Saturday, June 6, 2015

ADSS 1.44 Cicognani to Howard Carroll, NCWC: please inform FDR

ADSS 1.44 Amleto Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate USA to Howard Carroll (1), Under-Secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Council.

Reference: Attached to report number 366/39 (AES 4632/39)

Location and date: Washington DC, 15.05.1939

Summary statement: Pope asks that FDR be informed of his peace initiatives.

Language: English


On 03.05.1939 his Eminence Cardinal Maglione, Secretary of State to His Holiness, upon orders received from the Holy Father, directed the diplomatic representatives of the Holy See in France, Germany, England, Italy and Poland to consult with the heads of these Governments in order to determine their intentions concerning peace, and to bring about a realisation that the present international difficulties could find their best solution in a conference of the nations concerned, rather than in wars and constant threats of war.  The proposal of a conference was subordinated to the possibility, necessity or usefulness of such a meeting in the present uncertain political situation.

The steps taken by the Holy See to learn the sentiments of these Governments, and to create a better international feeling have had a measure of success.  In fact the Holy See is of the impression that the Governments consulted are sufficiently well disposed for peace and reluctant to enter into war.  There has also been a noticeable betterment of the general situation and a conference does not seem necessary at the present tie.  In the opinion of the Holy See the previous tense situation has somewhat subsided.

The Holy Father desires that the President of the United States be advised of these steps, through the offices of the Apostolic Delegate, and that he be further informed that His Holiness had intended to invoke his assistance and co-operation in the event that the European Powers had acceded to the suggestion of a Conference.

(1) Howard Carroll (1902-60) Secretary of the NCWC 1938-44.

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