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Noted Catholic, on Coughlin Network, Warns Against Bigotry Preachers As Priest Widens Attack

December 12, 1938
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Frank J. Hogan, president of the American Bar Association and a leading Catholic layman, today broadcast a warning to Catholics against those who preach bigotry. He spoke over the same 34 stations use by Father Charles E. Coughlin and directly after the conclusion of the priest’s address, which was devoted to broadening of his anti-Jewish charges to accuse Jews in America of fostering godlessness.

Mr. Hogan’s half-hour address, from Washington, was under the auspices of the General Jewish Council and was interpreted as the first reply to Father Coughlin, although the priest’s name was not mentioned. The bar leader warned Catholics that "one hate breeds another," cited the stands of catholic leaders against persecution and refuted charges that Jews were predominant in the Russian Bolshevist revolution.

Father Coughlin, speaking from Royal Oak, Mich., had taken advantage of his preceding Mr. Hogan to "prepare" radio listeners by telling them in his hour-long program that the bar leader’s "client" was the General Jewish Council. He sought to discredit the council by saying it was "dominant" over the Jewish community councils, two of which, he said, had obtained the elimination of Christmas and Easter practices from schools. From this point he launched into a general attack on American Jews as fostering godlessness, which he linked to Communism, and made several veiled threats that the Christian majority would not stand for such action on the part of the "Jewish minority."

Mr. Hogan opened his address by asserting that Catholicism like all other religions was vitally interested in complete religious freedom in the United States. only in a land where democracy and goodwill and understanding are the watchwords do Catholics live in complete freedom, he said, adding: "We do well to remember this — all of us, catholic laymen and clergy." This last was one of several implied references to father Coughlin during the address.

After summarizing examples of anti-Catholic attacks in the United States and attacks on Catholics and Jews in Germany, Mr. Hogan said: "The greatest living Catholic, Pius XI, has been vilified and insulted in the Nazi press by Nazi leaders because he has dared to speak out firmly against Nazi oppression and persecution. He knows, and we know too, that one hate breeds another. Wherever Jews are persecuted, there too other creeds and races will sooner or later be persecuted."


History, he said, shows that "Jews have become the barometer of democracy throughout the world. where they are oppressed, as in Germany, democracy and freedom have been utterly destroyed and Christians have also suffered. where they are the equals of all other citizens.

Quoting Pope Pius’ recent statement to a group of Belgian Catholics in denunciation of persecution, in which the pontiff said that "spiritually we are all Semites," Mr. Hogan declared: "I do not need to comment on this statement. It speaks for itself and it is the only authoritative statement of the catholic position. The moral to be drawn from what Pope Pius said was outlined a few weeks ago in an editorial published in the Catholic periodical which is the official organ of the Diocese of Michigan (The Michigan Catholic):

"Totally out of harmony with the Holy Father’s leadership are Catholics who indulge in speeches or writings which in fact tend to arouse feeling against the Jews as a race. Even when their remarks are qualified in such a way as to set the discerning on their guard, these writers should, in view of world conditions today, carefully weigh the danger of creating prejudice in the minds of less discerning readers and of seeing their writings exploited by unscrupulous promoters of anti-Semitism."

"Upon the unquestioned authority of Pius XI, as given to the world in his public utterances, I speak today to refute any idea that anyone who preaches racial or religious intolerance speaks for the catholic laymen or the Catholic priesthood."

Mr. Hogan then turned to a refutation of the charges that Jews were a predominant influence in the Bolshevist revolution. "I refer to this accusation only because it has been aired to the world and not because it deserves the attention of serious-minded Americans," he declared.

He quoted from an authorized Catholic publication which discounted Jewish influence in the Bolshevist revolution. The Jews, Mr. Hogan declared, revolted against the Czarist government as any people — such as the American patriots of 1776 — would rebel against an oppressive monarch. however, he declared, most Jewish groups in Russia opposed Bolshevism.


