CHAPTER VIII. PAPAL DESPOTISM.
Nothing more startling has ever been put before the public than Rome’s recent resolutions of boycott of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Watson’s Magazine, the Protestant Magazine, the Menace, etc., and her attitude as Censor of the United States Mails. At the annual convention of the American Federation of Catholic Societies, held at New Orleans, November 13-16, 1910, resolutions were passed calling for the passage of Federal laws to prevent the transmission by the United States mails of matter offensive to the Roman Catholic Church. In these resolutions postoffice employes were boklly called upon to destroy, without any warrant of law, any such mail in transit. The leading ecclesiastic at this convention was Archbishop Falconio, Papal Delegate to the Roman Catholic Church in America.
Archbishop Falconio had good reasons for tendering his sincerest congratulations to the American Federation of Catholic Societies at its convention held at Columbus, Ohio, August 20-24, 1911, for its “rapid progress” and “the effective good work accomplished” by it. He was fully aware, I presume, of the destruction of much printed “matter offensive to the Church” in the postoffices of the United States of America since their last reunion at New Orleans.
I know that several large parcels of printed matter mailed at the General Postoffice in Chicago during the months of December, 1910, and January and February, 1911, never reached their destination. This destruction commenced immediately after their New Orleans convention. On receipt of numerous complaints from subscribers the sender called on the post-office authorities for an explanation, but received no satisfaction whatever. This party’s mail continued to be held up, and, surmising the cause, the sender threatened public exposure of such unlawful action on the part of the Postoffice Department. This threat of exposure scared Rome and her Jesuitical agents, and since then the mail of said party has been unmolested. Ah, Rome fears publicity!
Meanwhile, to divert attention from their own criminal acts, they are loudly inveighing against the circulation of obscene matter through the mails; and by obscene matter they mean all matter inimical to the Church of Rome. Non- Catholics think they mean indecent and licentious matter.
The inconsistency of the private lives of popes, cardinals, prelates, priests and monks as compared with the deference exacted by them in public from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, is, to say the least, ridiculous: for example, decollete gowns and peek-a-boo waists are out of order at formal receptions for male members of the Hierarchy. Any one who knows the kind of pictures and indecent realities that most delight the eyes of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy will not be faked by any pretended shock that they may profess to experience on contemplation of the nude in art, much less decollete gowns at formal functions.
As a satisfactory evidence of this fact it may be stated that the telephone companies in different cities have threatened to take away the phones from the residences of some priests because their conversation was at times so vile that the female operators refused to receive their messages and threatened to resign if required to do so.
The Roman Catholic Hierarchy should be indicted for illegally using the mails to operate confidence games, chainless letters, etc., in the alleged behalf of ”the poor homeless children,” “the poor orphans,” and “the poor suffering souls in purgatory.” No more shameless and outrageous system of fraud was ever perpetrated by men.
The American Federation of Catholic Societies, which embraces the numberless Associations, Societies, Clubs, Church Confraternities, etc., as well as their widespread military organizations, is a menace to our freedom and an injury to the Catholic people whom it pretends to serve. It is a mighty power for evil in the hands of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.
At the Columbus convention, among other boycotts, a boycott was declared against the Encyclopedia Britannica, which boycott was soon after printed and circulated broadcast throughout the English-speaking world. The following additional proclamation of the same boycott was issued and circulated with the endorsement of the New York County Federation of Catholic Societies, of which Cardinal Farley is the principal under the pope.
“No Catholic should purchase the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. No purchaser of it is bound to keep or pay for a work which falls so far short of the representation of the editors and publishers. It should be debarred from our public libraries, schools and other institutions. It should be denounced everywhere, in season and out of season, as a shameful attempt to perpetuate ignorance, bigotry and fanaticism in matters of religion.”
Mr. Samuel Byrne, editor of the Pittsburgh Observer (Roman Catholic), addressing the Catholic editors at the Columbus convention, said in part:
“I have come here for the purpose of very briefly suggesting one thing. It is, this: That the Catholic editors of the country, concertedly and persistently, urge their readers to notify the proprietors and managers of the daily papers that unless they use instead of the European dispatches of the Associated Press, those furnished by the newly established Catholic International United Telegraph Agency, they will withdraw their patronage from them, either as readers or as advertisers, and will, moreover, boycott both the offending newspapers and those who advertise in them.”
The boycott is the most powerful weapon and one in constant use by the Roman Hierarchy. By intimidation, threats and terror, they are able to suppress literature and destroy private business, and they do it most effectually. Few and far between are the newspapers who will dare to print anything which would fall under the adverse criticism of a priest.
The owners of newspapers, and especially of the great dailies which circulate in the large cities where there are many Catholics, are notified that there will be a sudden drop in their advertising patronage if they publish or refuse to publish certain matter condemned or approved by the Censor Bureau of the Roman Catholic Church, which has its representatives in numerous and extensive Catholic societies. Non-Catholics, too, who receive from some source or other information that the Roman Catholics are boycotting a particular paper, withdraw their advertisements to gratify and retain Catholic customers. The mere circulation of a city daily does not pay for the paper on which it is printed; the whole revenue is derived from their advertisements thus the press is at the mercy of the secret Roman boycott.
