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Morality of The
Great Depression (Continued)
Question: The Latin Mass Magazine had
an article that suggested that “concelebration” reduced the graces that we
would receive from the celebration of Masses.
What is “concelebration” and why might it be a problem.
Answer: Concelebration is the celebration of Mass in which two or more
priests simultaneously consecrate the Host and Chalice, and later receive Holy
Communion consecrated at that Mass. In the traditional Roman Rite
concelebration is restricted to Masses at which the priesthood or the
episcopate are conferred. It is more common in the Eastern Rites, and
seems to have become the norm for the Novus Ordo, replacing private
Masses when more than one priest is available. In spite of its name, The
Latin Mass Magazine supports the Conciliar Church and assumes that most of
its priest-readers will “switch hit” at the Novus Ordo, and may in
fact be required to do so, and may be required to concelebrate.
The article in question avoided all of the serious questions—matter, form,
minister, and intention—that should be raised about the Novus Ordo,
and dealt only with the issue of concelebration and its supposed reduction of
graces. Predictably, it ignored the question, raised in large scale
concelebrations, of whether or not it is possible for a priest to consecrate
bread and wine that are at a distance, and perhaps out of sight. (“That,
over there, somewhere, is my body....”)
It is generally a mistake to apply quantitative
measurements to sacred things. The article seemed to say, in effect,
that (say) a dozen individual Masses produce twelve times as much grace as a
Mass concelebrated by the same twelve priests. The writer seemed to miss
the fact that each concelebrant offers Mass as truly as if he celebrated
separately. This is not altered by the fact that they do so within one
common ceremony. One can justifiably say that all of the Masses ever
offered in Christendom are but one—they all participate in the infinite
graces of the one Sacrifice of the Cross, but even in human mathematical terms
it is meaningless to multiply infinities. No number of Masses will ever
add up to make two Sacrifices of the Cross, or even a tiny fraction more than
one! If each concelebrant validly offers Mass, would more graces be
conferred by stationing them at twelve separate altars, with twelve separate
Hosts and Chalices?
This is not to deny that there are some drawbacks to
concelebration, even if we ignore the “large scale” problem mentioned
above. If more than two or three priests are involved the rest will
appear to be merely functionaries—performing a supremely noble function, yet
appearing to be almost non-participants, having little to do. This
appearance is multiplied insofar as they wear only some of the sacred
vestments. It would also seem to contribute to the modern perception of
the Mass as a gathering of the assembly rather than a renewal of the Sacrifice
of the Cross. And, of course, if all of the priests in a parish
concelebrate Mass, there can be no other Masses, earlier or later, for the
faithful who cannot fit the concelebrated Mass into their schedule.
In any event, concelebration is a non-issue for
traditional Catholics. Authentic Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral
teaching—don’t do without them—don’t accept one without all three!
[Continued from last month]
Question: Were there moral aspects to the
Great Depression? A lot of
people suffered for well over a decade. Shouldn’t someone be held
responsible? Can we prevent such a thing from happening again?
The statist policies of Hoover and Roosevelt kept the Great Depression going
for over a decade before the nation’s entry into World War II. At
least one contemporary suggested that the War was to be the ultimate public
... after six years of extravagance, deficits and debt,
of so many wild schemes which had to be abandoned as failures, Roosevelt
should find himself in 1938 with 11,800,000 unemployed on his hands, business
still showing no spark of recovery and his whole cabinet split, angry and
... This was Roosevelt. And it landed him in 1938 back
pretty much where he began and without a single compound left in his little
satchel of remedies save spending and more spending.
But how would he spend and on what? Bridges, roads, a few
more dams? These would consume a few billions at most. On what, then, could it
be? He already had a definite idea in his mind on what it would be. He had
denounced Hoover, among other things, for spending so much on the military
establishment. He had warned that if the Republicans were not stopped, they
would soon expose the people to the burden of "a billion dollars a year
on the military and naval establishment." Now, looking up at the world
from the hole in which he found himself, he had to swallow all that too. Half
thinking aloud in a chat with Farley he said "The danger of war with
Japan will naturally cause an increase in our armaments program, which cannot
be avoided." He had only recently warned Americans against those
politicians who would tell them that a military industry would produce work
for the people and profits for business. But it would be hard, he had said at
Chautauqua only two years before "for Americans to look beyond, to
realize the inevitable penalties, the inevitable day of reckoning that comes
from a false prosperity." Yet now he was playing with that very war
The factors surrounding American entry into World War II
differed somewhat from those of the first War.
