Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 26, 1957
NUMBER 21, PAGE 7a,9b

"Freedom Of Speech ... A Valuable Heritage

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Mo.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, reads in part:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble ..."

Americans sometimes lose sight of the value and importance of such freedoms as are granted us by the efforts of the founding fathers of this Nation. It is only when we see the lack of such freedom in other nations, that we come to realize the importance of maintaining these "freedoms" in this country.

In the St. Louis Register, for June 17, 1955, the following item appeared:

"Police Seize Book for Libeling Pope" "Rome — Police seized all copies of a French

volume, Les Clefs de Saint Pierre (The Keys of St. Peter), following criminal proceedings started against its author and publishers by the Italian state prosecutor. Vatican Radio branded the book as "lewdly libelous."

" Vilification of the person of the Sovereign Pontiff, the Church and religion,' and 'obscenity' in the book were charged by the prosecutor."

If the book referred to actually contains 'obscene' material, then that particular material should be stricken from its contents. However, if the book merely criticizes the Roman Church, religion and pontiff, then the author and publisher are being persecuted simply because of the power which the Roman Church has at her command, in the instance of a politically weak nation.

As far as the State or Nation is concerned, a person may blaspheme God without violating civil law . . . but to speak against the 'Sovereign Pontiff' . . . you'll be sued for that, at least in Italy. As I recall, the Apostle Paul was put to death in Rome, and the only charge against him was preaching the truth of God. Perhaps in reality, Italy hasn't changed much. Only now, instead of the Jewish priests fabricating lies against Christians, it's the Roman Catholic priests who press charges against those who refuse to accept the human head of the Roman Church.

"Get Your Head Bashed In" . . . Says Amarillo Register.

In Brother O. C. Lambert's excellent work, entitled, "Catholicism Against Itself," he gives on page 265, a quotation from a Catholic newspaper; we, in turn, copy it: "The Amarillo Register, a Catholic Weekly, in discussing Aniceto Sparagna, an ex-priest, but now a preacher for the church of Christ, and with special reference to the persecutions of our brethren in Italy, September 19, 1952, among other things said: 'Here in West Texas which has a minority of Catholics, the Church of Christ can hire an 'ex-priest' to talk against the Catholic Church and get away with it. But the same cannot be said of Catholic Italy. Thumb your nose at the Holy Father in Italy and you are liable to get your head bashed in. If the Church of Christ missionaries, mostly sponsored by the Church of Christ in Brownfield in this Diocese, had any Texas horse sense at all, they would fold up their tents and quietly steal away before the Italians really get mad."

So that is the way 'American Catholics' feel about this opposition to freedom displayed by the Catholic Church around the world," stated Brother Lambert.

Please notice their reasoning: There's 'a minority of Catholics here in West Texas' so you 'can get away with it' (allowing an ex-priest to preach against the Catholic Church. Now . . . here's a question we'd like to ask any American Catholic! WHAT IF YOU CATHOLICS WERE IN THE MAJORITY in the United States? . or in West Texas? WOULD AN EX-PRIEST STILL BE ALLOWED HIS CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM OF SPEECH? The Amarillo Register INFERRED that the ex-priest would be treated in an un-American and un-constitutional manner . . . IF the Catholics weren't in the MINORITY!

I'd like some AMERICAN Catholic to answer my question. What DID the Catholic Amarillo Register mean unless it meant that free speech would be curtailed and taken away from an ex-priest who might see fit to speak against Romanism? And, IF the Roman Church ever comes into its majority in this Nation, will continued freedom of speech be granted? I want an answer from some AMERICAN Catholic ... I think I know what the answer is from a ROMAN Catholic.

Roman Catholicism ... A Menace To Freedom?

In the Literary Guide, March, 1944, published in London, the author, H. G. Wells, was questioned concerning Catholicism as follows:

"QUESTION: Do you regard the Roman Catholic Church as a definite menace to human freedom?"

"ANSWER: (By Mr. Wells): I think that it (The Roman Catholic Church) stands for everything most hostile to the mental emancipation and stimulation of mankind. It is the completest, most highly organized system of prejudices and antagonisms in existence. Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with traditional institutions, is the Roman Catholic Church. It presents many faces towards the world, but everywhere it is systematic in its fight against freedom." (Emphasis mine. L.W.M.)

Freedom Of Speech In Portugal

Back in the nineteen-thirties, when Hitler was coming into power in Europe, a little-known clerical-fascist-Catholic dictator by the name of Oliveira Salazar, came into power in Portugal. The initial action of this Catholic dictator was to abolish freedom of speech and to erase all opposition groups. The 1933 Constitution of Portugal, appears to incorporate in part the Quadragesimo Anno of Pius XI, and also part of the Italian Fascist Constitution. Then in 1940, the Portuguese signed a Concordat with the Vatican which gave subsidies to Catholic schools, outlawed divorce, and provided that "in no case shall religious instruction be given by persons not approved by the ecclesiastical authorities." (The Roman Church. L.W.M.) Paul Blanshard gives a comprehensive review of this situation on page 253, American Freedom and Catholic Power.


There is no question but what the Roman Catholic hierarchy has designs upon this Nation when the time is opportune. The American Catholic 'layman' knows nothing of such scheming, and many, many of them, will deviate from the dictatorship of the Church, if and when the hierarchy makes the attempt to scuttle democracy.

Non-Catholic Americans must be ever alert to continue to maintain a separation of church and State. We must be vigilant!