Chapter 7

by John Gavin Nolan

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In December 1927, while The Papal Annual was being readied for mailing, Father Edmund Walsh was rebuffed again by the cardinal archbishop of Chicago.1 By telephone, before he left New York, Father Walsh had been assured by a Father Ryan in Cardinal Mundelein’s chancery that the cardinal would be pleased to see him at any time. When he arrived in Chicago, however, he was told very politely by the cardinal’s secretary that His Eminence was not available and, by implication, would not be. Humiliated and chagrined, the CNEWA president left the calling card he carried from Cardinal Hayes2 and returned to the railroad station, probably blaming Father von Galen for the rebuff.

Cardinal Mundelein, of German descent, had befriended Father von Galen. It is hard to imagine he had not heard that Father Walsh had closed the Catholic Union office in New York and discharged Father von Galen’s employees while the latter was in California. There was another reason for Cardinal Mundelein’s behavior. In accomplishing, with the Holy See’s support, the bishops’ recognition of CNEWA as their “sole instrumentality” for “Catholic interests in Russia and the Near East,” Father Walsh, the Jesuit, had managed not to use the mission-aid formula Cardinal Mundelein and his friends had worked so hard to concoct and neatly label, viz., the foreign missions would be assisted by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith; the missions at home, by the American Board of Catholic Missions. On paper at least, the formula was simple, workable, and sufficient.

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