The year 1948 marked the beginning of a new epoch in the American history of the Roman Catholic Church and the beginning of a new epoch in American history itself. In November of that year the leaders of this powerful church undertook a drastic reorientation of their attitude toward the United States government. It was a change not of conviction but of strategy, not of direction but of pace; yet the new strategy and the new pace were so striking as to constitute in themselves a major change. The statement of the Bishops issued at that time will repay thoughtful reading by every American. These men serve notice that the vast power of their organization will henceforth be devoted to destroying the principle of Church-State separation.

When the Bishops sound the call to action, their language is clear. They say plainly that “Separation of Church and State has become the shibboleth of doctrinaire secularism.” They pledge themselves to “work peacefully, patiently and perseveringly” for its destruction. Thus, with a bold announcement supported by the cleverest of propaganda, this powerful church has set out to destroy the free position of the American churches.

Then And Now

This change in Roman Catholic strategy is expressed in the church’s attitude toward education. During much of the nineteenth century, its hierarchy was concerned to eliminate from the public schools every reference to God, the Bible and religion and to make the schools strictly secular institutions. Roman Catholics brought more than one hundred cases before the courts to achieve these objectives. I cite here but one of the hundred—that of People ex. rel. Ring v. Board of Education in Illinois. In this case Roman Catholics sought ...

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