Thursday, 27 June 2013

Scottish Bishop Appointments

I have seen, and heard, it alluded to on several occasions and by differing persons of varying supposed authority, that appointments to the Hierarchy of Scotland in particular, but also to Anglophone places in general, are “usually” made on a Tuesday. I had myself never formed this impression and while not certain that it was untrue, I was unsure whether it was true. So I had a wee look back at appointments to the Scottish Hierarchy in relatively recent days.

For me, that meant starting with James Donald Scanlan in whose choir I sang at Motherwell Cathedral as a young boy. I can remember Fr George Donaldson coming into our classroom in the Hall of Our Lady of Good Aid, Cathedral, Primary School, Motherwell, in January of 1964, my class were in our last year, to tell Mr Donnelly, our teacher and the deputy Head, that Bishop Scanlan had been appointed Archbishop of Glasgow (later, I sang at his successor’s, Bishop Thomson’s, episcopal ordination and installation on February 24, 1965, my first year at Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell).

Archbishop Scanlan was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Dunkeld on Saturday, April 27, 1946, and succeeded on Tuesday, May 31, 1949, but this was because of the death of Bishop Toner and not a Vatican announcement. He was translated to Motherwell on Monday, May 23, 1955, and from there to the Metropolitan See of Glasgow on Wednesday, January 29, 1964. Not a Tuesday in sight.

However, Archbishop Tartaglia was appointed to Paisley on Tuesday, September 13, 2005, and subsequently translated to the Metropolitan See of Glasgow on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. But then Archbishop Conti was appointed to Aberdeen on Monday, February 28, 1977, and translated to the Metropolitan See of Glasgow on Tuesday, January 15, 2002.

Our three resident cardinals are a mixed bag (in more ways than one): Cardinal Gray was appointed to the Metropolitan See of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh on Wednesday, June 20, 1951; Cardinal Winning was appointed Auxiliary of Glasgow on Friday, October 22, 1971, and translated to the Metropolitan See of Glasgow on Tuesday, April 23, 1974, and; Cardinal O’Brien was appointed to the Metropolitan See of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh on Thursday, May 30, 1985.

In Aberdeen, Bishop Gilbert was appointed on Saturday, June 4, 2011, whilst his predecessor, Bishop Moran, was appointed on Monday, October 13, 2003. In Motherwell, Bishop Devine had been appointed Auxiliary in Glasgow on Thursday, May 5, 1977, and was translated to Motherwell on Friday, May 13, 1983. His predecessor, Bishop Thomson (Francis Alexander Spalding Warden, crazy name but a remarkably clever guy: First Class Honours in Maths from both Edinburgh and Cambridge universities) was appointed on Tuesday, December 8, 1964.

The current Administrator of Motherwell Diocese, Bishop Toal, was appointed to Argyll and The Isles on Thursday, October 16, 2008. His predecessor, Bishop Murray, was appointed on Wednesday, November 3, 1999 (his predecessor, Roddie Wright, of unhappy memory, had been appointed on Tuesday, December 11, 1990).

I acknowledge that this is not an exhaustive survey of all the appointments to the Scottish Hierarchy since the restitution of 1878, but I think it fair to point out that Tuesday has been the day of appointment on a few occasions but in truth appointments have come on every day of the week, bar Sunday alone (for obvious reasons).

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Bl. Alojzije Cardinal Stepinac

Thanks to the kindness of a friend, I have been able to retrieve many notes locked in old floppy disks. I shall publish some of them as I manage to render them into a readable form. I begin with that much abused man, Cardinal Stepinac.

In “Disputed Barricade: The Life and Times of Josip Broz-Tito, Marshal of Yugoslavia” (Johnathan Cape, 1957), Sir Fitzroy Maclean described Ante Pavelić’s return to Croatia “in the baggage train of the invading German armies” and goes on to note:

 “Pavelić’s henchman, Colonel Kvaternik, had publicly proclaimed Croatia’s independence amid scenes of genuine enthusiasm some hours before the first German troops actually entered Zagreb. In particular the change had been welcomed by many of the Catholic clergy, whose attitude had always reflected the Vatican’s dislike of Belgrade and who now looked forward to enjoying a privileged position in a Catholic country, freed for ever from the influence of their hated Orthodox rivals… Among the first to pay his respects to the Poglavnik (or leader, that is Pavelić HMcL) was Monsignor Stepinac, the Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb and Metropolitan of Croatia. In a Circular [sic, should be Pastoral HMcL] Letter of April 26th the Archbishop formally called upon the clergy to render loyal service to their new rulers. ‘These are events’ he wrote, ‘which fulfil the long dreamed of and desired ideal of our people… respond readily to my call to join in the noble task of working for the safety and well-being of the Independent State of Croatia.’” [p124]

This, of course, was before the nature of the Pavelić regime had been revealed in all its vile barbarity. And it was barbarous. Maclean goes on to tell us:

