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pass, but it could well be the year when the groundwork is laid for their ultimate actualization, if you gentlemen vote, in effect, to destroy church-state separation in America."
Perhaps no words can better emphasize concerns expressed before the Committee than those of British historian Lord James Bryce, who spoke in admiring terms of the unique relationship between religion and government in America:
"In examining the national government and the state governments, we have never once had occasion to advert to any ecclesiastical body or question, because with such matters government has in the United States absolutely nothing to do. Of all the differences between the Old World and the New this is perhaps the most salient. Half the wars of Europe, half the internal troubles that have vexed European states ... have arisen from theological differences or from the rival claims of church and state. This whole vast chapter of debate and strife has remained virtually unopened in the United States. There is no Established Church. All religious bodies are absolutely equal before the law, and unrecognized by the law."James Bryce, The American Commonwealth, third edition (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1895), Vol. II, p. 695.
here are worms, and there are night crawlers. When the President established formal diplomatic
relations with the Holy See on January 10, he opened a can that may prove to be the twentieth-century Pandora's box. A cursory grab no deeper than testimony given to a Senate committee on February 2 should give a feel of the troubles within.
Following, under headings that describe the issue addressed, are segments taken from papers presented. The speakers and their organizations are identified.
On page 21 are quotes from a speech given by Ambassador designate to the Holy See William A. Wilson at the University of San Diego on January 10. Had the American public had access to his views before the Senate hearings, his confirmation might have been in trouble. But speakers before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee did not challenge his qualifications; rather they focused on the appalling dereliction of duty of the U.S. Congress and Senate in failing to hold hearings before the President confronted Protestant and other religious leaders with a fait accompli, and on constitutional, theological, and policy grounds.
The question remains, Why dip into the can of worms after formal relations with the Holy See have been established? Isn't the battle over? Yes. But we suspect that the war will go on, and that in a decade or two our children will be asking how it all happened. When and how was the First Amendment dealt a lethal blow, opening the way to renewed sectarian conflict and loss of religious freedoms in America? The excerpts on the following pages and the philosophy of William A. Wilson tell the story.
The President's regrettable action of January 10, marking as it did a significant change in American church-state relations, was not the beginning; neither was it the end. That chapter is yet to be written. We have linie doubt that it will be written and read someday with anguish and regret by those who both forgot the lessons of history and little noted the words of the prophet who wrote to "shew unto his (God's] servants things which must shortly come to pass (Revelation 1:1).
Peter M. J. Stravinskas for the Catho I like League for Religious and Civil Rights:
"After all the rationalizations have been stripped away, this attitude (of opposition amounts to nothing other than conscious or unconscious prejudice against the Catholic Church. . . . It was prejudice against the Catholic Church that disfigured our statute books with a shamefully discriminatory las that prohibited the expenditure of public funds for the maintenance of an ambassador to the Vatican. It was prejudice against the Catholic Church that thwarted the efforts of President Roosevelt and President Truman to regularize our nation's diplomatic ties with the Vatican. It was prejudice against the Catholic Church that kept odious manifestations of religious bigotry in our national law for over 100 years until Congress . . . finally acted to repeal this shameful stain on our national honor."
James M. Dunn, Executive Director el the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs (BJC):
"[That) opposition to full diplomatic relations with the Holy See is an expression of anti-Catholic bigotry ... may be true in some instances, but it is untrue and unfair to paint all opponents with the same brush The main thrust of our opposition is support for a clear separation of church and state We would object to the appointment of u ambassador to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who heads a worldwide Anglican Church, or to the World Council of Churches with their vast network of cooperating churches. The principle is the same in all cases: both church and state function at a higher level when they are effectively separated from each other."
A Wise Decision?
Senator Richard G. Lugar, Chairman, Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee:
"I believe that the President has made a wise decision in establishing diplomatic relations with the Holy See and in nominating William Wilson to conduct those relations at an ambassadorial level."
