Last Friday, readers of the Daily Mail were let into the secrets of the Vatican.
In bold black type the heading, " Rome's Black Society," drew attention to a Special Correspondent's article on " urgent underground workers struggling to preserve the last vestiges of their power " by ensuring that the next Pope will be an Italian.
These people, against whom are pitted all those working, whether underground or overhead, for a non-Italian Pope, are not, as you might suspect, the Italian Cardinals, but " the influential group of old Roman families whose members ... support the Roman Church in preference to the Italian State."
Events in Germany and Central Europe, we are told, the new position of Ireland and the enormous influence of the United States " have swept the old technique of pontifical electioneering into the dustbin."
The 29 foreign Cardinals (as against 39 Italian) may combine against any Italian Papal candidate.
Cardinal Hinsley will be interested to learn that " British and American Cardinals intend throwing in their lot with those who arc against the policy and methods of the Dictator States."
America is waking up. Money talks, even in the Church., and she is determined to play the part, in the Papal election, to which her wealth entitles her.
A " FOREIGN " POPE
This position has alarmed the Vatican and Black Society. Italian Cardinals are striving t.o be independent of Italian affairs. Cardinal Schuster has cleverly established a foot in both the pro-Fascist and anti-Nazi camps. "But they will require to come out much stronger against dictatorship if they wish to avoid a landslide of foreign Cardinals' votes against them."
The conclusion is that " it is not so impossible . .. that a foreign (sic) Pope might emerge from heated voting at the next Conclave when it comes.
"Black Society senses this afar off • • ."
To help us still further the article is illustrated by a photo of the Swiss Guards in their coal-scuttle helmets and vertically striped plus fours taking the oath in a Vatican courtyard.
Americans Puzzled By War Mask
Front ottr own Correspond, III
Rejoicing in the elevation of an American citizen to the rank of beati, Catholic's are flocking to pray before the relies of Blessed Mother
Cabrini, religiously reserved in the chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, in New York City.
Early reports that Blessed Cabrini's remains were In a " remarkably good state of preservation" led to the belief that the body had been found completely preserved. This belief was supported by Press photos which showed the face and hands of Blessed Cabrini. The early report was corrected by Catholic papers, which state that the skeleton but not the flesh was found intact.
It was explained further that a wax mask and wax hands had been used to cover the visible remains, in accordance with an Italian custom. The mask of Blessed Cabrini's face, fashioned after a photograph of the Beata, is turned to the congregation, and has a decidedly lifelike appearance. The wax hands are also easily visible. Many American visitors, unused to this masking custom, were at first puzzled.