CNEWA

Chapter 8: Permanent and Independent

On 12 September 1929 the apostolic delegate in the United States, Archbishop Pietro Fumasoni-Biondi, complained to Cardinal Hayes:

Incidentally, I would like to add a few words about the good Father Walsh, S.J. Although living in Washington with all possible facilities of communication with the Delegation, he has never informed me of what he is doing or what he is writing to Rome. Only on one or two occasions has he sent me copies of the records of the meetings of the Commission appointed by your Eminence and on these occasions he did so at my request. Unfortunately, he seems to have no conception, at least no practical conception, of the position of an Apostolic Delegation. He seems to think it possible for him to treat of any matter directly with Rome. Under such circumstances, I deem it difficult, if not impossible, to cooperate with Father Walsh.[1]

Four days later, Patrick Cardinal Hayes informed the delegate, “I am preparing to sail for Rome, October 13th, and hope to confer fully with His Eminence Cardinal Sincero.” He then added:

With regard to Father Walsh, S.J., permit me to say that I have never been informed of the immediate source of his authority. I was under the impression that he was in close touch with Your Excellency. The manner in which he speaks with me, had led me to believe that he reaches the Holy Father through some official in Rome.

There was the same air of mystery about the organization of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.[2]

It was just as well that Father Walsh was unaware of their correspondence, for there was more bad news to come. Following the 29 October 1929 crash of the New York Stock Market, the Great Depression developed, leaving from 12 to 14 million Americans unemployed before the end of President Herbert Hoover’s term. A week after “Black Tuesday,” the bishops gathered at the Catholic University of America in Washington for their 11th annual meeting. In previous years Father Walsh had been invited by William Cardinal O’Connell to address the meeting, but in 1929 he was ignored. Father Walsh later told Cardinal Sincero that at the time of the meeting he was in his Georgetown quarters, only a few miles from the university. But he did not “lobby” to speak to the bishops “as I judged it improper to seek the privilege for myself.”

Father Walsh had given Cardinal O’Connell the opportunity to invite him to speak: on 5 November, before the conference opened, he visited the cardinal of Boston to remind him that the CNEWA board of directors was scheduled to meet the following day. Cardinal O’Connell scheduled the meeting for immediately after lunch and told Father Walsh to come to the university at noon to alert the directors as they were leaving the morning session.

Father Walsh’s report to the directors was dismal, perhaps in part because Cardinal O’Connell had not asked Father Walsh to address the full conference of bishops. CNEWA’s net income for 1929 had fallen to half that of the previous year and Father Walsh predicted that this decline would continue as long as the bishops failed to allow the roll call in their dioceses.[3] Cardinal O’Connell’s remarks to the board of directors were equally upsetting. “Expressing the unanimous message of the Bishops’ Meeting, and not the personal belief of any one bishop or group of bishops,” the cardinal, as chairman of CNEWA’s board, reported that CNEWA could not make further progress until a clear statement from the Holy Father on the association’s status and activities eliminated the duplication that then existed between CNEWA and S.P.F. He stated:

The Holy Father had always insisted on the development of the Propagation of the Faith, and this was now being accomplished throughout the country after much difficulty. The addition of a society which [sic] seemed to duplicate in some respects that same activity had created a situation which [sic] called for immediate clarification.[4]

In fact, Cardinal O’Connell was tempering his words, for the official minutes of the bishops’ conference reveal that the bishops had made it “quite clear” in their discussion that they were “opposed to a continuance [of CNEWA] and further effort at its introduction [throughout the United States] because it interfered with the proper functioning of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.”[5]

It is hard to believe that Father Walsh was “shocked” by the bishops’ attitude, although he said as much to Cardinal Sincero,[6] and the apostolic delegate told Rome that something had to be done.[7] On 19 November Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi informed Father Walsh that Rome wanted to see him right away.[8] Meanwhile, Cardinal Sincero was working out percentages. Let there be one collection, he advised the Holy Father, with 40 percent for the home missions and 60 percent for the foreign missions, through the S.P.F.; then let the S.P.F. give 10 percent of its 60 percent to the Oriental Congregation.[9]

Even the Jesuit Father General Wlodimir Ledochowski, a close friend of the Holy Father, became involved. On 13 December he requested that Father Walsh be released from CNEWA, and the next day Pope Pius XI suggested that the CNEWA presidency might be added to the duties of Monsignor William Quinn, the S.P.F.’s national director.[10]

Father Edmund Walsh was not ready, however, to forego his Vatican Red Cross. On Christmas Eve 1929 he delivered to Cardinal Sincero a four-page summary of “Propositions,” in French, which he had probably prepared at sea en route to Rome. The Protestants, he noted, had two kinds of associations — one “missionary,” the other, “social welfare” — and it was precisely this difference that distinguished the S.P.F. from CNEWA. Granted, the Holy See wanted the S.P.F. and CNEWA to collaborate in a national collection once a year. Apart from this one collection, however, CNEWA had been given the liberty to involve itself in welfare and charity, “which must be clearly distinguished from missionary goals.” Father Walsh then stated:

This distinction, it seems, becomes even more important in light of the formidable organization which [sic] the Protestants have set up in New York, (i.e. the Near East Relief) with outlets worldwide. As a work of beneficence, CNEWA would continue to combat effectively these Protestant activities.[11]

Appealing to Vatican vanity, Father Walsh pointed to the “more visible posture in world opinion” that the Holy See had assumed since the Lateran Pact of 1929[12] and suggested that, even without the S.P.F./CNEWA annual collection, CNEWA might be financed by an “American [lay] elite” supportive of the Holy See’s activities in Russia and the Near East. The new committee, as he envisaged it, would have a lay chairman and a lay treasurer, he himself would be its executive secretary and Joseph Moore its administrator, and the cardinal archbishop of New York would serve as director. The membership he had in mind would produce half a million dollars a year — 100 members at $1,000 a piece, 100 at $500, 500 at $100, 1,000 at $50, 5,000 at $10, 50,000 at $2, and 100,000 at $1.[13]

Father Walsh’s determination was admirable. The Church must have its own Red Cross, and it could be achieved if the Holy See would do the following:

1. Persuade the S.P.F. to welcome CNEWA’s participation in the proposed national collections, and inform the bishops accordingly.

2. Express in a formal document its desire for greater participation on the part of the laity, outlining clearly what form this participation should take.

3. Define clearly CNEWA’s role and canonical status, as the Holy See had done for the Church Extension Society; and

4. Inform the bishops in writing of this “reorganization” and ask them to allow CNEWA to operate freely in their dioceses in the manner described above.[14]

Between Christmas, 1929, and New Year’s Day, 1930, Father Walsh must have accepted the inevitable, for on 2 January 1930 he submitted to Cardinal Sincero four more pages in French, which he entitled his “final” recommendations on the subject of CNEWA. He made no apologies for his administration; on the contrary, he argued as strongly as ever for a permanent and independent CNEWA.

