CARDINAL Paolo Marella. 74-year-okl President of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians, will be on very familiar ground when he ' goes to Japan next year to represent the Pope at the Holy See Day celebrations during the World Fair in Osaka.
He spent 16 of his 37 years as a Vatican diplomat in Japan, where from 1933 to 1949 he was Apostolic Delegate. While in Asia he acquired a deep knowledge of religions in that part of the world and this, of course, helps him considerably in his relations with non-Christians. He was extremely popular in Japan and was decorated by the Emperor.
He was also in Australia for four years as Delegate there. He is becoming a bit of a specialist in World Fairs. In 1964 the Pope also sent him to represent him at the opening of the one in New York.
Cardinal Marella succeeded Pope John, then Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, as Papal Nuncio in Paris. It was Pope John who created him cardinal in 1959 and brought him to Rome, where be became Archpriest of St. Peter's Sending Cardinal Marella To Osaka is Pope Paul's answer to an invitation to him personally to visit the fair.
This, and another invitation to him to visit Hiroshima in 1970 for the 25th anniversary of the first atomic bomb explosion, started rumours that he would go to Japan and, at the same time, extend his trip to take in Australia while he Was in the Pacific area.
Vatican circles still feelthat a Papal visit to Japan next year is a distinct possibility — provided he receives an official invitation from the highest possie ble source, in this case the Japanese Government.
While the World Fair at Osaka has not offered sufficient justification for a Papal trip, the Hiroshima anniversary,
which is being held at the same time as an inter-confessional congress on peace, would con form to Pope Paul's rule of travelling only to places or events of extraordinary significance, such as the Holy Land, the United Nations Headquarters in New York, where he appealed for world peace, or international Eucharistic Congresses, like those he attended in Bombay in 1964. and Bogota, Columbia, in 1968.
Cardinal Sir Norman Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney, on his return home recently after at tending the Synod of Bishops in Rome, said the Pope might visit Australia next year, but had told him such a visit would have to include other Pacific countries. The Vatican has no comment on this at present.
Earlier this year, during an audience, I asked Pope Paul myself if he thought of going to Australia. He said he would very much like to, but it was
"so far" and he could not go there in the immediate future.
'VATICAN procrastination V over the Purloined Papal Paintings Puzzle would have provoked even the normally patient Pope.
Were the paintings removed from the Pope's apartments or weren't they? Nobody knows; that is, nobody outside the select circle in those parts from which the pictures were (or were not) stolen.
True, immediately the story broke, the Vatican's official spokesman, Mgr. Fausto Vallainc, "vehemently and
categorically denied" it and described it as "nonsense".
But it is a measure of the confidence enjoyed by the Vatican Press office that Italian and some foreign newspapers continued to play up the report, with intriguing variations, for several days.
In Rome, we not only had the story, but pictures and or sketches of the Papal Palace, the Pope's private apartments and treasures he possesses, plus diagrams of the exact spots from which the paintings were allegedly taken. ("I'm old fashioned when it comes to detective stories," the late Mgr. Ronald Knox once told me. "I still like an X to mark the spot . ."
All that was needed to put the record straight over the • Pope's paintings was a statement by someone with real authority. But even in this year of modern communications, the Vatican is lamentably short on this type of simple approach.
WHILE suffering from some form of post-Synodal mental torpor, I transposed the title of William Jordan's book on his experiences as a wartime guerrilla fighter in Greece and France. In my last diary, I called it "Victory Without Conquest." It should have been "Conquest Without Victory."
Mercifully, I managed to avoid listing the publishers as Messrs Stoughton and Hodder.
The book, by the way, is about to go into a second impression.
Man for the job
THE Holy See's Permanent Observer to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (F.A.0.), Mgr. Luigi Ligutti, told its biennial conference, now in session in Rome, that "man is the most important item in agriculture."
World agriculture, he added, would improve "only when we take a personal interest in the man and family that have been condemned to agriculture." He also urged that special attention be given to "the poor peasant women of the world who work at food production and care for the most abandoned consumers."
Mgr. Ligutti repeated to the delegates what he has been saying for a long time — that local religions leaders should be enlisted in the battle against hunger.
He told me once that his main job is to make the Catholic Church in general and missionary groups in particular understand F.A.O.'s aims and operational methods, and how they can best cooperate in the field.
"Missionaries are the grass roots of their areas," he said. "When you are working in a jungle or from a river boat, one missionary who knows his territory and understands his native charges can achieve what entire governments can never achieve."
Mgr. Ligutti is no amateur agriculturalist. He was born in Udine, North Italy. He got his first liking for rural life there; the Ligutti family had been farmers for generations. At 16, he went with his Italian parents to America, studied for the priesthood and was ordained in Des Moines, Ohio. He worked there as a rural pastor for 20 years and was fascinated by the problems of country life.
Later he was a founder member of the National
Catholic Rural Life Conference. In 1940 he gave up parish work to become its first full-time secretary. He was appointed its observer at F.A.O. in 1945.
On his suggestion, the late Pope Pius XII agreed to the Holy See being actively associated with F.A.O. and, in 1948, Mgr. Ligutti became its Permanent Observer.
THE Rector of the English A. College, Mgr. Joseph Alston, concelebrated a Remembrance Day Requiem Mass with a number of other Commonwealth priests in San Silvestro in Capite. Rome's "English" Church. Fr. TindallAtkinson, 0.r., preached.
The British Minister to the Holy See, Sir Michael Williams, and the First Secretary, Mr. Anthony Snellgrove; the New Zealand Ambassador, Mr. A. McIntosh, and his First Secretary, Mr. Philip Costello, and representatives of the Australian, Indian and Canadian Embassies, together with Rectors and Vice-Rectors of Commonwealth colleges, were present_