“The Ustaše vied to outdo each other, boasting of the numbers of their victims and of their own particular methods of dispatching them. The aged Orthodox Bishop of Plaški was garrotted by his assassins. Bishop Platon of Banjaluka was prodded to death in a pond. Some Ustaše collected the eyes of the Serbs they had killed, sending them, when they had enough, to the Poglavnik for his inspection or proudly displaying them and other human organs in the cafes of Zagreb. Even their German and Italian allies were dismayed at their excesses.
Pavelić, who saw Croatia once again in its historic role of Antemurale Christianitatis and himself as the defender of Western civilization in the struggle against Eastern barbarism, attached considerable importance to obtaining the official and open support of the Catholic Church for his policy of racial and religious Gleichschaltung. But in this he does not seem to have been as successful as he had hoped. The rank and file of the Catholic clergy in Croatia were, he confided to Ciano in December 1941, ‘very favorable’ to his regime; the higher ecclesiastical authorities considerably less so ‘indeed some of the Bishops were… definitely hostile.” [p162]
And among those who were by that time "definitely hostile" to the Government of the Independent State of Croatia was Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac. Maclean writes:

“…the Metropolitan, Archbishop Stepinac, had, in a Pastoral Letter issued in April 1941, welcomed the Independent State of Croatia and called upon the clergy to serve it loyally. But, as time went on, his initial enthusiasm seems to have given way to a sense of serious misgiving. No-one was more anxious than he to see the Orthodox population of Croatia converted to Catholicism and the last traces of Byzantium removed from Croat soil. ‘The Schismatics’, he had written some months earlier, ‘the curse of Europe — almost worse than Protestants…’ But the means by which the new regime was seeking to achieve these ends could scarcely meet with his approval.” [p162]

 And what were these methods? Maclean makes it abundantly clear:

“The Ustaše’s favourite method of religious unification was, as we have seen, the wholesale massacre of the Orthodox population. But in their more merciful moments, they would sometimes offer their victims immediate conversion to Catholicism as an alternative to annihilation. A priest would be produced and, while armed Ustaše looked on, whole villages would be received into the Church simultaneously. Soon, throughout the country, Catholic priests were besieged by crowds of panic-stricken men, women and children, clamouring for admission to the Church of Rome, in the hope that they might thus succeed in saving their lives.

This presented Archbishop Stepinac with a decidedly awkward problem. Canon law expressly forbade the admission to the Church of anyone who had not been duly instructed in its doctrines, or whose motives for wishing to enter it seemed dictated by self-interest, or were otherwise open to suspicion. The conditions were quite clearly not being fulfilled. What is more, the officiating priests were in many cases operating without proper authority from their ecclesiastical superiors. Taking a long view (and the Church has always taken a long view), there was a serious risk that what was happening might do the Church more harm than good, a risk that its reputation might suffer, a risk that under changed circumstances (and circumstances might always change) the mass conversions might be followed by mass backslidings. These and other dangers were all too evident from the reports he was now receiving from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina.” [pp 162/3]

Archbishop Stepinac, as he amassed the reports arriving from throughout the country, discussed matters both with the other members of the hierarchy and with his priests. It should be noted that here at least in part Maclean misrepresented Mgr Stepinac. There was no question of Mgr Stepinac wanting “the last traces of Byzantium removed from Croat soil”.  For one good and simple reason: one of His Excellency’s bishops was in fact a Catholic of the Slav-Byzantine rite in full communion with Rome, Mgr Simrak, Bishop of Krizevci. Obviously, so too were many of his priests. In 1939 there were estimated to be about 55,000 Catholic Yugoslavs of the Byzantine rite consisting of a nucleus of Croatised Serbs. In 1464, Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, drove the Turks out of part of Bosnia and established on the border military colonies of refugee Serbs of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 1611 these people came into “unambiguous communion” with the Holy See and their then Bishop, Simeon Vretanjic, was recognised as a “ritual vicar” (ie, pertaining to adherents of that Byzantine rite now in communion with Rome, HMcL) of the then Bishopric of Zagreb. The Tablet, Vol 188, No. 5556, 2 Nov 1946 @p229 states:

(Bishop) Simeon’s profession of faith was received by St Robert Bellarmine; and he lived at the Monastery of Marca, which was a centre for Serbian reunion, of which there was some talk at the time, several individual Bishops, who had fled from the Turks into Hungary, being reconciled. In 1739 Marca was burned down by brigands, and when these Byzantines were in 1777 given a diocesan Bishop, his See was fixed at Krizevci (Kä¢rä¢s, Kreutz, Crisium) in Croatia, not far from Zagreb. He was at first a suffragan of the Primate of Hungary, but since 1920 of the Archbishop of Zagreb.
During the eighteenth century there was a migration of Rusins from the Podkarpatska Rus to the Backa and elsewhere, and another of Galician Ukrainians to Bosnia and Slavonia at the end of the nineteenth, and there are Rumanian and Macedonian Bulgar elements also in this heterogenous collection, held together by the Catholic faith and their common Eastern rite. In 1939 they were found in five more or less ethnic groups in various parts of Yugoslavia, the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Krizevci covering members of his rite throughout the country. Only the original Serbs are completely Croatised; the remainder conserve at least their language of origin.”

 Mgr Simrak died aged 63 in Zagreb on 9 August 1946 as a consequence of his imprisonment and mistreatment in one of Tito’s prisons. The Tablet Vol 188, No. 5554, 19 Oct 1946 @p196 notes that:

“He (Mgr Simrak) had been imprisoned at Crisio by the partisans, on May 12th, 1945, when his episcopal ring was taken from his finger and he was forbidden to offer Mass. One of his canons was at the same time imprisoned, in a small windowless cell; we do not know what has become of him.”

