Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 20, 1958
NUMBER 41, PAGE 7,10b

Propaganda -- Roman Catholic Style!

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Mo.

The word `propaganda' originally was a word that carried no ill connotation. However, as of the present day, when such a word is used, it generally reflects something ulterior or subversive in its usage. It is in this modern sense of the word, that we have used it in the title to this article.

The Roman Catholic church with all her complex and inter-woven orders, societies and organizations, utilizes very subtle means in spreading her doctrines throughout the world. In this brief article, we desire to consider only a few examples of such propaganda as has recently appeared in some of her publications.

Protestants Have "Stolen" Hymns!

In the national "Catholic Action Weekly," Our Sunday Visitor, December 15, 1957, a priest named J. D. Conway replied to a question about congregational singing, that a Catholic member had directed to him. Conway's concluding paragraph stated:

"These Protestant hymns come from every imaginable source. Luther, the great 'reformer,' wrote many songs; but his modern followers have appropriated the works of their brethren. Many hymns are set to old popular tunes or melodies stolen from the masters. And many of them have Catholic ancestry." (Emphasis mine. L.W.M.)

The writer of the question had complimented the "many pretty hymns" as used in Protestant churches. This apparently irritated Priest Conway to the extent that he felt it necessary to in some way insult or impugn the character or actions of the "Protestant hymn writers." Does Priest Conway consider it "stealing" for a song-writer to make use of what is commonly known as "Public Domain" material? In modern times, when the copyright expires to a tune, it then becomes public property . . . it is thus scarcely charitable or truthful for Conway to charge anyone with having "STOLEN" melodies from the old masters!

A Catholic writer, Herrman Busenbaum, in his Christian Theology, book III part VI Chap. I, writes:

"In the case of anyone unjustifiably making an attack on your honour, when you cannot otherwise defend yourself than by impeaching the integrity of the person insulting you, it is quite allowable to do so."

Another Catholic writer, Leonard Lessius expresses himself far more freely (lib. II. De Anat. cap. 2);

"Has anyone made an attack on your honour, you may then at once make use of retaliation, and you have thereby nothing else to observe than to keep up a comparison as much as possible."

Yet another Catholic writer asserts: (Benedict Stattler.)

"It is still more allowable in this case (namely, when one is injured ignominiously) to bring the calumniator to universal notice by a disclosure of his secret transgressions or crimes, by which means people may change their opinion as to his injurious imputations. Also to attribute a false crime to the calumniator is allowable for such an object, if this should be the only sufficient, indispensable, or even serviceable means to deprive him of all belief and credit for his calumniation." (Pages 486-487, History of The Jesuits, by Griesinger.)

Therefore, if it will diminish a Roman Catholic's respect for non-Catholic hymns, then charge them as having been STOLEN!

The above, however, is NOT this writer's belief, nor was it the teaching of the Man of Galilee, who said; "Sanctify them through Thy truth," and . . . "The truth will make you free." Let us then, be content with truth, rather than hurling false charges in an effort to retain or gain communicants.

Is A Priest Impervious To Injury?

Yours truly does not believe that because one is a Roman Catholic priest, that that vocation will automatically insure the individual against bodily harm. Nevertheless, what else could he inferred from the following:

"Priest Is Unhurt"

"Weston, Mass. (NC) — The Rev. Daniel J. Linehan, S. J., seismologist at Weston College, was among 16 persons who escaped injury when a Navy plane crash-landed in Antarctica on Nov. 29 . . " (St. Louis Review, Dec. 6, 1957.)

The headline of the news item leaves the impression that an individual priest whose vocation was mentioned escaped injury. Yet, by reading the entire article, one was informed that the priest was merely one out of sixteen who escaped injury. Nevertheless, by such journalistic treatment, the propaganda of priestly-protection was further spread.

Will I Be Stricken With Paralysis For Opposing Catholicism?

The answer is YES if we are to believe Roman Catholic propaganda. In the St. Louis Review, November 29, 1957, a news article relates how that a Roman bishop was hailed into court, on a charge of having libeled a young Roman Catholic couple, for having been married by Civil Authorities, rather than by the Catholic church. It seems that back in August 1957, the young couple, both baptized Catholics, received a letter from the Catholic bishop, informing them that they "were not, in fact, married since a civil marriage ceremony is not sufficient for two baptized Catholics."

As a result of this letter, the bishop was sued for libel! But, look at the headline of a newspaper article: "Plaintiff In Suit Is Stricken III"

"PRATO, Italy, Nov. 26, (NC) — Mauro Bellandi, a young Communist worker whose civil marriage to a Catholic girl led to a libel suit against Bishop Pietro Fiordelli of Prato, has been stricken with paralysis of the face.

"The incident has attracted nationwide attention because Bellandi was stricken after taking the Bishop to court for publicly denouncing his civil marriage."

In addition to the inference that harm will befall those who dare to oppose a Roman Catholic prelate, this news item informs the readers that the plaintiff was a Communist . . . which he well may have been. However, he was also a baptized Roman Catholic!

"Picture Of St. Jude Halts Killer Tigress"

So reads the above headline in the St. Louis Register of 11/18/55. The news story tells of a tigress attacking a man in India, who happened to have a picture of St. Jude in his wallet. The final paragraph of the news item relates:

"Later it was found that one of the animal's teeth had pierced the inspector's wallet, only to stop when it touched a picture of St. Jude. Now recovering from his wound, Inspector Brighte is positive St. Jude alone saved him from what seemed certain death."

Conclusion From the foregoing excerpts from Catholic publications and/or writers, it can be readily concluded that the journalistic treatment given an otherwise ordinary news happening by a Catholic writer, can serve to slant the story, and give it a meaning that is nothing short of superstition.