Chapter 6: A ‘Catholic Red Cross’

Astonishingly, within only four months of Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s disheartened and discredited departure from New York, both of the goals he had confided to Bishop Calavassy were achieved. CNEWA had assets in excess of one million dollars, and a mailing list of nearly one million members. It was a spectacular achievement for which Father Edmund Walsh received the credit. The formula now seemed simple. On 23 January 1927, the third Sunday of the month, parish priests throughout the United States took a collection for CNEWA at Mass, and sent the names and addresses of the contributors to New York where they were enrolled in CNEWA membership. The names and addresses were important, more valuable probably than the actual money, for now CNEWA had a constituency of church-going Catholics who could be called upon to support the pope in his efforts for human needs overseas.

The purpose of the collection, it should be emphasized, was humanitarian, not church reunion, and its accomplishment said something about Father Walsh’s doggedness and political finesse. Three years to the month after he had proposed it on returning from the famine in Russia and post-war Germany, the Holy See now had, in CNEWA, a papal relief organization “of worldwide scope and similar to the Red Cross”[1] ready for any emergency anywhere.

It is said of Father Edmund Walsh that, had he not entered the Jesuits after graduation at age 16 from Boston College High School, he would likely have applied to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.[2] The fact is he did join a religious community structured on military lines, and twice in his life he dressed in military uniform — first, when as dean at Georgetown University he supervised the training of officers in 32 colleges in New England by appointment of the United States War Department; later, sometimes, as chief of the Papal Relief Mission to Russia, which was affiliated with the American Relief Administration.

In this and other respects he resembled Monsignor Barry-Doyle. Both were of Irish lineage, although Father Walsh, a native of South Boston, MasWhen he was a Jesuit scholastic at Georgetown, for instance, Father Walsh served as moderator of the drama society,[3] enthusiastically coaching his students as they declaimed the long passages he obliged them to memorize. And years later, after he had returned full-time to Georgetown from CNEWA and distinguished himself and the Jesuits in accomplishments few others could match, Father Walsh himself was “resented” by some of his associates for qualities of “life-style” he himself had deplored in Monsignor Barry-Doyle. Behind Father Walsh’s back these associates criticized him for “a kind of snobbery or even social climbing,” for the pleasure he took in “brilliant social affairs,”[4] and for cultivating a “personal friendship with some of the richest and most influential persons in this country” (without which, in all truth, his accomplishments for the benefit of his detractors, as well as for the benefit of others, would probably not have been realized).

His personal friendship with Colonel William N. Haskell,[5] who in all likelihood was the American responsible for Father Walsh’s selection in April 1922 to head the Papal Relief Mission to Russia, was a case in point. Born 10 October, 1885, Father Walsh was only 37 years of age and six years a priest when, in February 1922, he was summoned to Rome from tertianship in Paray-le-Monial in France, and sent into Russia to make a survey of famine conditions.[6] An American was needed, since some candidates were disqualified because of nationality, and it was hoped that a Vatican mission might be affiliated to the para-governmental American Relief Administration, already active in Russia with Colonel Haskell in charge. Besides, for an American priest especially, Father Walsh was unusually well-qualified. In Paray-le-Monial, where Jesuits from various countries were in tertianship, he had had the advantage of daily conversations in Italian, French and German, languages he had used before the war while studying in Dublin, London, and Innsbruck. Even more important, he was known by the Holy See and by the Jesuit father general, Father Vladimir Ledochowski, as an organizer, administrator and specialist in international affairs. In Washington three years before, Father Walsh had helped to found the innovative School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.[7]

Pius XI had been elected Pope on 6 February 1922, scarcely a month before Father Walsh was called to Rome from Paray-le-Monial, but the evidence seems to indicate that the two men met for the first time only after Father Walsh had already been in Russia briefly. It was the first of many meetings, and the instrument which brought them together, it is said, was a letter Father Walsh had addressed to a French Jesuit in Rome, the enigmatic and “clandestine” Father Michel d’Herbigny,[8] which somehow reached the hands of the pope. The Holy Father asked to see Father Walsh “urgently,” according to Father d’Herbigny, and when he was presented by Father d’Herbigny, Father Walsh told the Holy Father, again according to Father d’Herbigny’s account, “that the American commission [the American Relief Commission, headed by Colonel Haskell] disposed of a number of American passports which he [Father Walsh] could distribute to any American he wished.”[9] The account of Father d’Herbigny stated:

“When did you arrive in Rome?”, asked Pius XI. “This morning, Most Holy Father.” “When can you leave?” “Today, Most Holy Father, as soon as I have received the powers that Your Holiness has the intention of according me. ”

Pope Pius XI telephoned to the floor below, to Pietro Cardinal Gasparri, his Secretary of State, to say that he was sending him Fathers Walsh and d’Herbigny. While they made their way down, Pope Pius XI continued to speak with Cardinal Gasparri. When they were introduced to the Cardinal, they found him in the process of drawing up the note of instructions for Father Walsh’s mission. “We put the finishing touches,” writes the Jesuit, “to the explanations given by the Holy Father.” A secretary certified a copy that the cardinal checked. Then, placing one knee on the ground in order to gain time, Cardinal Gasparri signed the document and handed it to Father Walsh after having read the text by telephone to the pope. The two Jesuits left the Vatican after having received the blessing of the Pope and the Cardinal.

Father d’Herbigny’s biographer then added the following, from notes supplied by the French Jesuit:

The Reverend Father Walsh left for Moscow and the Reverend Father d’Herbigny had conquered Pius XI, who quickly realized how much this French Jesuit could be of service to himself. He had thought of sending him to Russia to attend the Pontifical Commission for the victims of famine in Russia; but the Soviets wanted no Frenchman as long as France had not recognized their regime. So Father d’Herbigny remained in Rome but, continuing to collect documentary material on Russia, he became one of the advisors and close collaborators of Pius XI.

With Father d’Herbigny’s help, word of Father Walsh quickly spread to the Vatican authorities, and he remained as an influence behind the scenes long after the Papal Mission had accomplished its work and closed.

Whose brain child a papal food mission was is not known, but in January 1922, before Achille Cardinal Ratti became Pope Pius XI on 6 February 1922, the Holy See’s secretary of state, Cardinal Gasparri, with the assistance of Monsignor Joseph Pizzardo, was already negotiating with the Bolshevik authorities in Rome to send a food mission under papal auspices[10] to the famine victims, who eventually numbered in the tens of millions. Food was available for purchase from the American Relief Administration (ARA),[11] the overall chief of which, under President Harding, was his secretary of commerce, Herbert Hoover. With ARA’s cooperation the food could be stored and distributed under Catholic auspices, as some American Protestants were doing under Protestant auspices. To distribute the food under the papal, rather than the American Catholic banner, was a different matter, however, and a subject of some delicacy, for American Protestants at the time were ever watchful that “popery” not be allowed to gain an advantage. Until negotiations with the ARA on this point were completed, therefore, secrecy was paramount, which helps to explain the tone of Father Walsh’s communications to Father John J. Burke, C.S.P., general secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Council. Father Burke’s biographer, Father John B. Sheerin, C.S.P., stated:

The colorful Father Walsh injected a somewhat theatrical note into his frequent, cryptic, secret-agent communications to Burke. Writing from Rome before entering Russia, he said, “I have now seen Cardinal Gasparri and yesterday Pope Pius XI but I would wish that you say nothing of these matters only that I have been nominated by you as ’representative of NCWC for Russian Relief’.” The message was in Latin, the date March 10, 1922. On March 27th he wrote Burke from Moscow claiming all other relief organizations were on the scene except the Roman Catholics. “Please mention to no one my being authorized to act for Holy Father. We are not ready for that yet. I am here now solely on the American Committee representing the National Catholic Welfare Council.” (He underlined the first sentence.) On April 12th Burke wrote Walsh that he had just received word that the NCWC must go out of existence. If it should go out of existence, said Burke, the Hoover Relief Administration would have to recall Father Walsh at once and terminate his official status as NCWC representative on the American Committee.[12]