He reminded the Holy See, first of all, that CNEWA was a charitable organization, and that its legal name, containing the word “Welfare,” which was registered before Father Walsh became president, could not easily be changed. In the same opening paragraph, the Holy See was likewise reminded that since he became CNEWA’s president — not on his own initiative, but at the invitation of the Holy See — the Association had collected approximately $1,750,000, of which some $800,000 had been given to recipients designated by the Holy See, $500,000 put in reserve and the balance used to maintain the New York office and to create a favorable public opinion.

Father Walsh then cited, document-by-document, the papal statements in which CNEWA was recognized as permanent (always underlining the word). Nor did he fail to note that CNEWA’s membership list of more than one million members was probably the best such Catholic mailing list in the United States. The tone was didactic, and Father Walsh’s “recommendations” could be summarized as follows:

1. CNEWA should not be changed, modified, or merged.

2. It should not be thought that the bishops are opposed to CNEWA. They have always approved of the work; some, however, have had reservations about an annual church appeal.

3. In 1930 (while the depression was taking its toll) there would be only an appeal by mail; no bishop would be asked to make a roll call in his diocese.

4. Further study, in Rome and in the United States, should be given to S.P.F./CNEWA cooperation, and the results of this study should be submitted to the bishops at their September meeting.

5. CNEWA’s reorganization should begin at the end of 1930, when Father Walsh would have concluded five years in office.[15]

There was no further record of Father Walsh’s activities in Rome. In New York, however, Cardinal Hayes was urging his priests to enroll in CNEWA to help “bring back the Orient to Catholic Unity.”[16]

At this point “official” Rome would seem to have been thoroughly confused. Whether CNEWA should be permanent, or “changed, modified, or merged,” was on many minds. Monsignor Amleto Cicognani was delegated to gather opinions, probably after the 19 February 1930 meeting of the Oriental Congregation, at which Father Walsh’s “Final Recommendations” were thrashed out line by line.[17]

On 5 March 1930 representatives of the Oriental Congregation and the Propaganda Fide met together; by then the single-page “note” of Monsignor William Quinn (although it was unsigned), dated 15 May in Monsignor Cicognani’s handwriting, may have been available.[18] Unlike Father Walsh, Monsignor Quinn did not express any opinion as his own.[19] He said it was the “feeling of American Catholics” that, if CNEWA were to be permanent, it should be “made to stand on its own legs as quickly and firmly as possible in the U.S.” and “should … be established all over the world, and not only in the U.S.A.” If CNEWA were not to be permanent, “its activities should be halted so as not to interfere with other works.”[20] The following, therefore, “might be proposed” as a “practical line of action”: “Continuance of the Status Quo, each Bureau continuing as before,” or the “gradual suppression of the organization (to be accomplished gradually), encouraging the other to achieve the ends in view at one expense” [italics his]. If one organization were to be suppressed, it would be CNEWA and not the S.P.F., Monsignor Quinn obviously assumed. He suggested that the S.P.F. magazine, Catholic Missions, which he said had a monthly circulation of 150,000, could devote space to the Oriental Church, publishing appeals for Mass stipends, chapels, seminary burses, etc. He claimed that in 1929 Catholic Missions had generated more than $1,400,000, more than half of it in Mass stipends.[21]

On 19 March 1930, after returning from Rome, Father Walsh informed CNEWA’s executive committee that the pope had authorized him, despite the cost (estimated at $50,000) and the uncertainty of its success, to try an appeal by mail. The mailing date would be 31 August 1930,[22] for delivery after Labor Day. As time went by, however, friends of the S.P.F. became more and more intransigent. There are extant copies of two unsigned letters, typed on the same machine, which someone — probably Monsignor Quinn or Bishop Kelley — sent to Cardinals Van Rossum and Sincero in an effort to save the S.P.F. from any CNEWA entanglement.[23]

To Cardinal Van Rossum the letter reported that the “project suggested by Father Walsh of attaching” CNEWA, “which as a permanent organization does not seem to appeal to the faithful,” to the S.P.F., was not favored by the people he had consulted. This group included the apostolic delegate, Bishop John J. Dunn of New York, and the S.P.F. diocesan directors in Albany, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia and Syracuse.[24] Father Walsh, the writer stated, had misled the bishops in 1926 when he said CNEWA would not try to compete with the S.P.F. or ask that the collection for CNEWA be repeated. As for CNEWA operations, Joseph Moore, the office manager, was “said to receive, or did so until recently, either a percentage of the receipts or an exorbitantly high salary,” and, until now at least, CNEWA had never published a financial statement as prepared by a certified public accountant.[25] To allow CNEWA to continue to exist, the writer concluded, would impose unreasonable demands on American Catholics and entail serious consequences for the S.P.F. and its worldwide mission aid.[26]

The letter to Cardinal Sincero was even sharper. If CNEWA and the S.P.F. had missionary goals, why duplicate agencies, especially since the American bishops were assured in 1924 that if they established S.P.F. offices in every diocese they would not be asked to tax their people’s patience with additional missionary appeals? For this reason, Cardinal George Mundelein had denied CNEWA permission to collect in Chicago, believing that the faithful were already doing all that in justice could be expected of them, and for this reason also, the bishops in 1929 had asked that CNEWA be discontinued “lest its continuance be detrimental to all collections for the missions and for the Holy Father, and for religion in general.”[27] Then the unknown writer carefully analyzed Father Walsh’s proposals, and his conclusion was graphic indeed.

Anything the Catholic Near East Welfare Association might place at the disposition of the Propagation of the Faith would be of no more service to it than the help a sinking ship could give to a ship that came to its rescue. And just as the sinking ship could not increase the capacity or the efficiency of the rescue ship, so neither could the means or methods the Catholic Near East Welfare Association might have to offer, help in any way the Propagation of the Faith.[28]

In June 1930, Father Walsh was in Rome again and Monsignor Quinn was there as well; all concerned must have been on edge. For support, the S.P.F. could look to the powerful Propaganda Fide, with its crustaceous Cardinal Van Rossum, and to the majority of the American bishops who had little regard for CNEWA.[29] Father Walsh looked to Cardinal Sincero and the Oriental Congregation, who by now, although ambivalent on this issue, were accustomed to receiving CNEWA assistance. The new Vatican secretary of state, Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, had received CNEWA help when he was apostolic nuncio in Germany, and, of course, there was Pope Pius XI himself who was passionately interested in Russia and the East.

Everyone’s worry was wasted, however, for the decisions had all been made, one suspects, before Father Walsh had left New York. On 28 June 1930 Cardinal Pacelli sent a letter detailing the resolutions to Cardinals Van Rossum and Sincero. The document is worth quoting at length:

After conference on all this matter with Their Eminences, the Prefect of Propaganda and the Secretary of the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church, and after hearing the views of Monsignor Quinn, who was recently in Rome, the Holy Father saw fit to lay down the following rules and dispositions. …

(1) The Holy Father, desiring not to burden the charity of the faithful in America … has seen fit to determine that from now on there is to be no special collection in the United States of America for the missions and for the spiritual and temporal needs of the Near East and Russia.

