On Friday last Cardinal von Galen, Archbishop of Munster, fearless opponent of Nazism, and valiant defender of the Faith, died aged 68,
Cardinal Griffin attended the Requiem and funeral ceremonies yesterday, March 28, at Miinster, at which Cardinal Fring, Archbishop of Cologne, presided.
Cardinal Griffin paid the following tribute to the late Cardinal in Westminster on Sunday last: "It is with great sorrow that we hate learned of the death of Cardinal von Galen, Bishop of Munster. I had the privilege of meeting hint in Germany in September, and had several long conversations with him during the recent Consistory. He was one of the outstanding new members of the Sacred College. During the war he never ceased to protect his own people against the evils of the Nazi system, and to proclaim the teaching of the Church, and to denounce persecution both of Jews and Christians. His courage was unequalled, but I should like to speak of his deep sincerity and of his amazing humility."
The following message of condolence signed personally " Bernard Viscount Montgomery " was received shortly after the Cardinal's death: " The Commander-in-Chief and the British element in the control commission desire to express their regret at the passing of a great Christian leader whose fearless defence of true Christianity in difficult times earned the respect of all denominations throughout the world."
We print below some account of the heroic Cardinal's life and a short personal appreciation from THE CATHOLIC HERALD'S recent representative in Germany.
Count Clement-August Von Galen, Cardinal Archbishop of Miinster, who died on the afternoon of Friday, March 22, three days after he underwent an operation for peritonitis, had been a Prince of the Church for one month and one day.
But of all the prelates raised to the purple by the Holy Father at the historic consistorics of February, 1946, he was the most famous. In the darkest days of the Nazi terror, his voice rang throughout Germany and the world in condemnation of totalitarianism. His message to Tim CATHOLIC Hew) Consistory correspondent, "Give us peace and give us justice," was characteristic. By justice he lived to see his faith in the right justified. Under the eyes of the Gestapo during the whole term of the Third Reich, he spoke out fearlessly.
Clement Von Galen's birthplace was in his own diocese of Minister, in the village of Dinklage, Oldenbourg; he was a son of a family of Westphalian nobles who had always lived close to the land, fusing the tenacious traditions of the landed aristocracy and the peasantry in their long Catholic history. To a Swedish reporter, who interviewed him for this paper, while Hitler was at the height of his power and Europe was still in the throes of war, he said of himself : " We Von Galens are not clever men; the men of my family are not subtle; indeed, there are times when we have been accused of stupidity : we arc, in fact, incorrigibly Catholic."
He was born on March 16, 1878. He was 68 years and six days old when he died. He was ordained priest in 1904; he became Archbishop of Miinster in 1933.
Every time Hitler made a speech the Archbishop would send him a telegram commenting on it and indicating just where and how it diverged from Christian doctrine. He published these telegrams. Once after he had sternly admonished the Nazis for their treatment of women and children, a Nazi called out in church asking what he, a celibate, knew of either. The Bishop
looked down at him and demanded to know " why he dared criticise the Fuehrer in public."
Our correspondent who visited Germany on our behalf last autumn, and who had a long conversation with the Cardinal, writes : " It is not easy to describe Cardinal Galen, to convey the deep impression of greatness which even the shortest meeting with hint leaves upon the mind. His immense statute, his rocklike features, now stern set, now transfigured by a twinkle in his blue eyes deep stank beneath beetling eyebrows, his simplicity of manner with no trace of unctuousness, his unfeigned modesty and complete lack of self-consciousness, his great power of concentration, and finally those thunderous outbursts of righteous anger and indignation; even his enemies and opponents must have