Dean M. Kelley, Director for Religious and Civil Liberty, National Council of Churches (NCC);
"In the early 1950s, the issue of an ambassador to the Vatican excited a lamentable flurry of anti-Catholicism. We hope that will not be the case now, but if it is. responsibility will rest with those who precipitated the issue, not with those who object for reasons of theological and con stitutional principles."
Gaston D. Cogdell, Church of Christ:
"That the United States Senate should even contemplate opening up this 'whole vast chapter of debate and strife' as Bryce called it, is alarming. No surer way could be found to destroy the unity and cohesion of our society and nation and to polarize our people into bitterly antagonistic conflicting religiopolitical segments than to do what you gentlemen are being urged to do right now....
"In time, the government's toleration of other churches may depend upon whether they behave themselves and don't become obnoxious, trouble-making bigots-meaning outspokea critics of the religiopolitical power structure. 1984 may not be the year when Orwell's baleful prophecies come to
James T. Draper, President, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC):
"Anyone who claims there has not been much vocal opposition to this action either isa't listening or isn't honest.
"As president of the Southern Baptist Convention), I have traveled over a quarter of a million miles and in almost every state in this country. ... Contrary to popular
belief, opposition to this move is geographically widespread. It is nor limited to the Deep South. It is not a resurgence of anti-Catholic sentiment. It does not reflect any ill feeling toward Pope John Paul II. I have great admiration for the Pope and his great moral and ethical influence in the world. It is not a cause championed by a band of wild-eyed extremists. It is the real concern of millions of Americans deeply commined to our constitutional protections of religious liberty." Straining Interfaith Relationships
whole history and tradition to permit questions of the Religion Clauses to assume such importance in our legislatures and in our elections that they could divert attention from the myriad issues and problems that confront every level of government. The highways of church and state relationships are not likely to be one-way streets, and the Constitution's authors sought to protect religious worship from the pervasive power of government. The history of many countries attests to the hazards of religion's intruding into the political arena or of political power intruding in the legitimate and free exercise of religious belief.'
"This divisiveness along religious lines seriously threatens the harmonious fabric of our democratic society. We run the risk of unnecessarily awakening the ghosts of religious bigotry from a past that has long been laid to rest."
Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Director, Orice of Public Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals (NAE):
"No single act of the American govemment can so strain interfaith relationships as to favor one church over all others. As Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story said in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, this kind of action leads to "perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy.""
Robert L. Maddox, Jr., Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU):
**This move accords to one church, and one church alone, a unique channel of communication to our government. Whereas every other religious group in the world will have to wait in line to have its views heard, the Roman Catholic Church can now stroll with impunity into the highest halls of government to promote its doctrines and ideals. The other religious communities are willing to compete in the marketplace to have their ideas put forth, but through this proposed action the Roman Catholic Church suddenly receives an unfair and inordinately preferential advantage in promoting its values and programs. That unequal access deeply offends our national sense of fair play.
"Because of this unfair advantage, such recognition will lead to political division along religious lines. In Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 622-23 (1971), the Supreme Court noted: Ordinarily political debate and division, however vigorous or even partisan, are normal and healthy manifestations of our democratic system of government, but political division along religious lines was one of the principal evils against which the First Amendment was intended to protect. ... The potential divisiveness of such conflict is a threat to the normal political process. We have an expanding array of vexing issues, local and national, domestic and international, to debate and divide on. It conflicts with our
Cordell, Church of Christ:
"If the internal peace and harmony of this nation mean nothing to you, then by all means vote for this confirmation of an ambassador to the Holy See, because ecumenism and community harmony between those who have deeply held and sharply divergent religious convictions is possible only when one religious group does not attempt to arrogate to itself supremacy and sovereignty over the rest, as is being attempted by one church with the help of certain politicians who are willing to sell this nation's birthright of freedom for a very small mess of pottage: . . . Remove that equality before the law which we all now possess, and tensions and frictions will surface which will divide this country in a hundred ways. ...
"Please, look down the road on which you are about to take us, gentlemen: It is the road back to chaos and darkness. Do the blessings of our own experience with church-state separation and the curses of other nations' experience with a different arrangement mean nothing to us?"