Having consulted his fellow bishops and priests, in November of 1941 Mgr Stepinac addressed a letter to Ante Pavelić. Maclean writes that:

“The tone of the Archbishop’s letter was studiously moderate. He was careful, in particular, not to hold the Poglavnik responsible for the misdeeds of his henchmen. But, for all that, it was not the sort of letter that was calculated to please a man of Pavelić’s temperament, already irritated by the numerous appeals and protests which Monsignor Stepinac had from time to time addressed to him: begging him to spare the lives of hostages and to put a stop to mass executions; criticising his new racial laws, and asking him to grant special treatment to Serbs and Jews who had entered the Catholic Church and to excuse the latter from wearing yellow armbands. His sermons, too, had contained a number of pointed allusions to ‘those who, while glorying in being Catholics or even possessing a spiritual vocation, nevertheless abandon themselves to passion and hatred and forget the essential Christian rule of love and charity.’ In fact it was not long before Dr Pavelić had conceived a hearty dislike for the tall, thin, stubborn, ascetic-looking prelate in his massive palace next to the cathedral. ‘That sniveller,’ the Poglavnik was heard to exclaim a few weeks later, after hearing Stepanic preach at St Mark’s Church on the occasion of the opening of the new Croat Assembly, ‘That sniveller is trying to give me a lesson in politics.’”[p166]

What had the Archbishop written? Dated November 20, the letter began by explaining that the annual Conference of the Catholic hierarchy had reached certain conclusions, “notably”, quotes Maclean:

“that questions appertaining to conversions to Catholicism were a matter for decision by the Roman Catholic hierarchy and by no one else; that only the Roman Catholic hierarchy could appoint ‘missionaries’ to preside over conversions; and that only those might enter the Church who did so from genuine conversion and of their own free will… It was impossible to deny that horrible acts of cruelty and violence had been committed, he noted. (The reports he had received from his Bishops were sufficient proof of that. HMcL) It is essential to take a strictly realistic view. Even the Orthodox Church has its genuine adherents, who cannot automatically change their views or their nature overnight. A purely mechanical procedure is for this reason apt to have unfortunate results… In this manner houses are built on sand, and not on rock, and when the rains descends and the wind blows nothing is left of them but ruins.”[p165]

His Grace did not blame the Government for what had happened regarding it rather as “the work of irresponsible elements who did not realize how much harm they were doing.” The Poglavnik’s “decision to establish peace and justice merited the gratitude of all.” But the Church, for its part, was bound to condemn the crimes and excesses which had been committed and ”to demand the fullest respect for the individual, regardless of status, sex, religion, nationality or race.” In conclusion, he ventured: “We are sure that you share our view and that you will do everything in your power to check the violence of isolated individuals and to ensure that control is vested in the responsible authorities. Should this not be the case, any attempts to convert the Schismatics will be in vain.”
Stevan K Pavlowitch in the Nations of the World (Ernest Benn Ltd, London 1971) writes: 

“Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb was no Ustasha sympathizer. He was a traditional Catholic prelate, a Nationalist Croat, and an anti-Communist. As such, he initially welcomed independence, but his increasing uneasiness about the Ustasha regime quickly led him to hesitations which paralysed the Catholic Church in Croatia almost as much as the Peasant Party. Serious misgivings were especially felt by the hierarchy about the government’s campaign of conversions, carried out according to principles and with means that had little to do with religion. After the archbishop’s protests against violence and the disregard of established canonical procedure, the government’s continued policy of conversions for racial ends, which made martyrs and pseudo-converts, which used the Catholic Church and tinged it with infamy, caused a collective remonstrance, addressed in November to the Poglavnik.” [p113]

After the declaration of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia, His Holiness Pope Pius XII had in May of 1941 cordially received the former Duke of Spoleto, now known as King Tomislav II, as Head of State, and the Poglavnik, Ante Pavelić, as the Head of Government of a Catholic country. In addition, Mgr Marcone, “a robust-looking Benedictine” according to Maclean, was sent to Zagreb as Papal Legate, NOT as Nuncio since historically the Holy See does not grant recognition to states formed during a conflict while that conflict remains unresolved by international treaty. Maclean records that Mgr Marcone “joined with gusto in the official life of the new capital.” Pressed by representatives of the Independent State of Croatia in Rome to grant diplomatic status, the officials of the Secretariat of State “though friendly and sympathetic, were inclined to be evasive and to talk at length of the Vatican’s neutral status.” Maclean continues:

“There were also signs that some, at any rate, of the cardinals had received unfavourable reports of what was happening in Croatia. Cardinal Maglione, the Cardinal Secretary of State, spoke of ‘not very nice stories’. And Cardinal Tisserant, the heavily bearded Cardinal Secretary for the Eastern Congregation [he means the Congregation for the Oriental Church; the Prefecture had been reserved to the Holy Father himself at the erection of that Congregation by Benedict XV, but this is no longer the case; it should be noted here that Cardinal Tisserant had a measure of direct responsibility for Mgr Simrak and his Slav-Byzantine rite See], had, in conversation with Pavelić’s diplomatic representative in Rome, made some very wounding remarks about the alleged ‘independence’ of the Independent State of Croatia and about Croats generally, and had gone on to comment most unfavourably on the atrocities committed by the Ustasha. Indeed, the tone of his remarks had been so critical and so ironical that Lorković [Mladen], the Ustasha Minister of Foreign Affairs, had been moved to scrawl the words ‘Oprez! Neprijatelj!’ — ‘Look out! An enemy!’ — across the foot of the dispatch reporting them.”[p167]

 Pavlowitch writes:

“In May 1941, the Pope had received Pavelić, and he had sent a legate to Croatia, but the Holy See had not recognised the N.D.H. (the Independent State of Croatia) and continued to maintain diplomatic relations with the exiled Yugoslav government. Fully aware of the facts, and with an anti-Ustasha lobby in the Vatican itself, the papacy maintained a reserved, and at times even disapproving, attitude towards the boastful Catholicism of the Ustashas.”

