That account is as follows:
" The diplomatic activity which has been evident between the Holy See and the principal capitals of Europe during the last few days is believed to have several aims. While in Berlin and Berchtesgaden the relations between the German Government and the Church have been under discussion the Pope has at the same time endeavoured to mediate in the dispute between Germany and Poland. On the other hand, he has set on foot conversations aimed at settling the differences between Italy and France.
" While Mgr. Valeri, the Papal Nuncio in Paris, has been seeing M. Bonnet, Fr. Tacchi Venturi, a Jesuit priest who played a prominent part as go-between between the Vatican and the Italian Government during the negotiations for the Lateran Treaties, has had several interviews with the Pope. It is believed in Rome that the interview which Mgr. Godfrey, the Apostolic Delegate, had with Lord Halifax was for the purpose of soliciting the British Government's support in Paris for these negotiations."
Suggestions of a peace conference to be held at the Vatican or under the Presidency of the Pope may certainly be discounted.
It is far snore likely that the Holy Father wishes to make preliminary explorations of a very tentative and cautious nature to ascertain whether there is any concrete and helpful way in which the. Holy See can help to promote the settlement for which all countries express themselves as being desirous.
Though such an initiative is almost certainly being taken with the knowledge of the Italian Government (whose own desire for a pacific settlement of the Danzig and French questions is not in any doubt), it would come under the reservation in the 24th Article of the Lateran Treaty rather than be considered as falling within the scope of the guarantee "not to interfere in temporal competitions between States."
THEY WOULD WELCOME HELP
It may be said that Britain, France, Poland and Italy would welcome any help afforded them by the moral and spiritual position of the Papacy in the honest endeavour which they all share to find a pacific and permanent settlement of the matters in dispute. In each case relations between these countries and the Holy See arc excellent, and probably better than they have been for many years.
The dispute between Germany and the Vatican, arising from the former's repeated breaches of the Concordat and her persecution of Catholics, naturally make any Vatican initiative much more difficult and much less acceptable. It is known, however, that the present Holy Father, who for so many years represented his predecessor in Germany, is ardently desirous of solving the German question. His statesmanship and diplomacy over this question should help greatly in this present endeavour, and if the German Government is really desirous of settling the Polish differences on the basis of justice and peace, the Initiative of the Vatican should be welcomed.
"DO NOT ADD TO WAR FEVER"
La Croix, the chief Catholic newspaper in France, reprints on Wednesday the full text of an article taken from a diocesan magazine suggesting that France should appeal to the Pope.
"Let us revile Hitler and Mussolini," the article concludes, " if that will ease us, but let us not add anything to a war psychosis which is doing nothing except aggravate Europe's peril,
"Let us pray and work that France should appeal to the Pope. . .
" The ' Colonel Blimps ' (Men peasants) will say : ' Socialist Utopia.' It is not. It is the teaching of Christ, which the Pope, His Vicar, has transmitted to us this Easter day."
THE VATICAN AND GERMANY Visit of Nuncio to Berchtesgaden
As reported in the CATHOLIC HERALD, the present Holy Father is very anxious for the Church In Germany to obtain some modus vivendi with the Third Reich. It is certain, it is learnt from an excellent Munich source, that when Cardinal Faulhaber returned to his diocese after being present at the election of Pope Pius XII, acting on the Holy Father's instructions, he wrote to Berlin withdrawing his objections to the presence of Dr. Barion as Professor of. Canon Law in the Catholic Theological Faculty of Munich University.
FACULTY STILL CLOSED The excuse for the roginie's closing of the Faculty was stated to be the Cardinal's objection to the nomination of Dr. Bailor' as professor. When the objection was withdrawn Catholics hoped to see the Faculty re-opened. It is still closed and the professors who have not retired from teaching have gone to other universities. It is probable that the recent interview between the Apostolic Nuncio and Herr Hitler was in relation to these difficulties among others,