John M. Swomley, Jr., Professor of Christian Ethics at St. Paul School of Theology (ACLU):
"At the moment when Protestant and other churches are proposing that the Pope's role should be chiefly that of president of an ecumenical council, the Reagan Administration, and hence the United States, would recognize the special role of the Pope and the existing religious structure and thus undercut ecumenical discussions."
state.' not unlike any other nation. But the American electorate is not so gullible that it will swallow any such rationalization, whatever its technical trappings. Americans know a red herring when they see it."
"'The Indiana Baptist said, Calling the Roman Catholic Church a 'state' makes as much sense as calling the Pope a Baptist.
Calling a 'church' . 'state' is as much a · misnomer as 'grape nuts'-neither grapes
nor nuts. ... Let the entity be called a church or a state, but not both!"
B. B. Beach, Director, Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists:
"A well-known Roman Catholic historian has written: 'If there were to be an American ambassador to the Vatican. he would have to be ambassador to the Pope as Pope. This would not demand United States recognition of all the papal claims implied in the titles "Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor to the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church," but, to speak realistically, it would mean that the United States acknowledged the fact that such claims were made, and that a reality existed to substantiate them, and that the importance of that reality, the spiritual authority of the Pope, was such that it warranted establishment of diplomatic relations, '-James J. Hennesey, S.J., 'U.S. Representative at the Vatican.' America. Dec. 4, 1965, p. 708."
**The contention that the ambassador is to be sent to the civil entity rather than to the religious is belied by the very title of the appointment, which is not to the state of Vatican City, but to the Holy See, which is an ecclesiastical entity; a 'sce' is the seat of a bishop, and "holy' is a quintessentially spiritual term.
"Theologically, we believe that it perpetuates the medieval misconception that the church of Christ (or any church) is or can properly be a temporal power. The fact that 106 nations are still involved in that diplomatic protocol surviving the Middle Ages is no reason for the United States to feel obliged to help perpetuate it; those 106 nations may not have the equivalent of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
"Roman Catholic .leadership readily admits the Holy See is a religious entity. Archbishop Cardinale, a prominent member of the Holy See's diplomatic service, says, 'The Holy See is the supreme organ of the Church universal in its contacts with other members of the international community. The archbishop further says, in describing the various functions of the Holy See: 'Sometimes it denotes the Pope together with the central offices of the
Is the Appointment to a State or to a Church?
"In this, the year for Orwellian doublespeak, the American people are being asked to believe that the Vatican is a 'nation
The Vatican in International Affairs
Winning the Global Struggle Against Communism
Roman Curia, formed of the sacred congregations, the tribunals and the various other departments. Sometimes it designates the Pope in his role as visible head of the Church, possessing the apostolic primacy as successor of St. Peter. Finally, it sometimes indicates the spiritual organization of the papal government.-H. E. Cardinale. The Holy See and the International Order, (Gerrards Cross, England: Colin Smythe Publishers, 1976)."
Cogdell, Church of Christ:
*The Holy See is simply the administrative center and govering apparatus of the Roman Catholic Church. (1) The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the Holy See' is synonymous with the term "Roman Church,' in diplomatic usage. . . . Archbishop Cardinale in his monumental work, (2) The Holy See and the International Order, says, 'The Holy See is the juridical personification of the church in the same way the state is of the nation. - Page 115. It is, he says, 'the supreme organ of the church universal in its contacts with other members of the interational community,' - Page 8S.
"Bishop Van Lierde in his book. The Holy See at Work, says that by the design of Divine Providence, The Apostolic See is the established center of the Catholic Church.--Page 43.
"References can be cited almost ad infinitum proving that the Holy See is in no sense a state. but is the world's largest church operating in its govering and administrative capacity-nothing more, nothing less.
"We submit to the honorable members of the Foreign Relations Committee that the official recognition by our government of the Papacy gives credibility to, and is a long step towards, legitimatizing these arrogant and despotic spiritual and temporal claims of the Pope."
"The Holy See maintains a diplomatic presence and has wide influence and unique access in areas of great concern to the foreign policy of the United States. Eastern Europe, Central America, Africa, and the Philippines offer several excellent examples.
