Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 9, 1950

The Catholic Church In Action

(Editor's note: The two following articles are taken from recent issues of the Christian Century, and show a little bit of what the Catholic Church is doing in her avowed crusade to "make America Catholic.")

"Has The Navy Joined The Catholic Church?"

"When President Truman appointed Francis P. Matthews secretary of the navy, the press emphasized his prominence in the lay activities of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Matthew's record, as given in "Who's Who," lists a long line of Catholic offices and honors, including six years as supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, a papal knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory, a knight commandership with grand cross, elevation to the rank of Knight Commander with Grand Cross of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and finally promotion to the lofty pinnacle of Secret Papal Chamberlain with Cape and Sword.

"No one, however, at the time of Mr. Matthews' appointment suspected that his church affiliations and dignities would exert any direct influence on his policies as head of the navy. But in light of developments since Mr. Matthews took office, that opinion may have to be revised. Twice within recent weeks units of the U. S. Navy have been ordered to display themselves at Roman Catholic events.

"The first such instance came when a squadron of destroyers was sent—of course at taxpayers expense—to the convention of the Knights of Columbus, at Portland, Ore. In that fashion an effort was plainly made to add to the prestige of a Catholic fraternal order of which the secretary of the navy had until recently been the head. The second instance came early this month when a squadron of naval air reserve planes was sent to scatter roses over a Roman Catholic religious procession honoring St. Theresa at New Columbus, Penn: The planes made a flight of more than 100 miles from the naval air station at Willow Grove, near Philadelphia, to execute that mission—again, of course, at taxpayers' expense. What goes on here? This makes twice within three months that units of the U. S. defense forces have been sent to participate in a sectarian church affair. Does Mr. Matthews think he is running the U. S. Navy as a Secret Papal Chamberlain with Cape and Sword?' "


"Wheat And Cotton Kings Embrace The Church"

"President Truman jolted the nation by announcing that when Congress reassembles, it will be called on to boost taxes. With government running in the red, he asks, what else is there to do? One thing that might be done is to tighten up on tax exemptions for church and charitable corporations. Here is a loophole in the tax laws which already involves a yearly loss of more than a billion dollars to the federal treasury.

"Recent examples of the way this works have been furnished by the sale of the largest wheat ranch and one of the largest cotton ranches in the nation to Catholic foundations, which are to use the profits to build Trappist monasteries and Benedictine convents, for foreign missions, and for the education of young men for the priesthood.

"The fabulous 96,000-acre wheat ranch of Thomas D. Campbell in Montana has been sold to the "United States Wheat Corporation of Omaha." The young Omaha attorney who heads this corporation is also president, secretary, treasurer, chairman of the trustees, general counsel, and resident agent of the Sacred Heart Foundation, which has acquired all the capital stock of the "United States Wheat Corporation"—ten shares valued at $1.00 each! The foundation's funds are "managed and controlled exclusively" by the president and treasurer. The board is composed of the young attorney, three Benedictine sisters, three Trappist Abbots, and Francis P. Matthews, Secretary of the U. S. Navy.

"Interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald, Mr. Campbell, when asked whether he would continue to run the wheat ranch, laughed and answered, 'Of course!' The Omaha paper comments that "it would be surprising if he should take the job for less money than he has been making in the past."

"By this move Mr. Campbell will make as much as ever—the United States treasury will be deprived of the 38 percent corporation income tax previously paid by the Campbell ranch—and the Sacred Heart Foundation (a Roman Catholic institution) will gain millions of dollars to spend on church enterprises.

"Much the same deal has been worked out for the 35,000-acre cotton ranch of Russell Giffen, the "cotton king" of the San Joaquin Valley, California. This, too, is turning its profits over to the Sacred Heart Foundation, while Mr. Giffen continues as salaried manager. There is, of course, nothing illegal about all this. But it is using the tax exemptions extended to churches and church organizations to increase the burden of the taxes the ordinary citizen must carry. Isn't it time that the churches began to scrutinize the implications of the special privileges the tax law grants them?"