(2) The collecting, fixed for one Sunday of the year, and called therefore “Mission Sunday,” for the purpose of giving an opportunity to everyone, even to those who are not members of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, to contribute to the maintenance of the missions, is … to provide not only for the Home missions and for the missions and the needs of the Propagation of the Faith among the heathens, but also for the missions and spiritual needs of the Near East and Russia.

(3) Therefore, it is earnestly recommended to the Most Reverend Ordinaries that “Mission Sunday” be established and well organized in each diocese where such has not already been done, together with the office of Diocesan Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in regular relations with the central office of the National Director in New York.

(4) What was determined for the distribution of the “Mission Sunday” collection to the Home missions remains established. As for the balance, the Holy Father will determine each year the division to be made among the S. Congregation of Propaganda, the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church, and the Pontifical Commission for Russia. The annual subsidy, offered by the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith to the Holy Father, and through Him, to the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church and to the Pontifical Commission for Russia in favor of the missions respectively dependent on them, likewise remains as before.

(5) In order to intensify the general collection of “Mission Sunday” and to keep it more vividly before the faithful, the C.N.E.W.A. will place at the service and disposition of the said collection its organization and means of propaganda in the manner within the limits now to be laid down.

(6) The C.N.E.W.A. remains as a permanent association for the spiritual ends and necessities of the churches, missions, institutions and persons depending on the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church and on the Pontifical Commission for Russia. It must, however, be organized and exercise its activity strictly according to its original constitution, determined by letter of 10 March 1926, addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Sincero by His Eminence Cardinal Gasparri: that is to say, without any collection of its own, and not only under the benevolent interest of His Eminence Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York but under his immediate and personal direction, according to the rules exposed in No. 5 of the aforesaid letter and the modifications expressed in the present letter.

(7) His Eminence Cardinal Hayes, after hearing from His Excellency, the Apostolic Delegate, will select from the secular clergy a director for the offices of C.N.E.W.A. with the duties of secretary. There is nothing to prevent the National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith being chosen for this position. But if the nomination should fall upon someone else, nevertheless the bureaus must remain strictly coordinated in perfect harmony, in view of the fact that the C.N.E.W.A. will utilize the means at its disposal to intensify the collection of “Mission Sunday” and mission publicity among the faithful.

(8) The means of missionary publicity of the C.N.E.W.A. shall be conformable to those already in use, always according to the direction of the Hierarchy and with the approval of His Eminence Cardinal Hayes.

(9) It is also the right of Cardinal Hayes to select for the office of the C.N.E.W.A. the employees that are strictly necessary.

(10) The C.N.E.W.A., its secretary, or other acting for them, may not appeal to the Most Reverend Archbishops and Bishops nor to the pastors and clergy for addresses or indications of benefactors and persons who might send help for the Near East and Russia. The C.N.E.W.A. may, however, receive the offerings and help which [sic] are spontaneously sent to them for the above-mentioned purposes; and such offerings are to be sent by the secretary to His Excellency, the Apostolic Delegate, at the disposal of the Holy See, for the purposes indicated.

(11) It remains to assure the C.N.E.W.A., or more particularly the Reverend Father Walsh, of the gratitude of the Holy See for the work thus far done with so much zeal and intelligence, and the Holy See does not doubt that his zeal will enable him to continue to lend his valuable work for the benefit of the Near East and Russia, by exposing their needs and making them better known in his own skillful way through lectures, articles and studies.[30]

Everyone won, except Father Edmund Walsh, and the fact that henceforth the CNEWA secretary would be a secular priest, rather than a religious, certainly did not go unnoticed.

Father Walsh received a copy of the letter 12 September 1930 when he returned from Europe, from the office of the apostolic delegate. Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, however, was on visitation in the western U.S.; hence Father Walsh called upon Cardinal Hayes to learn what had to be done to implement the Holy See’s instructions. Cardinal Hayes himself was planning a trip to California, so he asked Father Walsh to first meet with Bishop Dunn, then with Monsignor Quinn, and then with both of them at once.[31] Cardinal Hayes also asked for a certified audit of the CNEWA accounts, and when Father Walsh complied on 23 September, he asked the cardinal to visit the CNEWA office before departing for California, in order to see, as he put it

[T]he splendid machinery and equipment set up during these last four years for a permanent functioning of this important work. … I believe such a visit would furnish Your Eminence with additional information and data which [sic] would seem to be practically indispensable for the decisions which [sic] the recent letter from the Holy See expect from Your Eminence.[32]

Whether Cardinal Hayes ever did see the “splendid machinery and equipment” is not known, but when Father Walsh met with Bishop Dunn on 10 October 1930 it was agreed that CNEWA’s survival required that CNEWA members receive a newsletter every three months that would set forth “the needs of Russia and the Near East, the menace of the Bolshevik attack on Christianity, and the general program of the Holy Father in Near Eastern lands.” Furthermore, although this may have been hard to believe, Father Walsh was still determined to have his Vatican Red Cross. The newsletter, he added, would serve as “a channel for … an emergency appeal” should “a catastrophe occur such as an earthquake, famine, or other urgent need.”[33]

The “friendly talk” Bishop Dunn scheduled for Father Walsh with Monsignor Quinn on 17 October[34] never took place, for when Father Walsh telephoned the bishop that day to ascertain the meeting’s time and place he was told that Bishop Dunn had decided a meeting was unnecessary; for the moment, the monsignor could contribute nothing. Mindful, however, of the mention in Cardinal Pacelli’s letter of “missionary publicity,” Bishop Dunn, who was also diocesan director of the S.P.F., offered to devote to CNEWA one of his weekly “mission” columns in the Catholic News of New York. Although grateful, Father Walsh suggested that nothing be done until further word had come from Rome.[35]

In the meantime, however, Monsignor Quinn did not wait for “further word.” On 28 October 1930 he sent a three-page letter about S.P.F./CNEWA “cooperation,” to all S.P.F. diocesan directors, drawing their special attention to the paragraphs in Cardinal Pacelli’s letter that dealt with the Mission Sunday collection and the limits imposed on CNEWA’s fundraising. If the S.P.F. and CNEWA were to collaborate for Mission Sunday, Monsignor Quinn insisted, this collaboration must be under one direction, and the S.P.F. directors were reminded that CNEWA was not authorized to solicit offerings by mail, but only to accept offerings that might come spontaneously. To permit CNEWA to develop a nation-wide mailing list, wrote Monsignor Quinn, would be disastrous and he concluded:

I fear very much that [the faithful] will fail to understand the Catholic Near East Welfare Association collaborating with the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in a grand Mission Sunday Appeal [and sharing in this collection], and then, over and above [emphasis added], appealing directly to its mailing list for alms, over the heads of the Diocesan Directors.[36]

Monsignor Quinn’s letter was not likely to make friends for CNEWA, but two days later, on 30 October 1930, Father Walsh submitted to Bishop Dunn his thoughts about CNEWA/S.P.F. cooperation. He summarized his recommendations as follows:

1. CNEWA is to remain a permanent association “for spiritual and temporal needs of the Near East and Russia.”

2. CNEWA will not ask for a special separate collection, but will cooperate fully with the S.P.F. on one fixed Sunday of each year.

