Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

August 9, 1942

No one dared raise a voice against the suppression of religious instruction. In the past, the Catholics would have cried in unison, and utilizing the medium of the press, they would have caused a national stir. But now, nobody dares to lift a finger—not out of love but of fear of the new regime and its predatory tactics.

The Japanese patriot who has no religion other than his exalted nationalism, and who recognizes no other authority than that of the Mikado, shuns any organization that demands obedience and submission to an authority other than that which resides in Tokyo. The Church would have to suffer limitations and restrictions little by little, starting from the activities which do not affect its essential organization. Religious congregations have been restricted in their external relationships, limiting their sphere of action to monastic and purely religious activities. These restrictions will probably be imposed first on foreign congregations. Everything is being done with such subtlety as to avoid any tinge of persecution. The fact is that all aliens foresee a very dark future for their ministries. More than one high-ranking Japanese officer has manifested in private that the Church owns so many schools and colleges and is involved in activities wider in scope than in Japan, and that these activities therefore would have to be cut down. We are not sure, however, whether or not they will wait for the war to end before implementing their plans.