and larger historical works, so as to mould the minds not only of pupils but also of teachers and of preachers. An example of this is seen in the revision of the New International Encyclopedia. The editor of the Catholic Mirror (at that time the official organ of Cardinal Gibbons), in a lengthy editorial, dated October 28, 1905, tells of how the publishers of that Encyclopedia cooperated with the Jesuits in revising it. He quoted the following letter from the Rev. Thomas J. Campbell, S. J., which he had just received:  

     "Dodd, Mead and Co. sent their representatives to us, and not only expressed a desire to avoid misstatements in their encyclopedia, but asked for some one to excise whatever might be offensive. . . . Mr. Conde B. Pallen took the matter in hand, and was afforded full liberty to revise and correct not only the topics which dealt professedly with Catholic subjects but those also which might have even an indirect bearing on them. . . . The firm has done all in its power to make it acceptable to Catholics." - Quoted in "Liberty," Vol. V, No. 3, pp. 34, 35. Washington., D. C., 1910.   

     After this was done, every effort was made to get this New International Encyclopedia into the hands of all Protestant ministers in this country, who were unaware of its Romanized features. Its molding influence was soon seen in the striking similarity in viewpoint (on many subjects) between the Roman theology and that of the Protestant pulpit and press, and this is becoming more so now after practically all encyclopedias have been Romanized. Even Webster's Dictionary has not been allowed to speak its old familiar truths any more. We read:   

     "Time was when complaint was common that injustice was done to the Catholics in 'Webster's Dictionary.' There is no room for such a thing in the new 'Webster's International Dictionary,' issued by G. and C. Merriam Co., Springfield, Mass., because Vicar-General Callaghan, of the diocese of Little Rock, has revised and edited everything appertaining to the church." - "Freeman's Journal" of New York, May 28,1892. Since then a Catholic official has been regularly connected with the editorial staff, whenever a new revision was made, as can be seen in the preface of later editions.  

     Suppose, in the next encyclopedia, we ask brewery officials to edit everything pertaining to temperance and the liquor question, and ask the officials of Wall Street to edit all that pertains to capital and labor, would we then get a more correct and unbiased representation of these subjects? We ask why, then, should Roman Catholic officials edit everything pertaining to the Protestant controversy with Rome?   

     At the First American Catholic Missionary Congress, held at Chicago, November 17,1908, Dr. William McGinnis outlined the program of the International Catholic Truth Society for making America Catholic: (1) by Romanizing our schoolbooks, (2) by revising our books of reference, (3) by controlling the daily press, (4) by capturing the libraries. He said in part:   

     "A few years ago the publishers of an encyclopedia in twelve volumes entered the office of the Truth Society and said: 'We realize there are many misstatements and errors regarding things Catholic in this work, but we put the whole edition in your hands and will accept every correction you make and every addition which you wish to insert.' . . . So, likewise, one of the largest publishing houses of the United States, a house that supplies perhaps one third of the textbooks used in the public schools of America, asked that certain books might be examined and erroneous statements and unjust charges against the Church be corrected. . . . And we are happy to say that in practically every case these misrepresentations of the Church that otherwise would have gone into the minds of millions of children were courteously corrected by gentlemanly authors." - "The Two Great American Catholic Missionary Congresses," pp. 427, 428. Chicago: J. S. Hyland and Co., 1914.  

     Many Protestant parents would not send their children to Catholic parochial schools, but they will allow them to be taught the same thing from Romanized textbooks, without any protest!   

     We ask, What made the afore-mentioned publishers so anxious to have the Catholics revise the public schoolbooks and encyclopedias, which they intended to publish? Why did they not go to some Protestant organization to have the books revised? Was it because Protestants are not educated? Certainly not! But these publishers knew from experience, that, unless the books were Romanized, Catholic societies would stir up such opposition against their use, that it would result in financial loss to the publishers. Dr. McGinnis tells the secret when he relates how he had urged the Knights of Columbus to "wake up" and "form a committee," to examine the "histories of education in use in high schools and normal schools." He says: "The spirit of Knighthood was not dead in that Council, the subject was investigated, the book I had quoted from was the textbook of the class, and, after much discussion, it was removed from the curriculum of the school." - Id., pp. 423, 424.   

