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The Catholic times. [volume] (Columbus, Ohio) 1951-current, January 27, 1956, Image 6

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6—THE
CATHOLIC TIMES
Friday, Jan. 27,1956
Fr. Gordon, O.P.,
Raised to Rank of
Preacher General
Father Frederick Gordon, O P..
of Somerset. O.. who arrived in
the
United States last month, fol
lowing 25 months of house arrest
under the Chinese Reds, has been
elevated to the rank of Preacher
General
of the Order of Preach
ers.
The ceremonies took place last
week
in St. Vincent Ferrer
Church. New York City.
Father Gordon and two other
priests who were recently re
leased by the Reds celebrated a
Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving the
same day. Father James Joyce.
O.P., served as deacon and Fa
ther Joseph Hyde as sub-deacon.
The Mass was attended by more
than 1.000 persons including 150
Dominican priests and nuts.
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Reveals Red’s
VATICAN CITY (NC)—
Communism’s conti nuing
warfare against the Church
is indicated by the fact that
once more the names of
about 150 of the Bishops lis
ted in the Vatican yearbook
bear notations that they are
imprisoned, exiled or other
wise prevented from exer
cising their ecclesiatical func
tions.
The first copy of the 1956 edi
tion of the yearbook, called the
Anuuario PoiiHficio. was nresent
cd tn His Holiness Pope Pius XII
by Msgr. Angelo DellAcqua. Sub
stitute Vatican Secretary of State
for Ordinary Affairs.
It is a veritable gold mine of
information covering the world
wide organization of the Church
from the Pope down to the small
est mission area in some corner
of Africa or Asia.
The most important staistical
changes in the new edition con
cern residential diocesan Sees,
which increased from 1,157 in
1955 to 1,212 in 1956. Metro
politan residential Sees rose
from 293 to 303, while apos
tolic vicariates decreased from
237 to 202 and apostolic prefec
tures dropped from 134 to 123.
These changes were mainly due
to the erection of hierarchies
in French Africa, which chang
ed the status of 51 vicariates
and prefectures.
The Amniario Pontificio lists
the death of two Cardinals during
1955 Cardinal Jnnitzcr in Vien
na and Cardinal De Jong in
Utrecht. Netherlands During the
yem 52 Archbishops and Bishops
died.
Frother Renovating
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Phone 3-2264
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Phone 2-5347 I
HATHAWAY STUDIO
PORTRAITS
by
JOSEPH E. VICKERS
Phone 7826 32 i. 2nd
Chillicothe, Ohio
Gabriel School, Columbus, made preparations
last week for Bible Week projects they will undertake beginning
Jan. 29. Civics Club president Sandra Rieder, eighth grader, at
right, discusses the possibilities for classroom activities with
Pres Southworth, third grader, standing at left, and Averil Goode,
second grader. Among the projects planned are a Bible quiz
show, a playlet entitled, "The Bible in Our Home," a special edi
tion of the school paper promoting the theme of the projects:
making the Best Use of the Bible Today displays and skits. Ele
mentary and high schools of the diocese are participating in a
contest sponsored by the Diocesan School Office and Confratern
ity of Christian Doctrine, the purpose of which is to create a
deeper interest in the Bible on the part of all students:
God Love You
The Heavenly Father
Feeds Them Through You
by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Did you ever become angry
in the springtime when, after
sowing expensive grass seed on
your lawn, the little birds came
in droves to
devour some
of that which
you had
planted? Are
the birds real
ly “stealing”
your
seed?
when
come to
banquet,
they
the
do you think
of the words of Our Lord: “See
how the birds of the air neither
sow, nor reap, nor gather into
barns, and yet your Heavenly
Father feeds them.” But how
does the Heavenly Father feed
them? In this instance, through
you and your seed.
It is so with the Missions.
The Heavenly Father must care
for our sisters who are nursing
the blind in India, for our
priests who are digging wells
for the Moslems, for our bro
thers who are leaching crafts
to the people of Japan. God
cares for them by inspiring
you to “throw away” some of
your seed a little for the
birds of the air, a little for the
U.S. Investigation Service
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for the Entire Family
Missions. Maybe, as a result,
your own house will have less
comfort about it, perhaps the
lawn will be less green, the
luxuries less refined, the in
stincts foi a smoke or a drink
less quickly satisfied but
somehow the Missions are there
to be fed. In other words, gen
erous souls are interested in
the birds as well as in the
lawn: the charitable person,
hearing about the Missions, is
interested in the Missions, as
well as in his own property.
The Heavenly Father feedeth
them through you Have you
any seed in the bank you would
like to scatter on the lawns of
Asia?