"Vatican officials and diplomats are not simply observers or moral guides, but play an active role in international affairs....
"Over the past two years the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary of State. and other cabinet officers have had audiences with the Pope to discuss a wide range of political and moral problems which confront the world. ...
“The fact is that in many ways the Vatican is a far more significant and wide-ranging actor than many of the other governments with which we maintain for. mal relations."
"We are disturbed that this Administration apparently views the Roman Catholic Church only in political terms and ignores its essentially spiritual qualities. Does the administration see all churches in this light? Are we all potential "listening posts in the State Department's eyes?
"The Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, the largest missionary organization in the world, has passed a resolution opposing 'such a dangerous precedent that intertwines American self-interest and the higher priorities of the Kingdom of God.'"
"(We hear that this action will give the Pope more political leverage in his quest for peace and his struggle against Communism. Is this not the same Pope who directed his priests and nuns to avoid political involvement?"
Cordell, Church of Christ:
"You are no doubt being told that our sending of an ambassador to the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church is important to our winning the global struggle against Communism. We ask you to look at the Latin American and European countries. including Italy itself, where Communism has gained the greatest influence, and see that the Church of Rome is far from being a bulwark against the inroads of Communism. Indeed, it seems in some cases to pave the way for a Communist takeover. Why is this? We believe it is because the Roman Catholic Church seeks everywhere, as it is sceking right here and now, to link and entangle itself with secular power and authority and to receive special preference, privilege, and support from government whatever government happens to be in control, whether fascist, communist. socialist, capitalistic, dictatorship, or democracy. Discerning people soon lose respect for both the church and the state which enter into such relationships, and finally choose a government which is hostile to religion in preference to one which debases religion by using it for political ends and purposes and which in return allows itself to be used for ... ecclesiastical objectives."
We Did It Before and We Can Do It Again
Action Threatens Missionaries
"The contention that the present appointment restores a relationship that set the precedent in the 1800s (until broken off by Congress in 1867) is contrary to fact: Rufus King was minister-resident to the Papal States, an area of 16,000 square miles in central Italy, with over 3 million inhabitants, which the Pope actually governed as a civil ruler at that time. The Papal States are no longer in existence. The Vatican City today has an area of one sixth of a square mile and less than 1.000 inhabitants. It would be of no diplomatic interest if it were not also the headquarters of a great world church."
"The stated purpose of the ambassadorship is to tap into the Church's vast information network. This is patently entanglement. ... The editors (of America, a Jesuit magazine) expressed concern that an ambassador to the Holy See would seek to exert pressure on the Church to control the activities of the Church in America.
"It has been suggested that United States foreign policy would be set forward and that some intelligence network would become available to our nation by establishing such a formal relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. If any credence at all is to be given to these suggestions, they pinpoint precisely what we oppose. This entangling alliance would be the occasion for practical problems for all those engaged in the far-flung missionary venture in developing countries. Because of anti-American. antireligious, and antidemocratic sentiments in many of the developing countries, missionaries and other persons representing religious institutions would actually become symbols of American governmental interests. Should the United States
**We are disturbed by the threat this action poses to the 3,200 Southern Baptist missionaries in nearly 100 countries around the world. The implication that our govem. ment might use religious organizations for information, if not espionage. endangers not only the credibility of the message they deliver, but, in some war-torn countries. their very lives.
"Colorado's Rocky Mountain Baptist feared the indirect consequences to our missionaries in Latin American countries. ... It is already too easy for leaders in those countries to identify all missionaries as involved in their political struggles as spies or revolutionaries."
the 'Free Exercise of Religion was intended not only to prohibit direct govemment intervention, but also indirect overtures through a foreign prelate to stifle or alter the free exercise of religion." Maddox, AU:
"Father Robert Graham, an American priest who works at the Vatican, expressed similar concerns in his book, Varican Diplomacy: 'The presence of a representa tive of the White House at the Vatican, with direct access to the Holy Father, is almost u direct invitation to interference in internal American (Catholic Church affairs' (Princeton University Press, 1959)."
