Page 1, 17th May 1940

17th May 1940
Page 1
Page 1, 17th May 1940 — Relations Between Italy and the Holy See

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Organisations: Italian Government
Locations: London, Rome, Vatican City


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Relations Between Italy and the Holy See


By Our Own Correspondent Rom E.

Farinacci's grouse is that the Oscarvatore Romano does not confine its attentions to strictly parochial matters. " We give," he writes, " a short summingup to a close examination of this foreign paper which we have been making for many years. This is the conclusion : That turning over its pages every day we have been able to observe here and there something about the cause of a beatification, some obituaries of bishops and cardinals, some discussions on moral and theological questions, but ninetenths of this daily we have found to be full of politics."


The Osservatore Romano has so far taken no notice of Farinacci's attack, but for the last week it has tried to be merely more objective than ever in its presentation of the news.

The paper's circulation in Italy is protected by an agreement with the Italian Government, and, as far as your Correspondent is aware, no copies have been sequestrated in Italy since 1931, when there were difficulties about Catholic Action associations for Italy's youth.

Reports that the Italian Government had made representations to the Vatican regarding the Osservatore Romano are denied in authoritative quarters in Vatican City.

It is declared that relations between the Holy See and the Italian Government were never better, and if there is any variance between the Italian and Vatican State Press it is felt by individuals.

Recently the Osservatore Romano was attacked in the Italian Chamber. But in Vatican circles the incident is not given too much importance for the fact that the attack came from a journalist, Signor Guglielmotti, editor of the Tribuna, and not from a political leader.

He said: " The Fascist Press is above all the expression of truth, and this should be remembered by those who seek in an extra territorial newsheet notices which they think they will not find in our papers. What we say is the pure truth; but it is the truth at the exclusive service of Italian interests." (Loud cheering.) It is true that of late even the moderate papers, as the Giornale d'Italia, made some remarks, but this, too, was not considered a matter having other significance than that of a controversial nature.


The Osservatore Romano is for the ordinary Italian reader of the Press the only link with what the Allies are saying. The B.B.C. announcer said lately that the Italian news bulletin from London has been blocked by the Italian radio for the last three days; he should have said for the last fortnight at least.

One does not have to go far in Rome before meeting persons who previous to the jamming business listened more than once daily to London. The audience throughout Italy must have numbered many thousands. The effect of jamming the B.B.C. Italian news has been to put up the sales of the Osservatore Romano still further.

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