3. Forty percent will be divided by the Pope among the Propaganda, the Oriental Congregation, and the Pontifical Commission for Russia.

4. The joint (Mission Sunday) appeal should be directed by a central committee composed of an official from the S.P.F. and one from the CNEWA, under the presidency and immediate supervision of Cardinal Hayes.

5. Apart from this one collection, CNEWA will continue to work on its own in favor of Russia and the Near East, without any other collection, and without soliciting new names or addresses from the hierarchy or pastors.

6. CNEWA will maintain its present mailing lists, not for any general mail appeal, but only to keep its members informed, by means of a newsletter, on the needs of Russia and the Near East, and the menace of Communism. This naturally will result indirectly in contributions for the Near East and Mass stipends for missionaries working there.

7. The newsletter will urge CNEWA members to give generously to the joint appeal on Mission Sunday.

8. To dismantle the CNEWA membership list for distribution to S.P.F. directors in the various dioceses would render CNEWA’s special work impossible. Besides, CNEWA members have received certificates in a Pontifical Association, and to make their names and addresses available to others would involve serious problems, perhaps even scandal and protest.[37]

Cardinal Hayes returned from California shortly after Father Walsh made these proposals to Bishop Dunn, and the cardinal agreed to present them to the annual bishops’ meeting in Washington a week or two hence.[38] The evening before the conference opened, 11 November, Father Walsh was pleased to lecture about persecution in Russia and the Holy Father’s program to some 20 bishops who had been privately invited. Afterwards Father Walsh assured Cardinal Hayes that CNEWA affairs were not discussed.[39]

The next day, 12 November 1930, Cardinal O’Connell, conference chairman, read to the bishops a letter from the apostolic delegate regarding CNEWA, the observance of Mission Sunday, and the proper distribution of Mission Sunday receipts between the home and foreign missions. On the second day of the meeting, 13 November, Cardinal Hayes presided in the absence of Cardinal Mundelein. At the end of the meeting Cardinal Hayes took advantage of the moment to speak of Pope Pius XI’s interest in the Near East and Russia, and he asked the bishops to help CNEWA by publishing in their diocesan weeklies, in a special column, material that would be furnished by the CNEWA office in New York. The bishops entrusted to Cardinal Hayes the task of accomplishing the Holy Father’s wishes, as outlined in Cardinal Pacelli’s letter to the apostolic delegate. Cardinal Hayes, accepting their mandate, said he would refer all conclusions to the delegate, whose general approval was required. He then promised to keep the bishops informed.[40]

Cardinal Hayes’s initiative delighted Father Walsh, and in a cable to Cardinal Sincero, CNEWA’s president described negotiations with the S.P.F. as “bien avancés.” In the same cable he acknowledged receipt of certain documents regarding Iraq, and recalled that he was looking forward to his departure as soon as possible once the CNEWA/S.P.F. business was settled.[41] At once Cardinal Sincero cabled Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, informing him that Father Walsh was scheduled to go to Mosul, Iraq, to prepare for an American Jesuit mission there. The move had the approval of the Jesuit father general, said Cardinal Sincero, and for this reason he had conveyed to Father Walsh in a return cable his own blessings for a successful trip.[42] The apostolic delegate then forwarded Cardinal Sincero’s telegram, marked “confidential,” to Cardinal Hayes, explaining that he felt it might be helpful to His Eminence in reorganizing CNEWA, “since,” he said, “it clarified the mind of the S. Congregation in regard to Fr. Walsh’s relations to this project.”[43]

Cardinal Hayes’s next step was to prepare a letter for the bishops. On 1 December 1930 Father Walsh submitted a proposed draft on the topic of Mission Sunday and CNEWA’s participation. But on previous instructions from Cardinal Hayes no mention was made of the proposed newsletter, or of the CNEWA office’s internal operation, since, as Father Walsh said, “Your Eminence gave me to understand that that would be a separate matter to be decided by yourself.” The Jesuit’s draft followed closely the eight points he had submitted earlier to Bishop Dunn.[44] Cardinal Hayes was ill during most of January 1931 and when Father Walsh met with him on 7 February he learned that Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi would be in New York three days later with final instructions. Father Walsh was told to prepare a rough draft of the first newsletter.[45] On 10 February, while Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi was meeting with Cardinal Hayes in New York, Father Walsh left for Rome and Iraq without being told of the delegate’s final instructions.[46]

Cardinal Hayes’s letter to the bishops, dated 5 March 1931, acknowledged three principal missionary agencies — the home missions, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (which, according to the letter, restricted its activities to “pagan lands of the Far East”), and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (“which cares for the separated peoples of the Near East and Russia”). Henceforth, these three agencies would participate in a joint Mission Sunday appeal and 40 percent of the proceeds would go to the home missions. As for the funds remaining, the Holy Father would determine each year how to share them among the Propaganda Fide, the Oriental Congregation, and the Pontifical Commission for Russia.

To prepare the people for this new kind of mission cooperation, for Mission Sunday specifically, diocesan newspapers were urged to make frequent references on their mission pages, “not only to the American Board for Home Missions, but also to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.” Cardinal Hayes’s own newspaper had already started this practice, he said, adding that “The Catholic Near East Welfare Association will furnish, from time to time, the necessary material for publication, to keep our people intelligently informed.” He then noted that the contents of his letter to the bishops had been approved in advance, and, in a disclosure that probably surprised many, he asked that all communications regarding CNEWA be addressed either to him or to the Reverend Thomas J. McDonnell, who, he said, “will act as my Secretary for the Near East and Russia.”[47]

Rome was anxious to have the hierarchy’s reaction,[48] and a month later Cardinal Hayes reluctantly reported that he had received only four pledges of total cooperation.[49] By April, Monsignor Quinn and Father Walsh were back in Rome, lobbying.[50] American Catholics were providing more than half of the S.P.F.’s total income, and their bishops, it seemed, were unconvinced about CNEWA.[51]

What more could the Vatican do? Pope Pius XI decided quickly. He sent for the Oriental Congregation’s assessor, Monsignor Cicognani, and told him to go to New York as his personal representative, to speak with all parties concerned, formulate guidelines, update CNEWA’s legal structure and make decisions. Moreover, Monsignor Cicognani was told to take the same ship as Father Walsh and Monsignor Quinn, on the theory, presumably, that salt air heals old wounds. They sailed from Le Havre 27 May 1931 on the Île de France, arriving in New York on 2 June.[52]

It was Father Walsh’s last voyage for CNEWA. In Rome his resignation had been accepted, after word had been sent from New York that the conferences with Bishop Dunn had been abortive and unsuccessful “because of the attitude of Fr. Walsh who had refused absolutely to relinquish the Presidency of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.”[53] Father Walsh the troublemaker was gone, and Rome was relieved, as Cardinal Sincero wrote to Cardinal Hayes:

The field is now cleared for a new arrangement which [sic] should now include, above all, a more simplified apparatus, reduced expenditures, and a better grasp of the mind of the Holy Father and of this S. Congregation, which corresponds precisely to the principle of not irritating the bishops, in whose behalf the Holy See feels obliged to profess the most ample recognition.[54]

To Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, Cardinal Sincero expressed himself more bluntly:

This S. Congregation, which has benefited so greatly from the (American) hierarchy, is vitally interested in removing the impression of new aggravations.[55]

Meanwhile Monsignor Cicognani wasted no time. On the morning of 6 June he met with Cardinal Hayes, Father Walsh, Father Paul, and Joseph Moore, the CNEWA directors who could be gathered quickly. Everyone present signed a waiver of written notice of the meeting, which had been convoked orally, and the following account is taken from the official minutes.[56]

Cardinal Hayes introduced Monsignor Cicognani, who thanked the directors for all they had accomplished. Ironically, said Monsignor Cicognani, they had been too successful. The time had come now to conduct CNEWA business through the ordinary diocesan-parish channels, through cooperation with the S.P.F., and, in particular, through the joint Mission Sunday appeal. Monsignor Cicognani then announced that Father Walsh had resigned, but he said also that many times, as long as three years before, Father Walsh had asked the Holy Father for permission to retire from the work. Henceforth, CNEWA would be under Cardinal Hayes’s direction, Monsignor Cicognani said, and he asked that the presidency be now conferred on Cardinal Hayes in the manner stipulated by civil law. Cardinal Hayes asked if there were any questions. Joseph Moore, the only layman present, asked Monsignor Cicognani if he wanted the board to accept Father Walsh’s resignation. Cardinal Hayes replied by explaining that CNEWA was now to pass entirely under “ecclesiastical” (hierarchical) control and to cooperate as much as possible with the S.P.F., retaining its own name, but as an organization so simplified that an elaborate structure would not be needed.

Monsignor Cicognani then stated that CNEWA’s activities would be confined to the Mission Sunday collection and that His Holiness would determine the distribution of the funds received. CNEWA’s only other income would be gifts from people who wished on their own initiative to contribute to the work of the Near East and Russia directly. The reason CNEWA’s activity would be limited to Mission Sunday, Cardinal Hayes explained, was that “the Holy Father has said that he does not wish to irritate … or harass the hierarchy or the people … by too many collections for missionary purposes.”

At this point Monsignor Cicognani withdrew, and Cardinal Hayes recommended that the board be increased to eight. Mr. Moore so moved, Father Paul seconded, the motion was voted unanimously, and Cardinal Hayes’s secretary, Monsignor Stephen Donahue, nominated by Cardinal Hayes, was unanimously elected as a director. Then Father Paul resigned as vice president and director, and the resignation was accepted unanimously. Father J. Francis McIntyre, Cardinal Hayes’s assistant secretary, was nominated to replace Father Paul as a director, and again the vote was unanimous. Next, Joseph Moore presented his resignation. It was so moved by Father Walsh, and the vote was again unanimous. To succeed him, Father Edward Gaffney was nominated and elected. Finally, Father Walsh resigned.

Cardinal Hayes then spoke, not as the representative of the Holy See, he said, but as Archbishop of New York. He had the greatest admiration for the marvelous “machinery” the former directors had put together, he declared, adding that the money collected that first year had startled the American bishops. He continued:

I have since then tried to do my part but I confess I was puzzled at times. I have heard one thing on one side and another thing on the other side. I was puzzled what to do. I shall say this much to you, that the coming of Monsignor Cicognani came as rather a surprise to me. I was not advised about it until a short time before his arrival. Evidently over in Rome they sat in council and decided what to do. We have carried out their instructions this morning, and I wish to thank you all for coming.

Cardinal Hayes then assured the directors that he would never forget their contribution, which was most notable. “It took the Propagation of the Faith,” said the Cardinal, “many a long year to accomplish what has been done by you in a very short while.” Finally, turning to Father Walsh, he said:

I want you to feel that the Archbishop of New York will always regard it as one of the pleasures of his life to be associated with you. As Archbishop and Chairman presiding at this meeting, I wish to thank you with my whole heart for what you have done for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and what you have done for the Church of God.

The meeting was concluded after Cardinal Hayes asked Mr. Moore to keep custody of the records until further notice.[57]

After lunch that same day, again at the cardinal’s residence, the new board of directors gathered in special session.[58] On Monsignor Donahue’s motion, Cardinal Hayes was elected president of CNEWA, and he was also elected treasurer. Monsignor Cicognani thanked His Eminence for accepting, and he suggested it might be well for him to write immediately to Cardinal Sincero about the percentage of the Mission Sunday collection to be allotted to CNEWA. Then the meeting adjourned.

Throughout all the discussion, needless to say, the amount of CNEWA’s percentage loomed very large. Father Walsh had originally said that the Vatican would allocate between 20 and 30 percent of the S.P.F.’s 60 percent to the Oriental Congregation and the Pontifical Commission for Russia.[59] Monsignor Cicognani stated, in his final report to Rome, that the Pope had decided on 10 percent, and that this was to be sent to Cardinal Hayes directly, whereas the “spontaneous” contributions CNEWA might receive were to be sent to Rome for distribution. Monsignor Cicognani also added that a full audit was to be made each year by the secretary of CNEWA, “according to the custom prevailing amongst the directors of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.”[60]

Rome had spoken, and the case was closed. Just prior to his return to Rome, however, cardinal Pacelli informed Monsignor Cicognani that CNEWA’s portion of the S.P.F.’s share of the Mission Sunday collection was to be 15 percent, instead of 10.[61] Monsignor Cicognani’s report to the Holy Father after visiting New York is important for reasons other than percentages. It established definitively that CNEWA was to be strictly evangelical, “to work for the return of the dissident Christianities to the unity of the Church,” and that it would channel its assistance through the Oriental Congregation. No hint was given, not even obliquely, to Father Walsh’s humanitarian concerns. As president, Cardinal Hayes would select as CNEWA’s secretary a secular priest who would supervise the administration of the CNEWA office and supply material about Russia and the East to Catholic newspapers, where it would appear under the auspices of the Propagation of the Faith. “In this way,” wrote Monsignor Cicognani, “we trust the two works of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the C.N.E.W.A. will be in the future MORE PERFECT, MORE STABLE, MORE EFFICIENT.”[62]

On 15 June, the new board of directors met at Cardinal Hayes’s residence,[63] and on the motion of Monsignor Donahue, seconded by Father Gaffney, Father James B. O’Reilly, until then the assistant director of the New York archdiocesan office of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, was unanimously elected secretary of CNEWA.[64] On 10 July 1931, nearly one month later, Father O’Reilly was presented to Monsignor Cicognani at the cardinal’s residence. At first the Mission Sunday collection was discussed, both men agreeing it would be the only one made, and that CNEWA would receive a percentage of the proceeds.[65] Father O’Reilly then proposed that CNEWA be permitted to communicate directly at least three times a year with its members. Only in this way, insisted the new secretary, could the membership be maintained.[66] Monsignor Cicognani gave his assent, and in the margin of the memorandum Father O’Reilly had presented he wrote, “I agree. Cardinal Sincero stated the same speaking with me.”[67]

