Fascist Reply Made to Pope

Bend Bulletin/July 15, 1931


Untruths Charged by Directorate

Protest Made Against Criticism of the “Black Shirt Oath”

The alleged “lies” in the recent encyclical of Pope. Plus XI on the fascist state and its controversy with the holy see were protested in a statement issued by the directorate of the fascist party.

The directorate, meeting under the presidency of Premier Benito Mussolini, issued its anticipated reply to the pope’s scathing encyclical sent secretly by trusted messenger to Paris for distribution to the world.

The reply protested alleged “lies” in the encyclical which “defamed the grand balilla (youth’s) organization for which thousands of fascists are giving their activities.”

The directorate urged all loyal fascists to work for the success of the balilla. Plans for the development of the balilla youth organization were approved for the coming year.

Protest Criticism

Three major declarations were outlined in the fascist directorate’s statement with reference to Pope Plus’ encyclical. They were:

1—Protests of criticism of the black shirt’s oath.

2—The “indignant rejection” of the pope’s statement that the Masons would return to power in the fascist party.

3—Protests against the alleged “lies,” “defaming the grand balilla organization.”

In amplifying the first of these points, the statement said the “fascist party is not a party like others, but is a fighting organization which having made the revolution, feel it their serious duty to defend it.”

In addition to these significant pronouncements, the fascist directorate declared “the first great mobilization of fascist forces shall take place between the Piave and Tagliamento rivers in the Tenetia district” soon.

To Demonstrate Power

The date of the gathering is to be announced only 48 hours before the mobilization is to take place.

“The mobilization will demonstrate the swiftness with which the fascist men can be concentrated in any part of Italy’s territory,” the directorate statement said, “for any emergency.”

The mobilization, incidentally considering the section of territory in which it is to be held, apparently is meant as a warning to Yugoslavia that Italy, aside from her regular army, is able to count on a big all-fascist army if the necessity arises.

The reported movement will involve about 50,000 men, it was asserted, mostly from the party’s youthful organization.

(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1243&dat=19310710&id=eDhPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=USEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1583,2129717)