THERE is great satisfaction among English Catholics in Rome that San Silvestro in Capite, the "English" church, has become for the first time the titular church of the English Cardinal.
Alan McElwain tells me that Pope Paul has assigned it to Cardinal Heenan of Westminster, who will take possession of it soon after he has received his Red Hat during the consistory that opens on February 22.
Pope Leo XIII declared the elaboratelydecorated Church of San Silvestro the official church for Catholics in Rome on February 21, 1885. The first important event held there after this was a requiem for Cardinal John Henry Newman. Two years later, there was also a requiem for Cardinal Manning.
San Silvestro is 8th century. About 763, Pope Paul 1 built a church and a convent in what is now the busy, centre-of-city Piazza San Silvestro. He had a great devotion to fourth century Pope Silvester, who had brought many bodies of saints to the spot front the catacombs, and Pope Paul had St. Silvester's remains buried there, too.
Altogether seven Popes are buried in the church, below which runs a wall dating from 500 B.C. The church's most precious relic is the head of St. John the Baptist, exposed in a special chapel. The old convent, once occupied by the Benedictines, is now the Central Post Office, directly adjoining the church.
Attached to the church is the popular English Centre, social venue for English-speaking people living in, or visiting Rome. 11 was established for lloly Year, 1950, and opened by our present Holy Father, then Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini.
POPE LEO XIII placed San Silvestro in the keeping of the Pallotine Fathers (Society of the Catholic Apostolate), whose founder, St. Vincent Pallotti, built the Italian Church of St. Peter in Clerkenwell. London. Manchester-born Fr. Vincent Smith. S.A.C.. has been Rector of San Silvestro since 1953.
I understand that Cardinal Heenan shared the great hope of Rome's English Catholics that he would be assigned San Silvestro.
Cardinal William Conway, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has been assigned, not surprisingly, St. Patrick's Church on Via Boncompagni, a comparatively new church run by the Irish Augustiniarts. with Fr. P. N. Dena, 0.S.A., as Rector.
Cardinal Thomas B. Cooray, Archbishop of Colombo, Ceylon, has been given the Church of Si. Nereus and Achilleus, once the titular church of the late Cardinal Godfrey of Westminster.
Cardinal Enrico Dante. former Prefect of Papal Ceremonial, gets the old Church of St. Agatha and the Goths, once the titular church of the late Cardinal John D'Alton, of Armagh. It dates from the earliest centuries of the Church and is the only existing church in Rome that was once held by the Arian heretics.
THE issue of the famous moniturn by the
Holy Office about the work of Pierre Teilhard tie Chardin has not damped the interest in his work. Up and down the country one comes across traces of a growing movement to study his thought. The latest indication is the formation of the Association of Friends of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in England which will be linked with similar groups in France and Germany.
Moving spirit behind the new movement is a German lady married to an Englishman—Mrs. Renee-Marie Parry Hausenstein. It is largely due to her initiative that a study weekend for people interested in Teilhard de Chardin's thought has been arranged in Attingham Park, the Shropshire adult college from March 26 to March 28 inclusive.
I quote from the brochure of the course which says that it "offers an introduction to the work of the great French scientist, seer and theologian. xvho applied his life. tremendous intellect and his great spiritual faith to the building of a philosophy which would reconcile Christian theology and the facts of religious experience with the scientific theory of evolution".
The lecturers at the weekend course include Dr. Joel de Rosnav of the Institut Pasteur who is attached to the Fondatioo Teilhard de Chardin in Paris, Rev. E. H. Robertson, executive director of the World Association for Christian Broadcasting, London, and Fr. John L. Russell, S.J.. of Heythrop.
Attingham Park itself is near Shrewsbury and is one of about two dozen adult colleges founded since the war. About 3,000 students attend the course each year and applications should be made to 'I he' Warden, Attingham Park, Shrewsbury.
THE likely impact on the ecumenical move ment of the publication of the Catholic R.S.V. Bible can hardly be overestimated. It will give fresh impetus to joint scriptural study groups, encourage closer links in Bible vigils, and completely broaden the scope of the Catholic-Protestant dialogue.
The publishers are now turning on the steam to have the whole Bible, New and Old Testaments, out before the end of the next session of the Vatican Council. Complimentary copies may be sent to all the English speaking bishops there.
The managing editor of Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., Mr. Christopher Bushy informs me they are aiming at simultaneous publication throughout the world. Archbishop Cardinale. the Apostolic Delegate. contributes a foreword to the British edition, Archbishop Meyer writes the one for the U.S. edition (which has also been welcomed by Cardinal Cushing) and the Australian Foreword has been written by Cardinal Gilroy.
Mr. Busby, who lives in London, is a convert and was educated at Cambridge and in America, tells me that special copies will be prepared for presentation to Pope Paul. The first copies of the New Testament will be published in the Spring and both editions will carry notes and a list of the few divergencies from the Standard R.S.V.
AFOUR hundred-year-old letter from a Scots Jesuit to the Papal Nuncio at the French Court describing his efforts to interest the Pope in bringing back the young James VI to the Catholic Church is being auctioned in Sotheby's on March 2.
Written in Italian on April 4, 1581 in Rome. the letter is from William Chrichton to Mgr. Dandini, the Papal Nuncio. It urges Dandini to join with James Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgoo and Gcottish Ambassador to France, in persuading the King of France to support the project for restoring King James to the Catholic faith.
The letter says in part: "His Holiness cannot expect to be approached about the affairs of Scotland by anyone except the said Ambassador, since the Queen is in prison and the King is not yet a Catholic. Signor d'Aubigny (the Mite of Lennox, James VI's guardian) has so much ado with the heretics in order merely to keep the King and himself alive that he has not courage to have recourse to His Holiness for fear of irritating them . „" Chrichton succeeded in winning sufficient support for his scheme to return to Scotland the following year and obtain a promise from the Duke of Lennox for the young King to be instructed in the faith in Scotland or sent abroad.
Grant for priory
XTEWBURGH PRIORY in Yorkshire is
one of 29 buildings of historic interest to receive a grant towards the cost of repairs from the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works.
Founded in 1145 by Roger de Mowbray, it belonged to the Augustinian Canons until the dissolution of the monasteries when it passes] into the possession of the Belasyse family.
One of their members, John, was implicated in the Titus Oates Plot and incarcerated in the Tower of London for a time. His nephew mar ried Oliver Cromwell's daughter, Mary. and it is said that the Protector's headless body is still preserved at Newburgh in a vault.
Another building of Catholic interest to benefit is Thoresby College, King's Lynn. established in 1510 for priests of the Trinity Guild. The surviving west range contains what is believed to have been the refectory.
The Old Palace, Croydon, now a school, was a favourite residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury during the Middle Ages. As far back as Domesday Book, the Archbishops' held the manorial rights of Croydon and the Palace was extended from time to time. The armorial hearings of some of the Archbishops still survive.
'1 homes Bourchier, Archbishop or Canterbury in the 15th century, built the manor house at Knole, Sevenoaks, which also receives a grant.
A grant also goes to the Guildhall at Chichester. This is the only remaining portion 'of the church of the Greyfriars. The building is a fine late-13th centuiy lectatigular hall about 80 feet by 30 feet and was originally the chancel of the church.