The Times
February 10, 1929


By Dr. Don Pietro Stoppani

The Roman Question was born the day when the first idea of Italian Unity was conceived. To make of Italy only a single State it was necessary sooner or later to come to a systematisation of the civil power of the Popes. The aspirations of forerunners had aimed at the independence of the country from the foreigner and a fusion of the various States, none excluded, under the same sovereignty. This initiative came from Piedmont, the motive force from the natural, irresistible movement of the Italian people to constitute themselves a homogeneous whole on a national basis. The fact is worth noting that the clergy themselves generally favoured this tendency, though they felt at the same time a certain spiritual uneasiness as to what might be the ultimate fate of the Pontifical States.

The accession to the Papal throne of Pope Pius IX in 1846 seemed at first to encourage the Liberal aspirations. The amnesty he granted to political prisoners was of good omen. But optimism did not last long. The year 1848, which, by the grant of the Constitutions of Naples, Tuscany, Piedmont, and Rome had raised the highest hopes, closed sadly. In Rome the murder of Pellegrino Rossi, the Pope's Premier, had plunged the Papal State into a grave plight, while the successful reaffirmation of Austrian rule had stirred to fierce heat the passion for independence in the hearts of patriots.

The program of the so-called Neo-Guelphs - Gioberti, Balbo, Rosmini and others - belongs to that period. To favour unity in the country and at the same time to captivate the Pope, they had conceived the scheme of a Confederation of the Italian States of which the Papal State should become a member. The Government of Piedmont then sent to Rome the philosopher Rosmini, a noble and high-minded divine. The scope of his mission was to start negotiations for a Confederation between the States of the Church, of the King of Sardinia and of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, of which the Pope was to be President. That was the first attempt at conciliation between Rome and Italy. Had the project been realized, the absolute sovereignty of the Pope would have undergone a very noticeable diminution, since the chief attributes of sovereignty would have been transferred to a Diet of Representatives of the various States. But nothing came of it. What would have become of Italy if that federal unity had been brought about, it is useless now to consider. It is, however, true, and historically proved, that Pope Pius IX did not show himself hostile to the idea, which would have set the temporal power on a new path. Instead an intransigent policy prevailed.


The Roman Question-understood as a contract between the aspirations for national unity and the Pontifical State - was now on the horizon; in a short time it would have imposed itself [as?] a delicate and difficult problem on public opinion and on diplomacy. All felt that sooner or later, it would be necessary to face it. Its negotiation? in fact, appeared urgent after the campaign of 1859. The victories of the Italian [and?] French armies at Magenta, Solferino and [San?] Martino were paving the way to independence. All Italy was seething with excitement; [...?] risen provinces were proclaiming their [...] to Piedmont.

( .... portions missing)

.... King Victor Emmanuel, rightly preoccupied with the new [position? petition? ...], personally addressed to the Pope a famous letter dated March 20, 1860, beseeching him to accept conciliation.


... Pantaleoni, the [...?] doctor was instructed to open negotiations with the Vatican, using Cardinal [...?] as an intermediary. Their object was to study a possible reasonable agreement on the following lines:- The Pope was to be recognized as an inviolable sovereign, a subject of no State, and to be provided with such possessions as would suffice for the needs and dignity of the Roman Pontiff and his Court, such possessions to be immune from any political interference on the part of the Government. The inviolability of the Conclave and liberty of relations with foreign Powers and with all Christendom were to be assured. All laws and rules contrary to ecclesiastical liberties were to be abolished. The Italian Government was to renounce any interference with the appointment of the Bishops, and absolute liberty was to be given the clergy within the limits of their jurisdiction.


