Page 3, 14th July 1972

14th July 1972
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Page 3, 14th July 1972 — tiiMichael Wilson's
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Locations: Bonn, Warsaw, Rome, Plymouth

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tiiMichael Wilson's

IRome Diary

This is not to mention the number of inside attacks from the Church's own priests who are in dissent with Rome, usually for one of two reasons: she is too progressive or not progressive enough.

Working in Rome for the past 12-plus years and in contact with the Vatican, its prelates, priests, officials and Curia bodies as well as with the numerous Orders, seminaries

and other religious bodies here, I can hear personal witness to some of the mistaken, deliberately malicious and plain scurrilous attacks of re

cent years. •

Polish border

On the international level: Since the war a remarkably persistent campaign was mounted from Poland for the Holy See to recognise without further to-do Polish sovereignty over the Oder-Neisse and other post-war frontiers by the papal appointment of residential bishops.

When the Vatican explained that it was a centuries-old policy never to appoint such bishops before international peace pacts had ratified such frontiers, the attacks were stepped up and Pope Paul was even refused permission to travel to Czestochowa to celebrate the Polish 1966 millennium of Christianity at the Shrine of the Black Madonna. But the Vatican held firm.

Finally, the present status of the area was ratified by Bonn and Warsaw. Within a month, at the end of June, the Holy See announced nomination of residential prelates to the areas. There was no delay in the Vatican once the treaty had been ratified; merely a routine check with Cardinal Wyszynski, Primate of Poland, that he was in agreement with Pope Paul's desire to change the status of the Apostolic Administrators to Ordinaries.

The attacks had hinted, among other things, that the Holy See was acting eubserviently to the will of the German Episcopate because this gave so much money to the missions. Although it was obviously ridiculous either that the German bishops would exert such pressures or that the Vatican would heed them, they were given credence by a very large number of reporters in Rome and widely disseminated. Vatican denials were ignored; sensation was wanted.

Denials ignored

On the purely mundane sensational level : the so-called "Tisserant diary disclosures" which purport to reveal the day-by-day diary jottings of the late French Cardinal Eugene Tisserant during his many years in the Curia in Rome. .

These "diary disclosures," printed by French, Italian and other magazines and newspapers, were reportedly released by a French priest, Mgr. Philippe Roche, who had become a close friend of the Cardinal during the latter years of his life and who apparently obtained them from the Cardinal.

There is much confusion over who, actually owns the diaries since the Cardinal's niece, Paule Henriquet, also claims them and the Vatican certainly holds a number of Tisserant's papers. There is even more confusion over whether there are real diaries or just a jumble of notes and still further confusion over whether or not Mgr. Roche released them to the magazines and newspapers. He is quoted

as both confirming and denying the release and, incidentally, is quoted by an Italian paper as denying full authorship of a recent book published under his name.

The most sensational "disclosure" to date was that the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini got his mistress Clara Petacci's father, a onetime Vatican doctor, to inject poison into Pope Pius XI's veins and assassinate him before he could publicly denounce the regime. Holy See denials that Dr. Petacci ever came near the Pope during his fatal illness were ignored.

'The diaries purportedly range over a vast area of Vatican scandals and intrigues and since these. presumably, will be "leaked" slowly over the corn ing months, the antiVaticanists and sensationmongers will be given a steady grist.

New deacons

TEN seminarians of the Venerable English College in Rome were ordained deacons during a bucolic ceremony at the college's summer villa Palazzola near Rocca di Papa in the Roman Hills.

The ordinations were carried out by Bishop Restieaux of Plymouth with the college's Rector Mgr. Cormac Murphy O'Connor concelebrating at the Mass.

Jesuit music

THE Jesuit Institute for the Fine Arts, now in its third year, opened its 1972 six-week season with an evening of music. poetry and mime last Saturday evening in the Order's Villa Mondragone at Frascati in the Roman Hills.

The institute's aim is to bring together artists and students many of them Jesuits — to share ideas and work as a community in their individual fields of painting, music, sculpture. photography, poetry, theatre and cinema.

Saturday's inaugural programme featured music by Bach, Beethoven, Dufay and Water, S.J. The performers were all Jesuits and the chorus of mixed voices was from the Jesuit Institute.




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