Coughlin Seen As Catholic Problem by “the Nation”

In an editorial captioned “Father Coughlin and the Church,” the liberal periodical The Nation today asserted the anti-Semitic radio priest represented “a Catholic problem as well as a Jewish problem” and called upon the Church to consider his case from this viewpoint.

“The Catholic Church,” the editorial said, “is developing a badly split personality. Its head recognizes that the Church and Fascism are irreconcilable, yet a large section of the hierarchy is inevitably propelled into the camp of reaction, where Fascism breeds. Pope Plus has courageously raised his voice against the racist doctrines Mussolini has dutifully taken over from the dominant end of the axis, yet a Catholic priest, Father Coughlin, continues to be the chief poisoner for the anti-Semitic movement the Nazis are carefully nurturing in this country.

“It is necessary to call attention to the fact that Father Coughlin represents a Catholic problem as well as a Jewish problem. He is using Jew-baiting, as generations of reactionary demagogues and fanatical pogromchiks before him have used it, to attack all that is progressive. Coughlin has repeatedly called upon ‘good Jews’ to repudiate communistic ones or face the consequences of anti-Semitism. The Jews are not an entity. No Jewish organization speaks for them or can control the acts of individual members of the race. Coughlin, on the other hand, speaks as a priest of the most highly organized international in history. The longer it lets him spread his poison, the harder it will be to make people believe that the church itself does not look altogether with disfavor on the witches’ brew he is stirring up.”

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