The ensuing negotiations kept throughout their informal character, and they did not succeed. A clearly hostile atmosphere and a very rigid opposition in principle, due principally to Cardinal Antonelli, were created in the Vatican. The Emperor Napoleon was kept informed of these feelers. He was no doubt favourable to an agreement between the Pope and the King of Piedmont, because, if successful, it might have made it possible for him to withdraw his troops from Rome, a step which would have freed him at the same time from a grave responsibility and from the pressure brought to bear upon him by French ultramontane intransigents. This projected solution of the great Piedmontese statesman is established by some letters of Cavour himself, edited by Chiala. In one of them, addressed to Count Vimercati in Paris, dated January 20, 1861, this passage occurs:-

"Vous savez, M. le comte, que le cabinet que j'ai l'honneur de presider, est dispose a faire les efforts les plus serieux pour amener enfin, par un accord direct avec le St. Pere, une reconciliation durable entre L'Eglise et la civilisation."

A month after that he wrote to Pantaleoni these emphatic words:- "You will have associated your name with the greatest event of modern times."

The event did not come about. The answer of the Holy See was inspired by the formula non possumus - a precise, imposing, almost sacramental formula, given in the name of the Divine Law. Consequently the Roman Question which for the Neo-Guelphs and for Count Cavour had been chiefly political, gradually became theological and therefore assumed a much more delicate nature.

Meanwhile the unity of Italy was making progress towards completion. The goal was Rome the capital of the new kingdom. What would have happened if the Pope had denounced the whole movement towards national unity? Either an armed conflict or the creation of a religious drama in the consciences of Catholics. In view of such a danger there was in 1862 a remarkable manifestation by the Italian clergy: the so-called Passaglia address signed by 12,000 priests and conveyed to the Pope with the prayer that he might heed and pronounce a word of "peace." The petition had not the desired effect; just the opposite. The Catholic newspapers disapproved of it. The signatories, guilty of having dared to suggest that the Pope should relinquish the temporal power, were regarded with suspicion and disciplinary action was taken against them. The Roman Question had now (1870 was still eight years away) assumed the aspect of a very large problem; the perturbation of the religious conscience was great.

In 1870 the Italian troops entered Rome through the breach at the Porta Pia. From that day Pope Pius IX considered himself deprived of his power by force, sub hostili potestate constitutus, reduced to the state of a prisoner of the Italian State. The Law of Guarantees of May, 1871 which aimed at regulating relations between the Church and the State, was, and remained, a unilateral law of the Italian State. It was not, and could not be, a solution. Since then all differences and all contrasts between the Papacy and Italy have always hinged on the Roman Question. The bitterness with which it was discussed cannot be imagined. Polemics were rife, particularly among the clergy. All the Catholic papers distinguished themselves by their fighting attitude in favour of the temporal power. One of them, from the year 1870 onwards, used to come out every day in mourning. Those ecclesiastics who dissented from the intransigent programme were inevitably exposed to the attacks of a Press protected, when not inspired, by the Vatican. Yet all these conflicts and religious-political contrasts would have exhausted themselves if a new fact of a purely political character had not occurred-namely, the elections to Parliament. At first Italian Catholics were absolutely forbidden to participate in the public life of the country. The mot d'ordre was: neither elected nor electors. The non expedit made its official appearance in the elections of 1874, and was repeated and confirmed by documents issued by the Roman Congregations at successive elections. Pope Leo XIII always strictly followed this line. "For reasons of a high nature (he used to say) Catholics must not in present circumstances participate in public life." The laity gave a relative importance to the veto, but that Papal mot d'ordre had great weight and authority with the clergy and the Catholic associations.

While these heated discussions were going on in the clerical field, the admonitory voices of religious writers rose from time to time, repeating the wish for conciliation. These writers included renowned and authoritative priests. The geologist Antonio Stoppani bravely tried in 1884 and 1886 to vindicate the orthodoxy of the signatories to the Passaglia address, at the same time breaking a lance in favour of the thesis of conciliation. A Benedictine historian, Father Tosti in a small pamphlet, which it was stated, had been [subjected?] to the Pope, described in lively terms what was good and beautiful in the hoped-for agreement with the Quirinal. Two years later an eminent Bishop [had an?] article published in the Rassegna in an [....] Nazionale [courageously? .... ] vexata in the hope of forming a current favourable to an understanding between the two powers. This article was widely echoed as soon as it became known that it was from the pen of Mgr. Bonomelli, Bishop of Cremona, who enjoyed great authority in the country and was in touch with high personages in the political world. Reprinted in pamphlet form, it was put on the Index.


