Liberal Hate Profiteers Slam Traditionalists

Anybody not gullible enough to swallow everything the liberal media cram down his throat knows that the word “anti-Semitism” is a serious verbal weapon frequently hurled around by ideologues and opportunists alike. An organization that fits both categories has recently published a series of attacks against several Catholic Traditionalist institutions for the crime of anti-Semitism. Saint Benedict Center, Richmond, N.H., made the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) catalogue of hateful traditionalists, along with The Remnant, Catholic Family News, the Society of Saint Pius X, Tradition in Action, and others.

Supposedly a civil rights organization, the SPLC targets “hate groups” and raises lots of money in the process. An article published by Human Events would lead us to the conclusion that they profiteer on anti-hate hysteria. One of the founders of the SPLC and its current chief trial counsel is Morris Dees, of whom Human Events claimed, “Dees’s former legal associate, Millard Farmer, describes the crusading lawyer as ‘the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement, adding, ‘though I don’t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye.’ Former associates say Dees is obsessed with making money.” The ADL employs similar fear-mongering fundraising tactics. Of the ADL’s Abe Foxman, commedian and erstwhile Rabbi Jackie Mason famously quipped: “Another fake from top to bottom. … a total fake. Let’s be honest about it. Anybody who makes a life out of fighting racism in effect has to blow-up racism in order to justify himself and the job he has, otherwise he’d have to go to work. Otherwise he’d have to get up in the morning and get a real job.” Morris Dees and his organization appear to be cut of the same cloth.

The false charge of anti-Semitism has been leveled at us before. Like many saints (e.g., Sts. Augustine, John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Maximilian Maria Kolbe and many others), popes (e.g., Pope Benedict XIV) and other great Catholic thinkers (e.g., Hilaire Belloc, Father Dennis Fahey), we realize that the “organized naturalism” of the Jewish Nation is at enmity with Our Lord’s plan, and this manifests itself in numerous ways. This is not racism, bigotry, or prejudice. It is a fact of sacred history that is very documented. All of the Catholic luminaries I just named have been called anti-Semites. And all of them wanted exactly what we want: the conversion of the Jewish people so that they can save their souls. While this does not conform to the post-Enlightenment liberalism currently in the ascendancy, it hardly constitutes “hatred.” If it did, the Apostles would be, after Our Lord Jesus Christ, the most hateful men in history.

We have already answered this charge of anti-Semitism at length, notably when it came from Karl Keating of Catholic Answers (see A Reply to Mr. Karl Keating). While the charge has already been addressed, there are some specific points that can be made in reply to the outrageous attack that showed up in the Intelligence Report, the SPLC’s journalistic outlet.

Before I make my own points, I would like to refer readers to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Hate-Mongers,” Mr. John Vennari’s intelligent, penetrating, and apostolic response to the attacks against himself and Catholic Family News. I cannot resist quoting Mr. Vennari, for the SLPC tarred us with the same inept brush:

Beirich {Heidi Beirich, who authored the smears, at least in part} writes that John Vennari “says he is now part of the official Vatican press corps.” I have no idea where she got that one. Any CFN reader will attest that I have never made such a claim. I received Press Credentials from the Vatican Press Office for the June 2002 Vatican Press Conference on the clerical scandals, but this does not constitute any journalist as a member of the Vatican press corps. It seems Ms. Beirich just made up certain things as she went along.

To spotlight each of the various untruths, partial truths and misrepresentations is beyond the scope of this short commentary. Suffice to say that the SPLC is so arrogant and reckless, so accustomed to bullying others with impunity, that it prints falsehoods and inaccuracies that would not be tolerated in a fourth grade history report.

The same can be said of the report on our group. For example, beneath a photo of the brothers on the SPLC web site, we read the following caption:

Key members of the Slaves of the Immaculate GHeart {sic} of Mary include (from left) brothers Louis Marie, André Marie, Fancis {sic} (the Slave superior), Maximilian Maria and Anthony Mary. In 2005, Bother Mary {sic} warned a conference that ‘the Jewish nation’ is ‘the perpetual enemy of Christ.’ Jews, he added, ‘are the synagogue of Satan.’

Here is the photo:

The creative orthography notwithstanding, the Intelligence Report did get the names right, but Brother Anthony Mary is a 19-year-old postulant for our Order. He’s never spoken at any conference in his life. The Report could have been quoting someone who actually did speak at that conference, but their Intelligence ran short on this claim. The last passage in this series of quotations is from the Bible, and speaks of the persecution that Christians were suffering at the hands of certain unbelieving Jews (Apoc. 2:9: “…thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan”). This was written by St. John under inspiration. (One of those “hateful” Apostles!)

