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Father George H. Dunne S.J. drew comparisons between his opponent, Paul Blanshard, author of "American Freedom and Catholic Power," and Gerald L. K. Smith and Westbrook Pegler before a capacity audience at the Law School Forum in the Cambridge High and Latin School Auditorium last night.
He went on to say that "Blanshard's book is evidence that his mind is definitely biased and he is incapable of discussing things Catholic objectively."
It took almost an hour and a half of discussion, before the partisan crowd which covered the stage and extended into the wings, for the speakers to come to grips on the scheduled topic. "The Catholic Church and Politics."
In the round table debate towards the end of the Forum Father Dunne did say that it was wrong for the Catholics of Massachusetts to impose restrictions on the giving of birth control information on non-Catholic doctors.
He went on to say, however, that if the Catholics believed society was endangered by birth control they had a right to influence non-Catholics.
Denounces Present Catholicism
Blanshard contented himself with giving an outline of his book in which he stated "The elaborate trappings and system of power of the Roman Catholic Church are far from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth." He also pointed out that Catholics were coerced into being married by priests and into sending their children to parochial schools.
Father Dunne pointed out that if a Catholic feels that the teachings of the Church are not those of Divine Authority he is free to disagree, whereupon he automatically leaves the Church. "There is no coercion at all except a coercion of conscience."
Moral or Political Problems
He said that "Mr. Blanshard considers abortion, birth control, and divorce to be political problems. The Catholic Church considers them moral problems. Is Mr. Blanshard asking that the Church abdicate the right to answer moral problems?"
Replying, Blanshard stated, "No one of us denies the right of Catholics to have opinions. They can have medieval doctrines that have no reality present day life. They can even make fools of themselves if they want."
In closing Blanshard maintained, "I have laid down a specific bill of particulars. I am sorry to say I have not heard a specific reply."
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