Father O’Reilly then moved one step further. The CNEWA news, he insisted, to be effective had to appear in the diocesan press weekly, and “it must not be hidden or tucked away in a corner of some other organization.” The two reasons he gave were plausible. Every other missionary group was allowed to purchase space in Catholic papers, he said, and a collection for many purposes garnered only as much as a collection for a single purpose. Unless CNEWA, therefore, were permitted to function like other organizations, the Holy See would not receive nearly as much as CNEWA had disbursed over the last three years.[68] Monsignor Cicognani stated that he would discuss the matter with Cardinal Hayes the following day,[69] but in his marginal notes he scribbled next to Father O’Reilly’s second argument the comment, “This is very important.”[70]

The following day, 11 July, in Monsignor Cicognani’s presence Cardinal Hayes agreed with Father O’Reilly that, in order for CNEWA to sustain its publicity and promote its educational work, space should be purchased on a regular basis in 10 of the leading Catholic newspapers.[71] Monsignor Cicognani did not object.[72] Cardinal Hayes then asked that it be understood that the bishops would send him the 10 percent from the Mission Sunday collection and that voluntary donations and Mass stipends would be forwarded to the missions through Cardinal Sincero and the Congregation.[73] Monsignor Cicognani said he would pass on the message.[74]

That same day, in the aide memoire he prepared for an audience with Pope Pius XI, Monsignor Cicognani advised that CNEWA not be merged with the S.P.F. He also noted that Cardinal Hayes, Monsignor Quinn, and Father O’Reilly were anxious to know what percentage of the Mission Sunday collection CNEWA would receive. Cardinal Hayes and Monsignor Quinn, he said, were agreed on 10 percent, and with this he concurred.[75] In his marginal notes, however, Monsignor Cicognani had penciled 15 percent, the result, no doubt, of the Pacelli cablegram.[76] His work accomplished, before leaving New York the Holy Father’s personal representative visited the CNEWA offices at 480 Lexington Avenue. He inspected the rooms, the files, and the bookkeeping system, and he expressed satisfaction with everything he had seen.[77]

Monsignor Richard Barry-Doyle, Father August von Galen, and Father Edmund Walsh were gone, but CNEWA had survived. Monsignor Cicognani’s role in its survival may be subject to debate. The man himself had few doubts, however. Years later, when he was back in Rome as Pope John XXIII’s secretary of state, he liked to tell Americans that he had “saved” CNEWA.[78]

On 11 August 1931 Monsignor Cicognani reported to the Holy Father in private audience, about his mission to New York. Two weeks later all of his recommendations were approved,[79] and in November, 1931, speaking as CNEWA’s president, Cardinal Hayes told the 13th annual meeting of the American bishops that the work ahead for CNEWA was challenging, and he asked for their cooperation.[80] His Holiness, he said, clearly wanted it so.[81]

Notes

(Click numbers to return to text.)

[1] Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi to Cardinal Hayes, 12 September 1929 (ACNEWA) Prot. No. 3536/8

[2] Cardinal Hayes to Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, 16 September 1929 (ACNEWA)

[3] “Minutes of Annual Meeting of Board of Directors of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.” 6 November 1929 (ACNEWA),

[4] Cardinal O’Connell also noted that one bishop in the meeting had reported that, in a summer audience, the Holy Father had urged the development and extension of the Propagation of the Faith, “and did not seem to stress greatly the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.” Ibid.

[5] USCC Archival Holdings, “Minutes of Eleventh Annual Meeting of the American Hierarchy, 6 November 1929.

[6] Father Walsh to Cardinal Sincero, 24 November 1929, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA).

[7] Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi to Cardinal Sincero, 12 November 1929 (ASOC). Father Walsh also cabled Rome on 11 November to seek a review of CNEWA’s status; see“Minutes of Meeting of Executive Committee of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.,” 22 November 1929 (ACNEWA).

[8] Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi to Father Walsh, 19 November 1929 (ACNEWA).

[9] Cardinal Sincero to Pope Pius XI, 27 November 1929 (ASOC).

[10] Father General Ledochovski to Cardinal Sincero, 13 December 1929; Pope Pius XI to Cardinal Sincero, 14 December 1829 (ASOC).

[11] Father Walsh, “Propositions au Sujet de la Catholic Near East Welfare Association,” 24 December 1929, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA), p. 1.

[12] The Lateran Pact of 1929, or The Lateran Treaty, is the document that granted full sovereignty to the Holy See and rendered the Vatican City a de jure independent city-state. The treaty was signed by two plenipotentiaries: “on behalf of His Holiness [Pope Pius XI], His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, his Secretary of State, and on behalf of His Majesty [King Victor Emanuel III], His Excellency Sir Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister and Head of Government.” (”Treaty Between the Holy See and Italy,” signed 11 February 1929, ratified 7 June 1929.)

[13] Father Walsh, “Propositions au Sujet de la Catholic Near East Welfare Association,” 24 December 1929, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA), pp. 2-3.

[14] Ibid., pp. 3-4

[15] Father Walsh, “Recommendations Finales au Sujet de la Catholic Near East Welfare Association,” 2 January 1930. Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA), pp. 1-4.

[16] Cardinal Hayes to Clergy of the Archdiocese of New York, 8 January 1930, Hayes Papers.

[17] ASOC. The date was ascertained from a dossier brought to the U.S. in 1931 by Monsignor Cicognani, which is now in the CNEWA Archives.

[18] Ibid.

[19] In 1924 Archbishop Moeller nominated Monsignor Quinn to succeed Bishop Freri as national director of the Propagation of the Faith. Two years later Monsignor Quinn was in Rome as the American representative to the Society’s 26-member international committee. During this time Monsignor Quinn also served as treasurer for the Catholic Medical Mission Board.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] “Minutes of Meeting of Executive Committee of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.” 19 March 1930.

[23] The author gives as his reason for writing the wish to make known to Rome the consensus of the S.P.F. directors in the ten largest American dioceses, as well as the consensus of the general S.P.F. membership, which might point to Monsignor Quinn as the writer. On the other hand, several passages, especially those dealing the demographic distribution of Catholics in the United States, are reminiscent of speeches delivered by Bishop Kelley at various bishops’ meetings. The ideas certainly would have been representative of both Monsignor Quinn and Bishop Kelley, as well as of Mundelein and others of the hierarchy.

[24] Letter to Cardinal Van Rossum, 16 May 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930), p. 1.

[25] Ibid., p. 2.

[26] Ibid., p. 5.

[27] Letter to Cardinal Sincero, 18 May 1930 (ACNHEWA 1928-1930), p. 3.

[28] Ibid., p. 7.

