Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 12, 1951
NUMBER 10, PAGE 6,9b

Paul Blanchard's New Book

Bill Humble

Paul Blanchard has done it again. The author of the famous best seller American Freedom and Catholic Power has recently published a companion volume which reveals Catholicism as a world wide totalitarian political power. The title of this new volume is Communism, Democracy and Catholic Power. As the title implies, Mr. Blanchard's point of departure lies in the existence today of three great political forces: Catholicism, Communism, and the democratic West. Two of these forces are strikingly similar; for Vatican and Kremlin are both absolute dictatorships exercising an authoritarian control over their subjects. This resemblance between Catholicism and Communism has been methodically avoided by American writers generally, but it is fully examined by Mr. Blanchard, who spent the "holy year' of 1950 in Europe attending Vatican ceremonies and studying Catholic and Communist political parties throughout Europe.

The Communist revolution was munched in Russia in 1917 by Lenin and Trotsky and has been a mortal enemy of Roman Catholicism ever since. Since the end of World War II this struggle has grown in intensity. Thus far the Kremlin has been the more victorious, particularly in eastern European countries where the Catholic Church is threatened with destruction. Communist governments have legislated against Catholic schools, deprived the church of its property, closed monasteries, curbed the Catholic press, and imprisoned and murdered thousands of priests. The Catholic Church has attempted to retaliate and in July, 1949, the Pope issued a decree under which every Catholic sympathizing with Communism might be excommunicated. The Vatican found, however, that this medieval weapon could not be enforced; for in Italy (supposedly 99 percent Catholic) 5,000,000 people had voted for the Communist party the preceding year and the church could not afford to excommunicate millions.

This Catholic-Communist war continues, and our nation, caught between the two forces, finds itself allied with the Catholic Church in the overall struggle with world communism. Mr. Blanchard's book sounds this warning: Americans should think seriously before becoming too closely allied with the Catholic Church; for in supporting one dictatorship (Vatican) against another (Kremlin) we may find ourselves strengthening one enemy which is potentially as dangerous as the other. To emphasize this warning, Mr. Blanchard draws a series of "deadly parallels" between Catholicism and Communism, parallels which show that both are inimical to our way of life.

Structure Of Power

Both Vatican and Kremlin are absolute dictatorships, their origins entirely different but the end product the same. The Russian dictatorship under Stalin was born almost overnight with the revolution of 1917. First Lenin, then Stalin ruled the Russians with a control becoming progressively so complete that Stalin is now an absolute dictator. In contrast the Pope attained his power through slow development from the congregational independence of the first century to the papacy of the seventh, with temporal sovereignty and other enlarged powers coming even later.

Today the structures of power are identical. Under the two absolute rulers (Pope and Stalin) there are two small but highly important bodies. In Russia it is the Politburo, a group of trusted lieutenants through whom Stalin rules. In Catholic organization beneath the Pope is the College of Cardinals, at full strength made up of seventy men who are appointed by the Pope, and who, in turn, elect a new Pope at the death of his predecessor. Vatican and Kremlin power structure might be represented by identical pyramids with Pope and Stalin sitting at the Apex, ruling the multitudes who form the base of the pyramid. In contrast the American concept would be represented by an inverted pyramid, final power residing in the people at the top.

Deification Of Leaders

Communism has its "trinity' of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. Stalin as the sole survivor of the three has attained at least a semi-divine status in the minds of the Russian people. He has become "virtually a Kremlin godhead, using the words of Marx and Lenin to sanctify his authority.' Russia is covered with pictures and statues of Stalin, newspapers honor him, and Stalin-adoration has become a natural part of the Russian culture. His public appearances are adroitly managed to present him in an atmosphere of triumphal pageantry. Even Russian history has been rewritten to give Stalin a more hallowed role as leader and preserver of the nation.