Regretfully, however, Pavlowitch notes that the papal attitude notwithstanding, at least some of the “Catholic leadership, and many clerics continued to give them (the Ustasha) enthusiastic support.”

Maclean notes that reports reached Archbishop Stepinac of “priests being actually threatened with physical violence by the panic-stricken crowds who besieged their presbyteries because they would not admit them fast enough to the Church.” He goes on to observe:

“This presented the Archbishop with yet another problem: whatever the exact provisions of Canon Law, could he, in all conscience, condemn these unfortunates to certain death by refusing them admission to the Church? In a circular dated March 2nd, 1942, he gave his clergy discretion to overlook ‘secondary motives’ for wishing to enter the Church, providing the essential motive was also present in the candidates, namely, a genuine belief in the Catholic faith ‘or at any rate genuine — (genuine!) — good will’. And even where these conditions did not appear to be fulfilled, the priest was authorised to ‘pursue the matter further’. Thus, mainly from humanitarian motives, the door was opened a little wider than strict interpretation of Canon Law would perhaps have permitted and the number of conversions to Catholicism multiplied still further.”[p168]

Maclean relates that by the end of 1942:

“… the attitude of the senior Catholic clergy still left much to be desired. Archbishop Stepinac remained, it is true, scrupulously correct in his attitude towards the regime. He continued to attend official functions and ceremonies; he had become Chaplain General to the Croat Armed Forces; he accepted and wore the high decoration which Pavelić had bestowed on him. But at the same time he continued to intervene on behalf of the victims of the regime, while his letters and speeches and sermons became ever more critical of the Ustasha, of their methods and of their racial theories and laws. So critical, in fact, as to be almost defiant. ‘The Church’, the Archbishop wrote to Pavelić in March 1943, ‘on learning that there were to be fresh persecutions of the Jews, ‘does not fear any power in this world, when it is a question of defending the elementary rights of men.’”[p201]
When, later, Maclean comes to deal with the emergence of Tito’s “People’s Democracy”, he has this to say:

“At the head of the Catholic hierarchy during these difficult times stood Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac. Some of the other clergy and bishops, notably Archbishop (Ivan) Šarić of Sarajevo, who had been one of Pavelić’s most enthusiastic supporters, had found it advisable to leave Croatia with the Germans. Stepinac, who had shown considerably less enthusiasm for the Ustasha and had even sought to restrain Pavelić from some of his worst excesses, remained to face the Poglavnik’s no less formidable successor. His duty, as he saw it, was to his flock.

From Tito’s point of view, Archbishop Stepinac represented an awkward problem. In June 1945, shortly after Stepinac’s release from a fortnight’s imprisonment, the two men had met in Zagreb for the purpose of finding a modus vivendi between Church and State. Their meeting had not been unfriendly. Each had expressed his understanding for the other’s point of view and his desire for an agreement. ‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s’, the Archbishop had said, ‘and to God that which is God’s.’ And they had parted with mutual expressions of good will. But Caesar in the event had claimed a larger share than the Church had seen fit to accord him and soon relations were more strained than ever. In upholding what he regarded as his Church’s rights, Stepinac showed himself adamant. Nor did he hesitate to make his views as widely known as possible by means of his sermons and pastoral letters.

In Tito’s eyes such an attitude was openly subversive of the Government’s authority. And subversion was not something he was prepared to tolerate. He was thus confronted with a dilemma. Clearly, it would be difficult to liquidate the Archbishop, as Mihaljovic had been liquidated. On the other hand, there could be no question of allowing him to continue his activities unhindered. In the end he decided to ask the Vatican, through the Papal Nuncio in Belgrade, to replace Stepinac. But here he met with an abrupt refusal. The Holy See, he was told, did not allow temporal authorities any say in Church appointments. He had encountered an organization as uncompromising as that to which he himself owed allegiance.

It had not been Tito’s intention to force, at this stage, a showdown with the Vatican, which still commanded the unswerving loyalty of several million devout Catholics in Croatia and Slovenia. A further period of cold war would have suited him better. But if the Vatican wanted a showdown, he was ready for one. Withhout further delay he gave instructions for the Public Prosecutor to prepare a case against Stepinac as a collaborator with the enemy during the war as an active opponent of the present regime. Material, of a sort, was not lacking.”

And with that wry comment Maclean then goes on to deal with the Stallinesque Show Trial of Archbishop Aloysisus Stepinac. But who was this Tito, persecutor of both Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac and the Catholic Church?

In June of 1937, the Comintern envoy to the Yugoslav Communist Party (the CPY) leadership, Milan Gorki, was summoned to Moscow. Arrested at the Lux Hotel in the apartment of his comrade D Manuilsky, he was accused of sabotaging Popular Front tactics, of being a friend of Nikolai Bukharin (executed on 15 March 1938, this coincide with the Anschluss of Austria) and of committing “deviationist errors” in his pamphlet Novim Putenma. His wife, Betty Glen, was also arrested and she was accused of being an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service. Needless to say, they were liquidated. The new envoy sent by Moscow to Yugoslavia was one Josip Tito-Broz.

Born on 25 May 1892 (perhaps) in the village of Kumrovic on the Croat-Slovene border, after his primary education Tito had become an engineering apprentice at Sisak. There he later joined the Engineering workers Trade Union and so automatically became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. After military service, he worked in factories in Slovenia, Austria and Bohemia. He was said by his official biographer, V Didijer, to have “impressed his employers with his skill, and his mates with his strongly developed feelings of working class solidarity.”

On the outbreak of WWI, he was serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army. He claimed that he had been arrested in 1914 for spreading anti-war propaganda. Nonetheless, he took part in the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia in the Autumn of 1914. Later, he served on the Eastern front, but did not, like so many of his comrades, surrender to the Russians. Wounded, he was taken prisoner and was held for a long time in POW camp. He did not volunteer for the Volunteer Divisions of Yugoslav POWs. After the overthrow of the Czar, Tito escaped to Petrograd and later claimed that he took part in the July demonstrations, was arrested hiding under the Neva bridges and was imprisoned in the Petropavlovsk fortress prison for three weeks before being shipped back to Siberia.

He later claimed that he supported the Bolsheviks when they came to power and fought for three days in the Czech Legion before becoming a member of the Yugoslav Section of the Bolshevik Party. He returned to Yugoslavia in August 1920 with his Russian wife and worked as skilled mechanic. At the same time he worked as an agitator for the Bolsheviks within the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. His progress from then on was entirely predictable. In 1924 he joined the District Committee of the CPY in Croatia. By 1927 he was member of the Party Committee for Zagreb. In June of that year the Zagreb Party Committee ensured that he became the Secretary of the Metal-workers Union for Croatia, which was one of the strongest affiliates of the Industrial Trades Unions of Yugoslavia.

In February of 1928 at the conference of the Zagreb Party Organisation he was the leader of the anti-fraction group. In the Spring of that year, he was sentenced to two weeks in prison for his part in the break-up of the First of May indoor meeting organised by the Socialists and was arrested again in June for organising the riots in Zagreb. When he appeared in court in relation to this charge, he was represented by Dr I Politeo whose other clients in the criminal courts would later include the murderer of Interior Minister Draskovic and Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac!

Didijer says in his preface to With Tito through the War: “In no other country in the world, in no Communist Party outside the Soviet Union, was the devotion (to the Soviet Union and to Stalin personally) so powerful as in Yugoslavia during the War.” And that devotion was to be reflected in the adoption by Tito of Stalinist jurisprudence. Fred Singleton notes in his Twentieth Century Yugoslavia that at the end of WWII “a new revolutionary republic had come into being with a new kind of legality… Archbishop Stepinac had also compromised himself and his Church by his failure to condemn Pavelić and by his refusal to co-operate with the new regime.”[p 106, my emphasis]

It was to be this refusal to co-operate with the regime in its endeavours to destroy his Church that was to seal the fate of Archbishop Sepinac. Dr Politeo was in theory allowed carte blanche to call witnesses in Tito’s defence. The Prosecutor at the trial of Mgr Stepinac in theory had similar rights. There was one major difference. In practice the prosecutor was allowed to exercise his rights, Dr Politeo wasn’t.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Fr Clarence Gallagher: Obituary

This is the original text of the obituary I submitted to The (Glasgow) Herald and which was published (slightly, but quite correctly edited by them ) on Friday, June 14. There were several reasons for the delay in my submitting it to them and for this I apologise to Father's family and friends. For those who have access to neither the printed nor the on-line (if there be one) version in The Herald, I should point out that they used the photograph of Fr Clarence in the grounds of the old Heythrop College (see previous post).

Obituary: Fr Clarence Gallagher SJ
Former Parish Priest, St Aloysius, Garnethill, Glasgow (1981-85)
Former Rector, St Aloysius College, Garnethill, Glasgow (1981-85)
Former Rector, Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome (1990-95)
Founder, Centro Aletti, Rome (begun 1991; formally opened 1993)
Born: November 17, 1929
Died: May 5, 2013

Fr Clarence Gallagher SJ, who has died aged 83, was widely regarded as the favourite to succeed Gordon Joseph Cardinal Gray as Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 1985 when His Eminence retired. The Eastern Coast vineyard of the Lord’s loss was to be the Eastern-rite study within the Western-rite Catholic Church’s gain. Ultimately, it was also to prove the Catholic Church in Scotland’s loss too. And how.

For four years, Fr Clarence had, unusually, been both Parish Priest at Garnethill and Rector of the College. He had also served as a judge on the Scottish National (Marriage) Tribunal (founded in 1970 under Fr, later Cardinal, Tom Winning). In 1983, when the new, post-Vatican II Code of Canon Law was promulgated on January 25, he was asked by the hierarchy to tour the country to explain it to priests, religious and laity before its coming into effect at the beginning of Advent, on Sunday, November 27. Fr Clarence thus became much better known to a far wider range of the Catholic community throughout Scotland than he, and the hierarchy, and his bosses both in London and Rome, might have expected. He impressed everybody as a brilliant expositor of this driest of subjects and as an immensely intelligent but likeable and humble man. And as a good priest.

