A Recording of U.S. Catholic Protests Against Hitler in November 1938 Turns Up in Catholic University Archives
An archivist at Catholic University stumbles upon a 1938 radio broadcast labeled "handwritten label on the center of the record: “Catholic Protest Against Nazis — Nov. 16, 1938.”
1938 — a year before Germany’s invasion of Poland sparked World War II, and a full three years before the United States would enter the war. The date was much earlier than he would have expected for a stateside protest. So Cullom took a second look.
Catholic University was not simply a venue for the event. The university’s chief executive, Monsignor Joseph M. Corrigan (later elevated to bishop), was featured in the broadcast along with three of the school’s then current or former trustees: Archbishop John J. Mitty of San Francisco, Bishop Peter L. Ireton of Richmond, Va., and former governor of New York Al Smith, who in 1928 had been the first Catholic to run for president of the United States as a major-party nominee. Bishop John M. Gannon of Erie, Pa., also spoke on the broadcast.
The purpose of this program, Father Sheehy said in his opening address, was to appeal to Christian political leaders in Germany to stop the persecution of the Jews. But it is clear the broadcast was also meant to inspire prayers for the beleaguered Jews and to denounce what Monsignor Corrigan called “a persecution hardly if ever equaled since earlier blood-lusting paganism martyred Christians for their faith in God.”
They decided to look into the newspaper headlines the next day and there it was:
The headlines echoed the broadcast’s impact: “Prominent Churchmen Denounce Oppression of Jews by Germans,” “Catholic Churchmen Join Pleas for Jews,” “Noted Layman, Clerics Voice Nazi Protest.”
How many times have I argued with leftist who insisted that the American Catholic Church was silent during the Holocaust. It's nice to have this bit of proof that I knew in my heart must have occurred.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 1:35 PM