Did you ever think that you
would never have had grass
seed for your lawn if the Heav
enly Father were not good }o
you then give a little to our
birds the Missions. We help
all of them through the Soci
ety for the Propagation of the
Faith. Thanks.
GOD LOVE YOU to B. for
S2.46. “I have been saving this
money all year and I hope the
Missions like it. so they can buy
clothes, food and shoes. Today
is my birthday and this is my
birthday present to the Mis
sions. I am seven years old.” ...
to A.F.L. “Promised that if I
won at Bingo. 1 would send you
part so here is $10 for your
Missions.” ... to Mrs. J.S.M.
for $80. “Would like you to use
this check for the missions. It
represents the ‘first fruits’ of
my husband’s chosen profes
sion—culinary arts.”
LOOK THROUGH THIS
LIST: Bracelets! broken en
gagement rings: Costume jew
elry (in good condition): Cuff
links Dentures: Dresser sets
(silver combs and brushes)
Dishes (sterling silver or gold)
Earrings: Eyeglass frames
(gold) Flatware (sterling
knives, forks, etc.): lxekets
Ixidgc pins Medals (gold)
Necklaces Pins: Precious
stones Stickpins Watches:
Watch chains: Rings.
Do you have any of the
above? Do you know that they
have mission value? Any jew
elry or old gold that you no
longer use can help the mis
sionaries in five continents.
If you will send them to us. we
will resell them, and the money
will go to aid the sick, hungry
and homeless throughout the
world.
Cut out this column, pin your
sacrifice to it and send it to
the Most Rev. Fulton Sheen,
National .Director of the Soci
ety for the Propagation of the
Faith, 366 Fifth Avenue. New'
York lx. N.Y., or your Dioces
an Director. Father James
Kulp. 246 East Tow n Street, Co
lumbus 16. Ohio.
-----------------0-----------------
IT PAYS TO USE THE
TIMES CLASSIFIEDS
For Advertising Rates
Write:
AD DEPT.
CATHOLIC TIMES
P. O. BOX 636
COLUMBUS, OHIO
RflBNHJNPB
Fr. Rigney Describes
Red Cruelties During
4-Year Imprisonment
(Following ts a resume of a book which Father Harold W.
Rigney S.V.D., Divine Word Missionary, wrote tn Hong Kong
following his release after four years of imprisonment and tor
ture at the hands of China's communists. The Chicago priest
went to China tn 1946 as rector of the Fu Jen Catholic University
tn Peiping. Arrested in July, 1951, by the Reds, he was subjected
to almost ceasless tortures until his release last September. Fr.
Rigney left Hong Kong this week for New York City, via Singa
pore and Rome.)
“You are arrested as an American spy.”
Tommy-guns pointed menacingly as the incredible
charge v as hurled at Father Harold W Rigney. S.V.D.. in
Peiping on July 25. 1951. I
That was the beginninglof Father Rigney’s ordeal—a
four-year trial by torture.
The Chicago Sun-Times has
released his own fully detailed ac
count of it to the North Ameri
can press. This is a digest of
Father Rigney's story.
"Arrested ... as an Amer
ican spy!" The colossal absurd
ity of the charge and its t^r
rifying implications raced
through the priest's mind as
he faced the communist security
police who had invaded his
living quarters.
For five years Father Rigney
had fought to protect the Fu Jen
Catholic University of Peiping,
which he served as rector, from
communist infiltrations and de-
Father Rigney, S.V.D.
structive tactics. He had striven
to preserve the university as a
citadel of learning and culture,
independent of the
government. Those
“crimes.” the real
his arrest.
communist
were his
reason for
him hand-
His captors drove
cuffed to the Ts 'ao Lan Tiu
Hutung, where he was strip
ped of his pocket possessions,
most precious of which was his
rosary. Soon Father Rigney
found himself in a foul, rat
infested cell, 11 by 10 feet.
Six other prisoners, all Chi
nese, were there.
Bclorc he fell asleep that night
on the single wooden kang (bed),
which all seven prisoners shared,
he was aroused and taken before
a judge in the “People's mili
tary court.
“Now. tell me,” said the judge,
“what crimes you have commit
ted against the Chinese people
This was Father Rigneys in
troduction to the communist con
cept of “justice,” the first of
some 150 court sessions, day and
night, he was forced to attend.
Reds Are Finding
New Ways to
Strangle Religion
BERLIN—(NO—lire east Ger
man communist regime has taken
two new measures to strangle re
ligion.
The Reds have issued instruc
tions to local authorities to halt
Church groups from purchasing
land or building lots and to stop
the erection of any new churches,
chapels or rectories.
