Page 10, 7th March 1958

7th March 1958
Page 10
Page 10, 7th March 1958 — Bishop Fulton Sheen warns U.S. against purely economic aid

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People: Eisenhower
Locations: Washington, New York


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Bishop Fulton Sheen warns U.S. against purely economic aid



THE United States should avoid seeking to win other peoples into their orbit by economic means alone, warned Bishop Fulton Sheen, Auxiliary of New York, speaking at a one-day conference on foreign aspects of U.S. national security, held last week at Washington at the request of President Eisenhower.

" To do this would be to put ourselves on exactly the same basis as the Soviets, namely. materialism," continued the Bishop. "Denying it in theory. but affirming it in practice, we would thereby assume the basic Marxian principle of the economic determination of history."

Earlier in his speech, Bishop Sheen pointed out some salient facts about the distribution of wealth in the world today. One third of the people of the world go to bed hungry every night.

One fourth of the population of the world earn less than $1 a week about $4 less than the per capita expenditure in the U.S.A. on alcohol.


The highest per capita income in Asia is in Japan; this is only $100 a year, while the per capita income in the U.S.A. is over $1,500 a year. One half of the population of the earth lives in Asia, yet they receive only II per cent. of the total income of the world.

"Never before in the history of the world has there been so much wealth, never before in the history of the world has there been so much poverty; never before has there been so much education, never before so little coming to the knowledge of truth; never before so much power, never before has that power been so prepared to he used for the destruction ot human life," said the Bishop.

One aspect of foreign aid was the giving of aid in order to combat Communism by keeping the underprivileged nations within the orbit of the free world, and in relation to this the Bishop pointed out cautions and recommendations.


One caution was that there was nothing in foreign aid of and by itself which made it an effective weapon against Communism. The Soviets could, and did, give aid to further Communism. " It is conceivable that the Soviets could give more than the United States, because they give greater primacy to creating new slaves through world imperialism than to adequate production for those at present enslaved . .

"The foreign aid of the United States must introduce some factor besides the economic, political, and military, one which is the strongest in our national tradiitons and one which the Soviets not only lack but repudiate," he recommended. "They have one fear in our dealing with the rest of the world, that we will take cognisance of that defect which makes them suspect by all the peoples of Asia and Africa, and that is our belief in God, the dignity of the human person, the freedom of conscience, and the principle that the State exists for man, not man for the Slate."


Bishop Sheen pointed out the existence of "what might be called la third world power, which, ' despite fundamental differences with Christianity and Judaism, nevertheless does believe in God and prayer. One out of every seven persons in the world is a Muslim: 375 million of them in the world constitute a great supranational force."

Already some of their governments had been won over by the anti-God forces of the Soviets, largely because of our silence on the fundamental difference between them and the Soviets. " Islam can be made sympathetic to the free world more by recognising its belief in God than by mere economic aid which ignores that belief."

Another recommendation was for the United States to " utilise the great forces of service and charity which are at present scattered throughout the world . . she thousand agencies of social betterment of Christian missionaries, and in some instances Jewish workers, who live with the underprivileged people, who speak their language, share their hunger, and are identified with the people . . .

" Why should not some foreign aid be funnelled through these agencies exclusively for social and medical care of the underprivileged ?" If aid were given for exclusively social purposes. it would relieve the stigma attached to foreign aid that it was given solely for. political and military purposes.

lhe Bishop ended by reminding his audience that the power of the world political, economic, social, and military was passing to the East. "The future continent of the earth is Africa," he said. "In 150 years from now, Africa will be industrially as the United States is today.

" We of the West have been superior, hut not because we have been white, but because we have been Christian. The moment we lose that faith we lose our superiority. God has played on the white keys long enough; and, in the future, God will play on the black keys to produce a new melody and a new culture."

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