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John A Godrycz.

Greater extension and development of church influence online

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E R K E L E Y\*

BRARY I

IIVcR-;TY OF I
ALIFORNJA J



>




Greater Extension

and

Development of
Church Influence



By

JOHN A. GODRYCZ
D. D., Ph. D., Utr. J. D.



Printed by People's Friend Publishing Co.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.



LOAN STACK




CONTENTS

Introduction 7

Important Points From the Letter of

Cardinal Gibbons 8

The Holy See 13

The Home Missions 27

Foreign Missions 33

Catholic Literature and Catholic Press 36

Social Work 39

The Catholic University and Catholic Education, . 57



595



NIHIL OBSTAT
J. M. Corrigan S. T. D.

Censor Librorum
Philadelphia, Sept. 18, 1919.

IMPRIMATUR

t D. J. Dougherty

Archiepiscopus Philadelphiensis
Philadelphia, Sept. 23, 1919.



HIS EMINENCE, CARDINAL GIBBONS, in th
letter addressed to a general committee on
Catholic interests and affairs (composed of
Eight Reverend Bishops, Muldoon, Schrembs, Glass
and Russell), considers eleven points in reference
to a greater extension and development of the influence
of the Church.

The Cardinal says that at present begins a great
opportunity for the Church of extending her influence
in the different ramifications of her activity. This ac-
tivity, which ought to be developed in the future, His
Eminence points out in small paragraphs as follows:

No. 1. Holy See.

No. 2. Home Missions.

No. 3. Foreign Missions.

No. 4. Social and Charitable Work.

No. 5. Catholic University.

No. 6. Catholic Education in General.

No. 7. Catholic Literature.

No. 8. Catholic Press.

No. 9. Legislation.

No. 10. A Catholic Bureau.

No. 11. Finances.

Because the letter of His Eminence is of a great
importance, we first quote each of the ten paragraphs
just as it was written to the committee on Catholic
interests and affairs, and then following the same order
we present in separate paragraphs some ideas that re-
fer to the activity of the Church and to the points
raised by His Eminence.



8

IMPORTANT POINTS FROM THE LETTER OF
CARDINAL GIBBONS



1. THE HOLY SEE. Archbishop Ceretti explained to us
on the occasion of my jubilee the pressing needs of the Holy
See. The countries of Europe impoverished by war will be able
to contribute little to the Holy Father. Yet greater demands
than ever before are being made upon the Holy See in behalf
of the destitute and suffering in devastated lands, and for the
maintenance of poor missions.

Rome, said His Excellency, now looks to America to be the
leader in all things Catholic and to set an example to other na-
tions.

The Catholics of the United States are in a position to-day,
to manifest in a way that will give edification to the whole
Church their generous loyalty to the Father of Christendom. The
sum of money we may hope to raise and the best way to raise
it are points to be considered under No. 11.

Church Here Never Stronger

2. Home Missions. The end of the war finds the Church
in this country in a stronger position than ever before. It is;
recognized more widely and more clearly as the one Church
that knows its own mind, that has a message for society in its
troubled state and that is obeyed and loved by its people. The
decay of other Churches will turn the thoughts of many towards
us. The fine record of our chaplains in the army and navy has
taught millions the real character of the Catholic clergy. Every
Bishop in his own diocese will try to reap the harvest which
was sown during the war. But is it not possible for us to make
larger plans ? Cannot the mind of the American public be more
effectively reached? Cannot the press spread Catholic truth
if the work be energetically undertaken under the direction of
the hierarchy? Some suggest a more active preaching cam-
paign, of going out to the people, since the vast millions fail
to come to our churches. Many sections of our country have few
Catholics and are most absolutely ignorant of Catholicism,
pidly increasing in numbers and growing in education and in-
fluence, we have made almost no impression. Are our methods
at fault or our zeal lacking? What can be done for all these
souls? We have organizations in the home mission field. Cath-
olic Church Extension, the Missionary Union, the Negro and In-
dian Commission and several others, all more or less under the
control of the hierarchy. Is closer co-operation among them
possible? Would it be well to reconsider the whole problem
of our home missions, which is, of course, the chief field of our
duty? Would a conference of those most intimately concerned
be advisable? This is a very large subject, of course, and



requires long study and much thought, but I am confident that
our Bishops, missionaries and the clergy in general are doing:
much valuable thinking along these lines, of which the whole
Church should have the benefit. I am hopeful that a begin-
ning will have been made before the next meeting of the
luerarchy.

3. FOREIGN MISSIONS. Our enormous needs at home
in the progressive country have so absorbed our thought and
our zeal that we hardly have been able, till very recently, to
turn our attention to foreign missions. The new position of our
nation as the great world power will surely enlarge our
vision. All over the world America will have tremendous influ-
ence. Up to the present moment, we may say, that influence
has been entirely non-Catholic. To the world in general, even
to the Catholic world, American is synonymous with Protestant.
The wonderful strength of the Church in this country is almost
unknown to foreign lands. The reason is that the Church abroad
has profited little by our strength and our riches. Now we can-
not doubt that vocations in this field, both of men and of women.
will be found in abundance, and it is our confident hope and
prayer that God will use American zeal, energy and organizing
ability to give a great impulse to foreign missions. How can the
hierarchy aid in fostering the missionary spirit and in gather-
ing the funds necessary for the work?

4. SOCIAL AND CHARITABLE WORK. The Catholic
War Council and the National Catholic Charities Conference have
done most valuable pioneer work in this field. We are deeply
indebted to the administrative committee for its timely guidance
in the problems of this reconstructive period. Three things in
my opinion are needed. First, the presentation, definite, clear
and forceful, of Catholic social principles. Second, more know-
ledge as to the best methods of Catholic social and charitable

work. Third, a more general impulse to put our social prin-
ciples and methods into operation. Society never had greater
need for guidance. It is turning for light to the Catholic Church.
Too often, we must admit, our principles, the principles of the
Gospel, have lain hidden in our theologies, so much so that the
recent pamphlet on "Social Reconstruction" appeared to many
a. complete novelty. The Church has a great work of social edu-
cation and social welfare lying before it. Here, again, the
hierarchy must take the lead.

Continue Welfare Work

Hardly anything in recent years has reflected greater glory
on the Church than the care of the normal welfare of our sol-
diers and sailors during the war a work begun by the Knights
of Columbus and perfected by the hierarchy through its com-
jnittee of the National Catholic War Council. Buildings with
their equipment are to be found in nearly all our Government
-forts and stations here and abroad. No one, I presume, would



10



think that we should abandon this field of apostolic work. After
the record we have made, it would be impossible for us to say to
our men in the service: we leave you now to the care of the
Y. M. C. A., the Jewish Welfare Board and the Salvation Army.
That these organizations propose to keep up the work begun
during the war, there can be no doubt. Naturally, too the Knights
of Columbus do not wish to give up the work or to abandon
the valuable property erected in Government stations and forts.

This work can be best done by the Knights with the support of
the hierarchy, as a truly Catholic work. For the sake of our
men in the service, for the spiritual welfare of the Knights of
Columbus and for the honor of the Church itself, this work
then should continue to be under the direction of the hierarchy.
The time will soon come, too, when we shall have to con-
sider the best means of utilizing the zeal and good will of other
Catholic societies, both of men and women, and of the laity
in general. Our paople long to be helpful and only need to have
the way shown to them.

5. CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY. The great war has revealed
to the world the all-penetrating influence of the highly trained

intellect. The universal unrest of the day seems a prelude
to very troubled times. Evil doctrines propounded by clever
minds will have more and more influence. Great need, then,
will the Church have of leaders with sure knowledge and well
trained and well balanced minds. Our greatest single hope is
in the Catholic University, which, in its short existence, has al-
ready been of the greatest service in many ways that even the
Catholic public, perhaps, is not aware of. After its many vicis-
situdes, it stands today upon a solid foundation. We have reason
to be proud of it and its achievements. It is the child of the
hierarchy and depends for its support on the hierarchy. Continu-
ally in the past its development has been stunted for lack of
funds. If it is to obtain and hold its place among the leading
universities of the United States a greater interest in its welfare
and success must be aroused among our Catholic people. It
ought not to be difficult to double or treble at least the annual
contribution. Our committee should consider ways and means
of effecting this.

