Leonard Feeney

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Fr. Leonard Feeney.

Father Leonard Edward Feeney (Lynn, Massachusetts February 18, 1897 – Ayer, Massachusetts January 30, 1978 )[1] was an American Catholic priest, belonging to the Society of Jesus who is best known for his resistance to liberalism and defending the Catholic doctrine of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus ("outside the Church there is no salvation"), arguing that baptism of blood and baptism of desire are unavailing of the graces of water baptism, and that no one can be saved without belonging to the Catholic Church and personal submission to the Pope.[1] He fought the Modernist agenda which shot through the West following the Second Vatican Council.[1]


Early life

Father Feeney led a storied life. Growing up in Lynn, Massachusetts just down the street from Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, Leonard was the first-born son of Thomas Butler Feeney, an insurance salesman, and Delia Feeney née Agnes. He was followed by two boys, who also became priests, and a girl. Though chiefly Irish in descent, a strain of Spanish in his father's blood gave him dark eyes and a complexion neighbors sometimes mistook for Italian. Memories of his happy youth later filled his short story collection Survival Till Seventeen.[2]

File:Feeney Family.jpg
The Feeney Family, not long after Father Leonard Feeney's ordination. Left to right: Father Thomas Butler, sister Eileen, Mr. and Mrs. Feeney, John (later ordained a secular priest), and Father Leonard.

Jesuit formation

At the age of seventeen, he was accepted as a novice in the Society of Jesus, and studied first at St. Andrew-on-Hudson seminary in Hyde Park, New York, and later at Woodstock College in Maryland; both schools have since closed with the decline of the Jesuit order.[3] From there he went to teach at Canisius High School in Buffalo for a time before resuming his priestly studies, which would bring him to the Jesuit's House of Studies for the New England province in Weston, Massachusetts in 1927. He was ordained at Weston on January 20, 1928.[4]

Literary renown

By that time, Feeney had already made his debut in the world of poetry, with the publication of Poems for Memory: An Anthology for High School Students in 1925 and In Towns and Little Towns in 1927. He spent two years in England and Wales, including a year of graduate work at Oxford University, and would write on his pleasant experiences in his 1951 London is a Place. Returning to the United States, he began teaching at Boston College in 1931. A prolific writer, in these years he authored Riddle and Reverie (verse, 1933), Fish on Friday (prose, 1934), Boundaries (poetry, 1935), Song for a Listener (poetry, 1936), and Elizabeth Seton, An American Woman (biography, 1938). An anthology, The Leonard Feeney Omnibus, saw publication in 1944, followed by Your Second Childhood the same year. In June 1936, Feeney was named literary editor of the Jesuit magazine America. During his tenure he lived in Manhattan, where he socialized with many celebrated personalities, made numerous friends among the city's working class, and earned a reputation for his wit, charm, and candor. When Feeney returned to Boston in October 1940, he was being called "an American Chesterton."[5]

Saint Benedict Center

In the fall of 1941, Father Feeney, then an instructor at the Weston seminary, became involved with Saint Benedict Center, a Catholic library apostolate serving the Catholic students at Harvard, Radcliffe, and other institutions of higher learning in the Cambridge area. Merely a year old, the Center longed for a chaplain, and arranged with Weston to have him deliver lectures there every Thursday night. These proved immensely popular, and during World War II young soldiers were known to time their leaves to allow them to attend the talks;[6] on some nights as many as 200 people had to be turned away at the door.[7] As time went on the priest commuted to the Center nearly every day, and the fruits of the apostolate swelled. During his years at the Center Feeney is known to have received more than 200 young people, among them Temple Morgan and other scions of the WASP elite, into the Catholic Church, and his Provincial Superior, John J. McEleney, S.J., expressed his gratitude to the Center "for the unusually fine boys it has sent, through Fr. Feeney, to the Jesuit Order."[8]

The lives of the poet-priest and his fellow American Catholics at Saint Benedict Center, however, were not to remain convivial. They were grieved by the August 1945 Japanese atomic massacres that rejoiced the newspapers. "We could not find it in our hearts to rejoice over the wholesale slaughter of innocent people," said Center foundress Catherine Clarke. Moreover, they seemed almost alone in their refusal to join the celebration.

