Chapter 5: A Merger Is Proposed

Fortunately, Werner Stenzel left an account of the 15 July 1925 meeting and the crazy quilt of circumstances surrounding it in a 5 August letter meant only for the eyes of Louis Wetmore.[1] For Father von Galen, the summer of 1925 would not be easy to forget.

Early in June, when the Benedictine monk arrived in Rome with money for the training of 14 seminarians, Giovanni Cardinal Tacci (who was rumored to be unwell) told him that, much as the Oriental Congregation appreciated his hard work and good intentions, it did not care to have the Catholic Union support so many seminarians. In fact, Cardinal Tacci declared, he himself had no idea such a work was going on in America. Father von Galen was stunned. He left Cardinal Tacci’s office believing the Congregation wanted the Catholic Union in America severed from Vienna and absorbed by Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s association.

A few days later, however, Father von Galen received contrary news. Louis Cardinal Sincero, a new member of the Congregation and Cardinal Tacci’s heir apparent, received Father von Galen warmly. He read the letter of introduction the monk brought with him from his Abbot Primate, Fidelis von Stotzingen, and told him keep doing what “everybody wanted,” especially now that the Holy Father had decided to build in Rome a seminary to train priests for work among the Russians. Cardinal Sincero notwithstanding, in Vienna a few weeks later Father von Galen persuaded Cardinal Piffl to write[2] to Cardinal Tacci, agreeing that in the United States the Catholic Union be temporarily separated from its parent in Europe and merged with the work for the Greeks. Cardinal Piffl, who knew the Roman scene, decided to take no chances. Instead of Father von Galen, he named the priest who regularly handled his affairs in Rome, Monsignor Louis Hudal, rector of the German Collegio dell’Anima, to represent him in any discussions about the Catholic Union. After meeting with Father von Galen in Lucerne on Sunday, 12 July, Werner Stenzel promptly cabled this good news to Louis Wetmore in New York.

On Monday, 13 July, 1925, Father von Galen and Mr. Stenzel arrived in Rome, and for the latter the date was worth remarking; 13, he felt, was his lucky number. The next day, Father von Galen went unaccompanied to the Congregation, and the message he received was simple and clear: the Congregation had no intention of becoming involved. Representatives of CNEWA and the Catholic Union were to meet, come to an agreement and present the results to the Congregation for approval. That afternoon, Bishop Calavassy and Father von Galen met for the first time in Bishop Papadopoulos’ apartment. Werner Stenzel, as Father von Galen’s manager, listened patiently until he could bear no more. His 5 August letter to Louis Wetmore records that, speaking for the Converts League, he asked Bishop Calavassy bluntly to remove Joseph Moore and Monsignor Barry-Doyle:

Calavassy used old-fashioned diplomacy. Everything was lovely. There wasn’t anything to be negotiated. All that was necessary was to meet and decide upon a name, etc. On behalf of the Converts League I told Calavassy that everything was lovely, indeed, but for the persons of Barry-Doyle and Moore. Why not send B-D to some other country? That would surely dispose of the obnoxious practices of Moore. Yes, yes, everything lovely. We parted the best of friends, as diplomatists will, and I was under the impression that we would meet again after the arrival of the other two. This was not to be.

Calavassy showed weakness, or fear, or whatever you like to call it, when he suggested that the conferences be confined to clerics. To me, this gave better opportunity to be of help, less danger of a slip of the tongue or the loss of temper. Anyway, I felt encouraged.

The next day was Wednesday. The discussions would be critical and Monsignor Hudal had to be briefed. Father von Galen and Mr. Stenzel hurried to Monsignor Hudal’s apartment at 20 Via della Pace, where Mr. Stenzel, still speaking for the laity, showed him a copy of the 24 June 1925 letter the Converts League had sent to Cardinal Piffl. The League endorsed both CNEWA and the Catholic Union, but urged that CNEWA be absorbed by the Catholic Union and that Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s talents be used outside of the United States. The reasons why were spelled out, apparently, in Mr. Wetmore’s confidential memorandum about Monsignor Barry-Doyle, which Mr. Stenzel shared with Monsignor Hudal, but only on condition that the latter not show it to anyone, or even mention it “except in an indirect way, if occasion arose, [so that] he could truthfully say that the Cardinal in Vienna had received urgent advice from important American sources.” Monsignor Hudal then promised that he would tell Bishop Calavassy immediately of the “great obstacle in the person of B-D,” which, Mr. Stenzel thought, “would settle matters simply and sweetly.” That Monsignor Hudal failed to keep his promise is perhaps a tribute to the man.

The afternoon was running on, and Father von Galen and Mr. Stenzel were desperate. Hoping and praying that the cardinal would consent to arrange an audience with the pope for Father von Galen, the two hurried back to Cardinal Sincero, who only weeks before had received Father von Galen most kindly. Again, from Mr. Stenzel’s 5 August letter to Mr. Wetmore: To their chagrin, Cardinal Sincero, “cool as a cucumber,” said he did not remember Father von Galen’s visit and that, in fact, he knew nothing about the Catholic Union. Mr. Stenzel was especially deflated, for he had a “great speech” ready in case he was called in from the outer room where he was told to wait. His opportunity to speak never came. “Everything we had planned by way of gaining the ear of the Holy Father through Sincero,” he afterwards lamented, “proved to be a big bubble.”

Then Mr. Stenzel recalled that “someone quite outside our little struggle” sometime earlier had remarked in German that Cardinal Andrew Fruhwirth, an Austrian and a member of the Oriental Congregation, might be helpful to the Catholic Union cause. As a last resort, Father von Galen and Mr. Stenzel went to see the cardinal. Suddenly, everything changed. Speaking in German (“I suppose that helped a bit too,” noted Mr. Stenzel) they learned that Cardinal Fruhwirth, an octogenarian still active in Rome, was to have his regular audience with the pope on Friday. Would His Eminence ask the Holy Father to autograph a photograph for the Catholic Union? Jawohl. Would he ask the Holy Father to grant a private audience to Father von Galen, who had money to give him for the Russian seminary and for the seminarians? Cardinal Fruhwirth: Ach ja. Call again on Thursday, bring the photograph, explain in writing just what you want, and I will gladly help, for I know of the Holy Father’s great interest in this work.

Cardinal Fruhwirth’s promise was a last-minute reprieve, and the monk and his manager walked through St. Peter’s Square in high exhilaration. Hard to believe, they had managed, the evening before the all-important meeting, to outmaneuver Bishop Calavassy and the Congregation and to get to the pope in person. They felt, however, that the audience had best be kept secret until it was announced. At the next day’s meeting Father von Galen would sit quietly and agree, for whatever would be decided could be easily reversed by the pope.

Monsignor Hudal absented himself from the Wednesday session (which, as it turned out, was only the first of three) and Mr. Stenzel was chagrined that only clerics — Bishop Calavassy, Father von Galen, and Monsignor Barry-Doyle — were invited to participate. If his report to Mr. Wetmore was correct, they spent their time criticizing their lay associates — himself, Mr. Wetmore and Mr. Moore — and agreeing with one another that their lay friends were “more or less ’n.g.’, more or less unimportant, etc., etc.” Father von Galen, apparently, did not rise to Mr. Stenzel’s or Mr. Wetmore’s defense, but what irritated Mr. Stenzel even more was the fact that Father von Galen kept saying “yes and sure to everything” Bishop Calavassy said, including a number of “details” which the exarch passed over as “trivial. ”

Bishop Calavassy’s first concern was the Greeks and his own exarchate; the “details” were hardly “trivial.”[3] What Bishop Calavassy proposed was murder, not merger, although the word merger was used. CNEWA would be put out of existence, and the Catholic Union would withdraw completely from the United States. To replace both, a brand-new organization would be created, one that would provide for both “reunion” and “welfare.” It would be called the Catholic Eastern Reunion and Welfare Association, and in it, Father von Galen was told, the Catholic Union would “not appear in any way.” Bishop Calavassy spoke blandly, but what he said was brutal. Father von Galen listened quietly because he was counting on an audience with the pope.

Bishop Calavassy’s points were these:

  1. Father von Galen would return to the United States to urge his supporters to work for the new association.
  2. Father von Galen would make no further appeals for the Catholic Union, nor permit others to appeal in his name.
  3. The people in Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s office would take over the Catholic Union’s office work.
  4. The new association would allot to the Greek Catholic Church 75 per cent of the first million dollars collected.
  5. The other 25 per cent would go to Russian and other Eastern people, subject to the Congregation’s approval.
  6. After the first million dollars, 75 per cent would go directly to the Oriental Congregation, and 25 per cent to the association’s administrative board.
  7. The new association should be completely American, with an American priest as president.
  8. The president would be recommended by the directors and must have Bishop Calavassy’s approval.
  9. Monsignor Barry-Doyle would become a vice-president and serve as Bishop Calavassy’s representative in America.
  10. Father von Galen would become a vice-president and serve as spiritual director of the new association.

