NEW YORK (Oct. 1)
Leading Catholics and Jews have joined in criticism of a censorship order in Spain which banned “Gentleman’s Agreement,” an American film exposing anti-Senitism in the U.S.
Cardinal Francis Spellman, leader of the American Catholics, objected to a statement credited to the ecclesiastical member of the censorship board in Spain which said that the Christian duty of stimulating love among individuals, societies, nations and peoples does not extend to Jews. Cardinal Spellman’s statement labeled as “untrue” this assertion. It then quoted from the New Testament to prove that Christian doctrine is the exact opposite.
Rev. John La Forge, editor of “America,” a national Catholic weekly magazine, declared that he considered it his duty “vigorously to repudiate several of the ideas” expressed in the censorship order. He also asserted that the order contradicts Catholic doctrine on the point challenged by Cardinal Spellman, and proceeded to object to the statement that Jews have no right to be proud of being Jews. Rev. La Farge added that it was not “doctrinally correct to tell your Jewish neighbor that he belongs to the ‘people who put God to death.'”
The national staff conference of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League meeting in Atlantic City yesterday described the reason given by the Spanish censorship board as “the most shocking expression of anti-Semitism since the death of Hitler.” The parley’s statement added that “out of the flames which consumed Nazism, Spain has snatched Hitler’s anti-Semitic mantle and proudly flaunts it before the world.”
The statement concluded with an appeal to the Christian world to repudiate “the libel against the Jews” and urged “all Christian believers in democracy to repudiate the Fascist philosophy” enunciated in the censorship order.