The atomic bombing of Japan, to our thinking, was un-Christian. The discussion which followed this announcement lasted a long time. The military personnel who were present explained the possible technical reasons for the dropping of the bomb. We reiterated our Catholic ethical indignation. Actually, we said, we were fearful for Western civilization.[9]

Reflection on the atomic massacres would lead Feeney and his Center friends to question their assumption that America was a Christian nation.

Doctrine and Discipline

Tension between Saint Benedict Center, the elite universities in the Cambridge area, and the hierarchy began mounting in the early postwar years. The Center increasingly became repulsed by the complacency Jesuits studying at Harvard when the Catholic faith was ridiculed. Per Clarke:

Our students often saw the priests sit, apparently unmoved, in the classes of atheists and Marxist sympathizers. The priests listened while these professors frequently denied Christ, questioned His claims, belittled Him, or cast reflections on devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Through it all, the priests remained, if not smiling and serene, at least without the open protest and complaint, the kind that any true priest is required to give under circumstances like these.

Father Feeney forbade these hypocritical Jesuits from attending Saint Benedict Center in 1947.[10] In addition to converts, many Harvard and Radcliffe students attending Saint Benedict Center began to see a conflict between their studies and their faith. Some even resigned, penning letters to administrators explaining their reasons for doing so. While Feeney never pushed students to take so drastic a sacrifice, he celebrated those who took the brave step. The Center itself had inaugurated Saint Benedict Center School, a small liberal arts institution with a choice faculty accredited to offer B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees, and took on many students. However its focus was in the Classics, and could not satisfy the needs of scholars of the sciences, and at first recommended these to Boston College, Holy Cross, and other Catholic schools without hesitation.[11]

The spark of controversy was kindled by a September 1947 article entitled "Sentimental Theology", which appeared in Volume II, No. 1 of From the Housetops, a journal of Catholic thought published by Saint Benedict Center, with blessings from Boston Archbishop Richard Cushing, since September 1946.[12] The article, written by Dr. Fakhri Maluf, a professor of philosophy and mathematics at Boston College, was the first shot in the row over the Catholic dogma extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.

While talking to a Catholic group recently, I was shocked to a realization of what is happening to the Faith under the rising wave of liberalism. I happened to mention casually the Catholic dogma, “There is no salvation outside the Church.” Some acted as if I were uttering an innovation they had never heard of before, and others had the doctrine so completely covered with reservations and vicious distinctions as to ruin its meaning and destroy the effect of its challenge. In a few minutes, the room was swarming with the slogans of liberalism and sentimentalism, utterances which are beginning to have the force of defined dogma. Taken in their totality and in the manner in which they were used and understood by their utterers, these slogans constituted an outlook incompatible with the Catholic Faith and with the traditions of the Church.[13]

By chance, Feeney and the others learned they had greatly overestimated the orthodoxy of Catholic academia. In 1948, students connected from the Center began to resign from Boston College and Holy Cross as well as the avowedly secular schools, and began studying and helping out at the Center full time.[14] Prominent liberal Catholics began agitating for Father Feeney's removal from the Center, and the hierarchy, formerly warm to the Center, showed solidarity with the universities, as Auxiliary Bishop John Wright spoke before the Far Left Harvard Liberal Union, and Archbishop Cushing, who had actually contributed articles to From the Housetops in 1946 and 1947, dined at the Lowell House, from which three or four Center students had already resigned. At the dinner Cushing even disowned the Center, claiming, "I don't know anything about them."[15] Several Center students went to the Chancery to speak with the Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishop, who brushed off their concerns. Wright went so far as to declare that the Church had no enemies, affirming that not even Communists were to be seen as enemies, denounced the student resignations, and said, "There are two methods of dealing with non-Catholics. The method of infiltration, which I prefer; and the direct method, which is the method Father Feeney uses." [16]