To save the mission in Russia, in other words, the N.C.W.C. had first to be saved, and Father Walsh, whose political instincts were distinctively Boston Irish, was doggedly at work. On 22 June, for the reason, among others, that the American bishops had “commitments to the US government for … Russian relief work,”[13] the 25 February decision to abolish the N.C.W.C. was reversed; and a few weeks later, on 12 July 1922, the pope issued an apostolic letter to the leaders of the Catholic world ordaining a general subscription in “Favour of the Population of Russia,”[14] in which one sees someone’s, probably Father Walsh’s, fine American hand. In a paragraph that was perhaps inserted after the letter was originally composed, the Holy Father singled out “our dear sons from thriving America,” and saluted the United States Senate:

Our dear Sons from thriving America — it pleases us to declare it here — have taken the first place through the scope of their munificence, the unanimity of their assistance, and their talent for organization. Moreover, it is not only distressed Russia but the whole of mankind that shares the debt of gratitude to them. We should not pass over in silence the important credits voted for the same purpose by the Senate of the United States.[15]

Americans would also be encouraged to know that the funds collected would reach the hungry, regardless of race or creed, directly and economically:

It will not escape you that the charity, to be effectual and fruitful, calls for a wise method in the organization of collections as much as in the distribution of the offerings. It will be the concern of your solicitude, Venerable Brothers, to put into operation the best means of raising alms. The delegates chosen by Us will carry the sums thus collected to the places where the need will require them; they themselves will distribute them to the most destitute, without distinction as to religion or nationality.[16]

The following March, 1923, the American Relief Administration and the relief organizations affiliated with it, announced what they had spent to fight the famine thus far. The Catholic contribution, identified as “Catholic Apostolic Delegation, directed by Father Edmund Walsh,” amounted to $750,000, and it was noted in the report that the money was “collected mostly in American churches.”[17] At the height of the famine the papal pelief team (three Italians, two Czechoslovaks, three Germans, two Spaniards, and one Greek, plus Father Walsh at its head), in addition to the medicine and clothing they provided, supervised the feeding of 160,000 people a day.[18]

Having arrived in Russia on 23 March 1922, where he certainly got Haskell’s advice, Father Walsh was back in Rome by 3 May. Following this, he traveled to Washington, D.C., where, on 31 May, he presented to President Harding a letter from the pontiff, and breakfasted the next morning with Mr. Hoover. On 26 June he was back in Rome, with the affiliation of papal relief to the ARA properly signed, sealed, and delivered, procuring final instructions for his return to Russia.[19]

The Vatican authorities were obviously impressed with Father Walsh’s success, for his responsibilities were significantly enlarged. On returning to Russia, he was instructed to look to the safety of Archbishop John Cieplak and his clergy and to the protection of Catholic Church property, in addition to his work as director general of papal relief.[20]

Father Walsh was not naïve. By 23 April he had already written from Moscow to Father Burke at N.C.W.C. that the purpose of the whole Communist movement was the general extinction of religion.[21] By the time he returned to Georgetown, in November 1923, his work in Russia finished, Father Walsh had pledged himself, body and soul, to a one-man war on Communism. He taught at Georgetown, lectured widely, and wrote prodigiously. His theme, “Never trust a Bolshevik,” people easily remembered because it was dramatic and concise.

He used this theme on 23 April 1924 in his first lecture in New York after returning from Russia, which took place, thanks to the sponsorship of the Converts League, in the ballroom of the Plaza Hotel.[22] The previous February, Father Walsh had proposed, with much fanfare, a permanent, worldwide papal relief. Monsignor Barry-Doyle was in trouble for his mannerisms and “life-style,” and Father Walsh, single-minded and artful, even then may have sensed an opportunity to use CNEWA for his purposes. Simply put, his purposes were to help Russia by fighting Communism and to enhance the prestige of the Holy See by doing all over the world, under the Vatican flag, what papal relief had managed to do in Russia.

What Father Walsh was saying and what he hoped to do pleased the Vatican, of course, and his name was kept alive in Rome by his fellow Jesuit, Michel d’Herbigny, now the pope’s “relator perpetuus” on Russia, who had access to Pope Pius XI whenever he felt the need.

Ten years later Father d’Herbigny’s career would end in disgrace, but in 1924 the “clandestine” Jesuit was a man to be feared because of his power, as his dealings with Benedictine Dom Lambert Beauduin demonstrated.[23] The year before, while Father Walsh was still in Russia, Father d’Herbigny had become a “special” consultor to the Oriental Congregation and president of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the house of studies in Rome that, ironically, the Benedictines had handed over to the Jesuits in 1922 because they felt Jesuits were better qualified to train priests for work in the East. Father d’Herbigny then founded Orientalia Christiana, the scholarly and prestigious journal of Eastern theology. Unsurprisingly, in the spring of 1925 this journal devoted an entire issue to the lecture about the papal relief mission to Russia that Father d’Herbigny had given on 14 December 1924, and which he repeated afterwards to members of the Curia and other distinguished auditors. In all of this, Father d’Herbigny gave full credit to Father Edmund Walsh.

Except that it may have had a remote bearing on his relationship with Father von Galen, there is no reason to suspect that Father Walsh was at all involved in Father d’Herbigny’s brutal treatment of Dom Beauduin. The issue was simple: how best to restore to the Catholic Church the schismatics in Russia and the East. To Father d’Herbigny, Jesuit and militant, they must be brought back as individuals, in the classic manner, one by one. Dom Beauduin, to whom years later Pope John XXIII said he owed his “ecumenical vocation,”[24] favored reunion as Church with Church, thus heralding the spirit of Vatican Council II. Despite their zeal and sterling motives, an uncommon fate awaited both Benedictine and Jesuit for, curiously, both Dom Beauduin and Father d’Herbigny spent years in penitential exile before going to their graves. Their disagreements in Rome were echoed to some extent in CNEWA, in the unfortunate differences of Fathers von Galen and Walsh.

The name “Walsh” meant Russia, and Father Walsh’s interest was more geopolitical than transcendental. He was very busy at Georgetown, invigorating his School of Foreign Service and lecturing and writing on Communism. An organization like CNEWA was of interest to him only to the extent that it could help Russia and fight Communism in the name of the Holy See. In Rome, Pope Pius XI was in the process of creating the Pontifical Commission for Russia, of which Michel d’Herbigny — ordained Bishop in March 1926 — would be a member and later its president. The money to finance it (and other things as well) could come from “thriving America” if Father Walsh would consent to take over CNEWA. The takeover was arranged in Rome and it was blessed by the American bishops, if only reluctantly by some.

On 16 September 1926, following the first meeting of the new CNEWA Board of Directors, Father Walsh cabled Cardinal Gasparri that the hierarchy had endorsed Rome’s plan for Russia and the Near East and had resolved that the American bishops set up local CNEWA offices in dioceses throughout the country. He recommended that a telegram of thanks be sent to William Cardinal O’Connell in Washington for him to present to the American bishops while they were still in session.[25] Cardinal Gasparri cabled Cardinal O’Connell that same day. His Holiness was pleased to learn of the bishops’ approval, the cable said, and particularly of their readiness to set up offices in all American dioceses.[26]

Father Walsh took full advantage of the moment. He asked Cardinal O’Connell to be chairman of the nationwide drive, and then he met with Dennis CarCardinal Dougherty informed him, were under the impression that the proposed CNEWA collection would be an annual affair, but Father Walsh assured him that a “once-only” collection was intended. Cardinal Dougherty was relieved. He pledged Father Walsh his full cooperation and urged that the other members of the hierarchy be consulted.[27] The next day, 18 September 1926, Father Walsh informed Cardinal Hayes that Cardinal O’Connell would be chairman of the drive and that Cardinal Dougherty had recommended informing the bishops that the drive would not be an annual affair. The stationery invoked officialdom:

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association – Established by the Holy See March 11, 1926 – Ratified by the Bishops Conference September 15, 1926 – A Society In Aid of Catholic Interests in Russia and The Near East.

