By Randy Engel
Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman – What Difference Does a Homosexual Prelate Make?
On February 17, 2018, Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant, broadcast a Remnant Underground you-tube video titled “School Shootings & Church Closings: The Neo-Catholic Spring” in which Mr. Matt happened to mention the name of Cardinal Francis Spellman, Archbishop of New York from 1939 to 1967, in connection with the cardinal’s world-publicized condemnation and boycott (binding Catholics under pain of sin) of Eli Kazan’s movie Baby Doll in 1956.
The promo for the video reads:
Down in the catacombs, Michael Matt examines the fundamental cause of horrific realities such as school shootings in America. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s not the guns). Michael also looks at the Catholic Church’s unconditional surrender in the Culture war and asks the question: What’s the connection between moral chaos in society and the “Church of Accompaniment” of Vatican II. Plus, when it comes to Christophobic Hollywood, how did we get from Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop John Gregory Murray and Pope Pius XI– to Deacon Steve Greydanus?
Among the comments that followed Mr. Matt’s video were two by “Pearl of York.”
The first invited the Remnant “to do some of its own investigative reporting on Cardinal Spellman and inform its readers of its findings.” The second, took the Remnant to task for “gushing over” Cardinal Spellman. Pearl noted that Spellman was said to be “one of the most notorious, powerful and voracious homosexuals in the history of the American Church, and …. Even more was notoriously known for having brought John Courtney Murray promoter of the heresy of Americanism to Vatican II in opposition to Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.”
Both charges are true.
Now, in defense of Mr. Matt, I wouldn’t say he “gushed over” Spellman. On the other hand, mentioning Spellman at all, especially in a favorable light, in connection with the reference to “Christophobic Hollywood,” wasn’t the wisest of choices either, since one of Spellman’s closest friends from Hollywood, Louis B. Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who wined and dined with the Cardinal when he was in New York, was known to keep an abortionist on the MGM Studios’ staff to assure the unpregnant state of his starlets, some of whom were also said to have shared the married Mayer’s casting couch before they were barely out of their teens. Mayer also arranged “marriages” for homosexual stars like Nelson Eddy.
The Remnant Moderator Defends Spellman
However, as it turns out, my major complaint was not with Mr. Matt, with whom I have always had cordial relations, but with the comments made by an anonymous Remnant Moderator who (mis)informed Pearl York that:
“Gushing”? Are you serious? Spellman did his job, and Mr. Matt pointed it out. I don’t think Mr. Matt even praised Spellman, let alone did he gush. He simply told us what happened. The moral authority to do what he did came from Spellman’s office, by the way, and not his personal sanctity or alleged lack thereof. He did many things worthy of praise. He once said of Pope John XXIII: “He’s no pope. He should be selling bananas.” Americanism notwithstanding, he was an early opponent of the New Mass and one of the few public defenders of Senator Joe McCarthy. Spellman was also a fierce and outspoken critic of Communism and everything and everyone involved with it. As for his alleged homosexuality, I have no idea. His longtime secretary vehemently denied it, but I don’t know. J. Edgar Hoover supposedly had a file on him that said he was gay, but that was before everyone started claiming that Hoover himself was a cross-dressing freak. Whatever. What Spellman said about Baby Doll and lots of other morally objectionable films was right and proper, regardless. The idea that unless one is totally free from sin and any attachment to it he can’t condemn immorality, leaves immorality pretty much free to carry on with impunity now and forever. Hypocrisy is saying the right thing while BELIEVING something else entirely. Saying the right thing while sometimes DOING something else out of personal weakness is called being human. The truth is the truth even when sinners defend it.
Cardinal Spellman – Setting the Record Straight
Mr. or Miss Remnant Moderator tells us that Spellman “did many things worthy of praise.” And there is an element of truth in that statement.
When Spellman’s predecessor, Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hayes, the “Cardinal of Charity” and the bane of the Anti-Life Establishment, died on September 4, 1938, Spellman was left with a whopping debt of $28 million. Spellman was an excellent administrator and business manager and he not only put the New York Archdiocese on a solid financial footing but brought financial stability to its 400 parishes and raised billions to construct new Catholic schools, seminaries, hospitals, orphanages and churches.
And, yes, Spellman was a fervent anti-Communist.
Spellman, however, was not a religious man and rarely hovered over things religious. He was notorious for his “quickie,” “slam-dunk” Masses (that is, the Traditional Mass, since he died in 1967 before the New Mass was promulgated) and was not particularly attached to traditional devotions. Sadly, there is no indication that Spellman ever saw the contradictions inherent in a priest, especially a Prince of the Church, who was not first and foremost a man of God nor the terrible significance of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a rote and perfunctory manner.