Despite assurances of the Center's good standing, on August 25, 1948, Father Feeney received a note from the Jesuit Provincial, Fr. McEleney, commanding him to abruptly leave Saint Benedict Center, where students were already enrolled to take his courses the next month, and teach English at Holy Cross in Worcester. He was to report there on September 8.[17] No reason for the transfer was given to Feeney or the Center, other than obedience. The motive behind the order was never fully disclosed but Fr. Keleher, S.J., the President of Boston College, said it originated from Archbishop Cushing, and did not deny he was acting under pressure from people connected with Harvard.[18] After a week of initial discussions, the Provincial stopped even responding to the Center's pleas, and gave no hopes of giving Feeney a hearing. Clarke and other Center supporters viewed the move as a means of silencing Feeney without having to answer his doctrinal position.[19]

Father Feeney stayed, unwilling to break his committments to students who had sacrificed so much, or act in a way that might discredit the doctrine. On September 9, the Center informed the Provincial of his intent in a letter signed by several members; he replied by again stressing Feeney must respond with "filial acceptance of the decision."[20]

The Boston Heresy Case

The signatures of four Center men on the September 9 letter, Fakhri Maluf', James R. Walsh, Charles Ewaskio, and David Supple, the first three then teaching at Boston College and the last at Boston College High School, would lead to a controversy within Boston's Catholic academia that became known as "The Boston Heresy Case" after Maluf delivered a series of lectures under that title in fall 1949.[21] The four continued to encounter what they considered appalling denials of Church doctrine at Boston College; by 1948 an article teaching salvation outside the Church was required reading in some religion courses, and students maintaining the strict teaching on examinations were marked wrong.[22] In October Maluf's superior in the Philosophy department bean questioning him about the presence of their signatures in the letter. In November he discussed matters before William L. Keleher, S.J., President of the College, and the orthodoxy of Boston College came up. When the President asked, "Do you imply that we are not teaching the complete Catholic truth here?" Maluf simply said, "I do not know that you are teaching that there is no salvation outside the Church."[23]

Beleaguered by the liberalism of their colleagues and superiors, on January 19, 1949, 55 Center members bound themselves under the leadership of Fr. Feeney and Clarke as the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, following St. Louis de Monfort's charism of True Devotion to Mary.[1][24] February 24, 1949 the four teachers sent an appeal to the Very Reverend Jean Baptiste Janssens, S.J., General of the Society of Jesus. The core of it read:

We are convinced that at Boston College many doctrines are being taught by members of the Society of Jesus which are contrary to defined dogmas of the Faith. They are teaching implicitly and explicitly that there may be salvation outside the Catholic Church, that a man may be saved without admitting that the Roman Church is supreme among all churches, and that a man may be saved without submission to the Pope.[25]

Fr. Janssens received the letter,[26] but never respond himself, but the Vatican Secretary of State acknowledged the letter.[27] On April 1 Father Feeney pressed the letter's charges with Father Vincent McCormick, S.J., American Assistant to the General of the Jesuits and hence Fr. McEleney's superior, while discussing his refusal to go to Holy Cross, but McCormick was unsympathetic, though he would not explain where the Center's error lay.[28]