At the same time the regime
has enlarged its program of flood
ing the market with low-priced
editions of the writings oi 18th
and 19th-century anti-clericals.
These include the works of Fran
cois de Voltaire. Denis Diderot,
Charles de Secondat de Montes
quieu and Friedrich Engels.
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amid agonizing mental and phy
sical torture, within the first 60
days of his captivity.
Under the wracking wear of
the inquisition, the insanitation
of his cell, the harassment of his
informant-cellmates and the bare
life-sustainting diet doled him,
Father Rigney’s health quickly
deteriorated. In the first few
weeks his weight dropped from
180 pounds to less than 100.
Through the aching mara
thon of court appearances, the
command to confess was inces
santly hissed into his ears, in
variably accompanied with
death threats.
Perhaps 50 times the judge
threatened to have Father Rigney
shot, the first under these con
vincing circumstances.
“Are you an OSS (Office of
Strategic Services agent or a
State Department agent?” the
judge demanded.
Father Rigney replied that he
was an agent of neither.
Staring steadily at the fettered,
handcuffed priest, the .judge said
writing on a sheet of paper:
"You are condemned
death."
“I die a martyr to truth,”
ther Rigney responded.
“You die an imperialist spy,”
the judge shouted.
“Since I am going to die. 1 want
a priest.” Father Rigney said “I
am a Catholic and I want a priest
before I die. You say you guar
antee freedom of religion: there
fore, you must allow me to see a
priest.”
“There is no time for such!”
the judge thundered.
to
Fa-
But Father Rigney was not
to die by the judge's order, he
soon learned, upon being led
back to court. The death sent
ence had been only a bluff aim
ed at obtaining a confession.
But it was a cruel barbarian
bluff repeated at almost every
court session in the next two
years.
Before the close of the first 60
da\s. the ordeal had taxed Father
Rigney physical reserves. He
was tortured by hunger. His
ankles and wrists were sore and
bleeding from fetters and hand
cuffs. He was exhausted from
lack of sleep. His clothing was
falling to shreds and was intested
with lice. He was subjected to
endless humiliation and insults.
The judge pressed ceaselessly
for the confession he wanted
that Father Rigney was an Amer
ican spy. He introduced a new
torture at the proceedings, order
ing the priest to squat, a position
of rest to the Chinese, but one of
intense pain to the unpracticed
Westerner.
Father Rigney could not force
himself into the position, in
which buttocks rest on heels,
without causing agony to leg
sinews and increasing the pangs
of gouged and swollen ankles.
Thus wracked, he thought he
saw a way out of his dilemma.
“Now everyone knows I am
not an American agent.” he said
to himself, “but 1 am pressed to
say it. It would be no lie to say
lam because nobody would be de
ceived.”
Then, his head swimming and
his body in pain, he said to the
court:
“1 am an FBI agent.”
When he returned to his cell.
Father Rigney felt thoroughly
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he
of
miserable. Never before had
experienced such a feeling
guilt, of confirmed weakness.
“1. a priest, a rector of the
Jen Catholic University, makir. a
false confession.” he reproached
himself. ‘I have disgraced my.-ell
my religious community, my
Church!”
Making his painful way to the
court one day. with a guard curs
ing and prodding him, he uttered
the only prayer he could think oi,
the words of our Blessed Lord
on the Cross, words he began io
understand for the first time:
“My God. My God. why hast
Thou forsaken me?” (Matthew
XXVII. 46)
On September 21. 1954. he was
sentenced to 10 years in prison
for a list of “crimes” topped by
the allegation that he had been
sent by the U.S government to
take over German influence in
China.
He was then driven to Tzu
Hsing Lu, a prison factory, where
he became a match box maker un
der the continued persecution of
the head pen chang (cell leader)
who. acting under instructions of
his superiors, proved a faithful
communist “running dog” (in
former).
Sine. I’25
146 E. STATS
The one way in which Fath
er Rigney won favorable con
sideration was by developing
proficiency as a match box mak
er. He increased his daily out*
put to 4,000 boxes a day.
Fu
Each time that he confessed
falsely under duress, he under
went intense mental anguish.
And on each admission, he sub
sequently submitted a retrac
tion.
The recognition of that labor
came to serve him in good stead.
In mingled hope, bewilderment
and dread, he was taken back on
July 15. 1955. to Ts'ao Lan Tzu,
where
Freed
a new
“good
ney’s |prison
his ordeal had begun,
of his handcuffs, he faced
judge, who promptly cited
reports” on Father Rig
record.
Then, on Sept. 11, he wjr- tak
en to another court, where the
judge read a paper, which con
cluded with the breath-taking
words
“You are released."
Four years and two rr^onths of
hell had come to an end!
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