A report on higher education among Catholics, relatively to
the intellectual life of the country, is a great desideratum. It
would reveal the need of greater efforts to raise our intellectual
standards.

6. CATHOLIC EDUCATION. Centralization in education
is the trend of the day and seems due to the needs of the situa-
tion. What will be the outcome? How will Catholic interests
be affected? There is no question at present on which light is
more earnestly desired. It is, indeed, the most pressing of
problems the one on which we can least afford to delay. I beg
you to have a careful treatment of this subject prepared and sub-
mitted to the judgment of the most expert.

A less pressing but even more important matter is the sys-
tematization of our own educational forces. There is great



11

waste through lack of coordination. Do we not need more of
system? Will not the very trend of our national life force us
to study and overhaul our own educational structure?

Growth of Catholic Press

7. CATHOLIC LITERATURE. We are not a literary
Church, for our busy ministry has left little leisure for literary
pursuits. Nevertheless our ministry would be greatly facilitated
by the production and spread of good books and pamphlets. As
a matter of fact it is greatly hampered now by lack of literature
on the most common topics of the day, which would enlighten
inquiries or strengthen the faith and deepen the piety of our own
people. It has been suggested that a literary bureau, under
the patronage of the hierarchy, could easily secure writers to
give us what is lacking. Is this feasible? Certainly there is* a
great deal of literary talent among us which with a little stimula-
tion would rouse to a very useful activity.

The various Catholic Truth Societies of the country might
co-operate with greater effort and be stirred to more productive-
ness. It would be easy to suggest many useful pamphlets that
should be written. A greater circulation of those already in
existence is desirable. A Catholic literary bureau would great-
ly aid both these projects.

Such a bureau could also enlist the services of able writers
in preparing articles on Catholic subjects for the secular papers
and magazines. It frequently happens that an attack more or less
open is made on the Church in the secular magazines or papers.
An answer is immediately forthcoming in our Catholic press.
But who reads it? It reaches a limited number of our own
people, but is unheard of by the world of non-Catholics who have
read the attack in the secular press. Moreover, I submit that
we should not forever continue to place ourselves in a merely
apologetic, excusing, or defensive attitude. While not being
offensively aggressive, should we not endeavor occasionally to
secure a sympathetic hearing from our separated brethren by
articles calculated to inform the non- Catholic public on Catho-
lic teaching, practices and endeavors? The world outside the

Church is not maliciously antagonistic to us. Its opposition
is due to misconceptions of the Church and her ambitions. We
need to reach the non-Catholic world, and the most effective
means by which it can be reached is the secular press.

8. THE CATHOLIC PRESS. The children of the world
.are wiser in their day than the children of light. Certainly, there
is no comparison between the secular and the religious press,
as regards the interest of the reading matter which each pro-
vides. The Catholic press has begun to imitate the secular press
with its central news association and bureaus for syndicated ar-
ticles. Such associations and bureaus could raise the tone and
lieighten the interest of our weeklies. Up to the present time
the hierarchy has taken no concerted action on behalf of the
Catholic press. In view of the immense influence for good which



12

a popular press could have on our people, it is worthy of inquiry
whether we cannot come to its aid.

9. LEGISLATION. There are many signs of increasing
hostility to the Church and of a desire to translate this hostility
into legislation, whether national or State. We have hardly had
any policy at all in regard to such matters and frequently have
only realized the intentions of our enemies when the hostile laws
were already enacted. The very success and growing strength
of the Church will make our enemies double their hatred and
their cunning. Most of the legislation hurtful to us, however,
is passed without any thought of injuring us. What means
should we take to know proposed measures of legislation and
to prevent, if possible, what is harmful? If we take any step
in this direction, although all Protestant Churches have repre-
sentatives in Washington as all interests have, except ourselves,
the cry will be raised that the Church is in politics, but that cry
has been heard all our lives, and in all generations back to the
sanhedrin that condemned Christ. It is a matter, however,
which we must carefully consider and upon which the hierarchy
will desire a report.