On the matter of the vice of sodomy, the Moderator admits that he has no knowledge of Spellman’s “alleged homosexuality” and then proceeds to pontificate on the matter of sin, the condemnation of immorality, hypocrisy and truth.
This brings me to the crux of the Moderator’s comments.
The inference that the private lives of public figures, in this case, Cardinal Spellman, bares little or no relevance to their public policies and public actions is both absurd and dangerous. No man can be so thoroughly compartmentalized and cut off from himself especially in the sexual sphere that touches the most inner core of his being.
That Spellman was an active homosexual prelate, who habitually violated his solemn vows of celibacy by engaging in acts of utter perversion; solicited sexual favors from priests and seminarians entrusted to his spiritual, moral and material care; created grave scandal in and out of clerical circles; opened himself and the Church up to possible blackmail and influence peddling by enemies of the Faith; and used his office to promote other homosexual clergy thus creating the nucleus for the clerical Homosexual/Pederast Network that has haunted the Catholic Church in America for more than 70 years, is not a mere passing matter. It is of the utmost importance to any Catholic who is trying to understand why the post-Conciliar Church is in such a terminal state of dissolution and chaos.
This writer is considerably older than Michael Matt, so I’ve had the privilege of watching him “grow-up” through the pages of The Remnant. I know that there is one special issue that has always been close to his heart and that is the issue of abortion.
For that reason, I will not recount with documentation as I did in The Rite of Sodomy, Spellman’s role as “Kingmaker” in the ordaining of hundreds of priests to the Archdiocese of New York, and the principal and co-principle consecrator of no less than 32 American bishops, and a generation of clerical personal secretaries and key administrators, many of whom were, like Spellman, active and predatory homosexuals, and pederasts.
Rather I have chosen to relate the role of Cardinal Spellman in the horrific tale of the fall of Puerto Rico to the Anti-Life Establishment and the catastrophic repercussions of that fall which lead to the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973, a day that will forever live in infamy.
Puerto Rico as a Population Control Laboratory
The Catholic Church’s bitter battle over the Federal Government’s “Grand Population Control Experiment” in Puerto Rico, which lasted well over half a century, provides us with some instructive insights into the evolution and development of the American bishops’ thinking on the subject of population control, defined here as the imposition of specific demographic policies by the state designed to limit family size and achieve pre-determined demographic objectives established by the state as a matter of public policy.
Population control came to Puerto Rico in the early 1900s largely through the efforts of Protestant denominations and evangelical sects who wished to refashion Puerto Rican society and Catholic culture along more White-Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) lines. The Neo-Malthusian program was openly eugenic. It was designed to improve, what the WASPs perceived as “inferior human stock” (principally through direct sterilizations). The island served as the United States’ first experimental model for “the intelligent and scientific control of population,” the key element of which was the “education of the people and overcoming the prejudices of the Catholic Church.”
The rationale for the Neo-Malthusian campaign in Puerto Rico was candidly expressed by Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, a physician at San Juan’s Presbyterian Hospital, operated under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation:
The Porto (Puerto) Ricans…are beyond doubt the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this sphere…What the island needs is not public health work but a tidal wave or something to totally exterminate the population. I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off eight and transplanting cancer into several more…
During the Hoover presidency, (1929-1933), the Puerto Rican hierarchy had been able to persuade the administration to redirect funds earmarked for birth control projects to programs of economic development, industrialization and migration and health care. This withholding of official recognition and government subsidies for birth control dampened the efforts of the privately funded anti-baby groups on the island such as the Puerto Rican Birth Control League.
Under the heavily Masonic Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration, however, Neo-Malthusians were able to advance their anti-natalist policies in the United States and its commonwealth possessions, including the island of Puerto Rico.
President Roosevelt made his contribution to the on-going dialogue concerning Puerto Rico’s “population problem” by jokingly telling Charles Taussig, his advisor on Caribbean affairs, “I guess the only solution is to use the methods which Hitler used effectively.” It is all very simple and painless Roosevelt said – “You have people pass through a narrow passage and then there is the brrrr of an electrical apparatus. They stay there for twenty seconds and from then on they are sterile.”