On April 13, President Keleher, under orders from Fr. Janssens, summoned Maluf, Walsh, and Ewaskio to his office. He demanded they recant their statements, or be fired from the College, balking whenever the three asked him to show them where they were in heresy and again insisting they retract their statements; Maluf rebutted that the request, that they deny defined doctrines of the Catholic faith by accepting interpretations which completely nullified their substance, was itself heretical. The three refused the President's demands, and were terminated along with Supple, who refused similar demands.[29] The next day, Holy Thursday, the story of the firing appeared in the Boston Post, Boston Evening Globe, and Boston Traveler,[30] with additional coverage in the Boston Herald, Daily Record, and New York Times on April 15, Good Friday.[31] Subsequently, the Center distributed the Spring 1949 From the Housetops, consisting of Raymond Karam's "Reply to a Liberal", a rebuttal to an article by Fr. Philip Donnelly which they saw as watering down extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, about Boston.[32] This was the beginning of the Center's apostolate of bookselling, which has ever since been an evangelizing tradition of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the original From the Housetops ceased publication that year, but successor publication The Point (see below) went into print in 1951. Staples of Center bookselling also included Clarke's 1950 The Loyolas and the Cabots and Bread of Life, a 1952 collection of Fr. Feeney's Center lectures).

Boston Daily Globe coverage of Archbishop Cushing's move to silence Feeney and place the St. Benedict Center under interdict.

Only a week later, the Archbishop placed the Center under interdict. On the evening of April 18, less than twelve hours after a delegation from the Center had received Cushing's promise to help them in any way he could, he silenced Father Feeney, and forbade Center associates from receiving the sacraments;[33] ecclesiastical authorities even took the unusual step of denying engaged Center members marriages in the Church.[34]

In Rome, the Holy Office convened in plenary session on July 27, 1949 to decide the Heresy Case. Ruling that the 'heresy' lay with Saint Benedict Center, its decision was "approved by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, in an audience the following day. On August 8, 1949, it sent an official letter bearing the decision to Archbishop Cushing, including the Holy Office's interpretation of the dogma extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Parts of the letter were published in The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston (The Pilot would publish the full contents on September 6, 1952).[35] Father Feeney did not accept the letter, and issued a counter-statement.

It is reported by The Pilot in the letter of the Holy Office... that 'the decisions set forth in this letter were approved by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, in an audience' (italics ours). St. Benedict Center still knows that it has no answer on its doctrinal crusade and its appeal for an ex cathedra pronouncement from the Holy Father. IS THERE SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, or IS THERE NOT? If we have said something inconsistent with Catholic doctrine, we would like to know what it is from the Holy See and in a clear, definite statement.

The one unmistakable statement from the Holy Office that got through... is the reaffirmation of the fact that the doctrine that there is no salvation outside the Church 'is an incontestable principle.' This is exactly the principle which Archbishop Cushing, Bishop Wright, and Boston College have contested, and the principle for which we have been suffering for a solid year. The Pilot advises us to 'return to the unity of the Church at the peril of our souls.' That we are outside the unity of the Church we deny.

Despite the Holy Office's affirmation of the dogma, the letter was treated as a refutation by the press, with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette headline, for instance, reading "Vatican Rules Against Hub Dissidents; Holds No Salvation Outside Church Doctrine to Be False."[36] The letter was not published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, but was later added to the Enchiridion Symbolorum under the editorship of modernist Vatican II 'expert' Karl Rahner.[37]

A conflicting signal came from the Holy See the next year. Pius XII's August 21, 1950 encyclical Humani Generis contained the sentence

Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the True Church in order to gain salvation.

News of Humani Generis caused jubilation at the Center, where "there was wild cheering for several minutes." Feeney and the others thought that all was over, and that they had been vindicated. However, as the sentence lacked the force of an ex cathedra statement, and was generally interpreted away like the doctrine itself, or simply ignored.[38]

In June 1950, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts itself had struck a blow against the Center, when the state revoked authorization of the Saint Benedict Center School, without which veterans could not attend the school using benefits from the GI Bill. The move was openly political; the Crimson had reported that a Harvard representative was lobbying State Education Commissioner John J. Desmond, Jr., himself a Harvard graduate, to revoke the Center's rights under the bill the prior December.[39] and Feeney, Brother Francis (the religious name taken by Maluf), and others arranged a meeting with Governor Paul Dever; he claimed there was nothing he could do. Feeney told him, "This is an obvious injustice. I will take our case to the people." On Maluf's suggestion, Feeney resolved to make his case directly to the public on Boston Common. For the next seven years, he would preach on the Common every week.[40]

