Our Holy Father Pope Pius XII bemoaned the fact in his latest Encyclical, "Anni Sacri" (Holy Year), issued two weeks ago, that the Church suffers from the "evil" of truth being "replaced by lies, which are used as instruments of dispute." The latest evidence of this in our country came from the pen of Paul Blanshard, the Socialist Ex-Congregationalist minister, who served in our State Department during World War II. It appeared in a series of 12 anti-Catholic articles published in "The Nation," a Red weekly. These articles in book form moved into the "best seller" lists. They gained for its author nationwide acclaim in Protestant and openly anti-Catholic publications and forums. This was due mainly to "The Nation," in which the 12 articles appeared, being withdrawn from the reading rooms of the New York Public Schools by the Board of Superintendents, because they would not allow the circulation of any publications that criticize "religious beliefs of any groups in the schools."
This action of the New York School Authorities was coined into radical propaganda and financial advantage by the publishers of "The Nation," partly through a 50 dollar a plate Waldorf-Astoria Dinner, that was sponsored by anti-Catholics, and others who opposed what they called censorship. Prominent among them was Oxnam, the Methodist Bishop, Shipley, editor of the anti-Catholic "Churchman;" Gaetano Salvemini, the perennial enemy of the Vatican; Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, as President of the Jewish Congress; his son, J. Waterman Wise, of the so-called "Council Against Intolerance;" Paul Blanshard and over 400 other sponsors, including the National President of the C.I.O.
This book, published by the Beacon (Unitarian) Press of Boston, was praised in terms of the highest in Protestant and Red publications. For instance, ex-Presbyterian Minister Norman Thomas, quadrennial Socialist Party presidential candidate, praised Blanshard's book, declaring it to be devoid of what it is filled with, prejudice and discrimination against the Catholic Church; whereas the New York Times reviewer said that "Mr. Blanshard repeats, often in modern dress, old scandals and old wives' tales that one has assumed were forgotten, or else were confined, these days, to the spoken word ... This reviewer can find little in these (350) pages that is not on a very prejudicial plane ... It would be idle to list the author's 'facts' without appearing to set down curious slanders beloved of the Know-Nothings of the Eighteen Fifties or of the Klu Klux Klan in the presidential campaign." (May 15, 1949).
Blanshard's criticism of Catholic belief, dogmas and practices; his misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the Catholic quotes in his book; his offensive declaration that the Catholic Church operates, and exploits Catholics by means of superstition, etc., that she imposes un-American social policies upon our schools, government, etc., have been dealt with by competent Catholic writers, Father George H. Dunne, S.J. in particular. Our reason for entering the fray is to reveal something of the background of Blanshard that caused him to oppose the moral teachings of the Catholic Church as related to birth control, abortion, marriage and divorce.
Blanshard is a socialist of long standing, with strong Communist leanings, whose secularist, statist, Marxian philosophy is a denial of an objective, God-proclaimed, unchangeable moral code, that declares marriages properly contracted to be unions that are binding until death; that prohibits contraceptive practices, or the murdering of unborn human beings. Taking the Rand School of Socialism to task for publishing the moderate international Socialist doctrinaire, Karl Kautsky's book---"Bolshevism at a Deadlock"---Blanshard said, in the New Leader, then official organ of the Socialist Party; "Although I have been a member of the Socalist Party for many years without criticizing its leadership, it seems to me now that the attitude of certain party leaders toward Russia is so inexcusable that the rank and file should protest with all its power ... Why should the Socialist movement of America be reduced to publishing a book about Russia by a man who writes from Berlin when there are a score of able and sympathetic scholars from America who have actually studied the Russian situation for themselves? ... Kautsky's bitter preaching is dangerous to the Russian revolution ... It is an invitation to Social Democrats to unite in an uprising to overthrow the present regime, and deliver the government into the hands of a Social-Democratic coalition." (Sept. 19, 1931).
We have before us pages of "The Nation" containing a 2,500 word article on "Sex Standards in Moscow" that Blanshard wrote after a visit to Russia. In it he takes the same attitude against "the most reactionary church in the world," the Russian Orthodox church, that he takes today, against the Catholic Church, because it "continues to describe marriage as a Sacrament." He bemoans the fact that "the old habits continue among the peasants, of having church weddings," despite the fact that "the Communist Party still expels any member who is married by a priest."
Blanshard praised the sex life in Moscow, saying that "the most striking result of the Communist regime in the field of sex life is the complete frankness of the younger generation in discussing sex problems. The young people discuss sex relations, abortions, and love with the candor of obstetricians ... Sex experience is taken for granted as a normal thing inside and outside of marriage ... Marriage as a legal form in the Bolshevik view is of little importance ... The Communist's attitude toward divorce is consistent with his attitude toward marriage ... There is no legal compulsion to register marriage; and abortion was legalized in 1920. When both parties agree to ask a divorce there is no place on the official application for grounds of divorce," etc.
Conditions changed in Russia since Blanshard sounded the praises of the "Sex Standards in Moscow." The disruption that followed its Marxian free love, free government-performed abortions (120,000 in Moscow alone in a year), caused the Stalin government to clamp down on this immorality that Blanshard declared to be an "important contribution to the solution of sex problems."
Surely the Catholic Church is worthy of praise for her insistence upon maintaining Christ's standard of morality, against the Blanshard moral enemy of God and country, who was taken to task a year after he praised the "Sex Standards in Moscow," for "assuring the Communists in a Baltimore Open Forum audience, that when the time comes he will mount the barricades for them." Whether Blanshard continues to be willing to mount the barricades for Communism, as he continues to take issue with the Catholic Church for her opposition to Marxian sexism, we know not. But this we may say with confidence, that should the time come when he, and his Fellow-Reds, mount the barricades on this side of the Atlantic, he will find the members of the Church he charges with working for un-American objectives, rallied under the Star Spangled Banner in the battle to annihilate them, as the French patriots annihilated the barricades and tore down the Red Rag of Revolution, that the Communards raised in Paris, at the time they established the first Marxian "Dictatorship of the Proletariat."