Page 3, 7th March 1969

7th March 1969
Page 3
Page 3, 7th March 1969 — Vatican wants a U.S. Ambassador
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Vatican wants a U.S. Ambassador

ALAN McELWAIN's

11H ERE was a pretty strong rumour in America and the Vatican before President Nixon came to see Pope Paul that the President would raise the question of restoring U.S. representation to the Holy See.

America has had no representation since Mr. Myron C.

Taylor, between 1939 and 1950, was personal representative to the late Pope Pius VII, first of President Roosevelt, then President Truman.

The Holy See, on the other hand, has maintained for years an Apostolic Delegate in Washington. (The present Vatican Secretary of State, Cardina) Amleto Cicognani, held the job for 30 years.) Apparently the question was not discussed at the NixonPope Paul meeting which, at the President's own request, was essentially a "working audience," with peace the top subject.

Had it come up, President Nixon would have had to introduce it. Traditionally, in diplomatic matters of this kind, the Vatican never takes the initiative. "We never invite"— as a popular Secretariat of State saying goes.

Pope Paul, in his role as mediator in international dis

putes, would appreciate any strengthening of his personal ties with America. But it is felt in the Vatican that he would prefer full U.S. representation by an Ambassador rather than any "compromise" arrangement like that fulfilled, however usefully, by Mr. Taylor.

Albania's prisoners

Many Catholics, among political and religious prisoners in Albania, Europe's only proMaoist Communist country, are being held in concentration camps and forced to work 14 hours a day in mines and other backbreaking jobs, the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire says.

It quotes Albanian leaders as boasting that they have wiped out "every trace of religion" and that Albania is the first country in the world, after Red China, to do so.

Catholic churches have been closed, a Moslem mosque turned into a public lavatory and some Eastern Orthodox churches have been transformed into dance halls.

Avverdre suggests Albania might guarantee more favourable treatment to prisoners in return for more advantageous trade terms with other European countries.

Mgr. William Clapperton

A colleague who was looking up details of Mgr. William Clapperton after he died, aged 83, on February 19, remarked in some surprise: "You know, the only address given for him is 'Rome'." As well it might be. For William Clapperton first came to Rome in 1907 and had lived here — all 62 years — ever since.

He was Rector of Scots College for 36 years, from 1922 to 1958; before that, vice-rector; before that, student. He was Rector Emeritus when he died.

He had been in Rome under six Popes — St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII and the present Pope Paul. When he retired in 1958, Pope John made him a Canon of St. John Lateran Arch-Basilica, the Pope's "cathedral" in his capacity as Bishop of Rome. "It's somewhere to live," he said to me in his mild way, after he had moved in.

To me, he always seemed indestructible. I can hardly recall ever having met a more perpetually young old man, and, although I knew how long he had been in these parts. I found it difficult to believe he was in his 80's when I last spoke to him, not very long before his death. He combined a sort of shyness with ready friendship. I used to meet him occasionally at British Council lectures, when some of us would be invited into the Director's room for a drink afterwards. "Coming?" I'd say. He would hesitate, then look at the others filing in. "Better be off", he'd say, and off he'd go.

He was buried from St. John Lateran. The Dean of the Chapter was celebrant of the Requiem Mass, Canon D. P. Boyle, present Rector of Scots College, deacon, and Monsignor Philip Flanagan, who succeeded Monsignor Clapperton as Rector and is now parish priest at Bellshill, Scotland, sub-deacon.

The Archpriest of St. John Lateran, Cardinal Benedetto

Aloisi Masella, Scottish Cardinal Theodore Heard, and Irish Cardinal Michael Browne, were present.

Also there were Major James Utley of the British Legation; the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, Mr. Joseph Shields; the British Minister to the Holy See, Sir Michael Williams; Archbishop J. D. Scanlon, of Glasgow, representing the Scottish hierarchy; Archbishop John Dooley, former Apostolic Delegate in Vietnam; Archbishop Martin J. O'Connor; Fr. Charles Burns, staff and students from Scots College, the Rector of the English College, Mgr. Joseph Alston, the Irish College, Mgr. Eamonn Marron and the Columban College, Fr. Terence O'Driscoll, Mgr. Gerard Rogers, Scottish judge of the Rota, Mgr, John Mostyn, Abbot R. D. Brookes, Postulator-General of the English Benedictines, Archbishop Sergio Pignedoli, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Fr. A. Tindal-Atkinson, O.P.

It was good to see there, too, the Minister of the Scots (Pres

byterian) Church, the Rev. A. J. Maclean, and his wife, old friends of Mgr. Clapperton, Donna Orietta Doria Pamphili, the Mother-General and other Blue Nuns, in whose hospital Mgr. Clapperton died and a little group of Italians who had been in the service of the College for many years.

Cardinal Merry Del Val

The Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, Cardinal Paolo Marella, celebrated a commemorative Mass for the late Cardinal Merry Del Val in St. Peter's on Sunday, at the initiative of the Legion of Merry Del Val.

During the Mass, the Giulia Choir sang three motets cornposed by the Cardinal, one of them, "I heard a voice from Heaven" being performed for the first time.

After the service, Bishop Peter Canisius Van Lierde, Papal Sacristan and the Pope's Vicar-General for Vatican City, led the congregation to Cardinal Merry Del Val's tomb in the Basilica crypt, where the official prayer for his beatification was recited.

The Brazilian and Guatemalan Ambassadors to the Holy See and other diplomatic representatives were present, also Fr. Joseph Loftus, 0.S.M., Prior-General of the Servites of Mary, of whose order Cardinal Merry Del Val was a model tertiary.

Professor Robin Anderson of Rome represented the foundress of the legion, Miss Joan A. De Trafford, of Avon Dassett, Warwickshire.

More and more tourists

One-million more foreign tourists entered Italy in the January-November period of 1968 than in 1967, official figures just released show. The 1968 figure was 27,400,000, compared with 26,400,000 in 1967.

Tourism remains Italy's largest single industry. Unless authorities can curb the current rampaging by students and Communist-inspired rabblerousers, it may not remain that way.




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