In that same letter, using the word “budget,” Father Walsh outlined the manner in which money would be borrowed from the bishops to finance the drive. Each cardinal would be asked to lend $10,000 from his archdiocese, each archbishop $5,000, and each bishop $2,500, the loans repayable after the January collection. The other cardinals would be no difficulty, Father Walsh reminded Cardinal Hayes diplomatically, “if I have your permission to inform the other two Cardinals that Your Eminence has contributed the portion here indicated.”[28]

That same day, Father Walsh forwarded to Cardinal Hayes’ secretary, Father Stephen Donahue, the draft of a letter he asked Cardinal Hayes to send to all the bishops. The first item of business of the CNEWA executive committee, Father Walsh said, was to select a specific Sunday on which the appeal for funds would be made in all the churches in every diocese. With Cardinal Dougherty’s suggestion in mind, he continued:

I deem it opportune at this time to assure the members of the Hierarchy that the new association does not propose that an annual collection be taken upon on a given Sunday every year. No annual collection of that description is contemplated, as such fixed collections are already regulated and limited by previous decisions of the Hierarchy, as in the case of the Home and Foreign Missions.[29]

Furthermore, the purpose of the collection was primarily relief — the “Catholic Red Cross” idea Father Walsh had floated on returning from Russia two years earlier. He declared:

The wish of the Holy Father is rather to form a permanent society somewhat like the International Red Cross or the American Near East Relief. It will be a centralized Catholic distributing agency which can materially assist the Holy See to meet the daily increasing demands made on the Holy Father for assistance in humanitarian works, in the field of education, and in social welfare work all over the world, as well as in distinctly religious and missionary activities…[30]

The priority of relief over reunion occasioned criticism from Father von Galen and his friends for whom the missionary apostolate came first.[31]

On 30 September 1926 with but minor changes, the letter went to all the bishops over the signature of Cardinal Hayes.[32] The same day, the executive committee met in the CNEWA office at 480 Lexington Avenue, in New York City. Father Walsh submitted a contract he made with Joseph Moore, and it was resolved “that a drive for membership and funds be made on the third Sunday of January, 1927, in every diocese of the United States, and that Joseph F. Moore be authorized to handle the same on the terms set forth in the contract just approved.” A motion was also passed to authorize the president and secretary to open bank accounts with the Central Union Trust Company of New York and the Federal Trust Company of Newark, New Jersey, and to sign checks jointly on the same.[33]

On 8 October Father Walsh sent Cardinal Sincero a “progress report.” The letter, handwritten and in Latin, mentioned the psychological effect the nationwide appeal should have in promoting the association’s work, and it predicted that a million or more Catholics would be enrolled as CNEWA members. Monsignor Barry-Doyle, reported Father Walsh, had left for Athens and “would not be returning to America!” Father von Galen, on the other hand, was still in the country, though more than likely he too would be sailing for Europe in about three weeks.[34]

By 22 October 1926 Father Walsh could report to Cardinal Hayes that His Eminence’s 30 September letter had met “with an unprecedented success.” Already 51 dioceses had agreed to the January 23rd appeal and $35,000 in loans had been received. The CNEWA president then warned the cardinal archbishop of New York against endorsing the December appeal of the Near East Relief, explaining, “Obviously, this is not practical and I am working out today a carefully worded letter in which we shall be obliged to decline on our part.” Meanwhile Father Walsh said he intended to contact the membership of the “old organization” in order to enlist its cooperation, and in this connection he commented:

The withdrawal of Monsignor Barry-Doyle made it much easier for me to suggest to Father Galen that the unfortunate happenings of the summer were such as to cause us to form all our plans for the future independently of The Catholic Union. He has been to see me once and it was the opinion of both his good friend and advisor, Prior Bernard, and myself, that he would probably be happier and do better work in other surroundings. Later information and developments that came to my attention convinced me that he should not have anything to do with financial affairs or administrative work of any kind. I believe he is still in New York.[35]

In other words, the monk belonged to a monastery, not in an office in Manhattan, and, in retrospect, Father von Galen’s own account[36] of the “unfortunate happenings of this summer” seemed to justify the Jesuit’s opinion.

In mid-March that year Father von Galen had engaged a Father Toomey, whom he did not know, to be on hand in the New York office while he would be in California promoting the Catholic Union. The fact that Father Toomey came recommended by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith’s Monsignor William Quinn, as a priest from his “home” diocese in Nebraska recently returned from studies in Rome, was very reassuring. In any case, as Father von Galen explained to the chancellor of Cardinal Hayes, Father Toomey’s duties were limited and strictly routine – acknowledging mail in the president’s name, making the bank deposits, etc.

Father Toomey, however, proved to be exceptional. Within days of Father von Galen’s departure, he was conspiring with the office manager, Floyd Keeler – to whom, it was said, he promised a better position – to have Father von Galen replaced, most likely by Father Toomey himself. According to Father von Galen’s accounts, remarks like the following were overheard coming from the Catholic Union’s office:

Mr. Keeler: “I made Father von Galen, I can unmake him.” Father Toomey: “We must turn those Germans out of the work. I’ll break them.”

Even more damaging to Father von Galen were the rumors Father Toomey spread. He demanded the Catholic Union’s financial books, in violation of Cardinal Hayes’ instructions, compiled from them a set of false figures, and gossiped from rectory to rectory about what he alleged as discrepancies. A public accountant retained by the board of directors certified that there were no discrepancies as soon as Father von Galen returned from California. Yet Father Toomey continued to make the charges, threatening to air them in Rome even after he was dismissed from the Catholic Union. Meanwhile, the work was neglected; Father von Galen found 70 unanswered letters in the desk of Miss Ryan, a secretary whose loyalty Father Toomey had gained.

Before leaving for California, Father von Galen had entrusted to Father Toomey for mailing a letter he had written to Bishop James Duffy of Grand Island, Nebraska, informing him pro forma that Father Toomey, a priest his diocese, would be working temporarily in the Catholic Union office. Six weeks later no reply had been received, hence Father von Galen wrote again. This time, however, the letter was typed on a machine in Miss Ryan’s office, by a Father Brady, who preached occasionally for the Catholic Union and who lived with Father Toomey. That evening, when Father Brady arrived home, he met at the door Father Toomey, who reproached him and said that Miss Ryan had read the letter to him by telephone from the carbon paper she had reclaimed from the wastebasket. The following morning Miss Ryan did not appear at the Catholic Union office, and a few days later she resigned by mail.

Bishop Duffy’s reply to the letter typed by Brady carried a lesson Father von Galen would never forget. Father Toomey had left the diocese, Duffy said, the day he was ordained, claiming illness, and for a long time nothing had been heard of him except that he had gone to Rome, reportedly to study canon law. Now Bishop Duffy would recall Father Toomey to Grand Island, unless, of course, Father von Galen needed his services. The latter’s reply was predictable and loud. In unrestrained language he denounced Father Toomey, and stated that the Nebraska priest was no longer with the Catholic Union.

By then, however, both Father Toomey and Mr. Keeler were employees of CNEWA, having been hired by none other than Father Edmund Walsh. In fairness to Father Walsh, who was busily commuting to CNEWA from Georgetown, where he was SNU vice president and in charge of the School of Foreign Service, Father von Galen’s stubbornness must have seemed incomprehensible. The Benedictine knew as well as Father Walsh that in the United States the Catholic Union could hope to be, at best, a “department” of CNEWA, and that CNEWA itself would have to struggle to survive. Despite this, Father von Galen’s New York office continued to solicit funds and to enroll new members, competing with CNEWA and creating confusion in Catholic minds, while Father von Galen himself was preaching wherever he could for the Catholic Union.

What had to be done was drastic. It was by no means certain that Father Walsh had the authority to do it and for better or for worse he would forever bear the blame. In August, without consulting Cardinal Hayes or Father von Galen, who was again in California, Father Walsh simply discharged Father von Galen’s employees, one secretary excepted, and closed the Catholic Union office.[37] Monsignor Joseph Rummel, a New York pastor and a friend of Father von Galen’s, cabled the news on 28 August, asking Father von Galen for instructions. Consult Cardinal Hayes, Father von Galen replied, and do whatever he decides. Monsignor Rummel, instead, said nothing to His Eminence, since Father von Galen himself would be returning to New York within the next two weeks.

When the Benedictine finally saw Cardinal Hayes, Father Walsh had a fait accompli. Within days the bishops in Washington would recognize CNEWA as their “sole instrumentality” for assistance to the East, but the gentleman Cardinal Hayes would not soon forget what Father Walsh had done. In not informing Cardinal Hayes, Monsignor Rummel had acted unwisely, the cardinal told Father von Galen afterward, and he quietly reminded the German Austrian monk that he, the cardinal, was the chairman of the CNEWA executive committee whereas Father Walsh was only the secretary. Yes, Father von Galen was to keep the preaching assignments he had already made, he was to do all he could to raise money for the missions and he was not to think that Father Walsh had the right to discharge him.

On 7 October 1926, three weeks after the bishops met in Washington, Father Walsh told Father von Galen bluntly that he would not be the director of CNEWA’s Religious Welfare Department and that, in fact, there would be no further need for him to come to the CNEWA office. Father von Galen, still persisting, said Cardinal Hayes had authorized him to keep his preaching commitments. “But I, on my part, tell you that you must not do all this,” Father Walsh replied. Said Father von Galen, “The Cardinal told me that you were only Executive Secretary.” Father Walsh, very angrily: “Indeed, I am not!” “Why do you allow yourself to be treated in this way by Father Walsh?” Father von Galen was later asked by Bishop Dunn, the cardinal’s vicar general. “Did he give you proof of his authorization to act in this way against the directions of the Cardinal?”[38] Once again the cardinal encouraged Father von Galen to continue with his work. If the priests who were being notified by Father Walsh to cancel the collections promised to Father von Galen had any doubts, the Benedictine was authorized by Cardinal Hayes to suggest that they telephone His Eminence directly.

Then came Father Walsh’s complaint to Cardinal Hayes on 5 November 1926 that Father von Galen’s collections, which would take him nearly into the middle of January, would be worthless to CNEWA, and, even worse, interfere with CNEWA’s national collection on the third Sunday of January. “I firmly believe,” the Jesuit informed His Eminence, “that not one penny of these funds [collected by Father von Galen] will ever reach this organization.”[39]

Reluctantly, Cardinal Hayes capitulated. He told Father von Galen that CNEWA would have no specialized departments, and that there would be no Religious Welfare Department for the Benedictine to direct. Therefore, said the cardinal, Father von Galen should finish his work in the United States by Christmas.[40]

Joseph Moore, meanwhile, under Father Walsh’s direction, was making every effort to guarantee the success of the 23 January 1927 collection. Articles were sent to diocesan newspapers explaining the goals of the new association, and every bishop was asked to authorize one of his chancery officials to receive communications from CNEWA and to act in the bishop’s name. The campaign was then scheduled week-by-week. Four weeks prior to 23 January the bishop’s representative would receive large posters for distribution throughout his diocese as well as explanatory leaflets for schools, academies and colleges. One week later the bishop would be requested to issue a letter to pastors and the faithful with the official pronouncement of the Holy See regarding Russia and the Near East. Two weeks before the collection every priest would receive a message from the Holy Father and the outline of a sermon explaining the scope and meaning of CNEWA. On 23 January the sermon would be preached at every Mass in every church and the people would be urged to join this new pontifical society at a membership offering of one dollar per year.[41] By the second week of November Father Walsh could inform Cardinal Sincero and the bishops that 71 dioceses had endorsed the appeal and others were expected to do so.[42]

The important archdiocese of Chicago, over which George Cardinal Mundelein presided, was, however, reason for concern. On 11 November 1926, updating the list of dioceses which had agreed to the collection, Father Walsh informed Cardinal Hayes, “Naturally I am not including in this the Archdiocese of Chicago, as Your Eminence may wish to take any other personal action which you deem advisable. We have heard nothing from Chicago.” In this same letter Father Walsh reminded Cardinal Hayes that he would soon be embarking on a promotion tour throughout the United States.[43]

Before leaving New York, Father Walsh requested Cardinal Sincero by cable that an effort be made to secure a special blessing from the Holy Father for all who would contribute to the CNEWA collection. Moreover, in a letter to Cardinal Sincero three days later he reported that everyone was cooperating splendidly to assure the success of the appeal. One thing alone was lacking, the Holy Father’s blessing, which, said Father Walsh, he hoped to include in a letter he would mail to some 20,000 priests with an outline for their sermon on 23 January.[44] The Holy Father’s blessing was received just in time for the official opening of the CNEWA campaign by Cardinal Hayes in the New York office of Catholic Charities 15 December.[45]

Meanwhile, Father von Galen, still in the United States, seemed more than ever determined to remain.[46] In September he had written Cardinal Hayes to complain of Father Walsh’s roughshod methods and at that time he enclosed a letter he had sent his abbot in Vienna.[47] Now, in December, he informed Cardinal Hayes of a letter he had received on 25 November from Cardinal Fruhwirth as a member of the Oriental Congregation. It read in part:

It seems best to me that you should remain placidly at the place to which the confidence of your Abbot, of Cardinal Piffl and, last but not least, that of the Holy Father Himself has directed you.[48]

On 17 December 1926, enclosing a check for $2,552.09, the result of three church collections taken up for the monastery in Amay, Belgium, which had been founded by Dom Beauduin, the Benedictine complained to Cardinal Hayes, “The burning wish of Fr. Walsh, after turning me out of the new association, to have me leave the country, is but a new sign of his feelings against me.”[49] Even more alarming, Father von Galen was attracting new support from influential Catholics who were upset over Father Walsh’s priorities. Among other complaints, the CNEWA president received the following from a Mr. W. L. Scott, law partner in the New York firm of Ewart, Scott, Kelley & Kelley:

You do, incidentally, say something of a project for the education of a group of Russian boys in American Catholic Colleges, but apart from that your sole plea is in aid of material relief. … I regret that your chief work is and will be the affording of material relief. In an organization seeking to promote the reunion of the East I should have thought that work of this nature would have been relegated to a very secondary place. …

It seems to me that the first and most important means should be the education of priests, as to which I have seen nothing in your published appeals. …

The great danger, as I see it, of giving too much prominence to the affording of material relief lies in the probability that, far from removing prejudice, you may thereby increase it. … This, as I mentioned to you, is what appears to have happened in Paris where the feeling became so strong that Mgr. Chaptal was forced to discontinue his relief work altogether. The response to relief work may well be the cry: “You are trying to buy our souls. …”

At present it seems to me that you have abolished the Catholic Union, which was working for reunion along lines that appeared to me to be correct, and have substituted nothing adequate in its stead.[50]

Father Walsh’s reaction was characteristic. On 21 December he informed Cardinal Sincero that all was going well, “save for Father von Galen who has become impossible.”[51]

Father von Galen, however, was not the only problem. Several dioceses, notably Chicago, still had not replied to Cardinal Hayes’ letter requesting the collection. During his cross country tour, Father Walsh had been refused an appointment with Cardinal Mundelein,[52] which should have caused him no surprise; at the seventh annual meeting of the bishops the year previous, encouraged certainly by his friend Bishop Kelley of Extension, Cardinal Mundelein had urged that the American Board of Catholic Missions be designated the recipient and distributor of home mission funds and that the national office of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in New York perform the same role for the foreign missions.[53] Nevertheless, the momentum was with Father Walsh. Before the end of December he mailed to the priests in the dioceses (now 81) where the 23 January collection had been authorized, a booklet entitled “The Truce of God,” a sermon outline and the apostolic benediction, “which has been cabled direct from the Holy Father.”[54]

The Bishop of Albany, Edmund F. Gibbons, was, however, not impressed. In early January he informed Cardinal Hayes he had heard from his Propagation of the Faith director that there was widespread discontentment over the new CNEWA due, he said, to the “very active propaganda of the office in New York.” He suggested that a CNEWA office in every diocese, as now proposed, would vitiate what the bishops had hoped to achieve when they agreed to establish diocesan offices of the Propagation of the Faith. Bishop Gibbons asked pointedly:

What I should like Your Eminence to let me know is this: Did the action of the Bishops in September in Washington commit us to the adoption of such an elaborate plan as had been proposed by the New York office … and, instead of attempting to establish an organization for the Near East alongside of one already established for the Propagation of the Faith, are we free to act according to our best judgment to order a collection on Sunday, January 23rd?[55]

In reply, Cardinal Hayes expressed his own misgivings:

I wish to say that I am as equally embarrassed as yourself with regard to the new Association. My suggestion is to follow your own plan and choose your own date for your appeal to the people. The Resolution of the Bishops at Washington was an expression of approval and of good-will towards the object of the Association, not a commitment of any definite form of organization.[56]

Father Walsh did what he had to do. In a letter to all pastors who would promote the 23 January collection, he once again identified CNEWA as “humanitarian,” and the S.P.F. as “mission-aid” when he stated:

The Society for the Propagation of the Faith labors to support our heroic missionaries in their efforts to spread the saving gospel of Christ. This new association (CNEWA) created to meet new needs of the hour will endeavor to bind up the bitter wounds inflicted on the body of humanity by war, famine, revolution, social upheavals and religious persecutions. It will in a word enable the Supreme Pontiff to exemplify in a concrete, practical way the lofty ideals proclaimed in the recent Encyclical Letter instituting the new feast of the Kingdom of Christ.[57]

Then came 23 January. When all the money was counted, the CNEWA collection for Russia and the Near East had netted $1,047,066.26.[58] Father Walsh immediately cabled Cardinal Sincero that good news was on its way for the Vatican secretary of state.[59] A few weeks later, on the fifth anniversary of his coronation, Pope Pius XI learned by cable that the Catholics of the United States had contributed one million dollars towards his fund for Russia and the Near East.[60] Pope Pius’ reply was shared with the bishops and all the diocesan newspapers.[61] To Bishop Gibbons in Albany, Cardinal Hayes confided gently, “I had no idea myself that we could get such a response,” and he advised his suffragan that Albany should not be omitted from the list, “which will be presented to the Holy Father himself, who has taken more than official interest in this work.”[62]

Father Walsh was vindicated, and on 2 March 1927 he repaid to the cardinals, archbishops and bishops the money he had borrowed four months earlier to launch his drive.[63] It was also his duty, and a pleasant one, to distribute one million dollars. However, what would become of CNEWA once the money was gone? The collection had proved that a “Catholic Red Cross” was possible, but, because of Bishop Gibbons and others like him, the collection would not be repeated and CNEWA would not have a representative in every diocese. There was only one hope for CNEWA’s one million members. If these good people could be energized by mail, to implement the “lofty ideals” proclaimed in Pope Pius XI’s encyclical, CNEWA might possibly continue to exist. At this point Father Walsh conceived another brain child, and he would name it “The Papal Annual.”

Under date of 26 February 1927, only weeks after the announcement of the appeal’s success, Cardinal Hayes received a confidential letter from Father Bernard, O.S.B., of St. Anselm’s Priory, New York, Father von Galen’s “good friend and advisor,” requesting an interview for his visiting abbot primate from Rome, Fidelis von Stotzingen. The abbot primate, it seemed, had received word that Father von Galen had been instructed by the Holy See to unite his efforts with those of the Propagation of the Faith, an arrangement agreeable to the national director, Monsignor Quinn. The Abbot Primate wished to discuss the matter with Cardinal Hayes and said he was disposed to recall Father von Galen if the appointment did not meet with the cardinal’s positive approval.[64]

Cardinal Hayes’ response, if any, is not known. Meanwhile, Father Walsh was consolidating his gains and planning for the future. In March he flooded Catholic schools and colleges with literature in support of his student exchange program, which now boasted 83 scholarships.[65] In May he went to Rome, where, after three private audiences with Pope Pius XI, the following disbursements were made:

The Oriental Congregation$25,000
Bishop Calavassy in Athens50,000
Bishop d’Herbigny’s Pontifical Commission for Russia25,000
Palestine’s schools and orphanages12,000
Syria’s refugees, schools & hospitals10,000
Danzig’s Russian refugee orphanage6,000
School for Russian refugees in Namur, Belgium5,000
Works of the Holy See in Bulgaria, Rumania, Poland, Berlin and Paris77,000
The Oriental Institute in Rome20,000
The Russian Seminary in Rome20,000

The remaining $750,000 would remain in the United States at the disposition of His Holiness; meanwhile, the money could be invested in safe securities “of a character to be easily liquidated as His Holiness calls for funds.”[66]

In the third audience Pope Pius had instructed the CNEWA president to propose to the board of directors that they retain the same executive committee for the coming year. He further instructed that they publish a “Papal Annual,” or “Pontifical Year Book,” to publicize “the achievements of the Church in international affairs not covered by the Propagation of the Faith.”[67] The “Annual,” copiously illustrated, would review the best Catholic books published that year and present articles by noted foreign writers – for instance, G. K. Chesterton, “whom the President of the Association visited in England to secure his services for the Annual.” It would be mailed to the nearly one million people who contributed to the 23 January collection and whose names “have already been carded alphabetically by diocese.” In keeping with the promise that the 23 January collection would not become an annual affair, it would be CNEWA’s means of soliciting funds and membership renewals. People who renewed their membership would receive, in return, an attractive certificate and special indulgences granted by the Pope. Yet, the cooperation of the bishops was necessary. Father Walsh then asked:

Will the Bishops, therefore, consent to allow a certain amount of the Association’s prepared literature be distributed throughout the churches on one day for the purpose of announcing and explaining the new Papal Annual? This will help the Association enormously in reminding the members of their membership in the Association and at the same time give those who are not members an opportunity of getting the Pontifical Annual and becoming members.[68]

Then Father Walsh announced that the Holy Father had authorized him to decide upon practical means of distributing papal relief and for this purpose, he added, the Pope “has put the princely sum of $100,000 at the disposal of the President of this Association.” Diplomatically, he placed himself at the service of the bishops when he said:

This delicate attention of His Holiness suggests the thought that the machinery, the publicity apparatus and the personnel of this organization may be of assistance now in coordinating any movement which the Bishops have in mind with regard to the Catholic sufferers in the flood area. In any such movement His Holiness will head the list with the aforesaid contribution of $100,000.[69]

One million copies of the above proposals were printed, a copy was mailed to each subscriber who had contributed one dollar or more to the January collection and, on 7 July 1927, the Oriental Congregation authorized Father Walsh to publish The Papal Annual.[70]

The day he returned from Europe, 26 July 1927, Father Walsh made a full report to his executive committee[71] and, on Joseph Moore’s motion, the report was accepted, the disbursements Father Walsh recommended were approved and official thanks was accorded the president for his splendid work. The rest of the meeting was devoted to capital investments.

At that same meeting Father Walsh produced a letter addressed to him by the pope[72] and postdated for 30 July, in which the pontiff praised American Catholics for their generosity and declared them benefactors

not only of religion but of humanity, especially of fellow-men in regions which for the most part have been estranged for centuries from the center of Christian unity, but which are now suffering cruel distress.

There followed a paragraph which would guarantee permanency for CNEWA, with the official status of “pontifical,” in which the Pope continued:

These sufferings, moreover, and the petitions for help, because of their very nature and the condition of the countries where they exist, still continue and will doubtless long continue. God alone can tell the time when, happily, Our assistance will no longer be needed. For these reasons, it was judged proper, not to say necessary, to constitute the CATHOLIC NEAR EAST WELFARE ASSOCIATION on a permanent basis. It is, therefore, a supreme consolation to Us to know that the work has been so founded and We impart a special benediction for its perseverance. Having thus taken stable and permanent form it well merits to be called Pontifical both for the benefits it has bestowed in the past and the promise it holds for the future.

To the extent that this was possible, Father Walsh had brilliantly consolidated his success. But what of his critics? What of the home missions and foreign missions, now forced to compete for the donor’s dollar with a highly organized and papal-supported Catholic Red Cross? What of Bishop Kelley, who had worked so hard to regularize national collections and to eliminate the practice of subscriptions? What of Cardinal Mundelein, who had boycotted the January appeal? What of Father von Galen and his supporters, who had challenged CNEWA’s priorities and rationale? Part of the answer to these questions is found in a handwritten entry dated 9 August 1927 in a chronology of CNEWA correspondence in the archives of the Oriental Congregation in Rome. Without any elaboration it simply stated, “Alarming news: 40 Bishops do not support CNEWA.”[73] Father Walsh was certainly aware of the opposition his success had not eliminated. He could count on the Holy Father’s continuing support, however, and it remained only to shore up that support among the bishops during their September meeting.

On 10 September 1927 he sent to Cardinal Hayes a copy of the report he had prepared for the board of directors, noting that because of its importance the proposed papal annual should be called to the attention of all the bishops. He also informed Cardinal Hayes that Cardinal O’Connell had directed him to call a meeting of the CNEWA board of directors, on Tuesday the 13th, if possible, following the meeting of the trustees of the Catholic University of America.[74] On 13 September Father Walsh, as CNEWA president, submitted his first annual report to the bishops at their ninth annual meeting[75] and the next day, introduced this time as “acting head” of CNEWA, he addressed the bishops briefly. He thanked them for the January collection and announced that a papal annual would be issued in the United States each year specially for supporters of the CNEWA work. The chairman of the meeting, Cardinal O’Connell, then announced as an example of CNEWA’s work that the Holy Father would give $100,000 “to be distributed through Father Walsh,” to the dioceses of Louisiana which suffered so severely from the flood of the previous spring.

In a series of letters to Cardinal Hayes written shortly after the bishops’ meeting, Father Walsh stressed again that, instead of a national collection each year, the decision to help CNEWA depended now on each individual bishop.[76] As regards “reunion” (Father von Galen’s priority), he noted that the Syrian Orthodox archbishop in Brooklyn had made overtures for reunion – although CNEWA would be unable “to give the financial support they suggest”[77] – and that, in a visit to the CNEWA office, a Russian Orthodox bishop representing 28 priests and 100 parishes had expressed the same desire.[78]

“Reunion” notwithstanding, the CNEWA president’s immediate concern was to retain the CNEWA members and to enroll new ones, and for this The Papal Annual was of supreme importance. In yet another letter to Cardinal Hayes, Father Walsh said that the annual would be the chief feature of the CNEWA renewal appeal and that it would emphasize CNEWA as the sole instrumentality authorized to solicit Catholic funds for Russia and the Near East. This “sole instrumentality” feature distinguished CNEWA clearly from the Propagation of the Faith, and Father Walsh did not hesitate to point out that the S.P.F. collected funds from all over the world, yet gave only 15 per cent in assistance to any one area.[79]

If Father Walsh had made converts among the bishops at the meeting in September, it could not be proven from Chicago. On 23 December 1927 he informed Cardinal Hayes that Cardinal Mundelein again had refused to see him.[80]

On 5 January 1928, a million letters were mailed to CNEWA members, informing them of the progress made in 1927 and urging them to renew their membership, in return for which they would receive “a substantial publication, a beautifully illustrated magazine of 80 pages called the Papal Annual.” In that letter the president gave full rein to his vision of the Association when he declared:

By the formation of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association our Holy Father Pope Pius XI took a most important step for the improvement and unification of Catholic Welfare work throughout the world. He established what is, in reality, the Pope’s community chest for international charities.[81]

On that same day, 5 January, the CNEWA president convened a special meeting of the executive committee at which he presented an appeal CNEWA had received from the League of Nations to assist in the evacuation of Russian refugees from Constantinople ordered by the Turkish Government. The appeal was endorsed by the secretary of commerce, Herbert Hoover, who had also approached the American Red Cross and the Near East Relief. On motion of general counsel, Michael Francis Doyle, and seconded by Joseph Moore, an appropriation of $10,000, to be taken from the $25,000 designated in the budget for “Domestic and Special Purposes,” was voted for this good cause. The motion was warmly approved by the association’s president.[82] At the same meeting the motion was passed that the association publish The Papal Annual, a name “approved by the Holy See and granted for the exclusive use of this Association.” With that, The Papal Annual became official.[83]

In the era prior to Vatican Council II The Papal Annual’s contents must have seemed shockingly advanced, even Protestant.[84] Father Walsh began by justifying the humanitarian priorities of CNEWA. While nations starve, and war, revolution, famine, and persecution harass humanity, it was wasteful to speak of anything except the immediate necessities of life:

Christian charity demands that the wounds of the man who has fallen among robbers be bound up at once, and that he be cared for tenderly until such time as he is strong enough to discuss the conditions which brought him into his present plight.[85]

Furthermore, to protect humanity against a renewal of these same conditions, the pope himself had put ax to root:

… The Holy Father, therefore, proposes a concrete program of social service which shall comprise the erection of elementary schools and orphanages, increased higher education, instruction in sanitation and hygiene, the fortifying of religious principles, the maintenance of agricultural communities, the erection of industrial schools and a frank study of the causes that perpetuate the deplorable religious schism between East and West. Thus, economic stagnation will be eliminated and spiritual demoralization cured. Man lives so much in his physical being that his social, his religious, his material and his political development are frequently conditioned to a measurable degree by his physical environment…

No form of relief fulfills the ideal of constructive Christianity unless, while alleviating the physical suffering of man, it frees his spirit from the bondage of ignorance and fortifies his intellect and his will against the sophisms of professional malcontents. …

The hope of the Holy Father in his present program for the safeguarding of international peace through international understanding, lies in a great, permanently organized body of American Catholics forming a solid phalanx behind him so that he may answer the numerous demands being made on his slender resources from all over the civilized world.[86]

This was the tone throughout.

In an article entitled “Peace and the Papacy,” G. K. Chesterton saw the pope as a permanent official set apart to represent peace and the basis of agreement among the nations. The pope was an arbiter sworn to consider the rights and wrongs of all, a judge mandated to expand an ethical law and system of social relations, a scholar shorn of military ambitions and tribal attachments, a leader dedicated to the consideration of men as men. “If the Pope had not existed,” Chesterton concluded, “it would be necessary to invent him.”

In another article, the same Floyd Keeler who had worked for Father Paul of Graymoor, and then for Father von Galen, offered a statistical analysis of the religions of the world. Christianity constituted the largest religious group in the world, just under 40% of the whole, while the Catholic Church was the largest subdivision of these, “and with its more than 305,000,000 members is the largest single religious group, either Christian or non-Christian.” Nevertheless, Mr. Keeler’s treatment of the non-Christian religions was objective, and to a degree sympathetic; even animism was said to acknowledge the existence of a Higher Power and the obligation of some sort of homage to be paid by men to that Being. To all such peoples Christianity had the task of proclaiming the truth of their Unknown God, and, said Mr. Keeler,

along with the purely evangelistic mission of the Church goes its concern for the development of all the powers of man, the amelioration of his lot here, as well as the assurance of his happiness hereafter.

Pope Pius XI’s welfare work in Central Europe, the Near East, and America was then reviewed, illustrated by more than 50 half-tone pictures. Included also was a full-page CNEWA membership certificate in color, painted by a Vatican artist and suitable for framing.[87] “We confidently believe,” Father Walsh told his readers, “that The Papal Annual will come to you each succeeding year in larger and even more substantial form than this first issue.”[88]

In fact, The Papal Annual never appeared again.


(Click numbers to return to text.)

[1] New York Catholic News, 16 February 1924.

[2] Gallagher, Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., p. 3.

[3] Ibid., p. 5.

[4] Ibid., p. 232 passim.

[5] A Catholic, Haskell (1878-1952) after August 1916 was in command of the 69th Infantry of the New York National Guard, and it may be that Father Walsh, in connection with his work for the U.S. War Department, met him at this time. For certain, during his first visit to Russia Father Walsh had conversations with Haskell, whose private secretary was a young Georgetown alumnus, Mr. George Townsend, and in a letter published in the Washington (D.C.) Star, 22 April 1922, Father Walsh praised Haskell as “that quiet, but wonderfully efficient man who has practically conquered the famine that threatened the extermination of sixteen million people.” See Woodstock Letters (Woodstock, Md.), LI (October, 1922), pp. 280- 283. Haskell received an honorary LL.D. degree from Georgetown in 1925, and, following World War II he applied in Europe, as Director of Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE), the relief techniques he had used in Russia and, in 1922-23, in Greece, where he was head of American Red Cross Relief. See Current Biography 1947 (New York: H.W. Wilson, 1948), pp. 282-284, and, for Haskell’s obituary notice, The New York Times, 14 August 1952, p. 23.

[6] Gallagher, p. 15.

[7] For a brief description of Father Walsh’s brilliant career (he died 31 October 1956), see the New Catholic Encyclopedia, XIV, p. 780. In addition to his work for CNEWA, it included the publication of four books, Vatican diplomatic assignments in Mexico and Iraq, service as a civilian consultant to the U.S. chief counsel at the Nuremberg war trials and member of U.S. presidential commissions on universal military training and on religious needs in the Armed Forces. In 1958 the Foreign Service School he founded was renamed in his honor the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University.

[8] Michel d’Herbigny (1880-1957) was one of the most mysterious and ill-fated churchmen of modern times, and the reasons for his tragic downfall will probably never be made known. For a summary of his life and works see Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, tables generales (Paris – VI, Letouzey et Ane, 19578), p. 2050, and the New Catholic Encyclopedia, VI, p. 1053.

[9] Paul Lesourd, Le Jesuite Clandestin (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1976), pp. 41-42.

[10] Gallagher, pp. 14-15.

[11] For a description of the origin, organization and accomplishments of the ARA, see H. H. Fisher, The American Relief Administration in Russia, 1921-1923 (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1943), and Benjamin M. Weissman, Herbert Hoover and Famine Relief to Soviet Russia: 1921-1923 (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1974).

[12] John B. Sheerin, Never Look Back: The Career and Concerns of John J. Burke (New York: Paulist Press, 1975), pp. 86-87.

[13] Ibid., p. 69.

[14] For the text of the letter, see The Russian Revolution and Religion, ed. Boleslaw Szczesniak (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959), pp. 83-85.

[15] Ibid., p. 84.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Gallagher, p. 14.

[18] Father Michel d’Herbigny, “L’Aide Pontificale aux Enfants Affames de Russie,” Orientalia Christiana IV, 14 (April – May 1925).

[19] Gallagher, p. 18.

[20] Ibid., p. 19.

[21] Sheerin, Never Look Back: The Career and Concerns of John J. Burke (New York: Paulist Press, 1975), p. 87.

[22] New York Catholic News, 3 May 1924.

[23] Lambert Beauduin, O.S.B. (1873-1960), because of his friendship with the future Pope John XXIII, is credited by some as the forerunner of the current liturgical movement and ecumenical thrust of Vatican II. See: Sonya A. Quitslund, Beauduin: A Prophet Vindicated (New York: Newman Press, 1973).

[24] Ibid., p. 237.

[25] Father Walsh (cablegram) to Cardinal Gasparri, 16 September 1926 (ACNEWA).

[26] Cardinal Gasparri (cablegram) to Cardinal O’Connell, 16 September 1926 (ACNEWA).

[27] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 28 September 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Father Walsh to Cardinal Donahue, 28 September 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Catholic Union, Inc., Catholic Union (brochure), 14 November 1925 (ACNEWA). This tension between the humanitarian and the religious mission of the Church was, at the same time, besetting European Protestants. Prior to World War I Karl Barth had embraced the social Gospel with its call to penetrate and revitalize the political structures of society; the war convinced Barth of the radical corruptness of all human institutions, and his Epistle to the Romans (1919 and 1921) ushered in a Theology of the Word conservatism, which dominated Protestant thought for the first half of the century. Not until Dietrich Bonhoeffer would the trend be reversed. Bonhoeffer, shocked by his church’s indifference to Nazism, repudiated Barth’s theology of transcendence (Christ found only in the Word as preached in the Church), and in its place offered an incarnational theology, which found Christ, the Servant, in the man-for-others. Catholic theology followed a similar pattern. At the turn of the century a renewed interest in biblical research began stressing the biblical themes of Christ as Servant and Prophet, but Pius X’s condemnation of Modernism discouraged development of these themes, leaving intact the Tridentine-Bellarmine concept of the church as a perfect society, independent of all other less perfect societies. A revival of biblical scholarship after World War II again led to a rediscovery of the biblical themes of Servant and Prophet, and this revival reached official expression in Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Significantly, conservatives at the council wanted the document to be entitled “The Church and the Modern World,” the conjunction reaffirming the Tridentine separation; the majority, however, voted to keep the preposition ’in,’ a clear vindication of the so-called incarnational theology. Father Walsh’s insistence on the humanitarian mission of the church, coming as it did at the height of the anti-Modernist movement, was certain to run into trouble.

[32] Cardinal Hayes to US bishops, 30 September 1926 (ACNEWA).

[33] CNEWA archival holdings (New York), Minutes of Meeting of Executive Committee, 30 September 1926.

[34] Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 8 October 1926, Vatican Documents I (CNEWA): “Velit Eminentia Vestra certiorem facere Beatissimum Patrem de hoc: Monsignor Barry-Doyle jam abiit; Athenas petit, et ni fallor, in Americam non rediturus! P. von Galen adhuc apud nos moratur; sed, opinor, mox (forte post tres hebdomadas) ille quoque in Europam redibit.”

[35] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 22 October 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[36] The following account is drawn from three main sources: von Galen’s 27 October 1926 letter to Abbot Vykoukal (ACUF) USA/325; his 1 November 1926 letter to Abbot Vykoukal (ACUF) USA/326; and his 9 November 1926 letter to Bishop Giobbe (ASOC) prot. no. 21076.

[37] In his letter to Bishop Giobbe, 9 November 1926, von Galen complained that, in a meeting 15 July 1926, he had been assured by both Cardinal Hayes and Father Walsh that he was free to leave New York because no important action would be taken until September. Von Galen was probably referring to the meeting at Cardinal Hayes’ residence 12 July, but what he reported to Bishop Giobbe is not in the official minutes of the meeting.

[38] Bishop Dunn’s sympathies were always with Father von Galen.

[39] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 5 November 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q. Father Walsh, reflecting Bishop d’Herbigny’s antipathy, most likely suspected Father von Galen of sending substantial funds to Beauduin’s Union Monastery at Amay, Belgium. Indeed, the Benedictine was supporting the controversial institution. See Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 9 November 1926 (ACUF) USA/329.

[40] Father von Galen to Bishop Giobbe, 9 November 1926 (ASOC) prot. no. 21076. Father von Galen quotes Cardinal Hayes as saying that, in view of Father Walsh’s behavior towards the CU president, it seemed unlikely the two could work profitably with one another. Father von Galen was also directed by Cardinal Hayes to send all money collected either to Father Walsh directly or to His Eminence. That the Benedictine was disturbed by this complete reversal on the part of Cardinal Hayes, see Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 9 November 1926 (ACUF) USA/329.

[41] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 5 November 1926, Hayes papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q. Father Walsh added that the pre-drive publicity would focus on the new agency’s goal of striving for universal peace, justice, and charity.