"Although the false charge that the present Communist activities operating from Russia and seeking to stir up world strife are Jewish must be met because they are so obviously calculated to stir up prejudice and cloud reason, that charge must not be allowed to sidetrack the important consideration of the humanities of the moment," Mr. Hogan asserted. "The cry that some Russian Jews are Communists will not be accepted by any sane person as justification for the beating up in Germany of peaceful men, women and children, the confiscation of property of law-abiding citizens.

"The pauperization of a whole class and the depriving it of a means of livelihood cannot be justified by any voice or pen seeking to influence a nation of free men and it is against the spreading of the fertilizer of race hatred and religious bigotry here in our America that I protest this Sunday afternoon. We are justly proud of calling our country the land of the free. My friends, the United States of America will not remain free for any of us unless it remains free for all of us. Let us, you and I, hand it on to posterity as it was handed down to us, the freest of the nations of the earth."


Father Coughlin placed chief emphasis on the charge that Jews using Constitutional methods, were seeking to drive Christian practices out of the public schools. He also repeated his accusations that Jews predominated in Russian communism and went so far as

In the opening part of his talk, the priest said he had received last Monday from Harry H. Bennett, personnel director of the Ford Motor Company, a second statement supporting the veracity of a previous declaration Father Coughlin had quoted in regard to henry ford’s interview with Rabbi Leo M. Franklin. In the later statement, Mr. Bennett was quoted as saying that the document regarding the refugee question made public by Rabbi Franklin was not a statement by Mr. ford but represented certain views expressed during the interview between the motor magnate and the rabbi.

Father Coughlin then turned to the talk of Mr. Hogan which was to follow his. He said he had offered time on his program at his expense for a reply by the general council, which was declined. "A representative of the general Jewish Council will address this audience some time later today," he went on. "he will not be a Jewish gentleman. He will be a gentleman of my own faith. I wish to emphasize that he is speaking for the general Jewish council. I invite you to listen to him as he pleads, shall I say, the cause of the Jews, or, shall I say, the cause of the general Jewish council."

Holding he had no animosity against the "good Jews" but only against the "bad Jews," Father Coughlin said it was natural for the Jews of America to be concerned over persecuted Jews in Germany, but that it was equally natural that American Christianity’s "heart bleeds for the Christians killed" in Europe. Stressing anew that Jews were prominent in banking, broadcasting and journalism, he voiced an "appeal" to American Jews to join in the battle against Communism.

The best answer to his charges regarding the Jews, he said, "is not a denial. The official action of American Jewry would speak more eloquently than ten thousand denials." American Jews, he declared, must repudiate Communist Jews in Moscow "no matter what the ties of blood." he said that Russia had made anti-Semitism a crime and had also made pro-Christianity and pro religion a crime. He quoted from an article by James A. Harvey in the New Out-look of February, 1924, as new substantiation of his charges that Jews predominated in the Bolshevist government. Father Coughlin also quoted from a Hungarian Government publication to demonstrate that the communist revolution in Hungary was largely Jewish.

"American Jews," he declared in one of the most nearly open threats he has voiced, "must repudiate the atheistic Jews…Communism must be stamped out. Otherwise this illogical world will build up a defense mechanism paralleling or worse than the defense mechanism built up in Nazi Germany."

Denouncing influences for secularizing of public institutions, Father Coughlin turned again to the subject of the general Jewish council. This was no time, he said, "for Idle Eulogizing" of Jewish contributions to religion and culture. He said it was necessary to prevent communism before there would break out "a holocaust of persecution." He also predicted the destruction of the three million Russian Jews by "160,000,000 de-Christianized Russians," N a revolt against the government.

Father Coughlin quoted from the June, 1938, issue of the B’nai B’rith National Jewish Monthly, in a report on Jewish community councils, as stating that the Bridgeport and Cleveland councils had persuaded the schools to stop Christmas and Easter practices embarrassing to Jewish children. He said that over all such councils is "dominant the general Jewish Council." Stressing that the action was constitutional, he nevertheless asked the General Jewish council why it had "sown the seeds of godlessness" and warned that the Jews were breeding resentment against themselves. He emphasized several times and in meaningful tones the "in judiciousness" of the "attempt to hold to the letter of the law." (Continued On Page 5)

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