Expulsion and Excommunication

When it was clear that no agreement would be reached concerning Father Feeney's assignment to Holy Cross, he was expelled from the Jesuit order for "serious and permanent disobedience" on October 10, 1949. Frank Sheed, Feeney's former publisher, opined in his autobiography, The Church and I, that Feeney "was condemned but not answered."[41]

The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary appealed to Rome once more, in a lenthy letter entitled "Notification to Your Holiness in the External Forum of the Existence of the Disability of Excommunication for Heresy Incurred by Richard Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, Under the Provisions of Canon 2314 of the Sacred Code of Canon Law and Petition for Further Relief Against the Same." The letter accused Archbishop Cushing of heresy for promulgating the Holy Office letter, which the Center viewed as heretical, and for publicly denying or diluting the dogma.[42] Not long afterward, on October 25 Cardinal Guiseppi Pizzardo, Secretary of the Holy Office, summoned Feeney to Rome for a hearing before the Holy Office. The summons, however, did not explain the cause of the hearing, as per the norms of Canon 1715 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, and refused to attend the hearing.

Feeney holding his 1952 Bread of Life in a contemporary photograph.

After repeatedly refusing summons to Rome, Feeney was excommunicated on February 13, 1953 by the Holy See for persistent disobedience to legitimate Church authority, and the decree of excommunication was later published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Many of his followers said that his excommunication was invalid because Feeney had not been given a reason for his summons, while others noted that the document, while certainly genuine, nonetheless lacked s seal, and was signed only by Marius Crovini, a Notary (no other signature was technically necessary).[43][44]

Father Feeney preaching on Boston Common in 1957, not long before Saint Benedict Center left Cambridge.

Feeney's crusade drew continual publicity but greatly diminished fruit during his last years in Cambridge. The Buildings of Saint Benedict Center were sometimes stoned,[45] and a fence was constructed around the premises. The forbidding grounds, embellished by the new religious order's black garments and discipline, earned the nickname "Quaker Village." In those years he often decried and fought the influence of organized Jewry. In 1955, he spoke out against the construction of a Catholic chapel on Brandeis University, and was attacked by a mob of hundreds of Jews.

The Boston Record headlined on September 12, 1955: "500 Jeering Youths Break Up Feeney Talk." The "youths" were Brandeis University students and according to the newspaper's own account they punched, M.I.C.M. religious, ripped their clothes, drenched their white shirts with ink and black suits with bleach and then pursued the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary back into Cambridge in a car chase, all because Fr. Feeney had spoken out against a plan--one backed by Archbishop Cushing--to build a Catholic chapel (along with a Protestant one) on the campus of the Jewish university. To build the chapel, Fr. Feeney said, would be to "place the One True Faith, the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist on a par with heretical persuasions and even with Jewish perfidy."[46]

The Boston Record article may be seen as an early instance of the press using the word "youth" as a euphemism for a protected, hostile minority whose actions it describes but wishes to not attribute.

The Jews often targeted images of the Virgin Mary that Feeney brought to the Common. In one instance, a Jewish heckler spat on a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe 24 times, leading the sorrowful Feeney to conclude, "That had to be diabolic. No normal human being who is not possessed can spit that much." Maluf, an Arab, was also a target of choice, whom they often attacked en masse.[47]

Father Feeney in old age with statue of US-born St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Reconciliation and last years

In January 1958, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary departed Boston for good, and purchased a 300-year old farm in Still River, a village within the town of Harvard, Massachusetts, where they opened a monastery and convent. Since the Slaves had adopted a vow of chastity, they came to more closely resemble traditional Catholic religious orders, and found the pastoral settings more suitable to their new life.[48] Feeney's public profile diminished, as The Point ceased publication in 1959, and thereafter he stopped making public statements. The Slaves continued their bookselling apostolate, and he served as their priest until his last days.