[42] Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 6 November 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA); also Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 11 November 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[43] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 11 November 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[44] Father Walsh (cablegram) to Cardinal Sincero, 20 November 1926, Vatican Documents I (CNEWA); also Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 23 November 1926, Vatican Documents I (CNEWA). In this second letter Father Walsh wrote: “Pour achever completement notre but, j’ai besoin d’une autre chose de la part de Sa Saintete. D’apres notre plan, chacque prete (20,000 plus ou moins) recevra, vers le 1 Janier, une brochure qui lui fournira les points necessaires pour les semons, qui seront preches le 23 Janvier, au meme moment, dans toutes les eglises. Les sujet general sera ’Pax Christi in Regno Christi,’ avec application a Russia et le Proche Orient…Par Suite, j’ose esperer que Vostre Eminence pourra obtinir de Sa Santete una approb;ation telegraphique pour le texte…” Two weeks later, with still no reply, Father Walsh cabled Bishop d’Herbigny and asked him to press Cardinal Sincero for the urgent approbation of his request: see Father Walsh to Bishop d’Herbigny, 12 December 1926, Vatican Documents I (CNEWA). Three days later the papal blessing was sent by cable.

[45] Father Walsh mentions receiving this telegram in his letter to Cardinal Sincero, 21 December 1926, Vatican Documents I (CNEWA): “le telegramme de Sa Saintete aven la benediction apostolique est arrive le 15 Decembre. Merci beaucoup.”

[46] Father von Galen to Bishop Giobbe, 9 November 1926 (ASOC) prot. no. 21076.

[47] Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 11 November 1926 (ACUF) USA/331.

[48] Father von Galen to Cardinal Hayes, 10 December 1926, Hayes papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q. Cardinal Hayes had already been alerted to Father von Galen’s intentions when he received a letter from Abbot Ernest Vykoukal of Emaus Abbey, Prague, in which the Abbot pointed out that Father Augustine von Galen “was sent by me and by the Cardinal Piffl of Vienna, his work was approved [sic] by the Congress of all Benedictine Abbots gathered at Rome in 1925, it was approved by the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Affairs and by the Holy Father himself.” See Abbot Vykoukal to Cardinal Hayes, 27 October 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[49] Father von Galen to Cardinal Hayes, 17 December 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[50] Scott to Father Walsh, 25 December 1926, Walsh Papers (Georgetown University Archives) Folder III.

[51] Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 21 December 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA): “Tout marche bien (sauf von Galen qui est devenu impossible).”

[52] Father Walsh reported this to Cardinal Hayes in a letter of 23 December 1926; cf. Hayes papers, U-5, 1926, N-Q.

[53] USCC archival holdings (Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.), “Minutes of the Seventh Annual Bishops Meeting, 16 September 1925,” pp. 9 and 10.

[54] The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, The Truce of God, 1926 (CNEWA). This booklet is based largely on the social teachings of Pope Leo XIII and reads like a companion piece to Vatican II’s constitution “The Church in the Modern World.”

[55] Bishop Gibbons to Cardinal Hayes, 2 January 1927, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[56] Cardinal Hayes to Gibbons, 6 January 1927, Hayes Papers, Q-25, Hierarchy, 1924-30. Cardinal Hayes went on to give his own perception of the new organization: “My idea is that if we can urge throughout the country that particular class of people who will always give to such causes, we might be well content with the result without putting behind our appeal the full power which we are using for the Propagation of the Faith and Home Missions….”

[57] Father Walsh (circular) to US pastors, 10 January 1927 (ACNEWA).

[58] Financial statement, 1927 Appeal (ACNEWA) FinancialRecords. Among the top donors: New York, $94,000; Philadelphia $90,000; Boston $58,000. Chicago failed to participate.

[59] Father Walsh (cable) to Cardinal Sincero, 2 February 1927, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[60] CNEWA archival holdings, Annual Report of the President of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association to the Board of Directors, 1926-27, presented 13 September 1927, p. 2 and 3 (CNEWA). 12 February was also the date for the official closing of the campaign.

[61] Ibid., p. 3.

[62] Cardinal Hayes to Gibbons, 19 February 1927, Hayes Papers, Q-25, Hierarchy, 1924-30. Gibbons replied that he would hold the appeal in the fall, and this was noted by Father Walsh on the final list of contributing dioceses sent to Rome; see also Bishop Gibbons to Cardinal Hayes, 3 March 1927, Hayes Papers, Q-25, Hierarchy, 1924-30.

[63] This repayment was reported in Father Walsh’s letter to Cardinal Hayes, 3 March 1927, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[64] Bernard to Cardinal Hayes, 26 February 1927, Hayes Papers, Q-21, 1927, A-G. Cardinal Hayes’ reply not extant.

[65] Reported in Father Walsh’s letter to Cardinal Hayes, 14 March 1927, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[66] Father Walsh, “Report to Board of Directors, 1927,” Appendix No. 3 (ACNEWA). To ascertain these needs Pius had sent Father Walsh on an extended trip throughout Europe.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Ibid., p. 3.

[70] cf. Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 21 June 1927 (Archives of Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome) prot. no. 867/28.

[71] CNEWA archival holdings, Meeting of the Executive Committee of the C.N.E.W.A., Inc., 26 July 1927 (CNEWA). $51,000.00 was to be invested in the Merion Title and Trust Co. of Ardmore, Penn. on First Mortgage Loans approved real estate. Joseph Moore reported that he had arranged with the Federal Trust Co. of Newark, N.J., for a participating mortgage of $50,000.00 with interest at the rate of 5 per cent, and that he had left on deposit, at the request of Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia, the sum of $50,000.00 in the Girard Avenue Title and Trust Co. of Philadelphia, at the rate of 4 per cent.

[72] Ibid., Appendix I. This letter was handed to Father Walsh at the conclusion of his third audience with Pius XI.

[73] Oriental Congregation archival holdings, 9 August 1927, Dalla Posiz.: 740/29 (a. 1926-1933), no. 76 and 99: Notizie allarmanti: 40 Vescovi non appoggiano CNEWA. This information appears on a two-page synopsis of CNEWA correspondence with the Congregation between 1922 and 1933.

[74] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 10 September 1927, Hayes Papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[75] USCC archival holdings, Minutes of Ninth Annual Meeting of American Hierarchy, 14 September 1927, p. 8.

[76] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 23 September 1927, Hayes papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[77] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 23 September 1927, Hayes papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[78] Ibid.

[79] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 22 December 1927, Hayes papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[80] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 23 December 1927, Hayes papers, U-5, 1928, N-Q.

[81] Father Walsh (circular letter) to CNEWA members, 5 January 1928 (ACNEWA).

[82] Special meeting of CNEWA’s executive committee, 5 January 1928, p. 1 (ACNEWA).

[83] Ibid.

[84] CNEWA Inc., The Papal Annual: A Review of the International Welfare Activities of the Holy See, January, 1928 (ACNEWA).

[85] Ibid., pp. 5-6.

[86] Ibid., pp. 7-9.

[87] Ibid. The Annual was divided into two sections. Part One included articles of general interest, and Part Two dealt more specifically with CNEWA. The certificate of membership appeared at the very beginning of the magazine.

[88] Ibid., p. 3. Father Walsh expressed his optimism elegantly — he wrote: “What developments the future holds in store, as regards scope, size and character, may be visualized from the contents of this first and intensely interesting volume as fairly as one judges the beauty of a flower from the form and color of the bud, or the probable course of a mighty river from the general direction of the waters at their source.”

Last Modified: 28 September 2023

Get to know us and stay informed about the impact your support makes.

Nous constatons que votre préférence linguistique est le français.
Voudriez-vous être redirigé sur notre site de langue française?

Oui! Je veux y accéder.

Hemos notado que su idioma preferido es español. ¿Le gustaría ver la página de Bienestar para el Cercano Oriente Católico en español?

Vee página en español