CATHOLIC PewPOINT for Wednesday-Thursday, July 19-20, 2000
"Soothing the Savage Beast of The Frustration Factor!"
We received a courteous and responsible reply from Michael Tuck over our editorial
in Monday's issue "The Frustration Factor Strikes Again." Naturally
he defended himself in the statements he made and listed several general points that
he disagreed on, including standing by his assertion that he is
not a "Catholic basher." From his well-thought-out and sincere words, we have come to the
conclusion that indeed he is not. He expressed great admiration for Pope John Paul II,
writing "As a non-Catholic (I am Episcopalian) I don't know him as well as you do, but he seems to be an extraordinarily kind man. I am impressed by his humility, his inclusion, and his determination to travel - even in ill health - the world over to reach the less fortunate and the faithful." Yet he still enforced his right to disagree with the Pope on the issue of the gay pride parade. We have agreed to disagree on that and the attacks on Pope Pius XII which were resurrected once again after CBS reran that yellow journalism piece on Pius on "Sixty Minutes" this past Sunday evening. For our original rebuttal to 60 Minutes, see By its use of yellow journalism the once-mighty CBS eye is now black and blue! If CBS can air it again, then we can rerun ours!
Michael Cain, editor
Tuck questioned whether yours truly was a "deeply angry, frustrated man" because of my column in the series of "The Frustration Factor" editorials. I assured him in my reply that I take his constructive criticism in the spirit of a fellow Christian and truly do appreciate it very much. I, like him, do live in a glass house as does every soul in this world in the eyes of their Creator. That is one reason I speak out so forcefully and, yes, at times may
seem frustrated, even sound angry if you will. I assured him it was not anger or bitterness, but a righteous response just as Jesus Himself became angry at the money changers in the Temple. Because of my deep love for Our Lord, His Church and His Vicar on earth, I am inspired to speak out and try to stir the consciences of the large number of lukewarm Catholics who, as wandering sheep, don't really know their faith and are so easily mislead by the wiles of the world. The saddest thing is that so many priests, ministers and rabbis today are afraid to speak out, afraid to rock the boat and upset people's comfort zone, blindly leading their sheep on a treadmill
of temerity. Because of this lack of conviction on the part of so many shepherds of all faiths, it falls on the few committed souls to speak out. Number me voluntarily among the latter.
There is great joy when even one of these returns to the path of truth
and we proclaim the joy of our Faith throughout in this well-balanced and
informative daily web publication. Our effort is a labor of love, not anger, and we pray constantly for the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit to come through in our words. As we know throughout Sacred
Scripture there is great joy expressed, but there is also much rebuke for
sin and false teaching from the prophets of the Old Covenant to the array of
men in the New Testament - John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc.
Though my blood was boiling at the half-truths and insinuation conveyed by
60 Minutes and Tuck's perspective, my remarks were most calm compared to the
Baptist or Christ's take on the Pharisees, or Paul's many rebukes in his
Remember, other than Christ, all men were sinners as we all are today so
I do not claim to be a saint or righteously above all. Neither does John
Paul II nor did Pius XII. No man is perfect. However, to stand by and say
nothing when these men and their faith are attacked would be a far greater
sin. Therefore, I answered the call to rebut the false teachings erred by CBS
and by Michael Tuck in his perspective.
Though we agreed to disagree on Pius XII's role, I stand by the many Jewish
historians and published articles immediately after the war, including the
New York Times, that praised him for protecting the people of Israel. I
also stand by his encyclicals, "Summi Pontificatus" in 1939 after the
invasion of Poland on the unity of human society and a strong plea for
compassion to all peoples, and "Communium interpretes dolorum" on April 15,
1945 before the war ended on appealing for prayers for peace and an end to
this horrible war. This was delivered after the Nazis were driven from Rome
and he was free to speak. In fact, everyone in Europe including
the Sovereign Pontiff were prisoners of the Nazi intimidation and he was
under house arrest during the Nazi occupation of Rome. On January 6, 1946
after the war had ended in July of 1945, he issued "Quemadmodum" which was a
passionate plea for the care of the world's destitute children - Jew,
Russian, Japanese, German, Italian, French, Belgian, Dutch, Polish, British
and American children who were left to suffer the brunt of the aftermath of
this terrible armegeddon at the half-way point of the 20th century. These
are all facts. What Tuck and Ed Bradley brought up regarding Pius were "what
if's" and we all know where that leads. Tuck replied condescendingly that the Church was
not unilaterally singled out for criticism regarding silence about the
Holocaust, yet it would seem it is the Church that is the singular target
today. I only wish CBS would have balanced the scales as Tuck did in his
letter to me admitting the questionable motives of the author of "Hitler's Pope" John Cornwell and his credibility, as well as acknowledging the United States' and other ally powers' failure to help the Jews. That guilt, Tuck believes, led to these countries helping establish the State of Israel in 1948. There are many, many questions of President Franklin Roosevelt's role from before Pearl Harbor on in getting the United States involved in the war.