But the boycott is by no means confined to the press. It reaches out and extends universally in all directions. Business men and professional men of all kinds are at the mercy of the boycott. From some mysterious cause, which they can not comprehend, their patronage falls off, their receipts diminish, and if they do not make terms when informed of the cause of the falling off of business, bankruptcy stares them in the face. In many instances where the Roman Catholic Church possesses the influence, teachers, clerks, agents, and the ten thousand individuals of humbler rank, are absolutely at their disposal to be discharged from their places and turned out upon the world without means of support. These boycotts are rarely published as such. Sometimes, it is true, on special occasions when big interests are involved, they do not hesitate to have the boycott printed and circulated, but in the vast majority of instances the Roman boycott gets in its deadly work in the dark. And did anybody ever hear of an injunction being issued against a Roman boycotter, or any one of these said boycotters ever being put in contempt of court? So far does the influence of Rome extend that even the courts themselves, which are supposed to be the citadels of impartiality and justice, are prostituted to serve the interests of the Roman Hierarchy. The non-Catholic people should engrave it on their memories and keep it forever fresh in their minds that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Why prosecute and punish non-Catholic clergymen and other citizens, while Roman Catholic priests and prelates foes of the nation commit similar crimes, and worse, with impunity?
Why waste time and money in sham efforts to curb the trusts, and at the same time permit, and even assist, that trust of trusts the Vatican system to continue the even tenor of its way?
If the governments of the United States and of the British Empire had done their duty toward Catholics and non- Catholics alike, whose interests have been injured, and sometimes wholly destroyed by Romanism, the majority of priests and prelates who are “operating” under the protection of the Stars and Stripes, and the Union Jack, would be behind the bars not a few of them would have been rewarded with the hempen tie or electric chair.
Furthermore, if the Government of the United States had done its plain duty in protecting my rights and interests as an American citizen during the past ten years, Cardinals Martinelli and Falconio, Archbishop Quigley, Bishop Muldoon, and many other Roman ecclesiastics, would now be wearing stripes in penitentiaries as the guests of Uncle Sam, instead of purple and gold in luxurious palaces as “Ambassadors of Christ.”
ONE ATTACK UPON MY LIFE.
I will give one illustration of an attempt upon my life. People who are powerful by position and means, but guilty of crimes and about to be exposed, have no conscience to bother them with scruples if they turn to violence to get out of the way the object of their fear. The murder of Dr. Cronin in Chicago a few years ago will illustrate vividly the truthfulness of this statement.
During the time which has elapsed since I entered into this crusade for purity, truth and justice, attempts have been made upon my life. I have frequently told my friends who have expressed concern for my life that nothing better for my cause could happen than my violent taking off; that it would be the supreme emphasis upon my side of this controversy and would be the final circumstance to overwhelmingly convict the unholy priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. I put my life in the especial keeping of God at the beginning of this struggle. I have made my daily work the subject of daily prayer, and whatever happens to me I must take as God’s way of bringing to pass that for which I am devoting my time and for which I am willing to lay down my life. The Rev. Thomas F. Cashman, of St. Jarlath’s parish, Chicago, found out a plot to kill me, for which murderous work’ six men had been selected. Henchmen who were ready to take life for pay were constantly on my track.
Soon after I was served with Cardinal Martinelli’s threat of excommunication, I went on Sunday afternoon. October the 20th, 1901, to see Rev. Thomas P. Hodnett. I visited with him in his parochial residence until about six o’clock in the evening, and then left his home to take the Northwestern Elevated Railway car. When I left Father Hodnett’s door I noticed that I was being followed by a man who weighed over two hundred pounds, about five feet eight inches in height, a bullet-shaped head, clean shaven face which was very red. He was a typical thug. He was the same man who followed me to Evanston the night before when I went to confer with the Very Rev. Hugh P. Smyth. I made a pretense of getting aboard the elevated when it came, stepping on and then off. This man stepped on and then off. I then stepped back again, and he followed me. I stood on the car platform and this man stood near me. He gave me several jabs in the side with his elbow, trying to provoke retaliation on my part so he could have an excuse for assaulting me. I suspected at once what the design of the fellow was. I saw that he hoped to embroil me into an encounter and then he could stab or shoot me and plead self-defense in the event of prosecution for murder or assault to kill. I determined to go the limit of endurance to avoid getting into a struggle with him, as I saw that even if I came out of such an encounter without physical damage my enemies would have me heralded throughout the country as a common brawler. I made no reply to these rude attacks. As soon as I reached Clark and Lake Streets I darted from the car and rushed down the steps, my hotel being near. Just then a westbound Lake Street trolley-car came by and I boarded it to elude him. He followed me. The car was crowded and we both were on the foot-board, he in front and I behind. Suddenly I jumped off. He followed me. I hurried to my hotel (Sherman House) and he followed me. I stayed in my room about an hour and then went downstairs.
In the elevator I met a gentleman about fifty-five years of age. He saluted me. He wanted to know my name and I told him. Said he: “Are you the priest that is after these bad Chicago priests?” I said: “Yes.” When we left the elevator he drew me to one side and said, “Father, I am a Catholic,” and he gave me his name and address; “the Catholic people of the country are with you; they know you are right; they want this thing stopped; I have been in the railroad service for thirty-five years and the toughest class I meet is the Catholic clergy.” I then noticed the thug with two other suspicious-looking characters edging up towards us, and I said to the gentleman: “You had better be careful! you had better not be seen with me! Those three men are bent on dirty business from what I know of the conduct of one of them within the past twenty- four hours.” He said: “What do you mean, Father?” I replied: “I believe those men are hired to provoke a quarrel with me so they can have an excuse for taking my life.” He put his hand to his hip pocket and said: “I’m from Kentucky; I have a gun; I’ll blow their brains out.” I said: “For goodness’ sake, mister, don’t make any move; that is just what they want.” Just then a friend of this gentleman approached. We were introduced, and I then said “Good evening” and left the hotel. After walking a few yards I saw this thug on my trail. I turned back to the hotel, thinking I could enter and leave by some other door and thus throw him off the scent. I left by another door, but his accomplices evidently told him where I had gone and he at once appeared dogging me. I returned to the hotel forthwith and met the two gentlemen with whom I had been conversing, and they said: “Father, you had better look out; your life is in danger.” I left the hotel again and walked south on Clark to Washington Street to take a car. I was closely followed by the thug. My two friends followed me to see if I would need help. His accomplices went as far as the corner of Clark and Randolph Streets. I got onto a street-car and stood on the rear platform. This thug got onto the car and stood close to me and jabbed me in the side with his elbow. When we reached Van Buren Street I sprang onto a west-bound Van Buren Street car. He rushed after me, but missed the car, and I would have eluded him if the car had not stopped at the Rock Island Railway station. At this place he overtook the car, and, standing close to me on the rear platform, said, “I came very near losing you.” I replied, “Who is paying you for this blackguardism ?” He replied: “It is none of your damn business.” I said: “I should say it is my business to protect myself from violence.” He said: “I am earning my living, and it is none of your business how I earn it.” I said: “You remind me of the Irishman who came to this country and put up at a cheap hotel in New York City. In the morning his landlord asked him how he liked the place. He replied that the food was good enough, but the sleeping was bad; there was something the matter with his bed; he burned a box of matches to find out, but could not. The landlord told him that the cause of his sleeplessness was bugs. The Irishman had never heard of them. The landlord assured him that he would not mind them after awhile, that he would get accustomed to them, that they had to make their living the same as everybody else. The Irishman replied: ‘I don’t object to their making a living, but it is the d – way they make it that I object to.’ ” I continued: “This may apply to you.” He burst into a loud laugh. He then said: “Father, I won’t hurt you, though I expected to have your block off before night. There is something about you, Father, that has convinced me that you are O. K. and the Muldoon gang are stiffs.” I said: “What were your instructions ?” He said: “To follow you up and get you into a fight and shoot your head off.” I said: “If you had done that, you would hang.” He said: “They said that nothing would happen to me; they would employ the best lawyers and I would get off on a plea of self-defense.” I asked: “Who is paying you?” “Well,” he said, “the gang that you are after is putting up the stuff.” He finally said: “Father, I won’t do you any harm. I am going to throw up this job.”
I afterwards learned from the two gentlemen whom I had left at the hotel, that they followed me when I left the hotel as far as the street corner, and the two accomplices to whom I have referred turned upon them: “What are you doing here? You are interfering in business you have no right to; get off the sidewalk!” A policeman was called and he took the names of these toughs, who then were allowed to go. Soon after this occurrence this railroad man attended High Mass at the Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, and as he was entering the church he saw these identical toughs standing in the vestibule.
How fortunate I am that I live in the twentieth century and not in the fifteenth. If this were that dreary time of clerical supremacy, no doubt my body would be burned and its ashes cast into the Chicago River as Savonarola’s body was burned and its ashes thrown into the Arno River, but that river ran to the sea, and so it came to pass that his ashes were carried to every shore; and now, wherever liberty is loved, Savonarola has a shrine.
- CHAPTER I. WHY I WITHDREW FROM ROMANISM.
- CHAPTER II. CELIBACY AND CONFESSIONAL.
- CHAPTER III. ROME, RUM, RUIN.
- CHAPTER IV. THE CONFESSION OF A ‘CONVERT’ TO ROMANISM.
- CHAPTER V. ARCHBISHOP QUIGLEY COWED BY A FEARLESS WOMAN.
- CHAPTER VI. NEW ‘GET-RICH-QUICK’ SCHEMES.
- CHAPTER VII. THE POPES AND THE BIBLE.
- CHAPTER VIII. PAPAL DESPOTISM.
- CHAPTER IX. ROME THE MOTHER AND MISTRESS OF CRIME.
- CHAPTER X. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS A JEW.
- CHAPTER XI ROME EVER AND EVERYWHERE THE SAME.
- CHAPTER XII. ROME AND AMERICA.
- CHAPTER XIII. ROMANIZING NON-CATHOLIC COUNTRIES.