10. CATHOLIC BUREAU. It is evident, at any rate,
that the general committee on Catholic interests and affairs will

need headquarters and clerical assistance; otherwise it would
be unable to realize the purpose of its creation. Steps should
Jbe taken before long to establish such a bureau.

11. FINANCES. Evidently, too, the plan of action which
I have outlined postulates a generous financial support. Our
experiences, however in the campaign for funds during the last

two years should make us realize, as we have never done before,
our possibilities. I am bound to say, however, that I have not
yet attained the confidence of some members of the hierarchy
in our ability to raise millions. At our meeting one distinguished
Archbishop suggested raising a million dollars for the Holy
Father. Another Bishop suggests four millions annually for all
Catholic purposes, and still another would set the mark at five
millions. I am sure at any rate, dear Bishops that the hierarchy
would welcome the judgment which your own experience in the
United War Work campaign would lead you to form.

The foregoing plan, I must admit, is a very comprehensive
one and furnishes almost enough matter of thought for a Plenary

Council. It is a plan that perhaps cannot soon be realized in all
its scope, yet I have thought it worth while to sketch the outline
in full. Some of the ideas may be realized soon and others may
be seed sown now which will sprout and bear fruit only after
many years. I rely on your excellent practical judgment to
select for our programme the most urgent matters and the most
promising ideas, and I trust that when the hierarchy meets next,
our general committee on Catholic interests and affairs will
be able to present a workable plan of important things that
ought soon to be accomplished.



13

THE HOLY SEE

Rome, as the Cardinal mentions in the first point,
Jfooks to America to be the leader in all things Catholic,
and to set an example to other nations.

The Holy See, at present, has two very important
needs the first of which is of a political character and
the second of a financial. The first need consists in this,
that the spiritual sovereignty of the Holy See ought to-
be acknowledged internationally, and the second one is
her critical financial condition, which ought to be helped
so as to guarantee for the future all the material
means that are necessary for the maintenance of the
Holy See and of her offices. The Catholic Church in
the United States may help the Holy See in both these
fields by her national and international influence. Let
us consider first the necessity of international acknow-
ledgment of the sovereignty of the Holy See.

SELF DETERMINATION OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH.



THE Vatican has not been included in the family
of sovereign states since it lost its temporal power
in 1870. The Pope has no international rights ; his
status is regulated by the "law of guarantees" of 1871
enacted by the Italian parliament. This Italian law
guarantees the inviolability of the Pope and secures
to him the enjoyment of certain rights and privileges



14

ordinarily enjoyed by sovereigns. Hence, it is clear, that
according to the understanding of European statesmen,,
the idea of sovereignty always included the temporal
power and jurisdiction over a certain territory; sover-
eignty, therefore, was attached to a territory and was
possessed as long as the territory was possessed, and
the loss of territory always caused the loss of sover-
eignty. That such, indeed, was the understanding of
sovereignty among European statesmen, may be proved
from the fact which happened with the Vatican. The
sovereignty of the Vatican was acknowledged by states-
men only as long as the Vatican possessed a large ter-
ritory with temporal jurisdiction over it. When in the
year of 1870 the Vatican had lost the territory, togeth-
er with the temporal power, European statesmen con-
cluded that the Vatican had lost its sovereignty; this
was the reason why the Vatican was not allowed to
send its delegate to any peace conference in the Hague.

That such idea of sovereignty is very imperfect,,
becomes clear to everyone who pays attention to the
fact that sovereignty is a supreme power over the
people, who acknowledge it, but not over a territory
only.

A legislative body possesses sovereignty just for
the reason that it possesses subjects or citizens but not
because it possesses a territory, so, for instance, the
Supreme Power of the United States or of France pos-
sesses a supreme sovereign jurisdiction over its citizens
living in the United States or in France. If a citizen of
the United States or of France should go to England,
the United States or France would not lose its sover-
eignty over him, though these countries do not possess
a sovereignty over the territories belonging to England.

Therefore, a supreme legislative body may possess
a sovereignty in a certain field over its citizens, though.