What it comes down to is there really was no black and white during this
terrible period in history. Oh, there were the extremes like Hitler who was
obsessed with power and, like Napoleon, willingly sold his soul to the
devil. But many, many Germans followed him faithfully. The question then
is: Were the German people the villains? No, they were brought up to be
obedient and in their blind obedience did not have the common sense to
decipher between what was happening or were so fearful of their lives and
fortunes that they cowered in collective fear for their own lives. This
meant turning against their neighbor, sometimes their own family as is
happening in society today as well. These are all fulfillments of what Our
Lord prophesied in Matthew 10: 21. Could Pius XII have done more? Could
Winston Churchill have done more? Could Roosevelt have done more? Could Joseph Stalin have
done more? The answer is an unequivocable 'Yes' to all. Everyone who was
alive during that time could have done more. I can guarantee, however,
that Pius did not sit idly by or shrink from responsibility for when he was
not secretly overseeing affairs of the Church, or secretly meeting with key
men who were sheltering and moving both Jews and Catholics who harbored
them, he was praying for all - Catholic and Jew, German and French, British
and American, Russian and Pole, Japanese and Chinese - all God's children. Prayer can move
mountains and as helpless as he felt being under house arrest by the Nazis,
he realized that was the strongest weapon.
Over the millenniums one has to
ask why does God allow such bloodshed and extreme sorrow? It is not an easy
answer, but the best response would be that He allows good to come from the
evil and raises up good men and women to bring the light to a dark world.
Consider that Karol Wojtyla, aka John Paul II is a product of the
persecution in Poland as was Mother Teresa living in Rumania during the Nazi
occupation of Croatia. Though, to my knowledge, there are no singular Jews
held up by Israel for their bravery and martyrdom during the Holocaust, the
Catholic Church has elevated to sainthood two who met their death in
Auschwitz. One is Father Maximilian Mary Kolbe, himself a journalist who
published Immaculata in Poland and is considered by most to be the logical choice as the saint for the internet, and Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross who was Edith Stein, a Jewish woman from Holland who converted to Catholicism and willingly went with her sister to the gas chambers, encouraging all with
the hope of God's love and mercy.
It follows with ancient historian Tertullian's words, "From the blood of
martyrs is the seed of Christianity." In the same vein, consider that seven
million Jews and two million Catholics and an unaccounted number of
homosexuals were horribly put to death sixty years ago
in remote concentration camps in Germany and Poland. Yet, 20 million
Russians died during the same war, and today, the silent holocaust has
reached its highest crescendo with numbers around 50 million unborn
innocents in the terrible holocaust of abortion since 1973, more killed than
all the wars of history combined! Where is the outcry over this? It shows
how desensitized and detached we have all become over the past 40 years as
politics and progress transcend decency and right. Who is to blame for this
breakdown of family values and morals and the ascendancy of the seven deadly
sins? The answer has to be the media for the fourth estate has been the
most willing accomplice of the prince of darkness from Hollywood to networks
to the cable industry, their stamp of approval betrays their intent. This has
also permeated down to the local levels as well. What passed for shock and
abhorence thirty years ago is accepted as commonplace and acceptable today.
Can you see why my blood boils when an immoral, perhaps amoral President of
the United States considers his betrayal of his marriage vows as acceptable
and "doesn't everyone do it?" mentality with a wink? Yet in 1956 Adlai
Stevenson, one of this country's greatest diplomats ever, was rejected for
the presidency by the voters because he was divorced. Can you see why I must
respond when the media mouths these false platitudes of immorality, greed,
lust and selfishness emitting from the exalted peaks of the Black Rock and
Madison Avenue in New York to the moguls of mayhem and the backlots of
studios in Los Angeles?