In other words, Bishop Calavassy would be in charge.

The next day, Thursday, 16 July 1925, Father von Galen and Monsignor Barry-Doyle were kept waiting outside while Bishop Calavassy and Monsignor Hudal huddled privately, and (again according to Mr. Stenzel) in Father von Galen’s presence Monsignor Barry-Doyle wept.

(He) shed actual tears for being a misunderstood and unappreciated person. What a tragedy that someone else was to be made President of the combination. Didn’t he deserve it, etc., etc. I was not there, so I refrain from judging B-D, nor can I tell whether P. Galen was face to face with a good bit of acting or a sad case of nerves. I must confess to being skeptical as regards B-D, for I caught him in one or two prevarications from my little tower of observation.

There was also reason for Father von Galen to have a “case of nerves” for Monsignor Hudal expressed no objections in his meeting with Bishop Calavassy to the points the exarch had made the day before. Moreover, he had decided not to tell Bishop Calavassy what Mr. Wetmore had written in his confidential memorandum about Monsignor Barry-Doyle. For Father von Galen, Monsignor Hudal had these parting words: “That part about the person of B-D, you will have to tell Bishop Calavassy yourself tomorrow. I can’t afford to be too deeply involved in the affair.”

On Friday 17 July, Cardinal Fruhwirth had his audience with the Holy Father, the pope signed the photograph of himself, gave his blessing to the Catholic Union and agreed to receive Father von Galen privately, the time and day to be arranged by the maestro di camera. Mr. Stenzel cabled the news to Mr. Wetmore with delight.

Father von Galen, meanwhile, did not feel well, and Mr. Stenzel suggested that, until he felt better, he should ask Bishop Calavassy to postpone all further conferences. The exarch acceded to the request with ill-disguised joy, according to Mr. Stenzel, which puzzled them at the time. Saturday, 18 July, Father von Galen and Mr. Stenzel went to Ostia for a swim, expecting to find a biglietto (ticket) for the audience on their return. They found instead a note from Cardinal Fruhwirth asking Father von Galen to come to the cardinal’s apartment either that evening or early the next morning. Father von Galen opted for the latter and went to bed, but Mr. Stenzel, unable to sleep, spent most of the evening pacing up and down inside Bernini’s colonnade.

Sunday, 19 July, Cardinal Fruhwirth told Father von Galen that he needed information immediately in order to defend the Catholic Union against a complaint lodged by a Czech Organization, the Cyril and Methodius Society,[4] which the Oriental Congregation would discuss the following day. Mr. Stenzel now surmised why Bishop Calavassy had seemed not at all reluctant to postpone their meetings. “He, too,” Mr. Stenzel wrote to Mr. Wetmore, “must have known of the matter coming up and must have counted on the C.U.’s early demise.”

Monday, 20 July, while Cardinal Fruhwirth was defending the Catholic Union at the Oriental Congregation, Mr. Stenzel went to the maestro di camera’s office to ask why the audience requested by the Holy Father with Father von Galen had been delayed. Apologies; the invitation, he was assured, would be delivered that night. That same evening Father von Galen was informed that the audience would take place the following morning, Tuesday, at 11:50. A card then came from Bishop Calavassy asking Father von Galen to resume their deliberations that same morning. With “devilish delight” Mr. Stenzel helped the Benedictine prepare an answer for the exarch: “P. Galen regrets that other engagements prevent his attendance on Tuesday morning; how would Tuesday afternoon at say 4:30 do?” They penned it, said Mr. Stenzel, in the best of diplomatic French.

For more than 30 minutes Father von Galen was alone with the Holy Father, and when the audience was finished an exuberant Werner Mr. Stenzel cabled to Mr. Wetmore the best of all possible news:

Complete victory STOP Holy Father in splendid half hour audience granted Galen every wish and directed Catholic Union work without merger STOP declared Galens work providential will direct necessary help from Rome with Benedictine treasurer to be appointed here later STOP ask funds for Russian seminary instructed Galen convey gratitude benediction American people STOP congratulations Galen Vienna.[5]

That afternoon, Father von Galen called at Bishop Papadopoulos’s apartment, where Bishop Calavassy was in residence, and told both men about the audience. The 4:30 meeting was canceled, and Father von Galen said that he would he would report the instructions he had received from the Holy Father to the Oriental Congregation the next morning. The Congregation was displeased. In a chance meeting in St. Peter’s Square, Monsignor Barry-Doyle told Father von Galen that the Congregation was “furious,” “wild.” He was not mistaken when he said the Congregation “will upset all you have accomplished.” When Father von Galen and Mr. Stenzel repeated the remark to Cardinal Fruhwirth, however, he assured them that the good people at the congregation would have to upset the Holy Father first, and then himself, before the Catholic Union had anything to fear. Mr. Stenzel urged that the “victory” be followed up without delay.[6]

Louis Wetmore was ready. He and Floyd Keeler decided they had to rid themselves of Father Paul as the Catholic Union’s “honorary president” in America, and then form a committee “for the notepaper to impress people, etc.”[7] A media blitz followed. Messrs. Wetmore and Keeler and the acting head of the New York office, Father Joseph Kreuter, O.S.B., inundating the Catholic press in Europe and America[8] with news of the pope’s decision.

Monsignor Barry-Doyle, now weeping in earnest, offered to resign after he reported on his stewardship. In an official report which was addressed to the pope he reviewed all he had accomplished in America, pointing out that as of 31 May 1925 he had collected $131,962, of which $51,000 had gone to charitable works in Athens alone.[9] In view of this success, CNEWA’s board of directors had voted on 5 May 1925 to send all receipts to the Holy Father directly and to expand CNEWA in an attempt to consolidate, or at least coordinate, similar United States agencies working for reunion. Then the former chaplain once again volunteered to be a hero. “To win even fuller support from U.S. bishops,” wrote Monsignor Barry-Doyle, “I have decided to propose to the board of directors of the Association that instead of me there be placed in charge an American ecclesiastic, someone who enjoys the full support of the Episcopate.”[10] To this letter Bishop Calavassy attached one of his own, in which he also spoke of expanding CNEWA’s scope, and then of the zeal and sacrifices of Monsignor Barry-Doyle who, he said, “nobly is stepping down from the Presidency, which is his by right as founder, in order to facilitate greater success for the Association in the interest of the Church and of souls.”[11] For two weeks Monsignor Barry-Doyle waited expectantly for a reaction to his proposals. Then, his report unacknowledged, he left Rome for Switzerland, complaining of shattered nerves.[12]

What had happened? Father Paul Sandalgi, a friend of Bishop Calavassy living in Philadelphia while on assignment from the Oriental Congregation, said the pope’s support of the Catholic Union was for political reasons. Backed by Pope Pius XI, a group of right-wing Catholics from Austria[13] had embraced the Catholic Union as a means of fighting Bolshevism, with a view to establishing Catholicism in Russia with the aid of Austrian and, perhaps, German political reactionaries, he wrote.[14] Father Sandalgi considered the pope’s action very ill-advised, especially since the Soviet secret agents in Austria and Germany needed nothing better in their fight against Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, than to be able to portray to the public a pope who had availed himself of the ancien regime.[15]

Although simplistic and given to exaggeration, Father Sandalgi’s explanation may not have been entirely unfounded. At a meeting of the National Council of Catholic Men, Floyd Keeler imprudently announced that the Catholic Union planned to “engage in a counter campaign to offset the Soviet forces now endeavoring to undermine Christianity in the United States,”[16] and Father Edmund Walsh, S.J., who was something of a Russian specialist, counseled “the good Father von Galen” not to identify publicly with the Austrian and German reactionaries.[17] Father Anthony Vakondios, who knew Bishop Calavassy, allowed for the political element in the Catholic Union, but he concluded it was not by any means a decisive factor in the endorsement Father von Galen received from the pope.[18]

According to Father von Galen himself, the “merger” talks collapsed only because the “ultimatum” delivered by Bishop Calavassy was wholly unacceptable to the Catholic Union and to the pope. For months this explanation circulated among CU members, and even Father Paul, on hearing it, wrote chidingly to Bishop Calavassy: “I feel constrained to tell you frankly that I sympathize with the action taken by Dr. von Galen and I don’t see very well how he could have done otherwise than he did in view of your ultimatum.” Then, as if to underscore his displeasure, Father Paul informed the exarch he was cutting off the 500 Mass stipends for his seminary in Athens. Instead, said Father Paul, he would henceforth send all stipends directly to the Oriental Congregation in Rome, to court favor with the Curia.[19]