Obviously, the American-born bishops of Puerto Rico did not share Roosevelt’s coarse, anti-Catholic humor concerning the new colonialist policies imported from the mainland – policies that involved grave moral issues of the fundamental transgression of the Natural Law with dangerous implications for the spiritual welfare of their flock as well for the common good.
Under President Roosevelt, the 1873 Comstock Law (the “parent” act, Sect. 211) which was passed by a predominantly Protestant pro-natalist Congress, to prohibit the interstate traffic and foreign importation of obscene literature, and articles of “immoral use” to prevent conception, and thus preserve the nation’s basic instinct to survive and prosper, was rarely enforced by regulatory federal agencies. Ads for all sorts of anti-conception drugs and devices freely flowed through the mail, and the U.S. Patent Office freely issued patents and trademarks for them.
Nevertheless, the Comstock law did prove its worth by effectively preventing the establishment of public, free-standing birth control centers by the Sangerites.
Cardinal Hayes Sends FDR Running for Cover
On May 28, 1935, FDR made the grave mistake of selecting a pro-abortion, population control zealot and politician named Dr. (later Senator) Ernest Gruening from Alaska to be a director of the Puerto Rican Reconstruction Administration.
The appointment put the Puerto Rican bishops on the warpath! With help from the American bishops and the U.S. National Catholic Welfare Council (NCWC), the Democratic Administration was persuaded that it was in its own best interests to enforce the Comstock Law in Puerto Rico.
But Gruening remained undeterred by any legal constraints. He successfully negotiated a back-room deal with an (unnamed) member of the Puerto Rican hierarchy to “look the other way,” if he (Gruening) agreed not to publicize the creation of a network of birth control clinics for the island.
Unfortunately for Gruening, his old nemesis, Patrick Joseph Cardinal Hayes of New York, a master of “punishment politics” got wind of the deal. Not only did Hayes kill the deal, he also forced President Roosevelt to shut down Gruening and Co. or face the loss of the Catholic vote in the upcoming presidential election. On September 15, 1936, the “Grand Experiment” came to a grinding halt.
Spellman Not Made of the Same Moral Cloth
During the 1950s, the bloody Neo-Malthusian tide again threatened to engulf Puerto Rico, but this time Cardinal Hayes was no longer alive to aid the island commonwealth.
The threat came in the form of a massive influx of millions of U.S. dollars from American-based population control and eugenic foundations including the Gamble, Rockefeller, McCormick, and Ford Foundations, and the dollar-hungry pharmaceutical industry which needed human guinea pigs to test their “contraceptives” aka abortifacients on.
Thus, it was, that the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico braced itself for another epic anti-life assault. Only this time the Puerto Rican bishops also had to contend with the loss of the traditional legal and political support they had come to expect from the American hierarchy because Cardinal Hayes’ successor, Francis Spellman, was known to be willing to “compromise,” from behind the scenes, on the question of government birth control programs.
As the Military Vicar of the U.S. Armed Services, Cardinal Spellman was entrusted with the spiritual care of millions of Roman Catholic servicemen and women serving at home and abroad. Yet, we know that during the Second World War, when President Roosevelt issued an order that required post exchanges to stock condoms and required quartermasters (including Catholic officers) to distribute prophylactics, Spellman was silent.
Further, as noted above, the Roosevelt Administration consistently failed to prosecute violations of the Comstock Law.
Except for one or two well-publicized attacks on Sangerite birth control clinics in New York City, Spellman tended to ignore the increased encroachment of U.S.-sponsored Malthusian programs both at home and abroad especially under the Eisenhower Administration from 1953 to 1961. The cardinal viewed the issue of population control through a political rather than a moral lens, and he acted accordingly.
I bolded “well-publicized” in the above paragraph because most Catholics growing up in New York at this time, including this writer, were oblivious to the fact that Spellman had in his employ the best public relations people money could buy including publicists from the elite firm of Ivy Lee and Associates considered the Cadillac of the public relations industry.
Every aspect of his public life was carefully orchestrated and macro-managed for maximum edifying effect of Catholics the world over. Little wonder that the Catholic laity revered him, and the Catholic press virtually worshipped at his feet. To attack Spellman was to attack the Roman Catholic Church, which is why, unless the reader has read The Rite of Sodomy or The McHugh Chronicles – Who Betrayed the Pro-Life Movement, this will be the first time that he will have been exposed to how Spellman betrayed the Catholics of Puerto Rico.
