Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Spanish America, Religion in.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Special articles [Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Mexico; etc.] discuss the present state of religion in the chief Republics. Two points have to be emphasized for the general understanding of the situation in Latin America. One is that the tens of millions of Indians are still almost entirely illiterate and exploited by the clergy, so that a reactionary minority can get power by enlisting large bodies of them. The second point is that the historic struggle of the Blacks (clericals) and the Whites in each Republic has in the last few years been gravely complicated by the raising of the economic issue and the rapid spread of Socialism and Communism. The War of Independence (1809-23) was a struggle against the Church as well as against Spain. The clergy and monks had drifted into extraordinary corruption (Cambridge Modern History, X, 252, etc.; and see D. Barry, Noticias secretas de America, 1826, for amazing details). With the infiltration of American and French ideas, and the practice of sending sons to those countries for education at the end of the eighteenth century, a middle class that strongly resented the clerical and monastic corruption arose, led the Revolution, and in the new Republic alternated in political power with the Blacks. By the end of the nineteenth century, Rationalism counted about 8,000,000 of the 13,000,000 educated people, the clergy basing their power upon the Conservative minority and the illiterates (mostly Indians), who were 90 per cent. of the population. The progress of Rationalism continued in the twentieth century, but there was a great extension of industry during and after the War of 1914-18, and, especially by the importation of Russian propaganda, Socialist and Communist ideas spread so rapidly that it is estimated that 20,000,000 or more were won from the Church in less than twenty years. Most of the Jews and Liberals now joined the Blacks on the politico-economic issue, and Rationalism was ruined. The present Pope, then Secretary of State, visited South America late in 1934, and, by the end of 1936, reaction was triumphant. In Brazil, particularly - the authorities till lately were more moderate in Argentina - the new clerical Fascism was merciless. Not only the "Red," but all anti-clericals, were suppressed. The Annual Register for that year says that there were 10,000 political prisoners in the jails of Brazil (in which Viscountess Hastings saw men who had suffered torture), and "among these were university professors and many other distinguished Brazilians belonging to the best society" (p. 312). As in Spain, the really "red" folk were the Blacks.


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