     Any one who will take the trouble to examine the textbooks used in our public schools before 1900, and compare them with those used after this Romanizing propaganda began, will discover the fact that the Romanizing features have been introduced gradually into a series of textbooks. The one taking the place of the other as fast as the public could assimilate the Catholic sentiments and phraseology, and the same is true regarding books of reference.

Muzzling The Public Press

     Dr. McGinnis also spoke of their plans regarding the daily papers. He said: "We may consider briefly the program of the International Catholic Truth Society in reference to two great agencies in the formation of the minds and hearts of the great American people, - the press and the public libraries.   

     "Our daily press . . . moulds the thought and influences the will of the country . . . . We do demand that the great Catholic Church, in her saving doctrines and in her marvelous activities, should be brought more prominently before the American public." Id., p. 419.   

     Dr. McGinnis further stated that arrangements had been made with the Vatican for Catholic reporters all over the world to furnish material for the "Truth Society" to be used in the daily press, and then he says:

     "With a membership of two or three thousand scholarly, zealous priests and laymen, and the headquarters of the Society acting as a clearing house, calumnies would not remain unanswered, misstatements of doctrines would be corrected." - Id., pp. 420, 421.   

     "We realize, moreover, that refutations and corrections, valuable though they be, are not sufficient. We want to carry the campaign a little farther. We want to make of the press of this country a positive agency in the dissemination of Catholic ideas. . . . We are now furnishing on the first and third Sundays of each month one column or a column and a half of positive Catholic matter to daily papers. . . . But the 'Notes and Comments' . . . deal with such topics as the conversion of some distinguished scholar, the life work of a recently deceased Catholic who was eminent in the domain of physical science, archeological discoveries bearing upon Christian doctrine, important congresses abroad. . . . If the demands of our people prove that the new feature is appreciated, the 'service' will become weekly, and it will bring light and sympathy for things Catholic to many millions of readers." - Id., pp. 421, 422.  

     "The demands" must have proved successful, for instead of this "new feature" appearing weekly, articles and notes seem to appear almost daily. Though it is legitimate for religious denominations to make use of the public press, for them to muzzle the freedom of the press is not legitimate! When large religious organizations parade their great number of adherents and bring pressure to bear on the press, threatening non support if the other side appears in its columns, while they monopolies them with their own propaganda, such organizations lose the respect of thinking people.  

Capturing The Public Libraries

     At the before-mentioned Catholic Congress plans were also laid for making the public libraries agencies in their propaganda. Dr. McGinnis says:

     "Another force, second only to the school and the press in shaping the thoughts of the nation, is the public library system of the United States. . . .I ask why, in the name of the God of truth, is the great Catholic Church excluded from the shelves of the public libraries of the United States? . . . Create a strong, legitimate demand for Catholic literature, and the public libraries will meet the demand." - Id., pp. 422, 423.   

     But how did that Congress propose to "create" this strong "demand" for Catholic books? Here is their scheme: They will supply their people with lists of books to be asked for at the libraries, and when several hundred or thousand people have called for the same books, it will create a demand.   

     "The demand for such literature must be brought to the public libraries. We wish to emphasize the fact that the demand must be made in good faith - the books are called for at the library because the man wants to read them. The International Catholic Truth Society will supply general and special lists of books, and the Spiritual Director . . . will . . . designate appropriate works for individual members. From this widespread bona fide demand for Catholic works at public libraries three results will follow. [It will help the members.] Their work will be instrumental in placing these books within the reach of the great non-Catholic American public, who will thus have some opportunity to find out what the Church's doctrines and practices really are, and finally the increased circulation of such literature will be a well-deserved and much-needed stimulus to Catholic writers." - Id., p. 424. See also "Catholic Digest," March, 1937, pp. 126, 127, and "America," September 13, 1913, pp. 547, 548.

1943 CE, FAFA 243-251