Expect Speech to Be Clarified
Menu JTA Search

Expect Speech to Be Clarified

Download PDF for this date

Jews are abetting anti-Catholic movements in “practically every Christian land” and that in general they adopt any and all fool theories of Christian modernists and their worst blasphemies, and give them additional currencies.”

The statement that most astonished his listeners and brought from many sources, including former Ambasador to Germany James W. Gerard, severe criticism, was the following:

“While all races have sinned in Adam and all have their share in dirt and filth, yet there does seem to be a special tendency towards the coarser and fouler lusts in the Semite than the Aryan.” Mr. Gerard, who returned on the Conte di Savoia yesterday, took sharp issue with Father Murphy on his remarks.

“My experience in life,” he declared, “is that the Jews are no more aggressive in their clannishness and lust than is any other race and religion. Their record in the war shows that they were patriotic Americans. They certainly lead all religions in charitable work and I do not think it is fair to take the case of a few Jews and indicate their record as representative of the race.”


On the subject of clannishness, Father Murphy issued the following warning:

“Until this clannishness ends,” he said, “the Jew will always be a subject of suspicion and fear. The Jew must cease to be a Jew. He must become broad and liberal in his attitude to Christians.”

Other statements made in the course of the same speech somewhat took out the sting of his words. The following statement, for example, is considered by observers to show that the intent of Father Murphy’s words was far from anti-Semitic:

“The most perfect man, Jesus Christ,” he declared at one point in his address, “was a Jew and so was the most perfect human creature devised by the Creator, the Blessed Mother of God. God, so it is said, chose the Jews, and God surely chose no unworthy instruments to serve His designs.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund