Publication information
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Source: Challenge
Source type: magazine
Document type: letter
Document title: “An Open Letter”
Author(s): McGrady, Thomas
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 39
Pagination: 2

McGrady, Thomas. “An Open Letter.” Challenge 5 Oct. 1901 n39: p. 2.
full text
Thomas McGrady (correspondence); McKinley assassination (religious response: criticism); socialism; Michael Corrigan; Leo XIII (encyclicals); Thomas McGrady; socialists.
Named persons
Michael Corrigan; Leo XIII [also identified as Joachim Pecci below]; Thomas McGrady; William McKinley; H. Gaylord Wilshire [in notes].

In the magazine the letter (below) is immediately preceded by a separate letter by McGrady, addressed to the magazine’s editor. It reads:

BELLEVUE, Ky., Sept. 16, 1901.     

     DEAR WILSHIRE: The time has come when we can no longer let any attack upon Socialism in the high places go unchallenged. I am sending you herewith an open letter to Archbishop Corrigan, of New York, a copy of which I have forwarded to the New York Journal. If it appears in the columns of the Journal, kindly send me a copy of that paper.

Fraternally yours,

T. MCGRADY,          
St. Anthony’s Church, Bellevue, Ky.     

These two letters are collectively titled “Priest vs Archbishop: Father McGrady’s Challenge,” with a subhead reading “Does This Mean an Oncoming Kentucky Cardinal?”

From magazine cover:

Image courtesy of HathiTrust.


An Open Letter

     YOUR GRACE: While sincerely grieving over the murder of President McKinley with the great body of Socialists in America, I cannot, in justice to the truth, pass by the unfair inference of your letter of the 14th inst., which is, in a sense, a public document by reason of its wide diffusion in the daily papers. To the average reader of that letter you seem to implicate Socialism in the crime against the President when you request your clergy “to impress on the faithful the constant teachings of our holy father, Leo XIII., against the errors of Socialism.” I therefore respectfully challenge Your Grace to show wherein Socialism errs. The Catholic Church championed Socialism for four hundred years until capitalism succeeded in winning the high places and poured its corrupting gold into her coffers.
     The Pope’s encyclical has no dogmatic value in view of the fact that it is not the work of Leo XIII., proclaiming a doctrine of faith and morals, but merely the opinion of Joachim Pecci as a writer on social economics.
     My love for the Catholic Church is too profound to allow me to keep silent when such a distinguished representative of the lowly Nazarene condemns a righteous movement for the liberation of the toiling masses from the bondage of industrial serfdom.
     I will go to New York and pay the rent of the hall on any date it may suit Your Grace’s convenience to debate this vital question.
     Trusting that Your Grace will not shirk the issue, I am,

Respectfully yours,

T. MCGRADY,               
Pastor St. Anthony’s Church,          
Bellevue, Ky.     



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