There is a great sadness in our hearts today because so many times at the local diocesan and
parish levels there is an ennui that has set in that tolerates these
aberrations and, like the German people, many are afraid to speak out for
the truth. This is another reason, as the editor of The DAILY CATHOLIC, it is my
responsibility before God to endeavor to keep the light of truth burning in
a cavern where darkness creeps in so stealthily? Christ's great commandment
to love God and one's neighbor has great significance for me and true love
is to hope, pray and do all in my power to try to have that neighbor with me
in Paradise if God willing, I strive to do His Will always during my short
sojourn on this planet.
Was the Church totally blameless during World War II? No! No
institution is blameless and only one has apologized for that. John Paul II
on Sunday, March 12th this year. I too apologize to any readers and to Michael Tuck if he thought
I was on a political bandbox venting anger. I very much appreciate and agree that no amount of
criticism from the outside will shake Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church built on a solid rock. Jesus guaranteed that in Matthew 16: 18-19 and 28: 18-20 as well as Mark 16: 15-18 and in John 21: 15-17. My
words are merely a drop in the ocean and I, too, have much to learn in my
spiritual growth and take his words to heart. But I take to heart far more seriously the words of Christ and His Vicar on earth and the apostolic succession of bishops. Our only problem is our sincere desire that the bishops of today would speak out more forcefully when half-truths are presented as facts. There would have been no need to publish Monday's editorial had our local chancery been on the ball and notified the bishop directly, providing a copy of Tuck's perspective to him. But, as happens in so many dioceses today, the level of command is skewered and many bishops are unaware of what is truly happening out there, being fed only what those, who have risen to political prominence within the chanceries, want the bishop to know. Often times it is only when the bishop is out among the people during parish events and liturgical ceremonies that he hears what's truly going on because he is not being given the full facts by his own underlings. As we wrote in last week's editorial, one man cannot police millions. There is a trust factor that comes into play and when they betray that trust, the link of communication is broken. That has happened all-too often regarding liturgical abuse complaints and liberal agendas being promoted that are not in accord with Church doctrine. When there is no response directly from a bishop, many assume that the bishop is liberal or that he doesn't care, when in truth, many times he is uninformed. That is not an excuse and these prelates need to keep their fingers on the pulse of all activities. Ye, often times that is a virtual impossibility and, we need to have all the facts before we all sit in judgment of our shepherds.
Maybe it's the heat of the summer that causes loyal Catholics' blood to boil when wrongs are not righted and more wrongs are piled on top of original faux pas. We could just sit back and enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer and not vent, saving ourselves constant hours of rebuttals and exasperation. But, in respect to our own souls and the countless souls of others, how much time would be saved in Purgatory? As this warm, hot summer begins to wind down and we tolerate the dog days of August and head into September we need to be all the more intense and focused on what is at stake this November. The lives of millions and millions of more pre-born innocents hang in the balance of who is elected for President. While we will not speak on other political issues, we will speak on moral issues - most notably the Sanctity of Life for it transcends politics and is answerable to a much higher Supreme Court. That is another reason we have no qualms in carrying Dr. Frank Joseph's insightful and eye-opening columns each week in which he continues to expose pro-abort decision makers as the accomplices to the culture of death. To not ferret out the den of vipers would be a far greater crime.
I asked Tuck, in my follow-up letter to him, that, in the spirit of brotherly love, we both put on the armor of God as Paul conveys in Ephesians 6: 10-17 and gird ourselves well for the slings and arrows that so
often come our way when we speak our own convictions, each for a noble cause. To address this we bring you a special prayer on this passage by Steve Palecki that appears in our Inspiration Section in this issue, entitled "Armoring for the Day". I concluded my response to Tuck by offering him the olive branch and appreciation of his professionalism and sincerity, which rose several degrees because he took the time to respond in the spirit of concern, truth and love. That is the kind of positive operative needed in the Molucca Islands today, in Northern Ireland, throughout Africa and the Philippines and many other places on this finite, gasping globe. As I told Michael Tuck, if only we could package that spirit of cooperation and send it to Camp David! That would indeed be "Soothing the Savage Beast of the Frustration Factor!"
...and for our original commentary from March, see By its use of yellow journalism the once-mighty CBS eye is now black and blue!
For past editorials for the last two years, click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives