Page 6, 17th May 1940

17th May 1940
Page 6
Page 6, 17th May 1940 — Mgr. Jackman's Review —(continued)

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Mgr. Jackman's Review —(continued)


I N dealing with Bishop Bourne's transla

tion to Westminster, Mr Oldmeadow quotes the Daily Chronicle's disparaging remarks, but omits any reference to a very long, significant and amazing article in The Times of July 17, 1903, from " A Roman Catholic Correspondent," whose identity was not difficult to divine.

It was as anti-Vaughan as it was anti-Bourne. Such an outburst would hardly be admitted to-day in our national newspaper.

On page 208 Mr Oldmeadow speaks of the new Archbishop as Frames Perpetuus. This title was only granted in 1911 when the province of Westminster was cut up into three,

Cardinal Moran's Speech

Cardinal Moran's intervention is almost certainly true, and Mr Oldmeadow's footnote bears me out. Propaganda met on August 24. Cardinal Moran attended the meeting, and by mistake, speaking out of his turn as it were, silenced the Italian proponent whose intention it was to propose Abbot Gasquet.

After Cardinal Moran's strong speech in favour of Bourne the intended proposal was withheld, and we know the result. Those who were " in the know " in Rome knew it was to be one of the three Englishmen among the four candidates, and when Signor Cortesi, Reuter's correspondent, questioned one of those present at the meeting as to who had been chosen he was enigmatically answered : "Prete, si; Monaco, non" (" A priest, yes, but not a monk "). This excluded Gasquet and Hedley.

Mr Oldmeadow's assertion that Rome had been discussing the succession with Mgr. Bourne amazes me. Cardinal Bourne confided everything to me during those eventful days, and gave not the slightest hint that the matter of the succession had ever come up during Cardinal Vaughan's lifetime. Indeed, it would have been most improper if it had. Nor does the sentence in Cardinal Bourne's letter to the Duke of Norfolk bear out Mr Oldmeadow's interpretation —it refers merely to what he wrote and telegraphed to Rome about the difficulty of accepting his translation to Westminster unless he were allowed to adminster Southwark for the time being.

Bishop Bourne's appointment was by no means a foregone conclusion, as those who know anything about Cardinal Gasquet will agree.

If further proof is needed Cardinal Gasquet's letter of congratulation to the newly appointed Archbishop should suffice.

It is a pity Mr Oldmeadow did not know that the private telegram from Reuter's correspondent in Rome to Bishop Bourne telling him of his appointment as St. Augustine's successor reached him appropriately enough at Canterbury, where, that morning, he had ordained a number of Jesuit priests.

No Solemn Ceremony

THERE was no solemn ceremony of conferring the Pallium by Cardinal Meech' in Rome (see page 215).

On the contrary Archbishop Bourne was most indignant at being handed it wrapped in paper by the Cardinal's servant after Mass!

And now we conic to Chapter XXXIII, about which I know so much that I prefer to say as little. I will only add to what I have already written at the beginning of this review that until Rome wrote suggesting the unification of London as a diocese the Cardinal never dreamt of it. Indeed, I well remember how angry he was the morning the letter came in which this was suggested. He described it as madness. But later, after mature consideration and weeks of reflection, he came to see the wisdom of it, and then perhaps he did champion it too vehemently.

On page 245 Mr Oldmeadow refers to the Cardinal's visit to Ireland in company with Cardinal Vannutelli. If Mr Oldmeadow had said this was a mistake I should agree. Looking back, I think it undoubtedly was.

Reverting to the great Albert Hall meeting described in Chapter XL, Sir Robert Morrant, of the Board of Education, who had received a special invitation, remarked to the Cardinal afterwards that when he saw the two most opposite camps imaginable, personified by the Duke of Norfolk and Redmond on the Cardinal's right and left, combine and fight shoulder to shoulder he felt the Bill (Birrell's) was as good as dead.

Not in the Programme

Towards the end of this meeting tire Cardinal beckoned to time and bade me go up to the organist and tell him to strike up "God Save the King" immediately after the blessing.

This item was not on the programme, and the organist. realising the tenseness of the situation with so many of the Nationalists present, demurred, and not recognising me demanded my authority; and the Cardinal's instructions were happily carried out.

Redmond was as amused as surprised. He said afterwards to the Archbishop that they had been caught nicely, adding, however, that he had no objection to the anthem except when it was sung at him by way of an insult, as for instance when he entered a Dublin hotel and some young unmannerly officers would start whistling it just to infuriate him.

In " the strange case of Mr A." I give our author another mistake ; the Cardinal's letter to Truth. Stung to the quick, he allowed himself to be drawn, thus giving great satisfaction to the enemy who always hates to be ignored. The Cardinal was inclined to be over sensitive in all money matters, and this particularly outrageous attack grievously offended him; the more so because many poor ignorant folk were likely to be influenced by such vile stories.

The Eucharistic Congress

ALAST word, and that on the Eucharistic Congress. Cardinal Merry del Val, who evidently was

surprised by the intention of holding it in London, in notifying the Pope's consent thereto irritated Archbishop Bourne very much by writing that the Pope agreed to the proposal as long as care was taken to avoid cutting a bad figure (figurare ire gli altri Cougressii in comparison with other congresses which had been held.

We know that it not only was the biggest ever held, but. brought together more Cardinals and Bishops than had ever attended a Eucharistic Congress, or for the matter of that any ecclesiastical gathering in the history of England. Mr Oldmeadow is perfectly correct in stating that Archbishop Bourne during those eventful days penned every letter to Asquith himself, as indeed was his practice even to the shortest leaflet all the years I was with him. with one exception—the famous Quinquagesima Pastoral Letter of 1918 on the nation's crisis, which was largely put together by Fr. Plater (R.I.P.) and Fr. Martindale. Incidentally, it might well be re-read to-day. Pius X, who, I tear, was very prejudiced against the Cardinal. was delighted with the Cardinal's handling of the controversy, and was especially struck by the courtesy that marked both Asquith's and the Cardinal's letters to one another.

In this very short review I have only just touched on a few points. But there are also many other things . . . and the CATHOLIC HERALD itself would not be able to contain all that I could write and perhaps should be written.

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