In obedience to religious discipline the common opinion of the clergy and of the bishops continued to be hostile to any idea of conciliation. An authoritative organ of this hostile attitude was the 'Civilta Cattolica' belonging to the Jesuits. Attempts on the part of the Government to find the possibility of a rapprochement were not lacking, but, with the advent to power of the Left in 1876, the spirit of the laity was hardly inclined towards it. The Radicals and a strong sectarian group disliked the idea of a conciliation which might have been interpreted as a journey to Canossa. Moreover, the Triple Alliance was looked upon with suspicion by the Vatican, which saw in it a recognition on the part of the Central Powers of new Italy with Rome as its capital, thus rendering ever more remote the possibility of a return to the temporal power.

All will remember the Vatican policy of Cardinal Rampolla, the Secretary of State of Pope Leo-a Francophile policy, which was to cost him the tiara. In moments of diplomatic tension between Italy and some foreign States, certain political or confessional influences were set in motion to make the Italian Government feel that the problem of the Holy See interested foreign Catholics. It was stated that the Minister Depretis was favourably disposed to a reconciliation. After him Crispi, in 1887, at the time of the Tosti pamphlet, had seriously set himself to study the project of peace with the Vatican. "We might have succeeded (he said sometime afterward) if France had not put obstacles in the way." Perhaps he had over-estimated his own good intentions. Nor was much progress made beyond mere soundings under or during the di Rudini Cabinet. At that time the Vatican looked more to the past than to the future. A whole structure of theological doctrine and canon law prevented an objective vision of reality. A very serious element of such Church discipline was the Bull Admonet Nos of Pope Saint Pius V which forbade in every way the alienation of the patrimony of St. Peter.

Meanwhile with the progress of time, the tone of clerical polemics became calmer and the terms of the question were gradually modified. The formation of a Christian democratic party caused the non expedit to fall into disuse. The Vatican, it is true, never failed to renew its protests, urbi et orbi, but this seemed to be done more with a view to influence international opinion than to embitter relations with Italy, the more so because, in fact, these relations proceeded regularly and calmly as between two good neighbours. The Roman Question could thus maintain itself alive on the diplomatic platform without [triggering?] consciences and without [unpleasant?] conflicts. So things stood up to the beginning of the War, as well as after peace was concluded.

Pius XI immediately after his [coronation?] imparted his first benediction on the outer loggia of St. Peter's, a [move?] which neither Leo XIII, nor Benedict XV had done, the impression was that the benediction [on?] Rome and Italy was in some way a cancellation of the past. The [end of the Roman Question] then? Not yet. Pope Pius [...?] his protest. In the [encyclical?] 'Ubi arcano' of December 23, the Pope raised his voice [... about?] the abnormal condition of things [...?] and permanent perturbations of conscience of the Catholics of the [world?].

.... (Rest of article missing).

Note: Some words have been supplied in [brackets] which may not have appeared in the original news articles as published, due to damage or illegibility of the printed page.

The Times
February 10, 1929



(From our own correspondent)

ROME, Feb. 10 - Now that in all probability we are within a few hours of the signature by Cardinal Gasparri and Signor Mussolini of the Treaty of Reconciliation and of the Concordat between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, the popular interest in this epoch-making event has come to be more manifest. One of the most striking manifestations of this interest was seen this afternoon at the celebration of a Te Deum in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to mark the seventh anniversary of the election and the coronation of Pope Pius XI. A number of special invitations were issued to prelates, to representatives of religious orders, seminaries and religious colleges, to the parish priests of Rome, and to the different Roman Catholic associations and clubs. The public had also been invited by posters put up outside the churches to attend the service which was celebrated by Cardinal Pompilj, Vicar-General of the Pope, and the large crowd which responded to the call showed clearly how widespread is the appreciation of the fact that these are historic days.

