" Does Not Represent Doctrines or Sentiments of the Church"
American Catholic opinion is in general dismayed by Father Coughlin's latest radio outbursts. His accusations about Jewish financing of the Russian Revolution and Jewish aid to the Barcelona Government have caused the American Press to label him antiSemitic.
Members of the American Hierarchy have sensed the danger of these broadcasts—the old cry that the Church is allied to Fascism is gleefully spouted by all her enemies, who quote Father Coughlin's broadcasts as a proof —and have pointed out that Father Coughlin speaks only as an individual American citizen and not as a spokesman of the Church.
Hierarchy is Concerned
As reported in the CATI101e10 HERALD of December 16, Cardinal Mindelein, Archbishop of Chicago, has firmly disapproved of the
broadcasts, declaring that Father Coughlin " does not represent the doctrines or sentiments of the Church."
Now Mgr. Noll, Bishop of Fort Wayne, adds his protest.
He points out that the National Conference of Catholic Men, an official body established by the American Bishops, has recently spoken against the persecution of Jews. Mgr. Noll also cites the sermons of Cardinal Faulhaber, and the Vatican's recent statements against Italian racialism.
He concludes his outline of the real attitude of the Church towards the Jews with the following quotation from an addrees given by the Pope to Belgian pilgrims in the summer.
" We are Semites Spiritually "
Abraham is called our patriarch, our ancestor. Anti-Semitism is not compatible with the sublime reality of this text; it is a movement which we Christians cannot share. No, it is not possible for Christians to take part in anti-Semitism. We are Semites spiritually."
The same words of the Pope are quoted by Frank .1. Hogan, president of the American Bar Association, in a radio address sponsored by a. number of leading Jewish organisations.
Mr Hogan also quotes from an editorial printed in the Michigan Catholic, official organ of the Detroit Archdiocese, whence Fr. Coughlin's radio speeches originate: " Totally out of harmony with the Holy Father's leadership are Catho lies who indulge in speeches or writings which in fact tend to arouse feeling against the Jaws as a race. Even when their remarks are qualified in such a way as to set the discerning on guard, these writers should, in view of world conditions to-day, carefully weigh the danger of creating prejudice in the minds of less discriminating readers and of seeing their writings exploited by unscrupulous promoters of anti-Semitism."
" Permission does not mean Approval " The comments of other Catholic papers are not less severe. Most of them quote the pronouncement of Mgr. Mooney, Archbishop of Detroit, on the broadcasts.
The Archbishop has said: " The fact is that Catholic Church authorities, in passing on writings or utterances submitted for preview, make a clear distinction between permission and approval. So too, for that matter, does the dictionary.
The permission of Church authorities to publish an article or broadcast an address definitely does not imply approval of the contents of that article or address, much less does it make the article or address an authoritative statement of the Catholic position on the subject treated.
"I might add that means are not lacking for any fair-minded inquirer to obtain a clear idea of the authoritative position of the Catholic Church on any given question. For instance, on the persecution of the Jews in Germany, one might refer to the widely publicised statements of Pope Pius XL"
Catholic Papers Scornful
The Catholic Worker calls attention to the protest of the Chief Rabbis of France at Yom Kippur, 1936, against the persecution of Catholics in Mexieo and Spain, and a protest by the Central Conference of American Rabbis against "the treatment of the Catholics in our sister republic of Mexico."
, The organ of the American Association of Catholic Trade Unionists, Labor Leader, is scornful about the charges made against the Jews.
"One is reminded of the contradiction that once existed among the antiSemites—:abelling the Jew as both international banker and international Communist. Previously, the idea was prevalent that the Jew was being persecuted in Germany because of his greed for property and wealth.
"Now. 't conveniently becomes the opposite—the Nazis are horribly maltreating the Jew because he is the spearhead of the Marxist drive against the institutions of private property and investment for profit. " None of these individuals bother to
explain away the meagre Communist strength o many enstg hianNejwewYsork City where there a Anti-Semites Support Coughlin Meanwhile followers of Father Coughlin have drummed up an issue of free speech over the fact that. radio station WMCA, New York, declined to carry Fr. Coughlin's addresses unless they were first passed by a staff reader.
Fr. Coughlin refused to allow the station to read his speeches before the broadcasts, although such a custom is regularly followed in radio stations. When WMCA closed its facilities to the radio priest, Coughlinites opened a campaign " in defense of free speech." Opening guns in the campaign will be fired at a mass meeting to be held in New York. Some Catholics maintain that WMCA's action constitutes an abridgment of the right of free speech; other Catholics maintain it is only the exercise of a station's right to broadcast what speeches they please, and see nothing in the action which affects either the right of free speech or the rights of Catholics.
It is notable that among the sponsors of the New York free speech rally in defence of Fr. Coughlin is a well-known anti-Semite, who has been connected with an organisation carrying on a vicious anti-Semitic campaign.
Ford says : "No Persecution in Germany" In December 12 issue of Social Justice, Father Coughlin's weekly paper, there is a long account of a meeting between Rabbi Franklin of Detroit and Henry Ford. Press reports of this meeting credited Henry Ford with severe condemnation of Nazi Jewish persecution
According to Father Coughlin Press reports were badly garbled. He claims that Rabbi Franklin rewrote Ford's remarks about the Nazis in order to suit his own case.
Harry Bennett, Ford's notorious Service Department chief, backs up Father Coughlin's charges against the Rabbi.
" Rabbi Franklin came to see Mr Ford to ask him if his factory would assimilate Jewish refugees, the result of Nazi persecution. Mr Ford said that he believed there was little or no persecution in Germany; if any, it was due not to the German Gouertentent, but to the war mongers, the international bankers.
" Moreover, while Mr Ford expressed his humanitarianism for all people, yet he believed that Jews wouldn't be content to work in the factories.
" That was the essence of the talk between Mr Ford and Rabbi Franklin. But the story handed to the Free Press was written by Franklin and banded to it by Franklin and not by Mr Ford."
An editorial in Social Justice attacks the Detroit Free Press, spearhead of anti Coughlin comment, pungently. About the Free Press's unfortunate editor, Social Justice says: "Editors of such short-sightedness could look through a keyhole with both eyes, and have heads merely for the sake of conformity."