Volume #12 - 42.|
CONDUITE DES RELATIONS EXTÉRIEURES
REPRÉSENTATION DIPLOMATIQUE ET CONSULAIRE
Le provincial des Dominicains|
au sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 11 janvier 1946|
Dear Mr. Robertson,
1. His Holiness Pope Pius XII has recently appointed His Excellency Most Reverend James Charles McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto, to the Sacred College of Cardinals.
2. It is not only the outstanding personality of Archbishop McGuigan that is so honoured by the Pope, not only the Archdiocese of Toronto, or the English-speaking Catholics or, more widely, the Catholic Church of Canada, but it is Canada herself as a whole.
3. The fact of giving a second Cardinal to Canada is an act of great benevolence from the Holy See towards Canada. Many nations are so honoured, but, as you are well aware, many more are not represented in the Sacred College. For many years to come, considering the number of Catholics in Canada, roughly speaking 4,500,000, comparatively to other nations, we could not very well expect to have a second Cardinal.
4. Comparatively to the number of Catholics of other nations, big or small, Canada has the biggest share in the Sacred College: two for 4,500,000. There are five Cardinals in the United States for 25,000,000; six in France for about 37,000,000; eight in Italy for about the same number. We do not count as Italians those who are Citizens of Vatican City and are Heads of Departments. or Prefects and Secretaries of Congregations for the administration of the Church. Even foreigners may be officials of Congregations as were, in recent years, Cardinals Gasket, Englishman, Van Rossum, Dutch, Lepicier Billot and Tisserant, Frenchmen, Fruwirth, Austrian. One Secretary of State, Cardinal Merry del Val, under Pius X and Benedict XV, was Spaniard by his father and English by his mother.
5. The appointment of a second Cardinal for Canada is a recognition of the importance that Canada has won for herself amongst other nations in recent years. The American Magazine Time, in its edition of Jan. 7th, pp. 28-30, commenting on the appointment of the new Cardinals, says: "Canada's new place as a leading "middle power" was duly recognized by the selection of her first English-speaking Cardinal, Toronto's Archbishop James Charles McGuigan, to balance French-speaking Quebec's Rodrigue Cardinal Villeneuve."
The nomination of Card. McGuigan is also a recognition of the strength of the Catholic Church in Canada: 43%.
These two aspects are noted in Time when it says: "... Everywhere Cardinals were carefully placed for maximum spiritual and political effect." That means that the Holy See has an eye wide open over Canada: importance of Canada as a nation, and importance of the Catholic Church in Canada.
6. This step taken by the Holy See in favour of Canada should not be ignored. The Holy See has its own language, not only by words, spoken or written, but sometimes more eloquent by deeds and facts. The recent action of the Holy See, giving a second Cardinal to Canada, is full of meaning. As I said in a Memorandum† on this matter of Diplomatic Relations between Canada and the Holy See, the Holy See will not take the initiative of negotiations with the Government of Canada, but because of the appointment of a second Cardinal for Canada, I am right in saying that the initiative of the Government for such negotiations with the Holy See is well invited.
7. Canada will never have a better opportunity in more favourable circumstances of making an excellent move to rank well with more than fifty nations for her own good and greatness. Cardinal McGuigan is highly esteemed amongst non-Catholics as well as amongst Catholics all over Canada. He was born in Prince Edward Island and all the Islanders are proud of him. As a priest he was engaged in ecclesiastical work in the Diocese of Edmonton, Alberta. He was appointed Archbishop of Regina, Sask. and from there was called to the See of Toronto.
The opposition that the Government might have expected from some non-Catholics to the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Canada and the Holy See will be greatly reduced by the appointment of Cardinal McGuigan. I am sure that this nomination of Cardinal McGuigan and the establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the Holy See will do a great deal for the better understanding not only between Catholics of different language, but also between Catholics and non-Catholics, a better unity in Canada that is worth working for.
8. I also pointed out in our conversation that at the time of the Consistory there will be Diplomats from other Countries in Rome to receive the newly appointed Cardinals and to speak to the Holy See for their respective Countries, and the full Corps Diplomatique will be in St-Peter's Basilica to witness the elevation of thirty-two new Cardinals for nineteen different Countries. The place of Canada will be empty! when the Minister of China will be there, from a pagan nation. That will be unsavoury for us.
You have mentioned that there is no time before the Consistory to establish Relations with the Holy See and to send a Diplomat to Rome. But may I make a suggestion? There is still plenty of time to commission Ambassador Vanier of Paris to go to Rome and act officially for Canada in this most important circumstance. I am sure that such an initiative would be highly appreciated by the Holy See, by our two Cardinals in Rome and by all Canada.
This step would pave the way for successful negotiations between Canada and the Holy See for exchange of Diplomats in a near future. Believe me etc.
FR. PIE-M. GAUDRAULT