No. 321 NAI DFA Secretary's Files S28A

Report from Charles Bewley to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Rome, 2 January 1930

The impression given you by my account of the conversation I had with Cardinal McRory was necessarily somewhat vague, as I was not myself altogether sure of his attitude beyond his general friendliness. Since the sending of my report, however, I have heard the following account (indirectly through his secretary) which may be of interest.

When the Cardinal arrived in Rome, he was asked by various Irish bodies, in particular the Collegio di San Clemente, if he would come to dinner: it was the intention of Fr. Browne1 also to invite the new Portuguese Cardinal, because they have two houses in his diocese. Cardinal McRory did not at once refuse, but said that he would try to fix a day. He then, if my information is correct, told Mgr. Hagan that he would like to give a dinner in the Irish College, as he could not accept hospitality without returning it. Mgr. Hagan refused absolutely to have an entertainment in the Irish College: it was suggested to me that my presence in Rome was the reason, as the Cardinal would, of course, have insisted on my being invited. As a result, the Cardinal refused all invitations, giving fatigue as his excuse. I am quite satisfied from his manner that he is entirely friendly both to the Government and to the interchange of relations between Saorstát Eireann and the Holy See, and the gaucherie (if I may take a charitable view) shown in the Irish College, at the arrival of the biglietto was in no way due to him.

As regards the failure to mention my name as being present at this ceremony, there is no question that the account in the 'Irish Daily Independent' emanated directly from Mgr. Hagan. In the first place, it contained particulars of Scott Pardi and others which obviously came from an authoritative source; in the second, Mgr. Curran, I am told, did not deny it when asked. The representation of the 'Independent', Mr. Beaumont, is only too anxious to mention my name: he is, however, quite incompetent, and would take any list handed to him to save himself trouble. He was formerly correspondent of the 'Daily Telegraph'. I do not know whether the 'Irish Times' depends on Reuter for its Rome news: I know Cortesi, the Reuter correspondent, well. My name was mentioned in the 'Universe' as being present.

No notification of the hour when the Cardinal would take possession of his church was sent me; and I thought it better not to attend (Fr. O'Gorman was strongly of opinion that I should not). As a matter of fact, I had to visit Mgr. Pizzardo on the same afternoon and then attend the reception to Cardinal Verdier2 at the French Embassy, so it would in any case have been difficult. However, I would, of course, have gone if the usual notification had been given me which was, I understand, given to Sir Thomas Esmonde.

The omission in the Cardinal's address of any reference to the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Saorstát Éireann struck me forcibly, as it did Mgr. Robinson. He explains it on the theory that the Cardinal felt the delicacy of his position in that his primatial seat is in Northern Ireland, and was possibly afraid of making a bad impression on Northern opinion. The fact that he was strongly opposed on similar grounds to the sending of an Apostolic Delegate to the north makes this possible. I may add that Mgr. Robinson did not attend at the Irish College because, as he said to me, he did not know whether he would be treated with courtesy or not.

The recrudescence of trouble in Malta has taken up a good deal of Mgr. Robinson's time, in the last week. Consequently, he asked me to write an address for him. At present, it is before Mgr. Pizzardo, but I hope to send you a copy as soon as it is released. I also hope that it embodies most of what you would desire a Nuncio to say.

The Minister in Paris3 has, I understand, sent you a copy of an article on the Nuncio from the 'Journal des Débats.' This, together with a number of similar references, had already been brought to my attention. I asked to have an official announcement put in the 'Osservatore Romano' dealing with the false rumours (which appear to have originated in the Irish College). Mgr. Pizzardo agreed, but Cardinal Gasparri suggested that it would be better to have an article written on the general subject of the Nuncio, in the course of which a more vigorous denial could be given than by an official démenti. Accordingly, I composed an article, which I am submitting to Mgr. Pizzardo. When it appears, you may think well of having it reprinted in the Dublin press.

The Secretary of State, Cardinal Gasparri, has definitely resigned, though I understand that publication may be deferred till the 15th. His successor is Cardinal Pacelli, as was universally anticipated. From the point of view of Saorstát Éireann, I consider the appointment satisfactory: Cardinal Cerretti, the only other possible candidate, is too definitely an admirer of the British realm to give us much assistance.

I think that my telegram No. 1 of 19304 makes every thing clear about the Nuncio. He is staying some days in Paris, I think with Mr. Thomas Hughes Kelly, and reaches London on January 12 or 13. He will probably stay at the Grosvenor Hotel, but will wire Col. O'Reilly5 care of the Commissioner, about his movements. He will be accompanied by Mgr. Borgia, who is one of the most distinguished members of the diplomatic corps at the Holy See and has been on a number of similar missions as temporary secretary pending the arrival of the permanent secretary and 'uditore'. He will require a bedroom at the Shelbourne Hotel, and will go to the Viceregal Lodge with the Nuncio.

The Nuncio agrees to the various other suggestions made by you with regard to his reception. He will accept the freedom of Kilkenny on the date suggested, but would be glad if you could find out informally whether the Bishop of Ossory6 desires to entertain him either during the day or for the night and if you would let him know on his arrival.

Cardinal Gasparri has suggested that it would be well that the Government should publish some statement making it plain that it is providing the Nuncio with the suite in the Shelbourne as a substitute for the Lodge which is not yet ready: he is afraid that, otherwise, it might be said that the Bishops were hostile to the Nuncio and, therefore, had not invited him to stay with them. It might be well to publish something of the sort.

The Nuncio is greatly pleased at the assurance that the Archbishop has been invited to take a full part in his welcome, and at the general preparations which have been made on his behalf.

Do you wish him to be met by the Minister in Paris? If so, I can, of course, notify him of the time of arrival. On the other hand, Mgr. Robinson lays some stress on the fact that his stay in Paris is purely private, and I think he would prefer to have no formalities till he arrives in London. I have, of course, got him a 'Laissez-Passer' from the French authorities.

[signed] Charles Bewley

1 Prior of San Clemente.

2 Jean Verdier PSS (1864-1940), created Cardinal Priest (1929), Vicar-General of Paris (1929), Superior General of Society of St. Sulpice (1929).

3 Count Gerald O'Kelly de Gallagh.

4 Not printed.

5 Colonel Joseph O'Reilly, Aide de Camp to President William T. Cosgrave.

6 Patrick Collier (1880-1964), Bishop of Ossory (1928-64).

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