Father von Galen was not one to take kindly to ultimata, even if camouflaged as “trivial details”; nevertheless, Father Paul’s explanation does not fully satisfy. As recently as 26 June Father von Galen had written Father Paul to say that everything had been prepared most splendidly for the merger, and that both parties stood to profit from it.[20] Five months later Bishop Calavassy sent Father Paul this apologia:

With regard to von Galen, I do not understand of what ultimatum you speak. I did not give any ultimatum to him, on the contrary I did all I could to amalgamate the two Associations to the satisfaction of everybody. It is the Sacred Congregation, particularly Cardinal Tacci, who refused flatly to allow the Catholica Unio to be established in the United States. Father Galen then came to me asking for help. I then did all in my power to obtain the consent of Cardinal Tacci for the amalgamation and I succeeded, under the condition that the Catholica Unio will not appear at all in the new Association. The condition was accepted by Father von Galen. He even resigned from the directorship of the Catholica Unio, and somebody else was appointed by the Cardinal of Vienna in his place. In our meetings we came without difficulties to an accord for the establishment of a new Association, under the title “Catholic Eastern Re-Union and Welfare Association.” Everything was ready, and we were on the point to sign the conditions we agreed upon. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Father Galen sent me a note to the effect that he cannot sign because the Holy Father wants him to continue his work in the U.S. I immediately reported to Cardinal Tacci who was greatly displeased by the unfair conduct of Father Galen, who certainly did not tell the Holy Father about the prohibition of collection in the U.S. in the name of the Catholica Unio imposed on him by the Sacred Congregation. Cardinal Tacci explained his reasons to the Holy Father and the result is that the Holy See refused up to the present to give any authorization in writing to Father Galen, in spite of so much advertising in the American press. I had nothing against Father Galen and I sincerely wished to amalgamate the two Associations in the interest of the common cause, and I did all I could towards that scope. Father von Galen is the only one responsible for the failure of some efforts. These are the real facts, my dear Father, and this is the truth. I consequently authorize you to make use of this letter before anybody you like.[21]

In fairness to Bishop Calavassy, Father von Galen might have told him that he expected to see the Holy Father privately. On the other hand, in fairness to Father von Galen, it is certainly significant that his explanation to Father Paul and “anybody you like” made no mention of the percentage of funds Bishop Calavassy made clear he expected to receive.[22]

In any case, Bishop Calavassy’s explanation was unnecessary, for by the time it reached Graymoor, Father Paul, as he informed the exarch, had discovered the real villain in the piece: Louis Wetmore, who had assisted Monsignor Barry-Doyle in the early days, and who had become by now the president of the Converts League. In April 1924, said Father Paul, during Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s New York City campaign, Louis Wetmore and Joseph Moore had had a violent disagreement, in what apparently was a struggle for authority.[23] It seems that Monsignor Barry-Doyle supported Mr. Moore, for Father Paul reported that Mr. Wetmore, vowing revenge, began circulating false reports about Monsignor Barry-Doyle, especially regarding his “British ways” and lavish life-style. That same month, Father von Galen appeared in New York, and it was Mr. Wetmore, according to Father Paul, who persuaded Father von Galen to organize a program like Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s. Father Paul also reported that it was Louis Wetmore who “opposed tooth and nail” the amalgamation of CNEWA and the Catholic Union, which he very readily foresaw would eliminate him as a star among Father von Galen’s supporters.[24]

The documentary evidence supports all this, and there is no reason to believe that Father von Galen was aware of or sympathetic to Mr. Wetmore’s motives.[25] It was Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s own fault that he was open to criticism, and in Rome Mr. Wetmore had access to Pietro Cardinal Gasparri (who had confirmed him), to Cardinal Tacci, and even to the pope. Moreover, Mr. Wetmore’s access to important people may well help to explain Bishop Calavassy’s uneasiness with Monsignor Barry-Doyle and the exarch’s readiness to let him resign the CNEWA presidency.

September came, the Holy See had not yet acknowledged Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s report, and Bishop Calavassy suggested that Father Sandalgi be consulted about possible successors to the CNEWA presidency. Father Sandalgi’s first choice, the exarch reported, was Bishop John Collins, S.J., who had retired in 1918 as vicar apostolic of Jamaica and who was then in residence at Fordham University. Should Bishop Collins decline, Monsignor Barry-Doyle himself should choose between Father Edmund Walsh, S.J., and Father John LaFarge, S.J., the son of the famous artist of the same name. “Do as God will inspire you and let me know as soon as possible,” wrote Bishop Calavassy.[26] In mid-September Father Paul informed the exarch that the CNEWA directors were woefully disappointed that Rome had failed to give proper recognition to CNEWA and that all hope was lost for the merger. “Conditions now,” wrote Father Paul, “are worse than before we went to Rome.”[27]

Near the end of September 1925, Monsignor Barry-Doyle cabled desperately to Bishop Calavassy:


CNEWA’s president then informed the exarch by letter that it seemed neither Bishop Collins, nor Father Walsh, nor Father LaFarge would be available for CNEWA. Bishop Collins and Father LaFarge were both in poor health, and at Georgetown University Father Walsh was engaged in most important work. Talk of a successor was impractical, wrote Monsignor Barry-Doyle, until the letter requested had come from Rome and something dramatically significant had been accomplished, now that CNEWA’s scope was about to be enlarged.[29]

Meanwhile, one of Father von Galen’s directors, presumably Louis Wetmore, took advantage of the Benedictine’s absence in Europe to circulate fantastic reports about his audience with the pope.[30] At the General Meeting of 120 Benedictine abbots in Rome in September, the abbot primate, on the Holy Father’s instructions, recommended the work of the Catholic Union.[31] In November, Father von Galen was told by his abbot to return to the States at Cardinal Piffl’s request and with the blessing of the Holy Father.[32]

The need for Bishop Calavassy to remove Monsignor Barry-Doyle was more imperative than ever, but now, having rested in Switzerland, Monsignor Barry-Doyle suddenly launched a campaign to keep the CNEWA presidency. Cardinal Hayes, the monsignor informed Bishop Calavassy, in receiving him very kindly had said he was ready to become CNEWA’s protector, and he said also that Monsignor Barry-Doyle should not resign. Cardinal Hayes’ words, as they came from his lips, were precisely these, according to Monsignor Barry-Doyle: “Monsignor, why? If Rome has confidence in you, why change; a bishop who will refuse you [permission to solicit funds] will find an excuse to refuse an American.[33]

Father Paul also gave Monsignor Barry-Doyle his support; as he told Bishop Calavassy, “no one is so well fitted to carry on the work … than the Founder himself.” And, as for replacing him with a Jesuit, what Jesuit, asked Father Paul, “would put all that is in him into the promotion of the work of the Association in the same unstinted and undivided way that the Monsignor has done?”[34] Afterward, Father Paul repeated to Father Sandalgi Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s reasons for rejecting Bishop Collins and Fathers Walsh and LaFarge.[35]

Then Joseph Moore, who had fared well as Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s manager, betrayed him. In November, in a letter marked “confidential,” he informed Bishop Calavassy that Monsignor Barry-Doyle was acting contrary to the exarch’s instructions. He had spoken to the monsignor, said Mr. Moore, and had explained how helpful it would be to have an eminent American Jesuit in the presidency. In his reply, “Dr. Doyle” said he had no objections to his manager approaching various Jesuits, but he insisted that he himself would not remain with CNEWA other than as president.[36]

In actual fact, without Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s knowledge, Mr. Moore had already arranged to discuss the presidency with Father Edmund Walsh. Reporting to Bishop Calavassy about an illustrated lecture that Father Walsh had given as the former head of the papal relief mission to Russia, Mr. Moore contemplated the wonders the Jesuit’s famine slides might work for the benefit of CNEWA. He hesitated to approach people like Father Walsh, said Mr. Moore, without first consulting “Dr. Doyle,” yet, knowing the president’s attitude, “it is obvious that something must be done and the only way I can see is for you to insist on the proposed change [sic] being carried out.”[37]

On 1 December 1925 Father von Galen arrived back in New York, this time under Benedictine auspices, and the newspapers focused on the special reunion work the Holy Father had entrusted to the Catholic Union and to the Order of St. Benedict.[38] Joseph Moore got the point immediately. It no longer mattered, he warned Bishop Calavassy, that the Catholic Union did not have official standing in America. Father von Galen could now present himself as a Benedictine with a mandate not only from his abbot primate but from the pope himself. CNEWA faced certain death unless a similar endorsement was soon received from the Holy See.[39]