● England and the U.S. still shared a common
language and something of an historical bond, but Irish, German, and Italian
immigrants had taken their places in American society, so fewer people thought
of themselves as being of British ancestry or loyalty.
● The Kaiser had facilitated Lenin’s
campaign against his WWI enemy, the Czar, only to abdicate in 1919—Lenin had
also received strong financial support from the moneyed elites of the U.S. and
Europe, including Germany.
● In August of 1939 Hitler and Stalin entered
into a non-aggression pact, making American Communists in and outside of US
government reluctant to wage war on Germany until the treaty was abrogated in
June of 1941.
● During the 1930s, Alcoa, Dow, General
Electric, IT&T, International Harvester, General Motors and Ford all had
plants in Germany. DuPont partnered with I.G. Farben; Standard Oil joined
them in developing Ersatz gasoline, made from coal; there was even an
American branch of I.G. Farben. Yet, paradoxically, the Eastern
financial establishment saw benefits in going to war—a viewpoint not shared
in the heartland.
● The United States were in far worse
economic shape as they entered the second War then when they had entered the
first.. While the inflation of the mid-1920s had supported the British
Pound, the inflation of the 1930s and the rise in the international price of
American gold, was beginning to threaten Britain’s own plans for inflation,
particularly with France and a few other countries remaining on the gold
● As Keynes had predicted, the war
reparations demanded of Germany at Versailles had wrecked the German economy
and paved the way to another war. Lacking gold, Germany imposed strict
exchange and capital export regulations, and engaged in bilateral trade
negotiations with countries in the Balkans and South America, freezing out
American and other European trade. The bilateral agreements were viewed
both as economic and military sanctions by the U.S. and Britain.
● In August-September 1941 74% of Americans
wanted to stay out of WWII; 68% even if this meant a German
victory over both England and Russia.
● In their presidential bids before going to
war, both Wilson and Roosevelt campaigned against entry.
The extensive campaigns that made up World War II
are well documented elsewhere, as are the moral arguments for and against the
tactics employed by the belligerents—they are well beyond the scope of this
paper on the moral aspects of the Depression—and they raise emotionally
charged issues for all who consider themselves participants or victims.
In some places one can go to jail for discussing certain of those issues.
Here, we will discuss only one—the way in which three-quarters of the
population could be led into war against their will and better judgment—the
way in which they could be sold on this one great last “public works”
● Remember the Maine! ●
Peaceful people will endure a lot of provocation,
particularly if they don’t feel mortally threatened by the provocateurs.
American colonists put up with taxes, trade restrictions, and lack or
representation for some time. Without the Boston Massacre in 1770 it is
unlikely that there would have been a Tea Party in 1773. Without these
being followed by the Intolerable Acts of 1774, there might not have been a
Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The War of 1812 might have been nothing more than a trade
war (the New England States threatened secession) had the British not
impressed American seamen into their Navy, and had not the British encouraged
the Indians on the border, thereby hampering America’s westward expansion.
On 15 February 1898 the USS Maine, in Havana
harbor to protect American interests during the Cuban revolution against
Spain, mysteriously exploded, taking 266 men (about three-fourths of the crew)
to their deaths. The sinking led to American military action against
Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
On 7 May
1915, the RMS Lusitania, an Auxilliary Merchant Cruiser of Great
Britain, carrying over four million rifle cartridges and a number of American
civilians was sunk by a German U-boat, precipitating US entry into World War I.
To no avail, the Gerrman government had posted advertisments in American
newspapers warning civilians not to take passage on belligerent ships.
