McCarthy, Sheen and Communism; Then and Now

[Joseph Raymond McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in the United States in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion.  He is known for alleging that numerous Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers had infiltrated the United States federal government, universities, film industry, and elsewhere. Ultimately, the smear tactics that he used led him to be censured by the U.S. Senate. McCarthy’s tactics toward this growing concern may not have been the best approach. However, he may not have been addressing solely Soviet subversion, but actual communists in America, such as Stanley Levinson, or those of the Frankfurt School. In a nut-shell, Levinson and the Frankfort school, in sympathy with Communist cause and those associated with it, would support the belief that the state held priority over the individual, as opposed to, the belief of individual freedom; that the individual held priority over the state.

Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American bishop (later archbishop) of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy at the Catholic University of America as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966, to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the titular see of Newport, Wales.] Wikipedia

Sheen, like McCarthy, too, was concerned with the communist threat to America. But, specifically as it pertained to the Catholic Church. Activist, Bella Dodd, was a member of the Communist Party of America and New York City Teachers Union in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Dodd would become a convert to Catholicism through the help of Bishop Sheen after becoming disenchanted with communism. She, after conversion, was so inspired that she wanted other activists of like mind to leave the party and join the Church. However, the following conversation divulges a frightening conspiracy of betrayal.

Mrs./Dr. Bella V. Dodd told her friend, Mrs./Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, the theologian, that:  “When she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican who were working for us, [i.e. the Communist Party].” (Christian Order magazine, “The Church in Crisis”, reprinted from The Latin Mass magazine.) Dodd stated:  “In the late 1920’s and 1930’s, directives were sent from Moscow to all Communist Party organizations. In order to destroy the [Roman] Catholic Church from within, party members were to be planted in seminaries and within diocesan organizations… I, myself, put some 1,200 men in [Roman] Catholic seminaries”. No wonder so many of the Bishops, Cardinals, and Periti (“theological experts”, most of them “priests”) at Synod Vatican 2 were so virulent anti-Catholic and extremely hostile to almost everything that is really part of the authentic “Catholic Tradition”, e.g. the Catholic Tradition Liturgical Rites for the Mass and the Seven Sacraments!

Bella Dodd was deeply disheartened to find that her efforts to bring those purportedly seeking to depart from the party and convert to Catholicism would advance to high positions and through their power sow the seeds of discord and contrary notions of Church doctrine. This may explain much of the turmoil in the Church today and scandals of abuse now being addressed. Bella was so saddened by her role in this that she wanted to go into seclusion. To retire to convent life dedicating the rest of her days in prayer for forgiveness, attempting to undo this deep wound inflicted upon the church, in part, by her actions. Bishop Sheen, however, convinced her to speak out in any manner to alert the public, Church hierarchy and laity of what had transpired. And to reveal the heights to which this devious plan had reached within the Church.

The following question asked by a EWTN viewer is a further affirmation of the awareness of this wolf in sheep’s clothing:

Dear Father Levis, On a recent World Over program (EWTN), Father Apostali, who is promoting the cause of canonization for Bishop Sheen, stated that Bishop Sheen converted a high-ranking Communist leader, Bella Dodd, in the 1950s. Father Apostali said that Bella Dodd confided to Bishop Sheen that between 800 and 1200 young men were recruited by the Communist Party to enter seminaries for the purpose of destroying the Catholic Church from within. He also said that Bishop Sheen converted some of these “seminarians”. My question is: What happened to the ones who were not converted? Are they still active in the Catholic Church, perhaps very high in the hierarchy? Does this explain why our Catholic Church is experiencing such upheaval and apparent loss of faith. Father Apostali said this was very disturbing and upsetting to Bishop Sheen. Shouldn’t we all be disturbed and upset?

Thank you, Father Levis, for your comments.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 2/6/2008:

Connie, I have no doubt about the truth of these seminary plants told by Archbishop Sheen. But I have no knowledge of their whereabouts, nor of their activities. Again, they knew how to hide. The sins of the clergy in the 60′, 70’s, and 80’s (ie. child abuse) could be traced to this source, perhaps. God bless you. Fr. Bob Levis

McCarthy and Sheen’s concerns of this Communist infiltration of America and the Catholic Church are well founded in the clear efforts by activist groups to redirect our country and church cultures today, which are contrary to founding principles of each. Liberalism among the clergy and religious at all levels has demeaned the institutional Church and nurtured an environment fostering scandals such as misappropriations of funds, practice of duplicity and abuses of children among others. And the tenets of Socialism have been encouraged through public education at all levels in the U.S.  Victor David Hanson,  recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal, says that children are not taught their complete country’s history starting from the Revolutionary period and founding. The public schools begin teaching students from 1887 and on. Which is why many students are ignorant of some basic understanding of their county’s history and the impact of men and women, thereof, on the country’s direction and development at that time. Rather than teaching our children how to think, our schools and universities are teaching them what to think.