Four days later, on 5 December, Monsignor Barry-Doyle sent to Cardinal Tacci at the Oriental Congregation $500 in Mass stipends that Father Paul had diverted from Bishop Calavassy. Promising to send $500 in stipends monthly, he repeated verbatim what Mr. Moore had written to the exarch about Father von Galen and the Benedictines. Cardinal Hayes was willing to be CNEWA’s protector, he reported, and, on the basis of his interview with Cardinal Hayes, he said he had decided not to relinquish the CNEWA presidency. His speaking engagements would take him into June 1926, and, he added, “because I am prepared to do the work as a work of reparation to Almighty God, I am prepared to give it my best services.”[40]

On 8 December 1925 Monsignor Barry-Doyle also sent Bishop Calavassy $500 in stipends, with a similar pledge of stipends every month, and the typed portion of this letter echoed what he had written to the Congregation. In a handwritten postscript, however, he warned the exarch not to place too much confidence in Father Sandalgi. He further advised that Father von Galen’s friends were spreading rumors that the monsignor had been received in Rome as a discredited man and that Bishop Calavassy had told him to resign. “I have not heard or seen anything of Mr. Wetmore at all,” Monsignor Barry-Doyle observed wryly, “but he is here and I know talking about me.”[41]

The next day, Bishop Calavassy, who had just returned to Athens from Rome, reassured Monsignor Barry-Doyle that “the final result of this abnormal situation will be the victory of our cause,” despite Father von Galen’s success which was only “temporary.” The congregation had told him, said the exarch, that it was greatly disturbed by Father von Galen’s exaggerated publicity, that the CU would never be authorized to work in America and that the long-awaited endorsement of CNEWA would be forthcoming as soon as possible. The Benedictines, nevertheless, were still trying to get authorization for the CU in America, and for this reason, said Bishop Calavassy, it was important that CNEWA have the assistance of the Jesuits. No one was so well fitted to continue the work of CNEWA as Monsignor Barry-Doyle himself, of course, but then Bishop Calavassy added:

The reason I suggested to place, at least pro forma, an American at the head of the work is because I foresaw the great difficulties you would have to deal with, as a foreigner, and because the wish of the Congregation is to render it as American as possible in order make it acceptable to the Bishops and more stable. But even in that case your cooperation in the work is absolutely necessary so that I cannot imagine it without you as the founder and my representative. If you could interest in it an American who would accept to give his name as President, leaving to you to carry on the work, it would be an excellent thing. I am insisting on my opinion that Bishop Collins would be the best man if he accepted to lend his name. They say that he is sick, but it does not matter, I think, since you anyhow will do the work. … I can tell you confidentially that it is exactly this that the Holy See expects from you. If you succeed, you will immortalize your name and you will have an immense merit before God and His Church.[42]

Writing separately to Joseph Moore, Bishop Calavassy said it was necessary to enlarge CNEWA’s scope in order to get help from elsewhere, especially from the Jesuits who, he declared, “are particularly interested in the conversion of the Russians.” For this purpose it would be good to have as president an American, although this decision would have to come from Monsignor Barry-Doyle himself. Then Bishop Calavassy noted that his seminary in Athens was now under the direction of a Jesuit who had been appointed by the father general at the exarch’s request.[43]

On 14 December Bishop Calavassy mentioned the Jesuits again. Writing to Father Sandalgi he said that in Rome the Jesuit father general, Father Vladimir Ledochowski (who had refused Father von Galen a letter of recommendation), and Father Michael d’Herbigny, the president of the Pontifical Commission to Russia, both agreed that CNEWA should broaden its scope and pledged their full support. As for the presidency, to ignore the original founder would be unjust, but for its own good CNEWA needed an American at the helm. Nevertheless, Bishop Calavassy hoped that somehow a solution would be found, and that Monsignor Barry-Doyle would continue in the work he had begun.[44]

In a hastily scribbled postscript Bishop Calavassy added some “very happy news.” Word had arrived just as he was about to mail the letter that, if the Oriental Congregation approved, Father Walsh had agreed to accept the CNEWA presidency. But, added the exarch, “As I told you in my letter, it should be absolutely imperative to keep also Msgr. Barry-Doyle by permitting him a distinguished place in the Direction of the Association as its founder and as my representative.”[45] In a letter of 16 December Mr. Moore had given Bishop Calavassy the details. He had met with Father Walsh the day before, they had discussed the position, and Father Walsh said he was interested. In Mr. Moore’s opinion, however, Monsignor Barry-Doyle would not agree to resign unless he were offered a post higher than that of president, such as chancellor, and “unless Your Lordship insists upon it. … I have done my part,” Mr. Moore concluded. “The matter is now up to you…”[46]

Bishop Calavassy, however, dared not move without the approval of Father Paul. In order to be saved from absorption or elimination by the Catholic Union, CNEWA now needed a president who could claim personal experience with the Russians, and thus counter the influence of the Benedictines. Bishop Calavassy wrote, “I tell you this confidentially, I succeeded to have almost a formal promise from the part of the Father General of the Jesuit Fathers, who is a great man and in great sympathy with our work.” The exarch was informing Mr. Moore by cable that he approved of Father Walsh, he said, provided Monsignor Barry-Doyle did not object to him.[47] To the latter Bishop Calavassy then directed his most persuasive powers: “… since there is no comparison between [the Benedictines’] influence and that of the Jesuit Fathers, I am convinced that if we secure the latter, the Association will triumph,” he wrote. He then added, “do not be afraid to allow Father Walsh to be the first President for one year. … If you succeed to secure the cooperation of Father Walsh, you will soon put the ’Catholic Union’ out of business.”[48] The new CNEWA would have three branches — one for the Russians, under the presidency of Father Walsh; one for the Greeks and Melkites, under the presidency of Monsignor Barry-Doyle; and a third for the Ruthenians and others in the Byzantine rite, under the presidency of Father Sandalgi. The three branches would constitute a single organization, under the jurisdiction of the Oriental Congregation, and the presidency would be rotated among the three directors, or be held by some prelate who was American.[49]

Monsignor Barry-Doyle exploded. He let a week go by without replying to Bishop Calavassy’s letter, and then, accusing Mr. Moore of scheming behind his back,[50] he complained that Father Walsh, in New York to discuss the presidency with Mr. Moore, had never even called on him. Furthermore, when the monsignor asked Mr. Moore, “Why didn’t Father Walsh call on me?” Mr. Moore replied, “Do you think Father Walsh would call on you? Father Walsh would expect you to call on him.”[51] This confirmed what Monsignor Barry-Doyle had heard from reliable sources, that Father Walsh was a “difficult man to get on with, and … greatly puffed up with his own importance.” Also, the exarch should know that Mr. Moore had been going about blaming Bishop Calavassy for the failure of the merger. Moreover, according to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, Mr. Moore was trying to involve the Jesuits in CNEWA because his brother-in-law was a promising young Jesuit in New York, and that he was championing the Russian cause over and above the Greek cause because it would provide more lucrative commissions for him.

Finally, Monsignor Barry-Doyle told Bishop Calavassy frankly that the exarch had broken his word by not letting the CNEWA president select his successor. “The only consolation I have,” he said, “is in the firm belief that you have been entirely deceived by Mr. Moore’s letters and cables.” Nevertheless, if the bishop wanted him to work in a position subordinate to that of Father Walsh, Monsignor Barry-Doyle would give it a try, difficult as it would be.[52] In all probability, Father Paul had met with Monsignor Barry-Doyle during that painful week, and his reply to Bishop Calavassy’s letter was cutting indeed. Joseph Moore was a traitor and an opportunist; if the troika arrangement were to be adopted, Monsignor Barry-Doyle, as founder, should be primus inter pares, with Bishop Michael Hoban as CNEWA’s executive president. As CNEWA’s vice-president, Father Paul felt confident, as he stated not without irony, “that this delicate matter will be happily adjusted through your wisdom and the supreme authority of the Sacred Congregation Pro Ecclesia Orientale as the instrument of the Holy Father.” Father Paul then resigned as vice-president.[53]

Meanwhile, in Rome, where Father d’Herbigny, the Jesuit, was extremely powerful in matters Russian, the Father Walsh nomination was being processed quickly. A 12 January 1926 memorandum from the secretary of state’s office to the Oriental Congregation reported that Monsignor Barry-Doyle and many bishops in America were in favor of Father Walsh’s appointment and that the approval of Cardinal Tacci’s Congregation was requested, especially since Father Walsh, as former head of the papal relief mission to Russia, was both an American and well known. It was said that Father von Galen, who had so strongly resisted all efforts to merge the Catholic Union with CNEWA, would oppose the nomination, and the memorandum advised the Congregation to proceed with plans for the merger.[54]

The Congregation also had feelings. Still smarting, apparently, from the private audience Father von Galen had been given in July, Cardinal Sincero informed the Holy Father that the Benedictine had organized in support of the Catholic Union a “discreet” number of bishops and interested laity when he returned to the States, even though he had been told that the Holy See did not intend to give the Catholic Union canonical status in the United States. From a CNEWA/Catholic Union merger, Cardinal Sincero said, there should come a new organization aimed at reuniting the separated brethren in America as well as in the East, and it should be under the direction of the American hierarchy and at the disposition of the Holy Father. As president, the congregation recommended the archbishop of New York, who would appoint a board of directors.[55]

Monsignor Barry-Doyle took two weeks to make peace with Joseph Moore. On 21 January the CNEWA founder held a “long and quiet conference” with his manager, who apologized for acting unwisely for his own advantage and who exonerated Father Walsh of all misconduct. “Once more,” wrote a mollified Monsignor Barry-Doyle, “peace and harmony prevails.”[56] The next day he wrote Father Walsh to welcome him as the new CNEWA president and he pledged his full support. He cabled his acceptance of Father Walsh to Monsignor Philip Giobbe at the Oriental Congregation, and to Father Paul he stated simply, “All’s well again.” Bishop Calavassy was notified by cablegram, but in a five-page handwritten letter Monsignor Barry-Doyle warned the exarch afterward that while he might have come to terms with Father Walsh, the monsignor had not changed his opinion of the Georgetown Jesuit: “Father Walsh will not take any interference, etc., etc. He acted in the same independent manner when he was in Russia, this I am sure of! Guard your own interests.”[57]

In Rome all was ready. On 26 January Bishop Calavassy received word that despite opposition from some Vatican officials, Cardinal Sincero, who recently had been named pro-secretary at the Oriental Congregation, had agreed to present Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s report to the pope. The timing was perfect, for Pope Pius XI, who needed funds for his newly-organized Pontifical Commission for Russia, had already decided to summon Father Walsh to Rome. The Jesuit Father d’Herbigny in effect was the Pontifical Commission, American Catholics were a potential source of funding for it.[58]

On 4 February, before departing for Rome, Father Walsh met in New York with Father von Galen to whom, thanks to Mr. Wetmore and his friends, the Catholic press had been giving full coverage. In January Father von Galen had spent a week with Cardinal O’Connell in Boston, who gave the Benedictine permission to campaign in Boston during April and urged him to use his newspaper, The Pilot, for publicity. Moreover, Cardinal O’Connell accepted honorary membership in the Catholic Union. Shortly after that, Cardinal Hayes told Father von Galen that, instead of individual fundraisers campaigning “on behalf of Greece [Bishop Calavassy, Monsignor Barry-Doyle], Syria, Armenia, Mosul, etc., a single agency should work for the combined needs of the Oriental Congregation.” This, of course, was Father von Galen’s dream — a Catholic Union in every country, supporting the work of the Oriental Congregation, as the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (S.P.F.) supported the work of the Congregation of the Propaganda Fide. There was danger of conflict, naturally, with the S.P.F., but Father von Galen could report that Catholic Union collections would be forwarded through the diocesan S.P.F. directors, and in this way, he predicted, “we will maintain the best overall rapport with the Propagation of the Faith.”[59] To this end also, he said, he had befriended the S.P.F. national director, Monsignor William Quinn.

By the time he met Father Walsh, however, Father von Galen was already aware of the rumblings in Rome. In a letter of 26 January to Abbot Fidelis von Stotzingen, Father von Galen spoke of recent news about the Jesuit Father d’Herbigny who, it was said, “is working with might and main against the Catholic Union.”[60] In a letter two days later to his own abbot, Ernst Vykoukal, he was strikingly more frank: there was a Jesuit conspiracy afoot. In Vienna, the nunciature was being pressured to merge the Catholic Union with the Jesuit-run Cyril and Methodius Apostolate; in America, an effort to merge the Catholic Union with CNEWA was being spearheaded by Father Walsh. “My friends here are suspicious,” wrote Father von Galen. Father Walsh, who had made known publicly his position on the merger, was about to go to Rome where Cardinal Gasparri was one of his influential friends. To make matters worse, Abbot von Stotzingen considered Father d’Herbigny “his friend” and of “d’Herbignian ideas” spoke highly. “Unless I am very mistaken,” Father von Galen ventured, “he [the Abbot Primate] will hand over the CU to the Jesuits on a silver platter.” To avert this disaster, Father von Galen told Abbot Vykoukal he had sent a cablegram and lengthy letter to Cardinal Fruhwirth, their strongest supporter and best friend in Rome.[61]

Louis Wetmore, too, was alarmed. He told Monsignor Giobbe of the Oriental Congregation that he had never seen an organization like the CU receive the support of so many bishops in such a short time. He noted that in addition to the Converts League the CU had won the endorsement of more than 40 archbishops and bishops, including Cardinals O’Connell of Boston and Dougherty of Philadelphia, and the important support of the S.P.F. national director, Monsignor Quinn, who said he could see no conflict of interest in the aims of the Catholic Union and the S.P.F. Mr. Wetmore concluded with the promise to send along money for the training of seminarians in Rome, and with the hope that Monsignor Giobbe “would not hesitate to request a favor now and then of the Converts League.”[62]

Still, when he met with Father Walsh in New York on 4 February 1926, Father von Galen gave every sign of meekness and submissiveness. Would he favor amalgamation with CNEWA? But, indeed, he had always favored it. Would he impose conditions? Only that it meet with the Holy Father’s approval and, yes, that Monsignor Barry-Doyle not remain as president. Father Walsh seemed satisfied,[63] but in fact Father von Galen had not surrendered. As soon as Father Walsh was safely at sea, Father von Galen wrote to Cardinal Hayes “to report about the further progress which the Catholic Union has been making of late in Boston, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and other places.” He informed him that an “old friend” of the cardinal in New York, Mr. Martin Conboy, had taken a very great interest in the work of the Catholic Union, and had consented to become a vice-president. “Your Eminence will also be glad to hear,” said Father von Galen, “that, besides Judge Victor C. Dowling, I have enlisted the support of Judge Alfred J. Talley as a Director.”[64]

On arrival in Rome, Father Walsh met immediately with Father d’Herbigny, who shortly thereafter submitted a memorandum to Pope Pius XI that highlighted Father Walsh’s achievements and influence in the United States and recommended him for his loyalty to the Holy See, his social philosophy (elements of which had been embodied in Pope Leo XIII’s encyclicals) and his acceptability to the American hierarchy.[65]

Father Walsh also wrote a memorandum on 20 February. He described himself as well known to the American bishops and well qualified to raise money for the Russian people. He then offered his own evaluation of CNEWA and the Catholic Union in America. Monsignor Barry-Doyle was a good man, but unfortunately his British ties and extravagant lifestyle hurt him (and then Father Walsh pointed out that a confidential report on Monsignor Barry-Doyle was on file in the Secretariat of State). A change of presidents was imperative and Father Walsh confirmed that Monsignor Barry-Doyle had agreed to an American successor. The Catholic Union, on the other hand, with its modest results and exclusively religious aims, was less important. Moreover, regarding a title, Catholic Welfare was far better than Catholic Union in the Jesuit’s opinion, and Father Walsh recommended a merger.[66]

The memorandum was only a formality, for by then Pope Pius XI had decided that the Catholic Union in the United States should be absorbed by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and that Father Walsh should be put in charge. On 26 February Cardinal Gasparri informed Cardinal Sincero of this decision,[67] and on 10 March Cardinal Sincero returned to Cardinal Gasparri, for the pope’s approval, the following six proposals:

1. Hereafter all Catholic Organizations working for the common cause of aiding Russia and the Near East, as well as all other organizations proposing to labor for causes comprised within the scope of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church and the Pontifical Commission for Russia, shall be united in one body and remain united under a common direction.

2. In particular, the two organizations already working in this field, namely the “Catholic Near East Welfare Association” and the “Catholic Union” should be merged.
The title “Catholic Near East Welfare Association” will be sufficient to express adequately the general purpose and scope of these two unified organizations. It is understood and it is hereby declared that this title includes also the “Catholic Union” and the purpose for which that Society has hitherto labored.

3. All funds which may be collected shall be placed directly at the disposal of the Holy Father…

4. It is imperative the “Catholic Near East Welfare Association” be placed under the immediate control and direction of a member of the Hierarchy. … We have deemed it advisable, therefore, that Cardinal Hayes be requested by the Holy See to continue to interest himself in this work and to accord His gracious assent to these, our proposals.

5. It will be opportune, moreover if Cardinal Hayes will invite their Eminences the Cardinals of the United States and a number of the Archbishops to form, with himself, a Board of Governors. … In view of this complete confidence ever felt in the Hierarchy, the Holy See leaves to them full liberty in the practical working out of this project.

6. Finally this Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church and the Pontifical Commission for Russia propose, through Your Eminence, that the Holy Father approve as President of the “Catholic Near East Welfare Association” the Reverend Edmund A. Walsh S.J., former Director-General of the Papal Relief Mission to Russia.[68]

Events now moved quickly. Within 24 hours Cardinal Gasparri informed Cardinal Sincero that the pope had approved the proposals[69] and Cardinal Hayes had already been told by Monsignor Paul Marella, auditor of the Apostolic Delegation in Washington, D.C., that whereas CNEWA should be encouraged, the Catholic Union should not undertake anything new and the word “pontifical” identifying it with the Holy See should no longer be used.[70]

The Benedictines in Rome seemed caught by surprise. On 12 March Mr. Wetmore received an urgent cable from Father Placid de Meester, O.S.B., a consultor to the Oriental Congregation and procurator general for the Belgian Benedictines. The congregation, he reported, was ordering the amalgamation of the Catholic Union with CNEWA, and Father von Galen was said to favor it. Mr. Wetmore cabled Father von Galen in San Francisco, requesting authorization to ask Cardinal Fruhwirth to intervene.[71] Father von Galen did not reply to Mr. Wetmore’s cable, it seems, and Mr. Wetmore informed the Benedictine that, as of 1 June, he would no longer be able to work for the Catholic Union.[72] In any case, it was too late to intervene; on 13 March Cardinal Gasparri informed Father Walsh officially that the merger would take place and that the latter was named president of the new CNEWA.[73]

It is probable that, as he complained later to Cardinal Hayes, Father von Galen “knew nothing of the merger, whereas Barry-Doyle knew all,”[74] for on 28 March he expressed to his abbot in Prague the fervent hope that Father de Meester and Cardinal Fruhwirth would be able to work successfully for the Catholic Union against the Jesuits,[75] and as late as 11 May he asked Cardinal Hayes’s permission to take up a collection in New York.[76]

Others were aware of it, however. On 31 March Cardinal Dougherty resigned as protector of the Catholic Union and told Father von Galen to remove his name from the Catholic Union letterhead.[77] Nine days later, Cardinal Sincero instructed the apostolic delegate in Washington, D.C., to tell Cardinal Hayes to proceed with the merger.[78] Bishop Calavassy was exuberant. On 4 April, referring to the “magnificent victory Divine Providence bestowed on the CNEWA,” he cheered Monsignor Barry-Doyle with the word that “your work is now becoming the official instrument of the Holy See for helping the Oriental Missions under the control of the Sacred Congregation for Orientals, as the Propagation of the Faith is for the Latin Missions under the control of the Propaganda.”[79]

On 19 May the apostolic delegate in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Pietro Fumasoni-Biondi, informed Cardinal Sincero that his letter of 10 March to Cardinal Gasparri had been sent to all of the American bishops, and that Cardinal Hayes, Monsignor Barry-Doyle and Father von Galen were ready to cooperate.[80] Nevertheless, Father von Galen was still persistent. Despite the fact that he had been informed by Father Walsh that he should have ready by 14 June a “formal statement” for the Holy Father expressing the willingness of the Catholic Union to cooperate in the merger,[81] on 11 June, saying he was grateful to the Holy See for entrusting the Catholic Union to Cardinal Hayes, he requested a meeting with Cardinal Hayes to discuss the Catholic Union’s future.[82] Obviously, Father Walsh had Father von Galen in mind when he cabled Cardinal Sincero on 11 June that the merger was proceeding “despite difficulties,”[83] and that same day Joseph Moore reported to Monsignor Barry-Doyle that Father Walsh found it necessary to instruct the organizer of the International Eucharistic Congress scheduled for Chicago in 1926 to remove all the insignia and emblems of the Catholic Union and to omit all public mention of its name. Mr. Moore also reported that Father Walsh had found it necessary to correct the text of Father von Galen’s sermon, and to send 84 telegrams to Catholic newspapers asking them not to publish an article by Louis Wetmore that was harshly critical of CNEWA. Father Walsh also asked the N.C.W.C. News Service to reject all press releases from the Catholic Union, and Mr. Moore said Father Walsh claimed to have the authority to close the Catholic Union office in New York.[84] When they met with Father Walsh on 14 June both Father von Galen and Monsignor Barry-Doyle said they were amenable to the merger, a fact Father Walsh reported to Cardinal Gasparri that same day.[85] Father Walsh proceeded to put on paper what was accepted without discussion when they met with Cardinal Hayes at his residence on 12 July.[86] At this meeting the Catholic Union surrendered its identity and it was agreed that Father von Galen’s office be closed. With Father Walsh as president, the new organization would continue to use the CNEWA charter, and it would have the following six departments, each headed by a designated individual:

1. Greece and the Balkans
2. General Relief in Russia and Asia Minor
3. Religious Welfare (to assume the work of the Catholic Union)
4. Education and Student Exchange
5. Domestic Interests Affecting the Oriental Church in America
6. Business Administration

Father von Galen and Monsignor Barry-Doyle were each told to submit financial statements, but while Monsignor Barry-Doyle was authorized to look for preaching opportunities in New York Father von Galen was permitted only to keep the engagements he had made for September and October, at which time he would make clear that he was being sponsored by CNEWA. Cardinal Hayes also instructed the Benedictine to remove “Catholic Union” from his letterheads and pamphlets.[87]

Two days after the meeting, Father von Galen told Cardinal Hayes he hoped that the aims of the Catholic Union would be accomplished by CNEWA, and he complained vividly about the treatment he had been given by Father Walsh.[88] And, when Cardinal Hayes received the Catholic Union financial report on 16 July, he found attached to it a complaint that the Society for the Propagation of the Faith had prevented better results.[89] Six days later Father Walsh recommended to Cardinal Sincero that Father von Galen be told not to return to the United States.[90]

Because he was “ill,” Monsignor Barry-Doyle did not attend the annual meeting of CNEWA on 7 August 1926, but a motion was passed expressing appreciation for his services and regret that he no longer remained as president.[91] Father Walsh was elected president; Father Paul, vice-president; and Mr. Moore, general secretary. Also elected were Mr. Edward F. Maguire, of Newark, N.J., treasurer, and Hon. Michael Francis Doyle of Philadelphia, Pa., general counsel. Cardinal Hayes became chairman of the executive committee, Bishop Hoban of Scranton, vice chairman, and the following seven were named to the board of directors: Cardinals O’Connell, Dougherty and Hayes, Archbishops John Glennon of St. Louis and Edward Hanna of San Francisco, and Bishops Hoban of Scranton and Thomas Francis Lillis of Kansas City.

Four days later Father Paul wrote to Bishop Calavassy to say that all’s well that ends well. He explained that his earlier resignation from CNEWA had been inspired by affection for Monsignor Barry-Doyle, and that he had returned to CNEWA and was again its vice-president, at the behest of Father Edmund Walsh, communicated by Joseph Moore. He also wished to withdraw his earlier criticism of Mr. Moore, who, he said, “is to be congratulated on the valuable service he has rendered the association itself and the cause of Catholic reunion in the Near East.”[92]

Thus, the merger had succeeded and CNEWA had survived. At their eighth annual meeting on 15 September, the American bishops formally recognized the newly-reorganized Catholic Near East Welfare Association. By means of the following resolution, the bishops accepted it as their “sole instrumentality” for funds for “Catholic interests” in Russia and the Near East:

The Hierarchy of the United States in conference assembled express their full approval and adoption of the program of the Holy See providing for the unification of all societies now working in the United States of America for Russia and the Near East. The resultant organization, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc., shall be the sole instrumentality authorized to solicit funds for Catholic interests in those regions and shall be so recommended to the entire Catholic population of the United States simultaneously in all dioceses, on a given Sunday, the date to be arranged in consultation with the respective Ordinaries.[93]


(Click numbers to return to text.)

[1] Werner Stenzel to Louis Wetmore, 5 August 1925 (ACUF) USA/113. Unless otherwise noted, all references to events leading up to and including 21 July are from this source.

[2] Cardinal Piffl to Cardinal Tacci, 26 June 1925.

[3] Bishop Calavassy, “The Report of the Meeting for the Amalgamation of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Catholic Union,” n.d. (A.G.C.E.) D2/90.

