Friday, December 23, 2016
ADSS 1.253 Hurley, Secretariat of State, notes: Myron Taylor and Maglione
ADSS 1.253 Joseph Hurley (1), Secretariat of State, notes
Reference: AES 2287/40
Location and date: Vatican, 08.03.1949
Summary statement: Myron Taylor has met Maglione: discussed antisemitic movements in the US; nomination of the new Archbishop of Washington; 300 Polish Jews in Trieste who wish to enter Palestine; organising a meeting with Maglione and other ambassadors.
Summary of conversation between His Eminence the Cardinal Secretary of State and Ambassador Taylor. (2)
Referring to the conversation I had on 27 February with His Eminence, the Ambassador says that it is better to wait for the return of Mr Welles to Rome before asking the Holy See for a detailed opinion about the present situation in Europe. (3) After he had a meeting with Welles, the Ambassador can ask for the opinion of the Holy See on certain points.
Before the departure of Mr Taylor from Washington, President Roosevelt gave him a memorandum concerning an anti-Jewish movement in the towns of Brooklyn, Baltimore and Detroit. The President is informed that Catholics in those cities support this movement and he is afraid that, as a result, anti-Catholic feelings may be re-awakened in the nation. His Eminence calls attention to the great work of the late Pius XI in favour of the Jews; His voice was the only important voice raised in Europe in their favour. If His Excellency would be good enough to draw up a note on this point it will be examined, by the Apostolic Delegate. (4)
Mr Taylor mentions the activity of Father Coughlan and his violent broadcasts and the misgivings caused by the excitable “radio priest”. (5) His Eminence says that he is ready to study the question and to examine a note on the matter.
The Ambassador then goes on to say that President Roosevelt has been informed about the possibility of appointing anew Bishop in Washington. (6) Although the President does not wish to make any recommendations, he mentions that His Excellency, Monsignor Shiel, Assistant at Chicago, would be persona grata in Washington circles. (7) His Eminence says that he does not know anything about this nomination; that the Sacred Consistorial Congregation is competent in this matter and he could eventually send a communication to them.
Then His Excellency says he has received the visit of a group of Polish Jews who are interested in the fate of 300 Polish-Jewish refugees who are at present in Trieste and would like to have the permission of the British Government to enter Palestine. In reply to His Eminence’s remark that the refugee question has been made even more difficult by the war, the Ambassador replied that in his opinion, the problem only concerns the British Government, but he wanted to inform the Holy See as well. (8)
Finally His Excellency expresses the wish to invite His Eminence to lunch or dinner on the day after Easter. At the same time he would like to invite all the Ambassadors to the Holy See “to bring them together and make better cooperation with the Holy See possible”. Later His Excellency would invite all the Ministers to the Holy See. His Eminence accepts the invitation, preferably to dinner, but with some reservations: that it would take place in a private room, and that Monsignor Hurley, after having been instructed by His Excellency Monsignor Montini, would return to discuss the details with His Excellency Ambassador Taylor. His Eminence also mentions the austerity imposed by the state of war. The date has been fixed for Wednesday morning 27 March.
(1) Joseph Hurley (1894-1967), English speaking staff member of the Secretariat of State 1934-40. Appointed Bishop of St Augustine, Florida 1940.
(2) Myron Taylor (1863-1959), Personal Representative of President Roosevelt to the Holy See with the rank of Ambassador 1940-50.
(3) Benjamin Sumner-Welles (1892-1962), United States Undersecretary of State 1937-43. See ADSS 1.252n1.
(4) Amleto Cicognani (1883-1973), Apostolic Delegate to the United States 1933-59.
(5) Charles Coughlin (1891-1979), Canadian-American Catholic priest (ordained 1916), was a vitriolic opponent of FDR’s policies. From the mid-1930s he injected more and more anti-Semitic commentary into his radio broadcasts. He was forced off the air in September 1940 through a combination of church and government pressure and banned by the church from publishing in 1942. From then until his retirement in 1966 he was a parish priest in Michigan.
(6) The Archdiocese of Washington was established on 22.07.1939 united aeque principaliter (literally “of equal importance”) to the See of Baltimore. The Archbishop of Baltimore, Michael Curley (1879-1947) was now Archbishop of Baltimore and Washington. Washington separated from Baltimore in 1947. See AAS 3.1939, pp668-70.
(7) Bernard Shiel (1888-1969), Auxillary Bishop Chicago 1928-69, was an enthusiastic supporter of FDR’s policies.
(8) See Jewish telegraphic Agency, 21.03.1940. Britain refused to permit the refugees entry into Palestine on the grounds that since “these Jews had left a territory which was under German control” they could be “technically be considered as ‘enemy aliens’”.