15

they do not live in one territory only, but all over the
world. Such legislative power in the field of strictly
spiritual affairs is possessed by the Church, whose su-
preme headquarters is located in the Vatican.

The spiritual citizens of the Catholic Church live
in almost all parts of the globe, and though, they are
the citizens of their respective countries in the field of
temporal affairs, at the same time as regards their
religious belief, or spiritual affairs, they are subor-
dinated to the laws of the Catholic Church, which is
ruled by her governors or diocesan bishops, and whose
.Supreme Authority resides in the Vatican. The Supreme
Authority of the Catholic Church situated in the Vati-
can possesses, "de facto," in the spiritual field a sover-
eignty over her citizens no matter where they live;
furthermore, the Supreme Authority of the Catholic
Church would possess that sovereignty even if it were
stationed not in Rome but in any other place, for this
simple reason that the Church sovereignty is a conse-
quence of the Church having her own citizens but not
of staying in a certain territory.

The opinion, therefore, of European statesmen,
that the Vatican has lost its sovereignty by losing the
territory over which it had a civil power, is uncritical
and evidently it confuses the spiritual sovereignty,
which the Vatican exercised over its citizens, with the
lay power, which the Vatican had over a certain terri-
tory.

The Vatican has acquired the sovereignty over its
spiritual citizens, not on account of the fact that it
had a certain territory in Italy over which it exercised
the civil power, because the Vatican had possessed
the spiritual sovereignty over its citizens even before
a piece of land in Italy was given to it, and it may be
;said, that the land with the civil power over it, was



16

given to the Vatican "ad honorem," for the reason of
its Spiritual Sovereignty over all Catholics living in
the different parts of the world.

Therefore, there is no reason to admit, that the
Vatican lost its sovereignty by losing a piece of land
and the civil power over it, because it did not lose its
citizens over whom it exercised its supreme sovereign
power and jurisdiction in the spiritual field.

At present, we live in a time of International De-
mocracy and Self Determination. The idea of Inter-
national Democracy and Self Determination until now
was neither adopted nor known in the theories and
statutes of International Law. International Democ-
racy, that will be the consequence of the League of
Nations, will not be based on the political balance of
powers but on the concert of those nations that will
belong to the League of Nations, according to the
words pronounced by President Wilson in London.

Hence, the political balance of powers which was
based on territories will not be the basis of future inter-
national politics, but such basis will be the citizens of
various countries, themselves, represented in the
League of Nations, who will belong to one family, one
concert of civilized nations. This is the opinion of
President Wilson, expressed in London in the presence
of the representatives of the Allied countries.

The Catholic Church a few hundred millions of
citizens, who are ruled by one uniform legislation, and
by one permanent government, whose head resides in
the Vatican forms a spiritual international society
possessing her own means to reach her spiritual aims,
hence this society and its supreme headquarters resid-
ing in the Vatican ought to possess the sovereignty
approved by International Law, and by the League
of Nations, and its delegate ought to belong to the



17

number of the representatives of various countries in
the League of Nations. The Vatican possesses its sov-
ereignty in the spiritual field "de facto," even at pres-
ent, because it possesses its citizens, it sends its dele-
gates to different countries; moreover, there at the
Vatican are the delegates sent by different countries to
represent their Catholic citizens and to treat in the field
of spiritual affairs. The Vatican possesses certain laws
generally held by sovereigns and approved by the Ital-
ian parliament by the so-called "law of guarantees," but
the sovereignty of the Vatican is not approved and
acknowledged by International Law.

There are many reasons proving that the Spiritual
Sovereignty of the Catholic Church ought to be ac-
knowledged by the concert of nations and that the dele-
gate of the Church should be included among the dele-
gates representing sovereign powers belonging to
the League of Nations.

The League of Nations tends to introduce better in-
ternational relations among nations; it desires to im-
plant fraternal love among peoples in order to advance
humanity toward higher aims of Christian civilization.

Hence the League of Nations will be more impor-
tant than all other treaties among nations heretofore.


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Online LibraryJohn A GodryczGreater extension and development of church influence → online text (page 1 of 4)