This impression is confirmed in various indirect ways. During the last day or two, for example, all foreign newspapers have been eagerly bought up almost as soon as they are on sale. Very curious, but in its way no less significant, is the action of one enterprising merchant, neither of the Protestant nor of the Roman Catholic faith, who has, I believe laid in a stock of 70,000 flags of the Papal colours. If the terms of the two agreements are to be published within so brief a period, it seems unnecessary further to retail the many rumours and intelligent anticipations which continue to circulate here.

That the formal signatures are to be affixed tomorrow seems to be practically beyond doubt. At the same time there appears to be just a possibility that the ceremony may have to be held in the Vatican instead of in the Lateran Palace owing to slight indisposition on the part of Cardinal Gasparri. This possible alteration in the programme would not affect the subsequent publication of the terms of the two instruments. In either case the ceremony will be private. Only eight persons in all are expected to be present. For the Vatican there will be Cardinal Gasparri, the Secretary of State, Mgr. Borgongini Duca, Secretary of the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, Mgr. Pizzardo and Signor Domenico Pacelli. The Italian Government will be represented by Signor Mussolini, together Signor Rocco, the Minister of Justice, Signor Grandi, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and Signor Giunta, Under-Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department. Only Cardinal Gasparri and Signor Mussolini are expected to sign the documents. Meanwhile, there is small doubt that the intention to hold the ceremony in the Lateran Palace still persists.

Apart from the rumours as to the terms of the Agreement, there are many other reports, which, taken together, are not without interest. One particularly interesting anticipation is that Signor Mussolini may mark the occasion by an amnesty to a number of political opponents. This move would certainly be popular, and would strengthen the Fascist claim that the old political parties need no longer be taken seriously into consideration.

It is authoritatively claimed that there will be an exchange of important decorations between high officials of the Vatican and of the Italian Government. Thus it is expected that the Collar of the Annunziata will be bestowed by the King of Italy on Cardinal Gasparri, Cardinal Vanutelli, Dean of the Sacred College and Datary to his Holiness, and Cardinal Maffi, Archbishop of Pisa, and [on?] Signor Mussolini and one or two other [Government?] collaborators in the negotiations to become Knights of the Order of [Christ?]

This happy ending to the protracted negotiations will be more than a ceremonious exchange of compliments. Both sides, if my information is correct, went into the final negotiations in a spirit of cautious watchfulness amounting almost to distrust. Every care was taken from the outset to avoid signing any document which might prove inconvenient should the negotiations in the end break down, and the Government spokesman appear at first to have been without any official credentials. The Vatican, however, insisted that the same assurances should be given to them and suggested that the publication of certain Italian Government administrative provisions would be taken as a sign of good faith. This publication was made within a week.


From our own correspondent

MADRID, Feb. 10 - Widespread interest has been aroused in Spain by the announcement of the settlement of the Roman Question, and preparations are being made to celebrate the event throughout the country. The Spanish Government has addressed congratulations to the Vatican and to the Italian Government. The Madrid Press quote foreign, and in particular British, comment on the question as proof of the world-wide importance of the event, and expresses surprise that the Italian Press has so far remained silent. The Spanish Press, however, is not unmindful of the problems which must arise out of the new agreement, and the Madrid newspaper A.B.C. to-day publishes an article, pointing out several difficulties which suggest themselves as between the Holy See in the new function as a sovereign State and the Italian Government. What code of justice will be applied in the new State? Will the Pope allow the application of Fascist codes and penal laws in his territory, and, on the other hand, will the Italian Government allow Italian subjects to be punished for certain offences on Papal territory which may not be considered delinquencies on Italian territory? It is not thought possible that the Pope can approve some of the Fascist laws.

Then there is the question of the Catholic Boy Scouts and their playing grounds. These were given by the American Knights of Columbus to the Holy See, but the Italian Government has not allowed the Catholic Scouts to use them. How will the Italian law on associations and meetings apply in the corner of Rome now to be independent? How will the Press censorship be exercised on newspapers published in the Papal State...?

