Ryan, John A.
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Time Period
5/25/1869  - 9/16/1945
Description
John Augustine Ryan’s outspoken concern for social justice countered the stereotype of the disengaged conservative Catholic. He was inspired by the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum’s emphasis on human labor dignity. A Catholic priest and moral theologian, Ryan taught for several years at St. Paul Seminary before becoming a professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1915. Four years later, Ryan wrote the first draft of the "Bishops Program for Social Reconstruction," which detailed policies for a more just society and later influenced the programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He defended Roosevelt’s New Deal policies from the attacks of fellow priest Charles Coughlin. Ryan became so close to Roosevelt’s administration that some referred to him as the "Right Reverend New Dealer."

Although initially advocating world peace, the rise of Nazism made him support the Allies during World War II. He died on September 16, 1945, two weeks after the war officially ended.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Catholic Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Catholicism (Western Liturgical Family): Other ARDA Links

Events
Bishops' Program for Social Reconstruction
Photographs

John Ryan portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-hec-20251
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 1991. Religious Leaders of America. Detroit, MI: Gale.
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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