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St. Benedict Center charged today that Harvard personnel encouraged Catholic officials to start action against Father Leonard Feeney, Center chaplain.
The charges are contained in a new book, "The Loyolas and The Cabots," written by Catherine Goddard Clarke, Center president, and published today by the Ravengate Press.
The book chronicles the ten year history of the Center and concentrates on the Center's doctrinal fight with the Boston Archdiocese. The controversy came to a head in August, 1948, when Jesuit authorities ordered Father Feeney to leave the Center for Holy Cross College, an order which the Father refused to obey.
Explaining the removal action, Mrs. Clarke now states:
"The feeling of College officials about the resignations of students from Harvard, the discomfiture of priests studying at Harvard...on the one hand, and, on the other, the hierarchical policy of expediency, had conspired to bring about Father's removal from St. Benedict Center."
Mrs. Clarke indicates that University personnel allied with high Catholic officials at two High Tables at Lowell House. She quotes Fakhri Maluf, an instructor at the Center, as stating:
"But the ultimate origin of this order (the removal order) did not proceed from the Bishop or the Archbishop...It is fairly common knowledge at Harvard that certain people connected with Harvard were dissatisfied with the Center...Archbishop Cushing had dinner at Lowell House in the spring (of 1948), and Bishop Wright had dinner there just two or three nights ago."
Elliott Perkins '23, master of Lowell House, denied yesterday that he had ever attempted to influence the Archbishop or the Bishop.
"To the best of my knowledge," Perkins stated, "Archbishop Cushing brought up the subject of St. Benedict Center by himself, and Bishop Wright never once mentioned it."
Perkins added that he would never "extend a dinner invitation with other than social intent, nor broach to a guest a subject which we knew to be controversial. Business should not be introduced under the guise of social intercourse."
Mrs. Clarke asserts that Jesuit priests studying at Harvard were on the side of the University during the conflict. She says that these priests sat, "apparently unmoved, in the classes of atheists and Marxist sympathizers," and that after Father Feeney had censured them, they started "a crusade of persecution" against Father Feeney.
Other University students have been "taught to base their thinking on Nazi ideology...the psychology of Freud, the sociology of Karl Marx," Mrs. Clarke states. She names many students, who, "disappointed and dissatisfied" by such instruction, have resigned from the University to join the Center.
These resignations, she states, have turned Harvard officials against the Center. Dean Bender has refused to comment on Mrs. Clarke's statements.
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