'Catholic Herald' Staff Reporter
• FFICIALLY it was the "solemn reception" of the Ihof new Apostolic Delegate, and certainly it was a brilliant ecclesiastical ceremony on Tuesday evening, with the Cardinal Archbishop and nearly all the members of the Hierarchy of England and Wales in the sanctuary of Westminster Cathedral, and the nave filled by laity.
But to Archbishop O'Hara, coming as the personal representative of the Holy Father, it must have seemed, from what he saw and heard, that he was now, after years abroad, the central figure of a home-coming among his own people,
Cardinal Griffin, standing at his throne on the Gospel side of the sanctuary. facing Archbishop O'Hara at a throne on the Epistle side. said: "To have with us in this country an official representative of the Holy Father is privilege indeed.
"That the Holy Father has chosen Your Grace for this honoured position has turned proud privilege to deep personal pleasure. No appointment could have been more wel come.
Three Delegates It was an extraordinary occasion if only for the number of Englishspeaking Archbishops in the sanctuary, including one in the service of the Holy See—Archbishop O'Hara— and two others who also have served as Apostolic Delegates, Archbishop Godfrey of Liverpool and Archbishop Mathew, formerly Apostolic Delegate in Africa and now Ordinary of the Forces.
There were also. Archbishop Grimshaw of Birmingham, Archbishop King, Bishop of Portsmouth. and Archbishop Myers. Coadjutor o Westminster.
Once again Archbishop Myers, as Provost of the Chapter, almost unchanged in appearance through the years, though he has now reached We came to the West door to offer greetings, as he has done so often before, for new Archbishops of Westminster, for a Papal Legate, for Cardinals newly returned from Rome with the Red Hat.
Nearly 20 Archbishops and Bishops came with the Cardinal in procession up the nave, preceded hy Knights of Malta in their black cloaks with the great white Maltese Cross on their breasts.
Then came the Apostolic Delegate —attended by the Secretary of the Delegation and Lord Sempill, his gentiluomo, wearing the kilt and carrying the red leather cylinder containing the Papal Bull of Appointment—escorted by the ArchbishopProvost. the Canons of Westminster and priests of the College of Cathedral Chaplains.
On the threshold of the sanctuary the procession passed a line of diplomats representing 17 nations—the Ambassadors of France, Ireland, Spain, Austria, Italy. Colombia. Brazil, Lebanon, and Indonesia, and other envoys from Ecuador, Peru, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Belgium and Portugal. When all the prelates and priests were assembled in the sanctuary the Secretary of the Delegation, Mgr. David Cashman, went to the Cardinal's throne and presented to His Eminence the parchment Bull.
From the throne it Was brought to
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the sanctuary entrance by the Cardinal's secretary, Mgr. Worlock, who in resounding tones read its Latin text, ending with the words which told us that it was issued under the seal of the Fisherman's Ring.
The Cardinal now spoke hi,: words of welcome. speaking of the affection which the Holy Father shows for the people of Great Britain in sending an Apostolic Delegate, and renewing the thanks of all to Archbishop Godfrey whom, now that he is Archbishop of Liverpool, the "Hierarchy is proud to add to its number so distinguished a counsellor and priest."
His Eminence remarked that the new Delegate has come from "a country once cared for by our own Vicars Apostolic and now with a vigorous Catholic population of 30 millions."
He recalled. too. of course, Archbishop O'Hara's years in the service of the Holy See. which "have provided evidence of your fortitude with the persecuted Church in Rumania."
And again, "through your work in Dublin you share our close bond with our Irish brethren."
"All these." said the Cardinal, "are personal qualities which make your coming amongst us doubly welcome."
The pastor Archbishop O'Hara, responding. gave us a long address. It was very much the sermon by a pastor, perfectly illustrating the office of a Papal envoy—one who is sent by the Sovereign Pontiff solely to promote the welfare of souls—"fors" said the Delegate, "nothing else can possibly matter."
The Delegate, who knows modern martyrs from his experience in Rumania, recalled the heroism of the English martyrs and of course he spoke also—in admiration and for prayers—of the prelates. priests, religious and laity suffering. in or out of prison, behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains.
He spoke of his personal concern for all those living in the countries included in the Delegation—England, Scotland and Wales. in Burmuda, Gibraltar and Malta.
He spoke too of the Queen, saying that it is the earnest prayer of us all that upon Her Majesty, upon her husband and upon her children God's choicest blessings and graces may abundantly descend.
He expressed his gratitude to the non-Catholics who had shown their friendliness to him, particularly the diplomats present in the cathedral.
Finally, His Grace assured us all that he would lose no time in informing the Holy Father of this "magnificent public demonstration" of loyalty to and affection for the Sovereign Pontiff.
The evening culminated as never before for any Papal envoy newly come to this country—for now Archbishop O'Hara celebrated evening Pontifical Mass.
At 7.55 p.m., when the choir began to sing the Alma Del. scores of people. from all parts of the nave. rose and made their way to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to receive Holy Communion.
Malta helps Following an article and an appeal in the Maltese Catholic paper Lehen is-Sesma, and two broadcast appeals, a cheque for £190 has been sent from Malta to help the work of the Catholic Enquiry Centre at 114 West Heath Road, London, N.W.3.