Page 3, 11th February 1938

11th February 1938
Page 3
Page 3, 11th February 1938 — BELGIAN PRIEST WARNS

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Threading my steps through a seething mass of Jews from every part of Europe who were gathered clamouring and bargaining around Antwerp's famed Diamond. Club, I wended my way towards the Dominican Convent near the station where I knew I should find Pere Van Racy ready to give me exact information about the International League of Godless.

It was with the words above that he greeted my question.

Then swiftly marshalling his facts Pere Van Rooy outlined to me what was the action of the anti-God league and its dangers for England.

Pere Van Rooy is the type of crusader one dreams of. Eager and eloquent but still concise.


" England must not be deaf to the truth," be said. " The Moscow team now at work in Belgium is driving a powerful wedge into the nerve centre of Europe that Christian Catholic Belgium is, to bring it one step nearer, the final one, to reaching England, the heart of an Empire.

Frustrated in the attempt to hold its Godless Congress in Brussels—thanks to the splendid spirited Press campaign that constrained the Belgian Government authorities to discountenance it-plans for the Congress to be held in England are complete."


"What are your sources of information?" I queried.

" The C.O.P.A.C.," he answered.

"What is C.O.P.A.C.?" 1 asked.

" It is the Organism. of Concentration of Anti-Communist Propaganda in Belgium.'

The C.O.P.A.C., I was told, possesses a great service of information and documentation. It issues matter to the Press, and has a service of posters for propaganda on hoardings.

In the last eight months between seven and eight hundred thousand pamphlets have been distributed.

C.O.P.A.C. edits its own newspapers, which Pere Van Rooy terms Journaux de pinetration. They appear weekly and " penetrate " into every Marxist "

Before proceeding further, Pere Van Rooy made a diversion, describing how these papers were diffused all over ,the Port of Antwerp. There they are to he found on the tables in every cafe or drinking establishment.

A further fact is, stressed Pere Van Rooy, that these weekly C.O.P.A.C. anti-Communist papers are read with a praiseworthy keenness by the Antwerp dockers. There is perhaps no port more Red on the Continent than Antwerp, nor perhaps dockers more Red.

Public lectures, exhibitions and social solidarity work form other parts of C.O.PA.C.

Knows All, Sees All

An example of Pere Van Resay's knowledge and mind is the following.

In the course of my investigation here in Belgium as to the activity and development of the Godless League, I had come to ,know a startling fact.

A new group has arrived in Belgium under Moscow's auspices.

The other day I learned that they were to form schools in Belgium under the direction of the Russian " Komintern."

With this knowledge in mind, I asked Pere Van Rooy

" Am I right, when I say that I have learned that forty secret revolutionary schools have been set up in Belgium'?

" Am I right when I say that technical staffs are here from Moscow to teach in secret machine-gunning and incendiarism?"

Pere Van Rooy looked straight at me. This was a chapter he would have willingly avoided. Yet 1 had put the question.

Calmly, he answered: "No! Not forty schools. There are only thirty."

Traced to the Komintern

Describing the movement, Pere Van Rooy said "The Communist Party, with its myriad of • cells ' incrusted in most undertakings and organisms throughout Belgium, is the handwork of the Komintern.'

" So, too, is this world movement of the Godless. It is the handwork of this same Komintern and is run by Moscow.

" Yaroslavsky, President of the Soviet Godless League, a short while ago wrote: Religion blocks the road to Communism. Religion and Communism are irreconcilable enemies. Wherever religion triumphs, Communism is paralysed.'

" In Soviet Russia, as is logical, this movement with its League of Militant Atheists is an official institution," Pere Van Rooy went on.

" All the atheist propaganda is carried on at the request of the State and at the expense of the State.

'Outside Russia the propaganda is organised by the Komintern; that is to say, by one of its organisms, namely, `The World League of the Godless.'

" In July, 1930, the League increased from 800,000 to three million members.

" Later it reached over fourteen millions. " Then came a period of weeding or falling off in Russia.

" But today its activity has been re-kindled. Once again, its membership is getting back to the 14 million mark.

