By the Editor
One of the roost statesmanlike acts of President Roosevelt was the appointment of a personal ambassador to the Holy See. Mr. Myron Taylor's appointment was a public recognition by the head of a State, that can claim to be the most powerful in the world to-day, that the mind of the Holy See is a factor of the highest potential importance in both war and peace.
In the execution of the different stages of his mission, Mr. Myron Taylor has maintained a conclave-like secrecy. Yet when he has spoken, not of his mission, hut of his personal impressions and of his regard for the Holy Father and the Church, this non-Catholic American diplomat has made it clear that he could not exaggerate either the importance or the high and supremely responsible purpose of the Holy See at the present time.
It is safe to guess that if he approached the Holy See in order to pre as American views he has always come away from it strongly moved by the views of the Pope. And when he meets other statesmen, as he is doing now, he carries with him the effects of that contact.
It could not be otherwise. In this country there persists a good deal of the old anti-Catholic illusion that the Holy See is more concerned with the protection of petty ecclesiastical interests and with seeking bargains with the meat Powers (not to mention attempting to rule the world from behind_ the scenes in the interests of the Inquisition) than in the defence of basic moral principles arid the re-establishment of a just and lasting peace for the good of all. A number of Catholics themselves arc not uninfluenced by this anti-Vatican tradition. But it is impossible to have personal contact with the Holy Father and retain any such illusions.
SUPREMELY OBJECTIVE That is why a mission like that of Mt. Myron Taylor, whatever its political object, can only have one result, namely, the further realisation (and in the highest quarters) of the truth that the Holy See to.day occupies a unique position as the supremely objective and supremely just adviser and guide in the midst of a stricken world. And the closer the contact with that adviser, the more certain will be its influence over statesmen and people of genuine goodwill.
We have pleaded in these columns for a Papal peace as the only concrete form of Christian peace. We have not the slightest doubt that personal contact with the Holy Sec leaves all those privileged to enjoy this contact with a realisation that the ultimate sane waY out can only be thus.
Exactly how and when such an outcome may be practicable is a matter upon which the Holy Father may well disclose his mind in conference with an ambassador like Myron Taylor. It is sufficient for the rest of us to be certain that if any belligerent entrusted the matter to him, the future course of history would take a different and wiser turn.