—From Fr. Coughlin's
From Our Own Correspondent
Evidence that Social Justice, Fr. Coughlires weekly magazine, has been forced to back water as a result of widespread criticism of Its articles, headlines and general news treatment, is seen In an editorial apology which heads the editorial page of March 4. The apology is offered in answer to criticism of Social Justices attacks on members of the hierarchy, the clergy and Catholic laymen, which featured the issue of February 5. Sensational headlines, together with a two page onslaught entitled " On the Smear Front," brought the criticism to Fr. Coughlin's paper.
Among the magazines listed in the " smear front " were Comnionweal and Chrtstian Social Action, because both these magazines had attacked the Christian Front vigorously. Commonweal, in a widely reprinted editorial, had attributed the greater blame for the Christian Front "sedition plot " to the Tablet, organ of the Brooklyn diocese, Social Juatice and their " abettors and sympathisers." With many other Catholics, the Commonweal and Christian Social Action editors were of the opinion that the seventeen Christian Fronters arrested on charges of sedition were dupes, fanatics themselves perhaps, but dupes anyway of demagogic leaders. Well informed Catholics in high position have expressed their agreement with the Commonweal opinion.
That Social Justice Should climb down to its attack on its critics in the midst of the tight In defence of the alleged plotters Is news of the first order.
" I Have Been Criticised "
The letter of epology by Louis B. Ward, editorial director of Social Justice, reads;
"I have be-en severely criticised for the issue of February 5, 1940, of Social Justice: first, on account of the caption on the front cover; secondly, with respect to the language used in an article, On the Smear Front,' on pages 10, 11 and 13.
" The criticism is to the effect that that article was ' grossly offensive' and defamatory ' to priests and bishops of the Catholic Church.
"My humble, sincere and abject apologies for any language that has been used which in any way reflects on the honour of the Church, the good name of her bishops and priests, or for any language which may to the slightest degree tend to destroy the loyalty of the people. The readers of Social Justice will consider this, I am sure, as a retraction of the statements termed offensive."