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Excerpt of an interview Granted to Dr. Peter Love by Archbishop William Henry (Father) Francis

At the Church of Christ on the Mount, Woodstock, New York on May 27, 1975 between 1:15 and 4:00 p.m.

Comment: A brief conversation had taken place outside the parish entrance, and now seated in the Archbishop’s Study, the following conversation took place, recorded in part. The whole interview can be seen in the issue of The New Day, August 25, 1979. Pages 17-18.

Father Francis asks Dr. Peter Love, “And do you know how I got to know Father Divine? I’ve never told any individual. I happen to have known Jack Lait. Jack Lait was the managing editor of all of the Hearst publications. You know William Randolph Hearst.

Dr. P. Love: Yes.

Father Francis: I knew him too – I’m ashamed of it. I knew his wife very well.

Dr. P. Love: Yes.

Father Francis: Jack Lait, I knew him in Chicago, then I came to New York – he came to New York to be the head of the whole Hearst syndicate. He heard I had been to one of Father Divine’s Meetings and he came to see me one night. I remember the room that I was in and how he misbehaved that night – Jack Lait – and he offered me a sum in five figures if I would write an expose of the Father Divine Movement for the Hearst papers. And Father Victor was with me and Father Victor is still alive in California – we correspond – and we’d often talk about Father Divine now with us, and I said, “Vicky, let’s go and find out about Father Divine. Let’s find out.” We went to the Police Department in Harlem – I said, “Let’s be perfectly fair,” I said, “five figures is a lot of money,” (to Father Victor) I said, “we could use it for a good cause.” And the Police Department, the head of the Police Department told me – this was in 1929 or thereabouts – he said, “You know, since Father Divine Movement has gotten under way our work has been reduced by one-half.” I said, “Well, that wouldn’t sound nice in Hearst’s paper, would it?” We went to the Board of Education and a woman said, “Father Divine is a nuisance, and infernal nuisance!” Why? She said, “Because He insists on all of His children having the equal to a high school education and consequently we have had to put on extra teachers.” “Oh?” And one thing after another. That’s how it all started, through a negative thing, through the Hearst people offering to pay me this vast sum of money. I went to see lack Lait and I said, “Jack, you are playing with fire. Playing with fire!” And that’s how it started.

Comment: After telling another incident, Father Francis continued saying:

Father Francis: These are the little multiple incidents that came in the life, you see. And I often told   them publicly, I say, “Answer it if you can. Tell me, if you can, whether He is God or not. If you say HE is not, it isn’t a negative thought, you haven’t found out yet.

Dr. P. Love: Yes.

Father Francis: I said, “But is He doing God’s Work?” That’s the important thing.

Dr. P. Love: Yes.

Father Francis: And I could prove in a thousand ways that He has, you see.

Dr. P. Love: Yes.

Father Francis: That’s the thing that counts. Because I often think over the good of a wonderful Movement like that, you see, but I’m just one of the people on the outside that’s willing to…

Dr. P. Love: You are very much on the inside.

Father Francis: Well…

Dr. P. Love: You are very, very much on the inside.

(Father Francis did not finish his thought because he was interrupted and went to turn on the lights in the Church)