[4] Officially launched in 1891 by Anthony Cyril Stojan, a parish priest in Pribor Cxechoslovakia, who later became archbishop of Olomonc in Moravia, the Apostolate of Sts. Cyril and Methodius was designed for the restoration of Church unity. Following World War I it spread through the Slavic countries; in 1924 its constitution was readjusted, and the following year the Oriental Congregation approved it as an international society. By 1925 it numbered 100,000 members, with contacts planned for America and Russia, among many other countries. In 1929, again in 1930, the Apostolate loudly condemned the downtroddening of human liberty in Russia by Bolshevism, thereby touching off a worldwide campaign of prayer for Russia. The Apostolate at St. Procopius Abbey, in Lisle, Illinois, may have been the result of a proposal by a Jesuit, Father Olsry, to Abbot Ambrose Ondrak. It was primarily a fundraising endeavor, and elder members at the Abbey recall that it did not succeed. See T.J. Horacek, S.J.: “The Apostolate of Sts. Cyril and Methodius,” in Proceedings of the First Unionistic Congress (Lisle, Illinois: St. Procopius Abbey, 1956), also personal letter, Vitus Buresh, O.S.B. to author, 8 April 1977. (ACNEWA).

[5] Mr. Stenzel (cable) to Mr. Wetmore, 21 July 1925 (ACUF) USA/98.

[6] Mr. Stenzel added: “That intrigues are to be looked for, I have no doubt. Rome is a hotbed of intrigues. My remedy for intrigues is the Holy Father himself … he devoutly wishes the accomplishment of all that the Catholic Union is doing. He wishes it done from Rome. He does not wish a merger with Calavassi’s [sic] work. He wishes funds for a Russian seminary in Rome. He wishes the appointment of a Benedictine treasurer in Rome. He wishes the establishment of a ‘petit seminaire’ by the Benedictines.” Mr. Stenzel also urged Mr. Wetmore on his upcoming trip to Rome to call on Father von Galen and act as his advisor. Writes Mr. Stenzel: “He [Father von Galen] will gladly tell you each step he takes. He will gladly be helped and guided. He wants it, he needs it, and he is grateful, — dear soul!” Interestingly, the CU manager concludes his Report with the notice that he was sending a copy of it to another person who, it would seem, also exerted a strong influence on the Austrian, Mrs. Steward P. West.

[7] Mr. Wetmore to Mr. Stenzel, 12 August 1925 (ACUF) USA/115.

[8] For excerpts of Floyd Keller’s publicity, see letter of Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 26 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/94.

[9] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Pope Pius XI, 20 July 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/88. Monsignor Barry-Doyle had raised $85,000 from his lectures, and $31,000 from private contributions. Bishop Calavassy received only 40 per cent, the rest having gone for expenses, of which Joseph Moore’s salary and commission amounted to $19,449.17. That the presentation of this report was a direct result of Father von Galen’s audience with Pope Pius XI, see Bishop Calavassy to Father Paul, 5 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/155.

[10] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Pope Pius XI, 20 July 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/88. The actual report (D2/89) is a five-page description of CNEWA’s origin and development. CNEWA’s goals, as now stated, vastly different from those set forth in the 1924 papers of incorporation, are: 1. to reunite the separated brethrens of Greece and the Near East with the see of Peter; 2. to erect seminaries, churches, schools, and other institutions, where the true doctrine of Christ may be taught; 3. to furnish food, clothing and Christian instruction to the poor children of Greece and the Near East.

[11] Bishop Calavassy to Cardinal Tacci, 20 July 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/88.

[12] Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 26 August 1925

[13] Many Austrian Catholics at this time were looking for protection against Socialists and Nazis in a paramilitary body of their own, the Heimwehr, which openly Catholic, its banners and guidons blessed in churches, and its military exercises preceded by a Feldmesse. Father Sandalgi and Father Walsh were both reflecting the official view of the Vatican, which, embarrassed by the movement, refused to recognize it publicly. Mussolini, on the other hand, approved of the Heimwehr’s similarity with his Fascists and supplied it with funds and propaganda material. See Rhodes, The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators (1922-1945, pp. 141-160.

[14] Father Sandalgi to Bishop Calavassy, 21 October 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/159.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 26 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/94.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Father Vakondios, “Pere Paul,” p. 46: “Il est superflu d’ajonter que si ces fantaisies ne pouvaient pas etre prises au serieus, elles revelent toutefois que quelques-uns des collaborateurs de von Galen n’etaient pas bien serieux, peut-etre meme pas conscients de ce qu’ils entendaient dire ou faire.”

[19] Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 21 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/160A. Father von Galen himself wrote: “I came to Rome myself, 17 June 1925, and found the Sacred Congregation determined to have me join. My second visit to Rome was made in July, 1925. Conferences with Bishop Calavassy and Monsignor Barry-Doyle were held. But the Holy Father plainly instructed me in a long private audience not to join and gave me His [sic] reasons for this decision.” See Father von Galen, “Memorandum,” p. 1. That Father Paul’s withholding of 500 stipends hurt Bishop Calavassy financially, see Bishop Calavassy to Cardinal Tacci, 17 October 1925 (SOC) prot. no. 17163; Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 27 October 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/96; and Bishop Calavassy to Father Paul, 2 November 1925 (A.G.C.E.)D1a/161.

[20] Father von Galen to Father Paul, 26 June 1925 (F.P.R.C.).

[21] Bishop Calavassy to Father Paul, 21 November 1925 (A.G.C.E.).

[22] Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 21 November 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/169. Joseph Moore also contended that it was precisely this ultimatum, not alone that the receipts should be split equally between Russia and Greece, but that the first million dollars would go directly to Athens, which in the final analysis drove Father von Galen to his audience with Pope Pius. See Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 16 January 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D1b/4.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid. Monsignor Barry-Doyle attributed Mr. Wetmore’s attitude to the fact that he was not allowed “on any consideration” to become a CNEWA director. Why, Monsignor Barry-Doyle does not say. The monsignor also charged that Father von Galen never wished to serve under Bishop Calavassy. “From the beginning Father von Galen thought he was to serve directly under the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the proposal that an American was to be at the head of the Association in this country was another reason why he would not amalgamate.” See Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 26 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/94. Bishop Calavassy, seems to be in agreement with this interpretation. Writing to Cardinal Cardinal Tacci, the exarch charged that, in the beginning Father von Galen was quite willing to merge, asking only that it be done in such a way that he could save face with his friends in America. For this reason, said Bishop Calavassy, Father von Galen was offered the vice-presidency. All the time, however, he was working underhandedly to subvert the expressed intent of the Sacred Congregation; see Bishop Calavassy to Cardinal Tacci, 17 October 1925 (SOC) prot. no. 17163.

[25] That is, up until the Rome meetings. According to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, he and Bishop Calavassy told Father von Galen “certain things about the Converts League of New York and the character of one prominent member of the league,” and Father von Galen, stupified, “threw up his hands in horror.” Still, Monsignor Barry-Doyle pointed out, it was precisely Mr. Wetmore to whom Father von Galen first cabled the results of his audience with Pope Pius XI. Concluded Monsignor Barry-Doyle: “He [Father von Galen] played his cards well, but not in any honorable or straightforward manner.” See Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 26 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/94.

[26] Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 26 August 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/92. That all three candidates were Jesuits was probably not coincidental. Bishop Calavassy was a friend of the father general of the Jesuit order, Fr. Ledochowski, a confident of Pope Pius XI.

[27] Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 16 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/156.

[28] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, cablegram, 25 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/93.

[29] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 25 September 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/94. Reading between the lines one can sense a new-found hope on the part of Monsignor Barry-Doyle to remain in the presidency. This will become more apparent.

[30] The director, presumably, was Mr. Wetmore.

[31] Father von Galen, “Memorandum,” Ibid., (ACNEWA).

[32] Ibid.

[33] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 8 October 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/95.

[34] Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 19 November 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/167. Father Paul also reported that the hostility to Monsignor Barry-Doyle on the part of the Irish clergy was on the wane, an assessment not shared by Joseph Moore. See Mr. Moore to Bishop Calavassy, 6 November 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/164.

[35] Father Paul to Father Sandalgi, 27 October 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/160. Very probably Monsignor Barry-Doyle and Father Paul had synchronized their efforts to keep the Jesuits out.

[36] Mr. Moore to Bishop Calavassy, 6 November 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/164.

[37] Ibid. Mr. Moore also recommended Rev. Edward F. Garesche, S.J., and another unnamed Jesuit lecturer connected with the Mission Film Society. And to underscore Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s liability, the CNEWA manager reported that the Newark campaign was brought to an abrupt end because the local clergy did everything possible to make the event a failure. His lecture was sensational, attracting nearly 4000 people, and the action of the bishop and clergy shows, said Mr. Moore, “that we cannot continue dependent upon the one speaker.”

[38] Mr. Moore to Bishop Calavassy, 2 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/170.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Cardinal Tacci, 5 December 1925 (SOC) prot. no. 17897.

[41] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 8 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/98.

