Friday, June 26, 2009

Jesuit On Calumnies Against Convents

By The Rev. Sydney FENN Smith, S.J.

From time to time, though less often now than formerly, readers of the daily papers are regaled with a thrilling story of cruelty in a Catholic convent, happily brought to light through the successful or attempted escape of the victim.
Generally the scene of these stories is laid in a distant country—in Spain, or Brazil : most commonly the names and the dates are so far suppressed as to render inquiry hopeless : and if, with a view to inquiry, further information is demanded, the answer is invariably the same. Names and dates cannot be given without exposing the victim to the wrath of her pursuers : but the informant can vouch for the complete accuracy of the facts, which, after all, are in keeping with what has been brought home to hundreds of similar Romish institutions.
Occasionally, however, the story ventures within reach of investigation, and then is wont to be followed in the same journal, either by a flat contradiction, or byan explanation, supported by evidence of a convincing character, and putting the facts in a very different and more reasonable light. In that case the assailant's purpose is thwarted for the moment, but he has an ulterior purpose in view which he can still hope to accomplish.
He puts carefully away the copy of the paper in which the charge is made, and waits till a new generation has sprung up. Then he reproduces it as a fact, publicly told and recognized at the time as authentic, taking care not to whisper a syllable of the opposing evidence with which its first appearance was met, and which then divested it of public credence.
Few Catholics are aware of the extent to which in this way exploded charges against our convents are treasured up and perpetuated through the agency of the various periodicals and pamphlets which circulate under the auspices of the Protestant Alliance, emanating either directly from their press.

Link (here) to read the full article published 1884 by the Catholic Truth Society by Fr. Sidney F. Smith, S.J.

Blogger Note: Fr. Smith is talking about the precursors to the Jack Chick tracts.


de Brantigny........................ said...

Here is a funny/sad story. Before I chose to reside in NC, I had the pleasure of renting from a woman who was not overly Catholic friendly. It was a matter of her faith sect, I say sect because a great majority of "self described Christians" hate the Caholic Church and know absolutely nothing of the faith, priests, nuns.

Their minister makes it up, pulls it out of their butt as it were, as though he or she were leading a reformation of the Catholic Church. Too often simple minded Catholics are lured away by these stories, Jack Chick is a spreader of calumny and lies.

In this lurid tale, Inez, told me that her friend is a plumber who had to go to the convent and unclog a drain, when doing so he found that it was full of condoms, because the priests were sneaking over to the convent to "mess" with the nuns.

I laughed at her and told her he was lying. No nun in the convent was under 60, therefore the need for a condom to prevent pregnancy was really redundant. In any event, the priests didn't have to sneak over, just walk across the street.

It was just a tale to scare young children.


Joseph Fromm said...

My next door neighbor cited a book that she read telling of little babies buried in a tunnel between a convent and monastery in South America. This stuff has stayed around