Saturday, December 5, 1959
December 5, 1959
JFK is the subject of press reports relating to his relationship and independence to the Catholic Church, an issue of some concern to many members of the public.
The background and summary of the report is as follows:
Dr. Daniel Poling, who was the father of the Reverend Clark Poling, one of the “immortal chaplains” who had voluntarily gone down with Dorchester after it was sunk by German torpedoes. He had invited JFK as a representative of the Catholic church to participate in a ceremony at the Chapel of the Four Chaplains in the Grace Baptist Church (where the elder Poling was Pastor) in the Temple University neighborhood.
JFK had accepted and was scheduled to speak, along with Senator Herbert H. Lehman as the Jewish representative and Mayor of Cincinnati Charles P. Taft, a Protestant.
As Dr. Poling recalled, two days before the event, JFK had telephoned the Reverend Poling to brief him that he would not be attending.
“His Eminence, Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia, had requested him not to speak. His speeech was prepared, he said, and he would gladly forward it to me, but, as a loyal son of the Church, he had no alternative but not to come…. Unquestionably he was profoundly embarrassed.