[29] Joseph Moore, in a proposal to the Oriental Congregation for the reorganization of CNEWA, stressed that the intervention of the Holy See would be absolutely necessary to continue the work of CNEWA, “because of powerful influence working against us!” See Moore, “Memorandum for the Oriental Congregation,” 2 July 1930, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA).

[30] Cardinal Pacelli to Cardinals Van Rossum and Sincero, 28 June 1930. Letter is quoted in full in Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi’s letter to Cardinal Hayes, 5 September 1930, Prot. No. 5392-H (ACNEWA 1-28- 30).

[31] Father Walsh, “Negotiations regarding Coordination of works of C.N.E.W.A. and Propagation of the Faith,” n.d. (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[32] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 23 September 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930). Arthur F. Morton & Co. drew up the audit in question in Philadelphia, 31 August 1930; see CNEWA Archives, 1928-1930. Commenting on the drop in revenue for 1929, Father Walsh said he had explained to Pope Pius XI that this was the case with all charitable institutions seeking funds in the United States in 1929. “The Holy Father understands the situation perfectly,” reported Father Walsh, “and realized the difficulty of seeking funds owing to the acute depression in the United States.”

[33] Father Walsh recounts this October 10th meeting in a letter to Bishop Dunn, 30 October 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[34] Father Walsh, “Negotiations,” p. 1.

[35] Ibid., p. 2.

[36] Monsignor Quinn to Diocesan Directors, 28 October 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[37] Father Walsh to Bishop Dunn, 30 October 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[38] Father Walsh, “Negotiations,” p. 2.

[39] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 6 November 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[40] USCC archival holdings, “Minutes of the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the American Hierarchy, 12 and 13 November 1930, pp. 7-8 and 17.

[41] Telegram cited in full in letter from Cardinal Sincero, countersigned by Monsignor Cicognani, to Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, 7 November 1930, Prot. No. 740/29 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[42] Cardinal Sincero (cablegram) to Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi, 7 November 1930, Prot. No. 740/29 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[43] Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi to Cardinal Hayes, 20 November 1930, Prot. No. 6094-h (ACNEWA 1928-1930). The delegate added that this was the first inkling he had of the propsed American Jesuit mission in Mosul. Cardinal Hayes acknowledged the confidential information on 22 November 1930; see Cardinal Hayes to Archbishop Fumasoni-Biondi (ACNEWA 1928-1930). An investigation of the Jesuit files in Boston reveal that Cardinal Sincero’s judgment of Father Walsh quickly changed. On 2 February 1931, Father Walsh received instructions from the Oriental Congregation to explore the possibility of setting up a boarding house (pensione) for students in Baghdad. On his arrival in Baghdad, 7 March 1931, Father Walsh quickly learned that the parties concerned, from the apostolic delegate to the heads of the various Christian rites to government leaders, all clamored for a school, not merely a pensione. Father Walsh communicated this desire to the congregation on 27 March 1931; a follow-up letter suggested methods of incorporation, possible curricula, and indicated that funds could be made available from the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. On his return to the States, in June, 1931, Father Walsh learned that the school project had ceased completely. He was not to deal with the congregation on the subject; he was not to be assigned any task of obtaining clearance from Iraqi officials; and he was to understand that he had no jurisdiction over the disbursement of CNEWA funds. When Father General Ledochovski was informed of the injunction he replied in a letter, dated 3 August 1931, stating that there were people in Rome who feared Father Walsh. The fact that the latter had been unable or unwilling to carry out Cardinal Sincero’s pensione plan may well have been, along with the report on the Bishop Dunn conferences, the last straw. Above information supplied to the writer by Father Joseph O’Connor, S.J., in a letter 4 February 1977 (ACNEWA).

[44] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 1 December 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930). Cardinal Hayes letter instructed Father Walsh to submit an itemized, tentative budget for 1931. Father Walsh did this on 22 December. The new budget called for a reduced staff. Wrote Father Walsh: “I am particularly anxious to have it settled soon, as we are paying the old, but much reduced force the salaries instead of turning them out and thus increasing unemployment. In fact, the several thousand dollars spent the last few months must be considered as a contribution to unemployment.” See Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 22 December 1930 (ACNEWA 1928-1930).

[45] Father Walsh, “Negotiations,” p. 3.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Cardinal Hayes to American hierarchy, 5 March 1931 (ACNEWA 1931-1932).

[48] Fumasoni-Biondi to Cardinal Hayes, 4 April 1931, Prot. No. 6908-h (ACNEWA 1931-1932).

[49] Cardinal Hayes to Fumasoni-Biondi, 9 April 1931 (ACNEWA 1931-1932). The four were Boston, Portland, Springfield (Ill.), and Omaha.

[50] Cardinal Sincero to Cardinal Hayes, n.d., Prot. No. 740/29, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA). “Questi colloqui,” wrote Cardinal Sincero, “anno dato modo di meglio comprendere la situazione, le difficulta, e chiarire malintesi.” And on 15 April 1931, Father Walsh was able to cable CNEWA headquarters in New York that he had seen the pope and that His Holiness had reaffirmed the association’s special status, and was leaving all decisions up to Cardinal Hayes; see Father Walsh (cable) to CNEWA, 16 April 1931 (ACNEWA 1931-1932). Joseph Moore at once forwarded the cablegram to Cardinal Hayes, who, in turn, acknowledged receipt via his secretary, 27 April 1931 (ACNEWA 1931-1932).

[51] Monsignor Quinn to Cardinal Sincero, 18 May 1930. In this all-out attack on CNEWA, the writer, most likely Monsignor Quinn, concluded with the observation: “The good will of the Catholics of the United States towards the Holy Father is certainly evident from the fact that, since the reorganization of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the United States, they contribute each year about one-half of the sum total collected by this organization in the whole world; and again in 1926-27, when at great sacrifice to themselves they responded so generously to the appeal of the Holy Father in what they were led to believe was a crisis, because of the then pressing needs of the Near East.” The writer then argued, as Monsignor Quinn always argued, that“If the Near East Welfare Association is permitted to continue its operations in any manner in the United States, what answer can be given to the question of the faithful so frequently asked? How could the Holy See promise through the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda Fide that if the Propagation of the Faith were established in all the dioceses, there would be no other organization of any kind established in the United States to collect money for the missions, etc., and then within only two years to establish the Catholic Near East Welfare Association?”

[52] Cardinal Sincero to Fumasoni-Biondi, 16 May 1931, Prot. No. 740/29 (ACNEWA). Wrote Cardinal Sincero: “E stato volere del Santo Padre stesso che partano insieme, perche anche durante il viaggio possanno scambiarsi le proprie vedute.”

[53] Father Walsh to Cardinal Hayes, 5 June 1931, Hayes Papers, Y-7-CNEWA-1931-36. According to Father Walsh, the indictment was sent soon after he had left for Baghdad: “On my return from Baghdad,” he wrote, “I was told of the astounding accusation of disobedience and intransigency. Fortunately, – and by the grace of God, for which I am sincerely grateful, – the Holy Father recalled my previous requests, and the same fact was remembered by Cardinal Sincero. Both were in possession of evidence clearly nullifying the charge. After a long and arduous journey through the streets of Iraq, Your Eminence will, I trust, understand why the implication is the most cruel experience I have undergone. I am in total ignorance as to the source of the charge.” The charge, however, would continue to hurt Father Walsh. An entry from the diary of William A. Rice, S.J., rector of Shadowbrook, for 2 September 1931, read: “Fr. Provincial said that the task he was giving me [to go to Iraq] would be a difficult one…We would have to wait till we got there, learn the conditions and act accordingly. He would have liked to send Fr. Edmund Walsh, but there was some opposition at Rome.” Excerpt from Rice’s diary from personal correspondence with Joseph E. O’Connor, S.J., Director of International Ministries, 13 May 1976.

[54] Cardinal Sincero to Cardinal Hayes, Prot. No. 740/29 (ACNEWA 1931-32): “Ée cosi lasciato libero campo per un nuovo assetto, che vuol essere sopratutto simplificazione, riduzione di spese e migliore comprensione della mente del Santo Padre e di questa S. Congregazione, che corrisponde precisamente al proposito di non stancare i Vescovi, ai quali la Santa Sede si sente un dovere di professare la piu ampia reconoscenza.” Cardinal Sincero was in little sympathy with Father Walsh’s contention that he had submitted his resignation three times; wrote the Prefect: “…non pare ci sia stata piena intesa, ne si sia parlato con quella chiarezza che occurreva.” See Cardinal Sincero to Fumasoni-Biondi, 16 May 1931 (ACNEWA 1931-32).

[55] Cardinal Sincero to Fumasoni-Biondi, 16 May 1931: “Questa S. Congregazione, che e stato beneficata tanto da cotesta Gerarchia, non puo non avere il medesimo intento ed e vivamente interessata a che sia tolta l’impressione di nuovi aggravi e ne siano comprese da quanti le vogliano conoscere, le finalita.”

[56] “Minutes of Meeting of Board of Directors of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.,” 6 June 1931 (ACNEWA).

[57] Joseph Moore’s final days with CNEWA were to be bitter ones, filled with wrangling over financial compensation. According to Mr. Moore, Father Walsh had contracted him, on 9 February 1931, to remain on the job during the transition period, a contract later confirmed by the 6 June 1931 vote. Father Walsh’s actual letter (see Father Walsh to Joseph Moore, 9 February 1931, ACNEWA) authorized Mr. Moore to draw $3,000 as partial payment for the period from 1 September 1930, when his old contract had expired, with the remainder, stipulated only as“an equitable amount,” to be paid by Cardinal Hayes. A special meeting of the new board of directors, held 15 June 1931, officially left it up to Cardinal Hayes to determine when Mr. Moore should leave. Cardinal Hayes decided on the first of August, 1931. At this point, Mr. Moore requested, as the remainder of his compensation, $10,000. The cardinal, however, recommended that all CNEWA funds should go directly to Rome (see the 11th July 1931 Forestburg conference, ACNEWA), and Monsignor Cicognani, seconding the proposal, agreed that Mr. Moore’s salary should be settled by Cardinal Sincero. Monsignor Cicognani agreed to meet with Mr. Moore on 15 July 1931, at which time the papal representative expressed Cardinal Hayes’ opinion that the sum requested was entirely too much. Mr. Moore insisted, however, on the $10,000, based on Father Walsh’s 9 February 1931 letter. Monsignor Cicognani, agreed to leave the settlement to Father Walsh, who admitted that he had a made a generous proposal, but no fixed amount. Father Walsh said he wished the matter settled immediately, because“Mr. Moore est persona valde difficilis.” (See Monsignor Cicognani’s memo, 17 July 1931, ACNEWA). Mr. Moore finally settled with Father Walsh for $8,000, and Monsignor Cicognani authorized payment of the balance 17 July, 1931. Joseph Moore officially left CNEWA 1 August 1931.

[58] “Minutes of Special Meeting of Board of Directors of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.,” 6 June 1931 (ACNEWA).

[59] Father Walsh, “Propositions,” 24 December 1929, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA), p. 1.

[60] Monsignor Cicognani, Report, June 1931, p. 9 (ACNEWA 1931-32); see also archives of Oriental Congregation, Nos. 310, 359, UDSS 349, 351, 356, 361, 365, 368.

[61] Monsignor Cicognani to Cardinal Hayes, 16 July 1931 (ACNEWA 1931-32).

[62] Monsignor Cicognani, Report, June 1931.

[63] “Minutes of Meeting of Board of Directors of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, Inc.,” 15 June 1931 (ACNEWA).

[64] Ibid.

[65] Minutes of conference at Cardinal Hayes’ residence, 10 July 1931 (ACNEWA).

[66] Ibid.

[67] “Osservazioni di P. O’Reilly examined at the conference of July the 10th & 11th 1931,” (ACNEWA).

[68] “Minutes,” Conference of 10 July 1931.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Monsignor Cicognani, “Osservazioni.”

[71] “Minutes of Conference at St. Joseph’s, Forestburg,” 11 July 1931 (ACNEWA).

[72] Ibid.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Monsignor Cicognani, “Per L’Udienza Del Santo Padre;,” 11 Luglio 1931, Vatican Documents II (ACNEWA).

[76] Monsignor Cicognani, “osservazioni.” The cablegram from Cardinal Pacelli, dated 14 June, read: “Cardinal Sincero received report of June 14th. Holy Father fixed fifteen instead of ten percent of the sixty assigned to Propaganda, leaving forty for the Home Missions.” On 16 July, however, Cardinal Hayes received the following cable from Cardinal Sincero: “Prego Sospendere Communicatione Gerarchia Americana Decisione Circa Percentuale Sul Sessanta Per Cento Sino Nuovi Schiarimenti Che Si Avranno Arrivo Cicognani.” Commenting on the telegram, Monsignor Cicognani, who was to leave for Rome the following day, 17 July, said that while he was most pleased at the increase in the percentage to fifteen percent, he, nevertheless, would be equally satisfied with the ten percent, “should it be that the increased share would in any way disturb an amicable disposition on the part of the Propaganda in Rome or on the part of the national or local offices of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith here.” On 20 July Cardinal Hayes cabled Cardinal Sincero: “Aspettando Nuova Istruzione Non Communichero Gerarchia Circa Percentuale.” All above documentation can be found in CNEWA’s New York Archives.

[77] “Minutes of Conference, CNEWA Office, New York,” 14 July 1931 (ACNEWA).

[78] Expressed to another by various Americans.

[79] Monsignor Cicognani to Cardinal Hayes, 6 August 1931, Prot. No. 740/29 (ACNEWA 1931-32). Also Cardinal Pacelli to Oriental Congregation, 20 August 1931, Prot. No. 2155/31 (ACNEWA). Eventually this percentage was reduced to 9 percent.

[80] USCC archival holdings, “Minutes of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the American Hierarchy,” November 11, 1931.

[81] Ibid.

Recent Posts

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

share