Born on Sunday, November 17, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan, nineteen days after the Wall Street Crash on Black Tuesday, October 29, when Clarence was three years old his parents, Charles, a painter and decorator, and Mary (nee McNally), confronted with the tragic realities of the Great Depression returned with Clarence and their older son, John, to Scotland and to Charles’s home village of Mossend (the McNally’s came from the adjacent Bellshill). A sister, Mary, and another brother, Gerald, were born after their return.

Clarence attended Holy Family Primary School, Mossend, and then Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell. Our Lady’s, up until the imposition of Comprehensive Education, produced more Catholic priests than any other school in Great Britain, including Cardinal Winning. Imbued with a vocation to the priesthood, Clarence left Our Lady’s and completed his secondary education at St Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen. In 1947, equipped with six excellent Highers including English, Maths, Latin and Greek, he enrolled in the Pontifical Scots College, Rome, as a student for the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

By the time he started his second year of Philosophy studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Greg, the Diocese of Motherwell had come into being. However, Clarence did not go on to be ordained for his new home diocese. Instead, on completing the Philosophy course in 1950 he left the Scots College and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Harlaxton, Lincolnshire. His friend, Fr Gerry J Hughes SJ — not the Fr Hughes who was Catholic Chaplain at Glasgow University in the late 60s and early 70s — noted that “he admired the combination of spirituality and learning in the Jesuits he met in Rome.”

Further studies at Oxford (Campion Hall, Classics and Philosophy), London (Teacher Training) and Heythrop (Theology) followed and he taught for two years at St Michael’s College, Leeds. Priestly ordination at the hands of Archbishop Francis Joseph Grimshaw, Birmingham, in the chapel at the old Heythrop College, Oxford, on the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola, July 31, 1963, was followed by Tertianship, the final period of Jesuit training which includes a thirty day silent retreat based upon the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, at St Beuno’s, North Wales (1964/5).

He then returned to Rome to study Canon Law at the Greg. The Licentiate was obtained without difficulty but his doctoral research was to end, if not in tears, then certainly in serious disappointment. Before he could complete and submit his thesis, another student in a Northern Italian institution completed his doctoral thesis on the very same topic that he had chosen. His supervisor had not thought to check. Clarence’s time and effort had been wasted.

Dejected and angry, in 1969 he returned to England where he served as Assistant for Formation and taught Canon Law and Ecclesiology at the new Heythrop College in London. In 1975, he was persuaded to return to Rome to complete his doctorate. During a brief spell teaching there, he supervised the doctoral thesis of James Michael Harvey, now Cardinal Archpriest of St Paul’s-Outside-the-Walls, the former Prefect of the Papal Household.

Asked in 1979 to serve in London as Socius, personal assistant to Fr Maher SJ, the Father Provincial in the UK, he hesitated. However, Father Pedro Arrupe SJ, Father General of the Jesuits, personally intervened to persuade Fr Clarence to accept this appointment saying that “it was for the greater good” rather than Clarence being just “yet another part-time canonist in Rome.” Later, Fr Arrupe explicitly spoke in the most laudatory terms of the way in which Clarence displayed Ignatian discernment in this whole question saying that he “was truly an obedient man.”

His reward for undertaking this onerous job — Fr Hughes observed: “(I)t is a tribute to Clarence’s selflessness as well as to his administrative tact that he coped with an almost impossible job so successfully” — came two years later in 1981 when he was asked to return to his native West of Scotland, to Garnethill, at a time of great development at the College.

At the beginning of 1985 it was already known that Cardinal Gray did not wish to carry on after August 10, the date upon which he would reach the age limit of 75 stipulated under canon law. There would have been absolutely no question of Blessed Pope John Paul II asking His Eminence to soldier on regardless. In the event, his resignation was accepted just over two months early, on May 30, only weeks before the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, Archbishop Bruno Heim, was to retire. To the dismay of many, for a reason or reasons unknown, Keith Patrick O’Brien, Rector of St Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen, Scotland’s national Junior Seminary, was preferred to Fr Clarence. All that can be said is that clearly this decision was not based upon an honest appraisal of either their respective intellects or characters, priestly or otherwise.

But even as this decision was being botched in the Vatican, nearby in the Jesuit Curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito, Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ, who had eventually replaced Fr Arrupe as Father General, had to fill a vacancy in the Canon Law Faculty of the Pontifical Oriental Institute on the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore. He chose Fr Clarence. He was to become in turn Lecturer, Professor and then Dean of the Faculty of Law and then finally (but not quite) by papal appointment Rector (1990-95).

During his thirteen years at the Orientale, he would provide expert advice to the committee for the redaction of the new Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Rite Churches (promulgated 1990); advise the Vatican during the highly fruitful negotiations with the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church (initially on the vexed question of Inter-Church Marriages); conduct an Apostolic Visitation of the Church in India; and, conduct two sets of seminars for Pope John Paul II. He and the Pope became such good friends that the Pope always referred to him jocularly as “rettore magnifico”.

In 1991, Fr Clarence became the only Scotsman to found an educational institute in Rome. Two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the founding of the Centro Aletti was announced. This was to be primarily aimed towards scholars and artists with a Christian perspective, whether that be Orthodox, or Oriental-rite Catholic, or Latin-rite Catholic, from Central and Eastern Europe with the purpose of creating an opportunity for them to meet and live and work for a time together with their Western European colleagues thereby preparing all for the future and the challenges that it would bring. Through Clarence’s personal relationship with Pope John Paul II, the atelier of the Director of the Centro Aletti, Fr Marko Rupnik, an excellent theologian but a better artist in the Byzantine tradition, was invited to do the artwork in the larger private papal chapel, the Redemptoris Mater.

Fr Clarence stepped down as Rector in 1995 and stayed on as a Professor for about a further two years before returning to Campion Hall, Oxford. Far from enjoying a much deserved retirement, together with Fr Robert Ombres OP of nearby Blackfriars, he helped establish at Heythrop College, by then part of London University, the first undergraduate degree course in Catholic Canon Law in the UK since the Reformation.

In recent years Fr Clarence, by now in indifferent health, had lived in retirement at the Jesuit retirement home at Boscombe, Bournemouth. He died there on May 5 and is survived by his sister, Dr Mary, and his brother Gerald. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy

The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and the Roman Curia

The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (usually referred to in Rome simply as the “academia”) is housed in the Palazzo Severoli located on the Piazza della Minerva, just behind the Pantheon. Founded in April 1701 by Abbot Pietro Garagni during the reign of Pope Clement XI, the academia is dedicated to training priests selected from all over the Catholic world — nowadays, but originally from the ranks of the “nobles” within the Papal states and soon its closest allies — to serve in the diplomatic corps and the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.

Archbishop Celestinio Migliore, currently Apostolic Nuncio to Poland, was Undersecretary for Relations with States December 16, 1995 – 30 October 30, 2002. On that latter date he was appointed Permanent Observer at the UN, New York (where he was assisted for a couple of years by Msgr Leo Cushley).  As Under-Secretary, His Excellency served ex-officio as Professor of Ecclesiastical Diplomacy at the Pontifical Lateran University and had responsibility for delivering the course on papal diplomacy for the students of the academia.

He has described the curriculum thus: “The academic curriculum consists of two years of specialized studies: ecclesiastical diplomacy, international law, monographs on international organizations and on techniques of negotiations; the history of ecclesiastical diplomacy, diplomatic styles, courses on great modern cultural and theological strains; and economic and social questions.

“At the same time, students take courses in information technology and languages. Each student, at the end of the curriculum, has to possess a working knowledge of at least two languages in addition to his mother tongue. The major languages studied are: English, French, Spanish, and German, and, increasingly, Arabic and the languages of Eastern Europe and Asia.” (‘Foreign’ students must already be totally fluent in Italian before selection.)

Each year roughly between eight and twelve diocesan priests from around the world are recruited to the academia; sometimes fewer and sometimes more, but never by much. Ten years ago, the Class of 2002 had 14 students. The Class of 1986, which included our very own Msgr Peter Magee PhB STL JCD (a priest of the Diocese of Galloway and now President of the National Tribunal) there were 5.  Ultimately, the hope would be that the brightest and the best, and NOT the most ambitious, alumni of the academia will in time be appointed as Apostolic Nuncios with the ecclesiastical rank of an archbishop. But obviously not all will, or, indeed, could.

Moreover, even if an alumnus reaches the giddy heights of an Apostolic Nunciature that is not necessarily as far as he will go in service of the Holy See.

It has frequently been remarked upon in the media that the present Cardinal Secretary of State, His Eminence Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, prior to his appointment had no background in Vatican diplomacy. That being the case, it is hardly surprising to discover that he is not an alumnus of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the academia.

Of the academia alumni occupying senior positions within the Roman Curia, and those institutions associated with service to the Holy Father, pride of place must, of course, be given to Cardinal Bertone’s immediate predecessor His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and Cardinal Secretary of State Emeritus.
There are currently (Tuesday, Jan 24) another 15 cardinals in curia who are alumni of the academia. Five are serving heads of dicasteries and 10 are Emeriti. However, it should be noted that four of these ten are still cardinal electors.
The dicasteries of the Roman Curia


Cardinal Angelo Sodano (1959/1325); Secretary of State Emeritus and Dean of the Sacred College.

First Section
Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu ( Class of 1980/Enrolment number 1533)(d.o.b. IF cardinal elector: June 2, 1948); Substitute for General Affairs (sostituto), (appointed: May 10, 2011)

Msgr Peter Brian Wells (1996/1688; American); Assessor for General Affairs (assessore) (July 16, 2009);

Archbishop Luciano Suriani (1986/1594)(Jan 11, 1957); Delegate for Pontifical Representations (Sep 24, 2009)

Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu (1992/1646; Nigerian); Head of Protocol (Sep 4, 2007)

Second Section
Archbishop Dominique François Joseph Mamberti (1982/1652, French, Moroccan born)(March 7, 1952); Secretary for the Relations with States (Sep 15, 2006)

Msgr. Ettore Balestrero (1996/162); Undersecretary for the Relations with States (Aug 17, 2009)


Congregation for the Oriental Churches:

Leonardo Cardinal Sandri (1971/1446)(Nov 18, 1943, Argentinean, ethnic Italian); Prefect (Jun 9, 2007); former sostituto (Sep 16, 2000-Jun 9, 2007)

Achille Cardinal Silvestrini (1952/1270); Prefect Emeritus; former Secretary for the relations with States (May 4, 1979-Mar 1, 1986) [Cardinal Silvestrini’s successor as Secretary for the Relations with States was Cardinal Sodano]

Congregation for Bishops:

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri (1971/1437)(Sep29, 1940); Secretary (Jan 11, 2012)

Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples:

Archbishop/Cardinal-elect Fernando Filoni (1979/1528) (Apr 15, 1946); Prefect (May 10, 2011); former sostituto (Jun 9, 2007-May 10, 2011)

Ivan Cardinal Dias (1962/1346) (April 14, 1936); Prefect Emeritus


Apostolic Penitentiary:

Archbishop/Cardinal-elect Manuel Monteiro de Castro (1965/1377, Portuguese)(Mar 29, 1938); Major Penitentiary (Jan 5, 2012)

Fortunato Cardinal Baldelli (1964/1360)(Aug 6, 1935); Major Penitentiary Emeritus
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura


Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity:

Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy (1953/1280); President Emeritus

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace:

Renato Cardinal Raffaele Martino (1960/ 1334) (Nov 23, 1932); President Emeritus

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

Archbishop/Cardinal-elect Antonio Mari Vegliὸ (1966/1988) (Feb 3, 1938); President (Feb 28, 2009)
Cardinal Giovanni Cheli (1950/1257); President Emeritus

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto (1964/1370); Secretary Emeritus

Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue

Jean-Louis Pierre Cardinal Tauran  (1973/1472)(Apr 5, 1943); President (Jun 25, 2007)

Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata (1965/1375); Secretary (Nov 14, 2002) (Msgr Celata will submit his resignation on January 23 upon attaining his 75th birthday.)

Pontifical Council for Social Communications

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli (1966/1383); President (Jun 27, 2007); former Undersecretary for the Relations with States (1990-Dec 16, 1995)


Apostolic Chamber

Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo (1954/1287); Chamberlain (Camerlengo) Emeritus

Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiano (1958/1318); Prefect Emeritus

Prefecture of the Papal Household

Archbishop James Michael Harvey (1976/1500); Prefect (Feb 7, 1998)

Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See

Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti (1949/not given); President Emeritus

Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan (1957/1311); President Emeritus

Synod of Bishops

Archbishop Nikola Eterović (1977/1507); Secretary General (Feb 11, 2004)

Governatorate of Vatican City State

Archbishop/Cardinal-elect Giuseppe Bertello (1967/1390)(Oct 1, 1942); President (Oct 1, 2011; appointed on his 69th birthday)

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo (1968/1403) (Jan 3, 1935); President Emeritus; former Secretary for the Relations with States (Oct 7, 2003-Sep 15, 2006)

Major Basilicas
Archbishop/Cardinal-elect Santos Abril y Castelló and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata (1965(1963/1537)(Sep 21, 1935); Archpriest of the Basilica of St Mary Major (Nov 21, 2011)

Some Scottish Notes

The Prefect of the Papal Household, Archbishop Michael Harvey gained his Doctorate in Canon Law under the supervision of Fr Clarence Gallagher SJ, Rector Emeritus of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, and a native of Mossend, Bellshill (Holy Family Parish and School, and Our Lady's High School, Motherwell, my own alma mater).

Archbishop Luciano Suriani was an academia classmate of Msgr Peter Magee, President of the Scottish National Tribunal, and my hope for the succession in Glasgow (Class of 1986) .

Cardinal-elect Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata
were academia classmates of Msgr Basil Loftus, retired priest of the Diocese of Leeds an now a contributor to The Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO).


(1) His Eminence Paolo Cardinal Sardi, Vice-Chamberlain Emeritus of the Apostolic Chamber, was appointed an official of the Secretariat of State on December 10, 1996, at the same time being accorded the archiepiscopal dignity. However, I can find no listing for him as an alumnus of the academia. Salvador Miranda notes of his education: “he entered the Major Seminary in Torino; from October 1954, he studied theology and philosophy at the Pontificial Gregorian University in Rome and obtained a licentiate in theology in 1958; later, he studied canon law at the same university and obtained a doctorate in this discipline in 1963; then, he studied jurisprudence at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.”

No mention of the academia. He then describes his priesthood thus: “Ordained, June 29, 1958. From 1963 he taught moral theology at the Theological Faculty of the diocese of Acqui; and later he taught the same discipline at the Theological Faculty in Turin until 1976, when he was called to the Vatican to work in the Secretariat of State. On July 30, 1978, he was named chaplain of His Holiness. On December 24, 1987, he was named prelate of honour of His Holiness. In 1992, he was appointed vice assessor of the Secretariat of State; and in 1997, he was appointed assessor.”

No mention of a diplomatic career until 1976 and his call to the Vatican.

(2) The papal almoner, Archbishop Félix del Blanco Prieto, is a former diplomat. On May 31, 1991 he was nominated Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to São Tomé and Príncipe and Apostolic Delegate to Angola and was ordained Bishop on July 6 following, being provided to the titular archdiocese of Vannida; in May 1996 he was transferred as Nuncio to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea was added at the end of the following month; in June 2003 he was transferred to Malta and Libya. On July 28, 2007 he was recalled to Rome and given his present assignment. However, he is not listed as an alumnus of the PEA.

In 2006 30 Days (no. 6/7) observed that all the nuncios at that time (there were 102, some covering more than one country) were drawn from the secular clergy except three: the Scalabrinian Silvano Tomasi (UN Geneva), the American Verbite Michael A. Blume (Benin) and the English White Father Michael L. Fitzgerald (Egypt). 30 Days then went on to say that apart from these 3 religious, another 7 nuncios were “also exceptional”. And numbered among them was “the Spaniard Felix del Blanco Prieto (Malta)”. I presume that this means he was not prepared for a diplomatic career at the academia.