After Humberto Medeiros succeeded Cushing as Archbishop of Boston in 1970, he began petitioning Rome to lift the excommunication on Father Feeney. Cardinal Avery Dulles, an associate of the Center in its early days, supported Medeiros's efforts. With approval from Pope Paul VI, Feeney was reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church in 1972, but was not required to retract or recant his interpretation of the dogma on salvation. All that was required was a profession of faith, which Feeney made, reciting the Athanasian Creed, which begins, "Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith; for unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire he will undoubtedly be lost forever."[49] Two years later the community was fully released from Church censure. However, part of the community did not accept the reconciliation, and split off. Feeney was deeply pained by the division, and was forced to offer Mass and benediction twice each morning in order to serve each community in his last years.[50] "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" is inscribed on his tombstone.


Catholic World News editor Philip F. Lawler described the case of Father Leonard Feeney as the first of several times the archbishops of Boston would compromise the Catholic faith for the sake of good politics and cordial relations with the secular powers that be in his 2008 book The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture.

When Church-state conflicts did arise, many Catholic leaders were quite willing to sacrifice the claims of their faith in order to minimize the conflict and preserve their privileged status as community leaders. Yet again, the most conspicuous examples of this attitude have been shown in Massachusetts. In the 1950s, an Archbishop of Boston discouraged a priest from his energetic public preaching of a defined Catholic dogma because some people found that dogma offensive. A decade later the same archbishop--now a cardinal--announced that Catholic legislators should feel free to vote in favor of legisltion that violated the precepts of the Church. In 1974 his successor encouraged Catholic parents not to send their children to parochial schools. And in 1993 yet another Boston archbishop instructed the faithful that they should not pray outside abortion clinics. In each of these remarkable cases, the Archbishop of Boston obviously thought that he was serving the cause of community peace. But just as obviously, he was yielding ground, and encouraging the Catholic faithful to yield as well.[51]

Further, Lawler observes that, having vanquished the firebrand Feeney, by the end of Cushing's life he found himself powerless to discipline extreme-Left priest Fr. Robert Drinan, S.J., when he served as a pro-abortion Congressman.[52]

The young Robert Kennedy, a member of the liberal Kennedy family that would do so much to attack orthodoxy in the Church, attended a meeting of students during his Harvard days at which he stood up and challenged Feeney, later storming out, following the priest's assertion of Catholic doctrine that there was no salvation outside the Catholic faith.[53]

The great majority of theologians, however traditional or liberal, continue to take issue with Feeney's interpretation Extra Ecclasiam nulla salus. Following his reconciliation with the Church, however, many Catholic theologians have praised his candor and unparalleled affection for Catholic truth. Cardinal Dulles, an original founder of the Center who dissociated from the Center before the Heresy Case and later became a liberal, wrote an obituary to Feeney in America, the same magazine Feeney wrote for in his literary days.

Cursum consummavi, fidem servavi: These words could serve as Leonard Feeney's epitaph. They express his overriding concern to resist any dilution of the Christian faith and to pass it on entire, as a precious heritage, to the generations yet to come. In an age of accommodation and uncertainty, he went to extremes in order to avoid the very appearance of compromise. With unstinting generosity he placed all his talents and energies in the service of the faith as he saw it. [54]

The Point

Several back issues of The Point can be found here: [2]

Feeney was editor of "The Point," the successor publication to From the Housetops, which had ceased publication in 1949, from 1951-1959. The Point ran a mixture of theological and political articles; criticizing and the openly Christophobic agitations by Jews. Refusing to follow their agenda, they labeled him an "anti-semite". The newsletter mentioned the following facts;

