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Page 19, 25th September 1915

25th September 1915
Page 19
Page 20
Page 19, 25th September 1915 — ROME

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Locations: ROME, London, Liverpool


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Wednesday, September 15, 1915. THE HOLY SEE AND PRISONERS OF WAR.

The Osservatore Romano states : "The German Government complained of the situation of German prisoners in Dahomey, and as a measure of reprisal had transported a large number of French prisoners to the marshy regions of Neuenkirchen. At the entreaty of some distinguished French Catholics the Holy Father interposed his good offices and approached the Government of Berlin. We now hear with pleasure that the French Government has transferred the German prisoners from Dahomey to more fresh and healthy positions in Northern Africa, and the German Government has suppressed the 'Camps of Reprisals' of Neuenkirchen. The German Government has charged its Minister to bring this to the knowledge of the Holy See, and at the same time to express to His Holiness the most sincere thanks of the Imperial Government for his philanthropic mediation."


Rome is quieter than ever. In the ecclesiastical life of the city it is vacation time. Audiences are few, the Holy Father finds time for an early morning drive to and walk through the Vatican gardens, often passing a short time again there in the evening. Some high dignitaries leave, others return. His Eminence Cardinal Gasparri, Secretary of State, is back ; so is Mgr. Sanz y Samper, Maestro di camera, whose work was done in his absence by Mgr. Caccia Dominioni, Cameriere Segreto Partecipante. Cardinal Gasquet has been back from his fresh air sojourn in the central hills, has been away again to Monte Cassino and is now back again at San Callisto. In his absence the Holy Father nominated him Protector of the Venerable English College, an appointment which cannot but have brought pleasure to everyone who knows anything of the Cardinal or the College.


• An announcement, quite unofficial and belated from London via America, that Mgr. MacIntyre, Rector of the Venerabile, might not return to Rome, the reason given being that he might be appointed to an English diocese, is untrue, as his lordship is expected back in a week or two. It would have been a great loss, not only th the College but to Rome, if the Bishop had not, after his first strenuous year here, been able to come back to reap the fruits of progress. And it would have been a pity to disturb the fine list of English-speaking Rectors now here : Archbishop Kennedy at the American College, Bishop MacIntyre at the English, Mgr. O'Riordan at the Irish, Father Perrin at the Canadian, Mgr. Mackintosh at the Scots College. There has been an evident disposition lately, by raising them one after another to responsible positions in the Roman Curia, not only to do them honour but to take advantage also of their eminent qualities, while at the same time adding to Curia an international experience which should be a valuable leaven to the long list of Italian names in the Annuario.


On the civil side, whether one studies the newspapers or the streets, the conclusion must be that Rome is as quiet as ever, if not quieter. Nothing occurs to ruffle the peace which settled down on the city with the outbreak of war. There is a refreshing absence of politics in the administration of the affairs of the city itself, and the Catholic-moderate town council has during its nearly two years of office done a great deal of useful work. But no attention is paid now to matters which in ordinary times would give rise to columns of newspaper comment. In the Piazza Colonna foundations are being laid for the new great central building of Rome, twenty-five years under discussion, and, more difficult than laying the new foundations, the old massive arches which sustained the Palazzo Piombino and perhaps other buildings centuries older, are being laboriously demolished. Few care to stop a moment to watch the disappearance of old Rome and to wonder what the new reinforced concrete edifice will look like. Rome-Ostia is again said to be on the way to become an accomplished fact. The full project cannot be carried out until the systematization of the streets on the south side of the Victor Emmanuel Monument has been put in hand and the difficult question of the bringing to light of the Imperial Forums there, with the consequent demolition of almost the entire quarter, has been solved. But we are assured that the plans have been passed for a temporary line from the Via Cavour round the Colosseum past the church of St. Gregory on the Celian and the bald Passeggiata Arch.Tologica to the Gate of St. Paul, whence along the to-be-widened road twenty-four minutes are to suffice to carry .Romans to the sea in the summer, and the Campagna on the way is to be benefited all the year round. A stray reference in a stray paper is all this burning question gets just now.