Two American Bishops Lead the Pro-Life Charge
In 1960, the Puerto Rican hierarchy decided to make one last concerted effort to drive the Sangerite forces from Puerto Rico. The Catholic resistance movement was led by two Americans, Bishop James Peter Davis of San Juan and Bishop James Edward (Jaime Eduardo) McManus of Ponce.
Bishop Davis was Michigan-born and ordained at the age of 24. He was Bishop (and later Archbishop) of San Juan from 1943 to 1964. A strong opponent of Governor Luis Muñoz Marín, leader of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Davis once declared he would never climb the steps of the Fortaleza as long as Muñoz Marín was governor.
His compatriot in the anti-Malthusian war was Bishop McManus, a Brooklyn priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorist Order) who served in the Puerto Rican mission in Caguas in 1929 for a short term, returned to the States to earn a degree in canon law at the Catholic University of America, and was appointed Bishop of Ponce by Pope Pius XII on May 10, 1947. One year later he founded the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
Like Bishop Davis, Bishop McManus was an outspoken critic of Governor Muñoz Marín and an ardent opponent of population control. He charged that the philosophy of the PDB was anti-Christian and anti-Catholic, and he took a swipe at the heresy of Americanism (championed by Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J.) that held that it is the popular will rather than Divine Law that decides what is moral or immoral.
In August of 1960, Davis and McManus organized a national political party, The Christian Action Party (CAP), composed primarily of Catholic laymen. The pro-life candidate for governor was Professor Salvador Perea, of the Pontifical Catholic University. The CAP platform included opposition to turning the island into an international Sangerite playground for massive federal contraceptive/abortifacient/abortion/sterilization programs, and pharmaceutical population control experiments and clinical trials.
When increasing numbers of CAP flags began to fly from the rooftops of Puerto Rico’s Catholic homes, Governor Muñoz Marín and other leaders of the island’s opposition parties became increasingly concerned for their own political futures. Then unexpected help arrived in the unlikely person of His Eminence Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York.
A month before the hotly contested election, McManus and Davis issued a Pastoral Letter that prohibited Catholics from voting for the Popular Democratic Party. McManus publicly announced that Catholics who disobeyed the injunction by voting for the Popular Democrats would commit a sin.
Spellman Undercuts Resistance Movement
Shortly thereafter, Spellman arrived in Puerto Rico ostensibly to preside over two formal Church functions. While on the island, Spellman agreed to meet with CAP’s major political rival, Governor Muñoz Marín who attacked Davis and McManus’s political initiative as an “incredible medieval interference in a political campaign.”
In an interview that followed his meeting with Muñoz Marín, Spellman, aka “FDR’s errand boy with a miter,” claimed that politics were outside his purview. The cardinal’s statement was interpreted by the press, and correctly so, as an indictment of the partisan politics of Bishops Davis and McManus.
To underscore his message, as soon as Spellman returned to the States, he made a public statement to the press in opposition to the latest directives of the Puerto Rican bishops prohibiting Catholics from voting for Muñoz Marín and his anti-life PDP cohorts. Spellman stated that Catholic voters in Puerto Rico should vote their conscience without the threat of Church penalties.
Boston’s Cardinal Cushing, John F. Kennedy’s “political godfather,” joined Spellman in expressing “feigned horror” at the thought of ecclesiastical authority attempting to dictate political voting. “This has never been a part of our history, and I pray God that it will never be!” Cushing informed the press, and his fellow bishops, who quickly got the message.
Cushing’s main concern, however, was not the welfare of the Puerto Rican people. His main concern was that the flack caused by the Puerto Rican birth control affair might overflow into the upcoming presidential campaign and hurt John F. Kennedy’s bid for the White House.
Governor Muñoz Marín and the PDP Are Victorious
The national election turned out to be a political disaster for CAP. Muñoz Marín and the PDP won by a landslide. For added emphasis and humiliation, Bishop Davis was forced to end the tragic state of confusion among the Catholic laity by declaring just before the election that no penalties would be imposed on those who voted for the PDP.
Puerto Rican Bishops Forced to Sign Secret Agreement
Two years later, with the knowledge and approval of the American hierarchy and the Holy See under the reign of Pope John XXIII, the Puerto Rican hierarchy was pressured into signing a secret concordat of “non-interference” in government-sponsored birth control programs – a sop being that the programs would now include instruction in the “rhythm method.” While insisting on their right to hold and express legitimate opposition to such programs, the Puerto Rican bishops promised they would “never impose their own moral doctrines upon individuals who do not accept the Catholic teaching.”