"Those two powers, the chief two in the world today, are Communism and Zionism. That

both movements are avowedly anti-Christian, and that both are in origin and direction Jewish, is a matter of record." (September 1958)

"As surely and securely as the Jews have been behind Freemasonry, or Secularism, or Communism, they are behind the “anti-hate” drive. The Jews are advocating tolerance only for its destructive value — destructive, that is, of the Catholic Church. On their part, they still keep alive their racial rancors and antipathies." (January 1959)

A single year, 1957, saw the following article titles:

January: "Jewish Invasion of Our Country--Our Culture Under Siege"

February: "When Everyone Was Catholic--The Courage of the Faith in the Thirteenth Century"
March: "Dublin's Briscoe Comes to Boston"
April: "The Fight for the Holy City--Efforts of the Jews to Control Jerusalem"
May: "Our Lady of Fatima Warned Us"
June: "The Rejected People of Holy Scripture: Why the Jews Fear the Bible"
July: "The Judaising of Christians by Jews--Tactics of the Church's Leading Enemies"
August: "A Sure Defense Against the Jews--What Our Catholic Bishops Can Do for Us"
September: "An Unholy People in the Holy Land--The Actions of the Jews"
October: "The Jewish Lie About Brotherhood--the Catholic Answer--Israeli Brotherhood"
November: "Six Pointers on the Jews"

Feeney has been described as Boston's homegrown version of Father Charles Coughlin, a priest who also heroically opposed Jewish machinations; particularly their exploitation of the poor and their campaign to drag the United States into the Second World War.[55]


Poems for Memory: An Anthology for High School Students. Loyola University Press, 1925.
In Towns and Little Towns: A Book of Poems. The American Press, 1927.
Fish on Friday. Sheed and Ward, 1934.
Boundaries. MacMillan, 1936.
Riddle and Reverie. MacMillan, 1936.
Song for a Listener: A Poem. MacMillan, 1936.
G. K. Chesterton's Evangel by Sister Marie Virginia (Foreword). Benziger Books, 1937.
The Ark and the Alphabet, An Animal Collection (with Nathalia Crane). MacMillan, 1939.
You'd Better Come Quietly: Three Sketches, Some Outlines and Additional Notes. Sheed and Ward, 1939.
Children: Nine Songs For Children's Chorus And Piano (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1940.
Once Upon A Time (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1940.
Sequence: Five Songs Sung Without Pause (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1940.
Love Is Now: Song (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1940.
Meet Doctor Livermore (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1940.
One And One Are Two (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1940.
The Leonard Feeney Omnibus: A Collection of Prose And Verse, Old And New. Sheed and Ward, 1943.
Flight (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1944.
Children: Song (words by Leonard Feeney, music by Theodore Chanler). 1945.
Your Second Childhood: Verses. Bruce Publishing Company, 1945.
Mother Seton, an American Woman. Dodd, Mead & Company, 1948.
Survival Till Seventeen: Some Portraits of Early Ideas. Sheed and Ward, 1948.
Freemasonry In The Life And Times Of Pope Pius IX. 1950.
London is a Place. Ravengate Press, 1951.
Bread of Life. Saint Benedict Center, 1952.
A Christmas Book of Poems. St. Bede's, 1970.
The Gold We Have Gathered: Selections From the Writings of Father Leonard Feeney (posthumous). Saint Benedict Center, 1989.
The Point (posthumous collection). Christian Defense League, 1993.
Not Made for This World (posthumous collection of talks). Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2006.


