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June 5, 1890: Duluth Bishop makes “remarkable utterances”

On this day in Duluth in 1890, Duluth Bishop James McGolrick gave a sermon the Duluth News Tribune reported was full of “remarkable utterances.” The newspaper’s headline asked “Is This Prophetic?” In a sermon that lasted almost an hour, the Bishop attacked Protestant influence on American public schools. He said that because “common school system” didn’t allow Christian teachers to teach the divinity of Christ, “Families are divided against themselves” and “Atheism is rife in the land.” He went on to say that “The atheist, who believes it not, objects to having his children taught a lie. The Jew, who considers Christ a cheat, an impostor, cannot allow his children to be taught false doctrines, while he pays taxes to support the schools.” He blamed Protestants for preventing “Catholics from teaching their children the truth as they see it.” He added what could be seen as a warning: “Foolish men. God has measured them. I tell you, dear brethren, the time is coming when the Catholics will be the owners of this country. It is theirs by gift of God.” The News Tribune said the speech would make McGolrick “famous” and that the sermon “will long be remembered as the most remarkable of its kind ever preached in Duluth.” Read a biography of McGolrick here.

Reverend James McGolrick. (Image: Duluth Public Library)rick