CIO-PAC and "The Time Has Come For A Showdown"
SAD and their clerical and lay allies easily isolated, then defeated, those Catholics who argued that the communist presence in the CIO was a pressing threat. They could not so readily do the same to one of their own: labor priest William Smith S.J., who founded the Crown Heights School for Workmen in 1938 and directed it until its closure in 1952. His attacks on Philip Murray and James Carey, the Catholic president and secretary-treasurer of the CIO, for their toleration of communist influences became inextricably connected to the 1944 CIO presidential election when charges of systematic communist influence, if not direction, of the CIO's political action committee became commonplace. For the Church, the most significant debate, though, took place after the election, as Smith's opponents tried to end his criticism.
As you are reading these documents, reflect on the following questions:
1. What is at stake in these debates?
2. To whom, according to the opposing sides, did Philip Murray owe loyalty?