Father Coughlin, His "Facts" and Arguments

Father Coughlin, His "Facts" and Arguments

Father Coughlin, His "Facts" and Arguments

Father Coughlin, His "Facts" and Arguments


On November 20, 1938, Reverend Charles E. Coughlin began a series of broadcasts. In his first talk he stated that he would deal with the question of Nazi persecution "in a scientific spirit of coldly facing causes" and said that he was speaking "simply as a student of history." He then referred to and quoted from so-called authorities, giving the impression that they were authentic and the statements authoritative and official. The purpose of this memorandum is to present the true facts from authoritative sources.


Because he is a priest, many persons assume that Father Coughlin speaks for the Church. In order to dispel this belief, His Eminence George Cardinal Mundelein of Chicago issued a statement on December 11, 1938. This was read on the radio over a nation-wide hook-up by Bishop Bernard J. Sheil, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, who said:

"His Eminence, George Cardinal Mundelein of Chicago, having been importuned by news commentators and correspondents from every section of the country in reference to the broadcasts of Father Coughlin of Detroit, makes the following statement:

"'As an American citizen, Father Coughlin has the right to express his personal views on current events, but he is not authorized to speak for the Catholic Church, nor does he represent the doctrine or sentiments of the church'."

This was not the first time that high church officials found it necessary to explain Father Coughlin's radio activities. On examining the truth of any statements made by Father Coughlin it is well to recall certain previous statements made by him and the action taken by the Church.

On July 23, 1936, the radio priest made public an apology he had written to Franklin D. Roosevelt for having called the President a "liar." The following quotation from the New York Times of July 24, 1936 refers to this incident:

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