An inter-faith meeting is a place where a Jewish Rabbi, who does not believe in the Divinity of Christ, and a Protestant Minister who doubts it, get together with a Catholic Priest, who agrees to forget it for the evening.[56]

See also


Clarke, Catherine. The Loyolas and the Cabots. Saint Benedict Center: Richmond, NH, 1992.
Potter, Gary. After the Boston Heresy Case. Catholic Treasures Books: Monrovia, CA, 1995.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Neumann, John. A Latter-Day Athanasius: Father Leonard Feeney. Crusade of Saint Benedict Center, Richmond. Retrieved on 2013-07-01.
  2. Gary Potter. After the Boston Heresy Case. Monrovia, California: Catholic Treasures Books, 1995, pg. 16.
  3. Potter, pg. 17.
  4. Potter, pg. 17.
  5. Potter, pp. 17-21.
  6. Catherine G. Clarke. The Loyolas and the Cabots. Richmond, New Hampshire: Saint Benedict Center, 1992, pg. 13.
  7. Potter, pg. 53.
  8. Potter, pg. 54.
  9. Clarke, pg. 41.
  10. Clarke, pg. 64.
  11. Clarke, pp. 60-62.
  12. Potter, pp. 53, 49.
  13. Fakhri Maluf. "Sentimental Theology." From the Housetops, Volume II, No.1. September 1947. Available at catholicism.org [1].
  14. Clarke, pg. 78.
  15. Clarke, pp. 49-50, 79-80.
  16. Clarke, pp. 81-87. Feeney revealingly said about himself, "I do not think I try to conceal my defects in my writings- and my defects are: that I use superlatives, that I raise my voice, that I gesticulate and make faces and push home a point too strongly, and that I am not overtactful in taking into account what non-Catholics will think when I talk-." Clarke, pg. 177.
  17. Clarke, pg. 100.
  18. Clarke, pg. 134.
  19. Clarke, pp. 110-111.
  20. Clarke, pp. 113-115.
  21. Brenton Welling Jr. St. Benedict's Explains Its Doctrine The Harvard Crimson. September 27, 1949. Accessed July 14, 2013.
  22. Clarke, pg.169. The article, Fr. Philip Donnelly's "Observations on the Question of Salvation Outside the Church", is reproduced after Raymond Karam's "Reply to a Liberal" in the link.
  23. Clarke, pg. 134.
  24. History of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (part 3/4). Saint Benedict Center (Still River, MA).
  25. Clarke, pg. 171.
  26. Clarke, pg. 179.
  27. Clarke, pg. 172.
  28. Clarke, pp. 173-183.
  29. Clarke, pp. 185-190.
  30. Clarke, pp. 195-198.
  31. Clarke, pg. 200.
  32. Clarke, pp. 203-207.
  33. Clarke, pp. 213-216.
  34. Clarke, pp. 259-266.
  35. Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston
  36. Potter, pp. 140-141.
  37. Potter, pg. 138.
  38. Potter, pp. 142-143.
  39. Wallach Will See State Educational Chief on Feeney The Harvard Crimson. December 14, 1949. Accessed July 1, 2013.
  40. Potter, pp. 133-134.
  41. Potter, pp. 143-144.
  42. Potter, pg. 146.
  43. Potter, pp. 147-158. The exact motive behind Feeney's decision remains obscure, but Potter assures us he acted under the advice of a friendly canonist. Brother Francis strongly advised Feeney to go, but "some of his more over-protective disciples" turned him against it.
  44. Michael J. Mazza, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus: Father Feeney makes a comeback
  45. Potter, 165.
  46. Potter, pp. 135-136.
  47. Potter, pg. 135.
  48. Potter, pg. 169.
  49. Potter, pg. 179.
  50. Dave O'Brien. Father Feeney: A Heretic Courted by the Church The Phoenix. October 8, 1974. Accessed July 3, 2013.
  51. Philip F. Lawler. The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture. New York: Encounter Books, 2008, pg. 12.
  52. Lawler, pg. 52.
  53. The Kennedy Legacy, Ted Sorensen, p. 27-28, Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1970
  54. Avery Dulles. Father Feeney: In Memoriam America. February 25, 1978. Archived on Ignis Ardens. Accessed July 3, 2013.
  55. "The death of American antisemitism", Spencer Blakeslee, p. 93, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, ISBN 0-275-96508-2
  56. Potter, 136.

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