The Town Council has had a mass of war questions to tackle also in the administration of the city, and either it is an exceptionally able body or we must revise our old ideas about Italians not being able to organize. Possibly to a great extent the latter, considering what we hear of how things are at the front. There has been a rise in price of certain necessaries of life, noticeable but not enormous, due to some extent to the rapacity of some people who saw a chance to make money out of the difficulties of the times ; this has been spotted and is being checked. The other cause for dearness of things, the scarcity of labour, is not easily remedied by administrative action, but wherever possible women are taking the place of men, as they have already done in several city and Governmental departments. Coal seems to. be a problem, and brings with it an increase of price of wood and charcoal. The commercial life of Rome has suffered, as can be seen by a certain number of shops closed, partly on account of the absence of the men at the front, greatly through the absence of visitors extending now over an entire season, and it is to be feared another to come. But there is no visible distress beyond a larger quantity of people than usual asking alms about the streets, and only a resident would notice this. The families of those at the front do not get subsidies to enable them to live in luxury, but there are a number of initiatives, public and private, to help things out.


The "economic kitchens" play a large part in this organized assistance. Reference has been made before to the work of the great Catholic charitable association the " Circolo San Pietro " in this regard—work which is supplemented by similar municipal organizations. There are twenty-two of these "economic kitchens" going now, and it is estimated that between fifteen and twenty thousand people are enjoying the benefits of them. Last week another was opened, with a creche attached, between Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and St. John Lateran under circumstances which in themselves were of interest when one remembers the relations of Church and State for many years and of Church and Town Council during the Nathan regime. The Holy See gave the site for the building ; Cardinal Cassetta formally inaugurated and blessed it. The first big room contained a portrait of the Holy Father over the throne arranged for His Eminence, on the adjoining wall a portrait of the Royal Family of Italy. A Crucifix was on another wall ; one of the children assembled was officially carrying the Italian tricolour. The representative of the Town Council thanked His Eminence for coming and spioke of "our religion which is founded on love for one's neighbour." But such things as these are looked on as quite ordinary now that concord reigns in Italy for the carrying out of the nation's destinies.


Such concord journalistic recriminations have not disturbed much during the week. One priest has been found guilty of spreading false notices to the detriment of the Italian arms (recorded in the secular press) ; another has been found guiltless of anything (recorded in the Catholic papers) ; but the "campaign against priests" is becoming ancient history. The Osservatore Romano still maintains that all the members of the" Committee of civil defence" are Freemasons ; the President of it maintains the contrary, saying that he is not and never has been one. And the Socialist Avanti, realizing that there is no interest now in the Internationale and that anti-war work is out of the question, has started an anticlerical campaign to keep things going. "The clericals are working," it says, "and there is even a religious revival among the an-kiclericals," and this is one of the worst evils which the war has brought about. The editor of an anticlerical paper asked for a priest before he died ; the ladies of the Red Cross distribute religious pamphlets ; the son of a noted anticlerical has become a Franciscan Tertiary. It is a cheerful sign that the Avanti's own observations on the subject were blotted out by the Censor.


A summary of the findings of the Austrian priest in Belgium—the full account of which has been printed in THE TABLET—has found its way into the columns of the Corriere d'Italia; but not, as yet, into the Osservatore Romano. Some Roman correspondents have spoken lately of the " enlightenment " of the Vatican. "The Vatican," of course, means nothing actually to any purpose ; it is the Holy Father who counts, and he needs no enlightenment at all. The reasons for his silence in general about facts, which, though facts, are not legally and conclusively proved in Rome to be such—this needs no more explaining; the specific denunciation of the violation of Belgian neutrality is explanation in itself. As for "The Vatican," if it means a certain number of persons, who were so obsessed by prejudices that they could not see' truth and justice, Italy's entry into the war cleared the understandings of many. Mgr. Baudrillart's work, which has been widely read in Rome ; the continuance of Germany's defiance of the laws of God and man ; the news, now authenticated, of Turkish atrocities, especially in Armenia ; and other publications like the Belgian truth from Austria— these are continuing the good work, even in the minds of the most prejudiced, though there are some who will never be convinced. With regard to Belgium, it will be remem_ bered that the preliminary notice of the Requiem Mass for the Belgian priests "put to death" appeared in the Osservatore with the substituted word "fallen." Diplomatic pressure at once ensured the replacing of the correct definition in the account of the ceremony.