This sorry excuse for betraying the Puerto Rican people carried out by Cardinal Spellman and the Holy See hit Archbishop Davis and Bishop McManus very hard, and appeared to have left a bitter and indelible mark on both their lives.
On January 3, 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Davis Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He resigned ten years later at the age of 69 and died on March 4, 1988.
On November 18, 1963, McManus resigned as Bishop of Ponce and was made an auxiliary bishop of New York under Cardinal Spellman. He resigned his office seven years later at the age of 70 after having served as pastor of St. Cecilia’s Church in Manhattan and Episcopal Vicar of Sullivan and Ulster Counties. McManus died in 1976 having kept the title, Bishop Emeritus of his beloved Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Both Davis and McManus lived long enough to witness the systematic medical castration of thousands of Puerto Ricans women by “the Pill”; the surgical sterilization of nearly half the island’s female population, and the inevitable legalization of baby killing in the commonwealth following the promulgation of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973.
The Betrayal of Love and Life Continues
In the mid-to-late 1960s, the Sangerite tsunami that had swept through Puerto Rico, now hit the U.S. mainland, as the floodgates of a multi-billion dollar federal “Stop the Stork” campaign was unleased on American Catholics with the knowledge and consent of the American hierarchy.
There was a time back in 1935 when Archbishop John Gregory Murray of St. Paul, Minnesota (the very fellow who Michael Matt correctly praises in his February 2018 video), likened the Sangerites to the Dillinger mob. “Both groups were organized to commit murder!” the Archbishop said without fear of contradiction from his fellow bishops or the Holy See.
But by the opening of the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962, the majority of American bishops had fallen under the spell of another “Murray” – Father John Courtney Murray, S. J., who heavily influenced their views on the issue of population control and birth prevention as public policy.
J.C. Murray, Cardinal Spellman’s personal peritus at the Second Vatican Council, is remembered in history as the principle architect of Church-State affairs for the National Catholic Welfare Council (NCWC), and the ghost writer of the Council’s controversial document on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae.
Father Murray had little stomach for anything resembling the Comstock Law which he viciously attacked. Such laws, Murray insisted, made “a public crime out of a private sin,” confused “morality with legality,” and were “unenforceable without a police invasion of the bedroom.” Tragically, it would be his mythical “police-state” theory on the alleged dangers of anti-birth control legislation that would lead to the equally mythical “constitutional right to privacy”’ in the Supreme Court’s 1965 decision, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Roe v. Wade in 1973.
The Hierarchy’s Last Hurrah on Population Control
The last official statement of the American bishops on the matter of government sponsored population control was released by the NCWC on November 14, 1966:
We call upon all, and especially Catholics, to oppose, vigorously and by every democratic means, those campaigns already underway in some states and at the national level toward the active promotion, by tax-supported agencies, of birth prevention as a public policy, above all in connection with welfare benefit programs. History has shown that as a people lose respect for any life and a positive and generous attitude toward new life, they move fatally to inhuman infanticide, abortion, sterilization, and euthanasia; we fear that history is, in fact, repeating itself on this point within our own land at the moment… Let our political leaders be on guard that the common good suffers no evil from public policies which tamper with the instincts of love and the sources of life.
Tragically, the Great Debate over the moral, civil and constitutional issues of population control (euphemistically referred to as “family planning” programs) which the above declaration should have ignited, never materialized. The American bishops’ silence became consent.
As the brilliant constitutional lawyer and legal counsel to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, William B. Ball, observed one year later:
The public, and the specially exhorted Catholic public, having been called “to oppose vigorously and by every democratic means” state and federal promotion of birth control — were left with nothing but the dying echo of the trumpet call. Far from being provided with any sort of detailed information on the issues by the statement’s authors who had raised them, or guidelines to the action sought, the Catholic laity of the United States never heard another word about the whole subject… [T]he default of the Catholic Church (or of Church staff officials whose duty it is to carry forward policy) on the subject of government birth control programming may prove to have been of historic moment because the Catholic Church alone, among all bodies in the American society, probably possessed the means to bring government birth control into public question and to cause its proponents to attempt to make their case for it…. As matters stand now, it will be seen that what began as a plea by pro-government-birth-control forces simply to “make available” (through government help) birth control services “to those who need them but can’t afford to pay for them” may result in something far different and with little dreamt of social consequences.”
So what difference does a homosexual bishop make?
A great difference.
The higher his position the more catastrophic and dangerous his actions are for both the Catholic faith and for the Catholic faithful.
Remnant Moderator, take note.
P.S. References provided upon request.