( .... rest of article missing)


The Times
Wednesday, February 13, 1929

The scene in St. Peter's yesterday when the Pope was borne in state with all the magnificence of the ritual that has come down through the centuries amidst the acclamations of "Evviva il Papa: Evviva Pio XI; Evviva il Papa-Re" was extraordinarily impressive, though the Pope himself had announced on Monday that the expected benediction to the people from the outer loggia would be deferred until the Treaty that day signed in the Lateran has been ratified. But the moral pressure was too strong for the protocol. He came out on the balcony and blessed the kneeling multitude, as they cheered and wept for joy. The conclusion of this treaty has moved Italians of almost all sides and all opinions to their hearts. It is a great fact in the history of the Roman Church and of United Italy, now for the first time invested with a complete religious unity in the minds of all her Catholic citizens.

"We are a Protestant nation" as Sir Austen Chamberlain said on the day when the Treaty was signed, but a Protestant nation whose King is the King of many millions of Roman Catholics, and all of us can join Sir Austen Chamberlain's congratulations to the Pope and to Signor Mussolini on the happy close of this old controversy. With the signal courage and breadth of view which have led him to carry out this great work of peace, the Pope assumes the whole responsibility for his departure from the course followed by his predecessors for almost sixty years. He declares that the only aid he has had during his long study of what was until two days since, was still the "Roman Question" has been from the prayers of the faithful of his communion. He faces the future with the confidence which inspired him throughout the negotiations. He does not shut his eyes to the possibility of dangers, the certainty of difficulties, in working out the delicate and complex consequences of the agreement he and Signor Mussolini have made, but he wisely answers the fears of his less clear-sighted advisors by affirming that guarantees from foreign Governments are needless, and that the only guarantees are "in the conscience and sense of justice of the Italian people." That shows a real and statesmanlike sense of the national and international situation. So, in not less striking fashion does a declaration in the official summary of the agreement which apparently contains all the authoritative information likely to be published after the meeting of the new Italian Parliament at the end of April. The summary contains the explicit statement that the Holy See "is to remain, and will remain, outside the temporal rivalries between other states, and will remain outside the international congresses set up with this object" unless the contending parties make common appeal to it. That clause ought to put an end to a good deal of anxiety felt in some quarters which in other respects applaud the settlement as to the possibilities of intervention by the new Vatican State in congresses when its representatives would not be acceptable.

Nothing could be more explicit or more comprehensive than the clause in the treaty on the subject of sovereignty, which has always been the fundamental obstacle to a friendly settlement. In the words of the summary the Holy See "declares definitely and irrevocably that the Roman Question is settled and eliminated." It "recognizes the Kingdom of Italy under the dynasty of the House of Savoy, with Rome as the capital of the Italian State. In its turn Italy recognizes the State of the Vatican City (Citta del Stato Vaticano) under the sovereignty of the Supreme Pontiff," and declares the law of May 13, 1881 (1871?) the Law of Guarantees and any other desposition contrary to the Treaty to be abrogated. This is the essence of the whole settlement. The Vatican is satisfied that the agreements signed guarantee to it "the liberty and independence" necessary for the spiritual government of the Catholic Church in Italy and throughout the world. United Italy obtains the full, unrestricted, and unqualified recognition refused to her by four successive Popes. This is the achievement by which the Pope and the 'Duce,' PIUS XI and Signor MUSSOLINI have earned the gratitude and the loyalty of those for whom they speak, and the admiration and congratulations of all who can appreciate its difficulties and its greatness. The credit of the initiative is assigned to Signor Mussolini, but he must have known that in the Pope, whose first act was to bless the people from the outer loggia of St. Peter's, he would find a ready listener. The trouble which Mussolini had to fear lay in another quarter. The Socialists and 'Anti-Clericals' had long been a powerful and well-organized force in the towns and in the Chamber, and their opposition to concessions to the Church was shared on many points by the Liberal "intellegensia" in spite of the example of Cavour. The "Duce" seduced and overawed the Socialists and drove the Liberals from public life. But they still exist-exist perhaps in influential Fascist circles-and on the least encouragement many of both groups would gladly seek to undermine or to upset an agreement with the Vatican. To overcome any movements in this direction Signor Mussolini doubtless relies upon his boundless authority with the Fascists and the immense popularity which the settlement will enjoy with the Catholic masses. He has counted the risks in the work he has undertaken, and has decided to face them, but he knows [first?] they must continue until all the main results of this bold stroke of statesmanship are developed and are seen and felt by the nation. The process must be slow and were any part of it to fall into weaker or less able hands before completed the whole system might be shaken with fatal effects. No less judgement and no less decision will be needed to finish the work than were shown in taking it up, and men with the gifts and qualities of Pius XI, and Mussolini are few.