The text of the Decree of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation, excommunicating by name the Rev. Richard O'Halloran, of Ealing, in the diocese of Westminster, is as follows : Due reasons of canonical discipline require that whoso offends against the ecclesiastical laws be corrected ; and, if he despise admonitions and milder ordinances, that he be punished with grave penalties.

Therefore, as a priest of the diocese of Middlesbrough, Richard O'Halloran, came in the year 1888 into the diocese of Westminster, and at the time obtained permission to exercise the sacred ministry at Ealing ; but as, having been dismissed and

commanded to leave the diocese of Westminster, he obstinately refused to obey, he was, on April 21, 1897, suspended a Divinis by the Ordinary of Westminster. But he, having contemned the censure, has not, up to the present, desisted from sacrilegiously celebrating Mass and rashly exercising parochial functions amongst some adherents of his, creating, to the great displeasure of the faithful, that little schism called the Ealing schism. Warnings, exhortations, the dutiful advice of religious, of the Ordinary of Westminster, even of the Holy See itself, again and again employed to bring him to a more reasonable frame of mind, have remained without effect. Whence, at length, as the priest O'Halloran persevered in the scandal of schism and sacrilege, as, owing to inattention to censures, he even became suspected of heresy, to overcome such great stubbornness of mind and to repair so great a scandal of rebellion and of the profanation of things sacred, on June 5, 1915, on the advice of the Most Eminent Fathers of the S. Consistorial Congregation, a peremptory term of ten days was by command of Our Most Holy Lord Pope Benedict XV assigned for obedience to the said priest, with a threat of excommunication to be inflicted by name [nominatim], if he still remained contumacious.

But it has been proved that the period of time prescribed passed by without the unhappy priest having shown any sign of coming to reason.

Therefore, by command of His Holiness, although with pain, for the salutary correction of the priest himself, for the safeguarding of ecclesiastical discipline, for the reparation of scandal, the priest, Richard O'Halloran, is, by the present Consistorial Decree, separated and set apart from the Communion of the Church ; and it is announced, declared and enacted that the same has incurred the penalty of excommunication, and that, according to the ecclesiastical laws, he is to be shunned by all the faithful.

Given at Rome, from the Office of the S. Consistorial Congregation, July 14, 1905.

± G. CARD DE LAI, Ep. Sabinen., Secretarius. ÷ THOMAS BOGGIANI, Archiep. Edessen., Assessor.


The Acta Apostolicce Sedis announces the renomination of Mr. Francis Nicholas Blundell, of Blundellsands, near Liverpool, to be Private Chamberlain of Cape and Sword.— Mgr. Kojunian, titular Archbishop of Chalcedonia, Ordaining Bishop for Armenians in Rome, was received in private audience during the week. The Turkish massacres of Armenians have caused great distress to His Holiness, who is also in daily communication with Mgr. Dolci, Patriarch of Constantinople, on the subject.—By Decree of the S. Congregation of the Holy Office, His Holiness has granted an Indulgence of three hundred days, applicable also to the souls departed, to all who with contrite heart shall recite the ancient prayer, Pro Pace, in the Canon of the Mass ; also a Plenary Indulgence to all who shall recite the same prayer for one month consecutively, receive Holy Communion once, and pray for the intention of the Holy Father.—Following the example of the Popular Union, the Socio-Economic Union has now issued its detailed statutes.—The hospice of the Sisters of St. Charles of Nancy, in the Piazza Santa Marta, has been fitted up to receive Italian wounded soldiers. Madame Barrere, wife of the French Ambassador to the Quirinal, has made herself responsible for all the expenses,