The Pope is honored in an identical fashion by Catholics throughout the world. Blanchard writes:

Any visitor to St. Peter's is impressed with the unabashed idolatry of its great religious festivals, and the Pope himself is always the central idol of every ecclesiastical display. Ostensibly his every act in public ceremonies is a tribute not to his own divinity but to the divinity of the God he serves. He is careful not to assert his own deity, and he officially is called "slave of the slaves of God." But in practice he is himself the god of all St. Peter's pageantry and the Catholic people are the slaves who come to worship him as the Church's divine agent on earth. Every detail in the vast and complicated system of Catholic ceremonials is designed to promote and strengthen this assumption. (p. 76)

Thought Control

Another of the "deadly parallels" between Communism and Catholicism is their mutual desire to suppress all freedom of thought. In Russia this desire has carried efforts to extremes before unknown and has succeeded in stifling all criticism of the regime. Naturally no opposition press is allowed to exist in Russia: all newspapers follow the party line with monotonous regularity. Thought control in Russia has been extended to science, music and literature, a typical though notorious example being the Lysenko incident. A pseudo-scientist named Lysenko announced a theory of genetics which stated that acquired characteristics were transmitted to offspring. Such a theory was disproved long ago by the work of Mendel and was ridiculed by all the world's geneticists save those of the Soviet. For there the theory of Lysenko was accepted as more in harmony with revolutionary philosophy and forced upon all Soviet scientists. One, who rejected it, was sent to Siberia. (p. 91-94)

Vatican thought began long ago with the infamous Inquisition whose techniques of prosecution were worse than anything employed today by Communist courts. Today Catholicism believes that she alone has a right to existence and that everything opposed to her faith should be suppressed wherever possible. The highest Jesuit organ in the world, Civilta Cattolica of Rome, stated in April, 1948, "The Roman Catholic Church, convinced—through its divine prerogatives, of being the only true church, must demand the right of freedom for herself alone, because such a right can only he possessed by truth never by error.' (p. 111) Such a statement brought adverse criticism by Americans and embarrassed the Catholic clergy here; nevertheless the Catholic Church continues to believe in the suppression of free thought. Another illustration is the Index, a list of books which the Catholic Church forbids its members to read. (Blanchard's first book made the Index four months before its publication.)

Attitude Toward Public Schools

Stalin once said, "Education is a weapon whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. In Russia the Communists hold the educational gun and it is aimed at 'bourgeois culture'.' (p. 136) This statement reflects the Russian attitude toward education, where the schools are devoted completely to the training of minds which will support the party. But is the Catholic attitude any better? Catholics insist on maintaining their own school system and are now insisting on public support for certain phases of their work. In some areas of the United States public schools are being transformed into Catholic schools, still supported by the taxpayer's money. In other areas nuns teach in the public schools. Catholic parents are forbidden by canon law to send their children to public schools without the permission of the church. The recent clash between Cardinal Spellman and Mrs. Roosevelt dramatically reflected the Catholic attitude toward education; and it is this attitude, says Mr. Blanchard, which poses Catholicism's greatest threat to the United States.

Management Of Truth

The manner in which the Kremlin manages and distorts truth for its own purposes is well known and notorious. Their claims that Russia alone won the last war, that Russians discovered penicillin and invented the airplane, and most recently that a Russian invented television are absolute lies, invented to give greater prestige to the government in the eyes of the Russian people.

Certainly the record of the Catholic Church has not been so black, but the Catholic Church has learned to manage truth. Blanchard states:

As an institution in this world the Vatican has learned to manipulate and manage truth in strange ways in furthering its world-wide program. It has learned to shade history, exploit human ignorance, and disguise its undemocratic policies, all for the greater glory of truth as it is conceived by a hierarchy which accepts its chieftain as a fountain of truth (p. 212)

Instances of this are the theory which allows a Catholic's acceptance of an eternal truth to be modified by circumstances, the exploitation of ignorant masses through alleged miracles, and the constant changing of "unchangeable dogma' through new "interpretations."

Mr. Blanchard's conclusion, based upon these parallels between Communism and Catholicism, is a statement from Thomas Jefferson, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.'

(This book may be ordered from Cogdill Publishing Company, Box 980, Lufkin, Texas. Price $3.50)


Charles E. Crouch, 3315 N. 25th St., Birmingham, Ala., June 27: "There have been four baptisms and five restorations at North Birmingham since our spring meeting. The meeting with MacArthur Heights Church and Curtis Flatt resulted in one baptism.'