Page 1, 17th December 1937

17th December 1937
Page 1
Page 1, 17th December 1937 — MONDAY'S SECRET CONSISTORY

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Locations: Rome


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The Secret Consistory convoked by the Pope for the nomination of five new Cardinals was held on Monday morning in the Consistory Hall on the second floor of the Vatican palace.

According to custom the Cardinals-to-be were considered to be unaware of the corning honour, and they awaited at their lodgings the arrival of the Pontifical envoy who, immediately after the ceremony, officially notified them of the Pope's decision.

Thirty-one Cardinals were present in the Consistory Hall when the Pope, accompanied by a detachment of the Noble Guard, and members of the Papal suite, both cleric and lay, entered the hall.

The Pope took his place on the throne at 10.40 a.m. After a few seconds he pronounced the ritual word Adsumus (we are in session). At this signal all except the Cardinals withdrew, and remained outside under pain of major excommunication.

The Pope then pronounced his Allocution. It was as follows: VENERABLE BRETHREN, We are truly delighted and consoled that the Divine Goodness should have allowed us, after a long interval, to see you, and paternally to speak to you in this most noble assembly. We have, indeed, many reasons for giving everlasting thanks to God, the giver of all good gifts, who has never failed to come to our assistance and to the assistance of His Church in the grave difficulties of the present time.

Above all we are pleased to testify gratefully in your presence to God that although

we have been for a long time inflicted with infirmity, never have we been in want of heavenly graces and blessings. These last few months the most merciful God has seemed to hear the prayers and supplications which we have made to Him in these words, many times renewed : "Lord, if by our work we can still do a little for the good of the Church and the salvation of men, we do not refuse the labour or the pain."

Consolations We wish to add here that, during the year which is now drawing to its close, we have been consoled not a little by the Eucharistic celebrations in which we have participated in the person of our Legates a latere. These celebrations, so spiritually fruitful, offer, with their demonstrations of love and attachment to the Common Father and the fervent prayers for his health, an admirable spectacle of Catholic Faith, of harmony, and union.

But riNlw our joy is increased for another reason which concerns your college more closely. To succeed these lamented Cardinals whose death we here wish to commemorate, it is given to us to elect illustrious men whose entry into the Senate of the Roman Church will increase its dignity not a little by the excellent virtue and outstanding merits which distinguish them.


However, before announcing their names, according to the custom of the Holy Sec, in the majesty of this assembly, we cannot refrain from speaking to you about the most grave anxieties and cares which fill our mind.

For there are not wanting causes of sorrow and fear, mingled with the opportune consolations. Especially is this so when we consider the Far East, where, amidst the unhappy state of affairs inevitably caused by war. we see that the ministers of the Gospel, and the flourishing Christian communities, have suffered such enormous losses and will probably suffer more in the future.

Sorrow If, next, we turn our eyes to Europe, we see with no less sorrow the impious and atrocious deeds committed in Russia; those which are being prepared, not without danger to Christian life, in Germany; while the people of Catholic Spain, who are so dear to us, are still troubled by sorrows and agonising vicissitudes, although the hope can be envisaged of the coming of better times.

Afflicted by such great troubles, we fly to " the Father of all mercies and the God of all consolation," with suppliant and trusting prayer; and we implore Him graciously to cure these miseries and evils.

We beg Him to ward off from His Church and from society the threatening waves of even graver danger, although not a few, not only among private citizens but also among those who are at the head of affairs in certain nations, disdain the duties of religion or boldly rebel against the Eternal God.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Nothing more remains except that we should add to your most noble college by raising to the honour of the Sacred Purple five most worthy men, who either fill, with apostolic zeal and exemplary virtue, widelyfamed dioceses. or who have shown themselves most deserving in the service of the Apostolic See and of ourself.

The Five

At the end of the Allocution the Pope announced the names of the five Bishops who are to be raised to the purple. He then left the hall, accompanied by his suite.

Five prelates, accompanied by a Chancellery official immediately Left the Vatican to inform each of the five new Cardinals of his new honour, and presenting the biglietto of nomination.

The biglietto was brought to Cardinal Hinsley at the English College by the Pri vate Secretary, Cardinal Pacelli. Mgr. Riberi, accompanied by the Rev. Peter Venables, read the biglietto at the invita

tion of Cardinal Hinsley. Among those present were the British Minister to the Holy See and many other distinguished diplomats, The German Ambassador, Count Von Bergen, was among the many who came to pay their respects.

The Cardinal was accompanied throughout by Captain Sheedy, who had come to Rome to perform his duties as Gentiluomo.

On Wednesday afternoon the Holy Father solemnly presented the five new Cardinals with their copes, crucifixes and birettas.

Having received the letter, Cardinal Hinsley, speaking in Italian, said:

"Our Holy Father Pius XI, gloriously reigning, has deigned to confer on my humble person the sacred Roman Purple: and for what motives if not to manifest once more His paternal, constant, and generous affection for all His children and for my fellow-countrymen in our island—an island far from Rome, it is true, but always close to the heart of Our Common Father. Therefore I am in duty bound to thank the Sovereign Pontiff for his kindness and for His exquisite benevolence towards my country and towards my humble person.

To Save Christian Civilisation

" My gratitude for such an honour is certainly inadequate. But, better than many words of thanks, I offer to the Holy Father with the renewed declaration of my fidelity to the Holy See, the promise and the resolve to promote, in the few years that God will still grant me, those principles which the Sovereign Pontiff Himself has expounded as Master of the Christian Life, to save Christian civilisation, and to secure the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ. Long live Christ the King! "

Then, speaking in English, Cardinal Hinsley made the following short address: "On this very spot, 26 years ago almost to the day, my illustrious predecessor, Cardinal Bourne, received a message similar to the one which Mgr. Riberi, Apostolic Delegate for Africa, has just read to you.

" In thanking the Holy Father for the formal notice of his elevation to the Sacred Purple, Cardinal Bourne declared that he had been previously assured by Pius X that this high dignity had been conferred as a signal proof of the love of the Vicar of Christ for England and English Catholics.

" It can only be for the same reason that the present Holy Father has chosen me; to show by this gracious act that he has a deep fatherly regard for all his children and for their fellow-citizens in far-off England.

"Look at the long history of this Venerable College of the English, whose sons in the olden days gave their lives for the faith of our forefathers; study the portraits and coats of arms of the many English Cardinals which adorn its walls, from Bosham to Saint John Fisher and Pole and Allen, and you will be convinced of the attachment of ancient England to the See of Rome, just as you will be convinced of the affection of the Successors of Peter for our country.

" Cardinal Bourne Had Done Great Work— "

" Unlike my immediate predecessor, I have not eight or nine years of fruitful labour for the Church as Archbishop of Westminster to account for the Holy Father's choice.

"Before his elevation, Cardinal Bourne had celebrated the nineteenth Eucharistic Congress in Westminster, he had assisted in the defence of our Catholic schools, he had successfully forwarded the cause of Catholic unity in England by conferences and congresses, and had helped to perfect the organisation of the Church in our coun

(Continued on page 9).

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