" The League is the militant organ of atheism," Pere Van Rooy explained, " spreading its propaganda against religion in the name of the Soviet Government and with the money of the Soviet Government.

All the most powerful of modern methods and devices are set at its service. They are the press, radio, cinema, theatre, schools and universities. " Moscow chiefs intend that this Communism must be a commodity for export. This is how they put it : "' The Bolshevic revolution in Russia is doomed to perish unless it spread over the whole world.'

"'We wish to set fire to all the churches in the world in one immense conflagration.'

" And again let me repeat." said Pere Van Rooy, " this is why the World League of the Godless was founded.

" As the propaganda was not swinging ahead with the accelerated rhythm desirable, the Directing Committee of the Komintern proposed that its Secretary, General Dimitroff, be instructed to completely reorganise the movement of the Godless throughout the whole world.

"Special powers were given to Dimitroff for this purpose.

Atheistic Fillip

" In an interview he granted to the Press, this new supreme chief of the Godless affirmed that: The Atheist movement was !feting to be given a new fillip under his impulsion,' for he would know how to exterminate the influence of the Church over the masses of the workers and even over the mass of the Bourgeoisie.'

" Dimitroff's new tactics are summed up this way. To em-brigade the people into the Proletarian Freethinkers' Movemeat, so as to render them ripe later on for Cam'nun ism.

" The Centrale ' of the League of the Godless at Moscow has already set up a special course of education which the delegates from every country in Europe must

What Matter a Few Churches ?

" Dimitroff is the man who two months after the Civil War broke out in Spain, wrote: ' We are reproached with destroying the churches and convents in Spain. What does the destruction of a few churches and convents matter, when we are out to create a new world!'" "But how is all this linked up with the proposed London Congress which is organised by native agnostic and rationalist movements?" I asked.

" The amalearnation of all the Freethinkers, Proletarians and Bourgeois, was achieved at the Congress of Prague on April 13, 1936,he replied.

"This union goes by the name of the World League of hreethinkers (Ligue Mondiale des Libres-Pensears).

"Six-sevenths of this League are Proletarian Atheists.

" Thus it has conic in fact to be manoeuvred by the Komintern.

Russia the 'Godless Hope

" At the session consecrating its formation, its elected President, Doctor M. Terwagne (a Belgian medical practitioner) exclaimed

" Our whole hope lies with the Soviet Union. The League's main task must be implacable warfare against Fascism, against the Church, against Religion. They are the agents of Fascism and Imperialism who are preparing war together.

" The seat or headquarters of the League are at Brussels."

From a Report to the Executive Committee dated August 18, 1936, made by a Belgian member of the Committee, M. Striveau, it is learned that the Belgian sec tion at that date numbered six Federations, 150 Sections already federated, and 50 Sections still to he federated, with, all told, ten thousand members.

The seat of the Godless propaganda has been established at Parts ever since 1933.

England Must Understand

From that centre the CommunistAtheists carry on their anti-religious campaign.

Before T left him, Pere Van Rooy summarised for me the points that he considered it most vital the English people should understand.

" The September London Congiess is and is advertised as the Congress of the Freethinkers' World Union. We know on the Continent what that is. For reasons of policy the London Congress may or may not appear innocuous, just an oldfashioned meeting of agnostics and rationalists. But those men hated God and the idea of God from the beginning.

" Is it likely that they would now refuse the aid of militant atheism organised by Russia throughout the world? It is what they have long sought fur. If they were innocuous before, it was because circumstances did not favour them.

" Now the Soviet has given them their chance to try to fight God with the gloves off, to upset the whole order of civilisation.

" In England they will be very discreet and very clever. They will appear safe and old-fashioned, because England is not yet prepared for the full realities. It may even be a mistake on their part trying to hold the Congress in London. They are probably relying upon the British tradition of free speech to pull them through.

" But from the knowledge we have on the Continent about the actual penetration of the Godless movement already achieved, can warn all English people who believe in God and even those who still only believe in a stable order and a national freedom and strength that the Congress is dangerous, dangerous to any sort of Christianity and dangerous to the Empire. If it can be stopped, so much the better. If it cannot, let everything be done to warn the people of its true meaning and its lie-up with Moscow and Revolution.

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