"Taking Inventory of My Stewardship," November 17, 1935 in A Series of Lectures on Social Justice
A year after the formation of the National Union for Social Justice, Fr. Coughlin was clearly disaffected and disappointed about the potential for his sixteen-point platform to influence the course of the New Deal. In this broadcast, Coughlin evaluated the actions of the Roosevelt administration in comparison with his own ideas of economic and social reform, and concluded that the president had failed to live up to the promise he had exhibited in 1933. This speech marks Coughlin's first open break with the Roosevelt administration, and the beginning of his hostile attitude towards the president.
As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:
- Why does Coughlin reject the Roosevelt adminstration and the New Deal programs? How does Coughlin make use Catholicism for his political ends?
- How does Coughlin view his role in politics? In this speech, do you think that he presents himself as primarily a political leader or as primarily a religious leader?
- What specific examples does Coughlin give of the Roosevelt Administration's supposed rejection of the principles of social justice?