Waugh and Father Pro

Waugh’s biography Edmund Campion is quoted in a Roman Catholic blog maintained by Stephanie Mann, author of the book Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformaton. The article in question is about Fr. Miguel Pro, a Mexican Jesuit who was executed in 1927 by the anticlerical Mexican regime then in power. Waugh briefly compares his martyrdom with that of Campion in Elizabethan England. The comparison appears in a new preface written by Waugh  for what is described as the “First American Edition” of the biography, issued by Little, Brown in June 1946 (not to be confused with the 1935 U.S. edition of Sheed and Ward which was printed the U.K.). The preface appeared in slightly different form in a new U.K. edition published by Hollis and Carter in 1947. The quote in the blog comes from the 1947 version, not the 1946 version as stated (“Simpson” refers to a 19th c. biographer of Campion):

We have come much nearer to Campion since Simpson’s day. He wrote in the flood-tide of toleration [when] Elizabeth’s persecution seemed as remote as Diocletian’s. We know now that his age was a brief truce in an unending war. The Martyrdom of Father Pro in Mexico re-enacted Campion’s in faithful detail. We are nearer Campion then when I wrote of him. . . . The haunted, trapped, murdered priest is our contemporary and Campion’s voice sounds to us across the centuries as though he were walking at our elbow.

Waugh actually wrote in greater detail about Fr. Pro’s martyrdom in his book Robbery Under Law: The Mexican Object Lesson (London, 1939, pp. 238-40); published in the U.S. as Mexico: An Object Lesson. In his Mexico book, Waugh also implicates the populist and anticlerical Mexican President Calles, as well as U.S. Ambassador Dwight Morrow, in Pro’s death, but he does not draw the comparison to the martyrdom of Campion.

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