Margaret Sanger, "An Open Letter to Cardinal Patrick J. Hayes," 28 May 1928.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress.Library of Congress Microfilm 130:435."


Open Letter to Cardinal Hayes

by Margaret Sanger

My attention has just been called to your statement to the delegates at the 18th Annual Convention of the Catholic Press Association, reported in the New York Evening Sun of May 25th, 1928.

You are quoted as saying, in your welcome to the delegates on behalf of the Diocese of New York, that you are “in full agreement that the church should be kept out of politics-- And at the same time let us have the Catholic press keep out of politics.”

The American Birth Control League, Inc. is deeply interested in this statement. Every year the League sponsors a bill at Albany which, if passed, would permit physicians to give Birth Control advice to married persons. Every year the only opposition comes from the Roman Catholic Church, through the Dioceses of Albany and New York, and from the Associated Catholic Charities of the state of New York.

When our representatives were interviewing members of Congress at Washington two years ago, they found Catholics, directed by the National Catholic Welfare Council, lobbying against any change in the Federal law governing the distribution or importation of Birth Control information or materials.

Does your statement mean that in future the Catholic Church will keep out of politics where legislation on Birth Control is concerned, and will your Church cease its policy of intimidation of those members of Congress and of the New York Legislature who do not think as you do, but who have been threatened, in the past, with defeat if they voted for our bills?

We entirely agree with your reported statement that “the church should be kept out of politics.” Is the statement attributed to you correct, and what does it imply? Many thousands of married people in New York State are interested in your answer.


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