ITALIANS NOT AWARE OF KING'S LETTER Vatican Hopes for Solution of Marriage Quarrel
From Our Own Correspondent
Not all Italians are aware that the Pope wrote personally to the King of Italy and to Mussolini before the new racial laws were passed.
The news that Article No. 1 of the new laws is in conflict with Article 34 of the Concordat has been published only in Catholic newspapers. Meanwhile an interesting situation has arisen. The King has replied to the Pope and has used a very conciliatory tone.
Mussolini has not yet replied. Can he afford to reply in the same tone as that of the King?
It seems that without pressure this would be impossible, since it was Mussolini himself who, as Minister for the Interior, presented the laws for ratification.
The King is not a Cypher
But Italians are the first to admit that the King is not a mere cypher in the minds of his people. The affection which Charles Albert, Victor Emmanuel II and Humbert II won from their people was not greater than that of Victor Emmanuel III today.
The Italians remember that it was due to their King's firmness that the will of the people to intervene in the Great War was not suffocated by Giolitti; they1 remember that the King was at the front with his soldiers throughout the war, and that Mussolini since his accession to power has become a firm believer in monarchy. The King's position in the eyes of Italians is similar to that of King George V. in the eyes of English people.
Headaches in the Palazzo Venezia
Will Mussolini obey the King's wish to see that the wound in the Concordat is healed? Competent Vatican circles assure your correspondent that the wound will be healed, but that the manner in which a retraction will be made before the law comes into force next month must be causing headaches in the Palazzo Venezia.
It is important to remember, as the Osservatore Romano points out, that only about ten marriages throughout the year are affected by the new decree. There are 300,000 Catholic marriages yearly which will not be affected.