The “key members” label is comical. The picture, snagged from our web site, shows all the brothers in Richmond. We had no photo session for “key members” only. For the record, the only religious not shown were the sisters. (So women aren’t “key members”? The SPCL is not supposed to be sexist, is it?)

Here are some other highlights from the piece:

SPLC: “The Slaves are followers of the anti-Semitic priest Leonard Feeney, a ‘genius’ who started the organization after he was excommunicated in 1953. The group began operations in Boston, but later moved to Still River, Mass.”

The Order was founded in 1949, not 1953. There is no evidence to the contrary. We were not started in Boston, but in Cambridge. (The issue of Father Feeney’s nominal “excommunication” has been addressed in the Father Feeney Fact Sheet.)

SPLC: After the founder’s death in 1978, the organization broke up into several factions, with the most radical setting up shop in Richmond (the old Still River site is now known as St. Benedict Abbey, which is in full communion with the Vatican).

The “factions” were there before Father Feeney’s death. While the pejorative “most radical” should probably be understood as a compliment considering the source, in the issues at hand, all the houses would be in general agreement. The “old Still River site” is actually three groups, only one of which is a Benedictine Abbey. The other two groups use the name “Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” While the Abbey is “in full communion with the Vatican,” so are all the other groups, including our own, as we are all Catholics under no ban of excommunication.

SPLC: They have denounced the Vatican’s moves to reconcile with Jews as “capitulation to the tyrannical demands of the most insidious elements within Jewry (e.g., the Vatican audiences granted to the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Christ Jewish Anti-Defamation League).”

The words are my own and I will stand by them, although they were not spoken in terms of “reconcil{ing} with Jews.” I was bemoaning the fact that indifferentist ecumenism has led much of our Catholic leadership into a fruitless and destructive relationships with such groups as the ADL. All of the pejoratives I threw at Abe Foxman’s organization stand; they are for those insidious, anti-Christian things. (For more on the ADL, read “Is There A Kosher Way to Criticize the Israel Lobby?,” in which a Jewish author criticizes Abe Foxman for “his trademark tactic of accusing people of anti-Semitism that he knows perfectly well aren’t anti-Semites.”)

Elsewhere, I have made the point that cooperation with non-Catholics, including Jews, would be prudent in order to achieve natural-law justice in the civil sphere. Thus, when an Orthodox Rabbi wanted to cooperate with the Holy See in fighting homosexual unions parading as marriage (“‘A New Ecumenism’ proposed by Orthodox Rabbi to Pope ”), I said:

The Rabbi makes some unusually good (and common-sense) observations about the power of the Catholic hierarchy in defending certain natural law issues we hold in common with Orthodox Jews (contra abortion, pornography, homosexual unions parading as marriage, etc.). … One of the great paradoxes of ecumenism is that we end up dealing with those least likely to convert and least likely to cooperate with us on these important issues which concern all of humanity. For example, pro-abortion, pro-contraception, feminist, pro-queer Anglicans get lots of air time, but anti-evolution, Southern Baptists who have large families and hate abortion and perversion get little attention. Why? Also, of the Jews our leaders dialogue with, those who are contracepting themselves into oblivion — the Reform Jews, products of the Enlightenment — get the most attention. The pro-abortion, pro-sodomite ADL comes to mind here. (This comment is from our News Portal.)

Next quote:

SPLC: In fact, the Slaves say that Jews will be the first people to accept the Antichrist and will quickly join “in launching the most savage persecution of the Church in the history of the world.”

That quotation comes from an article written by Brother Thomas Mary Sennott (one of the brothers, by the way, who lived, and died, in the Abbey in Still River!). The full excerpt cited the common opinion of the Fathers of the Church. The article also went on to criticize Zionist Protestants:

The Jews, according to the common consensus of the Fathers, will be the first people to accept the Antichrist as the Messias, because he will offer them the earthly Messianic kingdom which they so ardently desire, and which Our Lord denied them. Then they will join with Antichrist in launching the most savage persecution of the Church in the history of the world, crucifying Christ again in His Mystical Body. Also, the false prophets Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Jerry Falwell, et alia, will be among the first to point out Antichrist as Our Lord come for the second time, because he will offer them their eagerly awaited earthly millenial kingdom. (“The False Prophets”)

Finally, the SPCL seems disturbed that we “also inveigh against ‘feminists, sodomites, and those who advocate the sin of birth control…’”

Yes, we do. So what’s the problem? Apparently, the SPLC does not realize that one can have reasonable opposition to another’s religious beliefs or ethical system without being a hateful fanatic.