If one is seeking to FUNDAMENTALLY REFORM a nation, what better way is there to accomplish this than by eliminating its past events, traditions and symbols from the sight and minds if its citizens. Whether bad or good, only through maintaining a nation’s past and traditions can the good be maintained and the bad be corrected for the future common good of all its citizens. The anti-American and anti-Church activist movements need the disconnect from the past so to establish a clandestine veil behind which can be molded the minds that will help those desiring power over the masses to achieve their end. It’s always about power. And when the power is not with the people no good end is there for the people. The double standard of justice, lack of accountability, intolerance, false accusations of those who oppose this reform effort – with all sorts of isms – silencing free speech, shunning, and character assassination accomplish the main Alinsky rule for radicals: “by any means necessary.” This unethical game-plan has been slowly implemented over the decades to reach the desired end.

A biased news media, in support of that which maintains the status quo in opposition to the Constitutionally protected will of the people, provides news that comes not without opinion or unsolicited judgment to marginalize any common sense achievements for the good of the people. Such an organization as this can be sympathetic with this movement to reform at any cost. The majority of the entertainment industry are unsurprisingly in lock-step. This successful infiltration in our country and the Church can be further verified by two motion picture examples of the same subject material, but at different times in our country’s history. And how strikingly different were each perceived by the audiences and movie industry elites of each era. In 1950, the motion picture, “Ben Hur: A Story of the Christ,” was nominated for and received ten academy awards. In 2004, Mel Gibson’s, “Passion of the Christ,” was met with great opposition from the academy and received not one nomination. Yet, it was chosen “Best Picture” by the People’s Award. That which was once revered, has now become reviled.

All that has transpired over the decades and plagued mankind throughout history is the lust for power. When one can’t make their case the only alternative is to grab power by any means. For might is right in such thinking. However, just because one is given a right to do a thing doesn’t make it right. There is a battle that is now raging. It is between those who believe in individual freedom and those who believe that the state should rule. For the state to rule two things must be in place; first: a willing population for complete state governance, and second: the expulsion of God. The first is accomplished with patience over time through indoctrination and the strong-arm marginalization of the opposition by the methods discussed above. The second is accomplished by convincing all that the state will satisfy all your needs. Essentially, the state has replaced God. For is it not a God who provides all? They initiate this divide from God by pointing to the failure of men in the scandals of the church. Therefore, why should you have to follow rules not followed by church leaders themselves. Ironically, the same argument can be made, if one chose to, about those who govern a nation. Yet too often those voices either keep silent or are kept silent. Those who accuse are generally guilty of the same offense. All this is put forth by the great deceiver, Satan. First, Satan is the advocate, then he becomes the accuser. And the truth of this is found in the dedication page of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.” – Saul Alinsky

Those who argue that this is not a dedication to Lucifer/Satan, make a weak argument by saying that there is no mention of Lucifer anywhere in the book. Yet he is there. Maybe not in name or word, but in the actions and rules promoted by Alinsky. For they are not derived from the nature of God, but are very much contrived from the works of Satan. What happened in Eden was a disobedience to divine absolute truth. Rules for Radicals is the application of such disobedience. In his seeking justice and equality among the poor communities in Chicago Alinsky should be praised. But, these good causes were tainted and led to the corruption of its promoters when was implemented the Alinsky mantra of “the ends justify the means.” And these ends proved not to be altruistic in nature, because the means to attain them were insidious.

Socialism in a recent Pew poll is looked on favorably by 49% of young people in America; 46% had negative views. Socialists believe economic inequality is bad for society, and that the government is responsible for reducing it via programs that benefit the poor (e.g., free public education, free or subsidized healthcare, social security for the elderly, higher taxes on the rich). Government emphasis is key to both Socialism and Communism. For those who try to make the case for the Socialist Democrat, I offer the following quote. Vladimir Lenin said: “The goal of socialism IS communism.” This quote along with the next supports the concern that Communism is still the threat to America and the Church that it had been during the times and lives of Joseph McCarthy and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The former Head of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev’s own words are now making its way to reality: You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.  This is now beyond a warning. It is coming to pass. We need but look to modern Venezuela to see the economic fruits reaped of Socialism.

The current events in our country and the Church remind one of the story of the frog that was placed in a pot of water. Each day the heat under the pot was raised one degree. The rise in temperature each day was so slightly felt that the frog was boiled to death before he knew what was happening. We by our own indifference and propensity for the easy way have blinded ourselves to the ever-growing inconsistencies in our country and Church. They have gone unnoticed for decades and now have taken root. The only chance to restore the righteous intent and revitalization of both our Republic and the Church lies in the will of those citizens and laity who do not have favorable views of socialism. For now a beachhead must be established against this treat to democracy and individual free will. If not, then the words of Lenin and Khrushchev will make prophets of them both. 

Beware of the promises of equal distribution and free stuff. It appears to be fair and is most enticing. As was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But neither will the distribution be equal nor the stuff be free. There is always a cost in Socialism. That cost far exceeds any monetary amount. It is the cost of freedom.

Those who say they want to save the world, in truth, want to rule it.










About Alan A. Malizia: Contagious Optimism! Co-Author

Retired mathematics teacher and high school athletics coach. Honors: 1988 Ct. Coach of the Year for H.S. Girls Voleyball and 2007 Inducted into the Ct. Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame. Since retiring have written two books; "The Little Red Chair," an autobiography about my life experience as a polio survivor and "A View From The Quiet Corner," a selection of poems and reflections. Presently I am a contributing author for the "Life Carrots" series primarily authored by Dave Mezzapelle of
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