Wilson had campaigned successfully for a second term as the president who
“kept us out of war,” but the economic implications of a German victory in
World War I were serious indeed, and the US entered on the side of Great
Britain. Americans were at least as anxious to remain out of World War II,
so it took considerable effort for President Roosevelt to connive American
journals, both of the left and of the right, as well as the mainstream
newspapers did their share to marginalize all whom they deemed
“isolationists,” and who they labeled “fascists,” “reactionaries,”
anti-Semites, and so forth. Even the most noteworthy individuals could
find no platform from which to deliver the non-interventionist message.
Stalin both invaded Poland in September of 1939. Honoring a guarantee
made on 31 March of the same year, the British were soon to declare war on
Germany, but not Russia. Left wing sentiment in the US remained against
entering the war until Germany invaded Russia in 1941. The British
guarantee to protect Poland turned out to be impossible, and may have been the
fatal mistake that led to world war. Although theoretically neutral, the
US aided the British war effort in a number of provocative ways.
of 1940 Roosevelt mobilized units of the National Guard, and asked Congress to
begin conscripting soldiers. Fifty American destroyers were transferred
to the British Navy in return for leases on naval bases in British
Atlantic territories. In April 1941 American officers began to serve on
British and Dutch ships, and by May were involved in combat against German
ships. American troops occupied Iceland and later Greenland as proxies
for the British. American “lend-lease” war supplies to the British
were convoyed by American ships and British ships received American escorts.
These forces reported directly to Roosevelt who euphemistically refered
to them as “Neutrality Patrols” and “Support Forces.” German,
Italian, and Danish ships that fled from the British to American ports were
taken into “protective custody,” and later turned over to the British.
Americans trained British pilots and repaired British war planes in England..
proclaimed the Altantic west of Iceland to be a “neutral zone,” and issued
orders to shoot at German boats “on sight” when in the zone.
In September 1941 the USS Greer stalked a German U-boat for several
hours, provoking an unsuccessful torpedo attack. Within the month came
attacks on the USS Kearny and the USS Reuben James. Between
the two, a hundred twenty-six men died.. Roosevelt took the news
excitedly to the radio and press, but Americans seemed to accept the losses as
the price of staying out of the war.
Hitler was not terribly obliging in the Atlantic, but
perhaps Tojo would help. As a back up plan, Roosevelt also invited
attack in the Pacific. In 1940, apart from a squadron at Manila, the US
fleet was stationed on the US west coast.. Early in 1941 ships were
moved to the Atlantic, and in spite of top military advice, Roosevelt ordered
the remaining ships to Hawaii. Having the ships in Hawaii presented
repair, personnel, and training problems as well as posing a threat to Japan.
The Fleet Commander, Admiral James Richardson, protested to no avail, was
ordered to make the press believe it was his idea and not Roosevelt’s, and
was ultimately relieved of command.
Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum was born in Japan
to missionary parents and learned to speak Japanese before English. By
1940 McCollum was the head of the Far East desk for Naval Intelligence.
In October of that year he prepared a memo detailing eight steps he felt
necessary to goad the Japanese “to commit an overt act of war” against the
United States. The memo was forwarded through command to Roosevelt, who
seems to have been guided by it. The eight points may be summarized as a
total economic blockade and the movement of warships into positions
threatening to Japan.
McCollum reported to Captain Walter S. Anderson, who
was to be promoted to Rear Admiral and Commander of Battleships for the
Pacific Fleet. Anderson arrived in Hawaii by 1 February 1941 and
witnessed the ceremony in which Admiral Richardson was replaced by Admiral
Husband E. Kimmel. But while Kimmel took military quarters at Pearl
Harbor, Anderson had the “foresight” to rent down at Waikiki where he
spent December 7th. Curiously, Anderson never made Admiral Kimmel aware
that his people had broken both the Japanese military and diplomatic ciphers.
Had he done so, Kimmel might have been able to demand the intelligence
necessary to defend Pearl Harbor.
Further discussion of who knew what and when about Pearl
Harbor is beyond the scope of this writing. A great deal has been
written since WWII materials became declassified. Interested readers are
directed to the references given in the footnotes.
Next month we hope to conclude this series with a summary
of the things that caused the Great Depression and the mistakes made in
dealing with it.