People's Appeal To The Bishops
EUROPE IS NOT POPULAR WITH AMERICAN CATHOLICS. THEY ARE FORCEFULLY OPPOSED TO ANY INTERVENTION EY AMERICA IN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS.
Catholic priests, journalists, lay people, arc insistent in their Po-help-for-Europe attitude.
A fiery attack on Douglas Jerrold has been made by one of the most widely respected American Catholic commentators on current affairs, the Rev. James 11I. Gillis, C.S.P., editor of the Catholic World and author of a syndicated column, Sursum Corder.
In the most recent issue of this column, which is all the diocesan journals of America, Fr. Gillis Jerrold's attack on Roosevelt in an printed in nearly analyses Douglas article which appeared on the editorial page of the CATHOLIC PHRALD, March 10.
Roosevelt has attacked Hitlerism, $o Hitler's journals attack Roosevelt " But you might imagine, says Fr. Gillis--" that is to say, if yoll did not know politics—you Inighl 5magine that one who has braved the wrath of Germany would find compensation in winning the good pleasure of Germany's foes.
" No such luck . . • " Note The ` Dirty Dig ' "
"Flere is Mr Roosevelt risking an entrance into a war to help England, and here is England (or at least some English journals) telling him to mind his own business, to keep his nose out of European affairs.
" Worse than that, he is a Catholic English journalist, rated very high in certain circles, Mr Douglas Jerrold, who accuses our President of 'gratuitous insults to half Europe ' !
"Believe it or not, Mr Jerrold says: 'To-day the United States constitutes quite unconsciously a serious menace to the peace of the world.'
"Before we come to the next sentence in the article of Douglas Jerrold, featured with streamer headlines across four columns on the editorial page of the CATHOLIC Ilvesto of London of March 10, let me assure you that I am not playing a prank on 'you. Nor is Mr Jerrold speaking whimsically. He is cold sober and in deadly earnest.
" He continues : ' The utterances of President Roosevelt have already convinced Germany that in any war waged by Great Britain the United States will be an active if not a prompt ally.'" Fr. Gillis asks his readers to note the 10' dirty dig" in the phrase " if not a prompt ally."
"After twenty-three years, the English are still blaming us for nut coming Into the World War soon enough. We waited until 1916. We should have moved in 1914."
" Jerrold Pro-Fascist " He gives Jerrold credit for logic, but is angered by what he considers his ngratitude,
"Logic, yes. Gratitude, no. We think we are doing England a favour, but we are only pushing England and all Europe into war! "
But besides being ungrateful, Douglas jcrrold is also Fascist.
"It would not be fair to leave the matter at that point, It must be added that Mr Jerrold, though English, is pro-Fascist. What he says is from the pro-Fascist point of view.
"The English papers on the whole have greeted Mr Roosevelt's utterances against Hitler with shouts of joy. But remember this. They greeted our entrance into the World War (our ' not very prompt' entrance) also with shouts of joy.
"But when it was all over and they had won (not we, but they, had won the war), the shouts of joy died down to an inaudible whisper,"
"` The Poor Guy In Between " The general moral Fr. Gillis draws is: " Let us keep out and shut up.
"If we talk any more against Hitler and in favour of those oft-mentioned estern Democracies, Hitler is going to ate us and the Western Democracies re also going to hate us. [7c7
"If war comes Herr Hitler is going to
tiay, 'I might have worked out an ppeasement if that Roosevelt person adn't butted in.' " Mr Jerrold and other tnelishinen of is stripe are going to say, ' America is esponsible for this war.' Hitler reproents the upper millstone, Jerrold the nether. The poor guy in between is your
bid friend, Uncle Sam, and as the Scripture says, 'His bones will be ground to powder.'" All over America Catholic opinion is hardening against intervention in Europe. Catholics are demanding of Congress: neutrality; complete, defined, inviolable. They see Europe as the tempter (guile, somewhat hampered by gas-mask) asking America to come out and play with the nice new guns.
Most insistent denunciator of Europe is Fr. Coughlin, who through the radio and his journal, Social Justice, calls on the American people never to go to war again for Europe.
Three Cent Stamp Cheaper Than Coffin This advice from his column in Social ;Justice, April 1, Is typical :
" Will you please take me seriously and write your letter to your Senator this week petitioning him to pass a Neutrality Act that will not incorporate a cash and carry programme; a Neutrality Act which will not permit the Fresident of the United States to name the unjust aggressor? A three cent stamp is cheaper than a coffin." The no-war-for-Europe attitude is common to Catholic papers all over America.
This comes from an editorial in the latest issue of America, national weekly published by the Jesuits: "War is not the road bark to prosperity. War is the slaughter of young men, the destruction of industry, now and for anoth.cr generation. Should Congress show signs of $clding to this persistent war propaganda, all patriotic Americans should al oiler register their disapproval. Write your Congressman and your Senators that economic recovery is our first concern, and not the tears in Europe. Henceforth Europe must fight her battles without our aid, direct or indirect."
In the same journal recently was an article favouring conscientious objection to war in which Russia would be an ally. A forthright appeal to the American bishops to oppose American entrance into a foreign war is made in a leading editorial of the Buffalo (New York) Echo.
"A statement of our American bishops clearly opposing such a conflict of aggression on foreign soil on Christian grounds would probably do more to save us and the world from a suicidal war than any other statement and action," says the Echo. Praising Bishop Duffy, of Buffalo, and Bishop Noll, of Fort Wayne (Indiana), for having spoken out against entrance into a European war, the Erho further commends Bishop Duffy for declaring " that if we were drawn into a conflict on the side of Russia he would urge his young men to refuse to engage in such a hypocritical war." The St. Louis Catholic, The Wanderer, Catholic Union and Times, The Brooklyn Tablet, The Catholic Worker are among the dozens of Catholic papers that have declared forcefully against intervention in European affairs.
" AMERICA IS SO PIOUS " —says the Pope
" We love America so well and have such happy memories of our visit there," said the Pope this week, when receiving a New York prelate in private audience. Through the latter the Pope sent his " full and fatherly blessing" to the United States.
"America is so Catholic, so pious, so faithful to the Holy See," he added.
U.S. Bishops Back Roosevelt's Message
A hope that the " commendable efforts of our Government to bring the nations of the world to a conference " may be successful is expressed in a statement issued by the American Bishops composing the Administrative Board of the National Catholic Welfare Conference.
The Bishops add: "Earnestly we hope that the nation in offering its friendly assistance to this end will not be thought to have yielded to those who would embroil us in alien conflicts and dissensions.''