Everybody's Doing It
"One hundred six states now have relations with the Holy See at the ambassadorial level. 'Everybody is doing it!' is an argument that never persuaded my mother and probably not yours either. Even President Reagan, on November 4, 1983, said, 'One hundred nations in the United Nations have not agreed with us on just about everything that's come before them where we're involved, and it didn't upset my breakfast at all.' The important point is that the United States alone has a First Amendment which forbids this action."
Senate follow the unwise course of the establishment of full diplomatic relations with any church, it would offer an occasion for misunderstanding, an invitation to chaos and confusion, and would place I burden some albatross upon every American who represents religion overseas."
"The contention that the appointment of an ambassador will provide a channel for the now of valuable international intelligence information not now available to the U.S. does an injustice to the ability of Mr. Wilson as the President's personal representative to the Pope, since it suggests that with the title of ambassador he could gain information that is not available to him now. It also inpugns the commitment of the Vatican to the cause of freedom that is ostensibly svught to be advanced by this appointment since it implies that the Vatican would withhold information important to that cause from Mr. Wilson unless he were a full ambassador. Further more, it misconstrues the role of an ambassador, which is usually more symbolic, formal, and ceremonious than it is facilitative of close communications. The United States is not without numerous channels for obtaining significant information via the Vatican and otherwise; an ambassadorship is not the missing link in intelligence transmission. And even if it were, that is not an adequate justification for Routing the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, as we believe any appointment of ambassador to the Vatican would."
“It is a violation of the free exercise of religion by American Catholics in that an ambassador to the Pope will permit the President regularly to interfere with statements or action of the Catholic bishops and priests who publicly differ with Administration policies. For example, President Rea, gan sent General Rowney to see the Pope on two occasions to curb the pastoral expression of the U.S. Catholic bishops in their Pastoral Letter on War and Peace. Unofficial but reliable reports indicate that the Pope did intervene with respect to that document along the lines of President Reagan's request. ...
"Quoting National Catholic Reporter writer Peter Hebbethwaite:) 'In the future, a quiet word between Wilson and Casaroli
ary of state) in Rome, or Laghi (papal nuncio) at the State Depart. ment in Washington, could cool the (American) bishops' radical ardor. All in all, and especially in an election year, it is a good deal for President Reagan.'-National Catholic Reporter, Jan. 27, 1984, p. S....
"The First Amendment clause protecting
No Union of Church and State
Cogdell, Church of Christ:
Honorable Senators, you are being urged to violate your oath of office to uphold the Constitution of this great free nation, and to drive a dagger into the heart of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
"The divesting of the First Amendment of its strength and meaning by blatantly violating its plainest implications will be such a blow to this wonderful nation of ours as no alien power or ideology could inflict.
"It is the wall of separation between church and state and that alone which prevents the deep religious divisions of society from extending themselves into the public and political domain, and prevents the political divisions from being extended into the religious domain, to the detriment of church, of state, and of felicitous human relationships on every level. ...
"The late Cardinal Cushing of Boston said 'I don't know of anywhere in the history of Christianity where the Catholic Church, the Protestant church, or any other church has made greater progress than in the United States of America; and, in my opinion, the chief reason is that there is no union of church and state.' ---Boston Globe, Jan. 26, 1964. P. A-7."
JUANITA L. CLAY, Ph.D.
July 22, 1984
Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman
Dear Senator Hatch:
At the close of the Subcommittee Hearing on June 26th, you indicated that for thirty days, you would hold onen the record for additional testimony about other incidents of governmental interference in church affairs.
I am enclosing the attached copy of a newspaper article about a case in the u. S, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, which describes government interference in church affairs. Please insert this into the record of the Hearing. I had hoped for a written testimony from the minister involved; but have not yet received a copy so 'I am forwarding the information contained in the news article. Since the case is a matter of record in the Federal court, the facts are easily available to your staff.
Please send me a complete transcript of the hearing. sincerely appreciate your efforts in behalf of religious. freedom in our country.