Mary Roth to John Ryan


More angry correspondence flowed into Father Ryan's mailbox following Roosevelt's election victory and Coughlin's retirement announcement. This letter is from Mary Roth, an Ohio woman, who blamed Ryan for the defeat of the Union Party and faulted him for not caring about living wages for the poor or about the teachings of the encyclicals. Roth praises Coughlin warmly, clearly contrasting Coughlin and Ryan in their attitude towards the working class.



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

  • How would you describe Roth's idea of Coughlin's view of the working class in the U.S.? Ryan's view of the working class? How does she support these views?
  • What is Roth's view of the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S.?