Pharisees Past and Present
AT ONE occasion Christ Jesus said to his disciples: “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and secret that will not become known.” And, giving concrete examples of the hypocrisy of those religious leaders, Jesus on another occasion stated: “All the works they do they do to be viewed by men.”—Luke 12:1, 2; Matt. 23:2-5, NW.
That the religious of the twentieth century, particularly as represented by the Roman Catholic prelates, are no different from those of the first century is apparent from the following two news stories, both emanating from the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C.
On November 17, 1951, thirteen prelates of the Roman Catholic Church, including three cardinals, and among whom was Spellman, and five archbishops, issued a statement of some three to four thousand words dealing with such subjects as “Morality: The Need Today”; “Morality and Education”; “Morality and Politics,” etc., and especially condemned was immorality in government.—New York Times, November 18, 1951.
But as to how sincere these prelates were was indicated by certain news dispatches coming from the nation’s capital about two months later. The American public had been aroused at the revelation of widespread corruption in the tax department of the government. Attorney General J. Howard McGrath came in for particular blame both because of what he had done as well as for what he had failed to do. Consensus of opinion was that he should be asked to resign, and all the indications pointed to the president’s requiring his resignation, when suddenly an about-face was done, and the president announced not only that he intended to keep McGrath as attorney general but that McGrath had been given the assignment of cleaning up the whole corrupt situation, the one most responsible for it! Who was instrumental in causing the president to render such disservice to his country?
According to The Nation of January 19, 1952, Robert S. Allen, a veteran Washington correspondent, revealed that McGrath “was saved by the intervention of three friends—Senator Theodore Green, his political godfather; Cardinal Spellman, who telephoned a plea from Tokyo; and Matt Connelly, presidential secretary, who concerns himself particularly with affairs of the Roman Catholic church”. [Spellman has denied this.]
That phone call, all the way from Tokyo, gave irrefutable proof that regardless of what the foremost Roman Catholic prelate in the United States may say in lip service to morality in government, he was far more interested in keeping a Roman Catholic in a key position in the government; which fact, incidentally, should clearly demonstrate that the interests of morality, integrity and good government are not necessarily identical with those of organized religion. Truly hypocrisy is the leaven of the Pharisaical first century and twentieth century.