The prestige of the Pope and of the Head of the Government must be very greatly increased in Italy and abroad by the success of their joint labours. They have done what others have tried to do and have failed, or renounced as impossible. Should they bring their common work to a satisfactory consummation their names will go down among the great makers of history, the great benefactors of the Roman Church, and of the Kingdom and people of Italy. How far that consummation is from being reached is evident from the official communique issued on Monday. From the document it would that the instruments it describes, and particularly the Concordat, contain many clauses which will need good will on both sides to interpret and to apply. The principal provisions of the settlement are in accordance with general expectation. Most of the provisions of the Concordat have also been indicated more or less exactly in the mass of unauthorized messages from Rome since Cardinal Gasparri's very uninformative announcement to the diplomatists. One, however, hitherto [not?] mentioned, relates to the boundaries of dioceses to make them correspond if possible with the provinces of the State. This may be significant of a reduction of the number of Italian bishoprics-a step which might have important ecclesiastical effects. These are of interest and are of importance, but it would be premature to discuss them until the [terms?] has been received. A great deal of ink has been devoted in different countries to speculation on the probable religious and political consequences of this "peace by agreement" between the Vatican and the Quirinal. These are attractive and important subjects of which the importance is undeniable, but they admit of widely different conclusions, and facts enough are not at present available on which to base conclusions of any value. The probability seems to be that Pius XI and Signor Mussolini will prudently confine themselves, so far as may be, to the actual work they have before them. The future, the Pope has said, lies in the hands of God. There will be time enough to consider these [historic?] matters when they draw nearer. For the moment we can be content to echo Sir Austen Chamberlain's congratulations on the reconciliation which has been effected. The Pontifical banner and the flag of United Italy flew side by side on St. Peter's yesterday. In the words of the Governor of Rome, "What seemed to be a poet's dream" has indeed become a "splendid reality."

The Times
Wednesday, February 13, 1929



(From our own correspondent)

ROME, Feb. 12.- If Rome was almost too stunned by the suddenness and magnitude of yesterday's events, adequately to express her appreciation and joy, she more than made amends to-day. From an early hour this morning the Holy City has been decorated with flags and for the first time for nearly 60 years the yellow and white colours of the Papal flag have flown side by side with the green, white and red Tricolour of Italy. The most conspicuous blending of the two emblems was to be seen outside the Palazzo Chigi, Signor Mussolini's headquarters, where two huge banners hung down from a balcony overlooking the Corso Umberto. All the Government offices were similarly adorned and many Papal flags had been hung out from private residences. The enthusiasm which the genius and statesmanship of the Vatican and of the Palazzo Chigi have aroused triumphed even over the soaking rain which, with a few brief but lowering intervals, has poured mercilessly down all day.

The outstanding event of to-day was, of course, the celebration in St. Peter's by Cardinal Locatelli of the seventh anniversary of the Pope's coronation at which the Holy Father himself was present. In view of the reconciliation between the Vatican and the Italian Government, this year's ceremony was followed with enthusiastic interest. In spite of the cold winds and grey skies, large crowds began early this morning to pour from all the different quarters of Rome into the Piazza San Pietro, where the Carabinieri and police directed the throng of men and women of all classes, among which mingled black-draped nuns, scarlet-cassocked seminarists, and an occasional friar in frock and cowl. A continuous stream of motor-cars deposited the fortunate holders of invitation tickets, who numbered in all about 35,000, at the foot of the steps leading up to the Basilica.


At 10 o'clock all the congregation had entered, and the Cardinals, in their scarlet robes and ermine capes, were already seated in their places. At 10:30 the Pope left his private apartments, attended by the ecclesiastical and lay members of his Court, preceded by the Cross, which was borne by Mgr. Giobbe. On both sides of his Holiness were ranged the Noble Guards, while the Swiss Guards acted as escort. At the entrance to the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Father was met by the members of the Chapter, headed by Cardinal Merry del Val, as Archpriest of the Basilica. Here the Pope was invested with the pontifical regalia, and assumed the Triregno, or Triple crown. His Holiness was then raised on the Sedia Gestatoria, and passed in procession along the nave.

When the Holy Father himself appeared, the immense crowd burst into applause, and the vast building resounded to repeated cries of "Evviva il Papa," "Evviva Pio XI," "Evviva il Papa-Re," mingled with the music of the triumphal fanfare by the trumpeters of the Noble Guard. The procession paused for a moment while the Pope descended from his chair and knelt at the Chapel of the Choir in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Raised once more, his Holiness proceeded to the Throne. On the conclusion of the Mass his Holiness gave his benediction to the congregation, and left the Basilica by way of the Cappella della Pieta.

Meanwhile the crowd of about 200,000 persons was patiently waiting in pouring rain in the Piazza outside, in spite of the fact that an official statement had been issued by the Vatican announcing that the Pope would be unable, for special reasons connected with the Treaty of the Lateran, to give a public benediction. Shortly before 1 o'clock however, their faith was rewarded, and on the central balcony of St. Peter's appeared surrounded by high prelates, and attended by his Secretary of State, the figure of Pius XI., clad in scarlet and ermine. The crowd burst into shouts of joy. Handkerchiefs were waved, and hundreds knelt in tears on the rain-sodden Piazza, while the Pope repeatedly raised his hand in conferring the Apostolic Benediction on the City and the World.

This gracious departure of his Holiness from his programme has produced a most favourable impression. It is said to have been due to the personal intervention of Signor Mussolini. One rumour which may be given for what it is worth states that the Duce sent to the Pope a special message, saying: "I can disperse a revolutionary mob, but I can do nothing against a peaceful crowd."

Meanwhile Rome is enthusiastically continuing her programme of celebrations. All her streets and public places are thronged. Bands have been playing in the chief piazze, and the Roman Fascists are being paraded for great demonstration of loyalty to the King in the Piazza del Quirinale. Arrangements have also been made for the Castle and Bridge of St. Angelo, as well as parts of the city walls and the principal gateways to be lit up with Roman torches. There are to be special illuminations in the quarters adjoining the Citta Vaticana, while searchlights play on the chief basilicas. The consensus of popular feeling in this official programme is intense and unmistakable. It cannot be better summed-up, perhaps, than in the words of the manifesto issued to-day by the Governor of Rome, which runs: "What seemed to be a dream of poets .... has become in the seventh year of the Regime a splendid reality."


Some of the most interesting portions of this morning's official communique (which was published in the later editions of The Times yesterday) about the Treaty of the Lateran and the other agreements signed yesterday, are those devoted to the Concordat. Thus, as in the case of the Concordat with Poland, Bishops in their appointment will in future swear the following oath of fealty to the Italian State between the hands of the Head of the Government:-

"Before God and His Holy Gospel I swear and promise as is seemly in a Bishop fealty to the Italian State. I swear and promise to respect, and to make respected by my clergy, the King and the Government as established by the constitutional laws of the State. Further, I swear and promise not to take part in any agreement, nor to be present at any meeting which may injure the Italian State and public order, and that I will not permit my clergy so to do. Taking heed for the good interests of the Italian State I will seek to avoid any harm that may hurt it.

"On Sundays and compulsory holidays .... " (rest of article missing).

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