Memo on the Involvement of NCWC Staff in Politics, 1936


Father Ryan's increasingly vocal support for the Roosevelt administration, especially in opposition to Father Coughlin's criticisms, prompted the National Catholic Welfare Conference's (NCWC) Administrative Board to send Ryan a memorandum reminding him of NCWC policy forbidding staff from political involvement. The memo presented here specifically mandates that the NCWC be kept free from the appearance of political partisanship by disallowing staff members from open, public support of a party or a candidate.



As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:

  • How does this memo differ from the NCWC 1933 memo on the same subject?
  • Examine the Chronology, paying attention to the sections on both Ryan and Coughlin. What was occurring in the months surrounding March 1936 that might have caused the NCWC Administrative Board to issue the memo?