CARDINAL GRIFFIN in N--"Rome last week entertained the new Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain, Archbishop Gerald O'Hara, to lunch at the Ven. English College.
Present too were Bishop Black of Paisley; Bishop van Lierde, the Pope's Vicar General for Vatican City; Mgr. McGeough, of the Papal Seeretariate of State; Mr. Paul McGuire, Australian Minister to Italy; Mgr. Duchemin, Rector of the Beda College; Mgr. Gogarty, vicerector of the Scots College; and Mr. Etherington-Smith and Major Utley, of the British Legation to the Holy See.
"Not many months have passed," said the Cardinal, "since the members of the Hierarchy of England and Wales met together at Westminster to pay honour to Archbishop Godfrey on his laying down the office which he had filled with such distinction during the previous 15 years.
"Whilst we were very conscious of the loss of a well-tried friend at the Delegation, yet we were deeply grateful to the Holy Father for giving to the Hierarchy the benefit of His Grace's wisdom and experience.
A passing Bishop
"And now our hearts go out again in gratitude to His Holiness for the further mark of affection which he has shown our country by the appointment of a new Delegate in the person of such a distinguished son of the Church as Archbishop O'Hara.
"One night in May, 1946, I flew across the Atlantic for the first time, and when I landed at Gander for about an hour I was told that there was an American Bishop on the airfield who wanted to see me.
"He was newly appointed to represent the Holy See in, I think, Albania, and was, as his countrymen say,. in transit.
"That was the first time I met Archbishop O'Hara. We were Bishops who passed in the night.
"I went on to New York. His Excellency came on to Europe. Though he was never to reach Albania, he was appointed a little later to Roumania. "His Excellency's heroism in that land of persecution won him a very special place in the hearts of all English Catholics who too, in times gone by, have known persecution for the Faith, "Any historian will tell you that the Church in England and Wales owes much to our neighbouring island. Many good things have come to us from Ireland, and we know that His Excellency, fresh from the Dublin Nunciature, falls within that category.
"Fitting it is that we should offer him this first welcome today here at the Ven. English College—the college which gave so many of its sons as martyrs in former days of persecution; the college where I and a number of members of the Hierarchy received our training for the priesthood; the college of which His Excellency's predecessor at Wimbledon was once Rector.
"Fitting that our good friends Bishop van Lier de and Mgr. McGeough should be here to remind us of the person of the Holy Father whom they serve so ably.
The Queen's men
"Fitting, too, that the Bishop of Paisley should be here to remind us of the Catholics across a border that is neither Iron Curtain nor partition.
"Fitting that we should have the new Australian Minister, our old friend from Londo n, Mr. Paul Maguire, to remind us of the 26,000,000 Catholics of our great Commonwealth family.
"And how fitting, finally, that we should have Mr. Etherington-Smith and Major Utley, of the British Legation to the Holy See, to remind us of the head of that family, Her Majesty The Queen.
"In the name of the Hierarchy of England and Wales I assure His Excellency of our heartfelt welcome.
"Belatedly but sincerely we congratulate him upon his episcopal silver jubilee last month, and we pray that his new mission wifl be greatly blessed."