[42] Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 9 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/99. Bishop Calavassy said he would have secured the letter while in Rome, had not Cardinal Cardinal Tacci been out of the city because of sickness. Bishop Calavassy also quoted Father Walsh as saying that Monsignor Barry-Doyle’s work should be confined to the Greeks and should be carried out in a parallel way with the work for the Russians, but not under the direction of Father von Galen. “In Rome,” said Bishop Calavassy, “they were more pleased with the idea of a unique work for the cause of reunion, subject to the Oriental Congregation.”

[43] Bishop Calavassy to Mr. Moore, 9 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/172.

[44] Bishop Calavassy to Father Sandalgi, 14 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/173.

[45] Ibid. The actual telegram read: “Father Walsh accepts Presidency if approved Congregation. He would eliminate prejudice add influence prestige Association. Letter following. Waiting answer.” See Mr. Moore (cable) to Bishop Calavassy, 16 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/175.

[46] Mr. Moore to Bishop Calavassy, 16 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/174.

[47] Bishop Calavassy to Father Paul, 18 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/176. Bishop Calavassy also agreed that if Monsignor Barry-Doyle were to “get tired, or sick or go to his reward,” the Association, in its present state, would inevitably disappear with him – hence, the necessity of bringing in others to perpetuate the work.

[48] Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 19 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/100. This new proposal was actually contained in a letter that same day to Mr. Moore, a copy of which Bishop Calavassy enclosed in his letter to Monsignor Barry-Doyle; see Bishop Calavassy to Mr. Moore, 19 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D1a/177.

[49] Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 19 December 1925 (A.G.C.E.) D2/100.

[50] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 17 January 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D2/104. Monsignor Barry-Doyle admitted that Mr. Moore had asked him on one occasion if he might speak to Father Walsh about the presidency. The monsignor said he told Mr. Moore to wait a while, until the letter from Rome arrived, in the hope that Father Walsh might be more willing. He then recorded the following conversation: Monsignor Barry-Doyle: “I don’t think Father Walsh would accept the position, he is too high and mighty in his ideas.” Mr. Moore: “Would it surprise you to know he is willing to accept it.” Monsignor Barry-Doyle: “But, I have no intention of resigning.” Mr. Moore: “You have nothing to say on the question, for Bishop Calavassy told me in Rome he would compel you.” Monsignor Barry-Doyle: “Bishop Calavassy will never have to compel my resignation.”

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid. It is noteworthy that Monsignor Barry-Doyle wrote this letter on Graymoor stationery, a clear reminder to Bishop Calavassy of Father Paul’s support for the CNEWA president.

[53] Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 16 January 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D1b/4. Father Paul also accused Mr. Moore of blaming Bishop Calavassy for driving Father von Galen to his audience with the pope by making it an ultimatum not alone that the receipts should be equally divided between Russia and Greece, but that the first million raised by the association should go directly to Athens. Monsignor Barry-Doyle later confirmed that Father Paul had no use for Mr. Moore, and, as for Father Walsh, “he does not like the Jesuits he hates them.” See Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 24 February 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D2/111.

[54] Memorandum from Monsignor Pizzardo to Cardinal Tacci, 12 January 1926, Vatican Documents, I. (ACNEWA).

[55] Memorandum from Cardinal Sincero to Pope Pius XI, January 1926, Vatican Documents, I. (ACNEWA).

[56] Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 22 January 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D2/105.

[57] Ibid. Soon after Monsignor Barry-Doyle wrote to Father Walsh, the latter and he agreed to meet in New York. At this meeting Father Walsh said that he was on his way to Rome “for a vacation.” Commented the monsignor in a letter to Bishop Calavassy: “To me it was obvious he had been sent for, and I would have much preferred if he had told me the honest truth.” Still, Monsignor Barry-Doyle admitted following the meeting, which “He [Father Walsh] made a good impression on me, and for the sake of the future of the Association I urged him to accept the Presidency of it. Father von Galen’s immense publicity, and the wicked report spread about me far and near urged me to select Father Walsh.” See also Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 24 February 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D2/111.

[58] In Washington and elsewhere Father Walsh knew the wealthy and the powerful.

[59] Father von Galen to Abbot von Stotzingen, 26 January 1926 (ACUV) USA/159.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 28 January 1926 (ACUF) USA/162. As the source of this information, Father von Galen mentions a Monsignor Arata. Monsignor Anthony Arata was secretary at the nuntiature in Prague.

[62] Mr. Wetmore to Monsignor Giobbe, 3 February 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[63] Father von Galen to Cardinal Hayes, 16 February 1926 (ACNEWA).

[64] Ibid.

[65] Father Michael d’Herbigny, “Nota Sull’Attivita del P. Edmondo Walsh S.J. in America negli anni 1924-25,” 18 February 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[66] Father Walsh, “Memorandum,” Rome, 20 February 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[67] Cardinal Gasparri to Cardinal Sincero, 26 February 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[68] Cardinal Sincero to Cardinal Gasparri, 10 March 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[69] Monsignor Marella to Cardinal Hayes, 10 March 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA). Original text: “V.S.I. participi Cardinale New York che si preparano prossimo Aprile documenti officiali per sistemazione Opera Americana pro Oriente e Russia. Intanto incoraggi opera ‘Catholic Welfare Association’ amministrata da Mons. Barry-Doyle. Cardinale dovrebbe fermare ogni nuovo incremento opera ‘Von Galen’, che bisogna resti ‘statu quo,’ senza poter piu usare titolo missione Pontificia affidata.”

[70] Cardinal Gasparri to Cardinal Sincero, 11 March 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[71] Mr. Wetmore to Father von Galen, 12 March 1926 (ACUF) USA/105.

[72] Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 23 March 1926 (ACUF) USA/207.

[73] Cardinal Gasparri to Father Walsh, 13 March 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA). Also, on 12 March 1926, the US press reported that Father Walsh had been made “Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Russia.” See Monsignor Barry-Doyle to Bishop Calavassy, 13 March 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D2/115.

[74] Father von Galen made this charge in his letter to Cardinal Hayes, 21 September 1926, Hayes papers.

[75] Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 28 March 1926 (ACUF) USA/220.

[76] Father von Galen to Cardinal Hayes, 11 May 1926, Hayes papers.

[77] Father von Galen to Abbot Vykoukal, 23 March 1926 (ACUF) USA/207.

[78] Cardinal Sincero to Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, 30 March 1926, Vatican Documents 1 (ACNEWA).

[79] Bishop Calavassy to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 4 April 1926 (A.G.C.E.) D2/117.

[80] Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi to Cardinal Sincero, 19 May 1926, Vatican Documents (ACNEWA).

[81] Father Walsh to Father von Galen, 10 June 1926 (ACNEWA).

[82] Father von Galen to Cardinal Hayes, 11 June 1926, Hayes papers, U-5;N-Q

[83] Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 11 June 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[84] Mr. Moore to Monsignor Barry-Doyle, 11 June 1926 (ACNEWA).

[85] Father Walsh to Cardinal Gasparri, 14 June 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA).

[86] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 10 July 1926 (ACNEWA).

[87] “Minutes of Meeting,” 12 July 1926 (10:30 A.M.), Cardinal’s Residence, New York City, (ACNEWA). The comic confusion that this arrangement led to is set forth in a letter from the rector of Holy Trinity Church in Manhattan to Bishop Dunn. Soon after the meeting with Cardinal Hayes, a representative of Father von Galen approached the rector for permission to preach in his church, claiming he had the approval of Cardinal Hayes. As soon as he left, Monsignor Barry-Doyle came to the door charging that Father von Galen was a fraud, and that it was he the monsignor who had permission to solilcit alms in the archdiocese. See Rector of Holy Trinity to Dunn,15 July 1926, Hayes papers.

[88] Father von Galen to Cardinal Hayes, 14 July 1926, Hayes Papers, U-5; N-Q.

[89] Father von Galen, “Memorandum for His Eminence Cardinal Hayes.” Between 1 January 1925 and 30 June 1926 the Catholic Union received 30,083 Mass stipends (all acquitted by priests working for, or associated with, the Catholic Union, including members of the Benedictine Order in Europe). All other receipts amounted to $62,230.

[90] Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 22 July 1926, Vatican Documents I (ACNEWA). Father von Galen continued to act publicly as if nothing had changed. In the New York Catholic News 12 June 1926, he was quoted as saying, “Through the Apostolic Delegate at Washington the Holy Father has once more shown his interest in the work of the Catholic Union, and expressed his desire that this work should continue in this country…”

[91] “Annual Meeting of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.,” 7 August 1926 (ACNEWA).

[92] Father Paul to Bishop Calavassy, 11 August 1926 (F.P.R.C.).

[93] “Minutes of the Eighty Annual Meeting of the American Hierarchy,” 15 September 1926, p. 4 (USCC Archival Holdings).

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