Catholics and fascism.
Saskatoon--The Chesterton Review is one of the surprising success stories of Canadian publishing, an academic journal with a healthy circulation and known around the world. Now in its 25th year, it was founded, and is still edited, by the Basilian priest and professor of English, Father Ian Boyd. The special numbers which he puts together from time to time are collectors' pieces, and this is eminently true of the spring issue of 1999, containing a symposium on fascism and British Catholic writers.
In his introduction, Father Boyd notes that Chesterton died in June 1936, before the Spanish Civil War Spanish civil war, 1936–39, conflict in which the conservative and traditionalist forces in Spain rose against and finally overthrew the second Spanish republic. had begun. Yet he had already commented on the crisis which would lead to World War II. In his view, the Communist menace and the growth of fascism were two aspects of the same problem. He correctly predicted that the next European war would begin at the moment that Hitler and Stalin formed an alliance for the purpose of partitioning Poland.
Kevin L. Morris, writing on "Fascism and British Catholic writers 1924-1939", sets out the problem by arguing that the Catholic intelligentsia in·tel·li·gent·si·a
The intellectual elite of a society.
[Russian intelligentsiya, from Latin intelligentia, intelligence, from intellig showed a much greater attraction to fascism than one would have expected from such civilized and wellinten-tioned people. Belloc and Ches-terton, he says, both praised Mussolini at certain times; and Christopher Dawson in Religion and the Modern State (1935) suggested that Catholic social ideals set forth in encyclicals had more in common with fascism than with liberalism or socialism. Catholics dismissed criticism of Franco's atrocities as Communist propaganda Communist propaganda refers to propaganda used by various communist regimes and communist parties. Specific examples include:
Four vigorous responses to Morris provide substantial evidence to counter this indictment. Father Daniel Callam answers the grotesque interpretation of the Spanish Civil War given on the Internet--that sabotage from within the Republic and the combined might of the German, Italian, and Spanish armies, "bankrolled by the endless wealth of the Vatican," put down the revolution. Callam, Peter Hunt, and Joseph Pearce Joseph Pearce (born 1961) is an English-born writer, as of 2005 Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. also demonstrate why Morris's view of Chesterton is inaccurate. They also point out that English Catholic sympathies for Franco were not unexpected, given that before the war was over, twelve bishops, 4,184 priests, 2,365 monks, and about 300 nuns had been murdered by the Republicans, facts never reported by the Liberal mass media but well-known to Catholics from their own Catholic papers.
This issue of the Chesterton Review is nothing if not controversial. And Father Boyd is very adept at finding writings of Chesterton himself which are appropriate to the matter under discussion.
In this same issue of the Review, there was another contribution by Father Callam--a discussion of a book on spirituality entitled On the Lord's Appearing. To their disgrace, not one Canadian Catholic newspaper has reviewed it, even though it was written by a Canadian-Father Jonathan Robinson Jonathan Robinson (August 11 1756 - November 3 1819) was an American jurist and politician from the state of Vermont.
Robinson was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts. He moved with his family to Bennington, Vermont at the age of 5. , founder and Superior of the Oratory oratory, the art of swaying an audience by eloquent speech. In ancient Greece and Rome oratory was included under the term rhetoric, which meant the art of composing as well as delivering a speech. of St. Phillip Neri in Toronto. Father Callam has the acuteness and intelligence to deal with it on the level it demands; he is very appreciative of the work, but still has constructive criticisms of it. Two quotations will illustrate his overall impression of Father Robinson's writings:
"While there is nothing strikingly original in this study, Robinson has brought together with impressive erudition er·u·di·tion
Deep, extensive learning. See Synonyms at knowledge.
Erudition of editors—Hare.
Noun 1. a wealth of insights that witness to the process by which the soul grows towards a sublime union with God."
"Robinson is writing for ordinary Christians who, with much to repent re·pent 1
v. re·pent·ed, re·pent·ing, re·pents
1. To feel remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; be contrite.
2. of, will benefit from his careful analyses of the initial process of conversion and of the means by which it can be incorporated into a developing life of prayer. His accurate and detailed description of the stages of the spiritual life will encourage and safeguard serious Christians on their journey to God."
High praise indeed. (For Catholic Insight's review of this book, see October 1998, pp. 29-30.)
Unfortunately, the Chesterton Review is being moved to Seton Hall University Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university located 14 miles from Manhattan in historic South Orange, New Jersey. Founded in 1856 by Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley, Seton Hall is the oldest diocesan university in the United States. in the U.S.A, now that its editor and publisher is leaving St. Thomas More College St. Thomas More College (STM), named for St. Thomas More, is the only federated college at the University of Saskatchewan. The college was established by the Basilian Fathers in 1936, on the invitation of the president of the University of Saskatchewan to the Catholic bishop of Saskatoon. at the University of Saskatchewan The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is a coeducational public research university located on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The University is celebrating its centennial year in 2007. , its home for the past 25 years.
The Chesterton Review, like the man it is named after, is filled with authentic Catholic thought. What St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. does not want, is much sought after by Seton Hall University in New Jersey. The university has offered the editor a teaching post, and the Review office space. Canada's loss is New Jersey's gain.
By the way, the Review--though a Canadian academic journal for a quarter of a century-never received the usual publication grants from Canadian public agencies which all such journals get. When it applied for one to the Canada Council The Canada Council for the Arts, commonly called the Canada Council, is an arts council of the Government of Canada created to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. It was introduced by Parliament in 1957. , the answer was, "No, of course not." Why not? Answer: You are a Catholic journal! That was supposed to be self-explanatory.